MUSE? Or just the creative genius of the right brain?

‘I’ve always wanted to write a book.’

You have no idea just how many people have said these same words to me over the years and yet 4% of them actually do. I pull that figure of 4% from thin air as since I started running workshops and sharing the secrets of the writing world (shh) with others, 4 people have actually done something about it and achieved publication! Yay!!

Thank you! My public. I love you all.

Thank you! My public. I love you all.

 

When I quizz people further about this great masterpiece they’re going to write, the next thing I’ve heard is:

‘I’m going to write it when the MUSE hits.’

Now, being a writer, the first thing I do is turn to the dictionary for a definition.

“to become absorbed in thought; especially: to turn something over in the mind meditatively and often inconclusively”

jack sparrow

 

If I go to Wikipedia (which everyone knows is exceedingly accurate!) it says:

MUSE  (band) – an English rock band who formed in 1994

or

MUSE – Greek goddesses (there is controversy as to the exact number) who have the ability to inspire creation with their graces for song, stage, dance, traditional music and writing.

Now I’m a very right brained person (the right side is the creative side of the brain) and at often times am found to suddenly be colouring my hair – with little plan or forethought. Or I might decided to bake a cake at 10pm at night just because I feel like eating cake. When I was a teenager, it was not uncommon for me to change the furniture around in my room at 11pm simply because the mood did strike. I’m sure my parents and siblings thought I was nuts but then, none of them are as right brained as me and therefore, had no hope of understanding my ways.

So my question is, do I bake at odd hours and suddenly colour my hair or move furniture because of a MUSE or because my creativity bubbles up inside me and needs to find an outlet? I love witing, I love creating awesome characters but oftentimes I have to put them on pause while I deal with “real life” (blech). Then, when I have the time – which is usually late at night – I sit down and let the inspiration I’ve bottled up flow from my mind, my fingers typing furiously on the keyboard as I race to get the words down before I forget them.

Is this a bottled up MUSE fuelling me on? Is this just the pressure of a deadline? Is this just me?

I have never been the type of writer to sit around and wait for the MUSE to do their thing, for inspiration to hit. If I did that, I wouldn’t be presently writing BOOK NUMBER FIFTY-NINE.  It is possible to train your creative brain, it is possible to find self discipline and it is possible to produce an awesome story which a publishing house will love and rave over, by employing hard work and dedication to your craft.

Seriously folks, if you’re waiting around for your MUSE, you’d be better off listening to MUSE (the band) while you bake a cake. Time is precious. Don’t waste it.

snoopy_snowflakes

 

Lucy

 

 

 

All Skewif

Hi peeps,

Well, I just feel all over the place at the moment. It’s a Monday and I’m posting. Next thing I know, it’ll be raining cats, dogs, squirrles, there’ll be anarchy and some kind of cheese…

Hmm. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Weird, posting on a Monday. Also, last week Lucy and I couldn’t catch up on our regularly scheduled coffee fun times due to Reasons. Oh Reasons, you do like to mess with me.

So what have I been up to without *sniff* Lucy’s company? Well, I’ve been joining Writers Associations! Left, right and centre! Well, maybe not left, right and centre. Maybe not even left and right. Possibly centre. Anyhoo, I thought I’d list them for you lovely peeps, in case you might like to investigate and perhaps join yourselves:

SA WRITERS CENTRE

ROMANCE WRITERS OF NEW ZEALAND

And, just for spits and giggles, I’m already a member of:

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AUSTRALIA

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA

AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE READERS ASSOCIATION

So that’s about it from me, peeps! I’m sorry it’s a bit light on this post, but I blame my Lucy-less week. This week, we’re looking to get together at SA Writers Centre and chat and stuff and some good shizz will come out of it, I’m certain!

Until next time

– Cassandra

Giant Drops and Restrooms?

Well if Cassandra dropped the ball the other week, I’ve clearly lost mine! Sorry the blog is so late. I could offer a mountain of excuses but I won’t insult your intelligence.

There’s always the big question of ‘what to write’ when it’s your turn to blog and this week, I guess I’ve really struggled with exactly what it was I wanted to say. I did think of telling you about my week-end. They’re usually not that exciting, dealing with washing the clothes and writing words of some kind in my latest WIP but on Sunday afternoon, we went out to an adventure camp and after a lovely BBQ (or salad focaccia, in my case), we headed up an enormous hill to where there were climbing and abseiling frames set up and also a ‘giant swing’. Now I’d love to be able to put a picture right in here —- but the truth is that whilst we did take photos and video, they’re presently stuck on my phone and I can’t find the cord to hook the phone to my computer. (always the way)  However, it did look a little something like this:

It was great to be in an abseiling harness again (last time was when I was a teenager), with hard hat on, being winched up via a rope and then, when you pull the release string, you definitely swing to and fro. But… before I could write this blog, something else happened to me which, thanks to today’s technological society, actually embarrassed me.

