The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

February 18, 2011

Friday Bedside Book Review – Soulless by Gail Carriger

Filed under: Friday Bedside Book Review — authorrachelkenley @ 10:56 pm
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Writers are told to do two things regularly.  Read and write.  My prefered genres are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance and, recently, steampunk, although I do read nongenre and literary fiction and I’ve promised myself I will read Great Expectations before the year is out.  I am usually reading two books at a time, a paperback that comes with me everywhere (heaven forbid I’m caught without a book), and one by my bedside.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Recently, those were one and the same as I was pulled into the wonderful steampunk world of Alexia Tarabotti in Gail Carriger’s Soulless.  This book has something for everyone and everything very well done.  Alexia a 25 year old on the shelf spinster in an alternate England.  The language used by Carriger is rich and lush.  It’s been so long since I’ve read a regency romance that it took me a while to slip into the flow, but once I did the ride was completely worth it.

I wont give away some of the plot details because how Carriger gives them to her readers is so beautifully done.  The book, simply, has everything we could want.  A Strong, smart heroine.  Smart alpha (literally) hero who loves the heroine even when he wants to throttle her and a terrific plot involving a threat to the preternatural and supernatural communities which are now an accepted part of London Society.

And the best thing about the book?  There are three more.  Changeless and Blameless are out now and Heartless is coming before the end of the year.  Alexia is a character worth spending time with and Ms. Carriger is definitely an author to put on your auto buy list.


February 17, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My Mug Warmer

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 3:46 pm
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I love my morning cup of coffee and everyone in my life knows it.  I have small gifts from friends and family that say “Instant Human – Just Add Coffee”, “I haven’t had my coffee – don’t make me kill you,” and “I’m only as strong as my coffee and hairspray.”

However… I usually drink only that morning cup.

And frequently, it lasts me for hours (I’m typing this at 10:30 am, and my mug is not empty even though I poured it at 8:30).  For a long time I ended up reheating it in the microwave so that each sip would be warm.  Until a friend gave me the Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer and changed – and improved – the way I enjoy my coffee every day.

The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer

This lovely gadget, which retails from $8-10 depending on where you purchase it, allows me to have a warm cup of coffee from first sip until the last.  It sits next to my computer keeping the mug just the right temperature, so if I’m distracted from my desk for a while (and who isn’t), when I come back – it’s waiting for me, ready to enjoy again.

It’s simple, does the job is supposed to do, doesn’t take up much space, isn’t expense and makes my life a little happier.

coffee warmer in action

How many things can you say that about 🙂

February 16, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – A Novel Cafe – Tewksbury, MA

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 2:05 pm
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The title of this blog is The Gypsy Muse is for several reasons.  First, I find that inspiration comes to me from so many places and in so many ways.  A phrase on the radio, a commerical, a house on a street I’ve never been on before.  I have a stack of paper with notes on each page from ideas I jotted down in my car.  I have another stack from my nightstand drawer. 

The second reason is that as I writer, I like to work in different places.  I know other writers who are hardly productive outside of their normal writing spaces, but as much as I love the writing room I have in my home (and more about that another time) I find being in other places and spaces not only fun but almost necessary at times.  I need to get out of my “usual” and into something a new to get my Muse flowing and dancing again.

Many of the places I’ll blog about on Wednesday are locations I love going to – or even hope to go to – and some will be websites that draw me back over and over whether for research of pleasure.

A Novel Cafe

In the fall of 2010 the Merrimack Valley got a great new place for writers to visit.  A Novel Cafe on Rte 38 in Tewksbury is half independent book store and half full cafe with tables of various sizes, big couches and a fire place.  I spent over three hours writing there in November during Nanowrimo.  I purchased coffee and was left alone to enjoy the space, my drink, and my manuscript.  As a future Municipal Liason for Nanowrimo, I plan to schedule lots of events there over the course of next November.

Look at the great space to relax and write!

Any booklover – and bookstore lover – knows two things about independent bookstores.  They are wonderful places to visit and risky business ventures. I hope the word continues to get out about A Novel Cafe and this wonderful place to wander, shop and write is successful for a long time to come.

February 15, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Recommitment

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 2:45 pm
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So on Tuesdays I own up to where I am, where I am not yet and where I am aiming to be by next week.

And, honestly, since Nanowrimo in November, I have not been as consistent in writing as I want (and hoped) to be.  It’s scary/sad/eye opening to realize that if I wrote 1,000 words a day Monday – Friday in the 10 weeks since Nanowrimo ended… I’d have 50,ooo words done.  Now, of course, they would still need lots of editing, but at least they would be commited to the paper.  PROVE IT ALL NIGHT would be a complete draft.

Yup – eye opening.

So as I recommit to myself, I put it out there to all of you as well that Monday through Friday – or more – I will write a minumum of 1,000 new words on a current project.  Of which I have three.

1) PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – paranormal romance

2) GUARDED HEART – erotic contemporary romance

3) WIZARD OF OZ – non fiction essay book

I realized several years ago that focusing on only one project at a time isn’t necessarily effective for me.  Yes, there comes a point where the manuscript develops a life of it’s own and like a powerful whirlpool sucks me in deeper and deeper, but until that point, I’m better if I’m working on more than one manuscript.  And it’s even better if they are in somewhat different genres.

Next week’s tell all should mention the 5,000 new words I’ve done as well as any other progress I’ve made.  If there is one thing successful published authors agree on it’s the importance of writing every day.  It’s a habit I’ve had and let go of at different times in my life.  I want to move my writing and publishing career to the next level.  It needs to be a habit now and forever.

Any habits that are working for you?  How about ones you want to change?

February 14, 2011

Monday’s Writing Prompt – Relive a kiss

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 3:51 pm
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I’ve decided that posting a daily blog will be a lot of fun and a great way to connect with readers, writers, and my own muse.  However, I know that coming up with something to say each day can be a huge challenge so I’ve decided that I’m going to have theme days.

So my plan is:

Monday Writing Prompts – to help get the week going this will be a phrase, quote, idea or story beginning that you – and I – can take wherever the muse leads you.

Tuesday Tell All – where I’ll write about… what I’m writing about and what’s working – or not – in my work.  A day to share goals for the week and what’s happening over all.

Wednesday Wanderings – about places and spaces I love. My muse, as you might guess from the name of this blog, has a gypsy heart.  I love to write in new locations as well as find new places both on the internet, so that’s what these mid-week posts will be about.

Thursday Favorite Things – taking a page out of Oprah’s book, I’ll be blogging about something I use and enjoy that I would love everyone to have.

Friday Bedside Book Review – will be a review of the book I’ve been reading each night.  I finish at least one book a week, so this will be the day I share my thoughts on the book that I’ve been ending my day with.

Onto today’s writing prompt, which, in honor of Valentine’s Day is:

Relive, re-experience, or rewrite a kiss from your past.

 I thought of several I would love to relive, but then the opening line of  a story popped into my head:

” Heather had mentally relived her kiss with Michael hundreds of times – but that didn’t mean she had any desire to see him again.  Unfortunately, he was walking across the conference floor with the clear goal of talking to her.”

Have a great week!

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