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Ah, the muse …

February 8, 2018

I’ve been working through the first half of Dowser 8 for the last couple of weeks, having gotten derailed writing the first draft by editing Dowser 7, the holidays, and the rather lengthy to-do list that comes with releasing a book. I’ve been only getting 600-800 newish words a day. But the idea is that these ‘easy’ second draft words were supposed to ease me back into the writing.

But the muse is a funny thing … I can write without it, without the words and ideas flowing, but it feels heartless and ungrounded. Eventually the idea that the story will never flow again starts to take hold and erode my sense of how the writing is supposed to be. Yes, there are often a few tough days in a row that I need to weather, but I’ve just gone through the longest period of feeling like I had nothing in my head that I’ve ever experienced. Dowser 8, Dowser 9, Necromancer 1 are all plotted out, with detailed outlines, and before I hit this drought I was also working on a brand new series that will launch this fall.

But, even with all that story worked out, nothing was flowing.

And between you and me (and poor Michael who was probably getting tired of me yammering on about being in a weird ‘nothing’ headspace), it was starting to freak me out. I needed NEW words, not just rewritten ones. I desperately needed the muse to visit.

So, yesterday I reached the end of what I had written for the first draft of Dowser 8. I wasn’t exactly staring at a blank page (I rarely do because I outline) but I was daunted. So I complained a bit on social media. I fussed around. Yadda, yadda.

Then I wrote. I told myself all I needed was 2000 words. I reminded myself that they didn’t need to be brilliant, because there are many, many stages to writing a novel (at least 5 to 6 drafts on my part alone, not including all the work the editor does) and I just needed words to get me through to the third act – aka the ending that I’ve been running in my head for over a year now.

So I got 2400 words. This number is in no way brilliant in and of itself, and should be easily achievable. But it hasn’t been. And I yet managed it. Satisfied with that solid day, I put the chickies to bed and started a new knitting project.

And this morning?

The muse came rolling back, specifically while I was cleaning out the litter box. But hey, I’m not complaining!

Taking a little tidbit from the new scene I wrote yesterday (a scene I thought was pretty throw away at the time), the muse dropped a bloody, dark deed on me – an idea that expanded a beat set up in Dowser 7 and Dowser 8 but was actually more fully exploitable in one of the short stories that I’ve been muttering about possibly writing.

And the muse wasn’t done, because in order to share this new deviously dark idea with Michael, I needed to explain how it came about and where it fit. And in doing so, I realized that the two short stories were actually two parts of a novella (if not a novel) that fits between Dowser 8 and Dowser 9. And that’s not all … it’s actually THREE parts, not just the two shorts I’ve been toying with writing.

So there you go. You may now make chocolate sacrifices to the muse, she’s just given you Dowser 8.5.


Here’s the twist.

It’s not a Jade book.

Oh, no. *insert evil grin*

It’s Mory, Rochelle, and Jasmine’s tales. All outlined and interconnected, thanks to the muse this very morning.

I will now have a hot chocolate in celebration.

The muse is back and she’s full of wicked ideas!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2018 10:43 AM

    oooohhhhh… this is extraordinarily exciting

  2. Veronica Towey permalink
    February 8, 2018 10:48 AM

    You’re killing me! I can’t wait . . .

  3. Jennifer permalink
    February 8, 2018 10:50 AM

    This is why we love you. I’m so very excited I just love your short stories and now it’s all of my favorite girls!

  4. Wendi Farnham permalink
    February 8, 2018 11:13 AM

    CANNOT WAIT to read those. You are amazing!!

  5. Linda R permalink
    February 8, 2018 11:57 AM

    Yay! Welcome back, Muse! I shall eat Hispaniola Hummingbird chocolate in your honor.

  6. Roseann Rovetto permalink
    February 8, 2018 12:12 PM

    Can’t wait.

  7. Sherry permalink
    February 8, 2018 2:27 PM

    I am very excited! I love all the characters and am always happy to learn more about them 🙂

  8. Michelle Burdan permalink
    February 8, 2018 2:46 PM

    That’s great Meghan! You obviously just needed to coax your muse out of hiding. I guess the cat box is as good a place as any … I know that when I clean out my cat box I do a lot of musing myself … like why don’t I have someone else to clean the cat box out? LOL. Okay, so maybe not that funny.

    I’m sitting here patiently awaiting the next story … with great anticipation! You NEVER disappoint.

  9. Sherri permalink
    February 8, 2018 3:19 PM

    I love your muse – she thinks up all sorts of interesting ideas!

  10. Deb Trocha permalink
    February 8, 2018 4:55 PM

    So when do we get to see 8.5? Can’t wait,

  11. Lisa Norvell permalink
    February 8, 2018 5:21 PM

    The Muse amuses as she will. The stories sound wonderful

  12. Lara permalink
    February 9, 2018 3:38 PM

    Would it be ok if I shared some of this with my students? We are just finishing midyear writing assessments and I think hearing it’s hard for all writers would be helpful.

  13. February 9, 2018 3:59 PM

    can I borrow your muse for just a few hours Meghan?? I’ve spent the whole day, it’s not 3:58 pm spinning my wheels with computer stuff, email, posts, instagram, pushing, pulling etc. I wanna art, damnit. And the muse is frustrated with me and my todo list that never ends. Grrr. I wish the muse and I could get along for a few days so we could get sh*t done!!!

    • February 9, 2018 4:55 PM

      I know!! Sometimes you have to walk away from everything else. Then the muse comes calling.

  14. Venetia permalink
    February 10, 2018 4:17 AM

    Yay! Can’t wait for more Jasmine. Mory is interesting in a quirky way. And I feel like I already know Rochelle pretty well. The other day I was wondering about what her wedding would be like. I decided unplanned. Just a beautiful day, somewhere she felt love, in a calm moment, when someone who could conduct the ceremony legally just happened to be available. Oh well, that’s how it went in my head.

  15. Angie Manes permalink
    February 12, 2018 4:27 AM

    Whoooooa, I just read this…. I am speechless. (*insert HUGE grin and eyes open wide) 😉 Rock on, sista!!!

  16. Sherry permalink
    February 13, 2018 8:12 PM

    I just love it when your head muse gets wicked! Cause when it happens we’re the ones who benefit. Thanks to Meghan and especially her “Muse”. ✍️📚❤️🐾

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