Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Drinking and Driving

I just want to start this post by saying that if you're going to drink - designate a driver, walk or take public transportation. Don't get behind the wheel of a car. You're not only endangering yourself, but the other drivers on the road as well. You'll also be labeled an asshole by me.

My sister graduated from nursing school this weekend and my family came to visit. My husband, Bry, and I picked up my parents from the airport and were driving them back to our house when we were suddenly cut off by a driver in a white car. This person stopped, completely blocking the lane we were driving in, and if it weren't for Bry's insane, cat-like, miraculous driving, we'd have T-boned the guy, killing him instantly and having 4 cars behind us crash, including my niece's father. However, because my husband is rather amazing, we ended up missing the jerk completely and not hurting anyone (except my whiplash, but whatever).
The jerk backed up his car, turned around so he could drive properly in the lane and pulled his older model white car up about an inch next to Bry's door. The jerk rolls down the window.
"I'm sorry, my friend. I think I've had one too many." He slurs.
"No shit." Bry replies. "You still have a beer in your lap too. Pull over and walk."
I'll never understand how he maintained his composure.
The jerk nods.
"I'm serious. You need to pull over and walk. You're going to kill someone." Bry firmly reiterates.
The drunk drives off, looks like he's going to pull over, and makes a u-turn, driving away from the scene.
Meanwhile, I dialed 9-1-1 to report that he was drunk, still drinking, and driving. The operator transfers me to a different department and the four of us watch from the relative safety of our truck as the drunk drives on by. The operator comes back on, I give her the information on the vehicle.
"He's headed to the freeway. We almost killed him. He's still drinking." I state with panicked urgency. There are lots of kids in this town.
"If we catch him, do you want us to cite him?" She asks.
I look, dumbfounded, out the window.
"I think you should arrest him and throw him in jail! He's drinking and driving and going to kill someone!" I shout, shocked that she'd even be questioning what the police should do to a drunk driver. We end the conversation and Bry takes us home.
About 20 minutes later the pain settles into my neck and shoulders. I call my insurance company to file a claim. They call the next day, giving me the driver's information and I call his insurance to file the claim.
Three phone calls later, I'm blown off by the claims investigator on the other end of the phone.
"We'll investigate the situation further. Thank-you for calling." He says by rote in a monotone voice.

I'm saddened by the state of humanity. Are we that jaded that hearing about someone drinking and driving and almost killing people isn't a big deal?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Writer's Inspiration - working with your muse

I've recently been getting quite a few questions about writers block from some of my author friends. If you haven't experienced this wonderful phenomenon, just wait. It'll happen.
For those of you who may not know, I write a Paranormal Romance series (Choice, Changed, Created, Consumed) and a Zombie series (The Beginning, Little Apocalypse on the Prairie), sometimes concurrently. Some people are flabbergasted that I can switch between the two completely different writing styles and topics so easily, sometimes even in one day. My answer: My muse has ADHD.
My muse isn't content in just one genre. She likes to flip flop and flit all over the place. Once I say I won't write about a subject, she comes up with this brilliant idea and tries to prove me wrong. My challenge: Keeping her focused.
"How do I do this and deal with writer's block?" you ask.
My answer is simple and complicated. I personally work best with deadlines. Most of the time I manage to reach them, other times, life gets in the way and I have to push my deadline back a bit. My muse kinda hates this. If she had her way, we'd start a hundred projects and never finish any of them, but she'd be happy with the results anyway. When I have my deadline settled, I try not to read anything during the writing process. Instead, I watch movies pertaining to the subject matter, doodle outlines, walk, drive listening to the music that fits the particular scene I'm writing, and then I write. I've found I write better when I hand-write things and then type them into the computer. When I stick with the genre I'm trying to write about, flood my mind and my senses with the differing ideas, I find my muse becomes almost over stimulated and focused. Words and ideas fly through my head faster than my fingers can type.
We work hard, for long periods of time, exhausting both her mental reserves and my physical strength. Once we're done with a subject, sometimes she's ready to move on to something else, sometimes she's just done.
My point to this post is to learn and get to know your muse on a personal level. How does it work with you? What are its breaking points? How do you nurture and reward your muse?
I overcome writers block by giving my muse the rest she deserves. During these times, we read for fun, we simply enjoy the music, not look for the inspiration it provides, and we simply enjoy the pleasure of each other's company, in a restful, quiet way.
I know I sound schizophrenic. Believe me, I know. I've had a difficult time trying to find a way to describe my muse as anything other than another entity inside of me, but that's how she feels to me. She's part of me, but not entirely me. She's that little voice inside of me, inspiring me, encouraging me, and allowing me to entertain the childish fantasies that have inspired my writing.
My challenge for you today: Find a way to show your muse you appreciate it. Let it relax, recharge and just simply be content to live inside your psyche. You'll be amazed at how it rewards you.