Tag Archives: story ideas

Living Other Lives

The beauty of the world of literature is that it allows you to live other lives. I’ve been an attractive 17-year-old red-head whose many adventures include solving the mystery of who’s trying to harm Fortune, the racehorse on my aunt’s ranch. In the same story, I had the chance to brood (as only a teenager can brood) then choose between one of the two young men who drew my eye. Now that’s living.

I’ve also been nine years old again, trying to earn enough money to go to Adventureland, and discovering, after a thief breaks in and steals Mom’s electronics, that there’s plenty of adventure right at home.

Just last week I became a photographer for National Geographic. It’s been so exciting. I’ve taken pictures of such fascinating creatures as the Goliath Tarantula, which can propel hairs from its body to scare off predators. Not a big hairy deal, you say? I’d like to see you try it.


And in the case of my WIP, I’ve transformed into a CELEST, a Creature of Essence Living under Sky and Trees. I’m only 3 5/8 inches tall and my adventures include needing to escape from a nine-year-old by the name of Cliff. In order to help me enter this world, I looked to Tatiana Katara’s (tatiana@ faeriefactory.com) fairy house creations for inspiration.

Titiana Katara
Writing enables us to live other lives, and so does reading. While reading Robin McKinley’s HERO AND THE CROWN, I took a break to ride my horse in the woods. I caught myself peering through foliage, readying myself to slay the dragon threatening my village.

I estimate that in a given year, keeping in mind all the manuscripts I create or revise, and including minor characters, I’ve been able to live over 100 lives. Ah, the power of stories.

If you’re looking for a story starter, a way to enter a different world, try going through your old photos. Here are a few from my albums.

Storysharer would love to join you as you live another life, so share your stories.



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Filed under Children's Writing, Inspiration, Musings, stories

What If . . .

Greetings fellow story lovers,

What if . . . are magic words to writers and story tellers. What if an animal attraction with over 100 live reptiles including crocodiles, unusual albino iguanos, and the world’s largest snake caught on fire?


This question led to my interviewing the owner and began the fourth Kayla Montgomery book, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.

From that question others emerged including a compelling one about love and attraction. What if my main character had to choose between a relationship based on intrique and seduction or one built on mutual interests and companionship?
Free LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION teacher guides and/or book discussion questions are available by contacting laundrie@live.com.
Storysharer would love to hear how compelling “What if…” questions have inspired you.

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Filed under Children's Writing, Inspiration, stories, Writing Tips

Noah’s Ark

Hello! Welcome to my blog, a place where writers and readers can meet to share the joy of stories. And who doesn’t love a swooshing good story.
I was perched on top of the waterslide at “Noah’s Ark” waterpark in Wisconsin Dells. I pulled up my stretched-out one piece as I waited for my turn. The place was packed, and I noticed some former students.
Finally it was my turn. I lay face first on the mat, took a deep breath, then shoved off. Whoosh! Down the enclosed tunnel, lights flashing as if in warning. Pool just ahead.




I hit the water face first with such force I wasn’t sure which end was up. But I did know I was feeling a draft where a middle-aged woman should never feel a draft. Frantic, I planted my feet, careful to keep low in the water. I wiped water from my eyes and grabbed for my free-floating suit. Out of reach. I scrambled a few steps and grabbed it. Slipping it on was another nightmare.
I prayed that the water was churning enough that the water-parkers couldn’t see. As soon as I was assembled, I climbed out, not daring to make contact with the lifeguards or other loiterers. I did not want to see their expressions.
My early retreat may have lost me some time at the waterpark, but I did gain a story. In my latest book, “Noah’s Ark Pet Care Club,” a character ends up staying in the waterpark pool a bit longer than expected.

In NOAH’S ARK PET CARE CLUB Mugsy, Natalie, and Denver want to go to Adventure Land, the water park where they can plummet down rides like the Belly-Buster. To earn money, they form Noah’s Ark Pet Care Club. But they aren’t anywhere near ready to care for a pampered Pekingese, a sneaky pig, or a homesick goose. Surprises and laughs overflow as the friends scramble to ride herd on their “clients” and earn enough money for the adventure of a lifetime.


Download Noah’s Ark Teacher’s Guide for part 1 of the NOAH’S ARK PET CARE CLUB teacher’s guide, suitable for grades 3-4.

Can you guess which of these is not true?”

1. I was a teacher at Lake Delton, Wisconsin, for thirty-five years.
2. I’m the author of seven books, all dealing with animals.
3. When I was a child I had many pets including an anole (a little green lizard) and white mice. Once, when I picked up a mouse by the tail, the tail fell off. I freaked out and threw it in the toilet. It continued to twitch. So, like Natalie in “Noah’s Ark Pet Care Club,” I flushed it down.


Answer: Number three is not true. I flushed the tail of the anole, not the white mouse.

Storysharer would love to hear tails, oops, I mean tales from you. Bring them on!



Filed under Children's Writing, Inspiration, stories, Writing Tips