All posts filed under: The Evening Muse

Get Away

[Post #545 | The Evening Muse #9] In light of the start of vacation, here’s a related entry written back on June 30, 2018. Lately when I close my eyes I see myself in a certain, uncertain setting: in a moving vehicle with a sun/moon roof open, a big bright blue sky overhead with scattered cotton-like clouds, the wind blowing through open windows and an open, sprawling road laid ahead with a variety of surrounding landscapes and scenic vistas. In recent weeks, at least since true Spring and Summer weather finally broke in May, I have been stricken with an unrelenting wanderlust. Actually, I’m not sure that’s the most apt term, because getting away from it all seems to be the main mission. Particularly this past week or so the echoing thought in my mind has been to get away from all the noise of everyday mundane life and escape to a place of unparalleled peaceful and quiet serenity. My head has been a jumbled mess of thoughts, hopes, dreams and frustrations and it seems …

A Certain Amount of Delusion

~ The Evening Muse #8 ~ Like most writers I constantly battle with confidence and the lack of constant validation (especially since I’m not publishing regularly anymore), but I’ve come to realize that one way to battle that is to simply adopt a certain amount of delusion — an elevated sense of self and ability as a writer — a delusion of grandeur, if you will. Essentially just have a belief in self that may not even be true, but so long as YOU believe it, that’s all that matters, right? It goes along with the old adage that “If YOU don’t believe in yourself, who’s going to?”

The Evening Muse 7 | A Writer’s Plight

~ This is #TheEveningMuse on #ruckology ~ *Written late last week when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. The irony, the frustration is this: when you’re young with less responsibilities and obligations taxing your free time, you’re not quite skilled enough to be the writer you will eventually become as a seasoned 30-something and beyond. But by the time you hit those 30s and 40s years, you’re consistently working a full-time job to support and maintain the family and life you’ve acquired over the years while also trying to actually live and enjoy that life. You see, that’s the part they don’t tell you about, the fact that to write well and to write often, you have to chain yourself to your desk and do a whole lot less actual living. That’s the other irony: you should absolutely live and have experiences to enrich your writing – yet when are you going to actually have the time to do that living while working a full-time job and also writing full-time, or more realistically, part-time? I …

The Evening Muse 6 | The Need for Speed & Selectiveness

Expedience – I read a lot. Of course that goes without saying. Just the other day I heard Stephen King say he is an omnivorous reader, and I agreed I am the same. Voracious, in fact. However – and because of this – I need to do a lot of using the speed-reading technique (as well as bypassing the boring parts in larger works). In the past as a short story editor I’d speed read a lot of short stories out of necessity. Nowadays, if I speed-read a story it is because to my tastes it’s wasting time getting to the compelling part. If I speed-read a novel, it’s not just because I tend to check out so many of them from the library and need to boogie through them swiftly, but it may also likely be because I am not quite enamored with the prose style, or it has a weak or non-existent plot, or worse yet, a plot that is simply not compelling. A lot of times novels are not paced as well …

The Evening Muse 5 | Cause for Alarm?

Last night, for the first time ever, I honestly had the thought that I wish I did not have any talent. You see, if I had absolutely no talent then I would not have the burden of it. Now I’m no psychology expert, but a thought like that from someone, anyone, is certainly cause for alarm, amiright? This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this particular burden.

The Evening Muse 4 | Tick-Tock

As we entered Daylight Savings Time this past week and gave up an hour of our lives to Spring forward, I was reminded that I have a strange – or more specifically, strained – relationship with time. I have often felt an unending urge to beat time, somehow, someway. There has always been this ticking clock in the back of my mind, pushing me forward with an incessant urgency to get certain things done, as if I am acutely aware that life is terribly fleeting, that our life force is an elusive, unmanageable thing. It’s not like we can ever truly master or control time. We cannot reverse time to put hours, days, weeks, years back on the clock. The day we’re born is the day we start dying. We don’t get do-overs, we can’t time-travel (yet!) and we do not have the power of pause. Temporal stasis is a science-fiction theory at best (for now). This is why Father Time is a cagey mad bastard who remains undefeated. Tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock!

The Evening Muse 3 | Fuckitall!

Ever wanna just bury your head in the sand and say fuckitall? Then maybe hideaway in your underground bunker and just play videogames, watch art house movies about existentialism, play your guitar, write tortured poetry in a jumbled journal, listen to ambient music on a repeated loop, draw disturbing images in an unused sketch pad, record random stories of your past life regressions with a digital voice recorder, grow a grizzly beard, and at some point simply die alone in a puddle of your own piss and fecal matter because you couldn’t be bothered to give much of a damn about anything else anymore? Yeah, that was me for a day this past week. So glad it’s over. -B.

The Evening Muse 2 | Lost the Plot

As I prepare to put ass to seat and fingers to keyboard for four hours of work on my own novel tonight, I contemplate the aspects of fiction that are most important to me.  One particular thing that’s absolutely essential for me, particularly in long form fiction is plot.  I’ve recently come to realize that I have a strong aversion to plot-less fiction.  Actually, I’ve always known it, but recent reads have reminded me that this is a big deal to me.  Most noticeably, I think a larger number of novels told in first-person narrative are fairly plot-less and meandering.  The narrator often lacks the necessary flair nor a captivating voice with which to tell a compelling story (naturally this becomes an indictment on the author’s prose, but that’s another conversation).  Even when serving as an outside observer to the events the narrator merely witness . . . they still somehow end up circumventing or meandering around the plot that should be, in my opinion, inherent in most stories that aren’t simply and blatantly being literary …

The Evening Muse 1 | 24-Hour Local Public Libraries

This is a concept that should exist in the 21st century.  Like many self-respecting writers, I have  a home office/study (and naturally mine doubles as a mancave/manscape when necessary since I live with multiple double-X chromosome carriers).  However, that Chamber of Peace and Solitude – y’know, the kind a writer requires – is on the first level of this fine two-level domicile in which I reside and hold the mortgage.  However, it’s not far from the common living quarters of the place.  So if anyone else is home, their sounds of living seep unfettered into said chamber.  This is why escapist places like public libraries are a valued construct (considering one does not have an offsite studio in which to retreat).  The two we have here in our local quadrant of the county are fine establishments.  Great, actually.  However, there’s just one problem:  the operating hours – particularly those on the weekends – are unacceptable.  A 5:30 closing time?  No, no, this simply cannot stand to reason.  If 24/7 is not on the negotiating table, …