IDEAS! - Guest Post by Angela Brown

Katherine Longshore 24 Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're continuing our series written by regular YA Muses readers, responding to and expanding on previous Muse themes.  Today, we are thrilled to introduce to you Angela Brown, a blogger and writer who never fails to cheer us with her comments and often gives us something more to think about as well.  This is a lady who has a wealth of ideas...

The writers here at YA Muses are great.  Every day we get a different viewpoint on the “theme” of the week.  Bringing out thoughts on the same topic from unique perspectives is a wonderful idea.  And that’s what I’d like to briefly touch on today.

Ideas…more specifically: where I get my ideas.

No, I don't have an "Idea Man"...though that would be awfully helpful :-)  He could sit down, do all my brainstorming for me, type up ideas, fly an airplane and drag the new ideas along behind him in a banner.  Then again, I wouldn't be able to call them MY ideas if I let someone else do all my thinking for me.

It might be tempting to put out a bounty on ideas.  I mean, hey, when I'm running on vapors, the sign I just passed says "Next imagination station 300 miles" and I'm feeling desperate, putting a call out may work:

Thankfully, I haven't needed to put out a bounty or call upon an idea man.  Many of my ideas formed during the mundane-ness of my paying gig, sometimes with the aid of music.  Being surrounded by gray Hayworth in a cubilce for several hours of the day could turn my idle mind into the devil's playground.  But that idleness morphs into my Imagination Haven.  I think about my current WiP, ways to improve it, scenes to add, darlings that might have to get the ax.  Then, like a mermaid, I get distracted by some new shiny that spins on its head and wags its tail with vigor-

“New shiny!”

Oops, sorry, um, yeah, as I was saying - something inspired by a "What if?" or an "I wonder if..." or "Why?".  That's where Post It notes come in handy.  Yes.  I said Post It notes lol!!!!!  The little things are a life saver for me because I'm not very good at carrying around a journal - which, by the way, keeping a journal nearby is a very smart thing to do.  Take it from someone whose purse looks like this on the inside:

There really is an order to the chaos lol!!!!!

Take my idea for my A to Z blog opera.  It first started as "Why are good girls attracted to bad boys?", inspired by Adele's song "Set Fire to the Rain" (she doesn't literally mention bad boys and good girls but it made me think about it).  That prompted a blog post asking the same question.  Got some great answers, one of them being how opposites are bound to attract.  What's more opposite than an agent of heaven and an agent of hell?  Then mix things up by having them become attracted to each other and over a bit of time, fall in love only to discover each other's lies and truths.

After pantsing my way through the A to Z blogging challenge - and receiving some of the most inspirational and encouraging comments from old and new blog followers - I decided to take this "blog opera theme" and turn it into a novel/novella currently titled NEVERLOVE.

Idea > Encouragement and Inspiration > Novel in the works!

Not every idea happens this way - oh how I wish it could :-)  Like Donna mentioned, it can happen during routine things.  Katherine discussed how ideas can form like magic, coming at you from everywhere all the time.  Talia emphasized further how ideas are everywhere.  And let's face it, it's kind of hard for some of us to pin down that precise moment when a specific idea hit us because of the "everywhere-ness" of how ideas can come about.  Not so hard for Bret who shared when he had his "Eureka!" moment for an idea, because that can happen sometimes.  Guest blogger Mike Jung (Big Woot for such a wonderful post that had me laughing and enjoying the topic as well) even shared a mixing bowl recipe that I'm sure will work for many :-)
So if nothing else, I want to end things with this:

I - Imagination
D - Diligence
E - Everywhere-ness
A - Anytime, All the time
S - Something special


I have a purse full of Post-its and index cards, Angela! You never know when an idea will strike. Thanks for sharing your ideas on ideas.

I have a Moleskine exactly for this purpose! I carry it everywhere and jot down ideas. There are now about five pages back to back with snippets and kernels :)

@ Katherine - I showed my Post Its collection to a friend and she bent over laughing because it really is a purse full of chaos :-)

@ Julie - Excellent idea carrying that moleskin around. An excellent idea collector.

Thanks, again, so much for having me :-)

Awesome post, Angela! Your Idea Man is much more polished than mine. Mine looks more like Rasputin lol. Thanks for guest posting!

Awesome post, Angela! Your Idea Man is much more polished than mine. Mine looks more like Rasputin lol. Thanks for guest posting!

I laughed out loud when I saw your Post It note gallery.

My big, smooth Ikea desk is peppered with Post It notes. Whenever company comes over, I pile them on top of each other. When I get back to work, I once again lay them out like a patchwork quilt.

When I'm out of ideas, I love to take a walk and see what inspiration I can find. I once wrote a novel based around part of a sign I found in a field. It was broken off in several places so that all that was left (at different levels) was: very sharp teeth.

Great post, Angela! Made me laugh out loud :) at my desk this morning. Thanks for posting!

Cleverly done as always, Angela. :)

love your guest post, Angela! and the acrostic is fabulous!

Great post! I also use my gray cube of dullness as a imagination playground.

@ Veronica - LOL! I think Idea Man only polished up for this post :-)

@ Maria - Post It notes are a necessary accessory. I don't even think I can call them an accessory anymore. lol!!

@ Barbara - That is so cool. It's just wonderful how ideas can come from any/many activities in our lives.

@ Donna - So glad you enjoyed it. It was my pleasure and a joy to guest post here.

@ Linda - So happy you followed the three birds on over as well. And thrilled you enjoyed the post. You always make me smile :-)

@ Tara - Thank you so much!!!

@ Bret - LOL! That cubicle has to be good for something more than putting people to sleep.

The Post-Its crack me up, Angela! I love how they're scattered through your purse. Next time you need an idea, you can just reach in and pull one out, like grabbing a name from a hat.

Okay all you post it fans out there, I JUST this minute had installed this totally cool wall feature in my study. It has a row of marbles that holds anything up on the wall and you can move things all around. Genius idea from my carpenter! (But I don't think I can put it in my purse)
Can't figure out how to post a pic in the comments though...

I tried post it notes and ended up working in a 'hamster-cage' of scribbled paper I could never quite decipher. What I find useful though is walking, swimming, - even cleaning toilets. Mind (apparently) switched off and ideas suddenly emerge from nowhere. Exam invigilation is another great source. Mind on standbye is the ideal medium for new ideas.

I have scraps of paper tucked everywhere! Sometimes when I read them, I have no idea what they mean, lol. Thanks Angela, another wonder post:)

Good take on ideas, Angela. Inspiration can and does come at anytime and anywhere.

@ Beth - LOL!! I hadn't thought of it like that before.

@ Donna - That sounds like something I'd love. Darn these HTML limitations in comments. Maybe I should have Idea Man look into that? lol!!!

@ Mike - Don't want you spinning your wheels behind scraps of paper :-) You've got great idea boosters happening. Just something about that idle mind needing a fill.

@ Gwein - When I do my Post Its, I try to jot little abbreviations so I'll remember what the rest of the words are supposed to mean. :-) Working so far but not guaranteed to last.

@ J.L. - Exactly :-)

Ha!That was great! Love your ending! The thing about carrying around a notebook in your purse is that it tends to get cluttered with grocery lists, telephone numbers, math problems etc. And lists of books I want to get the next time I'm at the library. So post it notes are great! Or have a really big purse with a really big notebook!

Great post!!


I love that you carry all those ideas around with you! I get ideas from music sometimes, but usually I find a song for a scene after I write it.

I find inspiration at the weirdest times and places. :-)

LOL Angela, you need to take shares in the post-it note company. I get some of my best ideas in the shower.

Idea notebooks, post-its, restaurant napkins, gum-tacky, tattered receipts at the bottom of my purse, they all work when an IDEA slaps me in the head.

I adore the "Hello! Are you listening, dummy!" moments. They're so much fun to explore. :))

Enjoyed the post!

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