You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. --FRANZ KAFKA
Friday, August 12, 2005
THE MUSE RESPONDS!
Photograph by Ted Lukac
So there I was on one of the hottest, most suffocatingly humid days of the year, a pristine beach lying just down the road, and what am I doing? Bustling around a stifling kitchen like some grandma from another era, with the oven cranked to 400 degrees. That's right; I'm baking a pie for my muse. Well, you know what they say about us writer people. Bonkers, every one of us.
Since I was alone in the house, I was also talking to myself. Or maybe talking to my muse. Telling her about my literary aspirations, and reminding her of my continuing struggle with sloth and self-doubt. (As if she didn't know!) If the pie came out perfect, would she do something about that please?
"Not my job," the muse responded crankily. "My job is to give you ideas, which I do in abundance--if you're too flaky to use them, it's not my problem." (If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a wiseass muse.)
So yes, I was baking a pie, but I also had the distinct sense of performing some literary witchcraft. Me and my friend, Susan, who I've never met baking the same crazy pie in the same crazy August heat. By then, I'm not only talking to myself and my wiseass muse, I'm laughing out loud all alone in the house. Hmmm...what was it I said about writers?
Anyway, the pie was magnificent. And the best thing about baking for your muse is that you get to eat the results yourself--which I did, two whole pieces. Though I'm usually a Calvinist when it comes to dessert, this was different. This was for Literature, capital L. Gorging on a couple of pieces of pie was the least I could do!
So that was Wednesday, and I have to admit yesterday was a pretty good day writing- wise. I got up to find that overnight several of my incredibly wonderful and unbelieivably kind blogging friends had left some really nice comments about my last post. Do you guys have any idea how happy you made me?
A little later, I set off to the post office to mail a manuscript off. There I ran into my friend, Gina, who is one of the few pure souls on this earth. Serendipity! Immediately, I called her to the counter so she could bless the manuscript before it was shipped off. I was going to ask Kristen, my favorite at the post office, to join in the ritual, but she looked a little freaked out by our odd behavior already.
At home, I added six pages to a long neglected writing project. And if that wasn't enough to make it a banner day, I got an email from Literary Mama, telling me that my story, "Live Pure, Live True" was up on their site. Whoa! Is this a coincidence or does my muse really like blueberry pie?
All I can say is that if the manuscript I posted yesterday is accepted, I'll apologize for calling my muse a wiseass and make her a pie every year for the rest of my life. And if it's not? Well, I'll still keep writing and baking pies. We writers never give up.
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Just finished reading "Live Pure, Live True". I don't want to be a spoiler, so I'll just say what Maddy did caught me completly off guard. I really enjoyed your story! Great detail, great pacing, and the characters were well drawn-they had depth, and were complex. No black and white here!
Thanks, Patty. Your words mean a lot. It also means a lot that you took time to read the story when you're leaving for Qatar in 2 (?) days. I'd be in a state of total discombobulation...if that's a word.
Yes Bonkers, but very funny and true.
Holding my thumbs for you.
(Do we do that in English? I'll knock on wood, just in case.)
(Er... easier said than done, in a modern cubicle. No wood anywhere. God knows what this desk is made of. Wait! There's my little wooden Buddha. That should be extra specially lucky, right?)
Ah, well I know about baking one's muse a pie! I baked what wound up being a sour-cream and fresh blackberry-based cheese cake (No I didn't set out to bake a cheese cake, it was accidental cheese cake!) and yes, it seemed to do more than appease the muses!
Dale: I'm not familiar with the term "holding my thumbs," but if it brings good luck I'm all for it. And yes, by all means, if you can interest the Buddha in my cause,by knocking or otherwise, that would be great. Of course, he would probably advise me against my excessive attachment...
Jordan: The fresh blackberry cheesecake sounds wonderful. I expect great things from your muse.
And R: Yes, bonkers forever.
I just finished reading the story myself. I thought it was wonderful. It is one of those where the reader starts the sequel after reading it.
Thanks so much, Vickie. I can't imagine a nicer compliment.
wishing you loads of luck! i think you are hugely talented, it would be wonderful to see your work published, would feel really happy for you!
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