The Puzzle


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Puzzle

 By Nandy Ekle

I took a walk through my hall of unfinished stories. My hand brushed along the half filled pages, fingertips touching each and every one. As I passed by a lonely little three-page rag, I noticed a sparkle from its eye. So I picked it up and read its words.

Three pages, around 1000 words. My character spoke so loudly I was mesmerized. I felt her loneliness and her growing neurosis. I could see her problem clearly. Goosebumps the size of watermelons grew on my arms and my scalp tingled. Then, at the bottom of page three, the whole thing came to an abrupt stop in the middle of a paragraph.

It’s been about a year since I wrote those three pages and several other stories have channeled themselves through me. I looked at the blank space at the bottom of the page and felt lost. Where was this going? What was my aim? The girl had shown me her problem, but the reason for the problem was gone, along with the ultimate outcome.

But I can’t scrap it. And so I will put on Doctor Freud’s hat and figure out the rest of the story. Number one – she definitely has a problem brewing. And I think I can see exactly what it is. Number two – why is this a problem? Well, because there’s something she wants. I need to remember what her greatest wish is. Number three – what will this desire cost her? Hhhmmm. A little trickier. I need to know her a little better to remember the things most important to her. Reading what I have a few more times will help me with that. Number four – can she achieve what she wants, and if she does, is it really what’s best for her?

As you can see, my work is cut out for me. My muse stands in the corner of my writing space staring at me like a stern math teacher waiting for me to work the equation and get the right answer. However I think I have enough to go on with my three pages, and maybe a few hints from my silent muse.

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