Friday, October 22, 2010


By Carolyn Gibbs

As writers we know that story ideas surround us every day, if we just look around and are open to them. The ideas for the confession stories I’ve written have come to me in a variety of ways. For My Holiday House Guest, a Thanksgiving story for Lady Leo Publishing, I recalled inviting a friend of mine to our house for the holiday while I was in college. I thought it would be a nice twist if the house guest, a handsome college student, falls for the single mom. 

And some stories are a combination of ideas that kind of merge into one. Having a background in television news, I’m a self professed news junkie and have gotten several ideas from watching the morning shows or magazine shows like 20/20 and Dateline. I also hear news soundbites as bits of possible dialogue in stories. The story Love & the Economy, which will be available on Lady Leo Publishing next month, is an example of inspiration from different sources. After seeing stories about the failing economy night after night on the news and knowing how the slow the housing market is right now, I wanted to show a couple who was touched by the economy in a surprising way. The couple, Andrea and Tyrone, is about to divorce and are living separately, when their accountant does their taxes. He advises them not to sell their house at this time, and in fact they can’t afford to support two households so Tyrone moves back home. After I wrote the story one of the networks did a story on couples who had to live together because they couldn’t sell their house.

I’m also a big fan of the former ABC show Once and Again, where a divorced couple move on with their lives. I really liked the flavor of that show which was actually one of first to use character narrations, and one episode the heroine Sela Ward’s character fools around with her ex while getting ready for a date. I loved that scene and built on it for my story. 

You never know when inspiration can hit, and how something as mundane as watching the news or recalling something in our own lives, can be the catalyst for your next story.♥

Carolyn Gibbs is an author of confessions and short fiction under the name of Chloe Daniels.


  1. Carolyn - I use the news too for inspiration. Once & Again is great. I haven't seen it in a couple of years. I'll have to get it on NetFlix. Thanks for the post.

  2. A good reminder, Carolyn, to pay attention to what's going on around you and to the stories of people's lives, even people you've know for years. You never know what might inspire you.


  3. Thanks Jeanine and Lis for your comments. NetFlix is great for catching up with old shows and movies. And listening to folks on the bus can also give us a kernel for a story.

  4. Carolyn, Great post on making romance stories more real by including economic realities and other everyday happenings! In a way, true love in the midst of the financial upheavals makes it even more precious. Karen K.

  5. I agree Carolyn. Your story shows the pitfalls, and struggles of two people to who remain connected while trying to deal with the overwhelming economic beast that plagues us all in one way or another.
    Great Post girl. I am so proud of you