Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hello, Mojo

The word 'mojo' has taken on several meanings throughout history, from the moco medicine men of Cameroon to the amulets and charms of Mississippi African Americans in the 1920's to Austin Powers sex appeal to the Urban Dictionary's definition of self-confidence, self-assuredness and ability to bounce back from a negative attitude (among other things, if you are familiar with the Urban Dictionary).      

Whatever it is, for the past six weeks or so, I had lost mine.  At least when it came to writing.

My lucky charms
Maybe it was the fact that I had just completed a novel that has been my life for the past two years and exhaustion had finally set in.  Maybe I had rubbed my 'mojo's' or lucky charms so much that the magic just wore off.  Maybe I was worried that my writing wasn't good enough, so why bother. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe.

I stared at blank pages day after day, recycled old stories that had been discarded, lit my candles and said my prayers. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. I could barely write a grocery list, much less a story or, heaven forbid, start on the next novel I had in me. 

For all my self-doubt, all my negative thoughts, all my misdirected anger I knew I had to get my mojo back. 
I just didn't know how.  

As Austin Powers would say: Yeah, baby!
It began at The Gun Store in Las Vegas.  For Christmas, I had bought gift certificates to a shooting range for my sons and four of their friends.  They convinced me to go with them, even though I had never shot a gun in my life. I took some of my frustration out on a clown target, and discovered that I actually liked the feel of the gun.  My pen is usually my gun, the tool that allows me a certain release.  I gained some of my self-confidence because as a novice, I wasn't bad at shooting. I didn't hit the target every time, but when I did, that clown quit laughing. I recognized the metaphor.

Then I went 'snowglobing', a term I have to credit my good friend, RWW Greene. Inside a fabulous hotel in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I could look out at the snow, while inside the characters ran wild.  Five days, outside of my element in a world I could fantasize, play, write, people watch.  A new world. A created world.  Although I was in the company of several old friends, I met new friends, with different experiences and found some inspiration.  It comes from strange places, you know.
Scene from inside the Snow Globe


Last Saturday night, my confidence level shot to an all-time high.  I graduated with my MFA in Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University and was introduced by one of the four men I admire most: The Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Craig Childs. When he introduced me, his first words were "Kelly Stone Gamble kicks ass." Getting praise for your writing from someone like Craig Childs kicks ass.

I came home on an all-time high and again, stared at a blank page.

Then I had an idea and started to type.
 
In three days, I have now written six chapters on a new novel.  Yes, six rough chapters, but my mind is turning  and I pretty much have the story line in my head, and with the help of a friend, have created a few very interesting characters.  I can't wait to see what they do. 

So somewhere between a gun shop in Las Vegas and a snow covered mountain in New Hampshire, I found my mojo; and it's working overtime.

Or maybe it isn't mojo at all. Maybe I just needed to get out of the ordinary, needed a little change.

 Maybe I just needed something to relight that fire.

36 comments:

David S. Rawding said...

Right on, write on.

Anonymous said...

The Kellinator ... that's what I'm talking about.

6 Chapters ... dynamite!

And nice choice of tune, baby.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Right where? You need a Vegas trip, David.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Charlie. Gotta love the Doors.

Krystal Wade said...

Awesome! You got your mojo back, baby! Maybe this is what I need, to close the computer, to put away the book of the week, and I need to go on a trip, enjoy something outside of writing for awhile. Hmm. Too bad I don't like to ski or I could have gone with my hubs and the kids to Canaan Valley in WV. Oh well. I love to hear how other writers lose their mojo, doesn't make me feel so bad when it happens to me! ;-)

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I have mojo dripping off the curtains right now. Maybe it's a good thing to lose it once in a while.

Kellianne Sweeney said...

I guess sometimes you have to take some time to go get some new experiences to jump start some fresh, inspiring ideas to write about. Many congratulations and Happy Mojo Surfing :)

Kellianne Sweeney said...

You can credit me with the term "Mojo Surfing". :)

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Mojo Surfing. Love it. Like riding a groovy wave. :)

Sean P. Farley said...

This is absolutely RAD. Mojo...such a mystery! Mine comes and goes, but when it ignites, I take advantage (unless I'm at work, which is a horrifying prospect, because then there's nothing I can do about it except hope that it lasts long enough for me to at least get ideas on paper). Good for you for finding your mojo. :)

Suzanne Shumaker said...

Wow - six chapters! Love it. And my prevailing thought at graduation was that I need Craig Childs 4th semester!

Jerri said...

Love it, Kel!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

RAD-short for radical, but made popular by the teenage mutant ninja turtles as an acronym for Really Awesome, Dude. Okay, I'm a geek, but thanks, Sean you are RAD!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Two are really short, not as short as "My mother is a fish," but short.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Jer.

debrakristi said...

Rev that engine! Let your mojo goodness rocket you forward at top speed. Don’t look back baby! Have a blast bringing that new story to life. Good things Kelly!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Debra. It's such a high.

Anonymous said...

Totally Awesome, If you find some time to run to Kansas maybe you can help me find mine ! You Rock ! Carrie

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I need a trip to Kansas. I need to learn to shoot a crossbow, and I need to noodle a fish. Research, ya know.

Shelli Johnson said...

Hi Kelly!

You, of course, are kick-a** too. I love this post & just wanted to let you know. Congrats on getting your MFA & your mojo back & 6 chapters! Rock on, sister.

Cheers,
Shelli

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Rockin' like a hurricane. Thanks, Shelli.

Unknown said...

Kelly Stone Gamble really does kick ass. I should know. I slept with her. LOL!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

LMAO! OMG, "Unknown", this better be my roomie, or I'm in trouble...

Tyler 2.0 said...

Kelly, you DO kick ass! keep on kickin' in sister!

Guilie said...

That's great, and a funny story to boot--congratulations on graduating, on the 6 chapters, and on finding the mojo :D May it never stray again!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Way to go, Kelly! Your life is very full! Good luck with the new WIP.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Tyler. Anxious to read your stuff. You are writing in my genre...

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I don't like when it strays. But I have sure had fun finding it this time.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Julia. My life is very...something.

Red Mojo Mama said...

Kelly! First - I can't believe you like Klimt! I have two museum post prints from the 60s I treasure. Love the guy.

Now - You, my friend, really understand the word "MOJO". I love how when you tried new things and changed your perspective, you got yours back.

I think you kick ass, too and can't imagine a better compliment. You go girl!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I'm a bit of an art geek, Red. I'm very much into the changing depiction of women over time, so of course, Klimt is right up there with several others. In fact, someone once commented that they thought it was weird that my office walls are covered with naked women. I think that's about the most 'unweird' thing about me. LOL. And thanks, you kick ass too. :)

Erica Lucke Dean said...

Yay Mojo. I need to find mine. Maybe I should hop a plane to Vegas and get you to help me look for it. :)

-G said...

If you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts. - The Sphynx

You have power in spades, Kel. Sometimes you just need to defrag.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, G. I think I need to defrag more often.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Erica, I'm pretty sure I saw your mojo working the bar at Hooters last week. Yes, get on a plane, we shall search high and low until we find it.

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