My Muse is Getting Angry with Me

I sorta lost my momentum today. My muse is singing, he’s tapping on the inside of my skull, telling me I need to be getting his story told…but I sorta just don’t even care anymore.

Creativity feels so stupid sometimes. Like what is the fucking point of any of this shit? Why do I write these words, here on this blog?

WHO

THE

FUCK

CARES

There’s an imaginary friend who lives in my head, and he’s telling me I need to write a story. Once upon a time, some shit happened, the end.

Anyway, staring at the screen, and I have to pee.

Mitakuye Oyasin

mitakuyeoyasinI had a friend once. He was half-Cherokee. I’ll call him Manos because that’s the stage name he went by in his metal band (think it was metal). He and I met online several years ago, late 90’s, and we connected on spiritual matters–discussing things like magic, paganism, Earth-based spirituality (c’mon, the guy was an American Indian*).

I was upset one night while we were talking and he asked me why. I told him it was because there was too much hate around me, people were always angry with each other and belittling each other, judging each other.

“You know what your problem is, sweetheart?” Manos said. “Your problem is that you feel too much. You’re connected to something larger than yourself and you feel things too deeply. Creative people are like that. Old souls are like that. You don’t feel sad for a person, you feel sad for all of them because you feel like there’s something “off” in the world. I feel it too. weirdThat’s why people see us as weird or strange. That’s why some people don’t understand us and can’t connect to us. Because we see the world in an entirely different way. Because we feel it, and we don’t know how to explain it to the people who don’t.”

He was the first person from whom I learned the phrase Mitakuye Oyasin, which is Lakota and translates to English as All Are Related, All My Relations, or We are all connected, etc. It essentially means that we are all–all the living creatures of the Earth, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, all the plants and trees, everything and everyone–are connected to each other as well as to the Earth. He told me that some people have a stronger connection to the Earth and feel things more deeply, not on so much of an individual level, but on a much deeper and much wider level.

mitakuyeoyasin2My morning started at 3am with a text from my brother saying simply. “Holy shit! Is this real? I love you.” Then a text at 6:30am from my BFF upset with me for generalizing about people who voted for Donald Trump for president, asking if that’s what I really thought of her, etc., etc.

It’s been a long night, and a long election season. My brain is fried, I’m not a morning person, and I hurt someone I care deeply about. I’ve been crying all morning, and yes, part of it’s because I am angry at myself for that stupid 3am post that she took offense to, but most of it is because I’m hurting somewhere deep inside–not just for me.

Mitakuye Oyasin. My soul hurts today.

Manos (Bry H) if you’re out there, thank you.


*American Indian because yes, a whole lot of them do prefer that name over the politically correct Native American. I use the term they prefer, so in this instance, American Indian.

Process

time concept, selective focus point, special toned photo f/xI think I’ve said in a previous post that my story is writing itself and I’m just along for the ride. If not, consider it said. In a way, it’s freaking me out because it’s like I have no control over it.

Sunday morning, I woke from sleep with a scene playing in my head. Remember this when you wake up, I mentally said to myself and rolled over. Then I rolled over again. Then I sat up in bed. Laid down and rolled over again. Sat up again. “Well, fuck you,” I said aloud, “You’re not gonna let me sleep until I get up and write this, are you?”

So I got up, pulled out a pad of paper I keep near the bed, starting scribbling on it, knew none of it would make sense because (a) I was half-asleep and (b) my hands were numb from my carpal tunnel; so I begrudgingly hit the Power button on my computer. An hour or so later, I’d added 2,500+ words to my book.

The same thing happened this morning. I woke at 6am and had to get up to write a scene that was in my head, knowing if I put it off until later, I’d forget it for sure. 1,500 words later, I started getting ready for work.

The other day, I decided that since this book seems to be “working,” I should make a note of my process, which I did; nice, bulleted list of my “ritual” or routine for this book.

