Writing journey

The Curse of the Abandoned Writer’s Muse

ElsieLast time I introduced the world to Elsie, my  Dr Marten stomping fairy muse. She has been busy sharing ideas and gossip at silly o’clock in this morning. One of thoughts was what happens when a writer’s muse gets ignored. Do the ideas get flitted away to someone else more reciprocal to them, do they vanish in a puff of smoke or does the fairy responsible for them become despondent and depressed? Maybe the muse gives up and looks for attention elsewhere leading them into the criminal  shady underground world of the fairies where alcohol and drug addiction is rife. When their assigned artist/writer finally takes note their muse is battered, bruised and shared ideas are half remembered, distorted, scary and on the verge of madness or not there at all. The writer fumes he or she has writer’s block leading them to become despondent and depressed so a vicious circle commences.

November is coming and with it NanoWriMo. Old writers, new ones beginning their journey and those who have lost their way all open their minds and become enthused with the idea of getting words down on paper or screen. At the same time, muses everywhere get themselves ready.  Old ones iron out their wrinkled wings, despondent ones dust themselves off and patch themselves up as much as possible to give it one final chance while new ones nervously set off to find their creative mind to work with.

J M Barrie said you have to believe in fairies or they will die. Maybe he is right and knew something about these muse fairies. If you have an idea jot it down. If it keeps coming back, develop it into something. Keep your muse happy, believe in them, your ideas and let them flourish.

Happy Writing!

Illustration by Debra McFarlane. For inspiration for your own fairy muse visit

https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

 

#inkdrawing #writer #muse
Writing journey

Introducing Elsie, My Writer’s Muse

According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of muse is

‘A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist’

A while ago I came across a writing prompt simply titled The Muse.

In the past when I have thought of a muse I have imagined a serene, elegant lady draped in a slender 1920s dress who glided into a room inspiring an artist to sketch, draw and paint. She would be gentle and encourage the artist out of his doubts and inevitable artistic slumps. When I think of my muse, the source of my ideas, I see Elsie.

Serene, gentle and elegant, she is not and forget about encouragement. She is more likely to tell you “you will make it  rubbish anyway” than utter sympathy. As a tiny fairy she is hard to pin down. Flitting here and there, she visits and shares ideas when she chooses and no more.  Dr Marten boots are often stamped  in frustration if she thinks she is being ignored usually because it isn’t time for me to stop and write.

As a night owl, she insists on waking you up at 3am with a bagful of ideas that make your head spin. If you don’t act quickly enough or act enthused she will hold her inspiration and perfectly formed words close to her chest and fly off in a huff for days. No matter how much you beg her to return to relieve the frustration of writer’s block she refuses to come. in her eyes, writer’s cramp, illness or exhaustion are not good enough excuses to not write.

As you can tell, her temperament is extreme but luckily, her hair changes depending on her mood. You smile if she is adorning pink tresses for romance is in the air or if there are shades of rainbow, exciting things are ahead.  It is time to hide under the duvet if her hair is raven black. The ideas she will deliver will inevitably  be full of doom or sorrow.

Why do I keep her and not search for my 1920s muse? Because as bristly as she is, she is funny and has moments when her childish, fun streak peeks through but most of all, I love her and the worlds she creates in my mind.

So when she arrives: I listen, try to take notes and hope when I read them later I can understand the blurry, tired scrawl because, as you will have guessed, she will never repeat an idea or perfect paragraph twice.

I would love to hear about your muse, if you have one in the comments. How do you control them or like my Elsie, do they control you?
A special thanks to Debra McFarlane for bringing Elsie to life and encouraging me to write. If you would like to see more of Debra’s work she can be found at:

http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

And she has just launched her  page on Patreon

https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

Writing journey

A Writer’s Muse; introducing Elsie

According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of muse is

‘A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist’

A while ago I came across a writing prompt simply titled The Muse.

In the past when I have thought of a muse I have imagined a serene, elegant lady draped in a slender 1920s dress who glided into a room inspiring an artist to sketch, draw and paint. She would be gentle and encourage the artist out of his doubts and inevitable artistic slumps. When I think of my muse, the source of my ideas, I see Elsie.

