Saturday, August 15, 2009

What the Muse Says, Goes

I''ve been struggling lately with letting go of my internal editor and just having fun writing, instead of always looking over my own shoulder. I think that self criticism gets in the way of much of the creative process. But, I just always worry that I'm writing something ridiculous and not-at-all clever.

Maybe that's not the end of the world, though.

So I bring you the most whimsical thing I've written in a while... enjoy. Or skip over it if it's ridiculous and not-at-all clever. I'm just trying to loosen up, you're not going to hurt my feelings.

“Write something,” the muse says.

The muse lacks sympathy. There is no point to excuses. But that never stops the writer.

“I had a long day at work.”

The muse rolls her eyes. “Oh. The suffering artist can’t escape the corporate drone. You should write a suspense novel. Do you think the artist would be thrown over a balcony or –”

“Some of us were up at six this morning, you know. Don’t think I didn’t see you sprawled across the walk-in closet, snoring, when I left for work this morning.”

“Well, maybe if you respected your muse and gave her a bedroom to herself, instead of having to sleep on the piles of laundry you never manage to hang up, you wouldn’t have to spend quite so much time vacillating on your writing.”

“Are you saying you’re holding out on me, muse?”

“I’m saying a muse needs a little respect. A good night’s sleep. Maybe a quilted duvet and a Serta to herself.”

“You never complained before.”

“I didn’t mind sleeping under your bed in college. We were poor – we ate Ramen – but we were brilliant together.”

“All the last-minute deadlines we beat,” the writer agrees. “The A’s we weren’t entirely sure we deserved, given the intermittent rambling that worked its way in around 3am in the library…”

“That was all you,” the muse sniffs. “After about your fourth Mountain Dew, I could never handle working with you anymore.”

“Fickle muse,” the writer says. But the tone is a little bit fond – how could it not be?

“No distractions. Write something.”

“But about what? Isn’t that your department?”

“I’m always here when you ask me,” the muse says. “And I’ve been throwing ideas out since minute one.”


“No one likes a poor writer, but especially no one likes a poor sarcastic writer.”

“We’re not going to fight, are we? I don’t like to fight.”

“No? That’s not what I’d expect from someone who practically disowned me in Venice.”

“The most romantic city in the world, except perhaps Paris – I haven’t been but I doubt it smells swampy like Venice does in places – and you couldn’t give me one air-kiss worth of inspiration.”

“Is that any reason to go ranting about your muse into the stereotypically dark and rainy night?”

“It was all the red wine I drank with my pizza.”

The muse is quiet for a second. “That was great pizza. With the egg on it?”

“We miss out here in America. No egg on our pizza.”

“Write something and I’ll buy you a pizza.”

“You don’t have any money, remember? You’re ethereal.”

“Is that your way of saying I am the most delightful figment of your imagination you have?”


“Then do me a favor and write something.”

“For the love of all that is holy and some things that aren’t, write what?”

The muse nibbles charmingly on the end of an eraser, then spits out little pieces of pink rubber in disgust. “Erm,” the muse says, before rubbing her tongue with the back of her hand. “Didn’t I already tell you?”

“No,” the writer says, wearily, remembering another conversation that went like this, just before the incident in Venice.

“Write about fighting with a lover in the most romantic city in the world. Write about eating pizza in a half-dozen countries across the world and what was happening around each meal. Write about being a poor, sarcastic writer that no one takes quite seriously – what does your mother think about this living, really? Write about eating Ramen noodles as the sun comes up, too enthralled in your own novel to stop and sleep. Write about being unkind to your muse. Write about what it’s like to be a corporate drone and a passionate artiste all at once.”

The writer thinks for a second. “Oh.”

“Yes, that’s right,” the muse says. “Oh. Now write.”


Ana V. Rios said...

I thought this was very clever and amusing.

mr. nichols said...

This has to be the best thing I've read all day. Very real for me.
“I didn’t mind sleeping under your bed in college. We were poor – we ate Ramen – but we were brilliant together.” <--- classic line!