Unlock the Muse – February 21, 2018

We’re nearing the end of February, and winter has finally made an appearance where I live. We’ve had our first snowfalls of the season over the last few days, and there’s nothing to show for it but wet and cold. I’m not expecting to see much accumulation, if any. That’s a bit like the word count on my current novel in progress – little visible accumulation.

To get the words started this week, here’s your writing exercise:

You’ve been asked to write the biography of an ancestor. While researching your family history, you discover disturbing news. What did you find out? How will you explain it to the family?

This could go in any number of directions. Maybe you have done this sort of research and uncovered something unexpected in your family’s past. Or maybe you know very little about your ancestry. That’s okay. Shake your main character’s family tree instead. You might be surprised by what falls out!

I am currently between writing craft books, so how about a question, or two, instead. What do you look for in a book on writing craft? Do you have a favorite one?

Our word of the month is: Passion.


1. A strong, barely controllable emotion; a state or outburst of emotion; intense sexual love; an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. A thing arousing enthusiasm.

2. The suffering and death of Jesus. The narrative of such from any of the Gospels, or a musical or theatrical depiction of such.

The word passion is derived from the Latin word pati, meaning “to endure, undergo, experience.” The earliest use for the word refers to the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. This was later extended to the suffering of martyrs and then to suffering in general.

By the 13th century, the word came to be associated with strong emotion and desire. It didn’t come to refer to sexual love until the late 1500s, and still later to mean a strong liking or enthusiasm.
(from etymonline.com)

Happy writing!

Please consider sharing your response to the writing exercise. Got a question? Just ask! Put it in the comments below, or send your question by email here:

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