Muse-Inks: Honouring my reality and mid-season follies


This week’s DIYMFA question has to do with honouring your reality. The prompt is this: Tell a story about a time when you had to honour your reality. Rather than focus on one time, I’ll address the topic generally, with specific examples.

There are times when you simply have too much going on in your life or are too worn down by circumstances to stick to your writing practice.

It can happen when you’re overloaded at the day job and have nothing left when you return home. Exhaustion can leave you empty. This happened to me last year when I was training out of town for two and a half weeks. Previously, and since, I’ve been able to write while travelling, but, on this occasion, I was flat out of juice.

Burnout, creative or otherwise, can leave you in the same situation. Doing too much can drain your creative well and leave you ‘blocked.’

It can happen when you or a loved one feels ill. Wellness comes first. Still, I have been known to write even when I’m sick.

When my dad was struck with the illness that landed him first in the hospital, and from there into an alternate level of care facility, and then a nursing home, I have to say that my writing practice wasn’t consistent, but I did write.

Even when I was sitting vigil, when Dad suffered the attack of acute congestive heart failure that would eventually take his life, I brought my lap top and notebook with me.

It may sound callous, or selfish, but writing is how I process the events of my life.

It’s not like I sat there writing obsessively while my father died, either. Though he was unconscious for most of his final journey, there was a lot of hand holding, many quiet, one-way conversations, visitors to comfort, and support measures to attend to.

But when I had a moment, I pulled out my journal and committed a few of my swirling thoughts to paper, or opened up the lap top and typed a few lines.

The only time I’ve not written for extended periods was when I’d lost touch with my passion for writing, following my MA. It was something I had to learn to understand before I could overcome it. It involved depression and therapy and meds and a lot of what I call ‘self-work.’

I tried, and failed, to achieve a consistent writing practice for years before I finally found my way to it. Since then, though, writing has been my companion.

The take-away from all this is that dry spells happen, for whatever reason. Every writer, without exception, has them, whether they admit to it or not. Be kind to yourself. This, too, shall pass.

If you’ve been away from your practice for a few days, or a few weeks, or even for a few years, start slow and build slowly on your successes. Forgive yourself for the times you falter. And always, approach the blank page with love in your heart and fire in your soul.

Muse-inks

Mid-season follies

First, a quick and ecstatic anime/animation note: Netflix has added Legend of Korra to its Canadian service. Just the first two seasons, but I’m all a-squee 🙂 Watching now. Giddy.

The mid-season isn’t quite over at this point, with Game of Thrones about to resume this weekend, but I probably won’t have a chance to share my further thoughts until later in the year.

The Expanse

This adaptation of the James S.A. Corey series of novels was gritty and realistic. It had a real noir feel to it and enough twists and turns to keep viewers tuned in week after week.

It was good storytelling, though dark.

I’ll leave it there, because this is a series I think y’all should really watch.

Childhood’s End

I wouldn’t recommend this adaptation. It was okay. I know decisions have to be made to present a written work on television, but I didn’t appreciate the decisions made in this mini-series.

‘Nuff said.

The Magicians

Love, love, lurved this series. C.S. Lewis, grown up, turned on its head, and painted black.

I know there were significant variances from Lev Grossman’s novels, from which this series was adapted, but these choices are, well, choice.

Another one I want everyone to watch.

Very well done.

Magical, even 😉

Bitten

This was the final season of Bitten, and warnings were issued that the writers were going ‘off-book’ with this one.

It was ok. They got back to centring the story on the pack and wolf dynamics.

The Russian pack have made themselves comfortable and so Jeremy, fearing a hostile takeover of the worst kind, sends Elena, Clay, and Nick to gather the lone werewolves and bring them into the pack.

A strange wolf and his family shows up and turns out to be Elena’s father.

There’s a lot of what I saw as unnecessary killing in this season, and the pack is decimated, even after Elena becomes Alpha.

The red-eyed wolf was truly terrifying, but when push came to shove, his take-down was unspectacular.

