Blue Ballerina…

When people find out I’ve written a few novels, they inevitably ask me, “Where do you get your ideas from?”

I got the idea for the novel, Heaven’s Fire, which landed me my agent, while sitting in a Barnes and Noble working on a different story!

Yep. I was there with my sweet hubby. He was reading and I was furiously typing away on a story (can’t remember which one at the moment.)

This girl walks in wearing an…um…interesting-looking outfit. A blue tu-tu, long dark leggings, and a red leather jacket that cut off at her hips. Total stick figure. Had a big head of tight, black curls and smile that could part the thickest rain clouds.

And man, she was tall.

She strode right into the café area where we were sitting and plopped down at a table. Was she a ballerina? Maybe. I didn’t think about that too much, because an idea struck me like a two-by-four to the forehead.

I stopped what I was doing,  opened a blank word document and started typing. Mostly her description, but then, it morphed. I think I pounded out over a thousand words at that sitting.

Ideas can sprout from anywhere. At any time. We just have to be open to them and once they hit, run with them.


Where has been the most unique place you’ve gotten an idea for a story?

About Lynn Rush

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author, chocolate addict & ultra runner. Agent: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
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12 Responses to Blue Ballerina…

  1. Thank you for your post, Lynn. My weirdest source of a story is a dream. I rarely remember my dreams, and then only in fragments. But I had one last November 6 that has haunted me ever since. One of my current projects is turning it into a work of fantasy-adventure romance. It involves reincarnation because, though I can’t prove it, this dream might be a past-life memory.

    In the dream, I’m a young man, a peasant, in some benighted corner of Europe during the late Middle Ages or Renaissance. My land is ruled by a greedy, ruthless, power-hungry duke who’s making everyone miserable.

    I belong to a secret band of insurgents and malcontents fighting against him. My comrades include our leader, a much-loved hero; and my sweetheart, a young woman I’m madly in love with. She looks just like Farrah Fawcett; but this being the Middle Ages, she doesn’t wear her hair the same way. It’s straight, braided, and tucked inside a white kerchief.

    Anyhow, the bad guys discover our hideout. We’re attacked by the duke’s men and a terrible battle ensues. We suffer many casualties; our leader dies fighting, and my sweetheart is wounded in one of her legs. The leg festers; in order to save her life, it has to be hacked off.

    Of course, I’m consumed by revenge. I devise a fiendish plan: my surviving comrades and I construct a booby trap under the street in the center of the duke’s capital city. He will be riding there in a triumphal procession, with his subjects cheering him on.

    The details of the trap are a bit hazy, but the intent is clear. It is not enough for us to kill this tyrant. It must be done in a manner in which he dies an excruciating death; it must occur at his greatest moment of triumph, to add the element of surprise; and it must take place with as many people as possible watching, in order for us to get our point across to others (which makes sense in an age before cameras).

    My sweetheart begs me not to carry out this plot. The odds that I’ll get killed are too great. I’m the only person who can possibly take care of her; without me, she won’t survive. She says if I really love her, I’ll forget about revenge; but I can’t.

    The plot goes as I planned, and I see the duke fall into the trap . . . but then the dream ended. I don’t know what the outcome was. But it couldn’t have been pleasant for the duke if we succeeded—or us if we failed!

    By the way, are any of you good at dream interpretation?


    • Lynn Rush says:

      I didn’t study dream interpretation much in my schooling, but that’d be interesting to see what someone who knew how to do that said about your dream!! Thanks for sharing!!!


      • When I posted my dream on Facebook the following day, one of my FB friends said either I’d been watching too many medieval action movies, or I was mad at authority. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen lots of movies of any sort, so the second guess is more likely!


  2. Awesome! I love this. I have also seen some people dressed in what I would call unusual outfits. Once on a subway train in NYC, I did the same thing- wrote out a description of this lady that looked like she had morphed out of the late Victorian age. I even tried to get a photo w/o her seeing me do it. LOL! It’s a little blurry but I have it and I still have the notes I took that day. Haven’t worked her into a story yet, but it’s coming! Thanks for reminding me about her.


    • Lynn Rush says:

      I’ve woken up to idea for stories, but mostly, I get them from people watching or while out on my bike going for long rides. 🙂 Hey, I’m glad my post reminded you of your story!! 🙂


  3. Daisy Harris says:

    I love people watching, and you’re right that it provides great fodder for stories. I’m horrible because I find some of my best characters when I’m visiting my family in New York. New Yorkers are characters, and even more so because I grew up around them but haven’t lived there in 16 years. I know how they tick, and yet am still amused, shocked, and sometimes horrified.

    Great topic!



  4. jeff7salter says:

    Lynn, I’ve seen some bizarre outfits during my time, but nothing quite like your ‘ballerina.’
    I don’t know quite WHERE my ideas come from. Many are born of dreams, but some occur to me while I’m exercising at the ‘Y’ (you know, 40 mins. on a stationary bike, 30 mins. on another machine, and then 15 mins. on 8 other stations). Also, I used to get a lot of ideas while I shaved every morning. Now that I don’t shave anymore, I still sometimes get ideas when I’m showering. [An author once told me that water is a great conductor of creativity.]
    But I’ve also found that when I’m working intensely on my WIP, several OTHER ideas will pop into my head and I have to struggle to juggle … and try to get enough down about the new notion without losing my groove on the one I already had running.


    • Lynn Rush says:

      Thanks, Jeff!!

      Yeah, while writing on a story I’ve often gotten new story ideas. I try to hold off, but sometimes I have to get at least a little bit down/started. Otherwise, I’ll go mad!! 🙂


  5. everwriting says:

    My ideas just pop up like pesky weeds. If I don’t write them down, they wither and die, unlike those pesky weeds. I don’t have a weirdest place, just some pretty weird dreams that may or may not become a story. The only times I remember my dreams are when I wake from them – usually horror stories and not a genre I particularly want to explore. A fun post to think about, thank you, Lynn.


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