Blog Archives

Yes, I’ve Been Away for a Long Time

christmas_39

Hi there to all those who have stuck with me this past year. To say it’s been crazy is an understatement! Blogging has been one of those things I had to put aside for a while because, well, I just couldn’t make the effort when other life events seemed so much more important. Even my writing has suffered, but not to the point I totally stopped, thank goodness!

Since last October I have moved house to the UK and back, and I have lived without my husband for eight months, not a good thing when we have such a great relationship. We wanted a new life but the British government are assholes and their ridiculous laws archaic, to put it mildly, so we had to make the tough decision to return to South Africa for the time being. Whether it’s permanent, temporary, or temporarily permanent we don’t know yet 🙂

So, due to this upheaval of life and the awful emotional strain I’ve been under, I have not blogged this entire year. I will, however, make a much bigger effort next year. It’s not a new Year’s resolution, by the way, because I don’t believe in those, but it is an intention and those usually work for me.

I want to wish you all a very blessed and merry Christmas. May it be a wonderful, magical time, because who doesn’t want that for Christmas? 2016 promises to be interesting and eventful for me, at least. Let’s set our intentions to make it a powerful, mind-bending one, too, what do you say? So many exciting movies and other global events in the pipeline that I’m looking forward to. Let’s intend for peace to prevail and evil to wan.

Have a great one, guys, and I WILL see you again next year!

 

Advertisements

Merry Christmas, One and All!

christmas_39

This has been a very challenging year for me and I have unfortunately been a bit lax in blogging, but I have a good reason. I decided on the massive (and insane!) undertaking of moving to another country with my hubby, and I think I’m still recovering!! It’s been a tough six months but I believe I managed it quite well, although some things in my life suffered, like blogging and writing, which I fully intend to remedy in the new year. I have had the time, thankfully, to continue editing the fourth and final book in my epic fantasy tetralogy titled The Sword Bearer’s Ascension, which I am planning to publish before the middle of next year. I also managed to successfully complete NaNoWriMo and almost have an entire new scifi novel to work with when the time is right.

Winner-2014-Facebook-Profile

I haven’t done this for a while, so here goes. A very warm welcome to my newest followers. I hope you find my page and what I have to say enjoyable enough to remain and engage with me and my other fellow writers. Please feel free to share what’s on your mind and what you are working on for 2015 as I, for one, am always interested.

This is just a quick stop before the new year to wish you all a fantastic Christmas or festive season, whichever you prefer. Have a good one and be safe and wise. I’ll be back soon!

You Never Lose What You Gain – as a Writer or a Dancer

Polina Seminova

Polina Seminova

Yesterday I did a ballet exam for the first time since I was 17. It was an interesting experience, as you can imagine. At 44 one would think a person done with such intense exercises, but I wanted to get fit again and have a goal to work towards for the end of the year, besides finishing Book 4 during NaNoWriMo, of course 🙂 I was just informed that I got the highest mark and a fantastic report, which makes me smile and nod sagely to myself because although I am no longer as subtle or fit as I used to be there is one thing I retained after all this time and that was the technique required to pull off an exam of that level. It’s called muscle-memory, and depending on how good your training was as a kid you never lose that knowledge.

This goes for writing, as well.

It should please you to know that as you constantly learn you become better and better at your craft, never worse. This, of course, depends on whether you develop bad habits and faults and allow them to perpetuate your writing. The same principle applies to ballet. Bad habits are hard to break unless, with steely determination and a lot of hard work, you attack them with the very opposite and completely remove said bad habits and replace them with a good, solid foundation upon which anything is possible to achieve.

Having the right mindset is vital, naturally. You must want it badly enough, and by ‘it’ I mean perfection. I want to be a perfect writer, knowing this is impossible just like being the perfect dancer is impossible – but with regards to both careers I can get pretty close. It is up to me, however, to create an environment in which to work – at home and inside my head – that creates optimal achievement.

Writing Inspiration

I must gain knowledge in order to improve, to achieve, and, ultimately, to succeed and reach the heights I’m aiming for.

