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Inspiration

Inspiration

Greetings fellow story lovers,
What gets your creative juices flowing? Where are you when inspiration strikes? Among my favorite times in life are those moments when I’m driving along on a long quiet stretch of highway and my mind starts whirling with ideas. It also happens in the bathtub, upon wakening, at my computer early in the morning, and while walking my dog in the woods or horseback riding. I keep paper and pen or my mini-recorder handy because even though I think it’s such a brilliant thought I couldn’t possibly forget it, I will.

Do you ever get writing ideas from the newspaper? The seed that sprouted EYE OF TRUTH, my first of five books in the Kayla Montgomery series, was seeing this article in the newspaper. In it, a daughter and son are searching for a will after the death of their mother. Instead, they open the steamer trunk they’d been warned to stay away from as children, and find a baby skeleton.

In my story, Kayla’s Aunt Maggie owns the horse ranch where Kayla spends a lot of her time. Aunt Maggie delivers a daughter but baby Ashley is kidnapped from the hospital.

Kayla suspects Cora Hatcher, whose description was inspired by this newspaper picture. I’ve written “eyes that pop out” as a note to myself. That later became so important it’s used in the title.
Kayla sneaks over to Cora’s trailer to search. She sees a trunk with a heavy rope knotted around it. She unties the knot and opens the trunk. Inside is a baby skeleton and a fresh pink rose.
Developing the real kidnapper, and that person is even crazier than Cora, was inspired by a real life event. Details would spoil the story but they’re available, along with paperback copies and free teacher guides and/or book discussion questions by contacting laundrie@live.com.

Storysharer would love to hear what inspires you!
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Painting Word Pictures

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Greetings fellow story lovers,
Even though there are times when I wish my imagination wasn’t so active, it is a great tool for storytelling.
Ever since I began trail riding in isolated woods, I’ve been terrified that my horse and I will be attacked by dogs. My imagination paints a vivid picture of the horse rearing up, unseating me and sending me crashing to the ground in the midst of viscous Rottweilers. While I’d rather not dwell on that scenario, I drew upon it while writing the fifth Kayla Montgomery mystery series, WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING.


Kayla becomes lost while trail riding. She passes a house and is terrified when two Rottweilers charge toward her. The scene is rich with details because I’ve “seen” it many times. Readers tell me that they, too, can visualize it.
Just before Kayla flees, she sees an old woman’s face in the window. The women mouths the words “Help me.” Will Kayla return to investigate? Your powerful imagination can complete the story.
Free WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING teacher guides and/or book discussion questions are available by contacting laundrie@live.com.
Storysharer would love to hear how your imaginings have led you to stories.

inspirational woman
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Great Things Come in Small Packages

Great Things Come in Small Packages

Greetings fellow story lovers!
Shortly after my young daughters and I began taking riding lessons, I dreamed of buying a horse of our own. In order to save money, I considered bidding for a wild horse at a Bureau of Land Management auction. I read many books and articles, and attended an auction where I wistfully stared at a pregnant mare. For only $125 I’d be able to get a mother and her foal. But I’d done enough research to know the many regulations about owning a wild horse. Furthermore, a horse newly captured from the Nevada range would take extensive training.
I never did buy a wild horse. It’s just as well since Candy, the quarter horse I ultimately purchased, turned out to be wild enough for me. But my research on wild horses gave me something else. The background which inspired my first novel, WHINNY OF THE WILD HORSES.


Paperback copies and free teacher guides and/or book discussion questions are available by contacting laundrie@live.com.
And now for the story inspired by Candy, the wildest horse I ever want to own.

Great Things Come in Small Packages

Animals can be great teachers, and my horse Candy was one of the best. The first time we brought her and Shaton, our recently purchased Arabian, to our northern Wisconsin cabin, we enjoyed playing games such as jogging while trying to keep an egg on a spoon. The most fun, though, was exploring the woods. My daughter and I must have looked curious to the deer, because they stood mesmerized, trying to figure out these new six-legged species. One afternoon we rounded a bend to see a mother bear and her cub. Afraid the horses would spook, I tensed, ready for a buck, but the horses simply watched as the bears hurried into the brush.
Feeling pretty smug that we’d survived the week without major incidents, the time came to go home. Shaton walked right into the trailer, but Candy put two feet in, then backed out. She planted her hooves on the ground and wouldn’t move.
I tried sweet talking and tempting her with carrots. No luck. My husband tried using his strength, pulling her in, but there was no muscling a 1500-pound quarter horse. “Ride her until she’s so tired she’ll want to get in the trailer,” my husband said. (These were not his exact words, by the way, but this is a family blog.) I was skeptical but spent the next two hours galloping her down the trails. My butt and back were so sore I would have gladly ridden home in the trailer myself. Candy, however, was as spunky and stubborn as ever.
Desperate, I called a trainer in the area. Tina, who must have weighed 110 pounds, stepped out of her pickup along with her young daughter. My husband and I raised our eyebrows at one another. Tina pulled out a simple chain, attached it to a lead line, fastened it around Candy’s muzzle, rattled it so she’d know it was there, then walked her forward. Candy refused to move. Tina barked, “That’s enough!” She yanked down on the chain. Candy’s eyes widened. So did mine. “Back!” Candy backed and I think I caught sight of my husband taking a step back as well.


Tina called to her daughter, “Wave the whip.” She tugged on the chain and walked Candy toward the trailer. Candy promptly stepped ahead, then just like a uniformed soldier, stepped smartly into the trailer. The entire operation had taken less than five minutes.
As I shelled over Tina’s modest fee, she said, “Get yourself a bit of chain and you’ll be fine. It doesn’t hurt her. She just wants to know who’s in charge.”
As Tina walked toward her pickup, I once again took stock of the petite woman who had ended our six-hour nightmare. Great things come in small packages.

Storysharer would love to hear horse tales from you. Bring them on!

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