The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

July 27, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Vermont

Filed under: Uncategorized — authorrachelkenley @ 7:33 pm

I get allergic smelling hay

I’m a city mouse.  I used to visit a friend in New Hampshire and when my cell phone lost a signal as I turned onto her street, I’d break out in hives (ok… a little hyperbole, but you understand).  Think of me as Eva Gabor in Green Acres.  “Dahling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.”

Except every now and then…

tiny capitol

I love to drive north from where I live in Massachusetts and into the incredible beauty that is Vermont. It is so peaceful; so quintessentiallyNew England.  I stop in Waterville and visit Ben and Jerry’s then head into Stow for the Cabot Cheese Annex and the Cold Hollow Cider mill. Montpelier, the smallest state capitol in the US, has two great used bookstores (one called Rivendell!), a New England Culinary Institute cafe and some wonderful shops. And then I head further into the North West Kingdom and the Burlington area.

Chuch St in Burlington

By Vermont standards, I suppose Burlington is a city.  There are shops, restaurants, lots of places to stay and with the University of Vermont in town, a lot of young energy.  But it never feels big or too busy and it never losses that feel of Vermont.  There are plenty of hand-made crafts stores, hiking and all natural based places.  The buses have an attachment ment in the front that allow you to put your bicycle in it.

So, when I have a chance to get away from it all, Vermont is one of my first choices.  It makes the perfect getaway.  And my cell phone always works.

Where do you go to recharge?


July 25, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompt – I did it anyway

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 1:39 pm
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Have you ever made a decision that everyone or at least almost everyone in your life was against?  Maybe it was something small like cutting your hair short.  Maybe it was more significant like taking a job far away from hom.  How did it turn out? How did it make you feel?  What did you learn?

Do this for you or put your character in this difficult position.  It’s not easy to stick to our guns and do what we think is right for us, but it does lead to some interesting insights and results.

At every point in our life is a chance to make a choice – once a decision gets made it changes the course of things to

of course, some people do go both ways

come.  And there’s no going back.  Kind of amazing, isn’t it?

Have a productive week.

July 20, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – IMDb

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 2:01 pm
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I love movies.  I love trivia.  I love trailers and silly movie quotes. And I have a head for remembering information that does me almost no good unless I am playing Jeopardy on Facebook.  So what is my regular go-to website – .  It’s a terrific site and has improved over the years.  It’s easy to navigate and there’s lots of information on each page.

I discovered the sight about twelve years ago when a local movie theater linked to it when you clicked on a movie poster for more information. Boy, do they have information.  I can click links on titles, directors and actors for hours.  I love being able to look up the details of a movie, even discovering the uncredited actors (thank you accounting/payroll department for your wonderful records).  I can see lists of nominees and winners for awards for every year.  I can find the soundtrack songs even if a soundtrack wasn’t released (Especially good for the recent film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which has some beautiful songs). Not to mention goofs, continuity issues, and the best quotes pulled out and ready to use in conversation.

When we’re doing that “Oh damn, what was he in?” “Who did he play?” “Wasn’t she also in…?” we run to IMDb.

For those moments when you’re watching reruns and the bit part actors who were “nobodies” then and not billed in the beginning, but you’re pretty sure it’s you-know-who, you can just type in a few words and *poof*, yup, you did recognize them.  It was particularly usefull after the recent SyFy (hate that spellig) channel Fourth of July Twilight Zone marathon.  In any given episode there are several actors who look so familiar, but you can’t place them.  Click click click – oh that’s his name?  What else have we seen him in?  It’s great fun.

If they ever charge per click… I’m gonna go broke – or have to curb my addiction.

And what does this have to do with writing?  Where do you think I am when I’m procrastinating 🙂


July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – 2K a day

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 2:19 pm
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It’s a lofty goal and one that seems impossible after only the first hundred of the morning, but I am pushing myself to write at least 2,000 words a day on WAVES OF PLEASURE so that not only do I finish the draft quickly, but have as much time as possible to polish it before sending it to my editor.

Other than during NANOWRIMO, I’ve never written this much this consistently.  On some days it’s a marathon, on others a sprint, but it always feels great to cross the daily finish line. 

It is also giving me hope on my ability to keep up this pace (or close to it) after this manuscript is complete so I am producing more work more consistently – and having more time to let it sit before editing.  Did you know Stephen King lets a manuscript sit for at least six months before revisiting it?  I’d like to be able to give my work that kind of space and time.  When I edit immediately after finishing, it’s not quite as good – or objective.

So, back to the page for me.  Hope you’re having a productive week.

July 18, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – What if you couldn’t….

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 11:22 am
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As I sat drinking my coffee and planning my day today I found myself thinking how glad I was that I had coffee in the morning.  What if something changed and it wasn’t available?  Or illegal?  And what if that were true of chocolate (gasp!), going to the movies, or any of the other things I enjoy and take for granted.

So that’s my prompt to you today – what if you couldn’t have or do something you love… how would you cope?  Or put this on a character.  Take something away from them that they love or rely on (or both) and see what happens. Do they crumble or do they find a core of inner strength they didn’t know they had?

And in the meantime, I think I’ll be grateful for all I do have and all I can do.

