Tag Archives: Muses

A Perfect Blue

Yup, it’s another What’s Playing Wednesday and this week I get to share one of my favorite musicians with y’all as well as keep with January’s blue theme.

I’ve been a fan of Maynard James Keenan for damn near twenty years. From the first moment I heard “Sober”, I was hooked. I listened to Undertow my entire senior year, bought Opiate, H., Aenema, Lateralus, and 10,000 Days without ever hearing a song from the albums. When he came out with a side project called A Perfect Circle, I knew I’d adore it. Yes, I bought all of those albums, too.

Then Thirteen Step came out and I was in love. Each song is perfection (in my mind). I have so many favorites from that album, it’d be impossible for me to pick just one, but today’s song just so happens to be from Thirteenth Step. Every time I hear “Blue” I pick up somethinig new from the song, whether it’s lyrical, instrumental, or sybmolical.

It’s also a great song for inspiring dark scenes. Hint, hint, it might be part of the writing workshop I’m giving in March in New Orleans.

So I hope you enjoy “Blue”. I couldn’t find a video I liked of this song, so went with an album cover (which is still pretty cool). Just sit back, close your eyes, and listen.

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Plowing Ahead

Yesterday I opened a giveaway for my 500th blog post. I’m leaving the comments open until Wednesday evening and I’ll announce a winner on Thursday. If you haven’t commented yet, stop by to ogle the top 10 nummy men from my Fantasy Men Fridays!

Blog post 501 just doesn’t have the same ring as 500th, does it?

Anyway, I waffled all night and all morning trying to come up with a topic for today. I was going to blog about pain and donating blood, but I’ve settled on a writing topic. Why? Because a few weeks ago I hit a major road block in my writing.

I’m currently working on two WIPs. One is the second book in my Olympus, Inc. series and the other is a Christmas novella I was inspired to write by a random comment on Facebook. Neither of them were going well. It got to the point where I hated the heroine of my novella and I had no idea what my characters were doing in my Olympus book.

Now? I still don’t know what my characters are doing in the Olympus book, but after slashing 14,000 words from my novella, I’ve finally figured out where the story is going. And I like my heroine again. In three days, I wrote 10,000 words to bring the novella back up to the word count it was at before I went all Jack the Ripper on it.

Some authors will say never throw away your words because you never know when you can use them. Normally, I’d agree. I have about twenty different versions of my Olympus book, but with the novella, that wasn’t an  option. It’s hard to write a story when you dislike your heroine. Why did I dislike her so much? She was weak and wimpy. I blame my inability to write these kinds of heroines on Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. It’s their fault I can’t write helpless heroines. I have no problem making the hero slightly weak (or vulnerable if you rather), but the heroine has to be strong. And cutting that weakness from the story was necessary. It was a risky killing, but it was needed to give the story life again.

Writing for me is like gambling. Sometimes you’re on a hot streak and can’t be stopped, like when I wrote the first Olympus book. 80,000+ words in 28 days. Yeah, I was feeling the fire and it was good. Other times, you can’t win to save your life. You keep borrowing money to play because you know the next scene is going to be better and the next thing you know, your muse has married an Elvis impersonator and left you alone with three very big men who want to twist you like a pretzel (in a bad way).

Then there are times like what I’m facing with this novella. You have to cut your losses while you’re ahead and retreat back to your farm. You ignore the frantic calls from your muse who insists she’s getting a divorce and is never drinking Mind Erasers again. You ignore the temptation of the finish-it-quick plot angle and you plow ahead. This is your book; you can make it do anything it wants and if your characters protest, you slap them in the back of the head and tell them to get with the mf’ing program. You have to be stern with them sometimes.

That’s what I’ve had to do and I don’t really care if my characters keep blushing and stuttering because they’re uncomfortable with what I’m doing to them. It’s for their own good after all. They’re going to  live happily ever after while I have to go and wrangle more stubborn characters. Just as soon as my muse files the restraining order against Elvis and gets out of rehab.


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An Epiphany

I’ve been working on the manuscript I started for NaNo, trying to get it to my word count goal of 92,000 words. It hasn’t been going well. Oh, I wrote some really awesome dark scenes (I’m writing this in a cast since I broke my arm patting myself on the back), but the points between the dark scenes and love scenes are falling flat.

The latest chapter is the point when the hero discovers that the heroine is an assassin who was sent to kill him. That was a powerful scene. He was so pissed! I was really into that scene. I mean, I wrote it with the thought that this is how I’d react if someone was sent to kill me and slept with me instead.

The next chapter is where I’m having the problem. Well, before my epiphany. See, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get her to leave his home without making it overly dramatic. She has to suffer for her lies and for failing in her assignment. I was going to have her go home, mope a bit, write a confession, and send it to the good guys before she was caught by her ‘handler’. Then I was like…wait a minute that isn’t going to work.

So there I was, brushing my teeth this morning and it came to me. Bloody hell. I’m so dense sometimes! She isn’t going to actually leave! She’s now responsible for his safety. She has to remain around to keep him safe without him knowing she’s there. She can do this because she’s the bomb (or rather because she’s a shadow fairy who can disappear into the smallest shadow). Duh!

I’m so frustrated because I should’ve written this scene earlier this week instead of agonizing over how I was going to get to this point. I even pulled out my plot outline to see ‘yes, I am following the plot, but why does this suck?’ Nothing helped. It wasn’t writer’s block though, so much as scene block. My brain wasn’t clicking to the next logical step.  So thank goodness for my weird muse finding me while I brush my teeth!

Has this happened to you? Where you’re following your carefully outlined plot and discovered you were stuck? If you’re a pantster, have you found yourself thinking ‘um, and now what?’

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