• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:

    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!



How to Stay Inspired by Kim Falconer

Write while the heat is in you. — Henry David Thoreau

‘Starcatcher’ by Duy Huynh

Passion translates through the pages and the advice to writers is: get it down while it’s hot. But deadlines don’t go away just because the celebratory summer has arrived with school holidays, lapping waves and picnics in the park.  Writers must write, rain, snow, sleet or perfect beach days. How to stay enthused and keep the drone of the computer from turning into a lullaby? Here are my favourite tips to inspire the flow.

Tip #1Show up: Writing is like a date; you have to show up if anything is going to happen. Get to your desk every day, turn the computer on and say now it begins! Sooner or later the Muse will be there, but you have to make the first move.

Tip #2 Set an intention: Make a statement of your intended outcome for the day. Say it aloud. You might also write it down on a post-it and stick it to your monitor. Two thousand words today, flowing like a river, or ten pages edited, clean and easy. Setting an intention gets your goal clear in your head. Adding a ‘feel good’ to the statement lifts the spirit.

Tip #3 Write what you love: This is KEY. If you aren’t enjoying the work, it will show. This isn’t something you can fake or get by with half-heartedly. Write what lights you up. If your current assignment doesn’t, find a way to change your mind about it. Throw caution to the wind. Fall head over heels in love!

Tip #4 Look after yourself: When others are on holidays, splashing in the pool and kicking the ball around, the blank screen can seem like a punishment. When this happens, amp up the self-nurturing! Good food, power nap, exercise and socialise. Deadlines to not equate with prison sentences. You’ll get more done if you schedule in daily fun time.

Tip #5 Evoke the muse: In ancient times, nothing was scribed, no story told, without first calling on the Muses. Tell me, O Muse . . .Homer begins, and we know where that got him. Stephen King suggests that when writers feel blocked it’s not because the Muse has abandoned them: I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it. Love your Muse and she will love you back! More on evocations

Tip #6 Ghost write: If  the keys aren’t clicking, open a new word .doc and write a few paras in another voice. Choose some author with a different style. Ask yourself how Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde or even Homer Simpson would write. After a few hundred words, take a break. Have a cuppa. When you come back to your work, your fingers will fly!

Tip # 7 De-clutter your desk: Clear out all the old cups and wrappers, organise your notes, clean the draws and vacuum under your chair. This Feng Shui tip really lights a fire in the belly. You can clean up your virtual desktop too, and tighten your backups and files. The outer environment reflects the inner. Take a look around and see if anything is askew. It will boost you Qi big time.

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear how you all stay inspired!

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies, set in the worlds of Gaela and Earth. The first book in the Quantam Encryption, Path of the Stray, is out now and the sequel, Road to the Soul, will be out in March 2011. Kim is also an astrologer and runs Falcon Astrology. She is based in Byron Bay in Northern NSW, Australia. Catch Kim at Galaxy Bookshop (Kent St, Sydney) next Saturday 4 December at 12:30pm, along with Traci Harding.

14 Responses

  1. Some great thoughts there Kim. I’m a big proponent of the sit down and give yourself an aim idea – today for instance I’m feeling a bit bleurgh, so I’ll say to myself – one hour. Just do one hour. Some days, that’s all I’ll do but most of the time, the muse gets going and we power through.

    Another one is to re-read some of what you’re previously written. Not the entire document – but enough to get sucked back into the world, the characters and as you say, fall in love again.

    • Oh I like that, Nicole. Creating a time frame. That feel good because you can see it’s got a limit. It’s not you in the chair forever!

      And yes, rereading the previous day’s work, or at least the last page or so, to get immersed. Great idea!

      I think having support from those around us is helpful too–as opposed to interruptions, phone calls and requests like, ‘where are my socks’ or ‘are you done yet?’. Oi!

      Thanks for dropping in with your thoughts and happy writing! When is the next of your series out? January??? 🙂

  2. Hey Kim

    Some timely reminders as my enthusiasm has been flagging of late.


  3. I have four things which help me stay inspired and committed.

    The first is ensuring I have ample creative free thinking time, so when it comes time to sit and write there is plenty queued up ready to spring forth from my fingers. The mundane parts of life are great for this – hanging out laundry, doing the dishes, cooking and going for a long walk is also brilliant.

    The second is aromatherapy. If it is a scattered morning I burn a special ‘focus’ blend from Perfect Potion.

    The last is putting on one of my t-shirts associated with writing. I have a ‘100 Stories for Haiti’ t-shirt and when I put it on I feel like I’m embued with the power of Greg McQueen, the guy who put together the charity anthology (and how is now a wonderful friend also) It is like getting dressed in ‘will do’. It’s hard to bunk off or not feel motivated wearing it.

    The last is spending time with friends who are writers… if I’m going to stare blankly at the screen for an hour, I’m better off finding someone on my skype list and having an hour long conversation about writing, stories, books, reading, life… guaranteed aftewards, the writing streams from my fingers afterwards.

    • These are brilliant, Jodi. I am so on board with free thinking time! and I’ve not used aromatherapy but I love the idea. What’s in the Focus blend? I remember having a ‘romance’ blend once that created quite a fiasco when least expected. Aromatherapy works!

      Dressing for the part is a gorgeous ritual and just as powerful as intention setting (it is intention setting!) I want some of the GM mojo too!)

      Bingo on spending time with writer people… that’s just a gift. I don’t get much face to face but here at the Voyager Blog, on FB and Twitter, it’s all happening. I love the feeling of connection.

      Thanks for these great tips, Jodi!

      Have a lovely writing day! 🙂

  4. When the weather is cool enough to permit, I have a favourite old tweed jacket that I like to put on when sitting at the desk to write.

    Having a writer partner that you meet with regularly also helps keep me going. And hopefully I perform the same function for her.

    • Tweed! I have a fav jumper that I actually brought over on the boat 3 decades ago! It’s about the only thing left from that time. It’s my first choice warmth in the winter (at home only. bit tatty for the ‘real’ world) and I’m sure my Muse loves it too!

  5. I used to let myself take a break whenever I didn’t feel “excited”. But I realised that if I make myself do it anyway, the excited feeling comes back on its own. And when I need time out to think through the next section, I just get on with the other things I have to do during the day, and let my mental cogwheels grind away.

    PS: The American edition of Dark Griffin just got its first review – a starred one in Publisher’s Weekly! http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/reviews/fiction.html?page=4

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