Muses

Your muse, your inspiration, do you have a person, place or time that you draw inspiration from?

I have several muses, that have grown silent lately.

My first crush, from fifth grade throughout high school, and even today, is still a constant source of inspiration. Most of my happier, romantic type material comes from her. I could easily write page after page about what she meant and means to me. We are still friends but live many miles away from each other.

My depression is another source of inspiration. The dark, emotional pain filled material…which taints most of my writings, and my views, spews forth from here. I’m glad to be out of the void of depression but at the same time…I miss it. I miss the connectivity to all emotions…the pain, truly wretched darkness… it destroys so much.

Music has been a muse for me as long as I can remember. I love music. I play it, listen to it, and write it. It’s an amazing thing to see a song come to life. Listening to it with a pen in hand sometimes opens up creativity in flashes so strong and complete. It’s not often that I complete a work in a single sitting, when I do, music is always playing. (Usually a single song on repeat.)

Most of what I write gets a mix of all three muses. My trouble, lately, is not that they have grown silent, as I stated earlier, but more that I have grown hard of hearing them. Binge watching television series episodes on Blu-ray has drowned out all other voices. Working 13 days straight with one day off in a repeating cycle leaves me with wanting cheap entertainment instead of diving into creative working with words and emotions. I’m tired and lazy, I suppose. I want to write but I don’t want to write…not right now.

My question for you is, how do I break free from this creative laziness? Any suggestions?

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

A Not So Short Story

This week’s theme is short stories of life in a dollhouse…here is my version that didn’t get quite so short…I’ll continue this…it’s fun! I was pressed for time as my life is hectic but (sorry for any typos), I hope you enjoy:

Logan opens his eyes…a plastic ceiling greets his view. He turns his head to see…Barbie?…lying beside him.

“What the fuck?” he grumbles.

He turns to see there is no wall…just the huge face what appears to be the largest human girl he has ever seen.

He jumps out of bed; his adamantium claws already out and ready for battle.

“No sir, Wolverine! That’s not nice!” the gigantic girl says. Her voice is like rolling thunder…well, high pitched thunder. She extends her hand towards him and he slashes at her finger to find it does no damage.

“What the fuck?!” he exclaims.

“Ah! You said the f-word!” her thunderous girlie voice rumbles through the plastic Barbie house. “I’m telling Mom that Johnny taught you bad words,” she says as she picks Wolverine off the plastic floor.

Logan thrashes but to no avail. The gigantic child is impervious to any harm, and he is powerless against her.

“I borrowed you from him after he took Ken and blew him up. He said he was trying to disarm a bomb from Cobra Commander…Ken is a surfer not a bomb technician! Anyway, a bottle rocket is not an IDE…or what ever Johnny said it was! Ken never had a chance! He just hovered over the grass before…POW!”

Tears well up in her eyes and Logan’s only thoughts are, “What the fuck?!”

“Ken was so handsome. Barbie really loved him and Johnny took him from her. So now you are her new husband. Don’t worry. There isn’t anyone here named Magnet or Magento, or whoever Johnny said to pull out your Adamantium. Barbie will get used to your beard.”

“What the fuck?!” Logan screams.

“Really Wolverine?! Is that all you know how to say?! Well?! Is it?!”

“What the fuck are you talking about giant bitch girl!” Logan screams as he continues to wrestle against her fingers grasping him tightly.

“Barbie and I will not tolerate that language, sir. You’re supposed to be a gentleman and love her. You’ll buy her nice things like flowers, chocolates, diamond rings, and cars. You don’t ever swear at her or call her fat. Do you understand?! She can be as late as she needs to be. You’re only job is to understand and hug her and call her beautiful,” she says as she reaches for a pair of finger nail clippers. “I’m going to cut these claws of yours off so you can’t hurt Barbie.”

“No the fuck you’re not!” Logan screams.

“Wolverine! You stop cursing! I tell you what, if you promise to never say the f-word again I’ll leave these but, if I hear you talk like that again buddy, they are gone. Do you hear me little man?!”

“Who the f…um…what gives you the right?!”

“I am more powerful than you can possibly comprehend, Wolverine. I am a woman. You just do what I say and everything will be ok, got it?”