Serene, gentle and elegant, she is not and forget about encouragement. She is more likely to tell you “you will make it  rubbish anyway” than utter sympathy. As a tiny fairy she is hard to pin down. Flitting here and there, she visits and shares ideas when she chooses and no more.  Dr Marten boots are often stamped  in frustration if she thinks she is being ignored usually because it isn’t time for me to stop and write.

As a night owl, she insists on waking you up at 3am with a bagful of ideas that make your head spin. If you don’t act quickly enough or act enthused she will hold her inspiration and perfectly formed words close to her chest and fly off in a huff for days. No matter how much you beg her to return to relieve the frustration of writer’s block she refuses to come. in her eyes, writer’s cramp, illness or exhaustion are not good enough excuses to not write.

As you can tell, her temperament is extreme but luckily, her hair changes depending on her mood. You smile if she is adorning pink tresses for romance is in the air or if there are shades of rainbow, exciting things are ahead.  It is time to hide under the duvet if her hair is raven black. The ideas she will deliver will inevitably  be full of doom or sorrow.

Why do I keep her and not search for my 1920s muse? Because as bristly as she is, she is funny and has moments when her childish, fun streak peeks through but most of all, I love her and the worlds she creates in my mind.

So when she arrives: I listen, try to take notes and hope when I read them later I can understand the blurry, tired scrawl because, as you will have guessed, she will never repeat an idea or perfect paragraph twice.

I would love to hear about your muse, if you have one in the comments. How do you control them or like my Elsie, do they control you?
A special thanks to Debra McFarlane for bringing Elsie to life and encouraging me to write. If you would like to see more of Debra’s work she can be found at:

http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

And she has just launched her  page on Patreon

https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

work in progress

Ellfaenian Journals: Amber’s story catch up

I haven’t managed to do much writing, apart from some entries for Amber’s journal as blogged about in Peeking in secret diaries . School has started and so has Project Nightmare.

The Ellfaenian Journals are a side project of my current work in progress which gives an insight into Amber, the main character’s life while the magical realm of Ellfaen is making itself known. It is a YA paranormal, fantasy fiction. You can catch up on her story so far here:

Panic

Same Old Hell

Project Nightmare

Project Nightmare success – ish

Endless Loop

Does the Ellfaenian Journals work as a blog? Only time and followers will tell but I am enjoying writing Amber’s thoughts. It helps place scenes in order for The Hollow and banishes the dreaded writer’s block. If I find myself glaring at an empty screen, letting Amber talk gets the imagination flowing. Any words on a page are a bonus.

Happy reading and happy writing.

work in progress, Writing journey

Addicted to words

September has brought the distinct warm light of Autumn that transforms the rural landscape from pleasant to stunning. It is one of my favourite seasons with the trees changing colour, temperature dropping slightly so snuggling up with a good book and cup of tea is even more pleasurable.

My reading pile  has expanded dramatically in the last couple of days after listening to a talk at York Library by Mark Edwards and Rachel Abbott. There is nothing quite like listening to enthusiastic authors to give you kick to finish your own story. I couldn’t resist a signed copy of one of their books as well as a jazzy pen from Mark Edwards. The flashlight on the end will be very useful while I burn the candle at both ends in the attempt to reduce my expanding TBR pile, write reviews and Amber’s tale while visiting relatives.

The problem with writing regularly is once imagination is allowed some freedom, it is a hard beast to control. I have been told not to read or use my phone (scribble notes for writing, research and  the dreaded lure of  social media ) all the time while I am away. The thought of not having a book in my hand or ability to write when needed, makes my hands tingle and heart panic. I am addicted to words. Being a bookworm was bad enough but now the joy of writing has been rediscovered, it has become harder.  Past experience says if my imagination is contained and kept into reality for too long without a release, it has an inspiration explosion. Ideas flurry, plot bunnies come out in force and sentences materialise fully formed. Not being able to get these out in a tangible form makes me angsty, fidgety and it is all consuming. I am not a good house guest. Everyone wants to socialise and I long to hibernate with my phone and its writing apps. Like a secret smoker, I make excuses to be out of the room, snatch a few minutes to jot things down but I am  inevitably caught. Judgemental tuts and the rolling of eyes always follow making me feel like a naughty school child.  Other hobbies such as knitting, sewing and crochet are seen as acceptable in company but sadly writing and reading are not. Silly thing is, I am more grounded and less likely to drift off into daydreams if my hands know I can do something about the random thoughts that pop up.* I wonder if sketching and drawing stickmen is classed as anti – social too. If there is ever a time for writer’s block to loom, it is when I am in the company of others.

