The Gift


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Gift

By Nandy Ekle

 

I’ve got the characters. I can hear their voices and see their faces. She throws roses into the arena. The bright sunshine glints off the sequins on his suit making him look like a glowing god. He bends down, scoops up one of her roses, and makes a big gesture of smelling it. In the background, the opponent beats against the toril, the gate to the arena. She sucks in a deep breath as the crashing of the monster’s body gets louder.

I have the situation. The female character and the male character are unable to deny their attraction to each other. Their love causes the conflict, and the monster behind the gate raises the stakes, as does the third character, her husband.

I’ve been researching my heart out. I’ve had to learn some history, some new words, a very different culture, and even different names. I’ve had to look up facts, rules, and definitions. And just when I’m ready to start writing, a new question comes up and I go back to Google.

I’ve worked so hard gathering information that I’ve gotten myself extremely excited to get this going. So I open the computer, put my fingers on the keyboard, and . . . . . . . sit there. You see, reality has happened. Overtime on the day job. Laundry piled up. Empty refrigerator. And then, the top of the list, a big time illness pops up.

So I’ve promised myself a gift. This weekend I will take my computer to a quiet little coffee shop and not allow myself to leave until I write the words “The End.”

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

The Submit Button


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Submit Button

By Nandy Ekle

I have one huge phobia, and that’s spiders. Yeah, that’s right. I openly admit this phobia. I always say that I am not ashamed and am actually very comfortable with my pet phobia.

There is one other thing that frightens me a little, and that is the submit button. This one little thing can paralyze me as completely as a single spider can. I can not count the times my hand has hovered over the button while my brain tries to talk me out of pushing it. “Don’t do it,” it says. “They’ll laugh.” It continues. Then the organ inside my head turns ugly. “You know the story still isn’t right. There’s gaping plot holes and unbelievable dialogue. And your grammar and punctuation are no better than a third grader.”

If my finger still aims at that little button, my gray matter turns mean and hateful. “Who are you kidding? You can’t write a story. Just listen to your so-called style. This is just a silly waste of time and paper. Are you sure you want to bear your soul to strangers so they can laugh at you and point at you? You’re nothing but a useless blob behind a computer keyboard with delusions of grandeur.”

Sometimes I believe the whole spiel. I let all that bullying talk freeze my hand and stop my breathing. Just like seeing a giant spider, my fingers curl back into my hand and I close the computer lid and do something else.

But sometimes I turn on some music and remember the promise I made to my characters to find them a home. Then I close my eyes and . . . push submit. Air rushes into my lungs and my arms feel as though they could lift a house. That’s when I know my success is not whether or not my work is accepted. My success is in squashing the monster.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

The Submit Button


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Submit Button

By Nandy Ekle

I have one huge phobia, and that’s spiders. Yeah, that’s right. I openly admit this phobia. I always say that I am not ashamed and am actually very comfortable with my pet phobia.

There is one other thing that frightens me a little, and that is the submit button. This one little thing can paralyze me as completely as a single spider can. I can not count the times my hand has hovered over the button while my brain tries to talk me out of pushing it. “Don’t do it,” it says. “They’ll laugh.” It continues. Then the organ inside my head turns ugly. “You know the story still isn’t right. There’s gaping plot holes and unbelievable dialogue. And your grammar and punctuation are no better than a third grader.”

If my finger still aims at that little button, my gray matter turns mean and hateful. “Who are you kidding? You can’t write a story. Just listen to your so-called style. This is just a silly waste of time and paper. Are you sure you want to bear your soul to strangers so they can laugh at you and point at you? You’re nothing but a useless blob behind a computer keyboard with delusions of grandeur.”

Sometimes I believe the whole spiel. I let all that bullying talk freeze my hand and stop my breathing. Just like seeing a giant spider, my fingers curl back into my hand and I close the computer lid and do something else.

But sometimes I turn on some music and remember the promise I made to my characters to find them a home. Then I close my eyes and . . . push submit. Air rushes into my lungs and my arms feel as though they could lift a house. That’s when I know my success is not whether or not my work is accepted. My success is in squashing the monster.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.