Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere


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2 Days and counting … #nanowrimo #amwriting

The countdown continues. I have to finish one more run through book 2 before sending it off to beta readers and freeing up my creative energy for NaNo.

The garden is almost finished. By the time this point in the season rolls around, I’m finished with the garden, too. I haven’t weeded for months, and it looks like it. A hard freeze is due this weekend, and after that it’s time to pull all the hoses and fabric mulch out, take down the fence, and mow those nasty weeds. Then till. And boy-oh-boy I’d sure like to douse all that creeping charlie that’s started to invade my garden with Round-up. I really, really want to. Thing is, we’ve committed to not using chemicals if possible.

I’m thinking of making an exception for the creeping charlie.

And I’ll post a pic next week, but just FYI for anyone thinking of growing their own Halloween carving pumpkins: three pumpkin plants of the Jack o’Lantern variety, in a good year, will give you over a dozen nice pumpkins. Took me multiple trips with a wheelbarrow to move those pumpkins from the garden to the house, considering only three pumpkins at a time would fit in the wheelbarrow …

Enjoy the festive weekend, and good luck in NaNo!

Happy Halloween!

Write on!


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NaNoWriMo prep? #amwriting #nanowrimo

So, I’m looking at the calendar and OMG! ONE WEEK or so until NOV 1 !?

And I have done exactly ZERO prep.

Hmm. This will be my what, 16th NaNo? It’s a tool I use to relearn my “write every day” habit. Every year. I shouldn’t have to reset my writing habit, but real life and all that.

Note to self: think twice about taking another college course. My class has a group project that is taking more time than I anticipated.

Another note to self: What the heck happened to getting up at 4am? Sure, I’m not starting work now until 7:30a, but going back to getting up at 4a would give me a few hours of writing time. Or a couple hours after I get into a morning exercise routine (another note to self). Gotta get up before 5a.

On the bright side, I actually have fresh ideas to work on. Yippee! Okay, not 100% fresh because I’m using current characters rather than brand new characters, but hey, I already know them 🙂

Happy Writing!

Oh boy, here she goes again!


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Return of the Muse

My blog-writing, fantasy novelist buddy Diana Peach from Myths of the Mirror has invited her visitors to write a short story about our muses.

Heh.

I remember the last time we had a muse read-around. Man, what a blast!

I’ve finally passed 50k for NaNoWriMo–yippee! Of course, the story isn’t done yet. I’ll take a couple weeks to finish, or at least get mostly finished with it before I return to Book 2.

My Muse has been writing my posts during NaNo. Mostly. Thing is, when I hit 50k, he called Mr. E and the two of them took off on a pub crawl Down Under, because apparently bars around here are substandard.

Image by mlproject from Pixabay

A crisp breeze gusts through my writing office, sending shivers through me. The back door clicks shut. A scent of fried food, stale beer, and sweat permeates the air. My Muse toes off his deck shoes and hangs up a red windbreaker on the coat tree. He’s wearing a new pair of jeans, judging by the lack of worn seams, and a rugby jersey. Not as nice as his burgundy henley, but it does leave his forearms bare.

“That was a short crawl. Thought you and E would make a long weekend of it.”

He leans a hip on my desk, and crosses his arms on his broad chest. “He said he had to get back to Mae.”

“And you can’t find another muse to hang with? Diana has a whole convention over at her place.”

He grimaces. “The Merc and I have an understanding.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. He understands I don’t follow his orders or requests, or hell, directions to the nearest Seven-11, and I understand a lack of personal hygiene and the stench of battle are none of my business.”

“O-kay. I sense a bit of animosity there.”

He pulls up a chair and straddles it, bringing his face even with mine. Whoa. His eyes are bluer than I remember. Was that divot in his chin always so enticing? And dimples. I haven’t noticed his dimples for a month. Is it getting warm in here?

A finger-snap yanks my wandering imagination back. “Are you paying attention, love?”

Um, sure. “Would you mind repeating that last part?”

“I said, I tried to warn the Bossy Muse about that guy, but she insisted her writer needed a change of scenery.”

“Scenery?” I ask. “Seriously? I mean, I get the whole Conan the Barbarian thing for the fantasy genre, but even Schwartzenegger would be a better Conan than that brute. At least his nose wouldn’t be crooked.”

My Muse arches a brow. “Schwartzenegger? Why him?”

“I don’t know. He did the movie.”

He shakes his head. “Anyway. You’ve had a couple days off.”

“Hey, one day for enjoying crossing the finish line, and one day to deal with my migraine.”

“I’ll give you the migraine day, but you need to finish the story so you can get back to Book 2.”

I lean back in my chair. “I know. That’s the plan. I figure I’ll give myself until Christmas on this project, then hit Book 2 after Christmas, since we won’t be going anywhere for the holidays anyway. I’m sure there will be another COVID-19 surge by then.”

“Good. Get back to work, love.”

Thanks to Diana for the opportunity to join another round of muse posts!

Keep on writing!

Hey, you! Why aren’t you writing?


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Hitting the final stretch #nanowrimo #amwriting

It’s quiet in my writer’s office.

Too quiet.

Lights are on, so she must be here. I close the back door to the office and hang up my flannel jacket. From this vantage I can’t see the recliners, but I suspect she’s tucked away in one of them. I have to say, she’s been doing quite well during NaNo.

