Friday, August 31, 2007

The Vanishing Muse

'She' is a very elusive lady. Well, writers tend to refer to her as 'She', but I'm not so sure. I think I just have to assign an indeterminate gender - rather like something ethereal from a science fiction film. Anyway, It is never around when I need it.

In the middle of the night, ideas flow fast, when I least want them to be there, for I never have been a night owl. In the supermarket, amongst the exotic fruit and veg. I can be overcome with a storyline totally unrelated to my circumstances. Now, I do own a tiny voice recorder, but I haven't really managed to steel myself to grabbing it out of my handbag and start talking into it in a public place, and I've definitely thought of my most witty poetic lines whilst driving, when speaking into a small machine could be misconstrued as using a mobile whilst in control of a car. I can guarantee that my most inspired (and probably warped) ideas are no longer reachable after a day spent crowd-controlling small children in a classroom. All I want to do then is lie down in a darkened room with a large gin and an icepack on my head.

Like all 'real' writers, along with the rejection slips, I do have a notebook (Moleskine for preference) that I carry with me at all times, and I am not above writing a few sneaky notes on overheard conversations at airports or interesting characters I spot across Borders coffee shop. Who knows, one day, I might even use them in a story.

So, today, when I have a writing brief (from the class that I attend) and an idea about the lines along which it might develop, how come I just cannot encourage my Muse in order to write the short story that will bring me to the attention of short-fiction editors everywhere? Or even just one?

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