Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ma Muse, Ma Maitresse

  For a couple of months I've been scared that my novel-in-progress has been slipping away from me. It started in the spring when I decided to contribute to the story comp, A Matter of Words. I set the novel aside to do rewrites of my short story and it has been extremely difficult to come back. 
  Sometimes I would write a page or two and it would slip away again. My heart still felt for it, BURNED for it; but my mind just couldn't find anyplace to get a good grip. This has been the sum of the last three months. Reading the last few pages written over and over again. Staring at that last sentence and not knowing at all what comes next. 
  I didn't stop writing altogether. A couple of short stories have been written; stuff of which I am proud. Still, I wanted my story back! I was having so much fun with those guys. Where did they go? 
  Yesterday I watched a documentary on Amazon Prime about the early days of the Los Angeles hard rock scene, 1975-1981. It told of the bands that made it big: Van Halen,Motley Crüe, Ratt, and W.A.S.P. Also told were the stories of the bands that didn't make it. Those that fell apart, its members splitting off to form other bands, and those that were left unsigned to fade into obscurity. And the majority of the interviews were with those guys, the ones left behind.
  A story was told in that documentary that remained with me this morning, a story of a collection of amplifiers loaned from band to band. That story then whispered a bit of inspiration into MY story.

  This morning I completed the scene that had been eluding me for so long. Once again I was surprised by what I had written. The scene did not flow down the path I had intended, the river found it's own path. A minor character is now a major player and I know this is what the muse wanted. My story is back, and writing that shit was fun! Changing rock 'n' roll history, page by page.
  I think what I've learned is that I need to treat the muse as my mistress. She is second only to my living, breathing wife and family. I can't mislead her or force her to travel in directions she does not want to go. This story that I've spent the last year trying to write is now my creative priority. I love this story and it's begging to be told! So I'm going to tell it to its end without interruption from other stories, short or long. Any and all ideas will be written into my idea notebook and there they will have to sit and wait their turn. 
  The muse, I believe, will wear many guises in our future. For some stories she may be sweet and kind, for others a strict taskmaster. Maybe someday the muse might be a grizzled old man pulling up in his junk pick-up shouting, "Get in, fucker!"
  At the moment she's a rough and tumble bitch in a broken zipper leather jacket, holey jeans, and a beat up pair of Chuck Taylors. Her mascara runs down her cheeks and her lipstick is smeared clear the fuck across her face. She swears constantly and refuses to wash her hair or wear a bra. She rebels against any push to make her act any other way. So I will be loyal to the muse. In return, I believe she will help me to tell my story to completion and place it in your hands. I can't wait!