Saturday, April 16, 2016

Can I Borrow Your Muse?

I recently turned in two manuscripts. The first was the copyedits for AS RICH AS A ROGUE by Jade Lee.  Isn’t the cover pretty?

Next, I turned in the revisions for the first book in Kathy Lyons’ new grizzly shifter series, THE BEAR WHO LOVED ME. No cover for that yet, but I promise, it’s coming.

Anyway, having turned everything in, I took a few days off. But now it’s Monday morning and it’s time for me to get to work on the next book. Wouldn’t it be nice if I had a plot? Or a clue? Guess what I do to try and stimulate my muse. And then guess if you think it works or not. (hint: it can and is more than one of the following.)

1.      Take a nap. For a week.
2.      Go rollerblading.
3.      Eat yummy things.
4.      Watch TV.
5.      Read.
6.      Play with my cat.
7.      Meditate.
8.      Clean house.
9.      Skydive.
10.   Spa appointment.

Answer: well, let’s just take them one at a time.

    No -- I hate naps. I take them occasionally, but only reluctantly and with the full knowledge that I won’t be able to sleep at night. So I don’t do this one on purpose. I have been known to “meditate” for a long time in a hot bath though. With my eyes shut while a gentle snore fills the bathroom.
2.      It works, but I never do it -- I love rollerblading, but the weather has to cooperate. Not too hot, not too cold. No wet, no ice and no insects. And no people walking their children or dogs. That’s the big problem because if the weather is perfect, then other people want to enjoy it, too. So if the conditions are perfect, this does help my creativity, but the conditions haven’t been ripe for this for months.
3.      Yes, but it doesn’t work – I do eat yummy things as a celebration, but never, ever has it happened that I took a huge bite of hot fudge sundae and suddenly a new story concept has dropped into my brain. But that doesn’t keep me from trying!
4.      Yes, but it doesn’t work – I do very much enjoy television. Favorite shows include Supernatural, Blacklist, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I wish I could say they stimulate my creativity, but I’m so caught up in the story there isn’t much room for something else. And as for John Oliver, well I’m usually caught up in tweeting things like #MakeDonaldDrumfAgain (Best Segment Ever!)
5.      Yes and Yes! -- Turns out reading is slow enough that I can immerse, enjoy, and still let my imagination wander in other directions. A really, really good book will inspire me. A simply good book will make me happy (which the muse likes). And a mediocre to bad book really gets me going on ways I would make it a great book. All good things!
6.      Yes, but it rarely works. -- I love my cat, have tweeted pictures about my cat, and generally love interacting with the feline as the scratches on my hands and arms will attest. However, as much as she rocks my world, she doesn’t inspire me except in the Get-Kathy-To-Her-Happy-Place way.
7.      Yes and Yes – Meditation works. But slowly. And I get impatient. But that just means I need to meditate more. Ohm!
8.      Yes and Yes – Cleaning house is a necessity but the drudgery of it lets my mind wander to fun places where hopefully a new book idea resides.
9.      No and no – Never gone skydiving. Thought about it for a while, but nope. I took it off my bucket list.
10.   Yes, though it only worked once – I love spa appointments. Massage, facial, mani/pedi – these are words I adore. And once during a facial, I got an awesome story idea that became Kathy Lyons’ book ONE NIGHT IN THE SPA. But once is good enough for me to try it again and again!

So what about you? Anything you do to keep the muse coming back?

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