Chronicles of the Muse

Many years ago, I began writing stories of the Muse. She lives in my head, and she's the source of my work. She used to be the only source, but after a while she got some companions. She's not all that happy about it. Because I thought it might entertain you, I think I shall reprint some Chronicles of the Muse in this journal. And maybe it'll entice her to come back and visit me. 

These entries were written when I was writing Nocturnal Urges. The book to which she refers, Absence of Light, is the third book in the Sanctuary series, as yet unwritten. - Mgmt.


Oct. 28, 2003

My mental picture of The Muse looks a lot like Aurora Crawford. She's darker than I am, with long hair she keeps in a braid so it'll stay the fuck out of her face. She's got a Sarah Connor physique, a nasty scar on her arm* and chain-smokes, although I've never smoked. She wears a black tank top, black jeans and black combat boots, plus a black leather jacket when I let her out to play.

Her basement abode** is very plain, with a thin mattress in the corner, a punching bag and weights. She carries a combat knife and a Desert Eagle .44 at all times.

She gets restless often, and starts beating on the basement walls when I won't let her out to play. She's not a very cheerful person, but she's a demon for work.

She's banging on the door. She wants to talk about Absence of Light.

I don't. I have too many other things to do. But she kicked open the basement door.

MUSE: You gonna listen to me now?
ME: No. You hear me? I said no.
MUSE: Look, bitch. I've been working like a mad bastard all month.
ME: And I greatly appreciate it. We've gotten a lot of work done, and I think it's going to pay off.
MUSE: (muttering) Not the way YOU run things.
ME: What was that? What did you say?
MUSE: Nuthin. Look, I'm not saying we write the whole fuckin' thing. Gimme a two-page treatment.
ME: You don't know HOW to do a two-page treatment.
MUSE: That's not MY fault. I write fast and clean. Then you get to messin' with it and it gets twice as long.
ME: Oh, bite me.
MUSE: Don't tempt me, woman. Let me do the fuckin' treatment.
ME: No! I said no, you hear me? Get back down in the goddamn basement and get to thinking about something that will actually make us some money!
MUSE: No fuckin' way. I am not messing with that bullshit YOU wanna do next.
ME: What? We could SELL that one!
MUSE: It sucks. It sucked when we wrote it, and the smell ain't improving with age.
ME: Well, we're not doing Absence of Light, either. I can't believe you even have a goddamn title.
MUSE: Hey, bitch. I can go on strike, you know.
ME: Go screw yourself. We're doing the ghost story next, and that's final.
MUSE: Fuck you!
ME: Right back at you.

(Muse slams basement door, pounding of battered punching bag ensues.)

* She got the scar from a broken glass bottle in a drunken fight years ago. She wasn't drunk, the guy she was fighting was.
** It strongly resembles the basement of the house I lived in from 2000 to 2003.

Nov. 19, 2003

MUSE: *knock knock*
ME: You're supposed to be working.
MUSE: You know, Thomas has a seeeecret.
ME: Yeah, I know.
MUSE: But does the public know? I mean, that's the sort of thing that could be really damaging to him. Dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, causing the death of a hero of the resistance, fucking MUTINY...
ME: Everybody knows about that. [redacted names]... they all know.
MUSE: But it was never made public.
ME: Nobody would believe them anyway. Everybody else is dead.
MUSE: But what if [redacted] left them some proof...
ME: [redacted]'s already holding the letter.
MUSE: That's personal. Someone else would have this proof. Proof that Thomas' camp wouldn't want to get out...
ME: Shut up.
MUSE: And what if the someone else was murdered...
ME: Thomas wouldn't do that. He's a war hawk, not a murderer.
MUSE: Wouldn't THAT be interesting.
ME: Would you shut the fuck up? We are NOT doing Absence of Light! So get the fuck downstairs and think vampire!
MUSE: *sulks* Just go write this down. I'll work on your fucking vampires. And I'm gonna name one of 'em after YOU.
ME: Go fuck yourself.

Dec. 2, 2003

ME: (knocking on basement door) Hey! Open up!
MUSE: What the hell do you want?
ME: We had a deal, missy. You stay the fuck out of my dreams!
MUSE: Don't blame me. The Dream Fairy sends whatever she wants. I had nothing to do with it.
ME: Uh huh. Sure. Post-apocalypse? A journey across the U.S. on foot? Several familiar faces?
MUSE: That's not in Absence of Light. Can't blame me.
ME: Nooooo. But it sure as hell fits with the stuff you want to be working on, isn't it?
MUSE: (smirks) Fun, wasn't it?
ME: Oh yeah, leading a group of people in the world's biggest long-term hike, dealing with food supplies, medical crises, keeping track of the whole group so no one gets misplaced, and that old son of a bitch who wouldn't take orders from a woman... that was a ball.
MUSE: Make a great story, huh? Even another novel? After all, how is the ELA supposed to contact the West Coast? Pick up the phone?
ME: Goddammit! Vampires! Would you think about Isabel?
MUSE: I don't like Isabel. She's dull as dishwater.
ME: Me neither! So let's fix her so she becomes someone interesting! We've only got four weeks and might I remind you Christmas is coming?
MUSE: I'm getting my twenty bucks back.
ME: Ha! I knew it! You and the Dream Fairy are plotting against me!
MUSE: Should've known even a super-intense plot dream wouldn't get through YOUR thick skull.
ME: I don't believe this. This is mutiny!
MUSE: Tell it to the Dream Fairy. I've got work to do.

Dec. 4, 2003

ME: (kicks down basement door) I knew it!
(Dream Fairy and Muse look up from the table where they're playing cards.)
MUSE: Hey, I'm not allowed a break?
ME: You. You traitor.
DREAM FAIRY: Surely you are not addressing me.
MUSE: And don't call her Shirley. (They both crack up.)
ME: Oh great, it's the Subconscious Comedy Hour.