Monday, November 2, 2015

Pea Brain Moments



I’ve been writing blogs since 2010, and figured that one day I’d run out of topics to talk about. I’ve come close a number of times. Suddenly something will creep into my little pea brain and I’m on the case again.


I apologize for missing the past few weeks, but life has been busier than I expected. I’ve mentioned that my house was for sale. It sold. My daughter has been looking for a house in Washington state, where I’m moving, and she found just the right house – within ten days of mine selling! The past few weeks have involved reviewing paperwork, packing, signing paperwork, packing, finagling finances, packing, sorting things into “toss” and “keep” piles, packing – you name it.

Hmm. I wonder what any of this could have to do with writing fiction. Ah, I’ve got it. Use real life experience to write fiction.

Let’s say your character is trying to solve a murder, catch a thief, find a missing person, or any number of issues. Here’s the rub. Your character has put his or her house up for sale. Just as things heat up in an investigation, a buyer makes an offer on the house. The buyer wants all of the character’s attention, understandably, and they want concessions or changes if they’re to buy the house. (Thankfully, this doesn’t describe my buyers. They’re kind-hearted and love the house.)

What’s a character to do? Drop the case being worked on to take care of the buyers? Tell the buyers to get lost? Juggle the case and the sale of the house? Each individual author would have to figure it out to their satisfaction and run with it.

Let’s go a step farther. The character is sorting and packing, and he or she runs into a mystery in the house. Do they sell the house and forget the mystery? Can the mystery be solved before the buyers take over the house? If it’s not solved, would the mystery have a direct effect on the buyer? All good questions, and like a good mystery, they have to be answered and a solution has to take place.

What about the house your character is buying? As he or she moves in, they might find something the previous owner missed. Another mystery blooms.
 

My dogs, Sugar and Murphy, understand that something big is going on. They can’t figure out what it is, but they’re so spun out that they don’t know if they’re coming or going. I have a feeling that moving day is going to be one long remembered. Pets can add an unusual element to a mystery and make things even more hectic than they already are.

Interestingly, I’ve given myself a few ideas just by writing this post. I’ll have to take notes and think about a new story idea.

I’ve had to set my current Work in Progress aside, but I hope to complete it after I get moved and settled in. However, the book after that is beginning to take shape. It just might… No, I’ll surprise readers. If it all works out, it will be a bit of a surprise.

I haven’t written anything since May, but I have a feeling that’s about to change. Someone commented that this particular post sounds a bit disjointed, but so is my life at the moment. Oh well…

Until next time, think of something goofy that’s taken place in your life, just for laughs. I think that’s what I’ll do. I could use a good laugh. How about you? Now back to the packing boxes.

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website (which is in dire need of updating)
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com

Ain’t life grand? You betcha! It’s all about perspective.

24 comments:

  1. I do hope your move is successful and i know you'll enjoy being near your daughter.

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn! I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life.

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  2. Good advice, Marja. I'm happy for you that the house sold and a new one awaits. I'm sure your other blog visitors forgive the lapse in posting. You've had a heavy load to bear since May.

    Hugs!.

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    1. Thank you, Jean! It seems like almost anything can lead to ideas for a scene in a book. And life has been a real learning experience -- again.

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  3. It sounds like things got hectic very fast but it sounds like you're heading into a new chapter and more to look forward to. Pets understand when something big is up. When my parents sold their house and packed up to move, the dog refused to go for a walk out of sight of the house. Lots of short walks for a while. I hope the move is easier than expected.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! The dogs have been very needy lately, needless to say. At least they'll have grass in Washington. Where we live, it's difficult to grow and everything is gravel. Can't wait for the next chapter.

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  4. You are (as usual) spot on. You take something that's going on in your life and then ask, "What if?" The Keystone pipeline plowed right through our property. I was unhappy about that. But then, it inspired my latest mystery, OVER MY DEAD BODY. So, we take what comes along, and complicate it and wa la (and just how do you spell that) you have a plot. Thanks for another good post, Marja.

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    1. Thank you, Jim, and I thoroughly enjoyed Over My Dead Body. Great inspiration and you used it well.

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  5. Marja, you and I are in similar "boats." LOL
    As you know, my mother's house sold too and we're both moving to apartments - across the hall from each other. (I moved into her house a year and a half ago.) Talk about stress and insanity! I've had to put my WIP on hold too. But, as you mentioned, there's always a bright side and you never know where story ideas will come from.

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    1. Our lives have run parallel in many ways lately. You'll be starting your next Life Chapter soon, too. And we'll both be writing again. Woohoo!

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  6. Good luck with the move, Marja!

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    1. Thank you, Heather! I can't wait. :)

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  7. I'm happy for you, Marja, as you make your move and admire how you keep on keeping on with inspiration and ideas for your work. I wish you a safe and happy move and many years of creativity and joy ahead. Keep in touch as you can.

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    1. Thank you, Eileen! I wish you creativity and joy, also. Keep that delightful sense of humor that I remember.

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  8. Of all the things I hate, I hate moving the most. There are only two good things about it. First, you have to get rid of stuff you never should have kept anyway. Second, it might inspire a new story to write. Best wishes, Marja, that you'll get through the move with a lot less stuff and a terrific new book.

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    1. Thanks, Earl! Its the stuff I never should have kept anyway that driving me to distraction. I'm planning on this being the last move I ever make. I hope you're right about a the new book. : )

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  9. I always count on your blog each week, so I wondered what happened to you. I'm certain you'll make some delightful mystery out of this move. Good luck and enjoy the cooler, wetter weather you'll be experiencing in your new place.

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    1. Well, you just made my day, Lesley. I have to say that I always look forward to your blog, too. Hopefully the wetter weather will be livable because I'll be inside writing. : )

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  10. A perfect blog for what's going on in your life now, Marja. And the fact that it gives you ideas for more books makes it even more appropriate.

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    1. Thank you, Pat! Right now I'm feeling pretty frazzled. : )

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  11. Marja, excited for you, your dogs, and your daughter! We lived in Puget Sound (North Bend near Mt. Si) area for 20+ years before moving to the desert! And with two dogs--just the opposite direction as you. I'm sending good moving thoughts your way! All the best!

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    1. Thank you, Madeline! I'm just not cut out for the desert. Who knew? LOL

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  12. Know you will come up with some great stories from present experiences. Photo of Sugar & Murphy was a pleasant addition to blog. At least move will provide some lucky folks opportunity to meet you in person.

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    1. LOL You always know the right thing to say, Jake.

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