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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Use, lose, choose and abuse your muse.

Do you? Any of the above, I mean.

It’s taken me a long time, years really, to acknowledge this muse thing. I don’t have one, I’d think. Ideas simply come to me. I think them up. That’s it, that’s all.

Do you? Have one, I mean.

Some people talk to them, deem them male or female, name them, feed them crumpets and tea. I’ve always felt a little left out. All this fancy literary speak and writer talk; way over my head, I’d think.

And then I looked up muse.

Muse

/myooz/

Verb

To be absorbed in thought

An instance or period of reflection

Meditate – ponder – contemplate – ruminate – think

Muse

/myooz/

Noun

A circumstance, person, place or thing, which poses an effect, positive or negative, and as such, leads to a creative work

 

It seems I haven’t been left out at all.

Have you? Paid attention, I mean.

Muse

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Through the fog, it vies for my attention. I can barely see it just below the surface of the sand. Grains scattered over the exterior, it’s mottled, difficult to visualize. Dust surrounding, settling, my view is nearly blocked.

People walk past, not seeing what I can almost see, busy, distracted. Although the sun skips on the water’s tips, a haze keeps me from seeing clearly.

I stab and strive, but can’t reach it.

The longer I wait, the deeper it drives. Rooting itself in the bottomless beneath and I fear I will miss my chance. Never see it again.

I beckon passersby, begging them to nab it. I wave and yell, scream. They take no notice of it or me, oblivious to my struggle.

I reach out for what I’m sure will be my last chance and its edges finally hint at my fingertips.

“I am yours,” it murmurs, “and only you can keep me from sinking.”

Only You

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The Next Big Thing 1

An intriguing writer, new friend and born-to-be soul sister from, get this, Northern Ireland, approached me about taking part in a trending blog hop called The Next Big Thing. Flattered, proud and utterly gobsmacked, I accepted before she could change her mind. To peruse Lesley’s charismatic utterings on the subject simply click here.

Lesley Richardson is a writer from Bangor, Co. Down, who is currently writing her second novel, The Possibilities of Elizabeth. Her first novel, Biddy Weirdo, is yet to be published, but Lesley and her agent, Susan Feldstein, are hopeful that that will soon change.

Represented by the Feldstein Agency, Lesley has received a grant from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a writing bursary from North Down Borough Council. She launched her blog, Standing Naked at a Bus Stop last year.

Lesley’s Links:

Standing Naked at a Bus Stop  

Twitter 

Agent, Susan Feldstein 

Giddy with possibility, I rise to the challenge of fulfilling this blog hop quest:

  • What is the working title of your next book?

I currently have two WIP’s; About Face and Hazy Shades of Me

  • Where did the idea(s) come from for the book(s)?

I wrote About Face in 2009, coming up with it literally on a whim as I sat down to start my 50,000 words for a NaNoWriMo challenge. The words streamed onto the page, because you see, Lenore Nashun, my main character, looked a little less than friendly unless she was smiling. I simply had to come to her rescue and prove to readers her cool exterior was actually hiding her warm heart. The story took on a life of its own, as they most often do, and ended up being a mixture of mystery, romance, life lessons and love.

Hazy Shades of Me is a compilation of emotions and experiences morphed into short bites of metaphors. The title, obviously my blog name, could seem a short cut, but honestly, I thought long and hard and I feel it’s what fits best….for now.

  • What genre does your book fall under?

About Face is definitely Chick Lit, although that classification is somewhat forbidden these days and Hazy Shades of Me, is well, shorts of all shades in abstract form.

  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?

Ryan Gosling. Really, he’s probably much too mature to play an aspiring young buck at this point, but I’m assuming it would mean I’d get to meet him, so I don’t care. Besides, as you’ll learn when you read my novel, make-up can work wonders.

Sorry, what’s that? The question refers primarily to the main character? Oh, okay. Well Jennifer Lawrence would be a pretty good pick.

  • What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman’s journey in finding herself through expression and oddly, a fundamental freedom from its hold.

  • Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Oh, to have the luxury…I would dearly love for it to be rep’d by an agency. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About Face: 30 days as per the NaNoWriMo guidelines, then add on the last four years for editing!

Hazy Shades of Me is very much a work in progress, still to be completed.

  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure about specific titles, but I tend to think Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella style when I read About Face.

As for Hazy Shades of Me, I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever read a book of short story metaphors. I guess I have some research to do!

  • What inspired you to write this book?

Writing is a long-time love, but NaNoWriMo is what brought it home for me in 2009. I bought ‘the kit’ as a sort of gag for both a friend and myself. We had been talking about ‘writing a novel’ for some time and I thought it would be something to give us a giggle. To my surprise, she took me seriously and the next thing I knew, we were scribbling 1,667 words a day. More if, heaven forbid, we had to resume reality and miss a day here or there.

  • What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

My characters are tangible, likeable and sincere. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a mystery slash romance involving mannequins?

The metaphors are, of course, open for interpretation and can mean what ever the reader needs them to, which makes them universally relatable.

Both ideas are fresh, interesting and original.

This is my time to sign off and pass the torch over to a few more stellar stars…again Lesley, thanks so much for the support.

Dex Raven:

Dex writes dark fantasy and horror, when his muse, Violet, cooperates. When she doesn’t, he still attempts to write with varying results. He has a thing for classic monster legends, Egyptian and Nordic mythology, coffee, sarcasm and words that end in “esque”. He is currently working on two books: a fiction/non-fiction mash-up and his first novel.

