Summoning the muse……

Another deadline looms. 

I have spent the past month working a lot and living in a shithole hotel in Ohio.  Since I like having the day job, the hotel shall remain nameless.  These circumstances have not made the muse happy.  After I offered her spaghetti with chili on it, an Ohio delicacy, she hopped a plane for New Orleans.  She sent me a text saying she was enjoying some jambalaya and a Hurricane in the Quarter.  Later, she was in Jackson climbing the Grand Teton.

I have witnessed the brilliant writer, Craig Childs, sit in a bar and crank out words while a disco ball spun and crappy eighties music blared.  Since I am not Craig Childs, and I can not write in the beige prison of a hotel room, I have tried a bookstore, a library, a quiet dive bar, a Starbucks, and a bagel shop.  I ended up buying books, reading books, drinking beer, drinking coffee, and having a cinammon raisin with cream cheese.  I had moderate success camping and sitting in a park.  Because of the arthritis, I can only write a few paragraphs by hand so both locales depend on battery life and the weather.

Still needing to churn several pages of manuscript and running out of time, I’m pulling out all the muse luring tricks.  I’m playing Alexi Murdoch’s “All my Days” (if I knew how to insert links, I’d put one here) which will be on the soundtrack when my book is turned into a movie…..after I finish writing it, find an agent, sell it to a publisher, and Hollywood finally comes calling.  The video is a twopher in muse calling because Alexi has the grungy, crunchy, granola look of the hikers populating my novel.

I have rubbed the buddha……that is not a euphemism for jacking off.  I have a little jade buddha the BSW gave me before I began my very long walk last summer.  He goes everywhere with me.  I have read the journal I kept of my journey.  I have looked at pictures of my little Princess and my Beautiful, Sunny Woman.  I have done all the silly rituals that usually let me settle into putting words on page.

So far, there is no sign of the muse.  Her last tweet indicated she was pub crawling in the East Village.   As Ann Hood said, “Let the record show that I showed up and did my part because I’m a writer, and that’s my job.”  I hope my muse shows up.  If not, to hell with her, and I’ll figure out a way to do it myself.

What are your rituals and traditions for creating?

I’m Darren, and I write…….sometimes more than others

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7 Responses to Summoning the muse……

  1. loriannv says:

    Long, hot shower and let your mind float. Follow it wherever it goes, and when you get out of the steamy shower you should have a direction. Works every time. Well, nearly every time. Mostly. Worth a try. Or you could just offer the Muse a Fat Tire and good head scratching.

  2. Kelly Gamble says:

    Write something completely different-a short story-a few blog posts for later–whatever. Or cut off the muse’s tattoo allowance, that will get her.

  3. christimcmillen says:

    I make a cd of music for each book I am working on. If I get stuck on one, I move to another~ making sure the music fits my mood. lol… I will also spend an hour in my shower, talking to myself as I work out the issues. (Hubby thought I was losing my mind until he realized what I was doing) lol.

  4. Rob Greene says:

    I’m not going to lay claim to any of that Craig Childs magic, but the Muse is with me … always. Sometimes he’s a lazy bastard who wants to read IO9 postings all day, but mostly I can get him pointed in the right direction. I think it’s the journalism background. Eleven-plus years of deadlines and banging out articles and editorials to fit was good training. Five years of teaching has made me a little flabby but most days I just sit down, put my hands on the keys and words come out.

  5. Natalie Kenney says:

    When I’m stuck and all of my usual jump-starters aren’t working, I try to think of something non-linear, something that I might want to happen in the book in the future. I tend to write out of order and let whatever comes out onto the page just be what it is – a possibility. We all know that we’re going to write some things that don’t make the final cut, but sometimes those ideas will either spark what needs to happen (and I can fill in the blanks later), or are so far off from my characters that I can then see where I strayed, and go back to the heart of the story. Who knows what exists in those moments between?

  6. Coffee first (usually about 3:30 a.m.), read emails and a conservative blog site that usually gets me to respond with gusto (and angst), I read from 4:00 to about 4:15 or so (2nd cup in the belly), and then I’m at it (writing) … until 6:00 a.m. news … then again from 7:00 to 7:20 or so (notes mostly) … right now since I’m back to work temporarily, I’m stuck doing the work thing (but I take notes on the job during down time) and when I’m home again (7:00 p.m. or so), it’s back to work until 8:15 or so … no muse. If one project isn’t in the head, I switch to another (always have 3 going at once). The blogging and reviews helps also because it too is writing.

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