I confess it: I'm organizationally challenged. This would come as no surprise to anyone who had stepped foot in my humble abode. And if one were to look at my desk, that piece of furniture which ought to be the center of my professional world, one would find books on historic Annapolis shoved on top of books about the Mafia in Chicago, print-outs on 18th century fashion sharing space with forms from the Board of Education for home schooling. My daughter's school books--same shelf as my prayer journals.
My computer is a bit more organized, with folders for my complete manuscripts, my works-in-progress, my ideas. Folders for research, folders with links and files and notes. But still, images always gave me trouble--they don't always paste well into a document, after all, and who wants to fill up their hard drive with them? Yet they're an incredible inspiration while writing, and are often a huge help to the staff at a publishing house when it comes time for cover design--I in fact just got an email from my editor saying she'd passed the link to the cover designers, and they were glad to have all the images to reference.
And so, when friends turned me on to Pinterest, I slowly got an idea of how this newfangled site could help me with my old-fashioned needs. For those who may not know, Pinterest is an online bulletin board, basically. You can download their app to your computer so that whenever you're on a website and see an image you want to bookmark, you push their "pin it" button and post to one of your bulletin boards. Then, voila! Whenever you need to remember that image, there it is, handily linked back to the site from which you found it.
Now allow me to say now that I don't use Pinterest as a social networking site, though some do--to me, it's a way to gather my visual research and make it available to whomever may be interested in viewing it. And I'm certainly not the first Quiller to put it to such use! I invite everyone to check out Laura Frantz's beautiful boards; they have lovely images of books and things featured in her fabulous stories.
So when I find that perfect gown for my heroine to wear . . . I pin it.
When I find that perfect actor to play my hero . . . I pin it.
When I find an image of how invisible ink looks once developed . . . you guessed it--I pin it. =)
For someone who writes almost exclusively in the past, who gets used to thinking in terms of no electricity, slow communication, and having to redip one's pen every few words, it's sometimes strange to think of how to use technology both old and new to bring my stories to life and make my writing easier.
But I'm having fun with it. And whenever I feel lacking of inspiration, I can now hop over to my Pinterest page and see what inspired me to begin with.