The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Staples

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 1:17 pm
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That was easy

Are all writers office supply junkies?  I suppose there are only rare instances of “all”, but I know a lot who are.  I go in to Staples as though it were a toy store.  From the little things I can always afford – like my favorite pens or colored paperclips – to the things I drool over – like *enormous* computer screens and high end laptops – I adore going in there and spending time. My kids know, once mommy’s at Staples, we’re going to be in there a while.

I sit at the desks they have set up and imagine my dream writing room.  I trail a finger over bookcases and picture them lining the walls of my office and filled, in part, with books I have written.  I page through organizers in the fervent hope that one day I will find one that magically organizes me forever (oh, admit it – you hope it’s out there too).  I take in the colors of pens and markers, thinking of the things I could create with them. I breathe in the leather of computer bags.  It’s a sensory heaven.

It's in here somewhere

“Did you find everything you needed?” they ask me at the check out.  If I’ve only bought what I came in for, it’s a miracle.  Usually, I’ve found what I needed and WAY too much more.  I’ve whittled my basket down to what I can a) make work on the day’s budget and b) what I cannot pass up.  So the answer is yes, I found what I needed and a whole lot more that I simply wanted.

What’s the store you can’t get out of?


August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – The Lull and a Return to Discipline

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 10:54 am
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So WAVES OF PLEASURE is done and with a copy editor and I’m working on edits and new scene ideas for PEAK EXPERIENCE, but it’s been over two weeks since I wrote daily.

And that’s not good.

Time to jump back into the deep end!

Yes, I needed the break and to relax and recharge.  But now I need to get back to the words.  A week of 500 words a day, then up it to at least 750-1000 until I’m at 1,500 a day, which I discovered is the best amount for me to write in a day without churning out too much junk.  Getting back to a discipline is frustrating and challenging.  Makes me annoyed to have let the discipline go in the first place (I’m the same way with exercise and food).  Fortunately, I know the benefits!

A couple of good days in a row and I’ll feel back on track and the momentum should carry me.  Otherwise, I turn into a body at rest… and I tend to stay at rest.

How do you get back in the groove?

August 22, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompt – I’d be rich

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 2:05 pm
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I’m in kind of a dreaming mood today. Sort of that “what if…” feeling. Now usually that’s a great thing for writers and writing.  We’re always asking “what if..” and it leads us down new and (hopefully) exciting fiction paths.  Today, I’m feeling esepcially positive and hopeful so my prompt to you is:

What if you or your character suddenly had $5,000,000.  Yes, five million dollars.  And let’s really have fun… after taxes 🙂

If you choose to write about this money for your character – how would their life change, where would they go, what would they do differently, what would they go for that they couldn’t or wouldn’t otherwise?

If you choose to write about this for you, the same questions apply but first ask yourself what would you do for your writing career?  Me?  I’d run to the store and purchase the best computer and printer available, register for all the conferences I want to go to, and buy advertising to market myself and my books more.  And that would only be the beginning!

Where would this money take you?

Wishing you a week – and more – filled with an abundance of all good things.

August 10, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings


Yes… I’ve been off wandering through deadlines, but I’m back now.  And when I want to relax there is something wonderful about putting on a great pair of socks.  The best place I’ve found to browse and buy is Sock Dreams located in Portland, Oregon. Thank goodness for the internet – because I live in New England!

For the life of me, I can’t remember how I found them.  It may have been one of those Facebook ads on the side of the page, but I am really glad I did.  Recently I had the occasion to reward myself fora success.  Looking for a non-food reward (anyone else have this challenge?), I paged through their website and found loads of wonderful things to purchase in a wide range of prices.

But my ultimate choice was easy.

I am a *huge* Wizard of Oz fan and in their slipper sock section were Ruby Slipper socks.  The front is red and has

Ruby Slippers as socks!

a sparkle thread to it and the socks are blue, just like Dorothy wears.  And they even have little gripper bottoms so you dont slide around the kitchen.  At $8 for the pair and free shipping it was one of the best treats I’ve ever given myself. Others must agree too, because they are currently sold out, but I plan to get another pair as soon as they are back in stock.

I make this website a regular browsing stop and order from them every few weeks.  Their range of socks from dainty to heavy duty (and there are some thngs other than socks, too) keeps me hooked.  Can’t visit when I’m on deadline.

Oh look!  I’m done – another reason to celebrate and reward myself.

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?

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