  • I’m using Scrivener. It’s a writing platform (available for Win, Lin, and OS) that helps you organize your writing projects, and it’s given me a whole new level of “control” or oversight of my writing, far more than Word (sorry, MS, ily but…). Scrivener is good because……..
  • I write all over the place. No real order to what I’m writing. It started off a bit weird, then my main character sorta took over the story, so I’ve been mostly writing his story, then going back and filling in other parts. Scrivener is great for this because if something’s out of order, I don’t have to scroll around in one long Word document, I can navigate my way to the scene I’m looking for and drop and drag it to the spot where it will fit better. Looovvvvinnnnnng Scrivener! I have no clue how I ever wrote without it.
  • I have my muse. Googled a description of my main protagonist in an attempt to “get mymuseto know” him; he hasn’t shut up since and he doesn’t seem to want to let me sleep either. Scrivener sits on 3/4 of my screen, the other 1/4 of my screen is taken up by a browser window, open to an image on my Google drive, and my muse stares me in the face the entire time I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll sit back, maybe stuck for words, look at him, silently ask him what he’d say or do (yes, I talk to my imaginary friend) or just yell at him (internally, cuz aloud would probably be crazy) “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENINNNNNGG??”
  • I put on my noise-canceling headphones and blast SiriusXM Octane the entire time I’m writing. This is a new thing for me. I used to like it quiet when I wrote; now I wonder if that was backwards. Octane is the channel of choice because it’s new hard rock (think Linkin Park, Adelita’s Way, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.), so while I do know a lot of the tunes, they’re always introducing newer songs to the mix, so I am not distracted by lyrics and singalongs (which I found didn’t really work for me when I switched over to the RockBar station; spent more time singing along than I did writing). So Octane works because it’s loud and hard and I don’t know most of the lyrics. And c’mon, it’s the apocalypse…the soundtrack ain’t gonna be Joni Mitchell…
  • Placeholders. I use placeholders. Notes: RESEARCH 19TH CENTURY BATHTUBS, baftubBITCH! or HOW THE HELL DID RUBI GET INSIDE THE BARRIERS??? or PUT SOME SHIT IN HERE ABOUT FINN FINDING THE
    GROUP. Placeholders of things I know are going to happen or things I need to research. Things I need to write but don’t want to interrupt the current momentum to work out. Screw details, make shit up as I go along, worry about “fixing” or “correcting” it later.
  • Take breaks – browse FB, YouTube, Google; I don’t “force” myself to write; I write when it flows, take a break when I want.
  • When I’m done writing for the night, I hit the Compile button and make a PDF draft of my entire manuscript and upload it to my Google drive.
  • I check my word count and update it on the NaNo site.
  • The next morning (if it’s at night) or later (if I’ve written during the day), I browse through the PDF, mostly focusing on the new bits I’ve written, or seeing how some of the newer parts flow with other stuff.
  • Start all over again the next day.

I’m sort of hoping that by recording what my “ritual” is during this book, it might help me when it comes time to write the next one…or a sequel…or a prequel…

I haven’t written like this in a long long time. The words, they’re just pouring out of me, the chapters, the scenes, this has been coming for a long time, I think. I only hope it’s decent LOL!

Want an excerpt? Why not.

dragonflyIn a world where there was so much suffering and pain, where sometimes you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from, the ability to lose yourself in the innocence of catching sight of a dragonfly flittering by—or watching a mechanical dog chase a mechanical cat—was a luxury very few took the time to enjoy, and it was free to anyone who sought it out. For people like Ethan and Ben, who had a thirst for knowledge or an urge to explore, such things were just a natural side effect, and for people like Rubi who were lucky enough to find people like Ethan and Ben, a side effect from which they benefited as well because it taught them to stop, look, and listen to the world around them. She was amazed at the number of seemingly small details of the world she might have missed had she not stopped to take them in; and for that, she was in debt to both Ben and Ethan.

Ethan’s my muse. Guess he wants his story told. I just hope he continues to think I’m the one to tell it and doesn’t give up on me…;)

Faking It

Obligatory adult language warning for this post. Sorry. My blog, my voice HAHAHAHA!

lmaSometimes it is so hard to fake a smile. I am having one of those days when I just want everyone to fuck the hell off and leave me alone, but all the most annoying people are coming out of the woodwork today to get on my ass.

