the muse in the music

I’m learning there is a method to the madness – I mean the rhythm – of my writing.  

Thankfully.  There’s enough chaos involved with writing a book.  Understanding why your mind suddenly embraces inertia?  Sublime!

Working on Redemption, a Dragon Core Bite Size Pieces offering.

Or trying to, at least.

I have the whole story in my mind, setting and time, characters, story arc, subplots, the wholeshebang.

So why can’t I get past the first 500 words?

Trust the Process.  Fortunately, I’ve been through this before.  I know that eventually it will all come together, and I’ll kick the whole thing out in a week to ten days.

Maybe two weeks.  It’s almost a feast or famine thing.  One of those where I’m being called for dinner as I furiously type “just one more thing.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often.

Two previous times several years apart.

No Really.  Trust.  It’s because I’ve been down this path that, though I keep a careful eye on the situation – I do have a timeline after all – I don’t stress about it.

Like I did the first, second,….

But even as I remained relaxed, told myself it will all come out in the wash, I worked.

It’s how I help myself relax about the inertia.

I played Free Cell during which I wrote the entire book in my head – running through various scenes as a “movie” playing on my mental screen.  I  did another thing.  I wondered what the hell was going on?

I like to understand things – see if I need to step in and fix something.

You know, to help the process along.

The muse at work.  As I sat rerunning a plot twist through my mind, adding characters and dialogue to the location, I realized with no small amount of annoyance that a song kept running over and over through my head.

I like the song but at that moment – did not want to listen to it once let alone a dozen times over in my mind.

I told a fellow creative sitting nearby what was going on.  She suggested I listen to the song.

I’ve done this before with great success – it typically works to get it “out of my system.”

I explained I didn’t want to this time.  However…  

It didn’t mean I couldn’t listen to a different song by the same artist!  

Here’s what happened.

As I continued staring “sightlessly” at the mindless game, allowed my mind to drift, I realized that the other song from the same artist is absolutely perfect for the book!  Within seconds of that Eureka! Moment I realized the next four songs from the same album were also perfect!  Then it occurred to me…

I didn’t have a Book Playlist Yet!!!

I LOVE to do iTunes playlists for my novels.  It provides an injection of passion into the entirety of it all.

, From process to finished product.

I’ve long understood there’s a relationship between the muse and the music but until today I had no idea just how tightly music is entwined with novel writing.

For me at least.

It’s the equivalent of naming the missing spice in the sauce!  What’s more, I realized there was purpose behind the inertia.

Sonia Choquette writes about this in her book Trust your Vibes.

There was something important the muse was trying to tell me!

Thanks to the music I now have far more vivid imagery for the scenes that make up the plot twist in my story.

And thus, I’m able to move forward with the rest of the story.  

Redemption is on track for a Late Summer/Early Fall 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

Up Next: Redemption

So – happy to report I’m finally done with the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games Case File.

It is now in the hands of the beta reader.

I anticipate a Late August/Early September 2020 release date.

A landing page will be up within the next couple of weeks.

Though I’m also working on an app I’m hoping to release Late Summer/ Early Fall 2020, I managed to figure out the next story, to work on Redemption, a Dragon Core Short Story.

This will be a Bite Size Pieces offering.

Though not part of the original series, like Shadow of the Gods, Redemption will further immerse readers in the world of Dragon Core, providing insight into a different shadow species.

Readers of the series will find plenty of familiar characters alongside new ones.

I anticipate a Late Summer Early Fall 2020 release for this Dragon Core installment.

Stay Tuned!

Every book has its rhythm

So, happy to have finished “the final edit” of Mirror, I went off to eat dinner then enjoy a relaxing evening reading someone else’s work.

As I was sitting on the sofa reading about the kick ass nuns a thought bubbled to the mental surface:  You know?  You really need to add that scene you’ve been toying with.  You won’t get any sleep until you do.

I wasn’t too surprised.  Edits are never final.

Not even when the thing goes to press.

Ask any author.

With a sigh I shot myself a text I would see in the morning telling me to add the scene – along with the part of the story I felt made the most sense.

Then I finished reading the article.

This morning as I sat drinking my second doppio I decided to finish Mirror,. An interesting thing happened.

As I went about adding the scene, which I figured would take a paragraph at most, I found that I felt connected to my characters in a way that had been eluding me.

Every book is different and I empathize with characters to a different degree.

I’d known something was missing – the way you taste a sauce and ponder which spice might need to be added.  Hint – and this comes from my doctoral side – it’s probably SALT!!!!!!

Salt makes spicy food absorb heat spices – like cayenne pepper – better.  It’s also crucial to human health – an electrolyte critical to muscle function and cellular communication.  Ahhh, but I digress.

The response was so positive I decided to add another scene I’d been toying with.  Another interesting thing happened.  

As I considered how to connect the scenes – which come toward the end of the book – I continued moving forward – tweaking as I went.  

The more I tweaked, the more I connected with my characters.  

I realized there was a familiarity to the whole process.  I’d been in that spot before, though not often.  A quick rifle through the hippocampus gave me the answer.  

The Lover!

I well remember being stuck at the window, a scene where I saw the characters but had no idea what they were doing there.  Oh, the awkwardness between the two I got – I just didn’t know how to express what they were thinking or feeling – yet.  

Because I hadn’t truly connected to my characters beyond surface depth!

A sense of peace came over me because not only did I understand the situation, I knew what I had to do next. 

Edit.

If I released the book today, I would be proud of my work.  However, armed with the knowledge if not the understanding I now have, I believe I can improve the story that much more.

Because I understand my characters in a way I hadn’t.

So, after a short music break, I will have another go at the story – from the beginning.

And as there is no tension, it will be not work so much as joy as I experience the book through characters I now have a better understanding of.

There is a secondary benefit to this.  By going back through the story from beginning to end I can identify any typos like single quotes that should be double quotes before handing it off to the beta reader.  

I can also allow the other stories in the queue to brew on the back burner of the muse’s stove.

Mirror – Final Draft!

Thrilled to announce that I completed the final draft of Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

And none too soon. I’ve gotten to the point where I cleaned the ice maker, the coffee maker, the internal dryer lint filter…

This novel is on track for a late summer/early fall 2020 release.

There are other projects including an app in the queue.

I’m happy to be able to move on to new writing projects, including two Bite Size Pieces vying for mental attention.

As is the laundry. Grrrrrrr

Stau tuned!

I will have a landing page for Mirror up in the near future.