3 Movies to Rejuvinate my Writing Mojo

Every once in a while, I get into a major writing slump. I despair of ever putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard for my fiction because I am convinced I am the most unfortunate waste of authorial intent ever. EVER. This feeling can last anywhere from a day, to a couple of weeks, to an entire dreaded season. Sometimes, when the sun shines on a Sunday morning I wake up and remember I have a cure for this writerly depression.

Movies. And not just any movies. Movies about writing and writers. I have three favorite movies that I watch in succession that never fail to make me feel better. No, not just better, but excited to write. Excited about life and recording it in fiction, exploring the emotions and thoughts of these people who speak to me in my dreams and daydreams.

Stranger than Fiction

Because every writer has some sort of mania about their characters. I often dream about mine, and the idea that they can actually come to life, that they are walking around separate from me in time and space and physical-ness is just fun and inspiring.

Alex and Emma

Because it’s nice to have the reminder that you know what? Sometimes your readers don’t like your original idea, or character description, or ending. Take a moment, step back, find a good beta reader, and make changes.

You’ve Got Mail

Because the soundtrack is amazing, the characters are cute, there is witty dialogue, and when the movie is over you want to be typing with emphasis at your computer as if you were writing to the person with which you are falling in love.

And as a bonus, sometimes I like to throw Music and Lyrics in there too. Because it’s goofy, it emphasizes the importance of having outside influence on your creative inception, and Drew Barrymore is adorable.

As a quick reminder, you might be interested in the promotions below.

Haunting Miss Trentwood is discounted on Kindle. And guess what, Catching the Rose is also discounted on Kindle!

The audiobook version of Haunting Miss Trentwood will be discounted from $19.95 to $5.95 (even less to audible.com members) Saturday August 25 to Sunday September 2.

The newly released behind-the-scenes chapter called The Seance from Haunting Miss Trentwood is free on Kindle today, Tuesday August 28. Please leave a review on Amazon, it would be so appreciated!

Best, Belinda

Five Ways to Recharge your Writing Space

Dear Reader,

Two weeks ago I needed to make a change about my home office. I felt as though something about my home office/guest bedroom was stifling my creativity, but I couldn’t figure out what or why.

A friend came over and wanted to show me something online, so I watched him sit at my desk. Eureka! Suddenly everything was clear. My desk had my back facing the door, something that has always made me feel uncomfortable. Watching my friend sit there highlighted how awkwardly I had arranged my home office.  Here are some tips to make your home office inspire your muse by rearranging your furniture.

Position your desk so you face the door/entrance to your office space.

The farther your desk is from the door, the better. According to feng shui practices, this is called a “commanding” position. Think of every executive’s office you’ve seen a in a movie. When you place your desk facing the entrance to your space, you are able to watch every move someone makes as they approach you. It’s a power play, and it works. If you can’t do that, or if your desk must face a wall, put art on the wall to make it “disappear,” like a pastoral scene.

Encourage natural light.

I’m a heliophile. If I don’t get sun, I become the definition of emo, and all my creative and happy thoughts leave me in a miserable pile of woe is me. You might not have the same problem, but natural light is a great way to make a space just feel better.

Face your desk toward your book shelves.

I’m assuming that if you’re a writer, you have a number of books. You read them for information and inspiration. Why wouldn’t you want to stare at them while you let your mind wander? Just looking at books inspires me to keep writing, sometimes, and when I turned my desk around to see my bookshelves and whiteboards, suddenly I was able to write a thousand words in half an hour. Try it, see what happens.

Get rid of clutter!

I still need to do this. Currently my laptop is balancing on a pile of papers precariously. When I have a clean desk, I’m much faster at writing because I have nothing to distract me. Take a day to file away papers that aren’t necessary to your current work, take a deep breath, and move on.

Rearrange often.

Keep the creative energy in your space flowing by trying to rearrange something in the room every six months. Maybe you have a plant that could move from one shelf to another. Maybe the shelf sitting behind you can go across the room. Maybe you can shift the angle of your desk from perpendicular to the wall to a 45 degree angle. Whatever it is, change something so when you enter the room next time, your senses notice the change, which could spark curiosity and excitement.

Doing these things helped me, hopefully they will help you, too. All the best,

Belinda

Why I’m Writing a Ghost Story

Dear Reader,

Haunting Miss Trentwood began as an exercise to understand how my parent felt about losing both of their parents.

I researched adult (or midlife) orphans, which is such an important, and under-recognized topic. I’m certain the public library thought I was going through some deep trouble because I read every book on the topic.

I became fascinated and terrified by the idea that one day, my parents will die, and with them goes the only people in the world who have seen it all happen to me. They exist as a living record and archive of the traumatic moments in my life. They are my anchor.

I asked the questions: What happens to someone who loses both their parents? How do we continue, knowing there will never be anyone who knows us entirely? How do we keep the spirit of our parents alive?

Soon thereafter, I began dreaming about ghosts. Specifically, one ghost: the ghost of Mary’s father. I didn’t know why he was there. Mary certainly didn’t know why he was there. But we both knew his presence would forever change the plot and purpose of Haunting Miss Trentwood née Trentwood’s Orphan.

Looking back, I can see influences of Hamlet involved in the inspiration of Haunting Miss Trentwood. We so often underestimate the importance of the role our parents have in our lives, or the lack thereof if our parents are not a part of our lives. We underestimate the influence our parents have on our judgments and decisions.

This book is my attempt to understand and cope with the idea that one day, my parents will be gone, but I hope to keep their spirits alive within me. Is that crazy? Am I alone in worrying about this? Are you wondering how in the hell can I make an entertaining read about such a morbid topic?

Don’t worry, I wonder the same thing all the time. It’s a challenge, but it’s one I’m excited to face. Which, in retrospect, seems kind of weird, doesn’t it?

All the best,

Belinda