Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Uncovered Gems

Since my main WIP is in a contemporary setting and is about a foster child, I find a great number of wonderful nuggets that inspire all sorts of ideas for my plot. Sometimes all it takes is a newspaper article, a TV news report, or stray conversation among the people I see at church and the grocery store. My notebooks are full of varied jewels that I've uncovered.

Here's some of the latest tidbits:
  • A newspaper article concerning the statute of limitations on sex abuse claims--Since many of the victims don't report it for decades, the perpetrators go unpunished. The crimes against my character Samantha are nearly lost to this reluctance to talk.
  • A newspaper article that older mothers with daughters are living on a powder keg of hormones--As the daughters hit puberty, the moms are entering menopause with the possibility of major combustion. My two main characters fit this dynamic and my back brain will make something of it--I just know it will. ; )
  • A local TV news crew reported on a group that paid for the funeral of a homeless vet with full military honors--The retired Marine among my characters is itching to use this quote from the story: "No one should go on their last mission alone." Something tells me that this will come up again in some way in Cherry Hill Book 2--LINE OF FIRE.
  • A newspaper article about the result of a court case that requires a reduction of the case loads for child protective services personnel in the Fulton and Dekalb counties (Atlanta). All the other counties in Georgia have had to increase the caseloads to make up for personnel and funds moved to Fulton and Dekalb. This was confirmed by a discussion with a local Department of Family and Children caseworker. She has 33 active cases right now. My story isn't set in Fulton or Dekalb counties. I think you can figure out the rest of that line of thinking.
  • Some of my friends were bemoaning the loss of their children's boy and girl friends. The quote was "But they didn't break up with us!" When a child falls in love with potential mate who then disappears, what happens to the hapless parent who made the friend welcome to the family? This one will be allowed to ferment. I'm sure my characters have something to say about it. ; )
Where do you find your uncovered kernels and hidden gems?
But more importantly, how do you record them so you don't lose them?

The delightful Denise Covey's A to Z Challenge posts have covered Bloggers Were Children, Too this month and I'm Z. ; ) Go HERE to read my interview.

If you want more info on my strange and wonderful name go to my post: "What's in a Name?"
It's been fun following Denise at L'Aussie Writer and Deniz at The Girdle of Melian, and Matthew at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. Check these great bloggers out.


  1. Hi Zan! I love newspapers and their magazines for ideas. I have a series of notebooks to write my jewels in. Lately I've even been snapping bits and pieces on my phone and uploading into my online journal.

    1. Good use for that phone's camera if you ask me, Denise. ; )

  2. Hi Zan Marie,

    I have notebooks with ideas, and envelops with newspaper and magazine clippings,mostly labeled by topic. Some of them date back for years.


    1. Hi, Susan!

      I know you have files that will come in handy with your Half Bubble Off Level work and other articles.

      Good to see you in the Shade. ; )

  3. Life is so fascinating! All we need to do is pay attention. :)

    1. I know, Matthew! Do fantasy and SF writers find these little nuggets in the day to day world, too? I'll have to find out whenever I get back to my SF trilogy.

  4. Good sources for information, Zan. I get quite a few ideas from news items. When I write, I make them my own.

    1. J.L.,
      I agree. the news stories I mentioned are morphing as we speak into wonderful ideas that fit my WIP. ; )

  5. I find gems everywhere - random phrases, tidbits of real life conversations, flashes of insight. A friend's wife once mentioned, in passing, being unable to abide seeds, or even dusted flour, on her bread. And immediately I knew that Austin feels the same way [g]


To use Facebook or Twitter sign in, select Name/URL. Add your name and the URL of your homepage for Facebook or Twitter...and comment. Thanks for coming by!