Satisfying the Muse

As an ebook author, (there are multiple ways to write “ebook” by the way, and no one seems to agree on which is correct), I have found that many of my colleagues write blogs.  As much as I love reading other people’s blogs, and think that my friends who write them are fabulous, I have never personally felt the need to express my opinions and blast them out over the Internet.  Or so I thought.

I found my resistance to blogging to be a little strange, after all, I am writer.  Aren’t we supposed to want to write at every opportunity? For those of you who are writers, you know how untrue that statement is.  We don’t want to write at every turn.  We just want to write at strange times.  We feel the need to jot down an entire story when we are in the grocery store, for instance, and see something bizarre, or when we are in the shower, or traffic, or in the middle of a wedding or a meeting.  The Muse comes to us at odd times, and she is always seductive and demanding.  Her requests can be a little unorthodox, and it always takes some effort to sate her.  To me she has always come wanting fiction.  She knows me well, as we have been doing our thing for years.  She remembers me as a poet, a clumsy teenager never quite sure of what he was doing.  Although she praised me each time I was done, I knew she wasn’t really satisfied.  We have avoided nonfiction, writing papers and such when we have to, but we realized early on in college that the whole thing never really left us in need of a cigarette, and it always felt a little obligatory.  Fiction, that’s where she has taught me staying power.  We can go all night just to finish, and when we wake up, she demands that we see if we can do it better.  Fiction is our thing.  We’ve done it in restaurants and libraries, on the kitchen counter, the dining table, and I can’t tell you how many different desks.  We’ve invited others to join us, and we have spent entire weekends doing it.  It leaves us with a satisfaction that is like no other, and we know that it’s where we connect.

So you won’t be surprised when I tell you how about a year ago she whispered something naughty in my ear.

“I’m driving,” I said to her.

She didn’t care.  She wants always what she wants.

“It’s a crazy idea,” I said.

She didn’t really say anything at first.  At a red light, I turned to her.  She just looked at me like I was a prude.  Then she spoke.

“Lots of other people are doing it,” she said.  “Some of them every day.  Some of them all day.”

“I know,” I said to her.  “We talked about it in my writing group.  I’m not really into dinosaurs and bigfoots.”

Once again, she didn’t say anything.  She just raised her eyebrows and looked at me.  She knew me too well.  The light changed and we moved on.

“Okay, maybe I would be if I had a few beers.  It would need to be a clean Sasquatch though, and as much as I appreciate that lady’s interests, no dinosaurs for me.  I’m not into claws.”

“It wouldn’t have to be dinosaurs,” she said.

“Well, what then?”

I could feel her hot breath as she whispered several things into my ear.  All of the ideas were racy, and all of them were fun.  I looked ahead at the road, thinking.  After a minute, I spoke.

“Look, I’m a serious writer,” I said.

“You’re a fun writer with something to say.”

“Exactly.”

“So say it here, put it in your stories.   Make them your own.  Do it your way.”

I didn’t say anything.  She spoke again, this time in a voice that made sure she would get what she wanted.

“You always make me so happy when you do it your way, baby.”

She had me.  I went to work immediately.  I  have spent the better part of my free time this past year writing several ebooks and outlining the ideas for others she suggested.  She has stood by the entire time, making sure that I get them done and throwing new ideas my way.  We have decided on several series and gotten the first books of the series out, with plans to launch several more before 2015 is out.  I have worked hard for her, and I thought she would be at least partially satisfied, but when she appeared to me again this week, after we had spent an entire day getting Blake Blacks Out finally published, I knew she wanted more.  What the hell, I thought.  I’m always up for a little fun.

Then I looked up from a piece I was editing and saw that crazy look in her eye.

“I think you should do a blog,” she said.

“No, we’ve talked about that,” I said.  “Too much like college.  Neither of us would have fun, and the readers might not like it.  We’re not blog people.”

“I am,” she said.  “And believe me, I’ve done it with much worse than you.”

I looked at her.  How had she just reminded me of her faithlessness and flattered me all at the same time?

“Uh,” I said, not quite sure if she was going to be able to tempt me.

She walked over to my computer and pulled up a picture.

“I need you to do it for Blake,” she said, pointing to the screen.

She said that she wanted me to do it for Blake, a character of ours, but she pointed at a beautiful man on the screen who was wearing only a partially buttoned dress shirt.  His hair was tousled, and he wore glasses.  He was hot in a way that made me grateful to be able to appreciate such beauty, and I had chosen him to represent Blake on our book cover.

“He’s one of ours,” she said.

She meant that Blake the character was ours, that we had created him, but I was looking at the man on the screen, thinking that I would love for him to be mine, and thinking that if he asked me I would probably starch that shirt for him (although this would require research on my part as laundry is lower on my list of favorite things to do than writing nonfiction).

“He needs us,” she said, and then she grabbed a pen off my desk and drew a triangle.

I knew what the triangle was.  It wasn’t pink and gay (although we’ve been around that one too); it was literary.

“That’s the one we learned about in college,” I said.  “In that man’s class who really encouraged our relationship.”

“I don’t think either of us will ever forget him,” she said and then winked at me.

I pictured him.  Yes, he was sexy, but that wasn’t why I liked him.  I liked him because he taught me.  He also really pushed me to hang out with the Muse, which had been refreshing in this world where so many people in Academia thought that we should shun the Muse and just do what we were told.

“Do you remember what the triangle means?” she asked.

“Yeah.  One point is the story.  One point is the reader.  One point is the author.  The author means one thing, but the reader doesn’t always get that because the author doesn’t stand over your shoulder telling you what to do,” I said, looking at her as if she might consider acting in such a manner.

“Well, you don’t have to do that, although I do,” she said.  “It wouldn’t hurt to reach out to your readers once in a while though.  It might be kind of fun to let them know where you’re coming from.  Like Blake.  That’s some little oddity not everyone talks about.”

“Yeah, and that was our purpose, to give those people a voice, or a lay, or love, or whatever it is we are giving them.”

“Exactly,” she said.  “So you’ll try it, Big Boy?”

“Uh,” I mumbled, looking at her nervously.

She pouted, and that’s when I gave in.  What was this power she had over me? I knew men who were swayed by Barbra, Liza, Beyoncé, Madonna, and Hepburn, but the Muse, she had been toying with men like me since Ancient Greece.

“Fine,” I said.

She jumped up and down, called me Daddy and Big Boy a few times, and stood over me until I hit publish.  So here you have it.  My first blog.

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