I know I'm in trouble when my Muse puts on a suit. Dark blue with a red tie and black, shiny shoes. Her hair-snakes are pulled back into a severe pony-tale that wiggles down her back. She does not look amused.
"What did I do now?" I ask.
"Why haven't you been marketing your own book?"
I shrug. "In case you haven't noticed, I've been a little busy."
"Bullshit." She taps her foot and glares at me.
"Yes, bullshit. You're not that busy."
"Excuse me, Miss I-wear-a-power-suit-so-I-know-everything. I am in grad-school! I'm up to my eyeballs in homework and exams, plus I'm still a mom, in case you forgot, and I have a press to run. So yeah, I've been a little busy."
She sits down in my chair and puts her feet up on my desk. "Those are just excuses."
Now I'm getting mad. "Easy for you to say."
"You have enough time to do something every week to promote your own book, but you don't. You've tossed your book to the side and have focused solely on the punk anthology and school. If all you did was one small thing every week to promote your book, more people would be reading it. But instead you've shoved the box holding your books under the couch and act as if you never published it. Like your work doesn't matter." She looks directly into my eyes. "Your work matters."
"I know my work matters..."
I sigh and sit across from her on the desk. "I really am busy right now..."
"How many places have you sent your play?"
"How many places have you submitted it?"
"And how about your other play, the ten minute one? Where have you sent that?"
"A festival in New York."
"Have you heard from them?"
"What did they say?"
"They said no."
"Where did you send it after that?"
"Nowhere... it might need work."
She rolls her eyes. "Hah. Again, you act as if your work doesn't matter. You write volumes of pages, some of it good, and then stick it in a drawer and forget it. Just like you did you book, a book you dedicated an entire year of your life to. Why did you spend money printing it if you weren't planning to sell it?" A snake strains over her shoulder to see what is going on. My muse shoves it back impatiently. "All you have to do is one simple thing to market your book every week. That's it. Nothing expensive or too time consuming. Just one small thing. I'll bet you have time to do that."
Swinging her legs off my desk, my muse stands and walks to my book case where she pulls out a large, heavy book. "Pick a page and do what it says." She tosses the book on the desk where it lands with a startling bang.
I pick it up. "1001 ways to market your book."
"Do you even remember buying it."
"Yes. A long time ago. I hear there's a new volume."
"Why did you buy it if you weren't going to use it?"
"Just pick a page and do it. One thing every week." She stands beside me and leans against my shoulder. "Do it for me," she whispers.
One thing a week.
I open a page.