As a ballet teacher my goal is to train my dancers to think correctly. I have all the knowledge to turn them into better dancers, but they must want to receive that knowledge and apply it, then make it part of not only their dancing but themselves, for what they learn in the classroom they can use in all aspects of life. Knowledge empowers them to become better dancers and thinkers, and as their teacher I must make sure they understand that knowledge and then show them how to apply it.

As adults we may no longer have tutors to guide and nurture us, but we have learned the responsibility and discipline to make sure we continue our own education to the best of our ability. Even though I received the best training as a dancer there were still things I needed to be be reminded of and become more conscious of again nearly thirty years later. As a writer, I keep learning and reading and gleaning from the experts because I need and want what they have in order to apply it to my work and become better and better. I still need reminders of the details, the intrinsic stuff that makes the whole picture look so much more professional and appealing to my readers. It is my responsibility to keep learning and relearning so that I can keep growing and improving.

The learning never stops! Please remember that!

I’ve spoken before of being willing and open to learn and gain knowledge, and of finding the balance between knowledge and passion – it’s what this blog is really about. Never stop learning and you’ll never stop improving. It’s as simple as that.

I love hearing your thoughts. What are your opinions about continuing your education? Do you feel pretty confident where you are in your career as an author, or are you constantly aware of the need to keep honing your craft with more knowledge?

If you’d like to read other posts on this subject of passion verses knowledge please check out my Archive.

Remember, you can find all my books right here Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Goodreads.

Does Genre Fusion Work – and is it Wise?

I’m finally done with my week-long dance show and now I can get stuck into my writing again and catch up for NaNoWriMo. I’m excited about this novel because it’s new territory for me.

“Write what you know,” I’ve heard countless times in my short writing career, and I believe I’ve stuck to that good advice. I’ve also interpreted it to mea, write what you’re passionate about, what you spend most your time reading and watching on the big screen. The thing is, I love so many genres and I read them all, too. I am as passionate about fantasy as I am about sci-fi, action, adventure, thrillers, horrors, and even some romance.

When I decided to embark on NaNoWriMo I made up my mind to try something new. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am most probably nuts trying to do this for a time-sensitive writing challenge when I don’t have a lot of time to think things through first and investigate and research it for too long. But if you knew me better you’d understand my love for new challenges and how comfortable I am working under pressure. I thrive under pressure; I’ve always had the knack to perform better and deliver and accomplish that which I set out to. Also, I’ve had this idea in my head for quite a while, since I had an awesome dream one night, the kind of dream that sends my imagination into overdrive and I think, Dang, that would make an awesome movie! Now when I write I’m imagining what my story would look like on the big screen because I am a very visual person, coming from a world where everything relies on aesthetics – dance, drama, and art, i.e. the performing arts. Therefore I see my story and then put it down on paper. The moods, the colours, the way the characters look, the environment – it all has to come together visually first and then I begin to create with words.

Image courtesy of Emil Bacik

Let me tell you about Avalin: A Vampyric Legend, my novel for NaNo.

You need to know from the start that the Twilight films made me cringe at anything vampire because of the poorly written books and the awful execution and acting in the films. I roll my eyes whenever I hear someone rave about the films, especially about the glittering vamps! I mean, seriously!! I cannot conceive of vampires being pretty in any shape or form, no matter how “kind” their personalities appear. They are all killers, just shy of animals – capable of love and passion, sure, but killers nonetheless. So when I decided to write my story I knew it needed to be serious, to have gravitas, for the characters to be true to themselves, and for the situations and emotions and circumstances to be as close to real as possible within the fantastical story.

Synopsis:

“In the era of the gunslinger, dangerous creatures of the night roam free and undetected.

A beautiful woman, once wealthy and respected and married to a man of great influence, is forced, out of great personal loss and desperation, to become a prostitute. Working in a high-class brothel, she catches the eye of two mysterious men and ends up spending a night with them, only to discover, in the heat of passion, that they are vampyres.

In what she thinks are her final moments, she begs them to end her life of suffering and grief. But these are no ordinary vampyres: they have searched for Avalin for many years, they reveal to her, and now that they have found her they have no intention of ending her life. She has something they desperately need. She is unique, they tell her – one of a kind.

