When I got home from LitFest last night, my muse was waiting for me at the front door.
"What's up?" I asked, setting down my book bag.
She folded her arms and tapped her right foot. "What's up? What do you think? What was all that, 'I don't belong here... what do I know about anything... why am I hear...' crap?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You're insecurity was so palpable I could feel it all the way back to your house! Please explain why I have to keep bolstering your ego so you can walk out the front door!"
I walked toward the kitchen. "Is that what you call criticising my work? Bolstering my ego? Please. Since when have you ever bolstered my ego?"
She followed close behind. "You've got to start believing you're a publisher and accept the fact you know what you're doing, otherwise this entire scheme of yours is going to collapse."
I turned on the kettle and then leaned against the stove. "You have no idea what it was like sitting on the panel, listening to the other publishers talk about their presses and all the things they know and all I could offer was a reading list of books I've studied. I felt like a moron."
"Where do you think the others got their info? Do you think they knew what they were doing when they decided to publish?"
"Exactly. They all started where you are now. But they succeeded. And you will too, unless you keep insisting you're not worthy of my patronage. Then I'll just have to find someone more empowered."
I grinned. I can't help but laugh at the way my muse talks. Bolster my ego? Patronage? Usually my muse throws insults at me while she sunbathes. But for some unknown reason, I love every snake on her head.
All the snakes on her head stared at me. "You're laughing at me," she said.
"No, I'm not. I'm listening. And you're right. I have to start believing in myself. At least a little bit."
She stepped closer and put a hand on my arm. "I believe in you."
In all our time together, my muse has never spoken so kindly to me. I was mesmerized by her sea green eyes and the sincerity in her voice. My muse believes in me. That thought grew louder in my head and for one glorious moment, I believed I could successfully publish Laura's book.
Maybe I can. Maybe if I work hard enough, keep studying, and stay focused on creating the best book possible, I can keep Medusa's Muse alive. When fear and doubt get too loud, I will remember that moment when I understood how much faith my muse has in me. Perhaps that will help me have faith in myself. At least a little.