Monday, November 7, 2011

Liz's Lair: Welcome author Vicki Batman

Please help me welcome my friend and fellow author, Vicki Batman, to M & M this morning. Vicki's going to tell us about a really great project she was a part of and some lucky commenter will receive a free download of Lavender Dreams.

Boing!!! Writing Magic?

Since I write so many short stories, I'm frequently asked where the ideas come from. It's like magic!
Honestly, I do have the boing?!! moments, and the story just about writes itself.
One time, I looked at Handsome's ties and went boing!!! But that doesn't happen often.

Sometimes, I sit my butt in the chair, and say, "I'm going to write about blank." That's hard work.

I have had stories develop from journaling. I don't really journal in a memoir style. I open the doc labeled journal, type in the date, and let loose. Usually, a good rant and rave. (I'd advise Handsome not to read this.)

I have written stories based on an essay. In particular, I might have an incident I want to memorialize. I'll write the whole thing in a storytelling style, and occasionally, revisit the story to see what I've done.

This is how I came up with the idea for "Taking Flight," my short fiction piece based on fact, for the MuseIt Up Publishing's cancer anthology, Lavender Dreams. A year prior to a very dear friend's passing from cancer, we had experienced something momentous in our Jazzercise class, and I felt compelled to remember the event in the method as described above.

I'm not a plotter; mostly, a pantser. I have an idea (or a boing!!! moment), and take off from there. And I have an idea of how the story will end (after all, romance is a happily ever after). Then I layer and layer. I like Liz's term Plotter + Pantster = Plotster.

Denying the true aha! flashes would be denying pure creativity, in my opinion. For example, if I'm writing along, and a word appears in my head, that word is almost certain to be better than the one on the paper. I make the change. Or I might bedoing something, and I hear a piece of dialogue. I scribble on whatever is handy, and insert the lines in my work. Those are better too.

Does creativity come knocking on your head? What do you do when it does? Do you listen?

Here's a tiny excerpt from "Taking Flight," my short story feature in MuseIt Up Publishing's cancer anthology, Lavender Dreams.

Charley tilted her head. “Oh my God. Look at the butterflies.”
This definitely wasn’t ordinary. Forgetting about class, we raced to the door, only to be stunned by what we saw when we got there. There were hundreds, thousands, maybe even a bazillion, orange and black butterflies.
The monarchs were migrating.
In my lifetime, I’d only heard about their migration; I hadn’t seen it anywhere.
Simultaneously, Charley and I shared a “Wow.”
This was no ordinary thing.
Something compelled me to venture outside and truly experience what was happening there. To see where they traveled, what they’d do, to just watch.
I grabbed Charley's hand and whispered, "Let's go."

Vicki Batman is kicking back and letting the words flow on a new short story. Find her at: Or at: Lavender Dreams is available at:


Lindsay said...

Morning Vicki,
I've had people ask me the same question about where I get my story ideas. I usually shrug my shoulders, give them a dumb expression and say something like, "I've got no idea."
Love that little snippet you shared with us.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Lindsay: Sometimes, I know the exact moment those Boing! moments hit and can explain about that; however, I agree. Sometimes, we just don't know.

Isn't it great!!

Thanks for posting.

Jim Hartley said...

It would be nice if all we needed were those Boing! moments. Unfortunately, it often happens that I get one of those, and then suddenly it sabotages me, leads me down a blind alley, and I find I need one whole hell of a lot of skull sweat to get out of the trap and finish the story. Working on one of those right now ... got a bunch of great scenes, good dialog, everything, but but I have no bloody idea where the story is supposed to go next! Arrrrgh!

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Vicki. I love those "Boing" moments, and I definitely pay attention. I think I'm more of a plotter than pantser, but there's nothing better than letting the story go an entirely different direction. And I love the term Plotster.

Cassy Pickard said...

Welcome, Vicki! Great post. My Boing! moments often follow an "OH S**t" moment. Somehow the "What if" game helps to. You've got me thinking now!!

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Jim and oh dear, I wish your boing would work out. Sometimes, we have to dig deeper to find what we need, but I'm thinking you already know that.

Crossing fingers it works out for you.

Hi, Anita! I'm thinking Boing!! moments are almost like brainstorming with one's self. How funny. But if it works....

Hi, Cassy! Frankly, I'm surprised I didn't say the oh sh***T instead of Boing! Maybe cause boing sounds funnier?

I love the What if??? game and play it regularly, especially when stuck.

Happy writing!

