Posts Tagged ‘muse’

So I’ve been a nail biter for the majority of my life.habitnails

I’ve managed to not bite my nail for some extended periods of time but usually end up finger in mouth again. Right now, I have once more but aside this habit. I am maintaining my nails with clippers and file, and keeping the skin around them, smooth and tended to. I hope to make this the norm for the rest of my life – because… it’s a bad habit.habitno

I used to smoke. Started late, at eighteen – no really, for most people that is late. Smoked for years, tried to quit but failed, failed, failed. I tried quitting because it was too expensive (back when it was a whole 6.50 a pack) – fail. I tried quitting because it was unhealthy – fail. I tried quitting because my brother-in-law had children…and succeeded. I didn’t want to be the uncle that smoked. However, I won’t lie – there was no way I would have stayed clean if it wasn’t for vaping (e-cig). Not smoking is good, because we all know (despite how much we may love it while we do it) that it is a bad habit, in so many ways.habitsmoke

Bad habits, the above. Worthy of the time and effort to quit.

Some people say not writing everyday is a bad habit.projectblank

There is a school of thought that says ‘Get so many words down a day. Even if they are rubbish, write them’. Is that a good habit…or is it personal style? I can’t produce words if my Muse is not whispering them to me. I am not the source of my stories. I can’t come up with much beyond, what if my protagonist didn’t like the colour orange?habit orange

But, when my Muse starts to caress my brain… Oh wow! The words form a miraculous torrent of imagery that spins down from my mind and out through  my fingers.habit magic

So what exactly does writing ‘It had been a bad day for Bob. He didn’t like the day he had had. Tomorrow Bob hoped would be more fun.’ or its equivalent, everyday, when ‘m not inspired? Especially when, if I wait, I can get. ‘It felt as though he walked down a giant dogs mouth. Robert’s cloths clung to him and the world reeked of garbage. This summer day might have looked idyllic from behind cool glass, but for those forced to live it, as he was, it was hell. Tomorrow, he reminded himself, it would all change tomorrow.”

Seems a straightforward answer there, right?

But… it has been months since I really wrote anything. In fact, that was probably the most I’ve writing that wasn’t in this blog for over a month. Would forcing myself to write sh*te drive my Muse so insane, she comes running to plug up the drivel and get real words on the page?habit muse

I used to write at night. Sit down at the computer around eleven, and go until a bit after one. But I was sleeping in until ten-thirty and my wife got up to deal with the menagerie of livestock at five-thirty, six. So we saw little of each other – she would stop doing whatever she was doing, just to join me for what was, my morning coffee. Eventually, I decided she needed to start waking me at nine, to mesh our lives a little closer. Now I don’t write at night, but I usually can get a good bit done in the morning – if I’m writing.

Staying up late and sleeping in – bad habit or personal style?habitnight

I don’t believe there is One Right Way or The Golden Approach to writing – or life. I do believe there are bad habits. I guess the trick is to truly examine yourself and daily routines and decide which is which.

I’ve been wanting to write.
I’ve been getting glimpses – tiny flashes of scenes.writerwishing
I’ve yet to be able to just sit and write.

writer&MuseLast night however, just as I was getting ready to go up to my bed, my Muse gave me a full scene. It was an important scene . It was there with colour, meaning, sounds, and emotion. I knew I had to capture the barest of it’s essence on the page. I hastily scrambled to my computer, opened a new page on the processor and jabbed the keys. I caught it, just enough, from the words written I should be able to spin a full scene from it and make it rich and poignant.
Sounds great, right?

Yeah… it was a scene from the very last White Dragon Black novel. It was a scene in bloody book eleven!

Yes – sorry – but there are only going to be a maximum of eleven novels in the series. You now know my secret, my hidden agenda. I had just started the sixth novel when my Muse decided a long vacation, with her sisters, to the mediterranean, was a good idea. musesMonths now – high and dry. And the one scene she slams so hard into my skull my ears were ringing? The eleventh damn book.


And people wonder why we authors drink so damn much!

writer -think we do

rejection-letterThese past few days I’ve been getting strong signals from my Muse. I have a short story set in my White Dragon Black world that is a good 60% there, which has a strong actual ‘detective’ feel to it. I’ve been hoping for another of those as I’m longing to to submit to the ‘The Strand Magazine’. They are a long running detective magazine that says they take paranormal. I don’t know if I’d get in, but it would be nice to write something that has a firm enough detective vibe to submit. I’m not the sort to wilt under rejection; better a rejection from such a long standing magazine than a ‘never know’.

zombie-house1I am also getting more of the zombie novel I started, and I think it might have to come out of my skull before any further WDB novels do. I even have something I never had before – meat for the ending. There is a travel component to the tale… an almost quest like story of getting to a house. I never knew why before. I knew it was the protagonists parents house, I even knew they had died a bit before the outbreak but I never knew just why my protagonist wanted to go there. They would have to pass a lot of other places that would, in truth, be just as good, or maybe better, than this house he was gunning for. Just the other day, as I was driving (when many a revelation or inspiration hits), my Muse showed me the why. I got the moment in my soul, saw the scene, and understood. It isn’t really surprising to me. I knew that, dotted throughout the story, had to be snippets of his old life, memories and the like. But now I understand, and I love it. It is both sentimental and twisted. It makes you call into question all that happens during the trip, and yet… and yet, if I write it just so, it will touch the heart.

Writers-BlockBoth of these sound pretty good, right? Two projects to delve into – and I can, in fact, write a short while writing a novel. I should already have aching finger tips, and an extra numb ass!  So why don’t I? Because my brain is dumb!

