Tag Archive | muse

Can Music Jumpstart Your Muse?

 

Absolutely! For just about anything, or take you away from the drudgery of what you’re doing, carrying you away to some other fantastical world. But boy can it be jarring too, if it’s not the right music for the job. On the other hand, what works for one, might not work for another.

I pay my neighbor to mow my yard and he was listening to music while he was weedeating. He said he would never do yard work again without listening to it. It carries you away, you see, from that hot, menial task.

You’ve probably watched a movie that has the most beautiful musical score and it carries you right into the world with no problem. And then the worst ever musical score that pulls you right out of the story because it doesn’t suit the mood at all.

 

Storms and sunset and clouds and sunrise.

I had been listening to Halo (game theme music), and Game of Thrones. I listen to a lot of movie scores like Bourne Identity, etc, for the thrill of the chase. But someone was telling me for his work, photo composition, he listens to Youtube game music. And so I found the one he was listening to, and it was beautiful. So I’ve been switching music for background music and it helps me to write.

I’ve been listening to Skyrim because it lasts for 10 hours and I don’t have to keep starting another hour-long song. I write all day, so it helps. It’s relaxing, not great for exercising to though. So when I want something that has more of a beat while I’m editing, I just look at the sidebar and pull up some other song. One that came up was a chilling space kind of music and it had a pretty good beat so I could exercise and read to edit at the same time.

This is the 10-hour long, relaxing music. This is more suitable for mystery, mystics, magic, and otherworldly, rather than driving conflict, like I usually write. But I still love it.

One cover artist mentioned some music that really gets her in the mood for a certain kind of cover. I listened to it and it was the most jarring, bone rattling, chalk screeching music I’ve ever heard. I’d be running for the hills to get away from it. So you have to find the music that works for you!

Do you listen to music when you work and play?

Terry

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
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Finding the Muse

Everyone needs to find the muse. Not just photographers or writers or artists.

Yep. What motivated you, inspires you to do anything?

Yesterday as I was writing my wordcount on Double Cougar Trouble, I kept seeing tons of butterflies fluttering all over the pentas flowers. And house finches at the feeder. And you know, the camera is sitting right next to me. Oh, and the puppies were playing. So everything was being my muse, for photography. So I quickly opened up another page on how to shoot the right shutter speed for ridiculously fast moving butterflies. Well, for them, it’s not ridiculous. For me…ahem…

So I put the camera back in manual mode, figuring with the new settings, I was bound to get some more of the really overexposed shots, but this one worked. I tried posting the link, but it’s giving a bunch of stuff when I only want to add the link. So just look up: motion-shutter-speed-freeze-blur.2-orange-butterflies-clear-900

The other thing I needed a muse for was Photoshop manipulation. So while I half watched a ghost story set in England around 1920, I also watched several photoshop manipulations. They don’t give details exactly on how it’s done, but I was watching them and maybe if I keep watching them over and over, I’ll finally see what it is they’re doing so I can do the same. I had seen them on my laptop, so not  sure what the site was. But here is one that I thought was pretty cool that I found on another site.

Ghost Love Story – Photoshop Manipulation Tutorial

And the reason for looking into this more is that I am working on a cover, and I want to make it better. I’m still not happy with it, so will have to keep trying.

raven-by-brick-and-lantern-900This was one I was playing around with, but I know I haven’t really gotten my light sources right. This is not the one for the cover though. Or maybe it will be eventually. The one I’m working on is Double Cougar Trouble, and once it looks like I want it to look like, then it will also be my muse.

Now I need to get my house cleaned up for my son’s visit. And you see, that’s my muse!

Have a great one!!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

What Are Friends For???

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I took this picture at a sculpture park of one of the three muses. And I thought she was perfect for the role.

