Tag Archives: muse

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.  http://novascotiaflavour.blogspot.ca/

Use it or lose it

Have you ever wakened in the morning with a story idea in your head? Did you capture it right away or did you decide to wait and write it down when you’re more awake, sure you will remember it? How many times have you lost a great idea with not a clue as to what it was?

How many of your dreams have you known would make great stories, but as soon as you are fully out of that sleep the whole scenario has faded away never to return?

Muse departed.  Opportunity lost.

Paper and pen are by my bed for just that reason. There are times I have wakened very early, a poem or the beginning of a story in my head. I know I would not remember later what was in my mind. Just this morning as I was waking from a dream, I was thinking that it would make a nice story. When I closed my eyes again for just a few moments the vision started to fade, so I hastily jotted down what I could recall, some already lost. The ‘feelings’ around such things that come in that way quickly dissipate so that the opportunity has to be grabbed right then.

Now, how many tales have you made up and told to a child – maybe as a bedtime story, or at a time the child needs to be distracted or comforted? Or have you simply thought it all out in your mind for the fun of it? Did you write it down or did you not see its value? Or maybe you were driving, or in a place where you can’t write anything? A friend told me that she recently was in a public washroom when a story idea hit and … well … her idea escaped. That’s the thing about a creative’s mind … always busy, always dreaming, always thinking.

My dear mother was very creative. She used to tell me that many years before, when she lived with some cousins, she would help get the youngest one to bed each night. Her cousin loved for Mum to put her to bed because then she’d get a bedtime story, Mum making it up as she went along. Each night would be a continuation of the night before, and usually with humour in the story. Mum often told me that she wished she’d been able to write them down because they were such cute stories, but years later she couldn’t remember them.

For over thirty years Mum was a schoolteacher, and after her passing my sister came across a story Mum had written for a summer course she had taken many years before. I remember that she was so pleased about getting a good mark on that project. This story we have that she created is now in my care, Dad would love to see it published.

Recently joining a picture book critique group, I submitted her story for their viewing and frank opinions. The responses have been very positive, and I’m sure I have felt Mum’s pleasure with their comments and suggestions.

May I suggest to you …

When you come up with an idea, write it down. When your Muse visits, pay attention and take notes. Such ideas fade quickly, story details lose themselves in our busyness, whole stories are lost – maybe whole worlds.

So … what do you do about ideas that come when least expected? Are you always prepared to capture them or do you take a chance that you will remember?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Day 9: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Another slow NaNo writing day.  I got less than 400 words written before midnight today.  At midnight the new report is logged into the site and anything written after 12:00 goes onto the next day’s total.  Makes sense, right?  But if I keep writing and add my totals in, it changes the numbers in my widgets here on my blog, and therefore they don’t line up with the numbers I’ve told you.  Usually, I like to add my number of words per page as I go, but if “the Muse” is on a roll, I keep going and add ’em up later.

I’m not proud of my small efforts today but this is all part of it, so even if I should write nothing I will still report here.  Hopefully, I will always write something through this challenge.

My widget said I have 24% done, but now it is at 25% because I wrote a little more after midnight.  My stats report tells me that at this rate I will finish Dec 10.  🙂  I hope to improve my words per day to finish on time.

Soon after I woke this morning, an idea came to me for PiBoIdMo challenge.  I wrote it down and this afternoon I had the idea ”fleshed out’ so that I have a story planned from it.  So that’s 13 ideas so far, and also I have added a little here and there to some of the first 12.

It’s been nearly a week of rain, rain, rain, with some families in Nova Scotia having to be evacuated because of serious flooding.  Wednesday the rain will stop and the sun will reappear.  I’m so busy that I even forgot to get depressed due to lack of sunshine!  🙂

Have you had trouble with too much water, especially along the eastern seaboard?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

How did you find your ‘voice’? and book review: A Black Tie Affair – by Sherrill Bodine

My question today is “how did you find your voice”?  Or are you one, like myself, who is still making that discovery?

What was your “eureka” moment – when you realized that you had discovered the writer in you?

Did it take you a long time to unveil your true style?

