Muse & Writer Dialogue #14, aka Fool Me Once

Muse: You’re not trying to pull that stunt again, are you?

Writer (looking affronted): Whatever do you mean?

Muse: I mean you have a piece of flash fiction due Wednesday. Your attention is elsewhere, and so you play off me to get your word count.

Writer: No, that would be clever. We both know I’m not clever.

Muse: No, but you are sneaky. It often passes for the same thing.

Writer: Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that I was attempting to do so. You’re my Muse. Shouldn’t you help me?

Muse: That isn’t helping. It’s encouraging bad habits, and you already have enough.

Writer: Aren’t you even curious?

Muse (sighing): Fine. What’s the word?

Writer: Barefoot

Muse: And you need me for that?

Writer: I would appreciate your help, yes.

Muse: You’re a lower middle-class kid from Mississippi. You spent half of  your early summers barefoot. The bottom of your feet were so tough, you could run barefoot over a stubble patch and not even notice. And  you need my help for this?

Writer: Well, I admit the word works pretty well as an image, such as the one you supplied above. But you have to admit, as a theme it’s somewhat lacking.

Muse: You’re talking 500 words. You barely have time for a decent scene, never mind a theme.

Writer: But all stories have a theme, and I don’t do vignettes.

Muse: So fine, you were a kid from the Bible belt who avoids anything to do with Bibles. I’ve met vampires more in touch with their spiritual side. Tie that in with barefoot.

Writer: Nonsense. I’m very spiritual. I’m just not religious. And you’ve never met a vampire. They aren’t real.

Muse: Also nonsense.  You write fiction, remember? And by the way, neither are muses. Real, that is.

Writer: You show up here a lot for someone who isn’t real. And the idea of a muse has been around for centuries. That makes it real, in a sense.

Muse: By that logic vampires deserve the same courtesy. By the way, have you ever heard of the Leanan-sidhe?

Writer: Sounds vaguely familiar.

Muse: It should. You wrote a story about one, years ago. It’s a type of fairy muse who inspires writers and poets with inspiration so fierce they burn out and die young. Count yourself lucky you got me instead. Not real? At this point I’m as real as you are.

Writer: That’s not saying much.  I’m something of an artificial construction myself, or at least I feel like one.

Muse: Of course you are. You tell stories about yourself in order to understand yourself. And so does everyone else with more self-awareness than an amoeba. You’re all artificial constructions. The only difference is sometimes you get paid for it. And you think muses and vampires aren’t real? Talk about a mythological creature….

Writer: We’re digressing here; I’ll edit it out later. Let’s get back to barefoot.

Muse: You get back to barefoot. I’m done now.

Writer: Funny, so am I.

Muse: You made 500 words, didn’t you?

Writer: Nope. WE did.

Muse (string of expletives deleted): You….

 

 

 

 

Muse and Writer Dialogues #7

Epi Les Paul Special IIFade In: It’s the library. Same old furnishings, same old computer desk and chair. Only the chair has been modified to remove the arm rests. WRITER is sitting in chair, and he is not writing. Enter the MUSE, doing a passable imitation of Pallas Athena. She even has the spear, shield, and helmet. The spear is pointed with alarming accuracy at the middle of Writer’s back.

MUSE: Mind telling me what you’re doing?

(A twang reverberates through the library. If one was feeling generous, one might call it a C major chord. But only if.)

WRITER: Practicing.

MUSE: What do you mean, practicing? That’s a guitar!

WRITER: Well spotted.

MUSE: We’ll talk about your use of idiom later, but it’s obvious you’ve been watching too much Harry Potter lately.

WRITER: You’re one to talk. Who got me started using the term “barking mad” for people who are, well, barking mad?

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Muse and Writer Dialogues #4

FADE IN

 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 a free-standing rack holding Japanese swords. The computer desk is on the wall nearest the door, facing away from the window. Beside that is a printer on a stand. It’s a bit dusty.

Enter the Muse. Her appearance keeps morphing from a classical Greek goddess to something resembling a biker chick with long black hair, silver nostril ring and tats covering both arms. She has a sword in one hand and a crossbow in the other, and appears to be “Vogueing.” The Writer is sitting at his desk, looking thoroughly confused.

WRITER: What are you doing?

MUSE: My job.

WRITER: Which is?

MUSE: To inspire you, of course. I am a personified ideal of the act of inspiration. How am I doing?

WRITER: Depends. If  you’re trying to get my attention, it’s working. I just can’t figure out what it’s all for. So I’ll repeat—what are you doing?

MUSE: Posing for the eventual book cover. Most of those show an armed hottie in a ¾ turn rear view. How’s this? Continue reading

Muse and Writer Dialogues #3

FADE IN

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 display of a cockatrice with a motto in bad Latin that reads “Pullus non Est.” Horizontal files sit beneath the window , and on top of those a free-standing rack holds three Japanese swords. 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 PS3 and an Xbox on a lower shelf. Neither is in use.

Enter the WRITER, who finds the MUSE sitting in a rocking chair staring at what looks like a smartphone. He’s a slob. She looks like a statuesque Greek goddess most of the time, but her appearance keeps changing.

WRITER: What are you doing?
MUSE: What does it look like? I’m playing “Angry Birds.” Not that you care. What do you want?
WRITER: You have to ask, after that stunt you pulled?

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