Sunday, August 22, 2010


If you're "waiting on the Muse to strike" you're not going to get much writing done. Inspiration happens in a flash then it's all hard work from there.

You sit your butt in the chair and write a little bit every day. The words accumulate, the story appears and the editing makes it all pretty.  A Greek Goddess does not swoop down into your office and using a peacock feather hand write your novel in lovely flowing script.  The best you can hope for is that she will whisper in your ear as she occasionally breezes through your life.

While I've never had writer's block (thank the Goddess) I have experienced burnout.  Too many things going on, too many deadlines and not enough real life experiences that are vital to a rich writing life.  I've taken a break or two, once a project is completed, to recharge.  The longer I take to get back to the desk, the longer it takes to want to go back to a desk. I've learned to take a notebook and pencil out into the garden, carry one in my purse and utilize the voice recorder feature on my cell phone for those times when I'm driving and inspiration strikes. 

There are other times when Real Life is so demanding that the writing suffers.  It is physically impossible to make a day any longer than 24 hours.  Choices must be made, and as writing doesn't currently pay my bills, it's going to have to take the infrequent back seat. 

When that happens, I feel guilty as hell. Like I'm playing hooky from grade school, or smoking out back with the other 12 year olds.  It's a knee jerk reaction that has to stop.  Those breaks from writing are necessary.  I need to renew my enthusiasm or gather more information, or address other concerns in my life.

I'll get back to the desk. Sooner rather than later because I've built up a good backlog of story ideas, filled several files with research, and created a strong writing routine that is dependent upon discipline, deadlines and chocolate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I have so many thoughts juggling in my head right now it's like living inside the bingo machine on Thursday afternoons at the Senior Center. 

I'm dreaming about the assignment that's due tomorrow for the adult collection course for the library certificate. Once that's done, I have to make a reading map for the other course.

The pond has a critical leak and needs to be taken apart and repaired.

Bathroom plumbing needs to be addressed. It's something that can be done casually and over a beer but still it's run on too long.

It's mid-August and Christmas presents need to be started.

Most of the feedback is waiting for me to implement it in Heal, Casey.  There's a small window between these courses and the next in which I can finish that up and get it out. It's not going to get published from my desk.

Was it only last week that I was sitting beneath Nea's tree beside the falls and showing off Alex's haunts to some good friends?  That was a fantastic day and really helped bring Hell to Pay back to the forefront of my mind. I tossed the revisions in a drawer months ago and never looked back.

How does that happen?  See the above list. That's not the half of what needs to be done.  How do some people do it all? I need to clone myself or find a second job so I can hire out the household stuff.

In the meantime, I'll do what I can, make notes of the random thoughts that might make good stories down the road and get back to it.

Just so you know it's not all drudgery and stress, this is one of the bingo balls.  Sorry for borrowing your Richard, Miss Merry but MI5 is one of my latest obsessions.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Time Travel

I was too exhausted yesterday from all of my time traveling to put up a post when I got home last night.

It started within ten minutes of waking up when my nephew called and asked for a ride home from the campground 40 minutes from my house. I finished my breakfast, grabbed a towel, and headed out. First I drove through the little community that took me back six years when my friend and I would walk through Bubblegum Alley (so named after the colourfully decorated shops) and then down to the beach where we observed Mars one dark star-laden night.

Just a tad further down the road and it was more than 20 years ago where my boyfriend used to ride the wooden roller coaster that shot out over the lake. We'd go listen to bands in the crystal palace and I cried when they tore it down

I barely recovered from that trip when I went back two years earlier when my friend and I, with barely two nickels to rub together between us, would pile in the car and drive to the beach.  Singing our lungs out to Bela Lugosi's Dead, (not exactly easy to do), Strange Animall and Somebody . I dove into the Quarry and lost my $300 prescription sunglasses on the second day of owning them.  No matter how often we went back, or how deep the guys dove, no one ever found them but somewhere I still have a great sketch of a red fish wearing pink glasses.

I picked the nephew up and asked him if he'd found my sunglasses all of these years later. The story only amuses him because it didn't happen to him.  From there we drove twenty minutes towards the river and memories that are only 15 years old.

My apartment was so hot in the summer that I'd pack up a lunch,some water, fruit, the dog and my manuscript. We'd park ourselves along the river for the day. I'd attach the dog's chain to the cable that stuck out of the concrete slab at the water's edge. She'd bite the waves while I wrote. Sadly, both the dog and manuscript are long gone.

No more time traveling until after I dropped off the nephew and headed to my friend's further down the river.  Despite the fact that I drive by the house repeatedly throughout the year, as I came up to my great-grandfather's house, I turned into a seven year old child - playing tiddlywinks on the dining room carpet and sucking on a butterscotch candy. The musty smell of the attic invaded my noses as we trudged up into the echoing cavern.  We left with an old hatbox that to this day contains manuscripts.

As I drove into the village, time spun away from me. I could picture Grandpa arguing with the Parks employee who was appropriating Grandpa's land. Even though I wasn't even born for any of that,  I could hear his firm voice and quiet chuckle when he won that battle and kept his land. Wily old fox.

I drove down into the village past the old general store, past the printer's and the barn where Sir Isaac Brock died.  Surrounded by modern conveniences and antiques in my friend's historic home, the past and present merged to give me a headache.  Her husband pulled out some treasures he'd recently discovered while metal detecting; buttons, pins and clasps. I marveled at a teacup designed to keep a man's moustache dry. Then time swirled around as I read the document legalizing a Mr. Owen's indenture to a Mr. Lloyd.  Written on sheepskin and dated 25, June, 1812, it was in mint condition. 

The mind is an interesting thing; the way it works. Because there were times during the day when those memories were stronger than my awareness of my current surroundings.  I suppose that's part of what makes good writers; their ability to blur the line between imagination and reality - when characters come alive before your eyes; their thoughts and feelings as real as your own. 

Time traveling wasn't on my agenda for yesterday but it was interesting. Even if I have some 80's song lyrics stuck in my head -and absolutely no idea the name of the song or artist. then we danced/shared a little romance/then we ??? You see the pitfalls.

Thanks to Me, I found this video for another 80's classic And we Danced