TRUE Writer’s Block: What to Do Now, After Your Muse Has Really Left (Six Months and Counting)

Folded Dreams, a follow-up novel to my venture into the world of self-publishing, managed to get to about 45% edit-worthy completion. I wasn’t completely satisfied with my work at that point, but I was proud to have at least made it that far! And then, as often happens of course, I hit an annoying bout of writer’s block – so I pouted for a few days, then decided I’d really show my Muse how childish an old fossil can get, and “cut off my nose just to spite my own face”…

Thanks to!

Translation:  I  did what I believe a serious writer should never do for more than a few days at a time – I took a stupid vacation from writing. A couple of weeks should do it, I thought to myself. Just two weeks.

That was about the end of November or first of December, 2016.

As fate would have it (or “Never Disrespect Your Muse”), on the 8th of December I had a pretty serious stroke. Not a “major stroke”, mind (the kind that leaves one totally blind and unable to control one’s bodily functions), but bad enough to have to start from scratch to re-develop the ability to walk and use the muscles on the whole right side of my body to cough and spit toothpaste into a sink, and the dexterity I needed to dress and to even simply keyboard.

Writer’s block just became very real and much more complicated than ever, indeed.

It was necessary for me to leave my home and move in with one of my children; but I was determined to be ready when my muse again visited me, so I had my computer and flash drive book files brought over here to my son’s house.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with the urge to write. I thought about perhaps starting that book on stroke recovery which my therapists at Brooks Hospital had suggested. But, no – I wanted to get crackin’ on my novel again. After all, it’s nearly a year over-due for publish.

I plugged my flash drive into my lap top and began reading the existing chapters to the novel, “Folded Dreams”, you know, to refresh my memory as to where I was heading with the story. I really enjoyed re-reading what I’d written so far, mostly because I didn’t “recognize” it…

In fact, I had forgotten nearly the entire thing. Gone. Just. Like. That.


Since that day, I’ve pondered the story, pounded my brain and perused all of my files on story-line notes and research to find anything I recognize. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. the only ‘discovery’ I’ve made is the continued enjoyment of reading a story which, each time I open it, seems like the first time reading someone else’s work. You see, I only vaguely remember having read it at all, no matter how many times I may have done so…that’s how Swiss-cheesey my brain is.

I don’t know how long this phase of recovery will last. I would like to believe it is only temporary, even if ‘temporary’ lasts for a long time yet. All I know is that THIS is true writer’s block, the likes of which can discourage me to the point of throwing in the towel…for good and ever.

But I won’t, even if I have to change the plot to include the protagonist having a stroke and losing herself completely.

Take THAT, Writer’s Block!!


The Definition of “Useless”


It’s not a word which requires a definition. And nor does it usually call for an example for explanation, being sufficiently self-explanatory, ya’ know? Still, if you think about it, could you actually define ‘useless’, without looking it up in your Funk & Wagnell’s?

See that picture up there? That’s pretty much what I feel like at this stage of recovery from this damnable stroke. Useless.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Just sayin’.

(wonder if i could incorporate this into my novel Waking Up Dead! – that is, if i ever stop being so USELESS!!!)

Final Tally for First Goodreads Giveaway: 948!!


Well, my very first Goodreads Giveaway is officially over and all I have to say is, “What an awesome feeling!” The final tally on entrants was 948!!

Out of hundreds of giveaways, almost a thousand people are interested enough in checking out “Folded Dreams-the Beginning”, to have entered this one…wow!

So now we all have to wait and see whose names got drawn from the hat…I’m excited to find out who you are!

“Thank you!!” to every single one of the 948 entrants who took part in my very first Goodreads Giveaway! I hope to repeat the experience again, before the end if 2016!


The Clock is Ticking! Folded Dreams – the Beginning Goodreads Giveaway!

Folded Dreams - the Beginning

Folded Dreams – the Beginning

“…i will not forget.”

Time is not always when you think it is…is the past really the future, the present actually the past…or is now, simply, now?

The clock is ticking!

Enter to win 1 of 4 signed, print copies of “FoldedDreams – theBeginning” during our Goodreads Giveaway, through June 14!

Where are the names?! or “Who’s Who in Folded Dreams?”

Although the feedback from my book, Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, has been wonderful (apparently everyone has liked it, thus far!), there has been one over-riding question: “Just who’s who? Where are all the names?!”

Folded Dreams – the Beginning hasn’t been the only one; although most are yet uncirculated, I’ve written a number of stories in this style of ‘No Names’. Along with The Child in “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, I also have a story about Old Man and Old Woman (©1996-2016) who, for the first half of the book are just that, and in the “Mama Always Said…” series (©1986-2016), only those parental terms of endearment are used. There are a few more, but you get the picture.

With Folded Dreams, following up with a novel was obvious, at least after listening to comments and reading reviews. In the novel, everyone in the first book is identified, and the reason for referring to the child in the first book as “The Child,” is also explained…but you have to pay attention or you’ll miss it!

But why did I do it at all? Well, to be honest, I had thought to add names afterward, but after my English Literature professor initially critiqued’ it, she suggested leaving them out.

Understand, Folded Dreams started out as a college assignment, in competition with all class members, as well as with the professor herself. I was quite surprised and humbled when Folded Dreams won, hands down; this was also the first time I had ever had my work scrutinized.

The biggest issue discussed was the lack of names…and not that I should have included them, but why I should not edit them in when I eventually turned it into a book, which they assured me I ought!

The consensus was that “no names” added to the ‘mystery’ of the story.

In a way, these were my thoughts also. A named person has a personality…sometimes a particular one that is inferred by the reader himself (because “I used to know a Stephanie…she was an imbecile!”). In this assignment, by leaving off the names, the only personalities are those which were hinted at…there was less distraction from the story I was telling.

But at the same time, it was disconcerting just not knowing! I wanted shivers and little trills of fear. Fear of the unknown is the stuff of monsters in the closet and under the bed and what’s in the dark.

That tiny niggle of, “something’s not quite right”, even a totally benign ‘something’ like not having a name to call her, can turn the little trills into delicious shivers!

Besides, if you “got” the plot twist, a six month old child may recognize the relationship between words and actions, but understanding concepts, like names, doesn’t come until later!

So, where are all the names? In “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, they’re in the future.

Or the past.

Or maybe they didn’t exist at all!


“Folded Dreams – the Beginning” Goodreads Giveaway Starts Today!

Today marks the the start of my very first Goodreads Giveaway! Enter today and you could win 1 of 4 signed copies of my debut book, “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”!

“Memories. Are they remembrances of things past? or those yet to come? Is time itself, linear or relative?

Perhaps time isn’t even ‘when’, but ‘where’…and if so, where does that place memory? Or even reality?

The child is born, lives, grows old and dies. These are her memories.

Or are these yet, simply, folded space…folded time…

…Folded Dreams.”

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Folded Dreams by Pearl Kirkby

Folded Dreams

by Pearl Kirkby

Giveaway ends June 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway