The Dream


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Dream

By Nandy Ekle

I roll out of bed and see the new born sunlight peek through my bedroom window. I stretch luxuriously. No reason to be in a hurry, I work from my kitchen table. I go to work when I want to, work as long as I feel like it, and clock out when I’m ready.

I play my computer games or read my books as I soak my achy joints in a scalding hot bath. This is an important part of every day for me because that’s where I find the energy to move. Also, I must start each day by washing and styling my hair. This is mainly out of consideration for the rest of the world. If I don’t do that, people tend to be afraid of me because my hair looks like a monster.

Now that I’m out of the bath, all soaked and moveable, I sit at the kitchen table and travel to faraway lands. I meet all the people of that land and they tell me all about themselves. Sometimes these people cry and complain about their lives. Sometimes they fight with each other. Sometimes they want to control their world and make all the others do what they want. Some of these people don’t want any attention because they want to do things no one else can see.

I will sit at my table and play with these people all day long until I get tired of them. Then I can simply tell them goodnight and shut down.

My job is to write down all the stories they tell me. I never try to tell them what their story is because that usually guarantees they will stop talking to me. I sit and let them talk to me. If they seem to head down a rabbit trail, I will remind them where we were and what they were saying, but I never change what they have to say.

I am a writer, and this is my dream.

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

Will There Be Blood


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Will There Be Blood

By Nandy Ekle

Intense labor. Sweat pours out of my skin. My fingers fly as my character talks to me. A lot of work goes into writing a story.

Sometimes the work is putting my hands on the keyboard. Sometimes the work is typing it all before the story leaves. Sometimes the work is holding the idea while I get to a good writing place.

Today the idea that has been rolling in my head for two months grew legs and walked onto the page. I opened the computer, put my fingers on the keys and the character appeared on the screen. She spoke and told me her story and I wrote it exactly as she said it.

When I finish the story, more work waits for me. The proofreading, editing and polishing will begin. This is where the blood comes in. Cutting the unnecessary words from the manuscript is like surgery.

And yes, there will be blood.

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

The Zone


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Zone

 One of my favorite places to go for lunch every day is The Zone. I take my lunch and my computer and I sit listening to words without any distraction.

The Zone is not a quiet place; in fact, there’s a lot of commotion and conversation going on. There’s so much happening that sometimes I have to struggle to get it all down before it’s over. Emotions and feelings float around the room as well as thoughts and ideas. It’s a place I love dearly and always feel a little surprised when I get to go there.

The Zone is inside my head and it’s a place where the real world ceases to exist. I can listen to what my characters have to say and why they say it. I can watch what they do and why they do it. And I hear their thoughts and why they think it. When The Zone happens I feel as though I’m watching a movie in my mind and simply taking dictation. And usually, this is when I do my best writing.

I wish I could give you directions to get to The Zone. I will give you some, but it’s the kind of place that hides in shadows, like an island covered with mist. Sometimes your ship lands there with no problems, sometimes the island jumps around hiding from you. But there are some steps you can take that will help you find it.

First, take advantage of the time of day you are the most creative. Mine happens to be during the lunch hour. Sometimes I really don’t feel like writing anything until I boot up that computer and open up the word processor. Occasionally this is all it takes to get to The Zone.

Next, write a sentence. I’m not being contrite or snotty. Writing a sentence, not even necessarily a good one, but any sentence can be one of the hardest parts of starting a new story. You know the story, or at least you know some of it, but that first few words can be so intimidating. So show them who’s boss by writing them. If they aren’t the right ones, fix them later.

After you get a sentence written, close your eyes and listen to the character your story is about. If he/she is talking, the rest will fall into place.

Before you know it, you will discover that you only have thirty seconds left to clock back in to work. You’ll feel as if you just woke from a dream, only there will be pages and pages of words on your computer screen. That’s when you’ll know you’ve had lunch at The Zone.

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

Nandy Ekle