The Daily Scroll was created for visitors who want to learn more about all three. It’s bursting with imaginative micro-articles, cartoons & passages from the writings of authors & artists.

Fantasizing,Fotos,Fridays offer pictures chosen to stimulate our imaginations, awaken inspiration & allow creativity free rein to invent theories or micro-stories based on what we see. Imagination-Exercising entries--which appear on whatever day they feel like--provide a few words as inspiration for our creativity. Both are fun!

Please comment below when inspired by ideas, suggestions or reactions!

Or email me at,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

You get what you settle for

"You get what you settle for. Anonymous"

A person I don't know in an online writer's group I'd rather not name used those words to kick off a new discussion. So far it hasn't been much of a discussion. A fellow member posted a short response about a day ago. And then I arrived.

I do my best to be upbeat on this blog, on Facebook and other social media. When at all possible I do so in person as well. I'm about to make an exception.


I hope that the response I posted on that writer's group discussion this morning answers the question. If it doesn't,  I invite you to leave a comment below or write me directly at: .

"You Get What You Settle For"
"May I offer a counter-example? I'm 68. I began writing fantasy novels in 1979--beginning with Seabird and Earthbow. By the 1980's, after input and many revisions, I began submitting Seabird to both literary agents & publishers. Back then, we mailed out the whole manuscript and waited for months for a response. 

I used the "waiting months" 
1. continuing to write new material and revise old material, and 
2. attending conferences whenever I was able in search of a literary agent or a publisher. I made connections with one of each but, in both cases, I had to terminate the contract during the following year. The agent did nothing at all during that time. The publisher & I split amicably over "creative differences".

In time, publishers requested electronic submissions and I was happy to comply. By then I was a members of three writing groups. David Wood, a longtime friend and new owner of the start-up indie Gryphonwood, published both Seabird (2008) and Earthbow (2010).* Two short stories were published in anthologies. 

I was still attending conferences, now in an effort to make industry connections, including marketing my books to dealers. None of this worked. Not one effort that I made paid off so, thanks partially to my health, I stopped attending conferences about five years ago. In other words, I "gave up" on conferences after twenty-five years and after spending more thousands of dollars than I even want to think about.

In spite of the positive reviews garnered by both Seabird & Earthbow, neither novel has ever sold well. What do I mean by this? Setting aside my own purchases to use as gifts, Seabird (PB, ebook and audio recording versions combined) has sold less than 20 copies a year on the average since 2008. Earthbow volume 1 (PB & ebook) less than 10 a year and Earthbow volume 2 less than that.

I have had two blogs. I began one of them in 2007 and stopped adding to it last year. I've posted 63 entries to this second blog since last summer. This blog focuses on Imagination, Inspiration & Creativity. I'm active on Facebook, keep my LinkedIn page up to date, belong to Goodreads and Library Thing plus an assortment of industry-related email and professional groups.

Through the years, I've never stopped writing, which means in my case that I have a "backlog" of five more novels totaling some 600,000 words which are not published--and which look likely to remain unpublished.

Or, as I might have written in one sentence, I've never settled. I may be about to do so. Am I getting what I settled for? **

Sherry Thompson, author of Seabird, Earthbow, Tree House Tales, etc. 
p.s. Please forgive any typos. I wrote this in haste and spurred by strong emotion.
13 hours ago

(The footnotes below were added for this blog entry)

* Between 20 & 25 years after I began my search for a publisher.

** Or, to put it another way, if I've refused to settle for over 35 years now, why must I feel like I'm settling now when in fact I seem to have no alternative? 
If no matter what I do results in little or no sales for my work but I keep on trying to sell my books and publish more of them, doesn't this fit the modern definition of insanity?  "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."


If you would like to learn more about my decades of experience as a fantasy author, I invite you to follow the three links given below! In spite of the fact that I wrote it, I think you'll find the account very interesting.  ;-D

Warning. Keven Newsome set aside three blocks of the New Author's Fellowship's "Special Guest" column to accommodate my account. Anything less than that would not have told my story. I'm grateful that Keven recognized this right from the beginning. Also be advised that my article for the New Author's Fellowship was written in late 2010, not long after the second half of Earthbow saw print. And two years before I had no choice but to resign from our local writers group, Written Remains Writers Guild.

The New Author’s Fellowship, Special Guest – Sherry Thompson
Posted by Keven Newsome on December 31, 2010 in Author's Journey, Guest Blogs

Follow this link to see the entry for Keven's novel, Winter. While you're there, try to count all of the pretty Amazon review stars!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inspiration From Ambiguity

What sets our imaginations in motion?
As I've demonstrated here, a good many things can prompt us.

