A Day With My Muse

As I’m watching the calendar zip toward the end of the year, I’m really feeling the pressure, and all of my 2019 goals slip right through my fingers. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, I’ve just been writing everything except the books I had planned to finish before the end of the year.

Discipline is great advice–if it actually worked for my dysfunctional muse (aka creative flow). Unfortunately, whenever I try to force myself to focus on a certain book, rather than the one my muse wants to work on, I end up spending hours staring at a blinking courser while she sits on the sidelines filing her damn nails.

Any amount of words you can get down for any WIP is progress. This is a golden truth and we should never deny ourselves the credit for those small, random accomplishments. I just wish mine were on the WIPs I need to get done first. There’s a natural order to writing, or at least there should be. Especially, if you’re like me and juggle an extensive amount of series. Oldest series should be getting new installments published before newer series, right? And definitely well before new stand-alone’s that can wait.

My order is slightly different. My older series are with my publisher, rather than self-published so I’m not in any hurry to add to those until I get my rights back. #sorrynotsorry. My goal order begins with my oldest Indie books – the Hell on Earth series would be first and I hit that one out of the ballpark by introducing Hexed earlier in the year. Yay, team! The Dark Day Isle series would be next…. (looks around for muse, and finds her ecstatically pointing toward book 3 of my Ulfrinn series.) Erm…no. I just said, we’re not adding more books to the series that are still with the publisher.

After three days of staring at the blinking courser, I break down. Fine! We’ll work on the damn 3rd book to the Ulfrinn series until you get bored with it!

One week later….

I’m now staring at a blinking courser for book 3 of the Ulfrinn series, so I guess she’s finally bored with it. What are we working on today, muse?

“I had an idea.”

No. No, you didn’t–

“Yes, I did and it’s totally awesome, you wanna hear it?”

No, I–

“SOOOOooo, this is how is goes…”

😐

Two days and one new WIP added to the pile later…

This has been my year so far; lather, rinse, repeat. How are your 2019 goals shaping up, writers? Are you struggling to meet them, surpassing them or just happy with writing anything at all? Do you often find yourself at odds with your muse or did you get a fully-functional, helpful one?

There’s an endless supply of advice out there on the world wide web about how to conquer, control and keep your creative flow in line – and I really hope you’re all finding something useful to help you along your journey. They often don’t work for me because much of it centers around being a Plotter, which I will never be. I couldn’t plot a book to save my life. I’m 100% a Pantser, completely at the mercy of my characters and which direction they want to go, what they want to reveal, and those delicious twists even I never see coming.

Plus, I have the most obstinate, stubborn-as-hell muse in existence. I just really hope I’m not the only who refers to their ‘creativity’ as a separate entity they often butt heads with – LOL. If I am, don’t tell me, I like living in denial of my issues. 😉

❤ Happy Saturday! Wherever you are, I’m sure you’re trying to stay cool like the rest of us – so now might be a great time to work on your next winter or autumn themed novel. Just an idea! 😀

My Preciousss

How big is it? Will it ever see the light of day? Do you feel worthy enough to be its creator? How long are you going to hoard it all to yourself in the dank caverns of your ‘unfinished’ works like Gollum and his precious ring?

Writers, I’m talking about that ONE story that’s been festering in your head for decades. Maybe it was your first, or your twentieth, but it’s the one that you feel the most attached to and most protective of. The one that you’re beyond certain would be an international best seller if only someone like J.K. Rowling penned it, instead. And so you sit on it, leave it on the back burner while teeter-tottering whether or not you’ll ever actually put all of the effort into seeing it published.

Maybe, it’s the one you regret never finishing but have come to the conclusion that you just don’t have it in you anymore to do so. Maybe, you’ve taken the advice that not all books should be published to heart, despite having the inability to trash it. Oh, it’s still there. Every freaking scrap of paper you ever wrote notes about it on, every document related to it taking up space on your hard drive. You’ve moved it a dozen times already, both in boxes and digitally from computer to computer…yeah, I know you have. The entire evolution of that story can be traced all the way back to the beginning, it would just take days to piece all of the notebooks/pages/documents/napkins together to prove it.

