I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve started in the last six to eight months, written anywhere from five hundred to many thousands of words, and then quit cold. Just… stopped.
So I asked the Muse, “Hey, bitch! What’s up with this shit?”
She inspected her nails. “I’m not supposed to work around the clock.”
“You’re a muse. Yes, you are.”
She whipped out a thick wad of paper and threw it at me. “Read the contract. Page thirty-four, paragraph six, and I paraphrase: muse exists only to jump-start your imagination. Muse is not required to be available to writer–I’m using the term loosely here–twenty-four seven.”
“What about when I hit the wall? Sometimes I run out of steam. Sometimes I have no idea where to go next.”
A nail file came out. “Not my job. You could try, you know… coming up with something on your own.” She snorted. “Or stop calling yourself a writer, and move to a farm and tend goats. Goats are cute. I love those pictures of the fainting goats–”
My growl cut her off. “I get the point. No need to belabor it.”
She pointed the nail file at me. “Nicely said, if a bit of a cliche.” She put the file away, dusted off her hands, and floated into the upright position. I couldn’t see her feet; do muses even have them? They did in Xanadu but that was the Hollywood take on muses. Anyone could tell by the movies they put out, they don’t use muses much. “Look, I gotta go. There’s a”–cough, cough–“writer in section ten that really needs my help. Poor thing can’t even come up with the first line.”
“But I need–”
“See ya! Oh, and good luck. Why any author who’s written nearly thirty-seven thousand words would need me at this point, I have no idea. Finish the damn story. I’ll pop back at the start of your next one, see how you’re getting along. You know, juice things up a little.”
The muse and I are on intimate terms, but we don’t like each other much. I guess I better finish the story, eh?
Oh, and the bitch left me with this opening for a new one, because she’s mean like that:
“What’s it like out there?” Nelson Chadrick the Third asked Andrew Sebastian over the phone.
“Bad. The bodies are piling up, and half the people who still live have barricaded themselves in their houses while the rest are looting and pillaging. Consider yourself lucky not to be part of that.”
Will this one ever see the light of day? Only the muse knows. 😉