Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Voice of the Muse Named a Finalist in 2009 New Mexico Book Awards

Mark David Gerson’s Medal-Winning Writing Book Honored in Statewide Competition

Mark David Gerson’s The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write has been named a 2009 finalist in New Mexico’s top literary contest, the New Mexico Book Awards.

The Voice of the Muse was nominated in the competition’s self-help category. Winners in more than two dozen categories will be announced at a November 20 banquet in Albuquerque.

This is Gerson’s second honor for The Voice of the Muse. Earlier this year, it earned a Silver Medal as one of the top writing books of the year in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPYs.

The 2009 New Mexico Book Awards, open to New Mexico authors and publishers, attracted more than 300 entries and included books released by Viking, HarperCollins and Random House, as well as by major university presses.

Gerson is no stranger to the New Mexico Book Awards. In 2008, he won in the science fiction/fantasy category for his novel, The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy. That same year, The MoonQuest also won a Gold Medal IPPY for best visionary novel. Gerson’s screenplay adaptation of The MoonQuest is currently in active development toward feature production.

The Voice of the Muse, distilled from Gerson's 33 years as a professional writer/editor and 16 years as a writing teacher and coach, is a dynamic blend of inspiration and instruction for anyone in any genre seeking to write more effortlessly, flowingly and engagingly. It has been likened to such classics in the genre as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird

Lauded by critics as "the wise guide any writer would dream of" and a "phenomenal guide to overcoming writer's block and unleashing your creative potential," The Voice of the Muse has been equally praised by novice and seasoned writers alike.

Gerson has also recorded The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers, a two-CD set that includes powerful exercises to free up and deepen creative flow. It's sold separately from the book.

Both Gerson's books are available from and other online retailers, from the publisher at and at selected U.S. retailers. The CD is available from LightLines Media and Amazon

Mark David Gerson lives in Albuquerque, NM, where he’s currently working on a memoir and on a sequel to The MoonQuest.

Written and audio excerpts from The Voice of the Muse book, The Voice of the Muse CD and The MoonQuest

Calendar of Mark David's upcoming writing classes, workshops, events and appearances, including information on his The Muse & You radio show.

Register for Mark David's classes and workshops.

Mark David's approach to coaching writers

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Muse & You #3: Radio for Writers and Readers...with Mark David Gerson

Episode Three ~ Thursday, Sept 17, 1pm ET
(click here to listen live or to the archived version)
• Ask the Writing Coach (your questions for me about writing and creativity) and a feature interview with Joanne Chilton and Jeanne Ripley co-authors of Wings to Fly

"Wings to Fly shepherds us through inner territory with delicacy and precision. Each word cleanly counts and each image goes the appropriate depth -- many, way deeper. It has the authenticity and strength of a long and honest journey that the photographer and wordsmith have taken individually, discovering intimate revelations common to both."
~ Jeff & Beth Parker, Lyghtsome Gallery, Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Jeanne Ripley and Joanne Chilton are special to me in a uniquely personal way: because they’re in Nova Scotia on Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Some of you may know that I lived in Nova Scotia for a time a while back, and that it was there that I wrote most of the first two drafts of my novel The MoonQuest. It’s a special place for many other people as well -- a profoundly beautiful and numinous place. And so it’s not surprising that it should have inspired Joanne Chilton and Jeanne Ripley to co-create the poetic images and inspiring words that form their evocative and meditative book, Wings to Fly.

I'll be talking to Joanne and Jeanne about their book, their collaboration and their creative process during the second segment of this month's
Muse & You They'll also answer your questions.

Jeanne will also read from the book, and so that you can see which photo inspired each of the poems, I've reproduced several below.

Hail! Something is coming near,
wrapped in the shawl of shadow.
I am afraid that Truth is hidden there
my mask of scars will fall away,
I will be found.

