Time For A Change?

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My blog has looked exactly the same for three years. When I first set the theme, I loved the color, simplicity, and atmosphere. In many ways, I still love my blog’s theme, but I’m also starting to feel the itch for something new. As my writing and creative pursuits grow and evolve, it seems only fitting that my blog reflects the changes of both myself and my muse.

The problem is I can’t decide what kind of changes I want to make. Do I want something sleek and modern? Or colorful? Or minimalist? The possibilities are endless and its hard to pinpoint a style that is both progressive and reflective of my creative interests. All I know is I like color (subtle, not bold), horizontal headers, and a simple layout.

It’s tempting to go with what I traditionally prefer, but I’m also considering a massive departure from the norm. I spend so much time on my blog, I’m curious to see how a drastic change might shake up my muse. Perhaps, my muse will be inspired to try new and exciting avenues of artistic creation.

While a foray into something new could open up new doors, there is something to be said staying true to myself. I don’t want to wander too far away from who I am or how I want to express myself. The last thing I want to be is fake blogger who represents one thing but thinks another. This blog has always been and always will be about following my muse.

Am I over thinking this? Probably. It’s as simple as picking a theme and clicking a button, right? Wrong! If I choose a theme that is too different from my current layout, I’ll have to go back and re-format over 600 posts. I may even have to reconfigure my footers, widgets, and menus. Nothing about that sounds fun!

Despite my misgivings about having to re-format, I am well aware that my blog is starting to look outdated. Pretty soon, it’s going to occupy the same shelf as cell phones with buttons and heavy laptops. No one wants to visit a blog that looks like a relic from the past (unless it’s a history blog!), nor do they want to spend time navigating a site with an archaic set-up.

As I contemplate the prospect of change, I’m reminded that things always do and must change. The last thing I want is for my muse to stagnate in a vortex of “sameness,” so I better get busy and start making some big decisions. If my blog looks a little strange over the next couple of weeks, chalk it up to experimentation on my part. I hope you’ll stick around for the remodel!

Here are some of themes I’m considering at the moment:

Fictive

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Flounder

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Writr

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BonPress

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Retro-Fitted

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What do you think?

 

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c.b.w. 2014

 

The Not-So-Dry Spell

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I haven’t worked on a novel in almost a year. This was a pretty shocking revelation to me as a writer, but one I’m glad I realized. Novel writers are an interesting breed in that they believe every waking moment should be devoted to doing something on one work in progress or another. I lived this belief for five years as I cranked out not one, but two novels.

When the last line is written and the last page has been revised for the fourth time. The novel is done, leaving nothing else but the “what now,” moment. Suddenly, the novel writer has minimally eight extra hours a day that is not filled with word count goals or a blinking cursor. Some writers immediately start on a new project to keep the mojo going, but others revel in the down time. I’d always been the former, a literal Energizer Bunny that never, ever stopped. That is until, I had a little epiphany.

After completing my first novel, I jumped right into brainstorming ideas for the next one. I was on a roll and I didn’t want to break the cycle. However, after completing my second novel, I found I was a little reluctant to start the process of writing a third novel. At first, I was a little worried that my muse had finally run out of juice, but then I realized I was desperately in need of a break. I loved my characters and the worlds I created for them, but I found I was missing the real people in my life and the real world. It was time to look away from the screen and jump back into the world that had inspired me in the first place.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss working on my novels. I do. A copy of The Muse is on my Kindle and on my computer desktop.  A partial outline for The Muse: Lineage sits on my writing desk, while a stack of CDs is waiting for me to peruse them for songs to go on a playlist for Lineage. Despite a long hiatus from butt on chair, fingers on keyboard work, my novels are never far from my mind. Still, I think my characters understand that I needed a little space to gather my thoughts and consider my next steps.

Some would call this a dry spell, but I call it a writer’s reboot. My time away from novel writing hasn’t been wasted by any means. Between agent hunting, experimenting with poetic forms, free writes and rediscovering my love of writing short stories, it’s been a productive chunk of time. The initial feeling of guilt for not constantly working on a novel has all but disappeared and I am enjoying the freedom of being able to truly follow my muse.

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c.b.w. 2014

Black Holes & Mischievous Elves

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After looking at my stats for the first in months, I’ve decided it’s a good thing that I have a sense of humor. No amount of pretty graphics can hide the fact that my numbers are in a coma.

