Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

So there I was, looking through the Victoria Secret catalog. I always look through it though the only thing I ever buy is the panties. Still, we all look because if we log enough gym time…yeah. Anyway, I’m flipping through when I come across these crocheted bikinis and dresses.

My first thought was, that won’t work. Then I looked closer. The crochet patterns were overlaid upon sheer material, kind of like lace. How clever. I thought about how clever it was all day. Someone posted on Facebook a Marilyn Monroe quote – “Sometimes things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” What a great theme for a story.

A story idea started to form when a special on the Travel Channel highlighted the best beaches in the Caribbean. I really needed to escape to the islands, and of course people would wear bikinis there. I liked the idea of Anguilla because it had a less commercial feel than many of the other islands.

The idea was still steeping, not really a story yet, when I indulged in my favorite guilty pleasure, Chelsea Lately. It’s the raunchy late night show everyone should watch. And Joe Manganiello  was on. He is such a specimen, he’d inspire anyone. But the more I thought about it, the more he became a brother figure and not the match for my bikini crocheting heroine.

She needed someone less likely to trust her bohemian self. See, she’d started to come together. The red hair, the freckles, the growing up as an outsider on the island she was born on. She’d never managed to fit in, and yet her hero had ingratiated himself, creating a sense of belonging in a few years that she hadn’t found in a lifetime. And that pissed her right off.

Places and jobs and gorgeous men spark ideas, but it is the conflict that carries a story through. His life fell apart and he retreated to Anguilla to stitch it back together. Her life was finally beginning to make sense again, only to be scrambled by the secrets he holds.

It took about a month for Caribbean Christmas to find me, but I enjoyed every moment.


Jenna Bayley-Burke
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