The trick will be keeping it up once November is over.

“I know you’re here.”

I lean against her desk. As I suspected, she’s sitting in one of the recliners, footrest out, laptop on her lap (go figure!). Today she’s wearing a sweatshirt with a silhouette of a dragon filled with bookshelves that makes the surprisingly accurate claim: Easily distracted by dragons and books. The rest of her wardrobe is the usual sweatpants and god-know-how-many-pairs of socks.

“I’m glad to see you working so diligently, love.”

She leans her head back. “I’ll hit my fifty thousand words, which is good. The worst part is knowing I won’t be done with the story by the end of the month.”

“When has that ever stopped you?” As soon as I said it, a handful of occasions came to mind. “Don’t answer that.”

“Normally I would just keep going until I got to the end of the story. That’s usually another couple weeks,” she says. “This year I have another book to work on. I need to turn it in by the end of March for my writing certificate.”

“Ah, but do you?” I ask, well aware why her writing teacher gave her a specific deadline. Writers like deadlines. It helps them actually finish a project. At least it helps my writer.

“Yes. I’m going to try, anyway. I told my writing teacher I could do it.”

I know she’ll make sure she has her assignment done to turn in by the end of March. She’s gone through two revisions already, so the next one should be easier in a lot of ways. Plot issues have been ironed out by now.

“What about this project, love?” I ask. “You’ve made a lot of progress. And you learned you can make a go of writing scenes without going from the beginning of the story to the end chronologically.”

“This story works well that way,” she says.

“I’m sure the technique will work for other stories.”

She doesn’t look convinced. “Maybe. It works with the dual timelines because the story isn’t told in one long pass. It switches between the past and the present. I’m not sure how that would work with other stories.”

I cross the office to sit in the other recliner. “Think about it. Besides, what is a story? It’s a series of scenes, right?”

“Yes,” she says, “but there are transitions … Which I have to write anyway no matter what technique I use.”

“Bottom line, love, do what works for you for the story. You know I’m always here to help.”

“Not just to loom and give me dirty looks?”

“Har, har.” Though I haven’t had to “loom” for the past few months. I even packed away my fedora and bullwhip. I haven’t had to go full “Indiana Jones” on her for, wow, a long time. Not that I haven’t come close. Sometimes it works for her, sometimes it doesn’t. I have a grumpy dragon I can call on to help when she gets really stubborn.

“I’m here to inspire and encourage you, love. Now, get back to work.”

She sighs, but gets back to writing.

One more week of NaNo. It’s been a good month, but I think I’m going to have to give E a call. I’ll be ready for a pub crawl when this is over. We’ll go Down Under, though. Their pubs will be open. The ones here in the States will likely be closed by then. Besides, I haven’t been home in a while. It’ll be nice break.

Keep writing!


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NaNo Week 2 –keeping up with quotas #nanowrimo #amwriting

Quotas. I suppose it keeps writers on track toward a particular word count goal, but a total word count has nothing to do with how complete a manuscript is.

“Hey, are you really putting those pictures in my post?” my writer asks from her recliner in the corner of her writing office.

Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

“Are you really going to keep writing today, love?”

“Do I get wine and chocolate if I do?”

I narrow my eyes at her. “Do you get wine and chocolate whenever you hit your daily word quota?”

“I get chocolate.”

“You get chocolate anyway because of the pandemic, right?”

“You’re such a spoil-sport. You know what would really be good incentive? The good chocolate. I mean, the really good chocolate, not just the Dove Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel chocolate. And Moon Man.”

Beer over wine? I suppose, considering she doesn’t spring for the good wine unless it’s an occasion, like her book release or three days alone with her writing. “Get to the end first, love.”

“You’re supposed to show me the prize and then tell me to go for it.”

I lean back in the desk chair. She’s got the foot-rest out on the recliner on the other side of the office, fuzzy slippers, sweatpants–not that she wears anything else while working from home, and her NaNoWriMo sweatshirt. Her hair’s gotten longer, and she substitutes herbal tea these days for coffee in the afternoon.

Cute. In a stay-at-home-while-writing kind of way.

“Admit it. I’m adorable.”

I stare at her until she raises an eyebrow and focuses on her laptop again. I won’t admit it.

Not to her, anyway. She’d bring that up as often as possible, especially when she’s struggling to write, as if it would distract me.

. . . . . . . .

Where was I? Oh, yes, my writer and NaNo. I have to admit I’m impressed with her dedication. She has been hitting the daily quota, but not her quota. Good enough, I guess, though I know she can do better. Has done better in the past.

Now, if she can finish most of the story in the next two weeks, it would be a major accomplishment.

“Geez, thanks for the vote of confidence,” she quips from across the office. “Nice to know my Muse is such a wellspring of reassurance.”

“You know I’m right, love. How many times in the past 15 years with over 15 NaNo sessions, both November and other times, have you actually gotten to the end of the story in 30 days?”

She frowns at me. “Twice. Maybe. But I usually finish two weeks after NaNo ends.”

True enough. “Back to writing, love. I’ll see what I can do about your lager.”

“Make sure you wear a mask, even if you can’t get COVID. At least don’t bring it back to me.”