Guest Blogger: Catrina Barton on Finding Inspiration

My friend “yeahshippo” and I were talking about writing. I told him I was looking for a subject for a writing article.

Having already written tons of articles on writing, revising, editing, and marketing, I wanted something fresh.

So we got on the subject of “Inspiration” I started thinking about all the places I’ve drawn inspiration from over the years, and that’s where the idea for this article came from.

Ways to find inspiration for writing:

by Catrina Barton

There is the typical reading other books, or watching movies, to see what inspires you.

What other ways can you find inspiration?

Honestly there is inspiration all around you. All you need to do is pay attention.

What are your kids or nieces and nephews doing as the play outside? What snippets of their conversations have sparked an idea in your fertile mind? What happens when your kids interact with their pets?

What about the conversations around you?

Look at the area around you. How are the shadows reacting to the sun, or light? How do the animals interact with one another?

What trees, flowers, park, mountains, or popular hangout nearby hold special memories for you?

What songs hold special meanings for you?

What pieces of your childhood, good or bad, could become the seed for a plot line to grow from?

Watch the people around you. Which traits do they have that make them such quirky people? How can you add those traits to your characters and keep them unique?

Search people, places, and things around you for ideas.


Newspaper articles.

Your baby book.

Year books, ect.

One  of my favorite techniques I use to “shake plot bunnies loose” is:

Start by free writing for 15-20 minutes.

Set your timer to 15-20 minutes and just write whatever comes to mind.

It can be:

A description of the room around you, engaging at least three of the senses.

A to do list.

An article of clothing.


Just write.

You’d be surprised what comes out of these little sessions. Some of my best ideas come from doing this.

Okay, we’ve covered the many ways we can be inspired. What about how to stay inspired?

I have two techniques I rely on.

1.} Listening to music to help create the atmosphere you’re going for. I adore rock music for the battle scenes. The faster tempo of the music sets an awesome background for the action to take place.

For romance I fall back onto the 80’s music I grew up with.

If I want a really dark scene, I’ll find some modern song that speaks to me.

Music has always relaxed me, and has proven an invaluable tool to my writing process. Plus, I can’t help but get up and dance to it, so I also get exercise and my brain takes a break, which opens the door for new ideas to burst forth.

2.} Have an idea bouncing session with someone you trust to give good feedback. Bounce ideas back and forth. What seems funny? What seems serious? What specific elements does your novel need?

Talk it out.


You would be amazed how excited you both get as you discuss what’s happened, and what needs to happen later on. Don’t be afraid to ask for ideas to help get you from what isn’t currently working, to where you need to be later.

Explore all ideas that come up. Not right away mind you. That’s what your notebook is for. Write them in the notebook and continue the discussion.

Like word association, but with ideas instead of words. I usually start with:

“What if?”

That’s a great spot to start. That simple question can spark a lot of ideas, and having someone to discuss them with helps see which ideas will and won’t work, and why.

Whenever I feel stuck, my mother-in-law and I will sit down and discuss the book.

Where I am and why I feel something isn’t working.

We will toss ideas back and forth for how to fix what we both see is wrong.

She’s a picky reader. So her insight is invaluable to me. She’s awesome at having ideas, lol. Not so much at writing them out. So, I tell or show her where I am and then we discuss what could be done from there.

Between the two of us we have at least a dozen ideas pop out that I jot into a notebook and let sit aside for me to look over later.

In that notebook, I mark the main idea, and the plot bunnies that spring forth from the idea and we discuss them until we find one we both adore. Not just agree upon, but are both fascinated by the possibilities of.

Then I do some free writing and see where it goes. I do this for each idea, until I find the one that works best with my current characters. The other ides I set aside for other possible stories in the future.


Dangerous Temptation Cover

Short Excerpt:


“I’m not afraid of you.” Kaitlin stroked his scarred cheek.

“You should be.” His hand cupped hers, heat pouring into her skin. Cadmon pressed it firmly against his cheek. He nuzzled it, before pulling it away.

“You’re not a monster.” She licked her bottom lip. “You’re… beautiful.” She ran a finger along his squared jaw line.

“Men aren’t beautiful.” He held her fingers away from him, staring from them, into her eyes. “What have you done to me?” Confusion etched onto his face.

“I could ask you the same thing.” She swallowed, and tugged her fingers away from him, rubbing them down the side of her jeans, hoping to chase away the electric currents tingling her skin.


