Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Just for fun:

A couple of weeks ago, Genene mentioned she'd come across this writer's hint: Make an appointment with your muse. That's right, an appointment with your muse. All you do is inform said muse that at 3:30 that day, for instance, you are going to write a certain scene, and just like that, the muse shows up for work, raring to go. All you have to do is try to keep up.

I gave it a try recently, and in the interest of scientific research, kept a log of how it went. I submit that log now:

6:30 a.m. -- I awake to a dark room. The dh is still asleep. Very quietly, so as not to startle my muse, I say, "Excuse me, Muse, are you awake yet?" (Reader, can you hear the gentle lilt of my voice? Nothing jarring. Nothing demanding.)
The muse does not respond.

6:40 a.m. -- Like the sleep button on an alarm clock, I try again. "Muse, up and at 'em." I sense she is blinking her eyes. I say, "I'd like to make an appointment with you."
She says, "Why?" (I can tell she isn't amused or flattered or even much interested. But I press on.)
"I want to make an appointment to discuss Randy Larson's death."
"What about his death?" she snarls. (Obviously, she is not a morning muse.)
I say, I was just wondering, you know, why he died."
"Is that all," she says, attention flagging.
I add, "I'd also like to know who killed him. If that's okay."
She does not respond.

9:32 a.m. -- I try again. "Excuse me, Muse, about our appointment?"
"You aren't going to quit unless I agree to this, are you?" she says. I get the feeling I've called her way from some pressing business, perhaps a seminar on how to mislead gullible writers.
I say, "I'm serious about this, Muse. I need an appointment. How about 11:00 o'clock?"
She says, "No can do, I'm busy."
Having decided to take a more strident approach, I growl, "Muse, I'm warning you --"
"Okay, noon. I can do noon."
Noon? "But I have fresh bread and peppered turkey in the fridge --"
"Make up your mind," she snaps. "Me or lunch."
I agree to noon. She warns me to be prompt.

11:30 a.m. -- Worried about being late for our appointment, I sit at the computer.

12:55 p.m. -- Maybe I wasn't clear about where we'd meet. I try to remember if I mentioned the computer. Maybe she got the feeling we were meeting at the fridge. I run downstairs and open the fridge door. The turkey is still there. Muse is not.

Determined she is not going to stand me up, I march back up the stairs and this time I am firm. "Muse," I say as I sit at my desk again. "We have an appointment. You're late."
Silence, as vast and deep as the universe.

2:00 p.m. -- No muse.

3:30 p.m. -- No muse.

4:09 p.m. -- Muse ambles in and flops onto a chair.
I say, "Where the hell have you been? I've been waiting hours!"
She says, "Who are you trying to kid, you've been playing Pyramid Solitaire."
"While I waited for you!" I growl.
She shrugs. "I'm here now. What do you want?"
Still annoyed but determined, I say, "I want to know why Randy Larson had to die. I want to know who killed him. Good grief, he's been dead fifty pages! I really think you need to give me some answers."
She says, "Klugg did it."
My heart bangs against my ribs. "Did he pull the trigger himself or hire it out?"
"He did it himself."
I am afraid to push for why. I type madly.

5:30 p.m. -- Ten pages have passed. Guess what? Klugg did not kill Randy Larson. No way! That bitchy muse just said he did so she could go back to La-La Land or wherever she goes when I'm not watching. Grr…

5:32 p.m. -- I highlight the new text and hit "delete."

There you have it, the blow by blow account of my appointment with my muse.

Undaunter, I'm now in the developing phase of a new plan, working side by side with two brilliant young scientific minds (Katherine and her little brother, Hayden) who spent a considerable amount of time last year creating a bedside trap for catching the Tooth Fairy. It involved marshmallows, glue, and thread, though the exact formula and method is a highly guarded secret.

Yes, a trap!

Take that Muse!

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