Musical Inspiration – @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

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I know we’re said it many times here at HSG, writing is hard and sometimes finding inspiration is even harder. I know that there are some days where I am grasping at straws to get my daily word count down where as other days, I can’t wait to write.

When recently trying to figure the difference between those two types of day, I discovered one thing: music. The days where I wrote the most, I listened to music. Now, I don’t know why I find this astonishing as music soothes my soul and I know it soothes many other writers.

I’m one of those that have decided to start playlists specifically geared to my work. And those play lists run the gamut of modern to classical to rock and everything in between. There’s nothing like a country song to get me laughing and wanting to throw a little comedy at my stories. If I want something more serious, I start looking at some of today’s young artists because they all seem so emotional when it comes to certain things.

If I’m writing a fight scene, I will go find a good movie theme to get me going. One of my favorites happens to be the original music from Conan the Barbarian. Yeah, it’s that good but let me tell you that the soundtrack of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy will have me rocking out for days. So for me, music is just the inspirational tool that I need to get me going. And keep me going.

What about you? What type of things help your creative juices flow? Do you like music or is there something else that makes you want to put the words down?

I’ve love to hear from you…until next time!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Reviving The Old

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Spring is the time for renewal and while most springs don’t give me that sense overall, this year it’s come on like gang busters. Maybe that’s because we’ve had a mild winter here in Austria, maybe it’s just my attitude this time around. I know this year, I feel more alive than ever before.

Along with this renewal comes a need to change up the website, the blog and start some awesome stories. I’m taking classes, deciding what stays or goes with the old things and how I can make it all work. And this is exactly what spring is all about or at least to me.

During the season of spring, the Earth is beginning its tilt relative to the sun, which results in the rapid increase of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas in the Southern Hemisphere life is moving toward fall. As the land begins to warm, new plant growth can be seen thus the term ‘spring forward.’ Also, during this time, snow begins to melt, streams swell with the run-off and flooding can occur. In our hemisphere, spring is heralded by the blooms of some deciduous trees such as magnolias, cherries or quince. Still, spring can be a volatile season with many storms caused by cold/warm air currents.03212015-Easter-Market-#2

Some have told me I’m taking on too much this time around. Still, I’m writing more than ever yet changing it up in different ways. For example, one of my works-in-progress has taken a life of its own. It started as a little paranormal story with quirky characters and a few murders. It’s blossomed into the heroine’s journals, a series of short stories and flash fiction, and more book ideas than I could have ever imagined. Not bad for renewal if I say so myself.

There’s one last thing I love about spring and that’s the Easter holiday. Easter is very important for a religious country like Austria. While I don’t celebrate it so much any more, I can appreciate the wonder and splendor of it all. The pictures this time are from one of the fabulous Easter markets they have strewn around the city. I’m an egg lover myself and used to decorate them in a variety of ways. However, what I did can’t hold a candle to what they do here.

However, this year, besides loading up on a variety of wonderfully decorated eggs, I purchased an undecorated ostrich egg. My husband was skeptical as to what I’d do with it and I quipped that I might just decorate it. Then again, I might just leave it for another time.

Hope you all are having a fantastic spring season with all the hope and joy that renewal should bring. Until next month…

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

The Season of Love ~ @oddlynn3 #PCers #LynnCrain

c455524_m February is commonly known as the season of love but there are some hidden gems when researching the actual day. Here are five facts about this very special day:

  • An estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
  • The Catholic Church recognizes at least 3 different saints with the name Valentine.
  • Valentine’s Day originated as a Pagan Festival. Many believe that this day originated with the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus.
  • At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day to honor the Valentine that died or was buried in the middle of February A.D. 270. However, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages it became associated with love because of the commonly held belief in France and England that February 14 marked the state of the bird-mating season. And this just added to their notion of romance.
  • Valentine’s greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages, though the paper ones didn’t gain popularity until after 1400.

