A Millennial Writer’s Challenge

A Millennial Writer's Challenge

Photo by Sebastian Wiertz (CC BY 2.0)

Here’s my goal

Wholeheartedly (or at least halfheartedly, else I wouldn’t be writing this post), I desire to complete my first full-length fiction novel

Here’s my problem

My job requires me, as it does oh so many of my millennial compatriots, to sit long hours, behind a blue screen, typing frantically away in hopes of temporarily satiating the needs of some client or another. Their questions are “urgent,” “high priority,” “escalated,” so I keep clacking away at the keyboard.




Then, once emails have been sent, I turn back to more substantive tasks. These require analytical thinking, careful strategizing, meaningful collaboration, etc., which is stimulating and enjoyable. They also require further sitting, further typing.

A lifetime supply of bluish haze is supplied by a thin artifice. I hear the birds chirp outside, and a thin wisp of wind pierces the window screen. I’m reminded of the natural light — red, warm, sustaining — glowing beyond the window.

My day ends. I’ve accomplished many tasks, given my to-do list a solid tackle, and now I’m free to turn to my novel.

But I’ve spent all day typing, sitting, processing. My mental reserves are running low. The bulging veins atop my hands are yelling at me: “Enough typing, enough mousing.”

It’s said that the cobblers children go shoeless.

By day, the cobbler so commits hand and back to welting, riveting, and sewing that by night, hand and back demand diversion.

The aspiring writer whose current profession requires unyielding hours of words, sentences, and paragraphs suffers a phenomenon of comparable ilk.

Here are my options

First, apply determinative, almost barbaric levels of “just get over it and push through” mentality. Depleted cognitive resources render this difficult.

Perhaps a dose of good food and drink could do the trick. Yes, that’s a good starting point, especially if the meal is sustaining and the drink is hydrating.

A walk. Yes, I should do that. Get the the ticker pumping, breath in the fresh air.

Maybe a pinch of reading to stimulate my creative energies: Steinbeck for tone and sense of place, Tolkien for a pinch of fantasy, the news to snap me back to reality.

Okay, just about ready to start writing now.

Beep. Beep.

Oh look, a late night email. Not a problem. I feel refreshed, I could wrap that message up in no time. Wait a second … what do they mean “appreciate the general theme, but have larger concerns about the overarching concept?”

Crap. This might take a bit longer than I thought. Probably best to type it out on a full keyboard.


Here’s the truth

Stories exist because the protagonists experience hurdle after hurdle, but keep on keepin’ on. They make sacrifices to get where they are going. It is the challenge along the way, not the success at the end, that entrances us readers, invests us in their plight.

Note to self: Perhaps the writer’s own story is no different.


Linger and Refill: The Joys of Breakfast

Is there anything so lovely in this world as a hearty breakfast, warmed, shared, savored? Steaming eggs, smoking coffee, pancakes, and oats, and grizzled meats from great beasts, fresh fruit from foreign lands. And pass the butter please, the syrup. No, thanks, I really shouldn’t, okay … one more, one more. Refill the coffee; refill yourself.


[Create] Watermelon Squeeze Cocktail

Watermelon Squeeze Cocktail

The Watermelon Squeeze … Colorful, Refreshing, Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky

In honor of National Watermelon Day (apparently there’s a day for everything), here is an exquisitely refreshing melon-based cocktail that is dangerously easy to consume. You have been warned.


  • 4 ounces freshly pureed and strained watermelon juice
  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 1.5 ounces triple sec
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lime
  • Seltzer water to taste


Books on the Beach

Books on the Beach: Conversations With Book-Loving Beachgoers

Books on the Beach

Image Courtesy Marcel Oosterwijk, CC BY-SA 2.

BOOKS AND BEACHES go together like piña and colada, lime and corona, gin and tonic . . . okay, you get the pitcher, err, picture.  Salt in the air, wind through hair, and a book in hand—for a beach-bound book lover, this is the ideal day.

On any given shoreline, hundreds of beachgoers can be found flipping the pages of beloved books both new and old. What are these myriad titles? To find out, StayMused recently combed some local beaches in search of folks willing to discuss the titles they brought with them. The results were as varied as the attitudes people held about a random stranger interrupting their peaceful vacation moments.


Her Name is Tartt, Her Work is Sweet

Her Name is Tartt, Her Work is Sweet, A Book Review of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

There’s often a natural hesitation accompanying the purchase of an exceptionally lengthy book. Were Ubmerto Eco to weigh in on this sentiment, he’d probably suggest it results from our fear of death; time, after all, is the most finite resource.


Rose-Berry (rosemary + cranberry) Gin Fizz Cocktail

RoseBerry Gin Fizz CocktailA fresh, satisfying cocktail featuring a unique combination of rosemary and cranberry that’s sure to pleasure your liquor hole.


Wrenching Free of Writer's Block with Five Simple Strategies www.StayMused.com

Wrenching Free of Writer’s Block with Five Simple Strategies


“Get back to writing with literary abandon.”

WHAT DO Ray Bradbury, Kathryn Harrison, Stephen King, and C&C Music Factory all have in common? Each one of them has the tools you need to wrench free of writer’s block. Yes, that’s right, beyond the conventional wisdom supplied by King and company, even the purveyors of 1990’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” can help you .


Literary Treasures Here and There: Verona, Italy

O Verona, Verona, Wherefore Art Though Verona?

Book Yourself A Literary Getaway

“Juliet’s Balcony, Verona” by Spencer Wright

Why, ‘tis in Italy of course. And as even the most causal Shakespeare reader knows, Verona, Italy provides the setting for the most tragic, yet enduring love story of all time: Romeo and Juliet. In this city and throughout Italy in general, the literary devotee can find a number of sites that bring to life the enduring works not only of the Bard himself, but also a host of other celebrated scribes.


Get ‘Pre-Bent’: A Quick Guitar Lesson on Pre-bending (Video Lesson)


Bend Big, Bend Proud | Photo, Courtesy Greg Neate (License: CC BY 2.0)

So, fellow guitarists, you’ve bent your twang box until your fingers gave out and now want to learn some new skills. Pre-bending—a technique whereby you bend a note to a target pitch before picking the string—is an effective way to really grab your listeners’ ears.


Five Fun Vinyl Finds

Five Fun Vinyl Finds

Image Courtesy Hoffnungsschimmer (Licensed Under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

When an album evokes memories of childhood, relieves stress, or simply makes you want to jump up and shake your butt, it probably deserves a place in your vinyl collection. Presented below for your aural enjoyment are five fun records recently uncovered at a local music shop. After checking out the albums below, please feel free to leave a comment describing some of your favorite albums that met the “fun factor.”