Spring! Time for cloud-watching!

Puffy white cyber-sites feed creativity

Ah, spring—longer days, warmer temperatures. I strive to invest my BICHOK (butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard) time daily, but there are times my brain wants to get off the gerbil wheel of word quotas and plots and marketing, and put in some time just staring at the clouds.

There are “clouds” of sorts on the internet, not those storage sites, but sites that re-charge the brain. I visit those that provide inspiration, little bursts that refresh me after a good writing session.

Here are some I’ve enjoyed. Slip into your hammock, look to the sky, and enjoy!

http://lauradavis.net/category/prompts  Author Laura Davis offers prompts that let you mine veins of gold from your own experiences. Here’s a sample:

     Tell me about a time you found the courage or necessity to express yourself from the deepest part of you—a time you truly showed your soul.

Answering questions of this depth can help you discover and/or clarify your author’s mission statement, and help you find your writer’s “true north.”

http://inkygirl.com/  If you’re having a bad day, set your timer for fifteen minutes and drop by Ohi’s website. She authors and illustrates children’s books, but she also creates cartoons about the writing life that resonate and make you laugh out loud. After reading a few of them, you will not take yourself so seriously, which makes for a much more fruitful and creative you.

http://marthaalderson.com/what-motivates-you-to-keep-writing/  Alderson has a wealth of tips to help you become and stay productive and motivated. I listed the motivation blog because it seems like a real spring topic—the beginning of a new season, and the wonderful promise of spring.

thestorystarter.com  This website generates over 39 billion story starters. Like many generators, it can trigger more than just a story. It can provide a setting for your next scene. Trigger an idea for a secondary character. Help you decide on a dominant emotion for your next scene. It beats letting Facebook suck you into its rabbit hole, and its wild randomness helps loosen the rusty hinges in your mind. A sample: The brilliant Olympic gymnast painted a portrait in an abandoned toy store during the hurricane.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-387  Brewer offers prompts for poetry, a wonderful way to “clear the palate” and digest one delicious word at a time. It’s a chance to re-discover the power of the right word, the right combination of words, and the beauty of cadence.

http://www.hughhowey.com/eyes-like-hers/  Described as one of indie publishing’s great successes by Writer’s Digest, Howey tracks his lessons learned through both self- and traditional publishing. I apologize ahead of time for this, but the story’s too beautiful to overlook. The power of a short story—it inspires me to dig deep, to get the emotions on the page.

Last one:


Book title generator that covers several genres. Beware—it will entertain you for much longer than the allotted fifteen minute “cloud-watching” session, so set your phone to bring you back to earth.

Did you like these? Do you have some sites to share? RSVP, and happy cloud-watching! --Janet


Janet Lane
Janet has a new release this month! ETTI'S INTENDED, part of her #1 Amazon bestselling series, will release on September 1 in ebook and paperback format.
The fifth book in the series, Etti's Intended is available now for pre-order at http://tinyurl.com/ycm7kvu5 -- order now and you'll be among the first to read what Library Journal reviewed as "Almost too perfect ... Lane does a superb job creating layers to the Gypsy culture... a must-have for fans of the series."
Her novels are set in fifteenth century England during the so-called “Gypsy Honeymoon” decades. The first novel in the series, Tabor's Trinket, is a #1 Amazon bestselling novel. #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Lara Adrian called Emerald Silk “..an enchanting medieval romance filled with passion, intrigue and vividly drawn characters that leap off the page. I loved this novel!”.
Janet was a featured author in RMFW Press’s Tales from Mistwillow anthology, and co-chaired the editorial board for RMFW's 2009 anthology, Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.

Janet welcomes your comments here or via her blog at http://janetlane.wordpress.com, or her website, janetlane.net

8 thoughts on “Spring! Time for cloud-watching!

  1. I’m going to check out the Martha Alderson site first — maybe I can put the breaks on the creeping spring fever that usually gets me this time of the year. But first, must go thin the leaf lettuce and spinach and do a little weed whacking. 😀

  2. LOL, Pat! I’d happily write three chapters to avoid weed whacking. But hey, I’ll bet it’ll inspire some good, scary plot ideas while you’re doing it! Happy spring!

  3. I’m loving the suggestion for what to do when you have a bad day. Janet Grill and I used to keep badly written books to pull out and read from whenever we were feeling particularly down on our writing. I could always count on Janet to have something “bad” to cheer me up and get me believing “I’m a writer. I can do this.” Thanks for sharing all the links.

  4. LOL, Chris! That brings to mind the misunderstood song lyrics. Those used to keep me in stitches–mainly because I had been singing the wrong lyrics for years. 🙂 “This is the dawning of the age of Asparagus” –Laughter’s the best medicine.

  5. Janet, Pat and Chris–
    Thank you!
    I admit, I’ve succumbed to a couple hours of digging my frenemy–dandelions. My aunt used to make wine from the little darlings–which brings to mind several writing prompts.
    Janet, you’re not the only one–maybe that’s why I don’t eat asparagus now.

  6. I’m so behind with everything I’m just getting to your blog. I can’t wait to check out the sites! Thanks for giving us some mind candy to enjoy.

  7. You’re welcome, Terri. You deserve some leisure after that great work with the RomCon. Kudos to all involved in presenting that outstanding day of information!

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