Fascinated, yet sad that her suffering will not end that night, she agrees to remain exclusively theirs, and so the extraordinary legend of Avalin begins. As she gets to know more about her mysterious benefactors and protectors the more frightened she becomes.

These are no ordinary creatures of the night; they have a terrifying secret, a secret that could mean the end of all humankind!”

My story has a fusion of the following: fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and, I say this hoping not to reveal too much, a little sci-fi.

Image courtesy of boogy_man

Those who have come to know me and my books know that I am a Fantasy author with two Epic Fantasy novels under my belt and another two in the current series to come. For Christmas I will soon be publishing a sci-fi short story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords titled ‘The Door’. Now, fantasy and sci-fi can sometimes be quite similar in my experience, so creating stories in both genres isn’t that hard for me. The story of Sword Bearer’s Journey – Book 2 in my Sword Bearers tetralogy – moves into deep space and immediately involves some sci-fi elements along with the strictly epic fantasy style. For me, mixing the two isn’t hard; I’ve read enough of both genres to know how to write both with comfort (not that my research ever stops if I want to make things convincing).

Personally I think bringing different genres together isn’t a problem. One, two, and even three work quite nicely if done well, but here’s my real question: Can fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and sci-fi work together?

This is what I am attempting to do. I have taken all the above genres and put them into one pot, and I am attempting to make an awesome stew!! This is an experiment in more than just a genre change for me; it is a combination of every style that I love to read and see in movies, and by the end of the month I’ll see if I’ve been successful.

And then, dear reader/author/reviewer, you can judge it for yourself, for I have every intention of publishing it!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Have you fused genres in your writing? Does it work for you? Have you tried it or even considered trying it? Let’s get a discussion going.

 

Related articles

NaNoWriMo and Other Scary Events

So, I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo . . . well, I’ll try to do it, anyway, while I’m also doing rehearsals for a HUGE dance show from 5th to 10th November with shows on the 10th and 11th on a fully professional stage (this means, absolutely no computer time except maybe a couple of hours in the very early mornings before I leave for the theatre). While NaNo and the show are happening I’ll be trying to find the time to continue editing my third novel in The Sword Bearer’s series – The Sword Bearer’s Awakening – which I’m hoping to get published around February next year! AND I have a sci-fi short story – The Door – coming out before Christmas!

Think I’m nuts?? I do!! Dang it, but I love giving myself a lot to do – fortunately it’s everything I love doing. Whether my love is big enough to get it all done in time remains to be seen! After a reading another blogger’s post on why she’s terrified of NaNo, I have to wonder why I don’t feel the same kind of terror. Perhaps it’s because I have absolutely no idea what I’ve let myself in for.

Someone I connected with on the NaNo site gave me some great advice, which will take all my self-control to achieve: DO NOT EDIT while you’re writing. JUST WRITE and worry about the editing after November. Me, a perfectionist of note, not fixing and changing and rewriting what I’ve written?? Aaarrrrgh! Is this possible??

Smiley from the sMirC-series. dunno

Dunno . . .

Another thing that makes me think I’ve truly gone off my rocker is that I will be writing in another genre – Urban Fantasy/Horror/Supernatural – all them things combined! Yup, I’ve decided to try my hand at another kind of Fantasy, and although I was always planning on writing in these genres at some point I’ve decided to do it for NaNoWriMo! Yup, yup, I can already see you shaking your heads and mumbling how unwise it is, but, hey, where’s the fun in doing the same ol’, same ol’? “Yes, Monique, but is now the time?” you’re asking me.

Dunno . . .

What I do know is that I certainly have the ability and the imagination to create a great story. It has enough Fantasy elements in it to keep me comfortable, and I’ve already done the outline – which makes it so much easier, by the way. I have my characters sorted, my timeline, my environment, the antagonist and protagonist, and the huge “OMG!” moment!! It’s gonna be great . . . I hope 🙂

Image courtesy of: sofamonkez (www.sxc.hu)

So, who’s with me? Come on, we can be scared together. It’ll be fun!

