Musings is a blog by Dorah Blume is an author of historical novels including "Botticelli's Muse". Dorah has led Juiceboxartists writing workshops for adults in greater Boston, as well as in Tuscany.
Botticelli's Muse, historical fiction, novel, Dorah Blume, creative writing, juiceboxartists
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...on writing and all things creative

Drawing for Creative Expression

Continuing with the theme of getting your creative juices flowing as an antidote for depression and worry, this month we’re focusing on drawing, doodling, and painting.

All books have ink on paper, no matter the language. To appreciate the written word, people must be able to read the ink marks in order to translate them into the meaning of what is written. The writer’s job is to revise and polish the words and phrases to match as unambiguously as possible the story that unfolds. It’s a two-step process for the reader. With a picture and all visual arts, the communication is immediate. One step. Especially with drawing.

If you ever found yourself doodling while taking notes, or talking to someone on the phone, you’re probably a natural for zentangling. It’s a meditative art form available even to those who think they have no artistic talent. Invented by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas in 2003, the zentangle method has become an international phenomenon.

You’ll hear from Nancy G. and M. Shea who have just begun their adventures with zentangling. In addition, you’ll learn how Mary K. uses drawing before bed to send her off to sleep in a calm, relaxed state. I’ll share one of my quirky mandalas that grew out of the zentangle method. At the end of this newsletter you’ll find additional resources to encourage you to try visual art as an outlet for your creative energies.

Read the full newsletter here:


Creative Writing Can Help You in 2021!

Out with the Nuvo Coronavirus, in with the Old familiars . . .   we hope.

Turning the phrase “Out with the old, in with the new!” backwards makes sense as we near 2021.  Twenty-twenty turned our lives upside down with lockdowns, restrictions, remote learning, the disappearance of hugs, social distancing, and massive isolation. We hope for a return back to a life, post vaccine, when going to a movie, a restaurant, a museum, a concert —are a few of the “old” we want back.

While I waited in line today at the post office to purchase stamps for my New Year’s cards, the woman in front of me spun around, shoved up her hand in an angry back off gesture. Even though I was not bridging the 6’ social distancing divide, her personal radar set off a signal that I was. When inhaling air from strangers, even friends and family, could land us in a body bag, anxiety under a cloud of uncertainty rages.

When life feels so strained, I need to “chillax” — chill out and relax. Streaming episodes one after the other, taking a walk, baking bread, re-organizing the closets for the fourth time, can all help. Distractions. Antidotes to high stress for me are to slow down, watch my breathing, and find some distraction that puts me in a creative space.

Read the full newsletter here:


Notes & News from DB & Juiceboxartists Press & Workshops

Hello Friends, Fans, Family, and Fellow Creatives,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. That was back in 2018, when the world was “normal” and we weren’t masking our faces and sanitizing our hands like surgeons several times a day. We’ve gone from a three-dimensional world to a two-dimensional one where most of us see friends, family, and colleagues on a flat screen. Enthusiastic hugs are verboten unless they’re “virtual.”

On April 5, 2020, when it seemed as though we were in for a long spring and summer of isolation, I launched a free drop-in, no commitment writing hour every Sunday afternoon that I call Welcome to My Living Room. Participants have told me it’s been a bright spot in their week and that being able to write about the new normal or to escape it all with a fairy tale inspired by one of my prompts helps them to relieve stress. Just a few weeks ago, we reached a six month milestone with our 26th week. Who guessed that our upside down world would stay that way so long? I’m committed to continuing this psychic valve for whoever wants a one time visit to the zoom room or to enjoy it every week.

I hope you enjoy our first new e-newsletter Monthly Musings. Once a month you’ll receive an update from me on the FREE Free Write workshops, the series of committed every other week Juiceboxartists online workshops (limited to 6 participants), my latest podcast series Immigrant Voices Podcast Project (now live on Apple Podcast and other main podcast directories), and links to inspiring content from other creators and so much more!

Read the full newsletter here:


Thanks for helping my European book tour grow wings!

I’m planning a seven-week trip to Europe beginning in late August 2018 with the Historical Novel Society’s Annual Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, followed by guest appearances at book groups throughout Italy, and ending mid October at the Frankfurt Book Fair where I’ll pursue the sale of foreign rights to Botticelli’s Muse to publishers outside of the U.S. Along the way, I’ll be holding a few one-day workshops for locals to uncover their writer’s voice. We’ll write from prompts that catapult them into a fictional space or bring them back to a very personal time which could spark a desire and confidence to write a short story or a memoir. Until I launched this plumfund campaign, this itinerary was merely a dream. But now my generous contributors have helped me to narrow the gap between my dreams and reality. On July 11 @ 2 p.m. we closed the gap and reached our goal of $5,000.00! —four days before the campaign’s conclusion on July 15. And folks have continued to send contributions so we have exceeded our goal!

Any contributions beyond our original goal will help us face those unplanned expenses that can suddenly crop up out of nowhere when traveling: extra luggage costs, taxis, health emergencies, necessary side trips, lost equipment, and the list goes on. Your contribution will go to that emergency fund to give me a bit of a buffer of comfort when/if I encounter the unexpected.

Thank you so much!


2017 Foreword Indies Winner in Historical Fiction

So proud to be chosen as a winner in the 2017 INDIES Competition

(taken directly from their website)

Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc. is an independent media company totally devoted to covering the indie book publishing industry. From multi-imprint independent publishers, to micro presses, university presses, and author-owned publishers, the universe of indie publishing is vast and widely underserved; Foreword exists to fill that void, giving a platform for indie publishers to be discovered by our varied audience of librarians, booksellers, book-loving consumers, publishers, agents, and other publishing professionals.


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