I’m having this terrible back pain across my shoulder blades, the clock change is fucking with my brain, and my commute this morning (despite leaving the house super early because hello, clock change!) took me over an hour (19 fucking miles…over an hour).

I am miserable today, in a downright foul mood. What this normally means for me is that I just want to be left alone, and if I were at home, my husband (because he’s smart and he knows me) would just stay the fuck out of my way.

BITCH WITH THE WHINY VOICE *walks past the sign that says “I’M OUT TO LUNCH! GO AWAY!”)* and spends 10 minutes telling me she wants to move her meeting with my boss up and trying to figure out when she can do it.

killedyouinmymindMe on the Inside: FUCK YOU. GO AWAY. LEAVE ME ALONE. DID YOU REALLY JUST WALK RIGHT PAST THAT GIANT FUCKING SIGN WITH THE GRUMPY CAT ON IT? CAN YOU FUCKING READ?

Me on the Outside: *smile smile smile so fucking hard my face hurts* Ok, let’s see…he can see you at 2, will that work? No, that doesn’t fit into your schedule? How about 2:30? Ok, good. Oh no, now you’re going to change your mind? 3:00? Ok good. Now fuck off and go the fuck away (that part was on the inside obviously).

That doesn’t seem like much, does it? But it’s constant, all day long, not just during my lunch break. Today it’s just grating on me; the phone won’t stop ringing and people won’t stop bugging me over stupid, asinine things that they could just send me a damn email about.

snapeI don’t really even know why I’m in this mood today. Maybe it’s because this election season has brought all the stupid assholes crawling out from under their fucking rocks. Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing so much, so I’ve been in such a focused mood these last several days that I am not used to all the crap that’s going on around me. It doesn’t help that one of the docs brought her kid to work today and she’s in her mom’s office talking to a friend on her iPad and it sounds like they’re having a fucking rave in there. And our manager is in her office with the door open having a phone conference that we can all hear. That one destroys me because I’m about a millisecond away from going in there and saying, “Listen up, bitch! If you aren’t going to make use of your fucking door, then you can have my cubicle and I’ll take your office because I will most definitely make use of the fucking door!”

Sensory overload? Could be. I don’t really function very well when there are a lot of sounds and activity going on around me. Even on a good day, I can’t stand hearing three or four loud conversations going on at once; sets my nerves on edge.

Anyway, I will be glad when this fucking day is over:(

mondays

 

DMC 4- Words to Live By

dmc4edit

Let’s see. The prompt was this:

Speaking of sayings and the sort – this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren’t looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?


Let me start by saying that I love quotes. I mean, I lllloooooovvvveeee quotes. I think it comes from my passion for words. Nothing makes me smile much more than when I am able to string a bunch of words together to create something, whether it be profound, silly, witty, sarcastic, or outright mundane! I’m not completely sure when it was that I first became aware that I had this ability…maybe it’s just that in recent years, a lot of words I see are – how to put this nicely – JUST. PLAIN. STUPID. In an age when “wut r u doin?” passes for adult communication, I almost shudder to think what (wut?) the state of our written language will be in a few more decades. Therefore, it’s up to those of us who can throw a dozen words together and produce a comprehensive sentence to make a stand and keep eloquence alive!

tentaclechair
© Abigail Larson

Sorry, I sort of went off on a bit of a rant, didn’t I? Where was I…? Oh yeah! I LOVE quotes!

I collect quotes the way some people collect coins or stamps. Most are other people’s words, some are thoughts that pop into my head that I jot down as possible story ideas – or just plain weird-ass thoughts, haha!

Here’s an example of a weird-ass one (by me, muahaha, so if I ever get famous, be sure to put a © on this bitch if you post it somewhere!):

You know you have stayed too long when the
chair in which you usually sit embraces you.