Please let me know if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, too! Share your fears and your expectations so I can feel better that I’m not the only nutter out there!!!

Related articles

Come Enjoy this Fab Interview The Wiz Did With Me!

This week I want to share this zany and fun interview Green Wiz did with me on The Wizard’s Cauldron. I loved doing it and I just know you’ll love reading it! We discuss life as a writer, and as a dance teacher, plus what I do in my spare time (if any exists), and, the best part, what I would do if Somali pirates kidnapped me and allowed me only three books, two CDs and one DVD to while away my captivity!! Come read what I said!

Here’s the link: http://greenwizard62.blogspot.co.uk/ or just click here.

Have a fab weekend, and may next week yield many sales and great friendships! I know mine will!

PS Tell me what you would read, watch, and listen to if you were kidnapped by pirates!! I love hearing from you.

Rest Weary Spirit, Reignite Your Fiery Heart – A Contemplation

This week has been extremely busy and downright exhausting for me, and usually when I’m this tired I find it difficult to write or do rewrites because my concentration levels are just not where they need to be in order to attain my personal standards of performance and achievement in every area of my life. Even though writing never fails to excite me, I find that when I’m tired it becomes more of an effort and like work instead of the easy flow and joy I experience when I’m rested and my mind is uncluttered.

When I’m this tired my mind shuts down, and where writing my Fantasy series can still happen rather easily because of my eternal, almost preternatural, passion for it, writing a blog takes more energy. When I blog I am having a conversation with my friends, but as my hubby knows, when I’m tired I don’t like talking too much. But I am committed to you guys and the relationships I have built up with you, and that to me is never an effort; the act of writing, however, can be. So, all I did today was take a few minutes to sit in front of my laptop and look out the window and allow my mind to wander where it wanted.

Now, I have, and always will be, a fiction writer. I have tried my hand at poetry many times and had reasonable success with it in school, but I’ve never really gotten into it. Karen Robiscoe writes fabulous poetry, and I follow her blog, Charron’s Chatter, with great enjoyment. Frequently her poems are hilarious, but I just know that I will never be able to write like her!! She is a poet; I am not!

*snicker* *snort* (slightly embarrassed look) But today I have tried! This is what my tired brain came up with as it meandered through the messy tangle of limp thoughts drowning in a river of fatigue inside my head (he-he, pretty good, yes??), and personally I think it’s a silly ditty but lots of fun! Give it a bash, even if poetry isn’t your thing, because at least you’ll get a giggle out of it at my expense!! Enjoy!

Let Rested Soul Magic’s Flame Reignite

When words do dwell in shadows’ knell,

and heart and mind reach forth from cell,

yet doors remain closed here within,

and make my soul and spirit dim.

*

When passion sleeps – a deep, drowning swirl,

and dreams come fast yet nil reveal,

I lay a-pant and wish and long

for more of that which once magic spun.

*

Magic eludes my heart and mind,

only bringing forth the dark’s unkind,

when I listen not to Source’s trill within,

and harken only to soulless din.

*

Now I remind kindly me and you . . .

*

How can you scribe and not hear well,

when heart and mind and soul do tell,

to open up your inner-Sun

and give that golden power Gun?

*

By nature, Gun must burn and fire,

for soul and heart and mind to flower!

Its sparks must shower upon that within,

that creates and births the magic din.

*

For absent magic cannot glory make,

neither golden page nor moving tale,

that brings tear or joy or laughter true

to reader, writer, listener . . . or you.

*

Find rest, dear writer, yon weary soul,

to keep alive yon glorious goal.

Make time for love, light, joy, and fun,

and don’t forget to fire that Gun!

*

Magic needs fiery Source-born Gun

to make its energy flare and words become spun.

Seek Muse in rest then write as though

your tale shall become this world’s greatest show!

*

For Gun and Muse and Magic must flare;

three united yon goal shall easily ensnare

each reader, writer, listener and you;

no looking back once choice to fire Gun comes true.

