I am so excited to have Winnie Archer here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Giveaway and Guest Post.
Thanks Winnie and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Kneaded To Death Blog Tour!
Please take it away, Winnie!
I’m not sure when it started, but at some point during my writing career, I began to think of my muse, or muses as the case may be, as something really tangible that I could summon at will, or that would betray me by being absent when I needed her/them most. It may be a silly analogy, but it works for me.
The thing is, these muses? They come and go. When life gets too busy, they vanish. I’d begun to think of them as fickle girls, but I’ve changed my tune. When I recharge and do something creative or cleansing, voila! They return to me. I’ll never look at them in quite the same way or take for granted the beauty of having them on the job, fully engaged in my creative process, or the power of their insight.
I have new respect for my muses and what they offer through song, practice, and memory.
It often takes a big shake up and the absence of something to really appreciate what you have. That’s how it happened for me. You know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder and all that. It worked. We moved, I took a new teaching job, things got complicated, and my creative energy was depleted. My muses left, I was melancholy, but then, in a twist, they returned with a new light for me to follow.
How very poetic, I know.
I’m not a metaphysical girl. My feet are firmly planted on the ground. Let me be clear, I don’t, like, sit around thinking about cliches and how they apply to my life. But cliches are cliches because there is truth in them and sometimes that truth is more palatable when taken in a pithy dose. The absence of my muses is what helped me recognize them in the first place. It also helped me appreciate the creative energy they bring into my writing equation.
Basically, creativity cannot be summoned on demand. There are times when it simply dries up. Writer’s block, people call it. The muses just up and leave.
If I’m on overload and completely unable to feel creative energy flow into me, I know it’s time to step away, time to let myself be open to other creative forces. When I take some much needed time away from my project, whatever it is, recharge and allow my mind to open up and let fresh ideas in, I’m able to see things in a new way. The muses come back.
I’ve started planning ways to bring creativity into my life. Ways to keep the muses on my side. Sewing. Drawing. Photography. Cooking. Crafts. These things fill my soul. I let them slip away when life is busy, but now I work hard to actively bring them back — or to never let them go by the wayside in the first place.
So my muses (I call them Lola, Harlow, and Ivy, named for my three heroines), are alive and well, ever-present, and an important part of my creativity. They make me happy, and they help me bring my stories to life.
Here’s a toast to you, muses!
Kneaded to Death
(A Bread Shop Mystery)
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01GBAG7KO
Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte.
Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery.
But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before — or someone else could be toast!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
Visit Winnie online:
Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at http://melissabourbon.com.
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