Where do I begin?

“Okay, Muse, snap out of it and get to work.”

Wait. That sounded a bit bossy, didn’t it? And, since I’ve been saying those words to my reluctant, still-on-vacation muse for more than a week with no pages to show for it, apparently this technique isn’t working. Maybe I should try another approach.

~Bribery, perhaps? Chocolate is out–it conflicts with my annual New Year’s resolution to lower caloric intake and exercise more. (I’ve got at least another couple of weeks before those food restrictions gently slip from my mind.) 😉

~Meditation might work. Unfortunately, it’s gray and foggy outside at the moment and if I close my eyes for more than a few seconds, I tend to drift off to sleep. Apparently, my internal battery is solar-powered.

~Maybe a change of place would help.

What's not to love about blue sky and white sand?

Sigh. A sun-drenched beach sounds nice, but sand isn’t good for my lap top and working on the iPad in direct sunlight gives me a raging headache. Some writers hang out at Starbucks, but that’s too noisy for me. I can work anywhere when I’m connected to my story, but there’s the rub. I’m not connected to anything at the moment…except Spider Solitaire and Ancestry.com.

~There’s always: Research. That’s sorta what genealogy is about…stumbling blindly in the dark, following hints and clues that lead to something intriguing. Maybe if figure out the setting for my next series, the characters will start to show up for a casting call. You can’t blame them for wanting to know where they’re going to be working, playing, living for the next few months, right?

Here’s what I know for certain: after nine books that for the most part take place in a small, rustic community in landlocked South Dakota, I need a BIG change of location. I have several West Coast urban locales in mind: San Francisco, Berkeley, Bellingham, WA and L.A./San Diego. But I have a sense that an ocean-side community not unlike Aptos, CA, will also play a factor.

So, let’s give digital scrapbooking a try. Anybody have any good photos from any of these places? Here’s a start:

Deb on the steps of Grace Cathedral on Knob Hill in San Francisco.
Old Town Bellingham. We had coffee in the coolest little beanery.
Berkeley has some great neighborhoods. We visited a bunch of antique, restoration/salvage stores our last time there.

Oooh, the junk yard/salvage aspect has potential. Could be my heroine’s family’s business…one man’s junk is another man’s treasure…ideas…

Aptos...coffee...a writer, maybe...searching for her AWOL muse, perhaps...

I hate to admit this, but there comes a time when even blogging begins to look like an avoidance tactic, so, I guess it’s time to get to work. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know if any of these “musings” lead to a story.