What are friends for? Helping me to get unstuck. Our brains aren’t computers. We can do research online or elsewhere, but sometimes it’s fun to just ask the question of friends, and I mean Facebook friends. I had used a crock pot meal in Cougar’s Mate–Irish Stew, love it, and so my hero made it for himself while he was repairing the cabin rentals he owned. But he’s also a part-time deputy sheriff and so he gets a call. Long story, he doesn’t make it home to turn off the stew. But friends can be a lifesaver. Dan, the sheriff, goes to his place and puts the stew away, but he had to taste it first. Thankfully, he left enough for the hero and heroine to have for eats the next day.

I also make Wassail in it at Christmastime.

But I couldn’t think of something a hero could use in She-Wolf. All the males in my family cook, so if you wonder why they often cook something in the stories, that’s why. In fact, my mom hated to cook, so dad did most of the cooking. Early on, mom did. But after dad retired, he did most of the cooking. I just always thought it was neat. We had a neighbor who wouldn’t lift a finger to fix a meal for himself when his wife had to be away on trips, so she would prepare a bunch of meals for him for while she was away. He was not hero material.

But I was stuck and so I asked what could be cooked in a crock pot. I had an outpouring of ideas. I loved them. It made me hungry. I want to try a bazillion of them for myself. Forget waiting for a hero to step in and make it! 🙂

So if you get stuck in everyday life, sometimes, just asking for help/direction/tips will get you to where you need to go.

Were you waiting for me to share the ideas? Here they are! I was getting hungry just reading over them again.

Pot roasts, chicken tortilla soup, Lamb Shanks – can you tell I’m a kiwi? But they are so tasty and the meat melts off the bone in the slow cooker, Chilli, although I do Dill Cream Chicken so good
Chicken breast <I use boneless as they cook faster>, potatoes, carrots, onions <whatever veggies you wish> salt and pepper and Dill lots of dill. pour whipping cream over the chicken and veggies and let your crock pot do the work

goulash is amazing

stew, with Guinness or Irish whiskey

wings,

New Mexico Green Chili!!

I make onion soup – water; several onions; bit of olive oil, bit of cider vinegar; little bit of beef, dredged in flour; I make chili from scratch; chicken soup from scratch; tomato soup from scratch = low sodium tom juice; toms, onions, carrots, peppers – mostly toms – water, bit of brown rice; etc

Just about any soup but the one I make with winter squash is a family favorite!

ham (we use turkey ham) and scalloped potatoes

goulash is amazing in the crock pot

We make gluten free chili in the crock pot.

Also great for a pork roast that you later cover with bb’cue sauce and fork into strips for pulled pork.

Pinto beans, chili, pulled pork…, Baked beans, pork Bar-B-Q, chili, any type of chicken or beef stew.

You cold be different and bring a hot drink like spiced cider., we cook just about everything in the crockpot including oatmeal during the winter so it is ready in the morning, shredded pork, http://teespring.com/crock-pot-superstar

Lasagna. It’s fabulous! Tastes just like Stouffers.

Pork and veg’s mushroom soup.
or chicken with veg’s chicken .or mushroom soup they come out like a stew

BBQ beef, Oh, pork loin, seasoned with salt, paprika, dry mustard, brown sugar, cooked on low for hours with beer (one bottle). When it’s super soft (almost ready to pull) drizzle bbq sauce over it. Cook a few more hours on low, then pull. (Last half hour, pop cornbread in the oven and pull the cole slaw out of the fridge.) Fave easy meal for friends that looks like you’ve slaved for hours in the kitchen, pot roast, chicken pot pie, Shepherd’s pie

For the meat eaters in my house: make a whole roasted chicken, BBQ chicken, enchilada casserole, meatballs, all sorts of soup, breakfast pot–eggs, cheese, sausage and potatoes. For myself I make TONS of vegetarian things!

brisket

chow mein

Mac and cheese

New England Boiled Dinner

Corned Beef & Cabbage, Chili, just about anything – some people even “bake” cakes

Chicken with a can of mushroom soup. Serve with rice. Super yummy and chicken is so tender it almost falls apart.