My local  writing group has  begun again after its summer break so I can indulge in   two blissful, guilt free hours of writing, coffee and cake. These treasured hours keeps me sane and I may share some  ramblings and flash fiction with you soon.

*Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like this. Maybe things will change and my addiction will become more accepted if I ever become a real published writer.

 

 

work in progress, Writing journey

Peeking in secret diaries

My current WIP has been in the making since my teenage years when I was obsessed with astral projection, magic and Nightmare on Elm Street. It has evolved since the first draft written at that time. I hope so, since the ending to that one involved a visit to McDonalds. It is a YA fantasy/supernatural story with some reality thrown in following 15 year old Amber as she is trapped in the world of Ellfaen with only her alcoholic father to help.

It has always been my plan to release Amber’s diary online to accompany my novel The Hollow * as a sneak in to the world of Ellfaen. Her story begins at the beginning of the school year so it was only appropriate (or complete madness)to release  it now. If you want be nosy and sneak a look into her private diary you can find them here.

Her first entry is The Diary of Nobody followed by Sweat and Fear; they are back

Amber comes from a female line of journal writers so other journals maybe opened in the future.

The journals are a WIP which I hope will become something readable for my readers to enjoy so any suggestions or comments please let me know.

Have a good week!

*this is a working title and will probably change.

Writing journey

It is all about dragons – again!

This week I have been researching dragons – not the scaly, fire breathing ones Amber would prefer but Dragon voice recognition. I have had it on my laptop since 2009 when I hoped it would help with an OU course. It didn’t. After several frustrating hours of swearing, misspelt words and bizarre interpretation of my speech I declared my adventure into voice recognition a failure.  The program lay unused, gathering dust in an unused folder on my desktop until this week.
My laptop is a dinosaur. It protests loudly at being woken up and  groans when in use so despite defragging and dejunking it,  this will have an effect on dragon performance so please don’t take this as a review. I am no techie. The version I have is also only v11 and there are newer, updated versions available.
I set up my profile as instructed and completed the test. Reading text out loud was hard work as I had memories of being a nervous  school kid, scared of being  pointed at. After watching  a helpful podcast I read some of my own work to begin with. This worked better than expected but long delay of seeing words form on the screen was  frustrating . I struggled to  speak freely as I stared at the flashing cursor. Maybe in time and as I  gain confidence in its performance,  I will be able to close eyes and ignore the lag.
As a test text I used  the blurb of one of my new favourite books The Path Keeper*.
Results of the blurb of The Path Keeper was:
The first in a thrilling new wife a fantasy series by NJ Simmonds, the pack keypad is the town of first loves and second chances, and the invisible thread that binders.
What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
LO hates a new life in London. She misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets that stop he was always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ellis story. Not this time. Not ever. Little did she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer make sense? The world more dangerous than she could ever imagine stop
This version of Dragon definitely needs time spent on its training to deal with my accent and  voice.
I downloaded  Dragon Anywhere on my Android phone. The results were:

The first in a thrilling new why a fantasy series by NJ Simmons, the past keeper is a tale of first love and second chances, and invisible threads that bind us.

What if every coincidence with tiny miracle? What if I life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?

Ella hates her new life in London. She misses Spain and she is struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of valour story. Not this time.

Not ever. Little did she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that is no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Now I was impressed. No training  was required for this and straight off, it had a high accuracy and no lag. I could just speak when I overcame my shyness and it felt more natural.  In a press of a couple of buttons, I was able to successfully download the blurb to Evernote (my lifesaver and main writing tool). I am in love with this app but it has  one major stumbling block – the price. As a penniless, would be writer £9.99 a month subscription  is out of my league. It has given me confidence in the Nuance products  and if newer versions of Dragon for PCs works just as well I will be saving up for an upgrade and a new laptop.  I have found a backup for failing hand –  Dragon

20170807_073137

*Original blurb of The Path Keeper.

What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?