Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Of Muses... and One of Mine

My fingers are trembling with the Insp. to write stories: anyone's really, but most especially Wes and Lina's (because they are the most adorable :)). But my main project is Clarkson and Elise's story and I will not forsake them. 

But there's the Difficulty; namely, Clarkson. He's wonderful and supportive to Elise and does everything else he should, but he won't say anything. And when I try and make him, he looks levelly at me with all that intelligence I know he has deep behind his eyes, quirks his mouth with a spark of humor and still won't speak!

Hence, I've been stuck re-arranging and deleting my writing from the last two months. And I've hardly written anything new for the last week.

It's all been quite sad, really.

There is this song from a good 'ol musical with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, to wit Anchors Aweigh. Perchance you may have even heard it before, but the lyrics go like this...

I begged her, I pleaded, I told her, 'Baby, come out of your shell,'
I told her 
'Maybe, you'll find that it's swell,' 

I argued, I threatened, I said 
'You can't send me home,
Not like this, then...'

the lyrics cease to illustrate my point, hence the mysterious cutoff. However, switch the pronouns, edit it here and there, and you have a vision of Clarkson and I.

It's not exactly that I haven't been immersing myself in other people's stories -- which is often the first answer to my story problems -- yet something still wasn't working.

Last night at 9:30 I came up to my room, discouragement in my heart. I had tried to do so much for Clarkson and I was failing miserably. Was I trying to manage him too much? I actually knew I was, but what else could I do?

Disconsolately I began going through the books on the little table under the window, old favorites, mostly, but not quite the Insp. I needed and then my eyes brightened (or at least I assume they did, the eyes of the heroines in books at least always do at moments like this one) for there on the bottom was the book - Shadow on the Trail by Zane Grey. I'd never really read the thing, but the title was not the important part, it was the name that came after...

I went to my desk and, chin on hand, devoured the first chapter and then turning to my laptop I wrote a whole entire scene. Clarkson, moved, looked, spoke of his own accord. and Elise, too. SUDDENLY I know where they're going again and just how they might get there.

Thus, Zane Grey's magic was proven again. I've always named L.M. Montgomery and him as two of the most important writers in my life. Sometimes, though, I forget the power of them, but they wait and turn up again right when I need them most desperately. 

And Clarkson and I are friends again.

Who are some of your "muses"?


  1. Ohhhhhh, do I feel your pain. I have this character, Cortland, for my next novel who is not the protag, but he IS the POV guy, and he's kind of the one everything hinges on, and he is the most tight-lipped, reticent, untalkative man I have ever dealt with when it comes to one particular subject. Everything else he's perfectly chatty about, but that one thing... I spent a year or more trying to pry it from him.

    Then, when I went to see Risen the second time, halfway through the movie I had a lightning bolt, and I couldn't wait for the movie to be over so I could "talk" to Cortland all the way home about it and see if this was what it was all about. Sure enough, it was. He's still hiding something from me, but now at least I know why he's here and what sort of mission/quest/thing he thinks he's on. Whew.

    1. Hamlette,
      I just loved reading about your character; he sounds like an amazing man and just the sort I like. I hope you finish the story soon. :)

      And it was just SPLENDID to hear how Risen helped you! It's simply amazing how reading/watching one story can do such magical things for another!

      Here's to hoping this continues to go well with both of you. :)

    2. Well... I'd have to actually start writing it in order to finish it. Now that I know what Cortland's deal is, I can start, except right now I'm up to my nose in revisions for the story I won that contest with. So this new novel has to wait until May.

      And I also looooooove hearing about how different things spark ideas for writers!

    3. Hamlette,
      Well, by all means go for it. :) Figuring out story problems before pen meets paper though (I'm swiftly finding out) can make things both simpler and very fun!

  2. OH! This is amazing. It's amazing that your characters are so real to you, and it's amazing what a little inspiration can do. This warmed my soul, especially because I know how you feel -- I know how it is to be so in love with your character, and so frustrated when they don't cooperate, or when you feel you can't get to them. I can't talk about this often because most people don't understand the deep issues we writers have all the time. ;-P And those moments when inspiration DOES come....well, those are what I live for. I had a moment like that last week, when I realized everything that needs to happen to finish my novel. It was like magic -- it is a kind of magic. I'm so happy you had that experience. :-)


    1. Emma,
      Thank you so much, friend! And it is hard to find kindred souls when it comes to writing (and many other things in life, too, come to think of it!) and that is one of the most wonderful things that blogging has done for me... It's been the means God's used to bring friends (like you :)) into my life and it's just SO WONDERFUL!!! So even though we've never met we have a meeting of the minds, etc. Which brings me to something else... your're finally going to meet Naomi! I'm just so happy for you girls and I'm sure you will have the TIME OF YOUR LIFE! Anyway, I suppose it was a little unorthodox to mention it here, but I just HAD to!

      But back to your story... Three cheers for your discovery and the magic of finding out everything! And you're right. It is a very good sort of magic... it must be the thing that creates the tingly I MUST WRITE feeling. :)

  3. Aww, I love this post! I'm so sorry you've had trouble with Clarkson lately-I know how that feels. :/ First I had it with Alethea, and then I had a hard time connecting to another character...but (for the moment, at least) all is calm.

    I love your writing in this post. It's so friendly and inviting-as if I was reading one of your letters!
    I also enjoyed your assumption that your eyes brightened. Isn't it funny how many things seem to come naturally to heroines? And yet usually I'm unaware whether I have actually experienced these things myself. ;) (Blushing, for instance.)

    Anyways, I am SO happy you and Clarkson are friends again! He sounds like such a wonderful character...I'm longing to meet him, because he sounds like just the sort of hero I like. :)

    I still have yet to read a Zane Grey book, but they're on my list. They sound very special. :)

    1. Natalie,
      Thank you so much! Your sweet comments on my writing mean so much to me! I'm just sitting here with a nice warm "I've got marvelous-friends" feeling. :)

      I do hope you like him!

      I'm glad your writing is calm at the moment! BTW: do you have another story in the works? Or are you mainly editing? Okay, I know you must have dozens of story ideas, but you know what I mean. :)

    2. Aww, I'm so glad to hear so! Your comments on my writing never fail to brighten my day, too. :) Isn't that feeling the best? I feel it often when having conversations with blogging friends-you all have been such a blessing! :D

      Heehee, dozens is quite the right word. But besides brainstorming two story ideas (one is a Western and the other is another fairy tale retelling...I'd love to tell you more in our letters!) I'm mainly focusing on editing. My characters have been behaving quite well, but I ran into some reconstruction problems. Writing new sections, moving other sections around...that sort of thing. Hopefully I can iron it all out soon. :) Thank you for asking! :D

    3. Natalie,
      Aw, I'm glad, I really enjoy having the chance to write them!

      Oh, I can't wait to hear more!!!


I don't want to say good-bye

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