When I’m in the early stages of writing a new story, I like to collect little things that create the mood for my project. I’ve listened to many writers who have collected notes, sketches and research in a story journal and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to look through some. (Many thanks to Kim Wilkins and Anthony Eaton for being so generous.)

I love the idea of creating a journal for each novel I write but I have to confess that I’m a little bit hopeless at it. I’m not quite myself if I’m not using five notebooks at the same time. Instead, I search for pictures, music and little odds and ends that I feel reflects the atmosphere of my story and I keep it close.

I have a ritual where I change my desktop picture to reflect what I’m writing and I put up pictures where I can to keep just a little piece of me connected with my story world. Right now, I’m back at work on my YA mermaid book, so I’m surrounded by pictures of the ocean, seascapes and (obviously) mermaids. An artist that I’ve especially fallen in love with for this story is Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, particularly the mermaids in her Dreamscapes book.

I also love creating new playlists for my projects and my current WIP playlist came together so effortlessly. I want this book to be very sexy and dangerous and full of desire and heartbreak. My playlist is mostly made of songs by Moloko and Portishead and there are certain tracks that are even growing into character theme songs.

Like my last novel, I’ll keep my collection growing until I’ve finished the final line edit but for the moment, I might share a few pictures I’ve found with you.

I can’t remember where I found this one, but it amuses me that the mermaid is in a glass tank.

I love this outfit from Liana’s Paper Doll Blog. Anyone who ever dressed up paper dolls should check out the site.

This was the first picture that I really loved when I had the idea to write a mermaid book. The artwork is by Jill Johansen which I found on the Elfwood website.



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