Never go drinking with your muse

My muse and I recently went out to a local biker bar and slammed down a case of Budweiser and several guys wearing badass tattoos and dirty clothes who thought we didn’t belong there.

We probably shouldn’t have made fun of the bikers who were drinking lite beer or were riding Mopeds.

My muse does not look like this.

The good thing about going to a biker bar is this: nobody asks what you do for a job. They assume the answer is either nothing or something illegal and that asking is a good way to get beat up. Suffice it to say, biker bars don’t have Enya on the jukebox. So, don’t expect much empathy there.

The bad thing about drinking with your muse is that she doesn’t like excuses. When you explain why you haven’t been writing lately due to __________, she says “So what?”

Yes, I’m trying to juggle three writing projects at the same time. That’s a first for me. I don’t like it. When I try to tell my muse why I don’t like it, she laughs and comes up with profanity so bad I didn’t even hear it in the navy.

As I told another writer years ago, “I don’t have a muse because high school literature courses portrayed muses as women who looked like they were dying of consumption or thought they were princesses.”

After saying that, a lady named Siobhan showed up and announced that she was my muse. The first thing I learned was that if I mispronounced her name, she’d kick the crap out of me. The second thing I learned was that she’s more psychic than I am. (For those of you who didn’t grow up speaking Gaelic, her name is pronounced “Shivahn.”)

“I want the best for you and your writing,” she always tells me. My response is usually, “You’re the lady who invented tough love, right?”

After a few Buds, we’re saying things that shouldn’t be said. Yet, I have to say, muses are more forgiving than spouses. You can tell as muse to “_____ off,” and she’ll always be there. You can’t say that to your wife or husband.

Basically, my muse thinks I’m hiding behind the research. That is, that I’m doing research long after it no longer matters and that it’s time to start writing the story. Okay, she may have a point. I do have a tendency to over-research everything I write. Maybe that’s because I started out as a journalist and a technical writer. Or, maybe that’s because maintaining that I’m still doing research is a good way to avoid doing any real writing.

I don’t think I’m the only writer who does this even though I’d probably buy a Harley if the main character in one of my novels rode a Harley. Accuracy’s important, right?

My muse said, “that’s a crock.” She also said, “Why aren’t you writing the story yet?” My answer is always, “Because I’m scared that I can’t.” Suffice it to say, she doesn’t buy that.

Malcolm

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