“What the f…” the clippers come closer. “Future holds…what the future holds for me and Barbie is happily ever after. That’s what I was going to say,” Logan says.

“Huh uh…I knew you’d see things my way. I have these clothes from Ken’s surfer wardrobe…let’s see if something fits…”

“What the…uh..no. I am a superhero and I wear this hero uniform, bi…uh, what’s your name?”

“My name is Bethany,” she says with a smile.

“Well, Bethany, my name is Logan.”

“Logan?! I thought Johnny said your name is Wolverine.”

“Well, I go by Wolverine, too. My friends call me Logan.”

“Oh! Are you saying we’re friends now?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say friends, really. Decent acquaintances.”

“Well, I don’t know what that means but, it sounds special.”

“Oh, it’s special alright…”

“Well you listen here mister, the only special relationship you’ll have is with Barbie!”

Logan turns a his head and looks at Barbie…a plastic doll lying in a plastic bed. “Uh…listen kid, Bethany…does Barbie just lie there doing nothing?

Cause my last girl friend did that and…, I mean, uh…”

To be continued…

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Breaks

It’s rare, in my experience, that life ever stays calm, easy, flowing, and a breeze to maneuver. It’s usually quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, I get rather anxious if things do go right…why? ‘Cause I know the other shoe is about to drop…

I just recently suffered a devastating blow. A dear friend, and family member died in his sleep, unexpectedly. He was only two years older than I. He died alone. Just as his mother had. You see, he had taken care of his mother for many years. He had desperately needed a night to himself…so he took one. His mother called and he ignored her call. She died that night. He threw so much guilt and self loathing on himself that I think it contributed to his early death. A once jovial man who loved life, he traveled the US on photography trips every year and created breathtaking landscapes. He became cynical, and critical; he could no longer take those photography trips…his body turned on him. He became dependent on dialysis…his political views were passionate and one sided. A man who once loved so many, and was loved by many more, reduced his circle…until the only family he contacted anymore was a cousin across the country, and myself.

This is why I have taken a break from WordPress. My heart has been broken and is still. Tears well up in my eyes as I type these words. I wish I had taken the time to visit more, to call, to write to and about our family. So many of the story holders are already gone. And that is why I am returning to writing. For a while, I was so disconnected from myself I could not find the words to express what I felt. I also lost my purpose. I was writing just to write, though there is nothing wrong with that. But too much of it, for me, became more of an obligation than the passionate expression it once had been…the passion is what I loved about writing in the first place. This break helped me rediscover…me.

This week our theme is Breaks – why they’re important. I believe in following through with obligations and promises made. I dropped the ball this past month…well, let’s be honest…this whole fucking year so far. I apologize for that. I think my new promise and obligation should only be to publish passionate pieces. That may mean not publishing everyday. I think you’re worth it. I should only share shit that’s living and breathing. Shit that’s near and dear to my heart. Without this break, I would have continued on lifeless publishing. That’s not fair to you.

Taking a break isn’t quitting. After all, every football game has four quarters and a halftime. The players need breaks to recoup, reenergize, and refresh to be able to “leave it all out on the field.” There is nothing wrong with taking a knee and resting a minute. That minute may be a day, a week, a month. You only quit if you don’t come back. I think you’ll find you’ll want to come back just as desperately as you wanted to stop writing. I did..or I should say do. I was so close to never coming back…then I heard a song called, “Gone” by Charles Berthoud. It’s an instrumental bass piece…breath taking. (So is Luna!) It brought me back…the words over flowed…along with the long lost passion. I had no choice but to write. It’s good to be back!! It really is.

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Photo Credits:

  • Benjamin Schaefer
  • Natasha Breen
  • Mark Herreid
  • Kurt Arrigo

Apologies

It is with regret that I cannot complete this week’s post on fiction writing. Several personal issues have come to play in recent days and I must step away from The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch for a short time. I will return shortly and am looking forward to writing more posts about the art of writing. Thanks for understanding…

Grabbety Covens

Poetry: Love 101

So, I wanted to write some poetry about love but, I’m in a place where I’m just not feeling it. I can write about the memory of love, the feeling of it when it’s brand new and exciting; I can write about the pain when it’s over but where I’ve been lately is surviving without it. I believe in love. I believe that you can have a love of your life. I believe you can have other loves that can be meaningful but never quite meet up to that love of your life love. I believe in second chances to find that love. I believe in being faithful with the one you’re with. The song lyrics, “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with,” speak more to me than just catchy words to a beat.

