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! 😀

Meet The Character | The Dark Storm

I was born into money, raised in the upper crust, did my stint in the all boys academy to get a real gentleman’s education. That’s where I met my best friend. Born without money, he was there on a charity scholarship, so of course he was the biggest target on campus. I called him out, took my shot, found a kindred spirit in the little shit that gave back as good as he got and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

That’s how people enter my world: through blood and pain. It’s not always theirs. Just ask my second closest friend. I almost killed him the first night we met, and all he was doing was his job. Too bad that job was as the cop that found my battered baby sister in a blood-soaked alley. Tragedy binds us in ways nothing else ever can, and it’s permanent. There’s no escaping me once you’re here. I’ll go to the ends of the earth for those who matter, but they’re all burned around the edges from the fire of my life.

So go ahead and believe what they print in the papers: Billionaire playboy, spoiled heir to the Kade Legacy, reckless deviant, womanizer, no better than a mobster kind of businessman. I should probably thank them for providing me with the ability to do whatever the hell I want, however the hell I want, but the truth is–I’d do it, anyway. Because I don’t give a fuck about their opinions or yours. If I don’t know you, you’ll never know me and trust me, that’s a good thing.

Death has deemed me the enemy, get’s off on taking the people I love away from me. I was born with a dark tempest raging inside, as if the powers that be knew I would need it to survive. Or that one day, I would need it to protect the only woman who’d own my heart.

Her world is blood and pain. Our tragedies are linked in the darkest places of our pasts, and when our worlds collide, there will be no one left unscathed. Because there will be nothing I won’t do to save her. I might fasten my designer suit the same way every rich man does, but there are no hitmen on my payroll. If I tell you I’m going to kill you, rest assured, my face will be the last fucking thing you see.

~ Voryk Julien Kade

#SongLyricSunday ♪ “Break In” – Halestorm

I’m going off track a little bit with this week’s pick, because one: I couldn’t find a song about weddings that I liked that hasn’t be done a million times over, and two: I’ve never been married, so…I’ve chosen a song that I would want to qualify as my wedding song if I ever did get married (very big if). Frankly, I couldn’t imagine marrying someone who didn’t fit this song, so I guess that’s the real reason why it’s my pick.

In case you haven’t guessed, this week’s theme is: Wedding / Marriage / Diamond / Ring / Cake

I almost picked Rihana’s cover of “Diamonds” by Sia, one of my favorite covers, but despite the very beautiful lyrics, there’s something equally sad about it and I think it’s really about a lost love, so not something you’d want to think about on your wedding day! (well..most people, anyway.) My second runner up was “Black Wedding” by In This Moment ft. Rob Halford of Judas Priest, but that might only qualify for an Addams Family wedding. 😉

The first time I ever heard “Break In” was the very video pasted below. I was checking YouTube for some good Halestorm songs to add to my playlist, when I came across this gem: Lzzy Hale singing with Amy Lee of Evanescence? Hecks, yeah! It’s amazing how well these two women of rock sound together live – though not at all surprising. The camera work could be better, but the sound is perfection. Enjoy! (p.s. I love how Lzzy uses a shout out to the audience to slyly wipe a bug off her arm lol)

Put your lighter in the air and lead me back home
When it's all said and done I'll follow the echoes
I hear you night after night calling out my name
And I find myself running to meet you

I didn't want to escape
From the bricks that are laid down

You are the only one
The only that sees me
Trusts me and believes me

You are the only one
The only one that knows me
And in the dark you show me

Yeah, it's perfectly reckless
Damn, you leave me defenseless
So break in
Break in

You let me fall apart without letting go
Then you pick up the pieces and you make me whole

I didn't want to escape
From the bricks that are laid down

You are the only one
The only that sees me
Trusts me and believes me

You are the only one
The only one that knows me
And in the dark you show me

Yeah, it's perfectly reckless
Damn, you leave me defenseless

So break in
And take everything I have
Until there is nothing left
Until it's just your voice in my head
And when the lights come on
You see me as I am
You're still inside me

You are the only one
The only that sees me
Trusts me and believes me

You are the only one
The only one that knows me
And in the dark you show me

Yeah, it's perfectly reckless
Damn, you leave me defenseless
So break in
Break in

Put your lighter in the air and lead me back home

Songwriters: Robert Graves / Lizzy Hale / Mark Holman / Aimee Proal Break In lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

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

Meet The Character | The Pierced One

I’m the Toy Maker. Not really, that’s just what the pup calls me. Who better to play the villain to his superhero? Kid’s imagination is bigger than he is, but not as far fetched as he’ll hopefully never know. I’m the cool uncle, all tatted up and pierced to the nine. It would break my heart for him to see me any other way.