There are so many different ways that sentence can be perceived – creepy, weird, profound? It could alternately conjures up an image of one of those asinine people who comes to visit you that you wish would just leave already – or slimy tentacles emerging from the back of the chair to wrap around you and keep you from ever leaving again (MUAHAHAHAHA!).


So quotes can be a powerful thing! Here are a few of my favorites and my thoughts on them.

be-yourself-everyone-else-is-taken-oscar-wilde-rd-5272409Ohhhh, Oscar Wilde! This is my favorite of his quotes, and it’s the one I most often use on my social media profiles because it’s short, it’s simple, and it’s concise.

It took me a lot of years to accept myself for the quirky geeky weirdo that I am and to embrace my strangeness, even longer for me to be comfortable enough allowing my weirdness to be experienced by other people. I make no apologies for it anymore (I used to!), and who better to take a lesson from than the very epitome of individuality and oddness that was Oscar Wilde!

Wilde gave us The Picture of Dorian Gray (doesn’t get much weirder than that!) and publicly defended his beliefs regarding the depiction of morality in creative works as well as the morality of his own personal life in an age when it was downright dangerous to do so. It doesn’t get much more real than that! It’s just too bad that the things he was fighting for back then are still so controversial today. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? <–another great quote LOL! (Told you I lervvvvveeeee quotes!)


be-the-change

This one has long been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi…but it’s never actually been proven to have been said by him. It doesn’t really matter who said it, and truthfully, I don’t mind its being misattributed to him. It’s a quote that could change the world, and he was a great philosopher. I don’t want to see it go away simply because nobody knows who said it…so I’ll keep attributing it to him:)

You want people to be kind? Be kinder to people. Don’t have something nice to say to someone or want to say something nasty? Shut your mouth, turn the other cheek, walk away, and find someone else among the 7 billion human beings on this planet, someone to whom you DO have something nice to say. We are all living on the same rock. We all have the same color blood in our veins. You want to see the world change? Then change it, starting with how you treat others.


human-beings

There’s a Sanskrit greeting–Namaste. I’ve seen it interpreted a few different ways, all with pretty much the same meaning. Basically, it means the divine spirit in me honors the divine spirit in you. I’ve always found this to be a very cool thought.

This quote sort of follows along nicely with Namaste. I think sometimes that people get so caught up in determining which “Divine Spirit” they should be following, worshiping, listening to, ignoring, hating, loving, believing, disbelieving, etc., that they lose sight of the fact that the journey we’re on – our life here on this planet – the very point of that journey is the journey. The destination – whether it be Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Hades, Valhalla, the Summerland, Ahura Mazda, Nirvana, nothingness, reincarnation – doesn’t really matter. For us, right now, right here, this is what matters, this human experience we’re having because in the end, it is only temporary so we should make the most of it while we’re having it. Then it’s on to the next great adventure…or not.


Oh, so yeah, I guess I felt like waxing philosophical in this post…I’m in writer mode these days, so the words just sort of have a mind of their own, and my only job is to stick them together in the correct order;)

Until my next post…

namaste-bitches

NaNoWriMo 2016

wormwood2

It’s Day 2. I’m 11,215 words towards my goal of 50,000 words, and the story hasn’t stopped flowing. I’ve participated in NaNo for nearly 10 years now. This will be the first year I will actually achieve the 50,000-word goal…and at the rate I’m going, I’m going to go well over that 50,000.

I have my muse and main characters (Ethan), my other three main characters (Finn, Iris, and now Tori). I have my plot (I’m destroying the fucking world, baby). I have a general idea of where the story’s going (to Hell in a handbasket, then back again, probably in a Jeep).

I even created some title graphics (at the top of this post and below), although since the person in the picture isn’t exactly public domain, the only place I can really post it is here on my personal blog.

wormwood50

I’m feeling so motivated, and the story is just flowing. It’s actually sort of scaring me. There’s only one other time this has really happened, and that was my original draft of Paradox Manor waaaay back in the last century, haha! Let’s hope my momentum continues. I’m about 10 chapters in, and still so so so much more to write to get to the end, then so much more to go back and add. I am skipping whole chapters to get the story moving towards the climax and ending and just putting placeholders for some of them so I can go back and fill them in later.