Actually you can do a beautiful Dr Pepper/Root Beer pork loin for bar-b-que, Pork butt bbque sandwiches, manwiches, stew, Salisbury steak, roast, lasagna lol use mine for everything…

Cabbage rolls are good.

Settlers’ Beans. Uses 3 or 4 different kinds of canned beans plus spices and browned ground round.

chicken soup

Corned beef & cabbage or pot roast or pork chops & sauerkraut

Taco Soup. Great eating too!

Pot roast or beef tips using onion soup mix cream of chicken or mushroom soup and water.

Bite-sized meatballs in marinara sauce…all you need is pasta to complete the dinner…maybe some Italian bread.

Crockpot apple pie is still out of this world.

I made Sicilian Chicken over Egg Noodles yesterday !!!

Asada with pork loin. Not sure that’s how to spell it.

I made an awesome sweet and sour chicken to serve over rice.

Bread pudding

Chicken and Dumplings

Roast and veggies

bbq pork roast.

Simplest pot roast there is. Take a piece of beef, salt and pepper it, dredge it in flour. Brown it. Take it out of frying pan, add a can of French Onion Soup (Progresso works great), add a packet of onion soup mix, bring to a boil, scraping all the bits from the pot, for flavor. Add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it. Then put meat and liquid in crockpot, cook for -6-8 hrs on low.

cowboy hamburger stew (tomatoes, chopped onions, corn, cooked hamburger, green chiles, black beans (canned variety). When it gets hot and bubbly, you can place canned biscuits or cornbread on top and allow it to cook for another hour.

Chicken in either cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken goes great with either mashed potatoes or elbow macaroni. OR Ham cabbage and potatoes

Coca cola pulled pork, or u could use root beer or dr pepper too

Fiesta Chicken – boneless chicken breasts, cans of diced tomatoes, black beans & corn – +spices (Mexican flavors) – served over rice or cornbread with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream & guacamole – plus margaritas of course!

Cougar story. Hmmm…how about a brisket? Make a rub with a jar of paprika and the same amount of sugar. Rub it into brisket and cook on high 4 hrs. If you have a smaller brisket, use half ingredients.

My mom used to layer the following: floured cubed steak, carrots, and potatoes, then sprinkle a pkg of dry onion soup and cover everything with water. Cook on high a couple hours, then on low for 6 hrs( in those days there wS only one temp! ). Falls apart, it’s so tender and yummy!

Go to getcrocked.com she has some fabulous recipes

London broil, new potatoes, baby carrots, 1 large can of cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 1 cup of water. Throw it all in, cook on low for 6-8 hours and you’re done.

A roast with potatoes,carrots and onions. Using beef broth instead of water?

Layer some onion, add chicken pieces. 3 hrs on high. Drain the juices. Add a can of cream of ck soup, or mushroom soup, or some BBQ sauce. Cook for another 30 min. Done!

I love making chili verde in a crock pot.

cheesecake, apple crisp, chili, hot chocolate, mulled wine.

Split pea and ham soup.

Now I’m hungry. Sweet potatoes are awesome in the crockpot.

Slice Kielbasa into bite size pieces. Mix 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups ketchup, 1 can pineapple chunks with juice in crock pot. Add Kielbasa. Cook on low for 3 hrs. Serve over rice.

Chicken and dumplings is a good meal too.

Chili, pot roast, BBQ beef, corned beef, potato soup

Or shredded chicken with hot sauce to make buffalo chicken sandwiches

Meatballs with grape jelly and your favorite bbq sauce

BBQ pulled pork or chicken, shredded salsa chicken for tacos or burritos, pork carnitas…there are so many options.

I make meatloaf and also lasouna I can’t spell Italian with the long flat noodle layer meet sauce feta cheese

Caveman chili!

Beef Stew, Pork Roast, Roast Beef and Vegetables, Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage, Chili, BBQ Beef, Pulled Pork for Sandwiches, Swiss Steak with Vegetables, Mexican Chicken, Chicken and Noodles, Vegetable Soup, Macaroni and Cheese, Southwestern Chicken with Rice, and the list goes on…

I put chicken breast in and add a jar of salsa to it. Cook until you can shred it then add a couple of cans of beans-drained and rinsed, and some frozen corn. Add more salsa if needed. Use in burritos or on top of rice.

I do a whole chicken–http://kitchenexcursions.blogspot.com/…/slow-cooker…

Chicken Cacciatore

BBQ pork
Cook pork roast in the crock pot
After meat is finished add BBQ sauce and simmer

Cacouli is spicy Portuguese pork butt.Delish.Can make a sandwich with Portuguese rolls,great in an omelet or burrito.Its so tender you shreds it.

I love mushroom soup! Another good crock pot recipe is Corned Beef

ratatouille, posole, pasta sauce, chicken soup.

Beef bourguignon, pot roast, lobster bisque, Turkey pot pie, Seafood barley risotto, Chili, Seafood soup. Chicken and dumplings, Barbecued brisket.

Home made beef or turkey soup. My grandmother makes it on very cold winter days and she throws in anything around the house from (for the beef soup) carrots, onions, potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, and (for turkey soup) rice she calls it a “dump soup” because you are just dumping in random things to utilize them

I make pulled pork. Pork butt, seasoned salt, pepper to taste 6-8 hrs. Depends on size. Let cool pull apart with a fork. Serve with favorite side dish or add BBQ and serve on Keiser rolls. Yummy simple no fail

My familiy enjoys ‘Pork Chop Slop’. lol Don’t let the name fool you. It is delicious. You just toss a little tomato sauce in the bottom of the crock pot, add your seasoned your pork chops, then a can of corn (water and all), a can of green beans, several cut up potatos, a chopped clove of garlic, a few slices of onion and green pepper, then top it with a can ot tomato soup. It is my husband’s favorite meal.

Beef stew. I cook whole chickens in mine

I make spaghetti sauce in the crock pot. It’s so good slow cooked. I’ve grown up with corned beef and cabbage, beef pot roast, pork roast and stews all made in the crock pot on Sunday. I make them whenever I feel like it cause one day a week isn’t enough for special dishes.
I got to try the lamb shanks

***

I love some of the titles: Caveman Chili, Pork Chop Slop, Cowboy Hamburger Stew.

So what do you think? Ready for some crock pot cooking??? What was fun was that some commenters wanted to try the recipes of other commenters, and I know for me, I certainly do. 🙂

I’ve done the same with asking about shampoos–dog grooming tips, just all kinds of things.

Okay, enough goofing off. I’ve got to get back to writing, now that I have the hero preparing lobster bisque to win the she-wolf over. Would it work for you? I love lobster, never had lobster bisque, but it sounds intriguing.

I took my garbage out, Wednesday hump day is garbage day around here, and I had only one bag. Usually I have two. I keep feeling like I’ve misplaced a bag of garbage. Ever feel like that? Watch me find it when I’m looking for something else.

Have a super great Wednesday!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear: Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears.com

Rats in the Attic! And the Muse and Me are in Time Conflict!

Okay, so the termite inspector came out to do his annual check and yes! No termites! Also, and this was so great, so exciting, the puppies didn’t even bark at him! They greeted him and were still shy, but they didn’t bark and misbehave! They even held it so that I could take them out to potty when he left. That’s a BIG deal.

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Tanner tuckered out.

The bad news is–hey, without bad news, all the good news is just boring, right? Who wants to hear about all the great news? That everything is going along fine? We want conflict, right? We want to see that someone else has problems so we feel better about our problems, right? 🙂 <3 Of course. 🙂 That’s what makes life interesting. The conflict. The drama.

