Monday, June 16, 2014

No Boundaries!

Marianne Evans
The best part about being a writer? There are no boundaries. 

This morning, I found myself in Nashville, Tennessee with the current ‘it’ couple of Christian contemporary music, but they’re having a tough go of it at the moment. A few weeks back, I celebrated Christmas in London with the delightful Colby family. This is my second trip abroad to pay them a visit. Oh…and did I tell you about the sea-cliff wedding I attended in Ireland earlier this year? I danced reels and sang karaoke with four fantastic girls who have become dear friends of mine. It was absolutely fabulous.

Okay, okay, it’s time for me to ‘fess up. These journeys took place not in real time but within the fertile soil of my imagination, prompted by characters that live in my heart and story lines that bubble in my soul until they’re released into the cyber land that’s known as my computer.

Every writer is different in how they approach their craft and their lives. Me? I love to travel. I’m starting to believe I was born with some form of wanderlust because I’m drawn by fresh sights, new cultures and experiences. In lieu of physical travel, I love to pour over videos, travel guides, pictures and websites that transport me to a different time and place. This both fills me and prompts me as a writer because in my writing universe, the settings for my stories become a character. I draw upon setting to immerse my reader within the world I create—with visuals of sweeping mountains, with the scent of roasting chestnuts, with the texture of sea-spray against a cheek, or the sound of church bells peeling across a valley.



As an added bonus to this process, I feel shackles break free when I engage myself in my stories and let the words flow. When I sink deep into setting, character and experience (aka: story arc) I find myself heartbroken or healed, angry or rejoicing, in tears or in laughter…

There are no boundaries. (Click to Tweet!) There’s joy in the writing journey no matter what chaos my characters might encounter, because God’s hopeful, grace-filled hand guides my pen to the outcome He envisioned for the story from its beginnings.  

How about you? What inspires you? How do you unchain yourself from the day-to-day and lose yourself in the craft of storytelling? I’d love to hear all about it!

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Marianne Evans is a multi-award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. She also earned wins for Best Romance of 2012 from the Christian Small Publisher's Association and the Selah award for best Novella of 2013. Happily married and the mother of two, Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan who is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.

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Jodie's Song by Marianne Evans
Nothing fills Jodie Cunningham's spirit like sharing contemporary Christian music and scriptural insights on her morning drive radio show at KWJD. But lately, she’s overwhelmed and depleted by family circumstances that have led her from Dallas to Angel Falls, Texas and Heart's Haven apartment complex.

Kevin Mitchell is the groundskeeper at Heart's Haven—a place famous for angelic intercession and loving connections. His uncle owns the facility, but he's ailing. Kevin eagerly chips in, and as he prepares the grounds for a spring wedding, he meets Jodie. They begin to work together to make Heart's Haven sparkle.

But just as Kevin succeeds at coaxing Jodie's heart to bloom, tragedy strikes in a double dose that tests both their strength of faith and the love they've found.

12 comments:

  1. Ahhh, this explains it, Marianne. No wonder I use my area to create most of my fictional settings. I'm a homebody. :)
    But your fictional settings sound absolutely wonderful, and I can't wait to visit them!

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    1. Thanks, Dora!! I'd love to travel in reality as much as I do in my mind--thank goodness for the Internet and lovely research books! :-) <3

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  2. Isn't it grand? I love to explore new places that way. What's really fun is to make up a town and do it so well people ask you where it is and how can they get there?

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    1. Oh my goodness, Ane! I love it! And, I've done that with my Sisters in Spirit series - they live in the fictional town of Westerville, New York (upstate...near the mountains) and the Irish wedding I describe comes straight from the pages of that series. I'd love to live there, and be friends with these girls!! ;-)

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  3. Love your "travels," Marianne! (And love your embedded Click to Tweet! Using that idea in my next post!)

    What a great idea to surround yourself with the sights and sounds of the scene! I'll have to try that to see if it helps with the inspiration.

    Thanks, Marianne!

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    1. Thanks, Angie! Like I said, if I can't do it in reality, I'm more than happy to travel in my heart and spirit. :-) Click to Tweet is new to me, but I just had to give it a try. <3

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  4. Great post, Marianne! Sometimes we have to give our imaginations permission. I'm inspired by nature and music. Write on, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Annette!! Music and inspiration! I'm so with you on that point. Great music and lyrics are an incredible prompt for my writing angel. Giving our imaginations permission -- love that analogy! <3

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  5. Hi Marianne, sooo sorry to be late getting here. You already know it was a startling day, getting hacked. Boo. But I am finally settling down. I love reading and writing...because we CAN go anywhere. I admit to being inspired by my own travels. My last two stories have been set in Colorado where we had the most glorious visit there last fall. It even snowed! And my Christmas story is set in Honolulu...yup, an American cowboy LOL. It's also fun to research places I won't ever get to, thanks to google earth and Internet pictures. Great blog, and it love London ! Xo

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    1. You're never late, dear Tanya! You're ever-fashionable!!! <3 Thanks so much for your visit. Christmas...in Honolulu....I'm already set to grab a coy of that one!!

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  6. Great post! I was getting a little jealous of all the cool places you'd been!

    It is wonderful creating fictional places to live and friends we'd love to have.

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    1. Hi, Terri! LOL! Yeah, I visit fabulous locations....in my heart and mind! :-) It's great fun. Matter of fact, I was at a book store recently (yeah, a real, live book store!) and I indulged in a pair of really cool travel books. I get lost in the visuals.

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