Is he who he says he is?

Have You really thought about how little attention we give to what goes on around us? We take for granted the comings and goings of people in our day-to-day life. This could easily be a writer’s dream. Especially a mystery writer like me.

Here’s a good example… I was sitting at my desk working away, minding my own business, when suddenly, I glance out and there’s a guy outside my window. He gave me a wave, and I didn’t really think anything of it when I saw the tools. I remembered the contractors planned to be at my home today to install the hurricane shutters. Obviously he was here to do it.

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But how did I know this for sure; he might be anyone. By being in a uniform, with a letter truck, people don’t give a second thought as to why a worker is there. This deceptive trick is used often on TV shows. The bad guys manage, very easily, to enter a location and then commit a murderer, plant a bomb, or steal a valuable item. All because nobody questions the reason they are there.

We don’t want to make the person being questioned feel uncomfortable, and you don’t want to appear rude. But if you don’t ask questions, how do you know what’s going on? We don’t hesitate to question when somebody rings the doorbell to sell something. We quickly put them in their place with either a yes or a no response. If the person looks like they belong or there is a reason to be there, it’s our human nature to not question. Maybe we’re too trusting, or maybe we’re just too nonchalant, but either way it could be used against you.

Think about the people that come in your life day to day. How many are there that you don’t give a second thought about? If you’re at home, it might be the pool person who comes to clean the pool, or the lawn maintenance man. It could even be someone as common place as a postal delivery employee. If you work in an office do you think twice about seeing somebody come in with a toolbox? For all you know it’s the maintenance man. Or if somebody comes in with a laptop and you automatically assume they are part of a technology team. Or how about someone with a basket of food—is it a lunch person your company has employed or someone with an ulterior motive?

How can it be we’re so self-absorbed that we don’t ponder about the things that are going on around us? Have we become too complacent? Whatever situation you might be in, I hope I’ve put a caution on your mind. It’s time to think about who’s coming into your inner circle and if they belong.

 

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Let the writer explore the possibilities of the people that wander in and out our lives, you take care of the real-life safety precautions.

Remember it’s a mystery or thriller writer who plots about evil strangers…
The writer of Sci-fy brings the stranger as a visitor from the future…
A fantasy writer might create a whole new world where the stranger is from…
A romance writer might think ‘here comes prince charming’…

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Weather to Write?

I have a question for you writers out there – how does the weather reflect in your writing?

For example if you’re writing during the winter months do you find your including holiday or Christmas scenes in your book? Or perhaps you’re writing during the summer months, do you find that you have camping in beach outings including your book?

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Does the day’s weather affect how you write; if it’s rainy and cloudy outside do you find that you dragging? You’re writing the things might have more of a gloomy feel to it as you’re putting the words down on the paper. Or, perhaps it’s a beautiful, sunny day and the words just popped onto the page and your characters are doing everything they are supposed to. The words are going smoothly and the pages are filling up.

So how does the weather mirror you not as person, but as a writer? Do you find that you’re more productive on certain types of weather days? Some people are better in the morning  or the afternoon, but what about the weather – how does that effect your writing habits – think about it.

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Does the weather effect you to the point where you actually can’t write on certain types of days?  Do you find that you do better with doing promotions and research on those days? Maybe you just put the pen and paper aside and give it all up and wait for the next rainy/sunny day that fits your mood.

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We writers are creatures of habit. We don’t like things to get in the way of our writing, but some things we can’t control, and one of them is the weather.

So, do you work with the weather or do you like the weather work against you?

THOSE FIVE LITTLE QUESTIONS

You can find a story every day.

Every day that you wake up and walk outside your four walls you have the opportunity to see something new and create something different from it. As a writer it’s important to not only write, but to observe and to see what’s going on around you. Little tidbits can create the best books. It can be something as simple as a bird flying overhead and you wondering what direction it’s going and where came from.migrating_penguin_preview

Or maybe it was part of a casual conversation you overheard when you stopped for a quick lunch. It is amazing how one little bit of the conversation, taken out of context, can send you in wonderful directions of your imagination.buzz-clip-art-12

 It can also be observing people in action; little kids are perfect for finding inspiration for stories. Their innocence and wide-eyed observations let you see things in a totally different way.. The little children aren’t the only ones that observes things differently than you might. Have you ever heard a teenager look at something and say how boring, but you were thinking it was really exciting. So, obviously, it’s all a matter of perspective from the observer’s point of view. And as we get older things that we looked at in our youth look totally different now.

But the items that you observe shouldn’t just be people. Take the ornate object this just sitting there in a forgotten corner; what’s the story behind that. Maybe it was something that was left years ago by somebody who didn’t come back for it. Why didn’t they come back to collect the item? Where did they go that they didn’t take it with them?

question1Everything you look at can have you starting to ask questions. They’re questions so old and mundane, so part of our elementary education that they are second nature to us.  We don’t really think about them, but the questions are: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

So your challenge today is to look at things differently. Pick out one thing that grabs you and creatively think of it differently than the context in which you actually see it.

Let your imanigation go and have fun!

Tell Me A Story!

Tell me a story…

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“Tell me a story”, these words can create a wonderfully bonding experience between a child and their parent. And what parent doesn’t want to have that tender memory. Many of us spent hours reading to our children when they were young. Our children became great readers because they grew up with the foundation of being read to. Every night we could be found reading our own favorite stories to them; God knows, I read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss to my son so many times, that now 18 years later I can still recite it.

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There are so many wonderful books out there that can teach children how to read and provide gentle life lessons and the basics of how to communicate. But how lucky is the child that has the parent who can create their own stories! Stories that will be a special memory for the two of them. This pre-school experience of creating a story from nothing will stick with the child for years because they’ll know that their father or mother created that story for them just on a whim.

I can remember my son showing me something like a picture of seashell or flower and asking a question about the story behind it. The bumblebee sitting in a trip at a flower would bring a string of questions like; “What’s it doing mommy? Where’s it going to go next? Why does it stop that flower?” As any parent knows, once the questions begin, they can be never-ending, especially at bedtime! But if you can create a story from just one of those random thoughts, your child will remember it for years, and as an adult you might be surprised to hear them reciting your made-up story to their own children.

As a writer as a challenge to look at a picture and see beyond the still life in front of you. It becomes a source of incentive, imagination, and inspiration. To look at the picture and create a story from it, is a gift to be used and shared. Just what the writer creates can be something wonderful. Think about it; you can make up your own country, your own world, and your own grand adventures. You can create a tale that tells the story between a husband and wife, brother and sister, or best friends.

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So my challenge to you; create a story for your child, create a story for yourself, create a story to share with the world.
There is a picture out there just waiting for you to put it to words!

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