Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Finding Inspiration in my Windshield View by Kyra Jacobs

Happy May, everyone!

I’m popping by today to talk about finding inspiration in the ordinary. The everyday. Liz does a wonderful job of providing insightful thoughts from her window view. For me, as the single momma of two former travel soccer kids, there was a long spell that involved LOTS of windshield time. Driving to soccer practices. Driving home from soccer practices. Driving to games, to tournaments, to pre- and post-season gatherings…

Yeah, we had a lot going on.

But rather than bemoan the fact that we were in the car yet again, I tried to do what my friend and mentor Shirley Jump always encouraged – find the time to write anywhere you can. So, during practices I was typing on my laptop, and when I was driving, I allowed myself to enjoy the views and watch for inspiration along the way.

Cute house with a white picket fence sitting beside a yellowing soybean field? That’s going in a book.

Small community with one main road winding through it? Intriguing.

Cool town name on a highway sign? Yes, please.

That’s how Bourbon Falls came to be, by the way. We had soccer over in Warsaw and beyond on several occasions, and I remember driving west down US 30 trying to come up with a location for a new romance series I was developing. Low and behold, a road sign came into view listing the town of Bourbon ahead. I mentally chewed on that for several miles and made plans to hop on Google Earth when we got back home—there was no stopping that day, not with our tight schedule.

Once I Googled Bourbon, Indiana, I knew it was the one. And since it wasn’t too far from Fort Wayne, I talked my mom into a road trip to explore the town on foot.

What a lovely adventure that was! We toured the town, taking pictures of buildings I planned to use in my story. The bookstore that would come to be known as Brooks Books and drive the Bourbon Falls series. The original train depot, where a secret kiss happens in book one. The parking lot that would be home to a Christmas tree lot in book two. The fire house, which hosted a substantial portion of book three.

It was magical, and it was all right there, just outside my car’s windshield.

Also, if you’re in the area, I recommend you stop by Bourbon Street Pizza – excellent ‘za, and very cool historic pictures on the walls.

Yes, I’ve written a few fantasy books, and yes, I love to create imaginary worlds and supernatural characters, but when I’m writing my contemporary romances and mysteries, I love to find inspiration in the here and now. Usually, it’s waiting right outside the window…or windshield.

What inspiration is across the glass from you today?

Have a wonderful summer, everyone!

About the Author:

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who’s always called Indiana home. Growing up in the Midwest means she’s well-versed in fickle weather, pork tenderloins that don’t fit on a bun, and sarcasm. Putting her Indiana University degrees in Public Management to good use by day means Kyra does the bulk of her writing late into the night. Fueled by caffeine and funny memes, she weaves humor and chaos into her stories, which range from sweet romance to mysteries and even paranormal/fantasy.

When this Hoosier native isn’t at a keyboard, daydreaming through her fingertips, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to bowl, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by to learn more about her novels and ways to connect with Kyra on social media.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

It's Saturday Morning... by Liz Flaherty

Yes, it is Saturday morning. Mist is lying soft on the ground and the fields are wearing their springtime clothes. It's been a good week. I've had time with friends, time with kids, working time, and time with the guy in the other recliner. Last week, I even had a 13-hour day as a poll worker, working with people I'd either not known before or seldom see. 

I've been to church, waved at my family's plot in the cemetery, run the weed-eater and trimmed the cats in short time increments that didn't do much for either situation I was trying to improve. I baked a pan of brownies that came out hard as the proverbial rock for no discernible reason other than I used my grandmother's pan and as I remember it, she didn't like to bake. 

I have realized, not for the first time, how lucky I am to never be bored. And I've realized something else, that even though days go way too fast in retirement, time is its most precious commodity. I complain sometimes, when the week starts, that I have to be somewhere or do something every single day, and then I have a great time with both the going and the doing. Maybe the only bad part of it is my complaining. Hmm...

Grandkids grow up overnight, and loss is an unavoidable part of things as we go on, but, oh, the good things that happen in this time! Have you seen the pictures of graduates in caps and gowns, the busloads of younger ones on end-of-year field trips, felt the energy of May altogether? The baseball parks are alive with crowds of people who share the love not only of "America's pastime," but love of the ones on the field and in the dugout. Have you seen--or joined--the lines at the ice cream stand windows?

Have you thought, in these times of undeniable strife and division, not of how you can get through another day of it, but how you can make things better?


My new publisher, Annessa Ink, posted a what do you think? choice of covers for Pieces of Blue, my next book, on Facebook. I know what my opinion is, but I'd like to hear yours. Which of the three posted below do you like best? Even better, why do you like it? Please leave your answer in comments or let me know however you like. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. 

Thanks for voting and for reading. Have a good week--enjoy your time. Be nice to somebody.