So like I say, ok. I wasn’t even too concerned about getting spoilery.

Marvel’s Agent Carter

I enjoyed it, though I hear that it wasn’t as well-received as the first season. The relocation to LA was a bit contrived, but the story arc was interesting and tied into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and some of the other Marvel properties.

I appreciated Peggy’s relationships with the various men in her life, particularly Jarvis, and I liked that there were women characters who could hold their own beside our hero.

I wasn’t as taken with Whitney, though I believe the writers did the best they could to create a complex villain in as few brush strokes as possible.

We’re supposed to hear in May whether the series will be back for a third season or not.

You, Me, and the Apocalypse

This was funny! And quirky (and I loves me some good quirk)! Rob Lowe as a Cardinal? That made it for me, right there. The evil twin schtick didn’t feel tired in this series, either.

This is another story told, like How to get away with murder and Quantico, from two ends. One story line follows the lives of several people as they learn that an asteroid is heading on a collision course with Earth, and the other frames the chronological narrative from the perspective of the protagonist (we think—spoiler!) as he sits in a bunker, waiting for the impact.

As the episodes progress, viewer learns how all of the apparently disparate characters are connected. It was very well done.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Rory Pond gets to be a time master 😉 Yup. This one is another positive-ish DC show that features a number of the supporting characters from The Flash and Arrow, teaming up with time master Michael “Rip” Hunter to defeat Vandal Savage before he destroys the future.

It’s a bit repetitive as Rip and his team travel from time to time hunting Savage, or run from time to time trying to evade the other time masters Rip defied when he went on this crazy quest, but there have been some entertaining episodes.

The series may have a limited time (pun intended).

Vikings

I’m not as happy with this season as I have been with past ones. Ragnar is pretty pathetic this season, but other characters, like his son, Bjorn, and ex-wife Lagertha, are coming into their own.

Rollo has become a Frankish Duke and is actually defending the French against his brother Ragnar.

The intrigues of the courts of Wessex, Mercea, and Northumbria are interesting, but something is definitely lacking since Floki murdered Athelstan last year.

Can I just come back to Ragnar for a moment? Thought to be mortally wounded after the last attack on Paris, he recovers (somewhat), befriends a Chinese slave, becomes addicted, and essentially loses it. He redeems himself by coming up with a crazy idea to portage the Viking fleet past Rollo’s defences, but I’m thinking this may be it for the clever Ragnar I admired.

The season’s not over yet, though.

Orphan Black

This series has only just returned. I’m enjoying the ride, so far, though. Going back to the beginning and delving into the original mysteries around Neolution is a good way to reorient the show.

I’m not so sure I’m keen on Felix’s one-eighty, though. Searching for one’s birth family doesn’t mean you turn your back on the family that you have and get all broody. I suspect there’s more to it than what’s been confessed at first blush, though.

Outlander

We’re only a couple of episodes in, so I don’t have much to report. If the cast, crew, writers, and costume designers keep up with last season, however, I’ll be well-pleased.

The Good Witch

This sweet Harlequin production just returned this past Thursday.

Despite featuring a protagonist who is a witch, this series is really a Christian romance in pagan trappings.

I can’t explain it. My tastes generally run darker and more twisted, but I kind of like The Good Witch.

And . . . just so you know, I don’t watch all of the television that comes out. I can only watch so much without cutting into my writing time. I have to be picky. And there are some shows I just don’t get into. Or they don’t hook me at all.

So there you have it.

The only series I didn’t get to were the Netflix/Shomi series we watch. I may have to recap those in the fall before I dive into the new fall season shows.

As I mentioned before, I’ll be at Ad Astra next weekend. Unless a miracle occurs, I won’t be blogging. The weekend of May 7, I’ll be serving up my April next chapter update, and then I’ll be getting on with the convention reportage, such as it is.

I’ll be back with more Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday for you in the meantime.

Smiles, everyone, smiles! (Don’t ask me where that came from. Seriously, don’t.)

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