My sister called me on my mobile phone while I was on the toilet!

Now, in the past, if I was in the ‘room where legends die’, and the phone rang, I had instructed my family to always say “she’s unavailable at the moment, can she call you back?” thus, preserving the my dignity and also the belief that I am perfect. (which, let’s face it, I am)

These days, with our mobile/cellphones glued to our sides, instructing our every waking moment as we use them for alarms, calendars, diaries, reminders, phone contacts etc, when you’re on a toilet – especially a public one, how utterly embarrassing is it when you get a call? Do you start to wonder, as I do, exactly what the other person can hear? Is the echo of the small cubicle evident? Do they hear the flushing sounds of the other toilets (if you’re in a public restroom)? You also know that everyone else in that restroom is listening in to your conversation.

Has this ever happened to you? Are you embarrassed or do you not particularly care? Have you ever read of character’s being in such a situation in any books?

When we write our stories, there are usually parts of normal human life that we tend to leave out – such as certain bodily functions. I do remember years ago, accepting the challenge to have one of my characters vomiting. She had food poisoning and I’d entwined the food poisoning into the plot specifically so I could have the scene of the hero holding back the heroine’s hair, rubbing her back and generally being supportive as she “hoiked up her guts” and oddly enough, my editors changed the scene to having him “being supportive” and then tucking her into bed. The vomiting was deleted.  Instead, the heroine had “felt ill”.

What books have you read where ‘bodily functions’ are more readily acceptable? Were they fiction? Non-fiction? Romance? Horror?  Enquiring minds want to know (especially mine).

From now on, though, whenever I enter a public restroom, I will definitely be turning my phone to silent!

Lucy

The importance of being named

I have a terrible time naming my characters. I’m very particular about names. Names mean something, names are important and can really define a personality. For my protagonists, there is much deliberation before the starting a story but for secondary characters, it’s usually whatever name I can pull from the air first. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find me looking off into space, when I need to come up with a new name for a secondary character.

I sit at my desk. I look around me. I search for anything that’s going to give me some help. I have several different dictionaries on my desk and as an example, my medical dictionary is credited to Robert M. Youngson so you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere in one of my stories is a Mr Roberts or a Mr Young or a Mrs Robertson.

I’ve just finished writing a six part mini-series for the Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance line where I created a family – the Goldmark’s – and proceeded to tell the stories of how the members of this large and extended family eventually find true happiness after experiencing much hardship. Several of the stories are set around a fictitious town near Australia’s snowy mountains, called Oodnaminaby. Now if you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’ll have some idea how I came up with the name of this town. 😉

Some of the other books in the Goldmark Series, were set in an outback town and before I tell you the name this town eventually received, I feel I should also let you know that when I write, I usually have headphones on, listening to loud, blaring music. As with finding the right name for my protagonists, so it may take a few chapters to find the right music to suit the storyline. Music can be highly inspirational, helping to set the mood and tone within my mind, so that creativity can be unlocked and the words can flow. (at least, that’s what I tell myself is happening as I play another game of Spider Solitaire)

So as I sat there, trying to figure out what on earth to call this new outback town, I closed my eyes and listened the music of Huey Lewis and the News. This is an 80’s band I have loved since… well since the 80’s. I have most of their records, which I now have on CD or iTunes and for this particular outback book, for some strange reason, Huey Lewis and the News was the music of choice to get me in the mood to create.

And now I’ll bet you can guess what I called that little outback town. That’s right, it’s Lewisville, which is nestled in the electoral district of Hueyton. That story is Falling For Dr Fearless and it’s out in Australian stores right now or available in ebook at:

Book 4 in The Goldmark Series

 

 

http://www.millsandboon.com.au/product/9781460885055

 

Other books in the Goldmark Series:

 

  • The Boss She Can’t Resist
  • Taming the Lone Doc’s Heart
  • Diamond Ring for the Ice Queen
  • Falling for Dr Fearless

 

Soon to be released:

 

  • A Socialite’s Christmas Wish
  • Dare she Dream Forever?

 

Lucy