Waking the Muse

Good Friday Bloggerinos!  I, like many of you, am always on the lookout for creative fuel.  You know, the stuff that makes your gears turn, your muse stir, and your soul spark.  If I've learned any little thing about this writing stuff (and it has been VERY little), it's that you have to find ways to jumpstart your imagination even when your mind is locked down tighter than a granny in the Full Body Scan line at the airport.

Thus, I'm going to start sharing (with you) some of the things that I find most stimulating in hopes that it'll rub off.  Unfortunately, I can't throw hot coffee through the computer into your lap (because I suspect that many of you are like me and most motivated by black liquid caffeine ... or the threat of scalding hot liquid being thrown on you--take your pick), I'll try to keep this to music, photos, and the like.  It'll be a weekly thing as my moods change often!  Hope you enjoy, and maybe discover something that moves you.


For the inaugural installment of Waking the Muse, I've chosen the musician Brian Crain.  The music is instrumental and is really perfect for this time of winter dormancy and post-holiday slowdown.  It is slow and atmospheric with hints of joy and melancholy.   I found him this week on iTunes.  The following tunes are from his album, Piano and Cello Duet.



  1. Love the music! Always looking for new creative inspiration. I'm inhaling a pot of that black liquid caffeine right now.

  2. You just reminded me I forgot to do the coffee thing after I turned off the sleeping news. Thanks for the excuse to leave the computer.

  3. I spent the whole day writing. Please let me rest.

  4. My number one, never-fails-me trick for getting the words to flow is to take a walk. It's best when it's dark out, so I feel like I'm in this quiet little cocoon. I just talk into my digital recorder then come home and transcribe. Forty minutes equals 800-1000 words, and I get some exercise. Sometimes I can stare at the computer all day and not get anywhere near that many words.

  5. you and the comment-ers offer great inspiring ideas-- thanks for sharing

  6. The walk does it for me. Or--my brain works over-time at night and scenes pop into my head. I highly recommend a digital recorder to take it all down, because you can get it all down later.
    It's just that you have to listen to your own voice lol.

  7. What pretty music. I like to write to music soundtracks. Hans Zimmerman and Danny Elfman have some really good ones.

    I also find my ideas like to flow while I'm driving.

  8. I find that all other art can be inspiring. Sometimes I read books and I'm all "hmmm, look at that technique- I like the way the flashbacks are presented." Or I'll see a striking photo (I'm not a visual person so it has to really stand out) like off a ribbon blowing through the desert and I imagine the story of the ribbon. Or I hear a song, and I think about what the character in the song has gone through to reach this point.

    I think inspiration is everywhere. It's just that as artists we have to remember to be open to it.

    Thanks, for the instrumentals.

  9. I have a playlist for each of my novels. I know one author who used to listen to Broadway showtunes, and another--yes, William, I mean you--who has a preference for soundtracks.

    For myself, I prefer music with lyrics that fit the story/characters.

  10. Old Tragically Hip albums do it for me.

    I've listened to "Road Apples" more time than I can count.

    Thank you for this post!

  11. Usually my muse likes to sneak up on me right as I'm about to fall asleep (thus one of the pivotal recurring scenes in the book I'm writing as a result.) When I'm writing, to drown out distractions, I usually listen to instrumental as well. Mostly anything with cello or viola.


  12. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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