Still Fertile
Born of Mother Earth, this Goddess of Flow is mysterious, an
erection of darkness and light, illusion and truth, a safe haven
for the lost and ravenous.
She accepts offerings made in reverence for the protection of her darkest secrets. Movement is in the balance of gifting.
The natural world has heard. This Goddess is still fertile.

Eyes are only a vehicle for creation.
In the pool of soul behind them
all possibilities stream into a reality
seen only by the fearless heart.

During the first segment of the show, I'll offer some writing tips and inspiration and take your questions about writing and the creative process and about me and my books, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write and The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy.

tune in, and bring your questions -- for me and my guests!

There are three ways to ask questions of my and my guests:
• Post your questions in the show's chat room (free Blog Talk Radio account required)
• Post your questions directly to me on
Twitter (@markdavidgerson)
• Post your questions directly to me on on my
Facebook wall

The Muse & You, a production of Red River Writers, is all about writing and creativity, and it's for writers and readers alike -- an opportunity to listen to writers and creators of all sorts talk about how and why they create and, of course, about what they create. It's also an opportunity for you to ask your questions -- of me during the first segment of the show, when I offer writing tips and inspiration, and of my guests during the interview portion.

Listen to
The Muse & You on the third Thursday of every month at 1pm ET (10am PT). October's guest will be Kristin Bair O'Keeffe, author of Thirsty and chronicler of writers' quirks and eccentricities.

The Muse & You Show Archive
If you miss any live broadcast, you can listen to the archived episode, which is available shortly after each show on the show's web page. You can also download any show directly into your computer for later listening.

#2 ~ Aug 20 — Jared Lopatin, author of Rising Sign

#1 ~ July 29 — Julie Isaac, founder of Twitter's #writechat, and Malcom Campbell, author of
The Sun Singer and Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Rhythms, New Routines

Because so much of my writing history at the time I created The MoonQuest was linked to desks, deadlines and other people’s projects, the only way I could banish old associations that felt anything but free-flowing was to break all the patterns of my previous writing life.

First I abandoned the computer, composing The MoonQuest’s early drafts with pen and paper. Next, I abandoned my desk, bound as it was to the soul-numbing words that had so recently comprised my livelihood.

Mornings, with a pad balanced on my knee, just before or after breakfast, I allowed The MoonQuest’s scenes to pour from my pen onto the blank page.

Evenings, I input the day’s jottings into the computer.

Some days I needed a more dramatic break from the old to connect with my nascent story.

On those days, I often drove over North Mountain to Baxters Harbour on the Bay of Fundy. There, as the Atlantic surf crashed on the rocky Nova Scotia shore, I sat in the car or on a boulder and let the ocean tell me what to write next.

A one-day change of habit and venue was all it took to put me back on track.

When you feel blocked in your writing, one way to get unblocked is to break the pattern of your normal creative routine.

• If you tend to write on the computer, switch to pen and paper.
• Write in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening, or vice versa.
• If you generally write at your desk, move away from the perceived pressures of your “work” environment.
• Go for a walk to clear your mind.
• Take pad and pen and curl up in a comfortable chair.
• Sit out in nature.
• Move to a favorite cafĂ©.
• Drive to some place quiet...different...inspirational.

And feel the creative power of your new rhythm.

When you feel blocked in your life, the same principles apply. Break your routine. Get of your rut. Take a risk. Step out of the cocoon of your comfort zone. And discover the new light and life of your infinite potential.

What can you do today to break the patterns that are keeping you rutted in routine? Whatever it is, do it. Now.

For more tips on how to move through writer's block and live your creativity, read The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, winner of a 2009 IPPY Silver Medal as one of the top writings books of the year.

Photo of Baxters Harbour from

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Only Writing Rule That Matters

There are no rules -- This is the one rule that never changes.

No matter what you're writing or revising, the only unqualified certainties are that flow is fluid, your creation is unique and your writing makes its own rules.

Truly, there is no universal right or wrong way. There is only your way, the way of your Muse.

Click here to read/listen to more rules for writing from The Voice of the Muse book and companion CD.