I love being here, love being in this crazy pack of a family, but love is a doubled edged sword when you’re only half of who you’re supposed to be. I’m a framer by trade, hacker for fun, and Úlfr by birth. Odin’s wolves, that’s what we are; hiding in plain sight as humans in Midgard. Since the dawn of time, we’ve had our share of ups and downs as a species. Hunted alongside our wild cousins by those who didn’t know any better, hunted for being exactly what we were by those who did. Witch hunters, determined to rid the earth of all things non-human.

But nothing hurt us the way the first Fenrisúlfr did when he sent out an army of human-turned vargar to slaughter us with no warning. Entire packs wiped from existence overnight. Bloodlines lost. From Elders to pups, no one was spared. By the time the survivors managed to destroy him and his army, our numbers had been severely depleted.

I watched my entire family perish before my eyes; shredded, bleeding, left for dead and unable to stop any of it. Now, he’s back and I’m just as helpless to stop him today as I was forty years ago. Only, the horrible, fucked up truth of it is this time, it’s by choice.

I’m the pierced one, not for all the superficial hoops, studs and barbells decorating my skin: but for the two posts of Dvergur Járn impaled in my shoulder blades. Dwarf Iron, a powerful Asgardian metal that keeps my wolf caged, unable to escape. I’m a shifter who can’t shift. A wolf trapped in a human’s body. And I asked for it. Hell, I begged for it and you don’t want to know what I endured to finally get it. But it was worth it, because my wolf is ravaged with bloodlust. He’s feral for the taste of his enemy’s screams, hell bent on retribution above all things…even love. The love of my packmates, the Elders. The bond of my Alpha Pair and worst of all…my mate.

How can I keep her safe like this? How can I help any of them, when to become whole again would mean becoming no better than the Fenrir, himself?

~ Shayd Eklund

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)

#SongLyricSunday ♫ “Voodoo” – Godsmack

This song is actually listed as a “hidden” track on Godsmack’s debut album and was one that catapulted them to popularity on all of the rock channels in the 90’s – go figure, a pagan themed song gaining popularity during the era of Goth? Noooo… Okay, all sarcasm aside, this song is still a fan favorite and whether you like the content or not, the sound is hauntingly catchy and among those you might find yourself humming out of the blue while doing housework…or you know, burning candles.

This week’s theme follows the Chinese Zodiac list of animals: Rat/Ox/Tiger/Rabbit/Dragon/Snake/Horse/Sheep/Monkey/ Rooster/Dog/Pig

Since I already used Alice in Chains’s “Rooster” during Rocktoberfest and have never been a big fan of the Beastie Boys, despite actually liking “Brass Monkey” – I’ve decided to go with a Me themed song since I was born in the year of the Snake. Too bad that doesn’t grant me with the ability to speak Parseltongue. Maaaaan!

Make sure to stop by Jim’s blog, A Unique Title For Me to check out all of the other song picks for today. Enjoy!

 I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

Candles raise my desire
Why I'm so far away
No more meaning to my life
No more reason to stay
Freezing feeling, breathe in, breathe in
I'm coming back again

I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

Hazing clouds rain on my head
Empty thoughts fill my ears
Find my shade by the moonlight
Why my thoughts aren't so clear
Demons dreaming, breathe in, breathe in
I'm coming back again

I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo, voodoo

I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

I'm not the one who's so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I want to be here again
And I don't remember why I came

Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo, voodoo
Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo, voodoo

So far away
I'm not the one who's so far away
I'm not the one who's so far away
I'm not the one who's so far away

Source: LyricFind | Songwriters: Rob Merrill / Salvatore P. Erna | Voodoo lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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