You will find his fiction as well as his thoughts on the writing process on his primary blog, Dex*Raven

Dex’s (other) links:

LIVE LIKE A GROWNUP

Dex on facebook

Dex on Twitter

Gabriel Lucatero:

My name is Gabriel Lucatero, an aspiring writer. Although Spanish is my first language, everything I write is in English. I don’t really know why I chose to do it that way, but I did it. I’ve studied the language for over 8 years and have written short stories (and a novel in progress) for the last 4 years. I like to write horror with a little bit of mystery thrown in. It was just recently, last October 2012 to be exact, that I decided to show my work to the world. “How else will you ever get published, duh!” I said to myself when I realized that my work couldn’t ever be read if it was in a dusty old drawer.

Gabriel’s Links:

Gabriel’s Blog

Twitter

Gabriel’s Motivational facebook Page

Jennifer Findlay:

I’m just a mom on a mission to spread pearls of wisdom and random photos from her couch, with coffee in hand. I’m an artist at heart with a passion for photography and painting (which I don’t do nearly enough).

I detest doing laundry, especially ironing, and I loathe cleaning out my counter compost bins. I think there’s a mouse in our crawl space, and I’m hoarding a stack of old Weight Watcher’s books that I got every time I joined. Just keepin’ it real.

My favourite time of day is right after I drop off the kids at school, and I have an hour to myself just to sit with my dogs, coffee and computer, while I live vicariously through blogs, Facebook and Pinterest. People are just so damn fascinating.

Jennifer’s Links:

Coffee & Couch on WordPress

Coffee & Couch on facebook

Coffee & Couch on Pinterest

Coffee & Couch on Twitter

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Will I ever be a good writer?

They say the best are those who have no one, hermits, recluses, loners. Everyone they know, dead and gone, all chance of new connections sacrificed. Perhaps, purposely avoided.

I know a lot of people.

I like them. I want to keep them.

I think about and analyze each word, never mind sentence, that I write. It’s hard. Hard to write fiction that may be taken as truth. Is she the sexually abused, the office wallflower, the promiscuous teen…the brokenhearted? 

Writing is a risk. People are always going to read into your words….your stories and make them into what they need them to be.

It’s dicey and, it. is. frightening.

But, it is what we’re gifting. Leeway. License. Liberty. Those who know us will get it.

The ice may crack, a bridge might collapse and we could be dealt a crappy hand.

Forget easy eights, but if we’re willing to work a hard six, we may just hit a lucky seven.

The writer must be in it

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There are things no one knows and never need know.  They’re merely splintered shards that have been scattered like chicken feed under the sofa, behind the door…deep in the woods at the back of the house.

And there, they should stay.

Plucking them out of obscurity, chancing their sharpness will cut my thickened skin is needless.  No one knows they’re there.  Leave them.

Stare at the stars.  Stay perfectly still.

I tell myself that I believe the things I don’t know won’t hurt me.  That I believe what I didn’t see can’t cry out.  I leave the unknown to weaken and wither, trusting the sharp edges will dull and diminish in hiding.

I once thought my shards were secrets, but I’ve learned that secrets are soft lips pressed against matted hair and light, breathy whispers in curious ears.  They are flighty things meant to be shared by children on gravel fields and women huddled in coffeehouses.

There are no screams, only choked murmurs I can barely make-out, suspended in the air and like dead falling leaves they cover the ground in cracked fragments all around me.

No, I don’t have secrets.  My shards slither in from the trees and my heart-racing, sweat-waking terror will be whispered to no one.

Silence.

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Did you ever play “What If?”  I did.

My friends and me sat around in the ripping hot sun, pulling blades of grass, blowing out dried dandelions and chucking rocks into the clear creek while contemplating guileless scenarios;

What if we snuck out at three in the morning and jogged to 7-Eleven?  Ah ha ha”, we’d snicker.  “That’d be sooo cool.”

Kids are a force to be reckoned with.  My daughter reminds me of that consistently.  She’s a bona fide combo of her Dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and my crafty, creative quirks.  Not a day goes by where she hasn’t got a moneymaking question, a business idea or a project on the go.  We sometimes joke that she was born to the wrong parents.  She exhausts us.

But, being a kid, she does not possess that limiting quality; you know, the chastising one that imposes restrictions and crushes dreams; it says cruelly; “You can’t do that.  Don’t be ridiculous!”

And it’s because of that, kids have no fear.  They aren’t afraid to take the “What If” game a step further.  In fact, if so inclined, they can knock it right out of the park:

“Yeah, so we jog to 7-Eleven and we’re freezing so we decide to hang out inside and get warm.” I suggest.

“And then, like, the manager gets mad and makes us work.” Suzie chimes in.

“Yeah, so he thinks he’s punishing us, but we actually like it, so we like, start working there for real and we never go back home.” Lisa adds.

“And our parents are searching for us and everything, but we, like, just start living at the 7-11 manager’s house and just, like, become a part of his family!” Kate exclaims, quite pleased with herself.

“Truly awesome”, Jack sighs.  “But I’d sure miss my dog.”

“Don’t worry,” I console him.  “I’m sure the manager will buy you a new one.”

Free of inhibitions and limitations, kids just throw it down.  And because they’re all on the same page, they are confident peers won’t deem their contributions unreasonable.

I’ve previously pondered the idea that impossible can be transformed to plausible provided it’s crafted with care.  I stand by that notion but need to supplement;

Hold tightly the compassionate ignorance of youth and once in while, dare to play “What If.”

Hopefully Ava did get the right mom and dad after all.

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