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Author Profile

Catrina Barton is a real go-getter, who in 2006 turned her avid reading addiction since she was three, into a vigorous passion for writing. Especially Young Adult Romances. She draws on her knowledge as a Kung-Fu Instructor to make her fight scenes both realistic, and action packed.
When not indulging her fertile imagination to craft stories for your reading pleasures, she enjoys hiking with her family, and amateur belly dancing.
Her love of writing, and her family, rival her exhilaration from helping fellow writers. She is a proud member of many writing, and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle, and several other crit groups.

Writes reviews for Safari Heat, and Satin Sheets Romance.
Favorite personal quote:
“An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement.”

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Big Cocks and Shamrocks

If you’re looking for Big Cocks and Shamrocks Blog Hop then you have found it.

Windswept Shores's BookCoverPreview

Windswept Shores is back, and better than ever. It’s something warm to read while it’s frosty outside.

Blurb: The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas. Then she finds a nearly-drowned man. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck.

With only meager survival skill between them, will they survive these windswept shores and can they find love?

For the first time available as a trade paperback:
And for the Kindle:


“Me donger is a big ‘un. Some women don’t like it.” Seth looked off.

“No problem.” Megan shrugged as she sat on the bed.

“You don’t understand.” He rubbed the back of his head.

“I had two big babies, my darling. I’m all stretched out. Jonathan used to complain that making love to me felt like pushing into a bucket,” she said bitterly. “He wanted me to get that reduced, too. But I drew the line there.”

Seth ground his teeth. “I’d like to have a barney with old Johno for making you feel like he got the rough end of the pineapple.”

She frowned. “I’m not sure I understood all that.”

“Your husband’s a rat shit to you, so I’d like to hit him,” he hissed as he ground a fist into his palm. How can a man not want this woman in his arms and hold on to her for the rest of his life?

“Seth, I’ve made some mistakes in my life, and I think he was the biggest. But, my darling, he is my mistake. Not yours.”

“Orright.” He sat next to her, and leaned over, pressed his lips against hers, gradually deepening the kiss. Her scent filled his nose, a light perfume with her own personal aroma. His pulse raced, and his mind spiraled with thoughts of being inside of her. He burned to make love to her.

Unbuttoning his shirt, she slipped it off his shoulders. She ran her hand over his bare chest.

“Megz, you’re making me head spin.” He moaned, wanting to taste her lips again. He fought for control.

“Am I going too fast?” She tweaked one of his nipples.

He closed his eyes briefly. It shocked him that one small thing would rock his control. “I reckon with all the times you knocked me back when I tried to get a leg over.”

She furrowed her brow. “We can do this another time. It’s okay. I can wait.” Her face showed her disappointment.

Seth stared at her bare breasts. He wanted to taste them again. “It’ll take a bit, but I reckon I’ll get over it.” He kissed her again as he tugged on her garment.

While he gathered the bottom of her dress, she put her hands over her head, so he could pull it off.

She gave a nervous chuckle and smoothed down her hair, reclining back with a leisurely stretch. “I feel so free now. I want to share myself with you.”

His heart beat fast. He swallowed, his throat suddenly dry, watching his soon-to-be lover’s luscious figure. Her body, though scarred from the surgeries, was toned as an athlete’s, her breasts full, the planes of her stomach flat. His donger, already hard, throbbed and his body tightened. He needed to have her—all of her—soon.

Trade paperback:

***Janice Seagraves’s Contest Allert***

Leave a comment and your email addy, for a chance to win a five dollar gift certificate from Amazon.

And just for stopping by, you also receive three free downloads, which is the start of my science fiction romance series The Alien Heart Series.


Arcons Are Coming

Exodus Arcon Trailer

The first of a new Science Fiction series

Exodus Arcon

Exodus Arcon two


Exodus Arcon Three

Alien Heart, which follows these three free reads, will be available sometime this year.

Contest rules: The prize is a five dollar gift certificate to Amazon. The prize is valued at no more than five $5.00 USA dollars. Contest starts March 17th and ends March 24th. If no one claims the prize within Forty-eight hours of being notified then another winner will be selected. No one under the age of eighteen need apply. Winners are those who leave the best comment in the comment section and leave an email address.  By entering your email in the comment section you are agreeing to the Official Rules.

Void were prohibitive.


 ***Second Contest Allert***

A Basket Full of Naughty. It contains the following in a Cabal of Hotness tote:

The items:
– tickler/flogger (one on each end)
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a Rafflecopter giveaway