*

Listen well, dear writer, to heart’s quiet plea

to rest, to find magic, to make magic in thee.

All exists already there in soul’s warm glare,

just trust in the Magic and make Gun flare!

by Monique Rockliffe

Will I ever become a famous poet? Nah, don’t think so! But I had fun writing it even though it’s quite possibly just awful! He-he!

Share your ditties here and there will be no judgement! Promise!! I love hearing from you!

P.S. Wishing all the countries participating in the Olympics all the very best, and to all my blog friends, may your country perform to your greatest satisfaction! Good luck/Break a leg/Chukkas etc!
Both Images courtesy of stock.xchng

Start Where You Are, Enmeshed in Your Unique Brilliance . . . then Never Look Back!

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs this week about using what you have been given/already have and going from there, and that no matter where that place is it’s okay. And I completely agree with that because when I started writing at the age of 40 I was officially out of school for over twenty years, and how the heck can I remember everything I learnt in English class over twenty years ago?!? Practically nothing! So I had to start again; I had to re-teach myself the basics, all the rules, the how to’s and what not to’s (huh?). It was exciting but also terrifying. There I was, sitting at my new laptop attempting to write a novel, for heaven’s sake, and I couldn’t remember what a preposition was or a past participle! Yeah, that was me then, but not now!

In a previous blog titled ‘Don’t Despise the Day of Small Beginnings! A Bio with a Difference’ I encouraged new writers to never think that they are inferior in any way to the Superstars of the literary world because they’ve only just begun. Every single one of those Superstars started where we all did – writing that first essay in school, sending that first short story to a magazine, attempting that first novel with fear and trembling. We’ve all had some form of education; we all know how to read and write; we all know how to communicate. All our experiences may be very different, but if we’re writing that means we believe that we can do this magical thing and create with words.

Even the Superstars Started at the Beginning!

 

In another blog titled ‘Listen to the Voices . . . unless they mess with who you are!’, I shared my opinions about the dangers of allowing the well-meaning advice of others to take control of your writing process by giving you too much information about how to write to the point that you lose the true you, that unique creation you are, and being overcome by the flood of tips and guidelines and suggestions you need to follow if your writing is to improve and you want to sell your work and get noticed. Again I say, please be wary, because although most of those tips are very helpful they become the complete opposite when they change the kind of writer you are – your unique style, your personality even – and turn you into a clone, a copy, a robot that only does the bidding of others, someone who does not have the ability anymore to trust your instincts and follow your own heart. You, in effect, become someone else entirely; you write like them and your work looks like theirs.

Now I’m NOT saying don’t read those tips and take that advice, but listen to your inner voice, that voice that knows all truth, and trust yourself to only take what you need to make yourself a better writer and discard those things which will interfere with your uniqueness and brilliance. Discernment is the key! If I had listened to some of those well-meaning voices before I attempted my first novel I don’t think I would have started! I lacked experience and knowledge, for sure, but what I didn’t lack was belief in myself, in my story, in where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to achieve! Passion never lies!! Now I’ve published two novels and I know they’re good because I took what I needed from the most experienced, applied it, and then made it my own! No one else has written or even imagined my story, or can; no one else has my abilities; no one else writes like me; and I am not a clone of any of my favourite authors! I am simply ME!

By all means learn from the Superstars and other authors you admire and respect, but please don’t let them dictate who you should be and how you should write. That is entirely YOUR decision to make. Follow your passions; listen to your instincts; believe in your brilliance; and know that what you have to offer the world no one else can match!

Happy writing!!

I love hearing from you! Please leave a comment and share me with the world!

The Art of Classical Ballet and Writing Compared – A Musing

I don’t know if anyone else has had, or is still busy with, an artsy profession other than writing, but I’m sure you can come up with some interesting comparisons and similarities just as I have.

Keeping fit for me requires hard work, but doing a ballet class does it like nothing else. It reaches every muscle – major and intrinsic – and keeps my mind and body strong and fit as the years march on.

Writing, and doing it consistently, works the same way – although, unfortunately, when it comes to the waistline it isn’t so great!! He-he! Writing requires as much commitment and dedication, knowledge and understanding of the craft as does ballet because if you can’t do it reasonably well then you’re going to run into problems.

Painting of ballet dancers by Edgar Degas, 1872.

Painting of ballet dancers by Edgar Degas, 1872. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ballet requires you to deeply and truly understand your body and the technique required to prevent injury – immediate and long-term – and so be in total command of it. It requires absolute focus and incredible awareness of yourself, and you have to be very musical and expressive, as well. At least once you’ve moved out of the examination (amateur) status and into the professional arena you don’t have to worry about failing that much anymore – unless, of course, you get onto the stage and, because of your lack of commitment and hard work and your lack of the technical knowledge needed to successfully perform at the required level, you end up falling flat on your face (quite literally!) and causing damage to your body and your reputation. In a sense, being a professional dancer takes more work psychologically than being a student still in the learning process, a learning process that takes a lot of time and is pretty slow going, quite necessary to prepare an aspiring dancer to achieve his or her dreams. Students (amateurs) are quickly forgiven for their mistakes in technique, but professional ballet dancers are expected to be brilliant, ethereal, strong, and beautiful – in other words, as close to perfect as possible!

With writing we also don’t stop learning no matter how high up in the ‘rankings’ we go. We move on from being amateurs and advance into the professional arena, therefore our writing abilities have to match our status. It is expected that we no longer write like amateurs/students the moment we call ourselves ‘published authors’. Our craft always has room for improvement – just much less so the better we get at it, just like a professional dancer – requiring absolute dedication and commitment and, most important, A TOTAL LACK OF EGO! As a professional dancer you learn quickly that you need to be arrogant onstage in order to perform at your best, to be enigmatic and charming, to draw the audience in by showing off your brilliance, and fully engage them emotionally in your performance (sounds exactly like writing, doesn’t it?) – but then be completely humble offstage.

By all means, believe in your writing abilities and think highly of yourself when you sit in front of your computer and create your masterpiece, showing off your brilliance to the world, but always be willing to listen and learn and accept constructive criticism from others because your goal is to get better and better at your craft. Even the ‘superstars’ of the literary world must know (hopefully) that they can always learn something new, that there is always someone who has a better, deeper understanding than them in a particular area. As writers we must be careful that we never reach the place in our lives where we think we know everything . . . because we never do! The superstars of the dance world are very aware (almost painfully) of their own shortcomings, believe me, and are always trying to improve their technique to remain the best at their craft. Because there is always someone better than them out there and they know it!

“Pursue knowledge as though it is your life-blood, then you will know greatness!” – my personal belief.

Just like dancers, us writers need to be consistently nurturing and improving our craft and increasing our knowledge and exercising our minds, because if we don’t have the knowledge to combine with our incredible, unlimited imaginations, how will we ever be great? You can’t have one without the other, I keep telling my ballet students; you cannot separate knowledge from artistry. You simply cannot achieve the success you want if you don’t have both, whether a dancer or a writer.

I was a successful professional dancer for over twenty years so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to being a performer. As I’ve entered the vast universe of writers and see everyday how many are so good at what they do, I’ve come to realise that I will never stop learning and growing and improving, and that by listening and reading others’ works I can only improve my own writing. So let me take this opportunity to say two things: First, thank you to those who have so far inspired me and opened my eyes to the art of writing and for showing me exactly what it requires to become really good, if not great, at it; and, second, I am thrilled that I began on a good note, with amazing teachers, advisers and supporters from the very start of my writing career whose excellence have made my schooling in the craft of writing such a pleasure.

To everyone who reads this blog, thank you for inspiring and teaching me! Even if it wasn’t directly just believe that something about you as a person or in your work has impacted me. Please, don’t stop being you and don’t stop teaching others. And, please, whatever you do, don’t stop learning!

Happy writing/performing/creating!

The Profundity of Me . . . and You, dear Talented Writer

“Profundity” def: the intellectual ability to penetrate deeply into ideas.

