Muses at My Beck and Call

inspireJanuary 20, 2017 — No matter how much you love what you do, there will always be days when you need a little extra kick to get started. When the writing process becomes difficult, for example, a little Internet surfing does wonders to spark my creativity—or shock the hell out of me, which also works.

Sometimes I turn to great quotations from published authors to get me started. They act as a muse and provide instant inspiration to get writing juices flowing again. My favorite is a quote by author Tom Robbins. More clever than inspirational, it always puts things into perspective for me:

“I have been sick ever since I started working here, but I’m well today and I won’t be in anymore.”

Here are a few “more traditional” quotes that do the trick to round out an inspirational top 10:

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” – Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” – James Michener

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” – Tom Clancy

“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.”  – Lawrence Kasdan

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway


‘Tis the Season

Hollywood movie red carpet background and city

Hollywood movie red carpet background and city

January 6, 2017 – Hollywood award season kicks off Sunday night, honoring the best performances of 2016.

While I don’t get caught up in celebrity gossip, read trashy rags, consider myself edgy enough to enjoy TMZ, and despise it when celebrities spew forth their political views, I do get weak in the knees over the Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild, and Academy Awards. It may seem trivial when you consider everything happening in the world, but we all need an escape – and mine is the movies.

Just like the actual holiday season, however, this award season snuck up on me, leaving me unprepared. I haven’t seen any of the nominated films for 2016 because I’ve spent more entertainment time with my Netflix subscription than visiting theaters.

My saving grace – the season begins with the Golden Globes, which recognizes excellence in both film and television, so I have it half covered. I still have time to redeem myself before the Academy Awards on February 26, when I hope to be worthy to celebrate the film industry in style.

Looks like I’ll be spending the rest of January and most of February at the movies.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

January 2, 2017 — This week’s photo challenge is resilient.


Historic resilience: Modern buildings stand in the background, but Philly’s Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest residential street in the U.S., remains as it did 300 years before.


Architect’s resilience: Abandoned prison stands as the walls crumble.


Nature’s resilience: Life holds on through a January blizzard.


It was 47 years ago today…

beatles-rooftop-1January 30, 2016 – Today marks the anniversary of an important event in Beatles’ history.

On January 30, 1969, the Beatles held their last official performance on the rooftop of Apple Records in London until the concert was interrupted and brought to a halt by the police. Later, this concert became known as their fourth film, “Let it Be”.

According to George Harrison, “We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.”

Before the police raided the studios and rooftop, the Fab Four (with Billy Preston on organ) performed for 42 minutes, laying down tracks for “Get Back”, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “Dig a Pony”, along with a few other obscure songs not written by the Beatles. Can you image what it would have been like to catch a free concert while you’re walking down the street?

One of the engineers who helped record the event reported, “There were people hanging off balconies and out of every office window all around. The police were knocking on the door – George Martin went white! We really wanted to stop the traffic, we wanted to blast out the entire West End.”

They did just that; it’s a shame the police couldn’t just Let it Be.

Here’s a look at the boys singing “Get Back”.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

December 26, 2016 — This week’s photo challenge asked us to consider our own path. I haven’t quite decided my path or resolutions for the new year, so I thought I’d feature some of my favorite paths that lead to my favorite places in 2016.

One of my favorite paths leads to the ocean.

One of my favorite paths leads to the ocean.

A colorful path that leads to beautiful gardens.

A colorful path that leads to beautiful gardens.

Nothing compares to the quiet path through the woods on a beautiful fall day.

Nothing compares to the quiet path through the woods on a beautiful fall day.