Author: Kyle Olsen

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

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.”


What’s in the Box: Thinking ‘Inside the Box’ to Create Suspenseful Writing


What’s in the Box: Thinking ‘Inside the Box’ to Create Suspenseful Writing

What’s in the Box | Image Courtesy Kyle Pearson (Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0)

ALL THREE BOYS held their breath while Brian forced a key into the worn lock of his grandfather’s weathered steamer trunk. “Was this the right key?” Brian thought. And more importantly, what was the secret that Grandpa had been hiding all these years . . .

We writers are constantly striving to maintain our readers’ attention. We can accomplish this, of course, through a carefully constructed primary plot. But we can also make use of other more subtle techniques to propel the reader forward. A particularly fun way to add intrigue is through a simple technique I like to think of as the “what’s in the box” teaser.  (more…)