Tag Archives: muse

DFF: Friendly Neighborhood Muse

I thought I would shoot for another piece in the muse set… I am not fully happy with this one as of yet, but… it is a start.

Today’s Prompt:  Mr Roger’s   – new neighbors  –  Muse Series

Today’s Story:

Friendly Neighborhood Muse

Why doesn’t anything ever happen here? I mean… there is just nothing to inspire me.  Same things happening, day after day. Same hum drum routine. Hearing the sound of a door opening and closing, I spin, but there is no one at my door. What is going on?

“Well hello there.  I can’t help but feel like maybe you are taking for granted all the relationships passing you by.” A friendly voice says from my couch.

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Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

Looking to my couch I am taken aback… what in the world, why… no, how in the world is Mr Roger’s sitting on my sofa! There is something eerie about his presence.  Why would a childhood tv entity be in my house talking to me?

“I am here because you are failing to realize how much inspiration is all around you!” He says, a smile on his face.  “Take for instance your neighbors. You have a few… the ones to the North, you are always griping about. How they are doing crazy things like shooting some kind of guns, and selling drugs, or at least, that is what must be going on with all the comings and goings, and then there is the garbage and random people who seem to just camp out in the back yard.  How is that not inspiration for a story? It must be worthy of some snippets I am sure!  There there was the time the garbage guy came flying down the alley, the wrong way, stopping there, for just a moment before running off again, and it wasn’t even garbage day!  Or what about the guy to the East… the one with the revolving vehicles? He has more vehicles than one can keep up with, and somehow he uses them all on a daily basis. Maybe renting them out… who knows the possibilities are endless.  Look around you, at the every day… at the day to day things that you are taking for granted and you will see. Inspiration awaits everywhere.”

As he finished speaking he was fading away like he was never there.

“Wait…” I can’t think of anything… it was all too surreal.

“Remember… won’t you be… my neighbor?” his words fading away a whisper of a sound.  It was as if he was never there.

Shaking my head I look back at my screen and the words that flowed out.  Well… I’ll be. Seems I may have a friendly neighborhood muse after all. I think, as I take the time to start reading.

Well, I know, it is maybe not as funny as my first couple muse pieces, but it is a start!  What about you? What kind of muse do you see Mr Roger’s being?  Please share in the comments!  And, if you like what you find, I am published and you can find my work in the anthologies MN Emerging Writers and the National Edition!

Letters of Questioning: Fickle Muse Will Return

So much to discus and inspire! Deep thoughts to be had or admired.  Here is the next installment of Letters of Questioning, my response to Dreamland’s Insurgents.

Dreamland’s Insurgents long live the Dream!,

I must say, I almost have to pity you, if you are finding my writing to be the highlight of humor in your reading list.  That said, I am ever so glad my twists and turns have delighted you.  My newer works, while still having that flair for the dramatic, and the twists you are coming to expect from me, seem to have a deeper undercurrent. I was even asked, after one such piece, if I needed a hug, seeing as its content was just a tish past twisted.

Speaking of punctuation, I must admit that many often criticize me in that regard. I am just a little too fond of… ellipses.  And maybe, just maybe, I like to add all the commas, even when they are not so necessary… Oi, and there I go, with a few to many of both.  But what are your thoughts? Punctuation is, I believe, one of the most undervalued tools in our tool belts as writers, and one that I think all too often, is overlooked.  Add to that, the right play on POV and I think they work flawlessly to really affect the readers’ emotional climate. So many stories are just written in some form of third person, and almost always have been through the fiction I have read, and yet, the writer has such power just by changing the POV.  Sprinkle in the right punctuation and you have a powerful duo!

As far as answering your questions about my fickle muses… Well, one never knows when or even where they might pop up!  And don’t even get me started on who they might be! Rest assured, however, you can be sure they will make more appearances. Just don’t count on them to be who you want, when you want, or where you want, because those bastards obviously have a mind of their own, and they are just powerful enough that I have no say in the matter. (But if you find some way to harness those guys, please, please, please let me know!)

“Shadow’s Savior” ahhhh that was a powerful piece. I find more and more, if you look deep in my writing, you will find there is a lot at work on those planes that I often don’t even realize.  Too often we are left cold, shaken, and alone, wondering what has happened to us, to our shadows, to the lives we meant to live.  I think I truly believe you are correct, that the struggle itself is the inspiration, or that “Bob Ross” look alike wouldn’t have been harvesting the writers’ tears!

Ultimately I can’t say that my own experiences with my muse are what inspired them, but I also can’t deny that my fickle muses are not exactly those tales, so take from that what you will! At the end of the day, all we can do is be a conduit to the life that haunts us, and the stories we are bound to tell.