So, here is an attempt at a poem about making the best with what you have. I hope you enjoy it:

Heaven in your eyes…

forever’s a lovely disguise,

right now is all we have,

more than a one night stand,

but less than a lifetime,

hope for more would be a crime,

to who we both are,

and all our scars,

our dark pasts,

those memories last,

longer than our story may,

but at least we have one to say,

we may not have a happy ever after,

but maybe it can end with laughter,

instead of tears this time,

falling from hazel eyes,

I love but not you,

it’s real but not true,

it’s the best I can give,

in this life that I live,

I know you feel the same

and honestly there’s no shame,

to hold on for now,

and make it work somehow,

if only for a little while,

during our exile

from happier days…

at least there’s a heaven’s in your gaze…

I didn’t have a preconceived idea of where this was going. The words went where they went. Rhyming takes time and thought. You may find some helpful websites or apps that assist you with finding words that rhyme. It’s a process. Sometimes it takes you in different directions than you’re willing to go and you have to rewrite. Just keep writing. Keep trudging through it. Happy writing!

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Photo Credits:

  • Akanjee Photography
  • Jude Stewart
  • Keng Po Leung

Reading and Commenting

I read a good number of posts from other bloggers that I respect and admire as authors/writers. I also take time to visit new writers’ blogs. If I read a post that captivates me enough to read it to the end, I like it. If I read one and I feel its dripping with passion from every letter of every word, I comment. Sometimes I reblog the post. Why?

Writers/bloggers take time and effort to pour into their craft. When the results of that effort are phenomenal I am compelled to express my appreciation of their written works. If the author consistently writes pieces that speak to me over and over, I follow that writer. Some of my favorite writers and I have wonderful conversations through comments left on posts. It’s a wonderful way to make a network of colleagues to support one another in the journey of blogging.

I have refrained from leaving negative comments, especially on new writers’ posts. Some have published some rather atrocious posts but…I have as well. It’s the growing process. I’ve reached a place in my growth where I can handle negative comments. I remember the first piece I’d ever written was in fifth grade, for a class project. I was ecstatic about my story of pirates that I had written on my own. It was for a free write in English class. I’d never been more proud of anything in my entire (and young) life. My teacher eviscerated it. Recommended that I see a counselor; the experience lead me to abandon writing for many years. I wish now that I had kept that paper. I would frame it. Instead, I was so devastated by it, it never made it home. At ten years old I made a decision never to write again because of a negative critique from an ‘educator’ who thought it prudent to rip a child’s work apart because it contained references to alcohol, violence, and sexual assault…hello…it’s pirates. Did they not attack ships, drink rum, raid, rape, and pillage? Maybe the teacher expected more of a G-rated Muppets Treasure Island but he got a PG-13/R rated version of Black Sails. I started reading very early and my mother took me and my brother to the library at least once a week. We read a lot of books on many different topics.

What I’m taking forever to say is, just because something you read isn’t necessarily to your liking or expectations, unless specifically asked for an in depth critique, comments/suggestions for improvement should really be limited to grammatical areas. If you like it, say so; if you don’t like it, don’t hit the like option. If you feel you need to comment your dislike for the post, write an email, or have a private communication with the writer/blogger. Common courtesy isn’t too common anymore. ‘Being real’ with someone is often just being an asshole to hurt someone to feel powerful or better about one’s self.

All that being said, writers need to develop a tough skin. Take the negative comments in stride with the good. If the comment has merit, make the appropriate changes. If not, never let it sway you from continuing to perfect your craft. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Turning Angel – inspiring novel

“Some stories must wait to be told.

Any writer worth his salt knows this. Sometimes you wait for events to percolate in your subconscious until a deeper truth emerges; other times you’re simply waiting for the principals to die. Sometimes it’s both.

This story is like that.

A man walks the straight and narrow all his life; he follows the rules, stays within the lines; then one day he makes a misstep. He crosses a line and sets in motion a chain of events that will take from him everything he has and damn him forever in the eyes of those he loves.

