Monthly Archives: April 2012

More Writers’ helps added

Just a quick post to say that I have added more great helps for writers on my Writers’ Helps page. There are so many useful things out there but these ones stand out to me.

I will add more later, but check these ones out and see what you think. Hopefully, something will inspire you or help you to create with more confidence.


Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂


Root canals and the misbehaving Muse

Monday was an interesting day, not at all what I had anticipated.

As the day got closer I became more anxious. My root canal was scheduled for the morning at 11:30. To say I was nervous would be a slight exaggeration. I tried to be calm; I took a 400 mg Advil suggested for the jaw pain I get during dental appointments; I prayed to be calm.

Soon I remembered the herbal remedy I occasionally used years ago when I was singing in a group. My jangled nerves would mess me up so my voice teacher recommended Rescue Remedy, which worked amazingly well. A quick dash to the health food store and I had a new little 10 ml bottle of stress relief. A few drops on my tongue, and before I arrived at the dental office I felt much more relaxed.

I had been experiencing tooth pain for a few weeks, but tolerated the discomfort since I had a regularly scheduled dental appointment anyway. When the appointment came around in late March, it was determined a root canal may be needed. Oh dread! My dentist sent me on to the specialist who does only root canals, and who – I was told – is very good, won’t do anything not required, and is gentle and careful. Okay, that sounded acceptable, so I went along to him a week later. After x-rays and checking the problem, he set up an appointment for me to have a root canal three weeks later, April 23. Also, because of my likely jaw pain he could divide the procedure into two parts if it were to become too difficult for me during the usual 1.5 hours to completion.

I arrived for the procedure but this time he found no reason to do the root canal! He said somehow everything had settled down and he suggested we wait to see if the problem flares up again. Imagine that!

I m a g i n e   that.

I’m thanking the Lord for this turn of events. If I do end up having to go through the procedure later, the time will be right.

Now, you may be asking .. what does all this have to do with writing?  Nothing.  (Doesn’t everyone enjoy stories about root canals, especially the non-occurring ones?) Nothing, unless I can think up an allegory to fit. hmmm

Nope. Nothing.

Unless you think that trying to write when nothing is forming in your mind is like a toothache nagging at you and nagging at you. You need a rescue. You need to go down deep and find the words, the source of the irritation. You need to tunnel into those deeply hidden, elusive thoughts and permit your true ‘writerly’ genius to excel. You need  … a mental root canal!

Too over-the-top?     Sorry.     Let me try that again.

How about this?   When–

  • something hurts, write;
  • anger surges, write;
  • lifted up by joy, write;
  • events sadden, write;
  • there seems to be nothing at all … write.

WRITE to discover what is concealed there.  Write more and continue to write.

Gee, I wish I’d said that … oh, I did! Now to take my own advice – advice given to me, and which I am now passing on to you.


What is your best advice for that absence of creativity, or for the seemingly wordless Muse that won’t quit nagging?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

PS: The original version of this post (with a different message) can be found on my Scarlet Thread Musings blog on blogspot.

New Page: Writers’ Helps

As promised, I have created a new page here on my blog. Writers’ Helps has a list of links that will be of help to writers and anyone needing just the right word, a rhyming word, a translation, and more. I will be adding to this list as I find sites I especially like.

You can find the new page from the list at the top of the front page, and also in the pages category down the left side of this page.

If you have any great links that you would like to share, please leave a comment for me and I will check it out to perhaps add to my list of writers’ helps.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Still Alice – by Lisa Genova

Book: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova
Publisher: Gallery Books
Date: January 6, 2009
Genre: fiction novel; mental health
Pages: 337; paperback
Price: $15.00 US; also available from Simon & Schuster Audio & as an e-Book
My Rating: A ‘must-read’ for anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s in any way, or wanting to know more about what it’s like – from the inside of it.

This is a book I discovered at a meeting of our local Alzheimer’s Support Group. I was urged to read it, so months later – when I felt I was ready – I borrowed it. [As an aside: We meet once a month, and I highly recommend that you join a support group if you are a caregiver of anyone with dementia.]

At first I put off reading this book. I lent it to my sister to read, she said, “Read it!” I lent it to one of our respite workers, he said, “Read it!” Finally, yesterday .. I read it.

This book will open your eyes to, and broaden your understanding of, some of the inner workings of Alzheimer’s disease and what it is like to be its victim. Even though this is a work of fiction, the author did extensive research and study to get it right. It is so very believable. To me, it felt as if I were reading the memoir of an actual person, I felt the frustration and pain of her family, and I laughed out loud at one incident which was both funny because of what happened and sad because of why it happened, and in another place I had tears in my eyes because of the truth of it.

This is a painful and terrifying disease. Even as I write this review I feel the emotion of it. Alzheimer’s steals its victim away, a little at a time. Lisa Genova so aptly described the disease through her characters and helped me better understand the cruel reality of what I (and my sister) deal with every day in some capacity.

Lisa’s main character, Alice, is a very intelligent, highly regarded and respected professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard University. She and her  husband (also a Harvard professor) had brought up their three children and now, at only fifty years of age, Alice knows something is seriously wrong with her memory. She puts off telling anyone and sets out on her own, at first, to find out what is going on. What she learns changes her whole world, and that of her family.

The author draws the reader into the lives of Alice and her family in a very smooth and captivating way. I wanted to know, I needed to know, and Lisa does not disappoint as she covers two years in Alice’s life.

At the end of the book, there is a section of Discussion Questions for a group, or for personal study of the novel. There is also an interview conversation with Lisa Genova.

Lisa Genova, holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University and Still Alice is her first novel.

Now, to you I say, READ IT!

You can find Still Alice listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂



Writers’ Helps – I made a list

Have you ever been writing along and then find yourself stuck for a word?

Ever need to be sure of a spelling, or a meaning, or a word that would say the same thing – only better?

Do you write poetry or occasionally really want a rhyming word?

Do you just simply want some motivation to write, or a little diversion?

I have found a few helpful sites that I thought may be of benefit to you, too. As well as listing them in this post, I also am going to create a new page here on my blog just for writers’ helps. As I find more I will add them to that page.

Check these out and let me know what you think.

Needing just the right word, or the correct meaning:

Needing words that rhyme:

Needing motivation:

Needing the exact number of words:

 Translators & Quotes to spice things up:

Then when you need shorter links to post:

Are there any others that you just don’t want to be without? Please tell me about them – with link – so that I can possibly add them to my list. Thanks!

Thanks for reading, and .. Creative Musings! 🙂