Okay, so I’ve got rats in the attic. So says the pest control guy. I KNOW I get mud daubers in the house constantly in the spring through the fall. I know I have a lot of places that things can get in. Never seen a mouse or evidence of mice in the house, though when my parents lived here, the first few years, they had a terrible problem with them. I have snakes in the house. So maybe that’s why? Anyway, he said that on a little bit of decking in the attic, he could see rat prints in dust, and their droppings. And that there’s a little bit of chewing. So I’ll have to check this stuff myself, document it, and share it. With you. Isn’t that what friends are for???

I’m finishing a book first. I’ve GOT to finish this. Twelve days and it has to be turned in. I have a ton of stuff stacking up in the meantime. Call of the Cougar–need to proof the audiobook for one.

So what’s happening now is my Muse and Me are in time conflict. What this means is that it wakes up at times that I want to sleep. Sure, I hear the puppies stirring a bit, and that’s probably what really wakes me, but then my Muse decides to go through scenarios in my book. Not only that, but it tells me all the things I should have done during the day or when I get up. Like, Hey, did you put the clothes in the dryer last night?

Shoot! Nope. But if I get up to do it right then and there, which I would if I didn’t have puppies, I would wake them, and they’d want to go out.

Now, the problem with that is for the last two nights, I’ve actually put them to bed at 7 pm, then I continue to edit, or write, and they wake up the next morning at 5 am. It’s great! But it means I can’t turn on the light or get up without “telling” them that it’s time to get up. And I want them to learn that 7 pm to 5 am (or later) is their bedtime.

Oh, and you know I do lots of research for my books, so I’ve talked a lot about the phases of the moon in this one, and so I was looking at the phases, making sure I got it right, and wow, guess what I found???? The werewolf diet. Hey, sometimes I can’t even make up stuff that great!

Anyway, so I’ve got to figure out a way to talk about it in the book, that makes it seem seamless. It’s not just an urban legend. Some actors supposedly followed it–Madonna, Demi Moore, according to Grazia. It’s also known as the lunar diet or moon diet. It has to do with fasting during the new moon and full moon. But what’s interesting is that when I was at The International Wolf Center, they fed the wolves only once a week. That’s normally how they eat in the wild. They’ll have a dead deer, for instance, (often road kill and someone will drop it off at the center), and once it’s gone, they don’t get fed until the next week. So it’s really appropriate to call the moon diet a werewolf diet, even though it’s not based on the phases of the moon. Anyway, food for thought.

Before I turn THIS into a book, I’m off to write on A SEAL Diving for Trouble. I had another epiphany when I was working on edits. Near the end of the book, as I’m editing over and over again, I’ll keep seeing loose ends. I mention something, and then don’t tie it into anything else, or I just forget to explain it. So sometimes when that happens, I’ll see where a loose end is vital to the story. Which is what happened when my muse began talking to me at 3 am. And that means going back in and making some changes that will change A LOT again. *sigh* Did I mention I have only 12 more days to finish this book?

Okay, off to write. 🙂 Oh and TGIF!!!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear: Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears.com

Color and Uncolor

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Color and Uncolor

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Oh, I know, some will say there is no such word as uncolor, but I couldn’t call this a black and white photo because it has a hint if blue, that I think makes it even more interesting, don’t you?

And uncolor isn’t exactly right because aren’t black and white and blue colors?

Maybe I should call them by moods. The first is spring in a cloudy, stormy, burgeoning colorful sort of way–as the trees are beginning to leaf out and the flowers are blossoming, and the white clouds and blue sky are ever present in the unsettled weather of the season.

The second is the darker side of spring–the threatening thunderstorms, winds, and hails.

And so there you have it. Life-giving Spring and Moody, Threatening Spring in all its wonder.

Maybe you wonder why I’m philosophizing so much about…stuff.

I’m stuck on my manuscript.  And I’m not going to let it get away with it.

So I will see interesting things in other stuff until I can burst forth and write scene after scene to hopefully delight everyone who reads them. Even so, I’m at 33,000! 57,000 to go!

Have a lovely Thursday. I’m late! I’m late! The week is slipping away and so has my muse.

Off to capture it!

Terry

www.terryspear.com