On the Frustration of Mistimed Inspiration

Fortunately for me, my personal muse is both prolific and diverse, gracing me with a wonderfully varied flow of story ideas. Unfortunately, she hasn’t quite got her timing down right.

For example, the other day I was sitting around, minding my own business, when she gifted me with a brilliant idea. Of course, I don’t remember the idea now, but I know it involved time travel and was a wonderfully complex and interwoven plotline. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of driving out to a job site, and by the time I finished work, my muse had given up on me and taken off, probably for someplace sandy and warmer. Deserted for a desert.

On the other hand, after I’ve gotten home from work, when my laptop is close at hand and I am completely ready to write, my muse is usually off gallivanting, nowhere to be found. “I am an open book, ready for inspiration!”, I will yell, but my muse is far from earshot. I will stare at a blank page, struggling for a story to write, until I eventually give up and watch television.

On one hand, maybe I can trap my muse the next time she shows her face. Handcuff her to a radiator, or lock her in the basement. Of course, I don’t have any radiators in my apartment and the basement lock is on the inside, so I am ill-prepared for her capture. Even if I make the necessary preparations, though, I doubt that a captured muse would yield the same level of inspiration as one that is permitted to run wild.

So to my muse, my inspiration, who is generous with her gifts but awful with her timing, I say this: thank you for the ideas. Your stories range from intimate and funny to grand and far-reaching, and you refuse to limit me to a single genre. Your ideas are sometimes serious, sometimes funny, and sometimes a perfect blend of the two. Keep on providing me with this same level of brilliance, and we will go far together.

Just please, o muse, try to share your gift with me in the late afternoon, when I can take the time to write it down.

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