Story Idea By Judythe Morgan

We're chatting with Judythe Morgan, an antiques dealer, a former public school teacher, a one-time Department of Army Civilian (DAC), and a writer who has won numerous awards.

In the winter, you'll find Judythe on the Texas Gulf coast, writing away. Summers, she shifts her base to the Rio Grande National Forest with her husband and their two dogs, an Old English sheepdog, Toby Bear, and a Maltese named Buster.

Judythe blogs at Judythe Writer, and she's also on Twitter and FB. Her first novel is The Pendant's Promise, which is also available at other ebook sellers of course.

Now, Judythe, talk to us.

Where’d You Get Your Story Idea?
by Judythe Morgan


As a writer, that’s a frequent question. My answer: I’ve been blessed with an active muse and a vivid imagination. Everyone understands about vivid imaginations. An active muse usually needs more explanation.

Greek mythology claims nine muses are responsible for all creative endeavors. Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania supposedly held the power both to inspire and/or remove the ability for creative thought. The commonly used term “muse” finds its roots in these sisters. But muse is more than a Greek god pulling strings.

Writers use their senses to absorb information, both passively and actively, to take in what’s happening around them. Our heightened senses of touch, smell, sight, taste, hearing, and emotion (not quite the sixth sense but a valid source of inspiration) feed our creativity.

Awareness

I believe that muse is that part of a writer’s environmental awareness beyond the level of most, which in turn means anything can be a source of story ideas. A fragment of a conversation, the way the light falls on a tree's leaves, how a wine tastes or the caress of a fabric on your fingertips.

My muse will catch occasional words from a loud gentleman behind me when I’m seated in a restaurant or, waiting in line, I’ll hear snippets of other conversations. The phrase "in one ear and out the other" does not really apply. Instead, it’s more like "in one ear and disappear into the black hole of my mind until needed.”

All this information may not be used immediately, or even ever, but it rests hidden beneath a writer's thoughts as a pool of images, ideas and fragments that surface when needed to form the stories that delight readers. Strange connections act as sources when ideas or experiences bubble up out of that black hole of knowledge we writers have deep inside.

That’s what happened with The Pendant’s Promise. The seed of an idea literally germinated in my head for years before a solid love story plot formed.

Backstory

When the US Army sent my husband to South Korea during the Vietnam War, I followed, knowing I would be an unauthorized dependent. I didn’t think about negative possibilities. I only knew I didn’t want to be away from my husband for thirteen months.

I sold our car and bought airline tickets for myself and toddler daughter. Once there, I discovered many other unauthorized wives and a fascinating culture. I also ended up working as a Department of Army civilian at Headquarters Eighth Army, which filled my writer’s black hole with details and feelings that ultimately surfaced in Lily and Alex’s story.

Most of my story ideas find their origins in my life experiences. Life, fate, karma, has blessed me with some fabulous (and some not so fabulous) events to feed my writer’s muse. However, ideas are a dime a dozen and cannot, in themselves, move you forward as a writer. You have to write the stories. And, that is what I love to do. Write stories to touch the reader’s heart.

The Pendant’s Promise tells the story of a teenage girl who fabricates a marriage and widowhood because her baby's soldier father is MIA in North Vietnam. Her life is comfortable, full and complete until her daughter’s engagement party when she meets the groom’s godfather — her Alex, alive and well and eager to participate in wedding plans. Lily’s world goes topsy-turvy as she faces the past, her lies, and a living, breathing Alex.

Takeaway Truth

Thanks, Judythe, for chatting with us today. It's always interesting to hear how an author came up with an idea and then breathed life into it.

29 comments:

  1. I just finished reading The Pendant's Promise last night. I think Judythe Morgan could easily join the ranks of Danielle Steel, Barbara Delinsky, and other noted women fiction authors who meld romance and strong emotional issues.