Ambiguous pictures can stimulate creativity. For examples of this, see the "Fantasizing Fotos Fridays" series threading through this blog. (More soon!)

A short phrase that's open to interpretation can propagate a unique interpretation from everyone who reads it. Check out the "Imagination-Exercising" series for past examples. If you haven't done so in the past, or even if you have, take a moment to envision scenarios for each of the previous "Imagination-Exercising" phrases.

Why? In some ways, we're never the same person twice. Additional experiences almost inevitably prompt us to respond differently to ambiguous stimuli each time we encounter them.  We grow, experience new things, learn from them, gain new insights from old experiences, make new mistakes. Our brains absorb all these events and many other forms of stimuli sometimes consciously but many more times subconsciously. 

Hence the surprised delight in sudden breakthroughs--in relationships, at work or even at the ice cream stand--when we suddenly "know" that we  w/a/n/t  need Cherry Garcia, not Chubby Hubby. (Not to say that we don't want the company of our spouses--chubby or otherwise.)

The ambiguous stimuli of a sound that we can't identify will pique our imaginations in the same way--preferably not an ambiguous sound coming from the living room in the middle of the night.

If you see a picture or come across an evocative or ambiguous phrase, please add it to the Comments. Even better, email it to me at .  Naturally, you'll get credit if I use it here.

In the meantime, see what you think of the following "unstory" I shared on my Facebook page a few hours ago. I should have posted it here instead. Now I have.


Xfinity description of Criminal Minds rerun,
"...murders likely committed by an UnSub with an obsessive skin disorder..." 

Sample scenarios: 
1. the skin disorder obsesses so relentlessly about killing people that the person on whose body it is growing commits the murders without knowing why he is doing it. Or even -that- he is doing it. 

2. The skin disorder is disturbed by all the unnatural humans who don't have skin diseases When it can't let go the obsession, it attempts to bring nature back into balance by propagating itself on to other human hosts. Tragically the skin disease lacks the skill to do this successfully & ends up killing any clear-skinned human with which it makes contact. 

3A. The human host, driven to desperate measures by the 24/7 ravings of his skin disease, discovers he can distract the disease briefly by murdering humans. 

3B. In a fit of rage, the skin disease kills its host so that it can get back to its obsessive raving. It realizes too late that when it killed its host, it also committed suicide. 

3C. The Criminal Minds team arrives but fails to come up with a viable UnSub profile. The murders have stopped, so they head back to the plane. Team members are observed scratching themselves as they climb aboard.
No one thinks anything of it until the plane lands. Everyone aboard is dead, evidently slain by a fast-spreading skin infection.
Those investigating the deaths scratch their heads... in perplexity?

What other unlikely living thing or inanimate object might be obsessing over something, even as we speak? What would happen next?

Fantasizing Fotos Fridays #10

Remember to think about the picture and imagine what is going on
before looking at what I wrote. No two people will imagine the same thing.
That would be weird.

My first thoughts, "But I want to see the rest!" I wish the photographer had taken a step back to catch more detail along the edges--particularly at the top and left. Even though the picture already blesses us with  wealth of detail before me.

I confess that I'm already overwhelmed with "input" and yet I crave even more--the better to envision where this inviting building is. Why was this built in what appears to be an unpopulated maybe even an isolated area? ("More input!" I demand, mimicking Number 5 in "Short Circuit".

I spent a lot of time absorbing the many details within the borders of the picture as it is, before I refocused on the larger objects and the sections of fairly uniform color. What overarching purpose blended the smaller details with their large neighbors--those patches of a thousand thriving grasses their virginal stems forever a stranger to sharp iron. Was I making more of them all than they deserved?

Beginning again (sorry!), here's what I saw 1st and 2nd and so on. And how my impression of the building and its surroundings altered once I began focusing on what I had rather than pining for more.

A. potting shack, but with no obviously water sources?

B. an old shed surrounded by wildflowers, fine grasses and subtly stained panels, crying out to be used as a playhouse.

C. a tranquil oasis unconsciously and therefore randomly "built" over many years from chairs, a table and some plants no longer wanted, others brought here from isolated patches between rocks or rescued from the ridged growths hemmed in my old tire tracks, from not quite enough paving stones leaning against a wall for no good reason, perhaps too many baked clay shingles, last dabs of paint from old paint buckets. And a secret within a secret--hidden under a moss-grown flagstone--telling the tale of what arrived first and why.

The photograph's actual heading is below.
30 things to stop doing to yourself. #9.Stop trying to buy happiness. Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free– love, laughter and working on our passions.
from a Pinterest board...