When I finished my first draft of Can’t Buy Me Love last May, I made a Pinterest board to gather up some of the images from the novel. The board not only gave readers a glimpse into the book world, but it helped me re-imagine the plot as I undertook major revisions. I’m now about 45,000 words into my next novel, Tea and Crumples, and I’ve made a new Pinterest board for this work-in-progress. {See it Here}

This time around, I started the board earlier, and I am customizing all of the pins with plot details. There’s even a floorplan of the shop!

tea and stationery shop floor plan

Here’s the floorplan for the Tea & Crumples shop! (I’m a writer, Jim, not an architect!)

Even though I did not customize the colors, you still get a good sense of the size and flow of the shop. Tea and Crumples started out as a business plan, but 14 years later, it has morphed into a novel! Somewhere between me filling a notebook with sketches and numbers and menus and beginning to write in earnest again, characters peopled the shop that has long been laid out in my mind. The place came first, and then one of the shop owners, Sienna. Besides Sienna, the first person to take on distinction in my mind is Mr. Cleotis Reed, who walked into the shop the first day it was opened, and said boldly, “My name is Cleotis Reed. I’m 74 years old. I speak my mind.” He never stopped doing so in all these years, and his seat at the chess table anchors not only the shop, but also the story. (Cleotis Reed even corresponded with some of my real life friends when I was in seminary, giving out sound advice with country turns of phrase.)

Of course, before Pinterest, I had notebooks and sketches, which have not gone away. But Pinterest makes it easier to share my vision with others. It has become a vital part of my writing life.

How about you? Do you use Pinterest for plotting stories?

Mondays on Writing Like a Mother will feature some part of the writing and publishing process. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, please comment to let me know!


  1. BIG NEWS! Can’t Buy Me Love will be the Kindle Daily Deal in Romance THIS THURSDAY, July 25th. One day only, you may purchase the Kindle version for just 99¢ (list price is $7.99). If you’d like to read or give Can’t Buy Me Love to a friend, Thursday is a great day to do so.
  2. I will make an author appearance and read from Can’t Buy Me Love at the Durham Streets at Southpoint Barnes & Noble on August 15, 7:30pm. Please come out and say, “hi!” If  you’re there for the reading, you might also get to hear a little singing.
  3. Can’t Buy Me Love will be on sale for only $2.99 on Kobo from August 2-5. If you miss the Kindle sale or read on a different ereader, don’t miss this sale!
  4. Author Margaret Arvanitis, who interviewed here as part of the Writing Mothers interview series in April {post here}, has just released her latest YA Western, Hank of Twin Rivers, Book One: Journey of Change. You can click the title to go to the book on Smashwords. This book is geared toward boys, but girls might enjoy it, too. Congratulations, Margaret!