How many times do you go back and read it? How many drafts have you created trying to revise it, using all of the knowledge and experience you’ve gained over your writing career to turn it into the masterpiece you’ve always envisioned?

Why are you still unhappy with it?

I’ll tell you. Because it’s your precious, your baby, the one you have dedicated so many hours, emotions, ideas, brilliant moments of creation to, and the one that you held to such high standards, they’ve become unreachable now–and I know this because mine started at age 17 with a simple idea.

That “idea” has since grown into a Tolkienesque catastrophe of details, lands, languages, characters, back stories, side stories – I actually have one completed novel and another that is about 85% completed and they’re not even the beginning – they’re about times, events, and characters that happen hundreds of years AFTER the beginning and the worst part – they’re both over 100,000 words in length! I have an actual filing cabinet filled with handwritten segments, notes, glossaries, character lists, you name it – multiple files saved in Dropbox and if I were to quit my job today and dedicate all of my time to only writing these books, they would still take me years to finish – and then I can’t even promise I’d be happy enough with them to hit publish.

Because, it’s that one story I’ve never felt worthy enough to write. That I imagine Peter Jackson would turn into a blockbuster in a heartbeat, if only I wasn’t the author. And I honestly can’t say why, just that it’s my one…my first, and definitely my most ambitious story of all time. I’m not 100% sure that it will never see the light of day, though. There’s no finality, only wishy-washiness over it, so for now – just putting it out there that if you have your own preciousss – you’re not alone, Gollumses.

Hopefully, I’m not alone, either LOL – so how ’bout it? Ready to dig up the old works and dust them off, give them a new polish or read over? Are you really so sure that you don’t have a hidden gem lurking in all those files just waiting for you to remember it’s there?

❤ Food for thought, writers! Enjoy your Hump Day! 😉

Meet the Character | The Meddler

Call me cupid. I’m not a sap, I just like seeing my friends so deep in the well, they can’t even tell they’re sinking. It’s that moment when it finally hits them that I get the biggest thrill. And I don’t mind taking in glory only I’m aware of while standing off stage; in the shadows, no one else aware.

They call me a meddler, those friends. They don’t appreciate everything I’m doing for them, and they certainly aren’t there shaking my hand with gratitude when their worlds align with the one that takes their breath away and leaves them staggering for balance.

I’m after some of my biggest challenges to date with this lot and I don’t have much time to pull it off. One week: 8 nights and 7 days is hardly enough time to make hearts collide hard enough to create the bungee effect. Hook those anchors in, so even if they try to run, they’ll eventually come springing right back, unable to stay away. Yeah, I’ve got my work cut out for me…guess it’s a good thing I was left in charge of the guest list.

And if I pick up something a little extra for myself? That’s just for fun, no worries. Everyone knows that cupid’s only care is others, not for himself. We’re aware that love can’t love, it’s the cosmic balance of it all. But lust…yeah, he can certainly lust and I’ve got a wild horse in my sights.

As the son of an equestrian veterinarian, I’m particularly fond of the beasts and the wilder, the better. But, this isn’t about my play time, it’s about those hearts unwittingly put in my care. My bowstring is still quivering, arrows already launched. Now, I guide them with my magic touches, make sure they take hold for the big pay off.

Sometimes, my targets make it so easy it’s almost shameful to take credit, yet I’m going to anyway. Because, to them, I’ll always just be the meddler. Never mind that I could have made these matches blindfolded. Lining them up and hitting them out of the park are two different things, though. I still have a lot of nudging and okay, yeah, meddling to ensure my victory–especially with the two most stubborn targets to ever grace my sights.

People always think those who fight the hardest against love have the most to lose, but I know differently. It’s because they have the most to gain. And I’ve never met two people with more room for a whole lot of love than my favorite picks for the week’s end. I’m betting all my money on them, so they better not let me down.

I can’t afford any more gambling debts.

>>–♥–> Monsieur Louis (aka cupid)

Houston, We Have A Problem

Warning: This might be a rant.