Valentine’s is really only celebrated in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France and Australia. The rest of the world is slowly following suit. People in the US started exchanging handmade cards in the 1700s. In the 1840s, the first mass-produced cards were made by Esther A. Howland, who became known as the “Mother of the Valentine.”

As a romance writer, I tend to look at c156651_mall the nuances of the day. Even with all these facts, it is certainly a holiday filled with love. If you’d like to read even more, here’s a couple of websites to help you on your search.

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine’s_Day

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Happy Holidays

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I’m late but I’ll be honest…I started this three times…and three times I failed. This is a very tough holiday season for me. This past year, my father passed away and I realized just how fragile life is. I also realized, sometimes the so-called dream life isn’t for everyone despite what others said.

Sure, I’ve been enjoying life in Austria but it took me so very far from home and my family. Over here, there is just me and the husband. Then there was the stint where even he was gone for five weeks and I knew just how hard it would be to be totally alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I like being alone. I like knowing I can run through the house naked and no one but the dog will ever see me. But the whole situation made me cherish what I had even though we’re like the poster kids for a dysfunctional family from time to time. Now I know that all families have their moments, I just wanted to be a little closer to mine.

Sometime this year, we’ll be starting the process of moving back to the States. It all depends upon how fast the dear husband can secure another job. Now he’s got even more great stuff on his resume to strut around with, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

That leads me back to the holidays and you, the reader of our books. We realize that you come in all different shapes and sizes. You maybe religious or not. You may believe in Christmas or Hanukkah. You may have purple hair for all I know…but…the simple fact remains that we appreciate each and every one of you. Always have, always will.

My holiday greeting is simple: we want you to be happy, healthy and enjoy life in whatever way you celebrate the season. If you’re so inclined toward author giveaways, I’ve extended my Christmas giveaway at my A Writer in Vienna Blog. Drop by and see what I have to offer from the world of Austria.

See you next month!

 

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Some Favorite Winter Things

 

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For many, the winter season can bring the doldrums from the gray skies to the snow clouds gathering above. I am probably one of the few people you’ll ever meet who absolutely loves winter and all that it can bring. So here is my top ten list of favorite winter things.

  1. Winter Sports ~ When I was much, much younger I used to love to ski and sled and play in the snow. That’s actually how I met my husband. The poor man volunteered to teach me and one of the very first things I do is to plow into him. The only thing I could never get into was skating and that’s because I have weak ankles. With skiing, the boots are stiff and can hold me up. And I know that there are tons more winter sports out there, I’ve just never tried them. These are my favorites.
  2. Mulled Wine ~ Over here in Austria it’s called ghulwien and it’s incredibly delicious.
  3. Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps ~ It goes along with skiing.
  4. Snow ~ This is my number two favorite thing of the season. I love snow. I love how it tastes, how it feels and how much you can actually do with it. You do remember Eskimo igloos…right?
  5. Cloudy Skies ~ I love cloudy skies in general but I love the ones that I know will bring the snow. iStock_000000457633Medium~R
  6. Sitting in Front of the Fire ~ This one ranks right up there. Our flat here in Austria does not have a fireplace and I’m so missing the one I had at home. I could just curl up in front of it with a good book and a warm blanket.
  7. Cabins ~ My in-laws have a cabin-like condo at Lake Tahoe that we used to go to a lot. It was the very last one in the complex and is but against Forest Service land, so nothing is behind it. During the winters it would get so calm and quiet and oh so, wonderful when you’re tucked snug inside. I have visited a few cabins that have made me feel the same way in my life time. It’s my hope that one day, I will have a cabin in a snow covered world.
  8. Christkindlemarkts ~ Here in Vienna, Austria, they have these wonderful Christmas markets that start mid-November. The first year, it was odd because I was so used to celebrating Thanksgiving. Austrian’s equivalent to Thanksgiving is usually in October and therefore isn’t really significant to the Christmas season like it is in the US. These markets have made me see the holiday in a whole new way. I love the tradition it has given me and I will sorely miss it when I am back living in the US.
  9. The Holiday Season ~ I love the holiday season. I probably start it a little too soon as I decorate my home for Halloween though Christmas decorations can’t go up until after Thanksgiving. While I don’t do all the things here in Austria that I normally do in the US, we have started one tradition that I think I’ll keep going. We don’t set up the tree until December 15th or later. This allows family to come to visit and help us do that wonderful task of putting up the lights and the ornaments on the tree. When I get home, I definitely plan to have a weekend set aside where the whole family comes and we decorate our very special tree.
  10. Family ~ This is my very favorite thing of the whole season. As kids grow older, they go off to do their own thing. But rest assured, they come home for Christmas when they can and the get-togethers are awesome. For me, the holiday season and everything that comes from it revolves around family time.