 

As always I await your response,

Ravyn

 

As always, we love to hear from you! Our marvelous community! Would you like to be a part of the letters?  Hit us up!  Do you too have questions that are just burning to be answered?  Drop them in the comments below and they will make their way into our letters!

Letters Of Questioning: Dreamland’s Muse

Hey all, it is that time once again for another installment of Letters of Questioning!  This week we have a guest post coming at you from Dreamland’s Insurgents.

Greetings, dear friend Ravyn,

I have watched your last bout of writing with great interest – and amusement! The muse stories with the “Bob Ross lookalike” and Richard Simmons have got to be some of the funniest stories I’ve read in a looong time.

When “Tears for My Muse” opens, I was bracing myself for a serious story full of sorrows. The moping, tragic artist as bedraggled hero. But juxtapose that with Eilack, the heartless painter who stores up the artist’s tears and serves them back to him later – damn. I felt like that drama queen got his comeuppance!

“The Pioneer” is even funnier. This is one of those times where your commitment to just the right punctuation pays off. The protagonist’s discomfort is awesome … and definitely shared. Using the second person here pays off really well. I have to put myself in the body – the corpulent body – of another person, and the cognitive dissonance just haunts the whole thing. So the humor – which is always sort of a release valve for feeling uncomfortable – is just in constant tension because of the leap my imagination has to make!

Finally, I want to talk about “Shadow’s Savior.” As a working-class scholar, I found this one the most stimulating on that level. “Factory work was all that was available to me,” the narrator begins. It quickly unfolds that the material processed in this factory is unusual – and the narrator, too, must be unusual to be any good at it. And yet the setting of a factory conjures up so much more. This isn’t a workshop where a skilled artisan owns his own means of producing artisanal or custom products. He’s alienated from his labor – and what’s more, we find out, the raw materials he’s working on are stolen from someone else. Stolen shadows: an intimate theft.

It’s capitalism, all the way down!

You asked in your last letter, “What is it that inspires the uninspired and the tired?” I think sometimes, the struggle itself has to be the inspiration. That eternal fight – which lasts only as long as we do, of course, but precedes us and gets handed down to others. We have to save the shadows. Find the folks who have less than us, realize our relationship – that our lives and theirs depend on one another. And see through the illusion. Isn’t a factory a good metaphor for illusion? The raw material comes in without history or explanation. You do your job. The finished product leaves. You can’t even afford to keep a piece. The wool is pulled over your eyes the whole time.

I want to know more about your muse stories, though. These have the making of a really fun series! How many are you going to have? Are they related? And how have your own experiences with your fickle muse inspired these stories?

Well, I think that’s all the time I have for today. But don’t worry, I will have more questions for you soon!

Viva the resistance!

-Dreamland’s Insurgents

There you have it folks. Another round of inspiring thoughts, or thoughts to inspire, or question, or… well… something! What are YOUR burning questions, we implore you, please by all means, ask us!  We love to hear from you, our rabid fans, or is that rabbit fans? Who knows, but I do know that we love to hear your thoughts, so please express them in the comments!

Inspiration Struck

Alright, so I totally had a different topic planned for today, but I wanted to share with you this bit of inspiration I had the other day.  You see, I have been really busy! Like… gone every day for a month now, busy.  So with that has been a lot of time spent in the car driving, which of course gives one too much time to think.  I had this major apostrophe!

So here it is, I write songs every once in a while and I had been thinking, how cool would it be to make a soundtrack for Mo Thuras, right?  Well… then after I am home I hop in the shower, why does the best ideas always happen in the shower where we can’t write them down?!?, and had this amazing tune, and the chorus to Melody’s life story pop in my head!

So, just to share with you, here is a little bit of the song that I created Sunday night.

Don’t forget to tell me what you think!  How about you? Do you ever dabble in other mediums?  Do you have creative ideas to go along with your writing?  Would you be interested if your favorite books had soundtracks of music written just for them?

Finding Inspiration: New Writing Tools

fountainpenopenSo I am finally finding my inner inspiration once more. Working hard on writing, and pursuing my dreams. That said, something that always inspires me is new writing tools! I mean, who doesn’t love a new notebook or pen!  Recently I tried a fountain pen for the first time ever and I have to say, I am in LOVE!  They are amazing… (when they work right) and nothing flows over the page as smoothly!  I received this little beauty from a great writerly friend, who is one of my best friends!

fountainpenwithgearOh, abut that little side note, yes I am having a bit of trouble with my beautiful new pen, but in part I think it comes from not knowing a thing about them!  So I will be doing some research into fountain pens in the very near future.  I did a little digging today and learned that the tips are just suppose to get better with time, and they “learn” your writing style, so you should never borrow out your fountain pen!

Also, because it is too beautiful not to share, here is an amazing dip pen I had received from my wife!

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What inspires you? Do you love new writing tools? What about fountain pens, have you ever tried them?  What do you really enjoy?

A Bit Late

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Well, this update is coming a bit late, but I struggled ALL day with my word count.  Could not get anything out.  For the first time ever I have a complete outline (that I did in just a couple of days) and I even know the plot before writing the story!  These are big things for me!  But what I am finding is… I have not been able to write.  I don’t know if the characters are just that shy that they are not really speaking through me, or if I am stuck thinking about my outline.  All I know is I was well and truly stuck! managing only 36 whole words before 10 pm tonight!

courtesy of Google
courtesy of Google

Well, all of that has changed thanks to one of my wonderful writerly friends!!!  Her suggestion… well let me warn you it was totally off the wall crazy! (So crazy it just might work!) *falls over giggling*

Anyway, the idea was this:  Write the exact opposite of your outline.  Instead of people coming in killing, have a group of good guys coming in and giving hugs, and instead of keeping the main character alive, maybe they accidentally kill her off.  Now I don’t know what is exactly is going to happen from all of this nonsense, but let me tell ya, in 15 minutes I had managed over 750 words!  And it was fun, and I know for a fact I even managed to learn several details about my story!

That said, never be afraid to play with your work!  It doesn’t matter if it is just going to be tossed.  Even taking fifteen minutes to be silly, you never know what you will get.  Hey! I am even thinking the whole tone of my story might change from this!  The serious piece I was starting to write, just might change to a satire piece, or just something light and fluffy!  You never know where the writing trails may lead!  One of the best things about NaNo!

 

How about you?  Are you managing to get your word count?  Or are you stuck like I was?  If so, take my friends advice!  Even take one scene and write it the opposite of what you have, who knows where it might take you!  If you do I would love to hear from you!  Either way, let me know how the writing is going!

WIP Update 4-2: So close I can taste it

So, I am so close to finishing Mo Thuras I can taste it.  I want to say the Outline/draft is finished, but that would be “cheating” even for me. *grins* So in the meantime I read a fun idea over on Legends of Windemere, and thought I would enjoy something similar.  So, here is another sneak peak inside the workings of Mo Thuras.  Enjoy.

600_fantasy-woman-017Melody’s Top Five Countdown

  1. To find out her past
  2. To figure out who she is
  3. Exploring the galaxy
  4. Create her own family
  5. Learn her culture

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Kyi’s Top Five

  1. To be free
  2. Find his heartmate
  3. To live  happily
  4. Make a new home
  5. Find a place he belongs

To have a sneak peak into some more of my inspiration for my story, here is the current pinterest board I am using! That gets updated as I find different ideas fitting for my story.

 

 

What about you? What do you use as you write to “see” your characters/places/things? Do you utilize Pinterest in your writing? Do you print and create a “storyboard”? What motivates your characters most?

WIP Updates 4-1

Well, in keeping with my goals this week, and realizing how late it is in the week already I thought I would share with you a bit of Mo Thuras and its inspiration…

 

My synopsis (at least as it is right now):

Melody Joy is a woman captain in a male driven role. When she gets a unique piece of technology in the mail, after discovering the secret of a lifetime, she sets off on a journey of discovery. In her ship Mo Thuras, she sets out to find a planet no one has heard of and find a bit of her past.
Along the way she picks up a ragtag crew who, like her, are different and never seem to fit in. Always searching for a family of their own. Together they find a strength they never had before, along with a sense of belonging.
Finding new relationships after betrayal. Finding she is herself all along, this journey is filled with reflection and discovery.

 

This is the Playlist I have created:

 

 

I have found these songs really resonate with my main character Melody. Now a short interview clip from Melody herself!

Dreamland’s Insurgents*: Hi Melody! I want to start by saying, you’re incredibly brave for being a female captain in a man’s universe.
Melody Joy: Thanks so much for the kind words *blushes*
Dreamland’s Insurgents*: When this voyage to find your roots is over, what do you think you will do then?
Melody Joy: Well, after I find where I belong… and who I really am, I figure I will know what I am suppose to do. I mean, really it is just so hard, not knowing who I am.
Dreamland’s Insurgents*: What are you hoping to find on your world of origin, and what do you want to take away with you?
Melody Joy: I really just hope that by finding my home I can finally figure out who I am, who I am suppose to be. I really want to take a sense of finally belonging… somewhere. To find my place, and fit in.

*Special thanks to Dreamland’s Insurgents for these inspiring questions.
 

What about you? Are there different things you do to help you get “in that space” when you are having trouble writing? Things that make you instantly think of your story?!?  Do you find working on your synopsis helpful in drafting your story?  DO you make playlists from music that reminds you of your WIP?  Do you find interviews to be helpful ways to get to know your characters?