Becoming Psychic


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Becoming Psychic

 

I have just spent the past week enjoying several trained animal shows. These have been very entertaining for the most part, but they have also given me a new thought as far as inspiration to write. What does an animal think during a performance?

A couple of the shows we’ve seen this week have had restarts and blank space because the animals decided not to perform. The trainers and other actors did a good job to cover up and fill in for the moody animal star, but the show lacked the main ingredient.

So my muse whispered to me, “Is there a story here?” What goes through the mind of the star attraction? Why did the orca whale not feel like splashing water when the cue was given? What made the beluga whale swim around in a melancholy circle instead of dance on the top of the water?

In the world of training wild animals, I would have to do some research to learn how to handle them and how they react to certain things. But beyond that my imagination would have to fill in the blanks. I would need to feel the animal’s mood and see through its eyes the events of the day leading up to the performance. In short, I would have to become psychic to the animal’s mind.

As an author, this is entirely possible, and even more important, very probable and very fun.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Nandy Ekle

 

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In a rut? For heavens sake, don’t stop writing!


In a rut?  For heavens sake, don’t stop writing!

By Natalie Bright

Here’s a few exercises to keep flexing that writing muscle while your brain stews on the work in progress:

Rewrite your favorite fairy tale, and add a twist.

Change the female protag to a male, alter the time period by rewriting the entire story in present day, or create an entirely new ending.

Journaling

Do you have an idea journal? Write down every idea that comes to you, no matter how silly it may seem at the time.

Start a travel log. A hiking log, with descriptive phrases of the sights and sounds and smells during your outing. Glue things you might have picked up along the way; ticket stubs, gum wrapper, leaves, twigs; you get the idea.

Dig Deeper

Scream to your journal, say your deepest hurts, sorrows, and admit your darkest fears. Those emotions are what you’ll draw on and translate to your characters.

A Word Book

I refer to my word journal often. It’s filled with phrases and sometimes entire chapters by some of my favorite authors, that I’ve copied. As I read their amazing words, I feel rejuvenated and inspired.

Keep exercising that writing muscle, and stay out of those ruts. Happy writing!

Natalie Bright