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I am sure that each of you has your own top ten list for the winter season. I’d love to hear what yours are and I plan to reward one commenter with a $10 Amazon gift certificate just for letting me know. Don’t forget to leave me your email address so I can get hold of you if you’re the winner.

See you next month!

 

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Teaching An Old Dog ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

Autumn-Tree-RS4Web-600x514There’s a saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I’m here to say that learning, be it a human or a dog, is a life-long experience and one that can’t be turned off. Fall is the time for new classroom beginnings. It’s a time to reflect on if a class will help you do something better. Writers by nature know that learning can enhance what they put down on paper, or screen in this case.

I love to learn and I love to help other writers do the same. This year, I decided that since my husband was going to be on a five, yes count them as I did say 5, week business trip spanning November and December.

At first, this made me want to cry because I’m in a city where I know few people and most of those are associated with his work. Many of those will be with him on that same trip. Then there was the fact that one of the most important holidays, American Thanksgiving, would occur when he was gone. It’s been years since I spent a Thanksgiving alone and I didn’t want to make this the first but again, I have little choice in the matter. So far, it’s just me and Pup Harry but I have hope that it will turn out to be something better.

By deciding to start taking some classes, I had to see where I stood and where I wanted to go. My field of study when I was in college was Nursing and Geology then I added computer science by getting a professional certificate and almost a Masters degree in Computer Management. I was just a couple of classes shy when I realized that being stuck behind a computer coding or managing the geeks, this is said in a good way with utmost respect, wasn’t really what I wanted to do.250x226

This time around, I knew that it had to do something with my writing. It could include writing classes themselves or classes on research. I signed up for a lot of them…probably way too many…but so far, it’s been fun. The first writing class was one where I had to write and revise a whole book in a month. That one is still going pretty well but I have to admit, I was totally burned out after the writing part and have been very slow in the revising part.

The other classes I’ve been doing are more on the science side since that appeals to me. The plan is to start going back to write the things I love and that is sci-fi/fantasy with or without romance. Then there’s all things paranormal as well. I can practically write those with my eyes closed but I have some ideas where I felt my science needed to be a little stronger. Therefore with that in mind, I’m taking Immunology, which is kicking my butt, and Epidemics. Both are reminding me of the things I’ve forgotten over the years about the human body and all the biology involved there. I’m also taking a water class, some planetary astronomy classes and a few more thrown in.

The point is that like I previously said, learning is a life-long process. Whether you know it or not, learning happens every day. You won’t notice it until you realize you’re doing something slightly different than before. Usually, it’s because it’s more efficient and your subconscious helped you to make it a part of your conscious being. Biology is interesting that way and immunology is reminding me just how interesting.Vienna-Fall-Resized-4-Web

If I can learn new things via the classroom route, anyone can. This can keep you more engaged with new things, reinforce older learning and keep one’s mind sharp, fresh, new. How are you all doing with your fall regime? Taking any classes? Truly, I’d love to hear about them. You can reach me at lynncrain@cox.net with all the great things you’re doing this fall. See you next month!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

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