    I'll be reviewing Judythe's book on the blog Saturday, but don't wait for the review. This is a good book with heartfelt, believable emotions. I think you'll like it.

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  2. Great interview! Judythe, I love the idea of 'in one ear and disappear into the black hole of my mind until needed'. SO true for a writer!

    Love that you didn't want to be away from your husband so just took it upon yourself to follow him. That right there is hugely romantic and lovely!

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  3. Great post, Judythe. I learned things I didn't know about you. Who knew?!

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  4. Ginger Calem ... Thanks for visiting! Judythe and I have the "follow husband" in common. I did the same thing when my new husband was transferred to Japan -- paid my own way over and lived off base. Wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world, far away from my small town in the South.

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  5. Great interview, Judythe and Joan. The Pendant's Promise sounds like a must read. You have a rich store of life experiences to draw upon. Good luck with this project.
    *hugs*
    ~JD

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  6. A wonderful interview and great insight into a writer's mind. "The Pendant's Promise" is a terrific, heart-wrenching story and the descriptions and sentiments pulled me right back to that era.

    Thanks, Joan, for another terrific posting and good luck, Judythe, with your beautifully written book.

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  7. J.D. Faver... Hey, JD! Thanks for visiting. Btw, don't you have a free book today?

    Come back and post a link in comments so readers can grab a copy while it's free.

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  8. RobinHaseltine ... Hi, Robin! Great mini-review -- I concur about The Pendant's Promise.

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  9. Great interview, ladies. Judythe, you did an amazing job explaining the muse and giving us an insight into your own active sister. ;-)

    I love the premise for the Pendant's Promise. I can't wait to get a hold of this one.

    Jenn!

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  10. I absolutely loved The Pendant's Promise. It is so rich in description and emotion. A must read!

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  11. I've read The Pendant's Promise and I highly recommend it. It's a heartwarming, touching romantic read. Judythe is an excellent writer. Judythe, you have such wonderful life experiences.

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  12. Judythe,
    I love your insight into how we writers use muses. Thanks for a wonderful interview.

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  13. jbrayweber ... Thanks, Jenn! You'll love Judythe's book.

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  14. TessStJohn ... Hello, Tess. Totally agree about The Pendant's Promise.

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  15. Teri Thackston ... Hi, Teri. Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  16. Thanks so much, Joan. Yes, ON ICE, my romantic thriller is free today on Amazon. I hope everyone downloads it before midnight PST because it will no longer be free after that.
    *hugs*
    ~JD
    Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Contemporary-Romantic-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00758KQ22/ref=la_B0050KEWMM_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1343852477&sr=1-5

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  17. Good afternoon, everyone. Sorry to be so late. Plumbing issues in our kitchen remodel kept me away from my computer all morning. All I can say is, do I have some gist for my writer's mill!

    Thanks so much, Joan, for having me today. I'm so excited that you enjoyed The Pendant's Promise.

    And, thanks to all who have commented.

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  18. J.D. Faver s... You're welcome! I'm always happy to pass along a free book to readers.

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  19. Judythe Morgan ... Hi, Judythe! The remodeling gremlins strike again1

    Pleasure to have you on SlingWords.

    Wishing you the best with The Pendant's Promise.

    And with the kitchen remodel too!

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  20. You have guts, Judythe! I don't know if I could pack up a baby and everything and move halfway around the world. And The Pendant's Promise is an excellent book.

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  21. I loved this story. I had no idea it was based so closely on your own experience, Judythe. Very interesting!

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  22. Suzan Harden... Hi, Suzan! Thanks for dropping by.

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  23. Helen Scott Taylor... Hello! Congrats on your latest book! Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. I love to hear the background behind a story and can see how your experiences fit into this one. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Wonderful interview ladies. Judythe is just as interesting as The Pendant's Promise sounds to be. Great fun learning this n'that, nuts n' bolts of fellow scribes :-D

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  26. Barbara Forte Abate... Thank you. Glad you found it interesting.

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