Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Inconvenient Muse

(X-posted on the Tri Mu Blog.)

I had my eyes closed. I’d recently gotten back from a strenuous two hours of hooping, and now I was lying on three inches of memory foam. My brain had already begun drifting on the waves of sleep, and then there were words.

Initially I ignored these words, but they had changed the current of the waves, dragging me closer to consciousness. I was tired. I was comfortable. It had been a long day.

But there were words.

So, after the words charged through my mind a second time, I peeled back my eyelids, rolled over, and fumbled for a pen. Once captured on paper, the insistent words were trapped, unable to bug me, and I slept.

That is how my muse chooses to show herself sometimes. At inconvenient moments—close to sleep, in the shower, operating a vehicle—my muse will appear, dangling a clever snatch of dialogue, the perfect description, or the missing piece of plot. Not all the time, mind you, but every once in a while. It’s why I keep something to write with near my bed. Because, while the muse might have been kicking me in the head last night, when I woke this morning, I’d not only forgotten what the words were, I’d forgotten I wrote them at all until I stumbled over the handful of paragraphs this afternoon.

It happens like that sometimes.

Typically, the muse comes to those who are at the keyboard, already working. But, once in a blue moon, she shows up with no warning at all. Often she picks what seems like random and inconvenient moments, but take heed of the words she leaves in her wake. Write them down. They are not all gold, but they tend to be slippery suckers. If you ignore the words, they may drift back where they came from, leading to a frustrating, and many times fruitless, search.

Ever know you thought of something, figured something out, stumbled on the perfect idea/phrase, but not be able to remember what it was? Terribly frustrating. So, bad timing or not, record the words.

Anyone else have an ill-timed visit from the muse recently? Did she leave you with good words?

No comments: