Self-Help Review: The Artist’s Way

When I first joined RWA and started writing with focus in addition to serious intent, I heard about Julia Cameron’s seminal book The Artist’s Way everywhere. Blogs, Private chat rooms. Other books  People raved about their Morning Pages habit.

I bought a copy to see what the worship was about. The book is about creative recovery. Cameron has come up with a method for artists of every type to tap into their deepest reserves of creativity. It is a twelve-week program.

I’ve read the book several time. What many people don’t realize, is The Artist’s Way is book one of a trilogy, all of which are twelve-week programs. I own all three. I’ve read all three. (Walking in the World and Finding Water are the other two).

Cameron has solid advice in the books. The first step, the most important part of the process is Morning Pages. The first thing everything morning, an artist is supposed to write three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts. Even if one writes nothing but I have nothing to write for three pages, one must write it. Every morning. Three pages.

When I was the Book-in-A-Week Babe for my local RWA chapter, I used many quotes from the book as inspiration for the BIAW participants. One said to me, “Oh! I love The Artist’s Way!”

I tried Morning Pages. Actually, I’ve tried The Artist’s Way several times. Cameron’s way is not my way. I have learned I am a writer who must jump feet first into her work-in-progress first thing every morning. I don’t have time for Morning Pages. Tapping into the personal me distracts from the stories I’m trying to tell.

That’s me. Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and other Cameron prescriptions might work for you.

 

MJ Monday-Manuscript: Confession Time

No excerpt this month. I’ve been struggling with the final book of the Service for Sanctuary trilogy. I like the hero. I like the heroine, although I still don’t know her as well as I need to. I took time off around the holidays to open my mind to her. That’s why my publisher graciously agreed to push back the publication date.

I want the book to be the best one I can write for my readers.

It will be worth the wait. I promise.

MJ Monday-Manuscript: Besieged by the Moon

Here’s an excerpt from the very rough draft of BESIEGED BY THE MOON, tentatively scheduled for July 2020 publication:

“Helga is a character,” Parker said as he helped Phoebe into the back seat of Dakota’s SUV. Phoebe was so tiny she could be mistaken for a child.

“I think she’s frightened.” Phoebe scooted across the seat as if to make room for Parker beside her.

He’d planned to sit in front with Dakota, but climbed in next to Phoebe.

Dakota, who usually maintained his silence, tried to get chatty with Phoebe as he fiddled with his phone. “Where in Tennessee are you from?”

“Soddy-Daisy.”

“Isn’t that where Senator Tuttle is from?” Dakota asked, as he drove out of the parking lot.

“In half a mile, turn right onto Coriander,” Dakota’s phone instructed.

Phoebe went very still. “Yes. Tuttle is from Soddy-Daisy.”

“He’s in town, you know.”

Phoebe hesitated. “Really?”

Neither an admission or a denial. Parker was getting strange vibes off her.

“Do you know why?” she asked Dakota.

“He’s here to support the local congressman’s family. A lot of issues there.” Dakota ran a yellow light.

Issues?

Parker struggled to remain neutral.

MJ’s Musings: The Next Phase

As the year draws to a close, I’m reflecting on what I have learned these past twelve months. The most important lesson was  QUESTION THE PREMISE.

Several author friends urged me to check out Becca Syme and her Quit Cast on YouTube.  Although the vids are geared toward writers, I think anyone can learn the basics and apply them to their own situation. I highly recommend the first episode where Becca talks about alignment and the third episode (Question the Premise, link above).  All of her videos are wonderful, but more geared toward writers.

I feel good about finishing the third book in the Service for Sanctuary series. It’s going to be a little later than originally planned, but it’s coming along nicely. I want it right, not fast.

After I finish the werewolf book, I plan to dip my toes into the cozy mystery genre. This is an idea I’ve tinkered with for years, making random notes and so one, but late this summer, the ideas have been pelting me, so I think it’s ready to be written. The note taking has become a flurry, and I’m compiling a list of people to talk to and places to visit as part of my research. I’m really excited about that.

I also have my currently-out-of-print baseball books (five of them) that I’d like to self-publish. I have a dystopian novel I want to pitch to a publisher. And then there’s a baseball-werewolf novella gathering dust while waiting for me to get my act together.

Right now, though, I’m going to make homemade soup.

 

 

 

MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript-Besieged by the Moon

Phoebe was silent for another couple of blocks. “I heard all the lycanthropes in the area were gone.”

“Most of them,” Parker said. “There was a purge.”

He would never forget the stench of rotting bodies. Never be able to unsee the corpse of a child who’d tried to hide in the same bush Parker puked on. He was an EMT. Those sights and smells shouldn’t have bothered him. But they had. They would have upset anyone with a soul.

“A few survived. Because Ethan mated with Selena, our alpha sent a contingent here to help with . . . the aftermath.”

“Of a massacre?” Her voice cracked.

“I said purge.” He noted the vampires that had guarded the corner of Oak and Ash Streets hadn’t returned, thank the Ancient Ones.

“Purge. Massacre. Slaughter. It’s semantics.” Phoebe stared out the window.

“But I said purged. Ethnic cleansing.” Parker pulled to the curb in front of Ethan’s funky orange house.

“So it’s still going on.” She spoke softly, almost as if to herself.

“It’s still going on.”