Writers collect inspirational resources like a low-lying pond collects water: from anywhere around. Here are three writing resources that I recommend you try for helpful advice.
Author C. Hope Clark is a South Carolina novel writer with several book series (Edisto Island Mysteries) to her credit. Her Funds for Writers is on the Readers’ Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers. The emailed newsletter comes in either a free edition or an expanded paid edition. It lists contests and funding sources for writers. Following Hope’s own active marketing, and prolific writing habits, can also teach newbies, and more experienced writers, a bundle of useful tips.
Joan Dempsey is a writer and Editor with several online courses. I recently enrolled in her Revise with Confidence course and found it well organized and quite helpful. You will likely see some improved blog posts here as a result of my participation in Joan’s course.
I had previously read several books recommended by Joan. One I had not read until recently was Several Short Sentences About Writing (Verlyn Klinkenborg, Vintage Books, 2013). This is an easy-to-read book of common sense about writing. I am sure I will reread it a number of times in the future.
The noun “Muse” comes from Greek and Roman mythology and represents any one of the nine goddesses who were daughters of Zeus. The goddesses inspired music, poetry, drama, and similar artistic efforts. In the literary sense, a muse is a verb, often personified, and meaning to reflect or ponder upon something.
Every writer’s Muse is believed to inspire creativity whenever she chooses to appear.
My Muse is a woman who I have nicknamed Gus. This was the name of a mentor from my distant past. We both worked in a tangled work environment marred by paranoia and distrust. Gus often gave me, his much younger and less experienced supervisor, timely and sage advice. In return, I kept him around in a feminine persona as my Muse.
Today, “Gus” is a companion on my twisted journey as a writer. Unfortunately, she usually is silent when I need her, and distracts me when my writing is comfortably sinking into a cesspool of boredom. Like now, for instance.
Gus (sighing to catch my attention),
“Hey, you, artful scribe!” (Gus can be a bit snotty at times)
Me: “uh, huh, oh it’s you.”
Gus: “You were expecting who? Sandra Bullock? Jennifer Lopez?
(I told you she could be snotty didn’t I?)
Me: “Took you long enough to show up. You planning to sleep through all these Chisholm Trail posts?”
Gus: “Wouldn’t have been that hard the way you were writing.”
Me: “Oh, really? And what are your brilliant thoughts, Old Priestess?”
(No reason she shouldn’t get a taste of her own medicine).
Gus: “Feeling a little passive aggressive today are we? I was just thinking it would be about time to write something about the cows.”
Me: “The what?”
Gus: “The Longhorns, genius! Let’s give people a peek at the cattle. How did the cowboys come across the critters in the first place?
Me: Cows are cows aren’t they?”
Gus: (ignoring me) Were Longhorns good guy cows—err, steers, or bad cows? I mean, the Longhorns are kind of basic to the story, don’t you think? Not many cowboys were driving Llamas to market back in the 1800s. Just saying. Write in some Longhorn flavor here Mr. Blogger. Get some sizzle in your steak—sorry, that just slipped out.”
Me: “Hmm, not bad, I suppose I could write about their …