I’m rearing to go, got the material, got the connection to my muse, and yet… when I open the screen to write, my brain freezes up, pulls in on itself, and stubbornly shakes it’s head.
Stupid brain.

I’m not sure if I should be gentle and slowly try to ease it towards letting words trickle out, hoping the trickle becomes a flood, or if I should bludgeon it with a sledgehammer until it cracks and gets swept aside under the sudden deluge of creativity.

I just have to hope my Muse is patient with me, and understands that it is my fault I’m not writing.

crazy headSo with my fall/winter cycle of ‘crazy’ ramping up I am faced with dealing  with many issues. It is a stressful time just dealing with my own head and the supposition of what might come tomorrow. This is my longest cycle of three; The first happens around end of January and goes for roughly 2 months, the next is in July and lasts around 3 weeks – but it comes on fast and hard, the last is the longest – starting sometime in October and going until -luckily- just a bit before Christmas. The severity of this one can vary wildly – from long but ‘Not too noticeable’ to ‘Shit, I have to carve my own brains out to stop this!’ Not knowing which it will be doesn’t help the aggravation of dealing with it.


crazy redSo among the above stated issues, the bad things about my cycle is a lack of control on my emotion. Now when I say emotion, I mean the base emotion that always throbs inside me, not the other myriad of emotions I’ve slowly taught myself to understand and get a good glimpse of how they might feel. No I’m talking about the ones that have always existed; anger, frustration, and anger. You’re right that is only one because frustration really is nothing but a mutated form of anger. When my cycle is in full swing, the irrational and illogical anger comes boiling up to the surface. The medication helps – boy howdy does it help – but it isn’t enough always to contain it during a cycle. So I am all too often in a state of clenched teeth, and have to be hyper aware of my reactions. When I’m alone at home, it isn’t too bad because my wife knows my snapping at her has nothing to do with her. When I’m out, in public… well let’s just say I often step outside to get a few slow deep breaths of fresh air.

crazy distractI also have focus issues, It is hard to remember what I was doing or why. I get lost in a flood of racing frothing thoughts. My mind is bombarded with too much input, noise, ‘voices’, song snippets, images, idea’s, worries, and memories. I get tired faster and mentally worn down because of this constant torrent. When it’s bad – I need to block it all out and I simply sit down in front of the TV and watch … whatever! As long as it has moving lights and sound, it can block out the cacophony inside my skull and that is a good thing.crazy reality

There is a good thing among all this negative – my Muse can use this open current to feed me. Among the flood of other crap, I get story. There are images from the next novel, there are words in the mess that make sense, and, through the deluge, there is a world flashing by in pieces.
This is a refuge, this is an escape… literally islands I can dwell upon as the waves crash against the rocks. Although it is difficult to focus, if I can grab a bit of the written world, I can submerse myself in it, block out all other noise and matter, and find relief in the story channeling through me.

crazy-playcrazy notThis has begun – and not a moment too soon. It has been a long time, far too long, since I have written. I relish the idea of living in a different world right now. For all too often no matter how dark and chaotic that ‘make believe’ world is, it is still better than what my own mind is creating for me.


My life has become… busy. Oddly, delightfully, busy.

With my lady and I returning to the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), parts of my life that were ‘shut down’ and no longer used are back in operation – full tilt. There are many skills, and desire to learn more skills, that lay dormant in me when I wasn’t in the SCA. That was because there was no reason, or form, for the skills to be channelled through. That is now flooded forward as the SCA gave me opportunity and reason to reuse them.

Mean while, I also have started the edits for the next White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings & Spines’, with my editor, McKenna Gardner, from Xchyler Publishing. They are not going fast right now, due to ‘life’ on both our sides of the process. However, I am in that phase which means, an actual publication is not too distant. We have the cover art all done, and Luke Spooner at Carrion House has once more created the right look, and atmosphere, with his art.

Bindings and Spines1

I have recently taught myself how to do repousse and chasing. I’ve in no way mastered it but I’ve had enough success and fun doing it, I will certainly continue to improve and utilize that skill.

Tongue brooch pair

I’ve just challenged myself, in court, before Her Majesty, to carve a rosary from bone and tagua nut or ‘vegetable ivory’ in a year (or less). I’ve worked with bone in the past but using a Dremel tool – so doing it by hand will be a big learning curve for me.
I’ve also bought some Amber to play with and find it a very interesting material to work with, much like soapstone but… well, not. It does smell rather nice as you gently file away the unwanted parts, though.

As for writing, there hasn’t been too much of that. However, as I suspected might happen, now that the weather is turning cooler, and I’m immersing myself in the Jonathan Alvey’s world with edits, the snippets and short scenes are returning to my head. I don’t know if it’s my Muse finally being able to to get into my distracted brain, or if it’s that she didn’t decide I should be allowed new words until now. Either way, it will be nice to create things with words again.

I actually have a strong leaning to get back to a zombie novel I started, long ago.


I still like the premiss of it and the world it resides in, so I might just allow a hiatus from the WDG world and see about writing it. Or maybe my Muse will feel I’m not doing enough and get me working on both worlds at the same time.
The style and emotional input would be drastically different than I have written in a while, perhaps that would be a good thing. Changing your thinking every so often, keeps the regular day, in day –  day out, fresher and more interesting.

With my rejoining the SCA, its associated new projects, and ‘jobs’ to do, I fell out of my habit and routine here on social media. I managed to get my Twitter habit back and now I’m attempting to implement my blogging again as well. Maybe I’ll can get back to sharing updates… now in a wide range of interests.