Where We Do What We Do

Hi there, guys and dolls! Today, my real life alter egos Andrea and Heather are taking over the blog again, writing about well, writing. What they write and where they write it, to be specific. Not only in the matter of place, but also the atmosphere and feeling the surroundings give.

On the weekend, they conducted a very successful Creative Writing Workshop, generously hosted by the Mission Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library System. They met some wonderful fellow authors, some who write fiction too, but also people who write memoirs, poetry, nature blogs, and various non-fiction projects, of all walks of life and age at various stages of accomplishments. It was fascinating to connect and share their experiences, giving thoughts on what works and doesn’t work for them.

The biggest thing? Write, just write. Give reverence to your projects, to the ideas buzzing in your head. Set aside time, take it seriously, even if you are only at the beginning, as it is a very good place to start.


A long time favorite restaurant, Theo’s in Penticton. Many a delicious meal has been devoured there, and in the quiet afternoon, my girls have plotted away a red herring or two.

The girls also talked about different processes in writing projects, from germinating to saving the final draft. Through their experiences, they’ve found some places and ways that naturally keep them in the groove and literally on the page as they go along.


One of the many beaches along the Okanagan Lake that can be so inspiring anytime of the year.

It seems that when they are at the beginning of a book, namely their Poppy Cove Mystery Series at this point (other works will be forthcoming, give them time!), being somewhere lively and busy is very helpful. A mid-afternoon spent in a beautiful restaurant, bustling cafe, or pub lingering over a glass of wine or cup of coffee while the world goes by does wonders for how they plot and scheme the complicated lives of their Santa Lucians. A beautiful view down by the lake on a delightful beach in the shade, listening to waves and laughter of others is helpful as well.


Frank Sinatra and his pal, Dean Martin. How can one not be inspired to write dreamy scenes when they are crooning in the background?

For the actual writing, however, having a dedicated writing room is ideal. Being able to come and go from it between writing sessions is terrific, along with the solace of a room of one’s own lends itself to filling in the color of the plots and story. Background music is always playing, usually Frank Sinatra or jazz such as Charlie Parker, Nina Simone, Blossom Dearie, Chet Baker and the like from the mid-century era does wonders for their creativity. During editing, classical such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach are very helpful with their rhythmic foundations.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on what inspires you to do what you do and where you do it.

Warm Regards,

Andrea & Heather

aka that Barbara Jean

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
This entry was posted in Authors, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creative Writing Workshop, Creativity, Inspiration, Writing, Writing Ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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