What I am finding through my reading is what I do not want to write, or what I am currently not interested in writing.  I am not a person likely to spend loads of time on research, so I don’t think I could write good nonfiction historical stories, for example.  I also will not write erotica or horror or sci fi.  As far as novels, not sure that is what I can do, either – yet, anyway.

There are styles I really enjoy in what I am reading, so I will keep discovering what appeals to me that way.   What I do know is that I enjoy writing for young readers, and stories with a little bit of  humour, stories with good ethics, and so on.  But, I am still a beginner since I have not allowed myself much time nor the thrill of really setting ‘my muse’ free.  🙂

A Black Tie AffairNow to mention the book I won, A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine.  Today I got a chance to read it to the end. It is well written; pulls you back and forth in the lives of the two main characters; includes some mystery, romance (I skipped over the erotica since I’m not comfortable reading that), lots of fashion detail and has an odd little detail in the ending.  Sherrill Bodine can certainly write and if that is the type of book you enjoy then you may want to pick this one up and her other one, Talk of the Town.

You can find A Black Tie Affair listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

So, back to my main question … how did you find your voice?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Inspiration is where you find it

Where do you find inspiration to write?

Today Donna asked a similar question in her blog (link in my blogroll at right) and my reply came in poetic form.   I had fun writing the poem so now I am posting it here so maybe you can get a chuckle out of it, too.   I hope you enjoy it. 🙂   And, btw, where DO you find inspiration to write?

Inspiration Is Where You Find It

My deadline’s coming up too fast
I cannot think, my muse flew past
and I am left bereft and dry –
so much I cannot even cry!

What shall I do, where can I look?
I’ll scrub a floor, or should I cook?
How can I find what isn’t there? …
I know! I’ll sort my underwear!

But that will lead to “need to shop”
Dainties I’ll buy until I drop.
What then? will I inspired now be? …
Or maybe I should just have tea.

But look, it’s such a lovely day
to go a-walking while I pray
that out there I will find my clue
for what to write, then start anew.

How sweet the breeze that calms my mind,
as Nature’s beauty brings a kind
of peace to me that takes away
the stress of having naught to say.

I listen now and breathe it in
I listen more … such peace within.
Fresh new ideas start to stir
Great words and thoughts all in a blur.

So fast they come, so fast I write
I really must be quite a sight
As I now quickly write words down
Out on the street in my nightgown.

What can I say? The need arose
to find my muse where’er she goes
Today she took a Nature walk
And I’m again a laughingstock.

Pacing, mumbling, brow in furrows
Thoughts now scrambling from deep burrows.
Neighbours knowing, gathering ’round
“I am writing, don’t make a sound!

Don’t interrupt, I’m on a roll!
This will be good, it’s from my soul!
Then who stands here you soon will see
is more than I appear to be.

Inspiration is elusive,
doesn’t mean I am reclusive.”
(At least I am not standing here
In my, still-tagged, new underwear!)

Good thing that I just stayed at home …
Now, .. what was that word ..??
mumble … mumble …
scribble … scribble …

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

What or who inspires you?

Do you have a circle of writing friends?  Do you have people around you who stimulate your ‘muse’?, cause you to see things in a different way?, evoke new ideas for stories?

As yet I have not found a local writers’ group, but now I don’t know if that is something I can manage or not.  What I did find this past week was two online writers’ groups, both of which I joined.   Both have a chat room.  One group meets on Tuesday evenings but they will meet if available any time someone wants to chat – which they did for me Sunday.  The other group meets on Wednesday evenings and again on Sunday evenings for a Q & A forum with a special guest.  I couldn’t get in there last night so I went to the first website I mentioned and had the fun of taking part in chat with newbies like myself, and up-and-coming writers, and well established authors – some who have one book or several books published, and some who won awards for their writing.  There also were agents and editors there that evening.  What an amazing world is the world of writing and publishing!  I sat here quietly impressed, and in awe at the fantastic ideas, and tips, and experiences of those sharing.

I have to keep reminding myself that everyone had to start at the beginning.  Each writer had to find her/his voice.  We are not all cut from the same pattern, so for me to compare myself to others is foolhardy, I’ll never get anywhere doing that.  I am me and I can only do what I can do.  What influences me comes from where I am at the time and who and what is around me.

SO, my question is … what – or who – inspires you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