Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dream

She awoke with a start realizing that she overslept - her heart hammering in her chest. There wasn’t much time to get ready so she quickly donned a pair of jeans and a shirt that was draped on a chair since Wednesday. It didn’t smell too bad so it would have to do. Brushing her teeth in record time, with a split second stop-over to put on deodorant she soon dashed out of the house.

A quick glance at her watch told her she was cutting it close, as she speed-walked to the bus stop. Beads of sweat were already forming, the asthmatic tightness in her chest a nagging reminder that she was out of shape. Her nerves frazzled, she checked her watch again and barely missed getting hit by the car that was pulling out of the driveway.

Still walking briskly, she squinted trying to read the display on her cell phone which was difficult to see in the glaring sun. Frustrated, she threw the phone back in her purse in time to see the bus pull away. Without hesitation she took off running frantically to get the driver’s attention but he never saw her.

Devastated, she broke down in tears. Her emotions were raw and heavy. It was over. She had lost everything. A stooped old man leaning heavily on a cane slowly approached her and gently laid his hand on her shoulder. She knew he spoke words of compassion and wisdom but all she heard was a soft inaudible whisper. Her pain was all she felt and her sobs were all she could hear. The old man must have sensed this and shook her shoulder to get a response from her but she didn’t want to look up at him. She didn’t want to face him and have him see her failure. He shook her harder forcing her to raise her head and look at him.

She opened her eyes. Her phone was vibrating on the pillow next to her. She had set the alarm on it to vibrate a few minutes earlier than her alarm clock so she wouldn’t be late. The last dregs of despair left her and with a sigh of relief she realized it had all been a dream.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I’ve read that you shouldn’t proofread while writing your Work In Progress. The advice given is that one should write continuously, flesh out the story and only when it’s finished, it can be proofread.

It’s explained that when writers proofread as they go along that they aren’t really writing. I try to keep this in mind but I have difficulty from time to time. And before I realize it, I find myself going back and fixing grammar or rephrasing a sentence here and there.

Overall, I feel that this is productive because if I don’t like the way it reads it throws me off. Then I’m sulking for a day or two worrying about the drivel I’ve just written and how could I even think that I could be a writer (insert melancholic violin music here).

Then the left side of my brain steps in and takes charge, fixes one or two things on my WIP to appease my right brain and then orders me to write again. And then I’m on to happy writing once more.

I’ve had a good couple of days of writing. I didn’t spend the entire day but I was able to sneak an hour here and there. It felt pretty good. I feel motivated and the juices are flowing.

So what if I misspelled a few words in Chapter 3? It can wait until the WIP is finished. I can control my need to do a spell check, right? Maybe I’ll just take a peek at it. After all, the spell check is just a quick click of the mouse. And then I’ll skim quickly over chapter 4 and …

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Writer Is Not In

I’ve been feeling a bit rundown lately – fatigued, like my batteries are not fully charged. I also didn’t write this past week. I know shocking!

Between dragging myself to do the simplest of tasks like going to work and experiencing computer problems I couldn’t get any writing done. First the laptop was performing at sloth speed. My anti-virus software had expired so I called technical support which took an eternity of grief. The first couple of attempts at downloading the anti-virus software failed which resulted in my uttering a few colorful expletives. You must understand that at this point it’s 1:37 in the morning and I have to go to work in a few hours.

Eventually, I left the laptop downloading the software and went to bed. That evening when I got home I started a scan which took so long to complete I felt my ire start to rise again. In the end it had found and quarantined 10 Trojans and now my laptop is running better.

Good so now that the laptop is up to speed again I can write, right? Wrong! It was at this point that my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome decided to flare up. Bummer! My friends think it odd that I prefer to type over writing. What happens is that because of the CTS I can’t hold a pen for too long. The way the hand closes while writing pinches the nerve much quicker than it does when I type. So I’ve been medicating with Aleve and Advil alternately to bring down the inflammation.

Hopefully, this week will be better.

Happy writing everyone.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Often writers talk about waiting for, looking for or finally finding the Muse. The word Muse is bounced about like a beach ball going back and forth until it eventually floats away in the water. So close yet your fingertips barely graze it - your frantic efforts to reach it disturbing the water, causing it to slip further away. Like others, I have succumbed to the dreaded writer’s block - all the time hoping that the Muse would finally grace me with her Magick.

But what exactly is the Muse? Is it a benevolent doppelganger that holds the creative part of ourselves, ready to infuse us with bits of creative energy as we need it? Should we uphold the standard belief of the Muse as a Deity, like in Greek Mythology? What about those of us who aren’t as conventional? Would they have a Muse that takes animal form like a Totem? Some writers know exactly what their Muses look like.

