Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where's my Muse?!

See that?  Those are the feet of my cat Jackson.  I just spent a lot of time getting him to stand on the copier so I could scan them in.  It's called procrastination taken to the heights of a true art form.  Oh, sure, I could claim I was practicing how to use the scanner so I could scan in old pics and important papers but the mind scoffs at such an excuse.  Big loud scoffing.  I was - plain and simple - wasting time.  Dithering about.  Doing anything but what I should be doing - working on the next book.

Sent the next vamp novella in Monday.  Began to think it was cursed as I changed the start and it required a lot more rewriting than I had anticipated and then - just as I'm about to get it sent in - the lights go out for a day.  So, yes,one could say I deserve a little break - but scanning a pic of my cat's feet into the computer?  That's stretching it.

The thing is, I have another Murray tale to write and I just don't know how to start it.  Have about three beginnings in mind and don't know which one I like best.  My heroine Ilsabeth is not helping and all the hero wants is for me to get her delicious self to him ASAP so he can seduce her.  Men.  No help at all.

My Muse?  Obviously on vacation or just plain undecided.  The solution is - write all three openings and see which one starts the old creative juices flowing.  The urge to do that is lacking.  I seem to think I can just mull it over and inspiration will strike.  Ain't happening.  Instead I'm scanning weird things into the computer. 

Oh, I know what is to happen at the start, what will send Ilsabeth running into Simon's arms, but just how that takes place is the puzzle.  Beginnings can be a real pain in the buttsky.  You want them to grab the reader, entice the reader,  make the reader want to turn the page and keep on going.  That can actually be very intimidating to a writer.  Yes, sometimes it's just there, ready to practically write itself .  Other times it's almost there but maybe this would work better or this - you get the drift.  It's not writer's block but it can be just as bad.  Roadblock - you're sitting there wondering which way to turn and the Tom-Tom in your brain is giving you too many ways to go.  So - you idle there.  Not good.

In the end, what I will do is write the first couple sentences of each beginning - maybe even the first paragraph - and see which has more snap.  Or which makes me want to keep on going and thumb my nose at all the other possibilities.  So Ilsabeth best step up to the starting line because I intend to get this book done by May.  I want to be able to do some gardening and not spend that all important month(to gardening) sitting at the computer.  But right now I see Perkins - Jackson's sister who has a lot of extra toes - and am wondering if I can get her to stand on the copier.


  1. You'll no doubt roll your eyes, but when I can't get motivated I put Phantom of the Opera into my DVD player and immerse myself into Gerard Butler's eyes and voice. Of course, the rest comes along with him. I have no idea why, cannot explain it, but the haunting music in Phantom stirs my muse and the words just flow. And this happens every time I listen to the music....

    Cute footprints by the way.

  2. I am convinced that my muse lives in the attic and that until I hear the tap-tap of her stilettos overhead, nothing is going to happen. I have yet to discover the perfect method of getting her to come down. Suggestions, anyone?

  3. Your blog really grabbed me. In fact, it was almost as if you were describing me. If I had a cat, I'd do the same thing. When I get stuck, I play cards on the computer, and sometimes it actually works. I should ask my son what he does. He's a master at procrastination. When he was 18 he bought a book on it. He's 39 now and hasn"t read it yet and he's a writer.

    LOL. I spent half the day putting off writing an article for a blog. Still haven't done it, but I do have an outline now.

    Can I borrow your cat?

    Joan K. Maze

  4. Hi Hannah,

    You're always so funny! Scanning the cat. Yeah, that's prime procrastination. Me? I try new promos. Design a new bookmark or postcard only to give it up when the design site doesn't cooperate.

    Yesterday I addressed postcards to promote my first mass market paperback (coming from Sourcebooks June 1st) I finally know what writer's cramp is! Wow! It has nothing to do with the wrist. It's actually the fingers that hurt.

    It seems that today I'm procrastinating with email. I know what I need to be doing. Polishing book 2 in the series and outlining book 3, simultaneously. I'm not sure which is going to get touched today. I hope I can get book 2 out of the way first, but there are new things cropping up in book 3 that I have to foreshadow in book 2. Sigh.

    Well, I'm getting back to work soon as I finish my email.


  5. Whenever I'm lost for what to write, I think about doing housework and the words start flying from my fingers!

  6. The way I see it, writers are never idle. People may think we're staring blankly off into space, but that's just our subconscious mind working out the intracacies of new plot lines. And what's wrong with taking a few days to recharge by contemplating the best way to scan a cat? Sounds pretty Zen to me.

    BTW, I see my "sister" Ash was here. Hey Ash, congrats on the Sourcebooks sale!

  7. Wonderful post, Hannah! I thought I was the queen of procrastination. :) Your comment on writing just a few lines for each story idea was particularly helpful. Sometimes just getting started is half the battle.