July 14, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – The Movies

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 12:48 pm
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As has been our tradition for several years, my friend, and fellow writer, Jeffrey C. Pettengill, and I will attend the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter film tonight.  We look forward to these each time they are released (although not the day after during which I am ridiculously tired).   There’s something about being one of the first to see a movie – along with several thousand other people. Still, it’s fun to be there with all the fans, some dressed up some not.

I love going to the movies.  Heck, I love movies period.  I watch them on cable, on hulu, on demand, and on dvd/blueray.  Give me a good story and great characters and I’ll give you two hours or more of my life.  Mostly… it’s the great characters, which isn’t surprising since as a writer, that draw me in. 

I want to see someone or more than one character redeemed.  Tim Allen’s character in “Galaxy Quest”, Jude Law’s character in “Gattaca”.  I want someone to be changed, like Rose in “Titantic” or Red in “Shawshank Redemption”.  I want them to go on an emotional – and occassionally physical – journey such as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” and Luke Skywalker in his “Star Wars” trilogy.  I want to be carried along with them.

And if I can be inspired?  So much the better.

What movies do you lose yourself in?

July 11, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – Memories

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 12:43 pm
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In the Joan Baez song “Diamonds and Rust” (my favorite recording is by Blackmore’s Night) there is the lyric:

We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

So my prompt today for you is this: What memory is haunting your character and influencing him/her in a way that is not helpful to their ultimate goal?

And if that doesnt work for you, you can try: What memory do you have that you would like to rewrite/change? Give a moment in your life a dramatically different outcome and see where it takes you.

Just remember to have a productive week!

July 6, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – Savvy Authors

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 4:23 pm
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What’s not to love about a site that’s all about writer’s helping writers.  There are classes, opportunties to pitch to agents and editors, blogs on the art and craft of writing.  It’s a means to market and learn about marketing. It’s a place to find new authors to read and new reader for your books.

Their mission statement is: Savvy Authors strives to provide the best tools, classes, and networking opportunities for authors in all stages of their writing careers, from aspiring novelists to multi-published authors.

We at SavvyAuthors are committed to developing a community that embraces:
– Mentoring and sharing of knowledge and expertise among our members.
– Fun and respectful competition in the pursuit of writerly excellence.
– High quality opportunities for publication, promotion and advancement.
– A strong writer’s support network.
– The tools to let each of our members achieve their publication goals.

You can have a basic membership for free (can’t beat that!) and a premium membership for $30, which is also a great deal and gives you discounts on classes and access to special events.  One of my favorite premium membership benefits is the online tools and resources which includes an agent/editor database, blog tour wizard, craft sheets, and a clique finder tool!

A community of supportive writers and tools to make your writing and your career better.  Now that’s a great site!

July 5, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – The Act and Art of Writing

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 12:44 pm
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I have about four weeks to finish and submit my mermaid story and make the deadline I agreed to.  28 days.  And many thousands of words to go. But it’s not the words I am focused on as much as having the first draft done as soon as possible because the faster it’s complete, the more time I have for editing.

I know that edit is a four letter word that scares or horrifies many writers, but I’ve never minded it.  A first draft allows me to tell a story.  With edits and revision, I can tell it well. And definitely better than it comes out the first time (or two).

At the International Women’s Writer’s Guild’s annual conference, Remember the Magic, writer and  frequent workshop presenter, Eunice Scarfe, once spoke to us about the act and art of writing.  There can be no art without the act first.  And truly, there can be to act without the desire for the art. I have come to appreciate both sides of this coin.

The sooner the draft is complete, the sooner Lyria and Drew complete the journey this book is to tell, the sooner I can get to editing and polishing and bringing out the heart and wonder of their journey.

So, how is editing for you?  Do you dread it or look forward to it?  Or a little of both?

July 2, 2011

Friday Bedside Book Review – American Gods

Filed under: Friday Bedside Book Review — authorrachelkenley @ 8:14 pm
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Okay… it’s Saturday, but I was so close to the end of the book I had to finish it and write about American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.  The novel, deservedly, won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.  It is wonderful.

For the most part, we follow Shadow, a man recently released from a three year stint in prison who is expecting to return to the wife and job he left behind.  When she is killed his plans are up in the air, un

This is not a fast read, but it is worth every minute of it.  It was referred to me by my friend and fellow writer, Jeffrey C. Pettengill, who listened to the audio version and I am very glad I took his recommendation. Old and new gods are warring for survival and every mythos seems to represented either as important characters or in glimpses and gatherings. I loved the characters, the pace and, perhaps most importantly, the vision Mr. Gaiman was trying – successfully – to bring to the readers of the world we live in and whether it is even possible to believe anymore.

Gaiman is currently on tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of the publication of this novel and HBO is in the process of creating a three year miniseries based on the book.  In a recent interview  with the author said.  “One of the things I’m concerned about is that I really want to make sure the races of all the characters are kept. I want to keep the racial mix in American Gods the same. And, I want to make it faithful, but also would like it to have a few surprises for people who read the book.”

It would be a delight to see this book come to life.  In the meantime, pick it up now, even if you are in the middle of reading something else, so when you are at a loss for what to read, you know you have something truly worthwhile waiting for you.

Have you already read the book?  Let me know what you thought?

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