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Vicki,
I love your blog posts, always fun. Please don't enter my name as I'm already a fan. I want new readers to 'find' you! ^5 Rarely does an idea come to me. Normally, I find a historical fact that I know I need to craft a story around. Then, I dive into plotting. Take care, enjoy your day, and may your holidays be filled with friendship and laughter! *Hugs*

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Diana. Thank you so much for the compliments-squee!

I had no idea I was entertaining until a friend said to me years ago, "You are so funny."

I just cringe over plotting, but some people (like you) are naturals and look at what they do! (like you!)

Thank you so much for stopping and happy holidays to you!!!

Sasha Summers said...

I totally have 'boing' moments! And they're always at the worst times - 3am (husband growls as I turn on lamp and jot them down on bedside table notepad!), driving long distance (daughter sighs and makes said notes so I don't crash), in the shower (still haven't managed to make notes!) and in the grocery store (I'm going to develop a crazy lady stigma for my mutterings!). Sometimes, like Diana, I find something that 'triggers' the ole creativity too. Like you said, can't ignore the flashes, boings, etc - You MUST write them :)!

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Sasha! I love when the boing! hits. I walked into a department store and went oh! Scribbled down something on a receipt and carried it like a prize jewel until I could put it in my Wip. Those are the best moments and I believe, pure creativity.

Patricia said...

I'm definitely a "plotser" and I get most of my ideas in the early mornings when I wake up before my husband's alarm goes off. I might have an hour or two when I just lie there and I'll come up with all kinds of ideas. That started several months ago and I'm glad it did because I get almost no ideas when I'm standing or sitting.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Patti! I love how you lay in bed and let your imagination soar. If only....

Thanks for posting with me.

Liz Lipperman said...

Vicki ran off to an appointment, so you're stuck with me until she returns, but oh, do I have a great gadget for you.

Like some of you mentioned, I get my best BOING moments in bed. My daughter bought me this great notepad that lights up when you remove the pen. The light goes off when you put it back. Here it is.

Susan Royal said...

I have flashes. I see a scene in my head. Or I hear dialogue. Sometimes I feel a moment. Getting them down on paper, so a reader can experience them too? That's where the work comes in.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Liz. the flashlight pen thing sounds cool. I'm checking on this.

Hi, Susan: I hear dialogue too and love it when this happens. Thank you for posting.

Phyllis said...

Hi Vicki,

Like you, 'Boing' with some stories and some others stories must pulled with the dentist tools.

I get the story ideas all the time, but the rest of the story takes WORK!

Enjoyed your post,

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Phyllis. Boing! moments, words, ideas really just help us by tapping into that most creative spot. Yes, we have to take them and mold and shape into something that is wondrous.

Linda Steinberg said...

Hi, Vicki and Liz,

Yes, those Boing moments are what the joy of writing is all about. Sometimes I get these Duh! moments. I'm a firm believer in Use What you Have, and sometimes I'll have an idea come to me and realize, Duh! I've already got the set up for it. No wonder I wrote it that way. LOL

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Linda! And Duh is a perfect word for the Boing moments. I hope you are writing away today. ox

Sylvia said...

Hi Vicki and Liz,
Love the "Boing Moments!" Shower is the best place to solve plot problems. Standing under that hot steams seems to unclog the brain cells and that's where ideas and problems are solved. Now if I could just earn enough money to pay for that silly water bill.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Sylvia! I love the shower. I think Chris plots in the shower. I do my best work when driving. I guess that's a fair warning to all the other drivers out there. LOL

Vicki Batman said...

Thank you, Liz and the Mysteries and Margaritas girls, for having me here today to talk about Boing! and Lavender Dreams. I hope many of you can check out this collection, filled with stories of love, laughter, and hope. And if you do, let me know what you think!

Thank you!

Karen Cote said...

Vicki, only you could make "boing" make sense... Makes total sense and my "boing" strikes when I least expect it. Strange how a single idea can take on a life of its own. Love your writing style. Just precious.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Welcome Vicki! I'm late to the party, but still wanted to give you a shout out :-)

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Karen! I had to laugh about your comment on Boing! Just envision me looking shellshocked when it happens. oxoxo to you.

Hi, Kari. Always time to party!!! Have a happy writing day.

Jodi said...

Late as usual. Hi, dear Vicki and Liz. As someone else mentioned, I love the term you coined "plotster"...perhaps even if you put it in the vernacular, "Yo, Vinny, I'm a plotsta. You gotta a problem wit dat?" =)
You just keep on churning out those Boing! moments, girl. Love your voice!