Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a Recorder Revealed About Spunky Senior, Sharon Ihle

The best thing I ever learned when I first started writing was discovering what prompted my creativity. I noticed that while writing a story, I would wake up in the middle of the night with visions of the next chapter, up to and including lines of dialogue. When this first started happening, I was sure I’d remember all those precious jewels the next morning. Didn’t happen. Usually I even forgot that I woke up during the night. I told my husband, Larry, about this problem and he came up with a fix. Since he knew I was too lazy to get out of bed, go to my desk, and write my thoughts down, he bought me a tape recorder and put it on the headboard.

I thought this was a swell idea as I already knew that hearing my story out loud, even if I was doing the reading, was a good way to get a feel for what worked and what didn’t. Larry, thoughtful as always, picked a recorder with a voice-activated feature. This meant that I didn’t even have to reach up and turn the thing on. All I had to do was spout my pearls of wisdom into the night and they would magically be there for revising the following morning. I went to sleep that night eager for sunrise so I could hear my clever musings.

Sharon & her dog, Stella
The next morning I woke up disappointed. I was quite sure I had never awakened during the night. Disappointment quickly disappeared when I checked the tape and discovered that I’d apparently rattled on for close to an hour. Was my urge to tell my story so strong that I didn’t even have to awake up for the process? Hah! The only thing I learned as I replayed the tape was (1) Larry has a little hitch in his throat when he snores, (2) some woman (it couldn’t have been me) snored right along with him as if part of band, and (3) my darling cocker spaniel, Sushi, (usually such a lady) snored louder than the both of us put together.

That story is legend in our family, and I told it partly for fun, but also to point out a creativity tip. All writers and those who would like to write are different. What stimulates my creativity may not work out for Nora Roberts. For me, it’s a warm bath with rock music pounding away in my ears, followed quickly by a session with a tape recorder---with the voice activation feature turned off.  I have to admit here that I spent a LOT of time in the bathtub while writing The Bride Wore Spurs. I almost became a permanent prune, but thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent with Lacey and Hawke. I hope you will, too

About The Bride Wore Spurs:
 Kathleen Lacey O’Carroll knew she faced an uncertain future when she arrived in Wyoming as a mail-order bride—especially when she learned that the man she was to marry hadn’t actually ordered her. How could John Winterhawke, a fiercely independent and unsettling handsome half-Indian possibly make room in his heart and in his life for her?
    As far as Hawke was concerned, the last thing he needed was a high-spirited, overeager Irish wife who knew nothing about surviving on the harsh prairie. But once the determined Lacey sensed the rough kindness and simmering hunger under Hawke’s forbidding demeanor, she set out to match his dark passion with her own—and claim his wild heart on her terms.
Sharon Ihle is the best-selling author of more than a dozen award-winning historical romances set in the American West. A lifelong Californian, Sharon recently moved from the sunny beaches of San Diego to the frozen plains of North Dakota. Hard to believe, but it’s true.


  1. Welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, Sharon. I had to crack up when I read the recorder incident.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. What a wonderful idea...all except the snoring. *lol* Before my husband started wearing a c-pap, I'm sure his snoring would have drowned out anything I tried to record, but now I fear I'd just be picking up other bodily noises, if you get my drift. *lol* There are so many times that voices speak to me at night. I wonder if the recorder would pick those up? Great post, my spunky friend.

  3. I love this post. I'm not sure the recorder could pick up anything other than my hubby's snoring. Yes, he's that loud.

    Thanks for sharing your story.


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