Recently, I’ve noticed that more and more medical clinics are giving into the demand for a paperless society, adopting the use of tablets for patients to use in place of those pesky forms they never seem to have an endless supply of. And I’m all for the tablets, honestly. I’ve been to a couple different clinics that handle different medical needs who utilize them. You’d think certain clinics would get them before others… you would think.

Understandably, new patients are going to have a lot more forms to fill out. Most of the time, they’re mailed to us long before the appointment, and we bring them with us. This gives us time to fill them out at our leisure. But after getting rejected by the first two referrals my doctor tried to send out to Rheumatologists who weren’t accepting any new patients within the foreseeable future – I finally landed a last-minute appointment with the 3rd referral, and despite it being in a whole other city, I jumped on it, because it came down to “Either take it now, or suck it up for another 2 months”.

This didn’t give them any time to mail me those lovely new patient forms, since the appointment was for the very next morning. So, I crept along with the congested traffic inching its way past the massive construction of new on-ramps and overpasses stretching all along both sides of the biggest and busiest joint military base in our state to get to the clinic right on time – only to find out I was almost an hour early. The lady who set the appointment figured I would need all of that extra time – and I soon learned why, when instead of a convenient, merciful, compassionate tablet – I was handed a 2-inch thick stack of forms to fill out.

I stared at the woman handing them to me, wondering how she couldn’t see that my knuckles were swollen to the size of baby crab apples.

She didn’t notice. I took the clipboard, found a corner chair and started filling out all of the information they literally have the technology to get within a matter of seconds from my primary doctor via email/fax/exclusive doctor-to-doctor medical portal online, etc.

At this point, my fingers are so inflamed and my skin so tight, it feels like my skin’s going to pop open like a can of Pillsbury Grands as I force them to wrap around the pen to write….quite illegibly. I have to stop, flatten my hands back out and just breathe through the pain partway down the page, and then another partway, and another. Most of the 3rd page asked for all the same information I already gave on the 1st page. I’m irritated. I finally finish the 4th page and relax my hands, breathe and try to hold the pen again, but I can’t. They’re done. I took the clipboard back up to the counter and handed it to the oblivious receptionist.

“I can’t fill any more of these out, it really hurts,” I stated and showed her my hands. “Do you have a tablet or something?”

“Oh, no sorry we don’t have those.”

We is a funny word when you’re in a room within a larger building, and for some reason I took it to mean the entire hospital, not just their little special corner of it. I mean, why wouldn’t the Rheumatology clinic be at the top of the budgeting list for tablets? She didn’t make me complete anymore of the forms – not that I would have, anyway, but she was nice about it and I’m not one to cause a scene. I’m an introverted writer – I blog and then I find interesting ways to off people in books.

I had to spend extra time with the nurse, as she asked all the questions I didn’t answer in the forms. Then I did my time with the doctor, who requested labs. He was going to request x-rays, until I told him I’d just had x-rays done by my Orthopedist a couple months ago – the same one who showed me said x-rays and proudly exclaimed: “Look, no sign of arthritis anywhere!”

Bite me, Dr. Hottie. I don’t care how blue your eyes are, we are no longer friends.

After getting the lab forms from my new, not-as-hot doctor, I was sent across the hall – in the same building – of the same established hospital with its same budget I had the decency to take into account – to have my blood drawn. I open the door and there’s the reception desk to my right and the door to the room of horrors directly across, but what do my eyes immediately latch onto?

The mounted tablets complete with card readers/scanners under the large signs declaring “Express Check In.”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

♥ So, that was my Thursday morning, how was yours?

The In Your Face[book] Approach

I love watching the slow escalation of Facebook’s need for attention. I’ll purposely go without posting anything just to see how their emails and notifications progress from “hey, whatcha doin’?” to the point where if Facebook were a person, I’d be getting a restraining order. I opened my inbox this morning to no less than 6 consecutive email notifications from them, either promising a discount to boost my posts or highlighting all the things my friends are doing that I’m missing out on.

