Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Writing With A Reluctant Muse
Time to write my next book. I set a trap for my missing Muse - an open Kindle with two new romantic suspense downloads, a glass of wine, and a fleece afghan.
Within minutes she fluttered over, eyeing the set-up suspiciously, then settled delicately onto the Kindle's home page. She tiptoed across the screen and bent over to read the new titles, glowing with anticipation. I leapt from behind the recliner and snatched her by the wings.
"#&!@%!" She struggled, taking futile swings at the air.
"Time to go to work, lazy bones."
"Ef you!" She spit pixie dust at me. It drifted down to the cat sleeping on the couch. He looked up, blinking in surprise, as if he'd just been struck by a brilliant idea.
"Save it, fairy," I told her. "I haven't written in weeks and I'm going to need all the inspiration you've got."
"Buy a thesaurus," she said. "And stop pinching my wings!"
"It only hurts because you're out of shape."
"I'm in prime condition!" She arched her back in fake agony. "Ow! Ow! You're killing me! Someone help..." She paused in mid-complaint. "What's that?"
I dangled her in front of the computer monitor, the ultimate temptation for a Muse. "That's my opening scene."
She squinted, then shot me a look of horrified disbelief. "It was a dark and stormy night? God, Ambrose, you need help."
"Like I said."
"No cliches! How many times have I told you?" She wiggled and made little fairy grunting noises as she scanned my desktop. "Where's your notes? What's the situation?"
Cautiously, I set her down. She shook herself, scattering pixie dust, then walked with exagerated dignity to the legal pad on the desktop and began reading my notes. I eyed the sparkling powder she'd left behind. Brushing it into my palm, I patted it on my head. Every little bit helps.
Meanwhile, my Muse was becoming interested. "This sounds like romantic suspense."
"So she gets attacked in scene one?"
"If you say so."
"Of course she does. Damn, Ambrose, how dumb are you?"
My Muse is rude. She's also a sucker for a good suspense story.
"Her father just died, huh? That's good," my Muse mused, reading my notes. "But why are you starting at the funeral home? A cemetery is creepier."
I typed a couple lines. "Like that?" I asked.
She studied the monitor and tapped a finger thoughtfully on her chin. "Make it colder. Late fall. And get rid of the stupid sunshine."
"Got it." I backspaced and re-typed.
"Much better. And the bad guy mingling with the mourners is good." She read more, frowning. "Where's the hero?"
"He's not here yet."
"Are you fucking kidding me? Of course he's there. Make it happen."
Obediently, I typed him in.
"Yes, see? Like that." She nodded approval. "I like that she's suspicious of him and totally misses the bad guy."
"I have a good idea now and then."
"Not often enough. Hey, where's that wine?"
"Later. Write first."
She pouted. "At least some chips, then."
She rolled her eyes. "You are so boring, Ambrose." She's wrong, of course, but I know better than to argue with her so I said nothing and waited. "Okay," she fianlly said. "Let's get this thing moving. Can we shove her into the open grave?"
"Absolutely!" I typed, smiling. "Welcome back, Muse."