November 20, 2010

Stimulate the Senses – Boost Creativity

Today's guest author is Sandy Nicks, author of the new book, Falling for Autumn. Sandy's going to share advice on how to kick start your creativity. This advice works whether you are an author, an artist, a homeschooling mom, single adult dealing with budgets, an administrative assistant facing tough issues at work, or a CEO trying to find the pivot point for your business. Creativity is for everyone. Welcome, Sandy! You have the floor.
Thank you for having me, Kayelle! Today I’ll be talking about stimulating your senses to boost creativity.
As writers, we have to draw our readers into our stories by “showing” rather than “telling.” We want our readers to see, feel, hear and taste everything our characters do. However, there are days when I have difficulty writing a scene and need a creative boost. When this happens, I find that stimulating my senses allows me to delve into a scene and become better attuned to my characters and their setting.
I do the following to jumpstart my creative energy and connect what my own senses are experiencing to those that I need to get on the page.
Sight: In addition to my vision board to keep me inspired, I also use pictures to give me a visual of my characters and setting. When I was writing my time travel romance, Circle of Eternity, I kept a photo of a castle I’d found in a book next to a picture of a medieval couple I’d found in a magazine. My upcoming book, Crazy Days of Summer, takes place in Hollywood and the Jersey Shore. I have photos of the beach and a beautiful home pinned to a whiteboard to visualize those settings. I also love to take virtual home tours. If I need to describe a kitchen or living room, these tours are really helpful. They’re also good for decorating ideas!
Sound: I listen to music all the time and enjoy of variety of genres. When I’m writing a particular scene, I choose songs that either bring out a certain emotion or bring me to another time period. Circle of Eternity takes place in both the present and the twelfth century. When I was writing the twelfth century scenes, I listened to Enya and the Braveheart soundtrack. If I’m writing a love scene, I often listen to Mariah Carey. If the scene calls for action, I put on a rock or heavy metal song. Of course there are times that I don’t use music to enhance a scene - I just like it playing in the background for my own sanity.  
Smell: I keep scented candles on my desk along with scented sachets. I love the beach and have a candle that smells like suntan lotion. I also have numerous ones that smell of the ocean or vanilla and tangerine. These scents bring to mind pictures of gardens my characters may be strolling through or a beach they may be walking on. The aromatherapy also helps me relax!
Taste: Using taste to boost my creative energy is solely for me as a writer. I need coffee to keep me going and water to keep me hydrated when I’m at my desk for many hours. Chocolate is a regular part of my writing routine as are bowls of candy like Nerds. You have to treat yourself to something sweet now and then!
Touch: My fingers on the keyboard. When I glance at pictures, listen to music and smell the fragrant air, my fingers flow freely across the keys, typing the words of my story. I’ve also contemplated putting a container of sand under my desk so I can wiggle my toes around and pretend I’m at the beach!
Whether you wish to evoke just one or all of your senses, creating an atmosphere that connects you with your story is beneficial. When I’m writing and use these techniques, it transports me to a wonderfully romantic world – a place where my hero and heroine resolve their conflicts, meet their goals and fall in love.
Below is an excerpt from Falling for Autumn, Book One in my romantic comedy series, Sisters for All Seasons. Book Two, Crazy Days of Summer, will be available soon.
While recently divorced Autumn Winters tries to rebuild her life and dodge cosmic advice from her free-spirited mother, she meets handsome ghostwriter, Jack Ayres, who unbeknownst to her, is hiding from a hitman.
Insecurities rise and self-image plummets until Autumn and Jack rediscover themselves, accept the new direction their lives are taking, and follow the path that brought them together.


Autumn couldn’t stop smiling. She was certain her face was glowing. She hadn’t felt this satisfied or relaxed in years. Sex with Jack was everything she could have imagined and more. He supplied the perfect mix. He knew when to be tender and when to be a tiger.
“I’m happy you’re smiling.”
She turned to face him and touched his cheek. “Jack, I say this with the utmost honesty. You were the best.”
He snuggled close to her and slid his arm over her bare stomach. “If I say the same, will you believe me?”
“Probably not, but I wouldn’t mind hearing it.”
“You think I’m a player, don’t you?”
Yes, but I’m not going to come right out and say it.
“I think you’re a man who has made women all over the world thankful you bedded them.”
“Except for the one in Antarctica,” he teased. “She was cold.”
She slapped the top of his head. “Very funny.”
“In all seriousness, not one of them comes close to you, Autumn. You’re different. You’re a real woman.”
She crinkled her forehead. “Why because I’m the oldest one you’ve slept with?”
He abruptly sat up. “Not at all. I can’t pinpoint why I feel this way. I just know I’ve never felt like this before.”
“You’re good. Really good.”
“I’m telling you the truth. From the moment I saw you in the rain walking that dog at the shelter, I was drawn to you.”
“I had sweatpants on and no makeup. I looked like shit.”
“You’re wrong. You looked beautiful.”
“I guess now would be a good time to ask your age, young man.”
“I’m thirty-six. Why?”
“How old do you think I am?”
He grinned. “I don’t guess women’s ages. It’s dangerous territory.”
“I want you to tell me. I’m curious to know how others see me.”
He touched her cheek. “Thirty-five?”
“Yeah, right.”
“Okay, I’ll be honest. I know you have a son in college, so I would guess you’re thirty-eight.”
“Try thirty-nine and counting.”
“Counting backwards?” he teased.
“Sometimes.” She paused and took his hand in hers. “After being with you, I feel twenty.”
“You know when a woman reaches her late thirties, she’s in her prime. And after making love to you, I feel seventeen. So we’re even.”
He bent forward and pecked her forehead. He then closed his mouth over hers and kissed her deeply. She closed her eyes and lost herself in his embrace. So what if he was younger? Women these days dated younger men. She opened her eyes and looked at him. Then why did she feel old? Why was she suddenly feeling scared?
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she lied.
“I can see it in your eyes. You look down.”
“It’s nothing. I’m just tired.”
“Do you want me to go?”
She bit down on her lip. How nice would it feel to have him share her bed all night? How nice would it be to wake up with him next to her?
How foolish was she to believe that this was something more than just sex.

Sandy Nicks lives near the Jersey Shore with her husband, 4 kids and 9 spoiled pets. She writes romantic comedy and time travel romance for Vanilla Heart Publishing. When she’s not writing, she loves going to the beach, reading, hanging out with the kids and taking her dogs to the reservoir.
To learn more about Sandy and her books, please visit: , follow her on Twitter [ ] or contact her at:
Sandy’s books are available in print and various e-book formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony and more. You can purchase her books on Amazon, BN, and many other online retailers.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kayelle! I just want to thank you again for having me as a guest this weekend!




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