Listen up, Facebook, if I want you, I’ll use you. Take a hint. Maybe I don’t like the fact that you’re like that one friend who can never keep a secret. Maybe I don’t like everyone in the world knowing what day and time I wiped my… nose…because you keep an actual timeline. We have words for entities like you, Facebook. Attention Whore. Stalker. Busybody. 

MAD TV even had a skit about you, Facebook. Stuart and his “Look at what I can do” moments of needing attention. And that’s all you’re doing, flailing your limbs about in the most obnoxious way possible while trying to get me to spend a ridiculous amount of money on posts – posts! They’re not even ads, they’re just posts! C’mon, be real.

And, as if Facebook’s greed for the spotlight (and unearned cash) weren’t bad enough, they also seem to think they can get results by escalating from helpful suggestions to downright orders. They start off all, “hey, your friends haven’t heard from you in awhile” to “A.C., create a post for people visiting your page.”

Hey FB, don’t tell me what the eff to do and please, find a different hobby. You should be putting yourself in FB Jail for so many crimes, I can’t even list them all, but let’s just settle for harassment and spam abuse, even if it’s mildly entertaining to ignore the hell out of you.

♥ p.s. This is not a rant – and yes, I’m aware that it’s my choice to have a Facebook page. This was done for humor and entertainment purposes only, because I know for a fact I’m not the only one who feels this way about the necessary evil that is FB. So…Happy Hump Day! 😀

#SongLyricSunday ♫ “Running Up That Hill” – Placebo

placebo

Daybreakers was one of the best vampire films ever made. If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out. Imagine, the world is completely run by vampires going about their 9-5 jobs every night, just trying to survive, pay their bills and put food on the table, while their corrupt government is hiding the drastic blood shortage to avoid mass panic, and simultaneously covering up the rabid vampire epidemic steadily growing worse – plus sending military-op style hunting parties out to track down the few remaining humans on the planet that have managed to escape capture and are undoubtedly planning a revolution.

O_o I’ll let you draw your own conclusion on where the writer was going with all those parallels. In the meantime, don’t forget to stop by Jim’s blog, A Unique Title For Me, to join in the fun or check out all of the other song picks for today!

This week’s theme is: Hill / Mountain

Although, this is a cover, I’ve never heard the original by Kate Bush. The Daybreakers soundtrack turned this Placebo version into an instant success, but I’m not familiar with the band or any of their other songs. It’s never too late to start, I suppose. 😀 Enjoy!

It doesn’t hurt me
You want to feel how it feels
You want to know? Know that it doesn’t hurt me
You want to hear about the deal I’m making?

You…
(If I only could, be running up that hill)
You and me…
(If I only could, be running up that hill)

And if I only could
Make a deal with God
And get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
If I only could, ooh

You don’t want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware that I’m tearing you asunder
And there’s a thunder in our hearts, baby
So much hate for the ones we love
Tell me we both matter, don’t we?

You…
(If I only could, be running up that hill)
You and me…
(If I only could, be running up that hill)
You and me won’t be unhappy

And if I only could
Make a deal with God
And get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
If I only could, ooh…

C’mon, baby, c’mon darling
Let me steal this moment from you now
C’mon, angel, c’mon, c’mon, darling
Let’s exchange the experience, ooh

And if I only could
Make a deal with God
And get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems

And if I only could
Make a deal with God
And get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems

(If I only could, be running up that hill…)

♫♪♫♪

Songwriters: Kate Bush
Lyrics found on Google and adjusted by me to match this cover
Running up That Hill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I do not own any rights to this song, the lyrics or the video. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.

SongLyricSunday

#WeekyWritables ♥ Pause

I’ve made the executive decision to put my #WeeklyWritables challenge on hold until further notice – if I decide to pick it up again. We’ll see how it goes.

As I mentioned during last week’s reveal, I had started this challenge to keep my muse motivated and working, but with the new challenge I presented myself (see the DIY 30 Day Challenge Here) – this one has become more counterproductive than helpful.

It’s obviously more conducive for accomplishing my goals if I focus on the variety of WIPs I already have, rather than creating more or just polishing up excerpts from them. Maybe, when I start running out? LOL Okay, not likely, but maybe another time anyway…

Happy Tuesday!