The idea of creating a collage as a pre-writing exercise for a book has always intrigued me, but I’ve never actually made one. Partly because I can imagine myself getting caught up in a project like that and spending way too much time on it instead of on the actual writing, and partly because my creative abilities don’t extend to the art department.

Still, I tend to collect odds and ends that relate to my current project and I keep them on or near my desk. For my July 2010 book, Firefighter Daddy, I loved the story’s San Francisco Haight-Ashbury setting and had fun incorporating a little sixties culture into the book because the hero and heroine were both raised by hippie parents. Rory, the heroine of this story, still drives her mother’s old Volkswagen van, complete with painted flowers and affectionately dubbed “Vanna White.”

That theme is carried over to the bookmarks I’ve been using.

I also found this fabulous little toy hippie van and it’s been sitting on my desk—a source of inspiration and amusement.

Is this cute or what?

Someday I might try my hand at making a real story collage but for now I’ll settle for kitsch.

Until next time,

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