Holy shit, I haven’t written like this in years. I hope it doesn’t suck!

Discover Me Challenge: Words to Live By

dmc4edit

This Discover Me Challenge prompt (see the original post on JustSomeJane here)

I know, I know… DMC prompts are supposed to be posted on Thursdays, not late in the day on a Friday. I am a day behind on pretty much everything right now!! You know, this reminds me of a famous saying… How does it go? A day late and a dollar short? What can I say? Life happens.

Speaking of sayings and the sort – this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren’t looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?

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Join the fun and discover more about yourself!! Be sure to add your links in the comments section so we can read your awesome responses, too!

For Good? For Better! For My Bestie!

I went to see Wicked last night at the Providence Performing Arts Center. This is my third time seeing this musical, and I cry every time I see it. It’s a timeless story with a message about an underdog/black sheep, a friendship, love, betrayal…

Sitting in the theater last night, my husband, my brother, and my brother’s wife beside me, I really wished that my best friend Nichole was there with me…because I think this is the perfect show for besties to see together.

Nichole and I met online in a virtual world through a mutual friend. The mutual “friend” turned out to be a jackass, but I am grateful every day for the fact that through him, I met her. I’m a firm believer that some people come into our lives for reasons – the reason he came into my life was clear…and once his job was accomplished, he was soon gone from my life.

Nichole and I have met in person several times and text each other almost daily. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. We are so different from each other, yet in many ways, we are so alike. We have different views, different beliefs, different opinions of some things – but we complement each other.

Nichole, I love you! We need to see Wicked together. This is why:

<3

Discover Me Challenge 3 – If I Could Travel Through Time…

dmctime

Imagine, if you will, that you have a time machine. This time machine can take you to any period in time – past or future. You can only use your time machine once, to get to your destination and to return (if you so choose to return!).

What period in time would you visit? What would you do there? Why does this period in time call to you?

Would you return?

“Shh! Listen! Someone’s coming! I think — I think it might be us!” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

next prompt will be posted Oct. 13th on JustSomeJane.com.

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To participate, just write a post on your personal blog/site and enter your link into the linkup at the bottom of this post on JSJ!!

DMC 2 – When I Grow Up

 

quotes-about-being-yourself“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I will not grow up. I won’t. Never. Ever. When you grow up, you lose the dreamlike wonder that’s inherent in children; you lose the innocence of seeing the world without any inhibitions or expectations. In a perfect world, we would never have to grow up.

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a dog. Seriously. Or maybe a cat. I thought how awesome it would be to be covered in fur, to be petted and loved and be able to run really really fast. As I got older, I realized that, alas, I could never be a cat or a dog.

Once I realized that being an animal was out of the question, I wanted to be a jockey. I was one of those little girls who loved horses, and the only thing I thought you had to do to be a jockey was sit on a horse and let him run really fast. That dream was fleeting too…because you also have to be really really short to be a jockey, and while I might not be very tall, by 11 I was already too tall to be a jockey.

In my high school yearbook, I said I wanted to be a writer and a horse trainer. The horse trainer thing will never come to pass. The writer, on the other hand; well, I’m already one of those. The only thing you have to do to be a writer is write, and I do that all the time. Words are my favorite way to express myself.

be-true-be-unique-be-yourself-different-favim-com-1212276What I want to be when I grow up is a work in progress and probably always will be. I have strange interests and quirky humor, nerdy style and really odd ways of seeing the world. I spent a lot of years wondering why I couldn’t just be “normal” or be just like everyone else, why the things that interested me were so different from what interested most of the people around me.

I used to spend so much time trying to “fit in” and to “make” myself do or like things that the people around me did or liked, and you know what I learned? It made me uncomfortable, it made me feel out of place and awkward; and the older I got, the less I wanted to feel that way.

I’ll tell you a secret.

Lean in.

You know what I really want to be when I grow up?

Me.