The Cover Image for The Sword Bearers: Book 1

When I first pursued my writing seriously, when I finally sat down at my laptop and began to type for hours and hours on end, looking within for the unique, attractive ideas that would create The Sword Bearer: Book 1, my fantasy debut novel, I had no idea how I was going to actualise this epic fantasy – four books! – from scene to scene, moment to moment. Oh, I knew exactly what was going to happen in my story – the outline from beginning to end was perfectly clear – but when I thought about those intricate, intimate moments of making my characters come to life and of building the detailed foundation of the story, I admit I was a little afraid. Where was I going to find those details? Sure, the story has been growing and evolving inside my heart and mind since I was eight (movies like Star Wars started it!), but now that I needed to create a unique story that would take the reader on an adventure they’d never forget, that would hold them emotionally captive and enthralled from page one to the last word, meant that I had to find a way to express and share my masterpiece in the minutest detail.

The Story of Star Wars 1977 LP

The Story of Star Wars 1977 LP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a debut novel, writing The Sword Bearer was like giving birth! It was a labour of love that caught me up in its magic and left me gasping and agonising and sometimes swearing rather colourfully when things didn’t work as smoothly as I wanted, and then crying with relief and utter joy when I finally held the completed work in my arms, so to speak! It was an amazing, never-to-be-forgotten process of love, frustration, patience, pain . . . and a mind-blowing journey of self-discovery!

And this is what I discovered: I have abilities and skills I never dreamt I possessed; I can ‘see’ inside myself and find what I want at the exact moment it’s needed – or rather, when a character or scene needs it; I have a vast collection of emotions, insights and talents I never would have discovered unless I had placed myself in the honoured position of a writer before her laptop where the magic happens; I can envision worlds, people, and places that only exist in my limitless and ever surprising imagination, who have such life and awareness that sometimes they scare me; I have the power and ability to manipulate those characters and scenes at my pleasure to ensure the story is as powerful and moving as possible. Mainly, I discovered I have such deep and accurate intuition (especially if I surrender to it completely) that sometimes when I put my head down and write a fast-paced scene full of drama, action, roiling emotions, and breathtaking scenery, and I finally come out of my frenzy and take a breath and reread it, I am ALWAYS astounded at what I have created! (I encourage you to read my previous blog – The Art (and Science) of Using Your Imagination – for further thoughts on the power of being a creator.) So when I began to write The Sword Bearer’s Journey: Book 2, the belief I had in my abilities made the process of creation so much more relaxed and way less painful! My ‘child’ was growing into a fine specimen and I couldn’t be happier or more impressed with myself, and all because I’d learned to trust in my abilities, in my unique creative powers, that which every writer/creative genius possesses!

The Cover Image for The Sword Bearer’s Journey: Book 2

My conclusions: I am indeed a writer of great profundity, and the reason I have included you, dear fellow writer, in this rendition of creative genius is because daily I am moved and surprised and excited by the overwhelming originality of ideas my author-friends come up with. I read synopses and excerpts of such marvellous variety that they never fail to leave me enthralled with their talent and creative diversity! I have a follower on Twitter who is twelve and a published fantasy author! She inspires me because she has not allowed her age to limit her and because she understands the inherent creative genius she possesses. (Follow her @FlashBackSeries)

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I do not have a muse, that since the ‘birth’ of  The Sword Bearer I have learned to trust in my unconscious mind, in my inherent, God-given intuition, knowing now from experience that it can be fully trusted. But those of you who do have a muse, I just know that you, too, trust in her or him to faithfully produce the magic that is uniquely you, that creative genius that is all you. This is why personally I believe that writer’s block can be cured by simply learning how to restore one’s trust in one’s muse or unconscious mind, in that place deep within where ideas are born and come forth with blazing brilliance! And, hey, we don’t need to understand it, just trust it. If you’re struggling to write, struggling to find, struggling to trust that which you always did before with such ease, then rest assured that it has not gone anywhere because it never leaves you – ever! It is part of you; it is you!

You are unconquerable, you are inherently capable of creating a masterpiece, and you are exquisite to the point of preternatural genius! Dig deep and trust in yourself, oh Profound One!

%d bloggers like this: