A room that passes for an office. There are bookshelves on one wall, a motley assortment of carvings, signed storyboards, and framed magazine covers on the free wall space. On the far wall is a medieval-style heraldic wall display of a cockatrice and a banner in bad Latin “Pullus non Est.” Horizontal files sit beneath the window , and on top of those there used to be a free-standing rack holding Japanese swords, only they had to be removed because of the cats. The computer desk is on the wall nearest the door, facing away from the window. Beside that is a printer on a stand. In the base of that is a PC and PS3, not currently in use. WRITER is practicing chord changes on an acoustic guitar.
MUSE enters. From somewhere. She’s in Greek Goddess mode.
MUSE: I hate to say this, but you really suck as a guitar player.
MUSE: No, I mean it—you really do suck.
WRITER: Sure. But that part about hating to say it? Rubbish.
MUSE: So you admit that you suck at guitar?
WRITER: As I recall, I’ve admitted it on several occasions. What’s your point?
MUSE: So Why do you keep doing it?
WRITER: I’ll probably stop sooner or later. I have a habit of finding an intense interest that fades after a while, then I’m on to the next one. You know that.
MUSE: It’s been two years.
WRITER: “A while” is not a rigid timeframe. Might be two and half years. Might be twenty, if I live that long. Who knows? I don’t.
MUSE: So why are you wasting your time?
WRITER: I’m doing something I still enjoy. How is that a waste of time?
MUSE: It’s not even as if you’re making progress. You still can’t play a tune worth a darn.
WRITER: I beg to differ. When I started, I was butchering songs like “Tom Dooley.” Now I’m butchering “Bad Moon Rising” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” I call that progress.
MUSE: If you were working on your book as you should be I’d call that progress. This? Not so much.
WRITER: The book’s going fine. I’m happy with it. But it’s day’s end and I don’t have anything left for it. So now it’s guitar, with what little strength remains to me.
MUSE: You have no musical talent and a poor sense of rhythm. About the only good thing I can say is–at least you’re not tone-deaf.
WRITER: What part of “I know that” don’t you understand?
MUSE: Apparently, all of it.
WRITER: It took me nearly twenty years to become a half-way decent writer. Are you going to tell me I have no talent now?
MUSE (reluctantly): No.
WRITER: You did then.
MUSE: Oh. Right.
WRITER: Always listen to your Muse. Just understand that she doesn’t always know what she’s talking about.
MUSE: I’m right about you and guitar.
WRITER: Absolutely. But I know that, someday, there’s a chance that you won’t be.
MUSE (shrugs): It happens.
WRITER: More than enough reason not to give up a dream. At least, not today.
MUSE: Have it your way. But stop pretending that an Fmajor7 is the same as an Fmajor. At least get the chord you’re mangling right.
WRITER: Working on it. It’s what I do.