mojo

Come See My Rock Hard…Muse, What Did You Think I Was Gonna Say?

I was lost, but now I’m found, baby!

I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a few days. But there’s a reason. I was dangerously close to the abyss. The ‘D’ word. (not that one. the other one). It got really bad. No. Really bad. The doubt trolls were eating my brain. Wanna see what one looks like? Are you sure? Mmmmkay….

evil-scary-sinister-woman-tongue-out-11030656

I eat confidence and creativity!

Turns out, regardless how prepared you think you are to have your novel handed back to you chopped to bits, it bruises your ego and wilts your muse like a flaccid p….

petunia (what’s wrong with you?)

So there I was, trying to do the revisions as suggested by my editor, but finding myself unable to do so without hyper-analyzing every word to the umpth degree. It got so bad, come Monday morning I found myself paralyzed beyond the ability to blog – bleh! Yesterday, I deleted four – yes four – attempted posts and ended on the couch in tears convinced it was over – I was going to disappoint everyone who believed in me. I began to fantasize my escape route:  I would shut down my blog and disappear somewhere far, far away, where no one could ask me, “how’s the book comin’ along?”

I hear Borneo’s nice this time of year. I bet they have tree houses! Yipppeee!

tree-house-5264768

I could get those tattoos I’ve always wanted! Maybe this won’t be so bad?

woman-tattoos-6255969

I wanted to shout out to other writers, “I know this has to be normal…but how the hell do I get out of it?!?” But how could I do that when I couldn’t even pull myself together enough to write a post about it? Last night I was going through emails when I saw I had one from Chuck Wendig’s blog. The title caught my attention: I think I suck and I’m not a real writer. Hmm. That’s similar exactly what’s in my head. So I read it.

***CUE THUNDERBOLT***

 Had I been able to reblog it, I would have. Since I can’t, here’s the link:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/11/05/nanowrimo-dialogues-i-think-i-suck-and-im-not-a-real-writer/

Let’s just say, THE M#THER F#CKING TROLLS ARE DEAD.

I can’t possibly do it justice, so you must read it for yourself (it’s hysterical, btw, as is the post prior to it), but my takeaway was (or what I needed to hear):

(1) every novel takes just as long as it needs to be written (2) it’s in the rewrites that you learn how to write well; you must write shit, to learn how to not write shit, and to find gold (3) a real writer writes (4) it took him five years to write Blackbirds. (That last fact took monstrous weight off my shoulders. Oh, and don’t panic. I’m already closing in on year three.)

Proof, you ask? Well, *wipes troll poop off shoulders*

I wrote the new first chapter today! AN ENTIRE CHAPTER, REWRITTEN. EVERY WORD. WOOP!! That’s the most productive I’ve been with revisions since…well, since EVER. My muse is no longer a flaccid p…

pentunia! (really, you’re awful) Now, my beautiful muse is once again a raging, hard, throbbing c…

cattle prod of power, ready to stamp my writer-freak-flag all over those revisions!

*BRING IT ON*

In celebration of getting my mojo back, and actually writing words today (oh, beautiful words! I love you!) I leave you with this:

sexy men photo: sexy man f1cf.jpg

It’s that vein, right by his briefs. That’s what kills me. Also, if you don’t follow my Pinterest board “who put this board here?”…uh…you should. Link on sidebar. You’re welcome in advance.

And for the guys who follow my blog (or the girls who play for the other team. Btw, congrats on getting Illinois – woop!)

sexy women photo: Sexy women cowgrl.jpg

Thanks to everyone who cheers me on, has my back, and picks me up when I fall down. I appreciate you more than you could ever know. OH, and thank you Chuck Wendig. If I wasn’t already married and done having babies, I’d offer to have yours. But that won’t stop me from dry humping your leg should we meet someday. I owe you. BIG.

You see tomato, I see dead guy telling girl to dig up tomato

Eli2

Ah writers. We’re an odd breed. Quirky. Eccentric, yes perhaps. I was reminded of this recently when shopping with a friend. We perused the aisles of a local antique mercantile when my eyes landed on a lavishly embellished elephant. I stopped, mesmerized. His colors and design suggested an origin of India or maybe even Nepal. I’m a sucker for that. In a *that must be mine* hypnotic trance, I walked over to it.

It got even better.

The body of the elephant was actually a box that opened to reveal another, smaller, silver elephant. WHAT.

My friend was tickled with how enamored I was with it. She encouraged me to purchase it. My initial hesitation was its price ($40), and oh, WTF did I actually intend to do with yet another knickknack? I LOVE elephants, but did I need another one, really?

I went back-and-forth, but of course I bought it. I would have paid $100 because what I didn’t tell my friend is that as soon as held it in my hands and opened its secret box…a scene began to unfold in my mind. A scene where a young woman is digging in the dirt near the Indian reservation where she lives. She’s been digging for hours, fingers bleeding, sweat dripping from her nose, arms aching with exhaustion as she tosses handful after handful of dirt over her shoulder, desperate to find the wooden elephant she knows is there. Why? Because it is time. Her Grandfather told her so. Her Grandfather who’s been dead since she was six.

This is the part of being a writer that’s hard to explain to *others*. My friend saw a unique elephant. I saw a girl digging in the dirt cuz her Grandfather’s spirit told her to. Kinda the same not the same at all. How do you tell that to someone without sounding like a loon bird? You don’t. You just say what I did: “I dunno. There’s just something special about this elephant. I think I have to have it.”

I once was inspired by a peridot necklace that came as a freebie in an ebay order. I don’t know why. I can’t explain these things. I put it on and happened to write great that day. No, I WROTE LIKE A FUCKING ROCKSTAR THAT DAY, and for days and weeks to follow. I became convinced the peridot’s energy had something to do with it.

I wore it for close to a year.

It wasn’t even on a real chain, it hung from a red thread. It’s a miracle it didn’t break, but I was genuinely afraid to take it off for fear the magic spell would end. But wait my lovely friends, it doesn’t end there. I shared the crazy love: it’s in my novel. My main character wears it, because she’s awesome, but also because I wanted the mojo to spill over into my book. (It’s not weird. Don’t make it weird.)

I also have a collection of small, vintage suitcases. Everyone thinks I just like them. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story. I also buy them because they belong to someone else. A character, one that has been sitting in my *character waiting room* (where there’s always killer music and awesome magazines) while she fully forms. She needs these little suitcases, because her trips are brief and she only travels by train. But don’t bother asking her name…she will just lie to you.

interior-haydarpasa-station-22091999

Sometimes I feel like that little girl in the movie Signs who keeps filling the glasses of water. No one knows why, not even her, until they do.

If you are a writer reading this, you are nodding your head. You are thinking of your own amulets, totems, and fetishes…and I know you have them. They drive us, inspire us, and maybe, just maybe, even sprinkle magic fairy dust on our muses. So now it’s your turn, writer friend-o-mine. I showed you mine. Quid pro quo. What are some of your good luck charms, inspirations, or things you think are too weird to tell you non-writer friends?

My writing totem can’t wait to hear from you…
totem