Monday, July 20, 2009

Gifts from my Muse

My Muse did a great job encouraging me to focus on my creativity and let go of some of my task oriented, linear way of living. And then as soon as the temperature passed 100, she vanished, complaining that her snake-filled hair was too sweaty. I'm pretty sure she went to Hunter S Thompson's memorial birthday party which Johnny Depp was hosting on his yacht, but she never tells me what her plans are. "A Muse doesn't have to explain," she says, just before vanishing in a puff of snake scented smoke.

That's a muse for you; wonderful when you need a good push, but not there to catch you on the other end.

It's a good thing I'm used to her disappearing acts. She appears in a rush of inspiration and insight, then is gone when the wind changes direction, like a sexy, incandescent Mary Poppins. After one of her trips, she brings back stories wrapped in shiny paper and gives them to me. "This one came from the top of Mt. Denali. Be careful, it's very cold. And this fancy one is from a nightclub in Berlin. I thought you'd like the music." She fills me up with characters and ideas and then commands me to write.

I'm lucky. I've never felt like I had nothing to write about. My problem is I have too many stories in my head. My muse is generous, filling me to the brim until I can't absorb one more image and I beg her to stop because I'm feeling sick. "Nonsense," she says. "No one ever died from too many stories. Writers kill themselves when they run out."

I've begun work on a new novel, and it feels wonderful to write something creative again. This time I have no deadline, no set goal, and no sense of impending failure (at least not yet). The story has been in my head for a couple of years and is finally being transformed into words. Because the characters have lived inside me for so long, they flow out from my imagination fully formed and speaking scenes of dialogue. What a relief to write this story after so many months of textbooks and nonfiction. And the fact the Punk book is finished gives me more time to create my own worlds.

And yes, I do still need to double check the invoices before paying the State of California its Sales Tax. Tomorrow. Right now I'm going to write.

1 comment:

Jane Mackay said...

That's wonderful! The best news I've read in a while. I'm thrilled for you (and for me, 'cause I trust I'll get to read said novel, eventually ;-).

Happy Belated HST b'day. I bet your Muse was at that party. I would have been.