We all sense that invisible line of demarcation, like an unspoken challenge hanging in the air. And there is some wild thing in our natures that makes us want to cross it, that compels us with the silent insistence of evolutionary imperative to risk all for a glinting shadow. Most of us suppress that urge. Fear stops us more often than wisdom, as in most things. But some of us take that step. And in the taking, we start a path from which it is difficult and sometimes impossible to return.”

– Greg Iles, Turning Angel

These words hooked me and never let me go. I read every word of this book and every book Greg Iles has published. I have the hard cover copies. Even some signed editions.

His works inspire me to write from different perspectives, points of views, genders, genres, with genuine effort, and a strong desire to produce quality material.

I’d love nothing more than to share everything that happens in this novel but I despise when someone takes the mystery and suspense away from something unknown to me. Yes, introduce me to what inspires, and drives you but let me search for that passion as well.

So here is an introduction: Penn Cage is a lawyer in Natchez, Mississippi. (He is Greg Ile’s protagonist in a number of his novels.) Written in first person point of view, Turning Angel follows a childhood friend of Penn Cage, Drew Elliot, a local physician whose life is turned upside down. A fabulous novel that keeps you guessing from cover to cover.

Because of this novel, and the others in the Penn Cage series, my dream of finishing and publishing similar novels was awakened. I have two different novels based on this style of writing and genre in the works, with ideas for more, as well. Now I just have to do it. Find the drive and determination to follow them through. Perhaps another re-read will be just what the doctor ordered…

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Upon The Page

Never knowing what to say,

plagues me in so many ways,

especially upon the page,

occasionally leading to outrage,

more often than not, honestly,

a cursed voodoo prophecy?

or a frustrated writer wannabe?

a little of both, possibly…

ok, mostly just the latter,

and too much on my platter,

dreams of success shatter,

does that really even matter?

when all is ‘said’ and done…

but I haven’t ‘said’ one

word of relevance since I begun,

so the curse, or frustration, won,

does that mean I lose?

or haven’t paid my dues,

who gets to choose?

how much is enough to defuse,

this wretched mind being confused,

nothing is ever enough,

no path is too rough,

or choice too tough,

to end the curse or give life up,

so, the battle rages on,

from sunset to dawn,

until the curse is gone,

and words are spawned,

upon the page…

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

A little poetry about writing for a change of pace for The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch…

Research

No matter what it is you decide to write, you do yourself, and your reader, an injustice if you don’t do the research to make your work credible. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. Write what you know, or write only what you know. If I did that, the number of readers interested in plumbing would pretty dismal…and I would bore myself to death writing it. However, I have been buried alive, survived a head on collision, birth defects, broken multiple bones, heart, spirit, soul, mind, seen people die before my eyes, witnessed some sick shit…stuff that is interesting. I use those resources to tap into the emotions that transcend specific circumstances and are familiar to all. I don’t have to research those. I do have to research the setting and plot of where these emotions take place.

I enjoy reading…well, a number of different genres but I especially enjoy mystery and criminal investigation novels. I also enjoy writing multiple genres but tend to focus on the mystery and criminal investigation novels. I’m not an investigator. I have to research everything. Investigational procedures, criminal databases, forensic science, criminal behavioral sciences, police radio terminology, Law Enforcement nomenclature, FBI procedures, and the list goes on and on. I thoroughly enjoy what I find but the hours invested are high.

Why? The desire for credibility in what I write is an extreme driving force for me. I have a small library of true crime, csi procedures, forensics, collections on serial killers and how they were caught. I need to know what I’m writing about. I don’t need to be a subject matter expert but that wouldn’t be a bad thing either. If you know one, use it.

Research your subject matter’s lingo so that your dialogue sounds real, legit. If they use abbreviations for terms, you do, too. Explain it once, maybe in parentheses, but use appropriate lingo afterwards. Don’t continue to use clinical terminology because you think it makes you look credible. It makes you look desperate. Have you’ve ever tried to write an intimate scene and use clinical terminology through it all? Read it out loud. See what I mean? Of course you could avoid the scene all together and just…fade away to assumed actions.

Research is a vital key to successful writing. As vital as editing, and rewriting. Good luck.

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

Photo Credit: Stockphotofan1

Surviving The Struggle To Success

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