POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
By Nandy Ekle
I had the itch all day. As fellow writers I know you understand what I’m talking about. New characters screamed in my head and scenes flashed through my mind like movies on the big screen. I knew what I wanted to write and I couldn’t wait to get to it.
As soon as I clocked out from my day job, I nearly skipped to my car. All the way home I sang with the radio, but I have no idea what songs played. I stopped at a red light and as I sat there the muse tickled my brain to the point where I almost didn’t realize the light had turned green. I pulled into the drive way and couldn’t get in the house fast enough. Change to comfy clothes, boot up the computer, watch while the screens open and the cursor blips on the white page. Giddiness threatened to take over my consciousness as I typed the title of my new greatest idea.
“Oh, this is going to be so great!” I whispered to my fingers. “I’ve got most of it in my head; the roadblocks will just dissolve as we type this up right quick.” I took a deep breath and put my fingers on home row.
And so, there I sat in my special writing space, hands on the keyboard, cursor blinking at me like a teenager who thinks I’m as dumb as a block of wood. And it seemed I may have been. I typed the title and the movie screen in my head went dark. No more action, no conversation, even the face of my character disappeared.
I blinked a few times and stared at the empty screen. “Hey. What’s going on?” I yelled these words to the hallways inside my head. Just a moment earlier these hallways had been full of words and music, sights and sounds. Now they looked like the cob-webby walls of a haunted house.
“You waited too long.” The voice came from behind me. I turned quickly and caught a glimpse of a sparkling fairy princess gown as the wearer darted out an open window. “You should have started writing it as I was giving it to you.”
“But, I have a job to do, a day job. Without that job, I don’t get to buy fun or food.” I know I sounded whiney, but I felt desperate. All day I had to force myself to stay focused on my duties instead of going into my little fantasy world.
“Sorry. I only have so much time I can give you.”
“I’m here now, bring it all back.” The fairy princess returned to stand behind me. “I remember some of it. Bring the rest of it back. Please help me write this story.” I typed a few words.
“Oh, that is the worst place in the world to start. And you need a better voice. Here, delete it all and start over.”
So I tried again and only earned more criticism. It seemed that every time I tried to write my story, the muse was meaner and more cruel until she finally rolled her eyes, stamped her foot, and huffed. Then she turned and vanished.
And this is usually how my writing times start.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.