Special Places by Callie Endicott

Whether I’m at home or traveling, I love finding beautiful outdoor spaces where I can write and be inspired. Sometimes it’s in a forest, a meadow, or overlooking the ocean, other times it’s a garden…frequently maintained by someone else (while gardening is one of my passions, time is a challenge).

A good chunk of my June 2018 Harlequin Heartwarming novel, A FATHER FOR THE TWINS (Emerald City Stories), was actually written in a garden. Gardens often play a role in my novels--one does in A FATHER FOR THE TWINS, and even more for my heroine in the first book of my Emerald City Stories series, MOONLIGHT OVER SEATTLE (Harlequin SuperRomance, January 2018). 

It’s heavenly to sit with my laptop, surrounded by beauty, listening to the breeze and bees buzzing. (Admittedly, I’m careful due to my bee allergy. To paraphrase an old saying--keep friends close and an epi-pen closer).

I've often been asked where I get my ideas.  Surely the things that inspire writers must be as varied as writers themselves. Listening to the radio one day, I heard a news report that sent my imagination spinning and within a few minutes I had a plot. Ballads are good for me, because they seem to prompt my subconscious to think in story mode. Inspiration has come while hiking, doing dishes, or just chatting with friends. Free association has been a great tool, along with a thousand other things, including my old favorite…what if?

Some “what ifs” are things like…what if the Titanic had been carrying enough lifeboats for everyone? After all, the history of the world could be different today if even a small element leading to the tragedy had changed. If nothing else, a whole lot of people might have lived and we wouldn’t refer to something as a disaster of Titanic proportions. But some of the “what if’s” I use are in story points. What if my heroine does this, instead of the thing I’d planned for her all along? Staying wedded to my original ideas is tempting, but characters take on a life of their own. Letting go and asking “what if” helps me write a better story that‘s truer to the characters. 

Another useful tool has been a micro recorder to capture ideas when I’m falling asleep…that way I don't wake myself up too much by having to write it down. I have to record the idea--otherwise I won't remember in the morning, aside from knowing I'd come up with something. After all, it’s frustrating to wake up, convinced you came up with the next Great American Novel, and not be able to remember the details. The recorder is also useful while driving

But the actual process of writing also seems to be encouraged when I'm outdoors, so I wanted to share a few pictures of places that have inspired me.  They're mostly from a garden spot I’ve visited recently. If only it could be my backyard… 


Have a great summer, everyone!

Callie Endicott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/callie.endicott.author/

Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Father-Twins-Emerald-City-Stories

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38765607-a-father-for-the-twins?from_search=true


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. My dad was a gifted photographer and I grew up loving it as a creative outlet. Fortunately digital cameras mean I can take a whole lot of pics and quickly weed out the ones that aren't so great.

  2. Love your pictures. Makes me want to write in a garden :) How can you help but be inspired?

    1. Nature is so peaceful. When I started trying to write outdoors I thought I'd just get sleepy, but luckily it doesn't work that way.

  3. I love gardens, too, and those pictures are amazing. I've tried writing on my deck, but alas, the reflections of the sliding glass doors onto my computer screen drive me batty. Instead I sit just inside the screen where I can feel the breeze and look outside occasionally. Thanks for sharing your pictures and your creative process, Callie.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I can't do it when the sun is too bright, even when I increase screen brightness. So mornings and late afternoon work best for me. Thanks for the kind comments about the pictures. It's hard to tell from that tiny screen on the digital camera if they're coming out or not. Still learning how to do the blog and the best topics for posting.

  4. Callie, I'm a nature lover and can't imagine being without a garden. Your photos are GORGEOUS! Someday I'd love to have a small pavilion or gazebo built so that I can write outside whether it's too sunny or, especially, if it's raining/drizzling outside. My imagination loves a peaceful, rainy day.

    1. I like your idea of a special pavilion or gazebo for writing. I share my space with barbecue equipment and rock hound supplies. Rain inspires me, too, but my patio leaks, which isn't good for the computer. I have a view of the valley in my living room and like to open the doors and curtains on rainy days. I'm glad you like the photos. I carry a camera with me most of the time.


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