Brainstorming Alone is a Challenge

Don’t talk so loud. I can’t hear myself brainstorming.

One character study done. And I’m brainstorming over a messy plot board with some possible ideas. It’s a start.

What is so interesting to me about doing character studies is how well you get to know not only a character but also his back story – infinitely helpful when it comes to understanding the ramifications of a situation you drop him into.

So I know my hero now and I like him. I know what he likes and what he doesn’t like which is going to make his first meeting with the girl of his dreams pretty amusing. Because she is, on the surface at least, totally inappropriate for him.

And the plot board? At first I had a simple rectangle with strips of duct tape to make four acts and I used index cards (oooh, index cards) for each scene. Then I got fancy, thanks to a presentation at the Rhode Island Romance Writers’ meeting. Now I have a couple display boards and a lot of different colored and shaped sticky notes.

My guess is all that fancy stuff will lead me back to duct tape board and the index cards because, let’s face it, nothing beats index cards. But in the interim, all the colors, shapes, and mess gives me a sense of brainstorming even though I always associate brainstorming with being a member of a group of reluctant and resentful seventh graders who have to come up with a plan for a model Lincoln Memorial made out of sugar cubes.

The whole concept implies a group – I’m not sure brainstorming is possible alone.

And the word sounds so dramatic, full of portent and maybe a little dangerous – like watching the volunteer at the science museum demonstration with her hand on the Van de Graaff generator when her hair begins to stand on end.

Somehow it never feels that exciting when I’m trying to come up with ideas on my own. Maybe I should hire some reluctant seventh graders just to set the mood. I must have sugar cubes somewhere.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.



Invisibility Syndrome – It’s a Thing

Let’s conquer Invisibility together!

Unlike my usual light Friday fare, I am appealing to my readers to join me in the fight against IS. March is Invisibility Syndrome Awareness month but I thought we should get an early start by thinking about the ups and downs of invisibility. Convenient if you are a thief or a spy. But incredibly irritating if you want to see what is stuck between your teeth and try to find out by looking in a mirror.

Most stories about invisibility focus on the control factor – a ring, a cloak, a potion one can use at will. How delightful, one would think, to be able to pop in and out of sight. But for people who suffer from Invisibility Syndrome, stories like these are cruel jokes.

According to NHS, Invisibility Syndrome afflicts fully five percent of the population. For some, medication helps. But the side effects of that medication can be brutal. Strobe like flickering images and rendering one’s speech in tiny bubbles are two common complaints. Many patients forgo treatment and resign themselves to being translucent on a good day and transparent on a bad one.

How great would it be to be invisible?

Not very, says Dorothy Waldenfluher, who has suffered from this hereditary disease for forty of her fifty four years.

Waldenfluher first noticed her fingertips fading when she was celebrating a friend’s thirteenth birthday party.

“It looked like the present was carrying itself,” she recalled. “Everyone thought it was really cool.”

But soon, her ailment manifested itself in less amusing ways.

“I waited at a bus stop for three days once,” she said. “And supermarket lines? Don’t even ask. You know how sometimes people leave their cart in line because they forgot the milk? And everyone is irritated and pushes the cart out of the way? That’s my cart and I’m actually holding onto it.”


Waldenfluher has started a GoFundMe page to fund IS research. She has already exceeded her goal of $42,879.59.

“I may not benefit directly from the research,” she says, flickering slightly with emotion, “but I’m doing what I can to make sure the next generation is completely visible.”

I’ve purchased an invisible T-Shirt through the GoFundMe page. Please join me in the campaign. Buy your T-Shirt today and wear it when we march on Washington in April.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.