Had a great weekend! Got lots of stuff done – laundry, sorted out the TBR pile and gathered up books to give to friends, even made a lovely Indian meal of Shrimp Curry and Cucumber Salad for the DH last night. But the most important thing – (dah dah dah DAH!!!!) is that I am back in the writing saddle again! Did 1500 words Sunday, plus a whole heck of a lot of brainstorming about GMC in my WIP.
And to what, dear hearts and gentle people, can we attribute this flurry of productivity? Why, only one of the best muse-stimulants known to womankind: friends! Yes, when the old well is running dry and you are about to throw in the towel, take your muse out for a nice gabfest (real-time or virtual) with some like-minded, supportive friends and see what happens.
Y’all may have picked up on the fact that my poor muse, Bridget, had been running on empty for a few weeks. Awful as it is to say, Bridgie gets a bit (read massively, incredibly, and horrendously) jealous when it seems that everyone around us is getting good news. And then, right after that influx of achievements by our friends, acquaintances, and others, the yahoo went on the fritz. Poor Bridget was convinced that everyone had stopped talking to us because we were such failures, and she went into a bit of a (read mammoth, overwhelming, and devastating) decline. She decided that we would stop writing, give up the day job, and spent our twilight years collecting shed cat hair (of which our house has plenty), spinning it into yarn, and knitting clever little toilet paper covers. Such is Bridget’s reaction to a bit of social isolation.
But, at long last, the yahoo came back to life, just in time for the scheduled chat of my online crit group, officially known as the Historical Fiction Group, but more colloquially referred to as #SFWG – or Super Fly Writing Group. An hour with the talented ladies of the #SFWG got Bridgie feeling all perky again. She even threw out the cat hair, so those of you with allergies can again safely drop in at Malfunction Junction. It is amazing to find thirteen (I think that is the current enrollment) ladies who write a variety of genres, at various levels of achievement, and yet support, encourage, and give-a-kick-in-the-butt-when-necessary each other.
So to the #SFWG: If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I LOVE YOU CHICAS!!!!!
(BTW, the marvelous Susan Spann, another of the SFWG girls, discusses this same point over at
http://www.susanspann.com/?p=1506#comment-817. Y’all go read her thoughts, too!)
Then, Saturday, I headed over for a sandals and salsa party at the lovely home of my friend, YA author Micki Gibson. Micks and I scarfed down salsa, guac, chips and a delightful sweet corn cake – all of which was, I am sure, completely Weight Watchers point free. Remember, if you break a chip, brownie, or similar in two, all the calories/carbs/points leak out, and you can eat without guilt.
After the low-cal refreshments, Micki and I had a tete-a-tete about our writing. Now me, I’m a pantser, and I shoot from the hip when I write. Micki, on the other hand, is one of those wonderfully disciplined people who do charts and timelines and actually know what they are going to write when they sit at the computer. So Micki jumps in and starts asking me a bunch of Goal, Motivation, and Conflict questions – the stuff I can’t be bothered with cause I am too eager to put my grubby little mitts on the keyboard.
Well, when Micki started speaking her language, dear Bridget came out to play! Micki and Bridgie plotted the rest of my Southern-fried Chick-lit WIP right there Saturday afternoon. And when I got up Sunday, heathen that I am, I sent the DH and DD to church, sat at my laptop, and kicked out more words in two hours than I’d done in the previous week.
Moral of our story, dear ones? While we often think of our muse as a reclusive, shy hermit who must be coaxed out of her cave into the cold light of day, the fact is, a muse loves a party. Her idea of a good time is a long, unpressured chat with friends she trusts. Preferably with chips, guac, and margaritas alongside.
So whatcha waiting for? Call your writing buds – the ones your muse can trust with her deepest secrets, and mix up the margaritas!