Friday, May 7, 2010

Positive Energy For The Muse

By Dawn Marie Hamilton

You know it's a bad day when the page in front of you remains blank. The more you try to think, the more your head pounds, the more frustrated you get. The thought of cleaning the bathroom all of a sudden seems like a fun thing to do.

What do you do when your muse refuses to whisper to you?

Chocolate? Helps for a short while. Take a walk? Gets you through the rest of the day.

When I'm really stressed, and the words won't flow onto the page, I need to get away and clear my mind.

Where to go? So many choices to choose from. How about an escape to nature, a hike to a waterfall? Perfect.

I'm not sure what it is about waterfalls that refresh the spirit. All I can say is when I hear the roar through the trees as I approach, I tingle with excitement and when the cooling mist teases my skin, I feel eased.

Some of my favorite falls are near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Where are yours?

Dark Hollow Falls, Lewis Falls, Rose River Falls are within a hike from the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadows. The trailhead for Whiteoak Canyon Falls is located near Skyline Lodge. These are but a few options.

On weekends during the peak of the season, Shenandoah's trails can be crowded, especially the most popular falls trails. When I visit, I try to stay for a few days. Though there are lodges and cabins, my husband and I like to camp. We wake to chirping birds. Eat a camp breakfast while butterflies flutter by. And if we are lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a bear and her cubs as they lumber through nearby woods.

When I return home, my muse is energized, and I'm ready to write the next scene.

The park will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2011. To learn more about the waterfalls within Shenandoah National Park visit Shenandoah Online.

23 comments:

Mona Risk said...

Dawn, I hear you about the water soothing the soul and kicking the muse back into action. For me it's the ocean water. When I need to refresh my muse I take a walk on the beach, look at the waves and daydream. The ideas seem to surf out of the waves and become scenes in my mind. When I come back home after an hour or so, I have a whole chapter plotted.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Mona, I agree. The ocean is another great place to find inspiration. When I lived in NJ, I used to walk at Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Park, to clear my head.

Nancy Lennea said...

I, too, love waterfalls. I love water of all kind. Now that I have moved far from the lovely waterfalls found along the trails through the White Mtns. of NH, I have to get by with photos. I have one posted on my blog right now! But, I agree that when the muse has left the building, the best thing is to set it aside and do something else...I read a book!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for visiting, Nancy. Water cleanses the soul and refreshes the muse. A good read is a great alternative.

Pat McDermott said...

Hey Dawn! What a wonderful new site A Place for You and Me is. So happy to find you here. As for water, when I can't get to Mother Nature, I've been known to jump in the jacuzzi when I need quiet time to plot. I love the sound of waves at the beach. We stayed in a hotel right beside them once, and I woke up when the tide went out because it was so quiet. Of course, my favorite inspirational location, Ireland, is surrounded by water, gobs of it that can't help setting anyone's imagination on fire thinking of the Vikings and pirates who sailed there centuries ago. Shenandoah has been on my list of places to visit for some time. Guess I should get there. Thanks for this lovely post!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Pat, so nice of you to stop by. One of these days I'll get to Ireland. And I hope you have a chance to visit Shenandoah. I've fallen in love with the place.

Carolyn said...

Great post, Dawn. I had to laugh at your comment about cleaning the bathroom suddenly taking on a fun meaning when you can't get those words to come dancing out onto the page. LOL

Great job! Thanks for sharing Shenandoah with us. :-)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Carolyn, Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

jilljames said...

Dawn, lovely post and lovely pics. I love waterfalls. I sat at Niagara Falls for hours just feeling the mist and feeling the power of the falls rumble through my body. I went to Gooseberry Falls in Minnesota once, they were beautiful. And the falls at Yosemite and Yellowstone. Breathtaking.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Jill, Thanks for checking out my post. Whenever we travel, I search the internet for nearby waterfalls before we go. I agree, Yosemite and Yellowstone are two places not to miss if you are in the area.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I have a few places to hide out and try to coax my muse back into action. I do think standing at the edge of the ocean can cure just about anything, but I also find the music of Phantom of the Opera stirs my muse (never failed yet) and just recently I have started shredding old papers in my file cabinets. So far 22 black garbage bags are full of shred. I am now most anxious to return to writing. I think my hero and heroine are ready to cooperate again - and, that is a very good thing. :)

Maeve said...

What a lovely post! Maybe water soothes the soul because it reminds us of our origins? Thanks, Dawn. :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Paisley, Thanks for visiting. I'm so glad your hero and heroine are getting their act together. Enjoy!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Maeve, Yes. Water is the source of all life. Thanks for stopping by.

Lois said...

Hey, Dawn, this site is very cool and seems like it'll be fun to use. I plan to bookmark it and check in especially around the 7th (lucky 7) each month. As you know I'm very partial to being near water as well ~ something just draws me to it...
Love to you and your hubby,
Lois

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hey Lois, Thanks for visiting. Stop back soon.

Joanne said...

Hi Dawn,
You're right about waterfalls. They are soothing and so relaxing. I've found that even a tabletop fountain can spark my creative muse.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

I'm a walker as well--or I am when I need to think. When I'm writing a first draft I walk everyday before I start writing to rehearse the scene in my head. Works like a charm.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Joanne, I agree, the sound of water is relaxing.

Helen, I carry a small pad when I walk so I can jot down ideas.

Thanks to you both for checking out my post!

onceuponatimeisnow said...

Hi Dawn!
The Shenandoah National Park sounds lovely. My personal favorite place is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its too far away for me to travel when my muse takes flight, so I settle for playing with the dogs in the backyard and sitting on the porch staring into the woods, looking for that pesky werewolf that ran off the page last year and hasn't returned.

I enjoyed your piece and look forward to reading more.

~kristal

Angela Kay Austin said...

I have a lake nearby, and although it is not as visually stunning as a waterfall, it is soothing. Maybe, it's being a southern girl, too, I've always loved all things nature.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi Kristal, I hope your werewolf returns soon. I'm looking forward to reading his story. Thanks for stopping by.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Angela, Thanks for visiting. Lakes are lovely too. Lakes, Rivers, Oceans, Bays... I even like swamps.