Stephen King has a male, cigar smoking, beer drinking, hanging in the basement Muse. I’m not entirely sure what my Muse looks like yet because I never focused my energies on giving it form, but I know it isn’t male. So, I started looking into Muses or Deities that personify some or all of the attributes of a Muse (e.g.: art, music, poetry, dance, writing, etc.) in the hopes of offering one of them the job.

I started with Greek Mythology and I learned that they have many Muses.


Calliope: The Muse of eloquence and epic or heroic poetry

Erato: The Muse of lyric poetry

Polyhymnia: The Muse of the sacred hymn, eloquence and dance

As I Googled, I discovered that Greek Mythology wasn’t alone in this respect and that others had their own Deities/Muses.


Apollo: Roman God of sun, music, poetry, prophecy, and healing

Minerva- Roman Goddess of wisdom, arts, and trade

The Roman Gods multitasked in their duties. In addition to their standard abilities, Apollo and Minerva also ruled over music and the arts. No days off for these Gods.


Bragi: Norse God of poetry

This Norse God was renowned for wisdom, fluency of speech and skill with words. I might consider this God when I’m suddenly called to an impromptu meeting at the office.


Fu-Xi: is very strong on home improvements, and also spiritual improvements. He's often seen with a carpenter's square — which symbolizes both as he created the Eight Trigrams for Divination*.

It seems this Deity loves to create and improve on things. This is a Deity to keep in mind for a possible Muse perhaps when you want to rewrite your first draft.


Saraswati: The Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music and all the creative arts. Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas and the repository of Brahman’s creative intelligence and is also called Vak Devi, Goddess of Speech.

This is a multifaceted and diverse Deity - a great source of inspiration for those who seek her as their Muse.

In all my research, I haven’t felt the pull for any of them. Do we choose our Muse or do we have no control over which Muse guides us? Should we aim our pleas to the Muses in general hoping that one of them will heed our supplicant cries for inspiration? Wouldn’t that leave it all to chance while we wait in anguish? No, I don’t think I want to do that. I need to be a little bit more proactive in my life so perhaps I’ll create my own Muse just like I create a character. I read somewhere that we make our own reality so why not create a personal Muse and put it to work?

The decision is still pending and I will definitely give it more thought. As I write this I couldn’t help but wonder, what inspired me to write about this in the first place? Is my ever elusive and ethereal Muse trying to get some recognition? I wonder…

* The Eight Trigrams, the principles of the I Ching system of divination, were created by observing a tortoise shell and symbolize the eight main forces of the Universe. Combined in 64 hexagrams, they represent the consequences of the interaction of these forces with one another.

† The Vedas (Sanskrit Veda, "knowledge") are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.


‡ In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Writing Sci-Fi

Recently, I joined and online community for writers called She Writes where you can friend other writers and join groups. So far I’ve been having so much fun with it because one of the groups I joined is very Sci-Fi, which is one of the genres I enjoy. The thing is that normally upon joining a group there is a prompt to start a discussion for the group or join one that is already in progress. In this case, there were no topics being discussed and I didn’t have one to contribute either.

Apparently, on that particular day I was nestled comfortably in my right brain and an idea struck me. What if, instead of suggesting a topic for discussion I start writing a story and if the other members were interested they could add to it and see where the story takes us? Well, I thought that idea was pretty fantastic – a way to exercise our writing gears. And that’s how the fun began.

I wrote a brief scene where a female Captain is standing on the Transporter pad, a phaser in her hand, ready to go down to the planet on a rescue mission. The Lieutenant Commander, her second in command, is anxious and doesn’t want her to go but she orders him to transport her and assume command if she wasn’t back in a specified amount of time. That is where I ended the scene.

A day went by and I checked She Writes to see if any of the other members had contributed to the story. None had. I was a little worried – thinking that perhaps I had made the wrong move or that my scene was complete nonsense. But on the second day, there was a response! Not only did he think it was a good idea, he contributed a scene of his own. So far, we’ve been corresponding in this manner. I’m having a blast! It’s like waiting to get mail from a pen pal but writing about other planets, aliens and the ongoing war of good versus evil. Awesome!

Currently, the rescue mission has gone wrong. The Captain was shot with a phaser rifle but found her injured Crewman in a cave that the enemy has now sealed with phaser canons. Communications with the ship was distorted due to the oncoming storm and she has lost consciousness.

So, I’ll leave you now because I have to write the next scene.

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