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Really?

There is one silver lining in that I’m still receiving lovely comments and likes which tells me the quality of my posts is not in question, (at least I hope it’s not), so the writer in me can’t help but speculate possible reasons for why my numbers are flatlining.

1. My inner critic is getting back at me for ignoring her for most of the last year or so.

2. The subscription thingy is out of whack.

3. My blog is imaginary.

4. Fate is trying to tell me to focus more on refining Novel #2 and finishing my query package.

5. My counter is either malfunctioning or messing with me.  Or mischievous elves are stealing my hit counts and hiding them.

6. My readers want to read my novel more than my posts and this is their way of forcing me to work harder on getting an agent, (if only . . . . Lol!).

7. The internet is broken.

8. There has been a disturbance in the Force.

9. I accidentally jumped into a parallel universe where I am not a writer.

10. The garden rabbit nibbled on my numbers thinking they were a snack.

11. My computer desperately wants to take a vacation and its purposely hiding my posts so people can’t find them.  It’s hoping I’ll get so discouraged that I’ll stop writing and it can rest.

12. Everybody is at the movies or watching TV, (Hmmm . . . Star Trek: Into Darkness is pretty awesome in IMAX/3D).

13. People are reading actual books instead of firing up the computer (which isn’t totally a bad thing).

14. The universe is collapsing and I’m so busy writing, I haven’t noticed.

15. I accidentally set my blog on private.

16. My stats are stuck in a time warp.

17. I’ve lost my mojo.

18. I was inadvertently mean to someone and I’m being punished, (unlikely, but worth investigating).

19. The gods are trying to teach me a lesson for continually breaking the dress code at work (I won’t stop wearing jeans and Converse sneakers).

20. Solar flares and black holes are acting up again.

My muse and I are both scratching our heads for a way to get out of this funk. Meanwhile, many thanks to readers who stop by each day!!

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c.b. 2013

Poeticals IV + Haiku

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My muse is again wandering through different mediums and rhythms. Thanks to new book titles on an end cap and a drawing in my sketchpad, poetry abounds.

PoeticaI IV: Inspired by a romance novel end cap.

Haven gone
edge devoured
Hours destined
addicted twice
Honest regret
shades surrender

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Random Haiku: Inspired by a piece of “art.”

The breeze catches me
I float between sun and stone
and land on the ground

A little drawing I did with a black ink and crayons.

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Stay inspired!

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c.b.w. 2012

Into The Writing Cave

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To borrow a phrase from Crow River Writer, I’ve decided to retreat into my Writing Cave for the next week.  Three weeks ago, I set the insane goal of finishing my second novel by the end of September. The shocker is I am really close to reaching this goal!

So close!

With only a week remaining, my muse and my imagination are itching to focus entirely on the last scene and the possibility of an epilogue.  So, for the first time in more than a year, I will be taking a week-long break from my blog and the blogosphere as a whole in order to appease my very insistent muse. As luck would have it, I have three days off from work this week, which will allow me to completely immerse myself in the work without the distraction of my day job. It’s like the stars have aligned with the perfect opportunity and I simply can’t ignore the path they’ve laid out.

Before I head into my cave, I thought I’d leave behind a few cryptic morsels from my second novel. I’ve been very vague about the plot, though I’ve shared a little about my main characters, (See What’s In A Name? Everything! and What I Love About My WIP).  I’ll continue to be elusive with concrete details, but I thought it would be fun to give some clues to the story.

The quote is one the first things I scribbled into my notes while doing research and the photograph is taped into the pages of my Novel Notebook.

. . . And into me they breathed a voice divine

to celebrate the future and the past

My orders were to celebrate the gods who live

eternally, but most of all to sing

of them themselves, the Muses, first and last

                        — Hesiod, The Theogony

Dan’s Cave, Abaco Island, Bahamas.
Photo from National Geographic

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Hopefully, these little nuggets will intrigue more than frustrate!

While I won’t be blogging, I will be on my Facebook page with random thoughts as I work my way through the final segment of novel #2.  Visit my sidebar and hit the Like button to follow along.  This is most likely the first place I will be celebrating when I finish the last sentence. Hope to see you there!

I’ll be back with a post for Sunday Abroad on September 30.  Thank you so much to my readers for all of your support and encouragement.  I am very aware that I would not have made it this far without you.

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c.b.w. 2012