O Muse, Where Art Thou?

by Editor on February 24, 2017

Guest blog written by, Natalina Reis

I’m stuck! Actually I’ve been stuck for a couple weeks now. The novel I’m writing is not flowing like all my others. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am seriously annoyed and depressed about it, I would laugh. I’m a pantser, who does very little planning and almost no pre-research. When it comes to this novel though, I have planned and researched up the wazoo. My male main character has a specific disability that, in order to come across half-believable, required extensive research. The female main character also needed quite a bit of research, considering she’s a modern day witch and I have no wish to offend that group of readers with totally made-up spells or beliefs.

Then why, o why, am I so stuck? The characters don’t have much chemistry and the scenes are just flat. A lot is happening, but where’s the emotion I normally put into my writing? Where’s the cheese? (Yes, I have been accused of being a cheesy writer more than once.)

I go home from work, sit with my laptop on my lap, and I stare! Literally! I just stare at the screen. If I’m lucky I’ll write a couple words, maybe a sentence or two. Argh…How can this be so hard when I’m writing about a beloved character?

Where’s my muse? What do you do when your muse is vacationing in a much nicer place than your head? It’s lonely without my muse.

About the author:

Natalina Reis wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then, she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She is the author of We Will Always Have the Closet (romantic suspense), Desert Jewel (romantic fantasy), and Loved You Always (rom-com).

 After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. Natalina now lives in Virginia, where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit. She doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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Have Tea with Your Past

by Editor on January 10, 2017

Guest blog written by, Kelly Smith

I woke up early on Sunday morning, to a slight knock at my front door. As I laid in my bed, groggy with sleep still on the forefront of my mind and dreams still lingering in the back, I got up, pulled my robe on tight, and walked downstairs. As I moved through my house, and down to my front door, the knocking continued. When I got to the door, I slightly opened it and peeked my head out to see who it was. I saw my past standing in the doorway. I said nothing. I had a shameful look on my face, as I invited my past inside without exchanging words. We needed to talk, and I knew it. It was time.

I lead my past to the deck, and my past had a seat. I went to the kitchen to prepare tea, for both of us. I filled the tea kettle with the water, turned on the stove, and began to make a tea setting for two. Two tea cups, two spoons, sugar, milk, and a variety of teas because I had no idea which kind of tea my past preferred. I didn’t know how long my past would be visiting, so I didn’t offer any breakfast. I just knew it was time to sit down and enjoy tea. Together.

When the water was hot, and after I answered the whistle, I put our tea on a tray and took it outside. I took a seat next to my past. We sat close. We both had the same view of the still water, also barely awake. I handed my past some tea, took some for myself, and together, with hot tea cups in hand, we sat back looking at the water and enjoying the silence and the sunrise for a just bit. As the sun began to creep up, and the coolness of the early morning air lingered, we started to talk. Before I knew it, our arms were linked together, and we were walking down memory lane. We visited so much. The good, the bad, the necessary, and the not so necessary. We found ourselves laughing. On the verge of crying. Talking seriously and then laughing again. We walked and talked. We looked into the years of my life as if they were windows. I saw mistakes and regrets. I saw happy times and sad times. I saw my amazing kids, friends, and family.

We got nostalgic. We recalled sitting on top of the Ferris Wheel, one Saturday night in December, waiting for other passengers to load the ride. We saw the lights of the decorated park for a holiday. The trees were covered in colorful lights. The oversized ornaments were hanging correctly, to tell a story. The kid’s laughter and parents chatting. Everyone having fun. The train was making its way around the property. The smells, sights, and sounds all coming together to produce an incredible memory. As the ride became full and started going around, and the cold New England air rushed us, we sat closer and embraced it all. Fried dough and hot chocolate were to follow, and they did. We bounced around that park taking pictures, happily finding our way around in a new place. We were fearless with the buds of love growing between us. My past and I were slapped awake with the reminder of our last day together. The name calling. The throwing of objects. The way I felt when it was all over. Seeing the back of his head leaving, for the last time. We talked about the feelings and the memories from those years, in particular. What I would have changed and what I would not have changed. We agreed and disagreed. And then, we moved on.

My past and I have not met in a while. I tend to remember things differently than my past does. I see the good and my past helps me to see the big picture. To help remind me that, yes, there were good times, but there were also bad times. Those bad times are the things to remember as to why things change and life keeps going. My past shows up to remind me of how I got where I am. How long and hard I had to fight to become who I am today. My past reminds me of lessons and love. How love feels, and how it does not feel. My past reminds me of roads traveled, and the roads I still need to walk. I need to walk some roads alone,  but others I can have company along with me. My past reminds me that I can walk alone if I need to, and that’s OK.

So on that early, brisk, Sunday morning, in late October, sitting outside, just before the sun up, I enjoyed tea with my past. My past showed up to remind me that no matter what happens, life goes on and it moves forward. I am always progressing, even when it seems I have been standing still for too long.

Have tea with your past.


Kelly is an up and coming author, living in beautiful Austin, Texas. While being a mom, to 3 amazing boys, she writes of real life; raw and truthful. Along with writing a daily blog, she also writes for the Huffington Post and Elephant Journal.

web address www.thoughtsbecomingword.wordpress.com

Coming soon: www.thoughtsbecomingwords.com

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