Vision Boards for Novels

I pulled this post off of my other blog, Bonjour Bellingham. It makes more sense to have this post here.

As Authors we face the challenge of transforming stories in our imaginations into images and sensual text.  And in fact the greatest challenge novelists face comes when they create flesh and blood characters from intangible imaginings. But don’t fret, I have a solution…

I started reading a library copy of Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer and I love the author’s idea for creating collages for characters and plot. She inspired me to create three vision boards yesterday (two for my completed fourth novel and one for a novel in progress) featuring my characters and setting.   And don’t just stop with collages and vision boards, create scrapbooks for setting, plot, back story, the characters’ astrological charts, and images that resemble the characters that roam through the imagination.

Vision board for novel Love Quadrangle

First, you require a pile of old magazines, a pair of scissors, large sheets of paper and crafting glue/glue stick.  Optional–music that connects you to your character.  For instance, while I worked on my vision boards for my novel Love Quadrangle, I listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations.  This piece of music runs as a theme throughout my novel so this helped me feel the energies of my characters and story.

Second, rip or cut out any magazine image that relates to your characters, their setting, their hobbies, interests or to scenes in your novel (helps if you have at least written a rough draft).  Then arrange and paste the images on large pieces of paper.

Third, cut out words from magazines that describe your characters or the themes of your story and paste those on the boards along with the images.  If you choose to go the scrapbook route, then just do the same on the scrapbook pages.

The downside of the scrapbook is that you have to remind yourself to look through it periodically so you can pick up the energies of your characters, setting and story.  The upside is that it saves wall space and you can keep the book neatly next to your computer.

Vision board 2 for Love Quadrangle, architecture theme

If you went with the vision boards, hang them above your work space and glance at them often.  I find that the boards help with building story, developing character further and help you to empathize with your characters.  Just like Law of Attraction followers use vision boards to manifest their heart desires in the world, the vision boards for novels can also manifest your novel into the hands of publishers and not just through magic and synchronicity.

I found that my novel came to life even more after I made the boards because now I could finally see my characters as real people.  My passion expanded and when our passion expands we send out strong positive energy to the Universe.  The Universe responds.  Suddenly something that seemed intangible one minute took on new life, like a seed sprouting and growing into a fruiting plant.

The magic happens because we delve into our subconscious mind and so we’re even able to solve plot and story problems as we give our left brain a rest.  In the creative process our thoughts and feelings flow through us and so do solutions.  It’s the same as taking our mind off a problem and going for a walk then returning home with inspired action.

Vision board for 5th novel (in-progress).

I first heard about vision boards when I did Julia Cameron’s program The Artist’s Way.  In one of her chapters, she included an exercise of ripping images from magazines (without analyzing the images) and pasting them on large sheets of paper or notebooks.  I put the collages away in a closet, then months later when I pulled out the collages, I noticed how many of the images manifested in my life without me giving much thought at the time.  I believe that the subconscious mind has a direct link to our souls so this explains the magic somewhat.

So find some magazines, large sheets of paper, markers, glue, and scissors then vision board your completed or drafted novel.  This process will also help us manifest movies for our novels since we put energy behind actual images.  What do you have to lose? And it’s fun.

If you want to enhance the fun part of the process, blow bubbles, use color crayons, and listen to your favorite childhood music.  Add sparkles and stickers.  This gets you in touch with your innocence and inner child where true creativity lies.  Don’t forget to let me know how it goes.

I’m an intuitive coach, astrologer and novelist who gives both long-distance and in-person sessions.  Find out more at Metaphysics for Everyday Living.


Whole Music–My Love Affair with….Music

(from the Whole Music Experience blog)

Queen Anne tub, 1995
When did my love affair with music begin? Was it while I swam in the waters of my mother’s womb when she played old jazz standards and Broadway tunes for me? Was it during my first music class in elementary school? Was it after John Lennon’s untimely death when I played Beatles albums back to back and cried quietly in the background? Or was it during my college radio show when I discovered alternative rock and folk-rock music? Or was it the first time I heard one of Astor Piazzolla’s tangos sizzle on my stereo?

With a human-to-human love affair we know when we first taste love on the lips of another or see it in the eyes of another as he or she gazes at us from across a room. But what is it about music that has some of us going gaga or giggling behind a veil of indifference? And what is music anyway? It’s intangible and we can’t hold it in our hands? We can’t really embrace something intangible, but our emotions can. I happen to believe that the strongest force on the planet is music. There is nothing more powerful to align us with the Divine or to separate us with a wall of hatred or indifference between us.

Music calls the shots and its frequencies direct our emotions and shapes our moods. When a marching band blasts its way down the streets, a part of us marches along with them. Try not tapping your feet or swaying a bit. When the orchestra launches into a tango suddenly we’re all looking around for a dance partner or at the very least, we catch ourselves swooning and thinking sensual thoughts, sometimes against our will.

I have immersed myself in more music traditions than I can name in a blog posts, but let’s just say I’m well acquainted with field recordings hailing from places the average person can’t even pronounce much less find on a globe. I grew up with the usual pop music, turned to alternative rock in the 1980s and 1990s, and then discovered world, then jazz, then classical, then early music, while landing back in traditional or folkloric music. I’ve pounded a drum in drum circles, I’ve attended sound healing circles, and I’ve joined my voice and other musical talents in jam sessions or played solo mainly.

Astor Piazzolla, Wikipedia

I have no idea what my brain looks like on music, but I would shudder to see what it looks like if I never had the musical training or experiences that I have had. As a journalist then later a music researcher, I’m on board with deep listening skills. I hear the subtleties which is why I enjoy classical music to the extent that I do. I know a lot about music. I hosted and produced radio shows centered on music, interviewed musicians for over 20 years, reviewed over a thousand recordings easily, and became a lifelong learner in regard to musical traditions and musical healing practices. I don’t know where I end and music begins.

I’ve met people in my lifetime who have little to do with music. These people are often suffering from an illness or malaise. But I also know people who suffer from certain brain conditions or hearing conditions, don’t enjoy the musical journey. But for everyone else, ask yourself, when did your love affair with music begin? Feel free to leave comments below.

Patricia Herlevi is the author of Whole Music (Soul Food for the Mind Body Spirit). Are you a publisher looking for a book that marries ethnomusicology with the healing power of music? 

An Author’s Itchy Feet (Writing Hiatus)


In September I put my 5th novel away, with the idea that I would return to it by the beginning of October. However, I’m still living in a temporary housing situation and I don’t have the space to work on the edits and rewrites of that novel, Enter 5-D. It would help if my Patreon campaign attracted patrons as that would allow me to at least spend more for housing while I write.

I have also looked into renting a room from a professor by circulating notices around the university campus. I try not to think about my novel because when I do I’m hit with writer’s remorse and other gremlins.

If you are an arts patron type and looking for someone to support, either contact me via this website or go to my Patreon campaign page and make a pledge. And tell your friends and colleagues too. Enter 5-D has commercial potential, unlike my other novels. And who knows, maybe some day you’ll say that you got in on the ground floor. Shooting for the moon.