Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pinterest - Inspiration Boards

Yes, I am a little obsessed. But it's so FUN. Rachel of Lovely Clusters has an Inspiration Board Pinboard up at Pinterest. Check it out for some inspiration board, well, inspiration!

Monday, December 13, 2010


I'm now pinning images and items for WRITE WHAT YOU SEE over at Pinterest, my new obsession. Check out my WWYS pinboard!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Photography of David Schalliol

I found David Schalliol's site through Gaper's Block. I'm in thrall of his Isolated Buildings photographs. The photographs are of buildings in Chicago, and they are incredibly evocative. I can't wait to troll through the images for potential location-scouting.

He's also done photo studies of Detroit, basketball and early Hyde Park architecture. Fabulous stuff, and great for reference material!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Take a walk...then get specific

In preparation for travel tomorrow, my house is clean and unusually quiet, and I don't have any current emergencies to deal with. That meant I had time to go on a nice walk around the neighborhood. I had forgotten how nice it was just to be outside, much less to have a few minutes just to let my brain roll around a little.

I had my iPod and a favorite set of songs (including a couple by Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins), so as they played, I let my mind wander to Chicago and the events in Chicagoland Vampires 4, which I'm currently brainstorming. As the bassline thumped, I got a fabulous idea for fleshing out a scene.

It was a great reminder that sometimes the best way to write is to get away from the writing, and give your mind a little room to roam.

* * *

Once that walk is done, give yourself 10 or 15 minutes for a brainstorming exercise:

1. Pick one of your characters--any character.

2. Imagine their "key" surrounding. Is it an office?* A car?** A kitchen?***

3. Once you've made your selection, make a list of the kind of things in that special space, then do a little Googling. If it's a kitchen, decide which stove they'd use, which type of plates and mixing bowls, the kinds of things in the refrigerator. Be specific, and find pictures.

4. Put together a collage or Photoshop an image of the pics you've found.

5. Congratulations! You've now given yourself a visual model for your next writing session. Use that collage/image to

* - Ethan, Chicagoland Vampires Novels, Chloe Neill
** - Joanna, Weather Wardens, Rachel Caine
*** - Rachel Morgan, The Hollows, Kim Harrison

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Week in the Life

(Cross-posted on my blog)

For those of you who are journalers or scrapbookers or note-keepers, designstress Ali Edwards will be documented her annual A Week in the Life feature. The idea is to journal, take photos, and save ephemera from a week in your life, to be saved in its own scrapbook. It's a great way to track you and your interests . . . especially if you follow through from one way to the next.

And it doesn't just have to be about you. You could AWITL your characters, your manuscript, or devote a week to world-building. Thus, you might do something like this:

1. Monday - Geography & Architecture
2. Tuesday - Food
3. Wednesday - Arts and Culture
4. Thursday - Clothing
5. Friday - Language and vocabulary

Her "page protector" method (see photo below) of saving and documenting stuff (which I also do) would be a great way to save those photos, magazine pages, and other stuff you've been saving up for your novel.

Ali has posted on the Basics of Documenting AWITL and getting organized to put your AWITL together, and posts will continue through next week (when she documents her process).

If any of you decide to do this--especially for your world or characters--please share! I'd love to see and share your work!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Office Envy

I have total office envy. Haven and Home, one of my daily design reads, has posted a fabulous collection of home offices. How much more productive would you be if your writing space looked like this:

Extra-productive, I say!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Fashion Boards

In celebration of New York Fashion Week, Habitually Chic has posted a bunch of fashion mood boards. Check them out here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Harvey Faircloth Inspiration Board

I love the clean lines of this inspiration board for fashion designer Harvey Faircloth. (Via Black Eiffel).

It's also a great reminder that inspiration for your manuscript's mood, setting and decor don't have to come from artsy photographs or fashion magazines. They can include the simplest details - from the face of a playing card to a swath of fabric.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writer's Resource - Library of Congress photographs

I'd forgotten about the vast catalogs of Library of Congress materials available online until I was searching tonight for antique photographs of Chicago. The first search result? Photographs from the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933.

So if you're looking for specific American historical images, or you'd like to browse the archives to get a better sense of place and time, don't forget the LOC's American Memory project.

What's Her Story? - Writing Exercise No. 2

You're walking down a strip of deserted Atlantic coast beach, when you spy this young lady. Who is she? What's she thinking? Who's she looking for?

Photo by Isabel Lucas for Harper's Bazaar Australia March 2010. Via {a glamorous little side project}.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back from hiatus!

It was an accidental one, but a hiatus nonetheless. Let's get back to it, shall we?

I'll start with a quote from Anna Quindlen, offered up by graphic designer Ali Edwards. Consider it in the context of you, as a writer, or your character, as part of their own world. Who have they been? Who are they going to be?

And from the visual side of things, consider the photography of Jeltje (via Decor8) as a writing exercise. Look over the bulletin board and the office pics. Whose might they be?