Thinking Thursday… Gathering Your Ideas

Gathering Your Ideas…

Well, we made it into December.


That calendar can’t be right! December? Wow!!!

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, IDEAS! How did you do during PiBoIdMo? I officially got 30 ideas! YAY! Then I had another one later that day. And a few more since.   🙂   I love it when that happens. Don’t you?

So we have all these ideas. Now what? Do you feel overwhelmed, not sure where to start?

Take a  breather.   Breathe in… breathe out… (repeat as needed)

Feel better? Good.

Now take a look at your list. Has any of them been tickling your brain? Or jumping up and down, shouting, “Me! Me! ME!”? Let those step forward. Explore them. Do some research. Has the story line been done before? *sigh* Probably. BUT (and here is the kicker)…

Can you put your own spin on it?

YES, you can!

Here is where you voice, experience, and spin get to shine.

What about all those other ideas? you ask.

I’ve been inspired by one of Tara Lazar’s guest bloggers. I’m going to write all my ideas down and put them in a clear jar.

On my desk.

Where I can see them!

I don’t want to forget them, even those sucky ones. Who knows, with the right circumstances, one of those icky ones might be the right combination to fit into a story. Maybe they will conspire together, plan an escape, and make an appearance on my page? WAIT! STORY IDEA!!!!!!!!!!! And I say “CLAIM” on it. (all you Walking Dead fans will get this *wink, wink*)

Here’s to all those ideas coming to fruition!

Until next time…

Happy Writing,

PiBoIdMo Day 25-27… by Tracey M. Cox



Inner Mechanics

So these past three days have been about how you can approach writing. I think it’s great to try different avenues, making a mess, and getting it right in the end.   🙂   Writing is not a straight road.

Now onto my recap of the past few days. 🙂

Day 25
Take Time

Crossword_Puzzle.svg.medThis can be thought about in a few ways. Take time to make time for yourself. Take time to remember things and others. Take time to give. On this post we were reminded about taking time to use older vocabulary and make them new again. Loafe around was something I can remember my grandmother saying… and something I was told not to do too much of. Of course, loafing around can cause brain blast too. I plan taking time to think about other words you don’t hear so much of anymore.

Day 26
Letting It Build

wheelbarrelsvg.medWriting is NOT easy. I should say writing WELL is not easy. It takes time to learn to write your craft. I know my writing has improved so much in the past 14 years! I have learned that not every idea will turn into a book and that is okay. Once I gave myself that permission, it was freeing.   🙂   So give yourself permission for bad ideas and bad writing. You are still writing and nothing is ever wasted!

Day 27

Panic.svg.medWe have all been there. That place where sweat appears on our brow. We keep looking at the clock/calendar. KNOWING we have to finish. Instead of being the ‘deer in the headlights’, turn that panic into motivation. Deadlines are great motivators. It doesn’t matter if it is self-imposed, critique group imposed, editor/agent imposed… deadlines will get you moving. The main thing to remember is you’ve got this. Turn all that adrenaline into something positive and get it done!

Now take a few deep breaths. We have almost reached the finish line!!! How are you doing? At day 27, I’m at 26 ideas!!!

Let me know how you are doing.
What do you do when you panic? How do you handle deadlines?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!

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~ Happy Halloweenie ~ and a Spooky Recipe for Writers by Tracey M. Cox


It’s Halloweenie and it’s time for writers to have a magical spell!!!!

It’s October 31st and I thought why should the kiddies have all the fun?!? I looked over some of my articles I had written over the years and I came upon a secret spell. One just for writers.

WHAT?!!!? you say. There are no magical spells to help writers?!!!?

Well, I beg to differ. *sly smile* See there are certain ingredients you can add, mix them together, and you have a sure fire way of honing your craft and becoming a better writer. See, I stumbled upon this one dark and stormy night…


… The crazed face, masked by the glowing embers, could not be of an ordinary writer. No, only one who had gone mad. A swirling cloud of smoke erupted from the large black pot as the writer flung out her arms. She shook a fist at the ceiling. “You said there was no such thing. Thought you could hide it? HA! You were wrong. Do you hear me? I’ll show you.”

Turning to the table the writer snatched up a worn tattered book. “The recipe? I found THE recipe,” she calls out to no one and everyone.

One yellow page turns after another. Finally her finger rests below a name. Her laughter echoes off the walls sending spiders and rats scurrying. “Waaahahahaaaaaaa. ‘How to Write Children’s Story and Get It Published…”

With a clash of thunder, lightning flickered an eerie glow on the room. The wind howled has it increased.

“…Bits of pencil lead, gallons of tears and sweat.

A character in trouble, an ending they can’t forget.

Dashes of plot twist to turn readers loop de loops.

Throw in a CWIM book and names of writer chat groups.

Conference notes, newsletters, an editor’s ear.

Bubble, boil, simmer and rejections you’ll never fear.

Let it cool off for a week, two, or three.

Add your critique group to point out what you didn’t see.

Five heaps of patience, determination, and trust as the words you pluck.

Rewrite, revise, then send it off and…Good Luck.”

#summersparks Follow-Up: TIPS



My mind is still whirling. What a lot to cover in only two weeks! Sometimes that can leave everything in a jumble. Add several ideas sparking to the mix and you can feel overwhelmed. Here are a few tips I have found that helps me out:

  1. Make a list of your ideas where you can see them all at one time.
  2. Star or check each one that has promise to flesh out into a story.
  3. Look at that group and see which ones are really grabbing your attention.
  4. Pick one or two and start researching, note taking, and writing.

I have found by narrowing them down by importance, I get a better feel for what I want to work on. Of course I have had an occasional loud mouth that demanded attention. When that happens, I KNOW what I want to work on.

Things I also consider before I get too far into my writing:

  1. Has the subject been written about?
  2. Has my angle been written about?
  3. How  can I make my story unique?
  4. What way can I market this idea? (<– Yes, I start that now)
  5. What other layers can I bring into the story to add depth?

There are so many things that come into writing. I have found that the more I do it, the easier steps come. I automatically pull up Amazon and do a search now. My mind starts visualizing ways I can market a book, different ways to promote, and who I can approach, outside of bookstores, to sell my book(s).

The main thing to remember is to BREATHE and enjoy the writing process.

Happy Writing!



You have three more days to finish qualifying for the raffle prizes!!! All entries must be done by Friday, July 11th, at 11:59 pm, est.


Missed a SUMMER SPARK? Don’t worry, you can find them here:

Day 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic  by Kelly Milner Halls
Day 2:  The Power of Doodling  by Alison K. Hertz
Day 3: Cause & Effect  by Alayne Kay Christian
Day 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja  by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Day 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End  by Julie Gribble
Day 6: The Final Word  by Jodi Moore
Day 7: Inspiration Station  by Susanna Hill
Day 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar
Day 9: Platform Building Can You Build It? Yes, You Can!  by Tracey M. Cox
Day 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line  by Kirsti Call
Day 11: Burning Down the House aka Revision by Donna Earnhardt
Day 12: Persistence  by Donna M. McDine
Day 13: Writing Your Way to a Spark  by Kris Dinnison
Day 14: Hope In Your Heart  by Carol Gordon Ekster
BONUS: What Songs Rock Your World?  by Claire Rudolf Murphy
Follow-up #1: TIPS
Follow-up #2: 9 Ways to Tighten Your Story
Prize Announcement: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!