literature

The muse vs. the artist

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Literature Text

Muses can be everything: that song that plays on the radio while you are in the supermarket, a random thought that suddenly pops up in your head for no good reason, maybe even a cat staring out of the window in the same boring way you are staring at him; as long as it give you inspiration to create something. Mine comes in many forms too, but usually he's a person. Yes, 'he'. I know muses are usually portrayed as women, but mine is a guy. Why? I don't know. I guess it makes him feel more comfortable.

I was sitting on the couch, feet resting on the coffee table. It is my favourite spot in the house - mainly because there is power outlet right next to it. The cable of my laptop isn't that long, you see. Speaking about that piece of clever electronics; it was humming happily on my lap. Its screen was filled with words - but no new ones were added and the old ones weren't changed. They weren’t even deleted. The cursor stood still in the middle of some random sentence, flicking on and off. I was the heartbeat of the document, but it couldn't slumber more.

'I've got a great idea,' a voice said next to me. Well, next to me; it was in my head, but it pretended to be next to me.

'Good for you,' I told it, 'but please save it for later; I'm busy with something else now.'

The man - just as imaginary as his voice - leaned over my shoulder. Then he gave me a crooked smile that didn't do a thing to hide his complacency.

'I can see that,' he said, while pointing at the screen. 'Very busy...' He pronounced that second to last word in such a way that it seemed twice as long as it actually was.

I rolled my eyes. My muse was being an ass again.

'You can also leave me alone.' I told him. 'I would be glad if you did that more often - especially when I'm at work. I need to do other things there you know.'

Mr. Muse shrugged. Of course he didn't care. The guy always came along when he wanted to.

'You could also draw something,' he said.' That painting you've been working on would look so much better with a slightly different background. Or go work on your costumes. I've come up with a little craft experiment involving duct tape and acrylic caulk that might be useful for you. Better work on them anyway; they need to be done before April.'

'I know they need to be done before April, but now I want to write.'

'Then you should go to chapter thirty-one. You know...' he winked at me in such a naughty way it still gives me goosebumps, 'that romantic chapter.'

Thirty-one?! That was miles away.

'I'm still busy editing chapter three...' I muttered.

And, at the moment I’m writing this, I’m still doing that. George R.R. Martin will certainly have finished his a Song of Ice and Fire series by the time I’m done with this chapter; that’s how slow I go.

My eyes returned to my laptop screen and I forced the words out of my fingertips. It didn't go well at all. I didn't hear the clicks of the keyboard as much as I wanted to and the few words I did manage to get down got destroyed by a few taps on the 'delete' button almost immediately.

The muse wasn't doing a lot to help me, of course. He had stood up from the couch to pace around my coffee table, focusing on the things only he found interesting.

'Stars...' he mumbled, 'you should do something with them. Oh, and magic, of course. to spice that chapter up a bit.'

'Please stop throwing in random words. It doesn't improve my workflow.'

He laughed. 'What workflow?' Then he stopped, as if my lack of productivity had inspired him to come to a standstill as well. His lips curled up again, in a way I knew too well. In case you haven’t noticed yet: not all smiles are joy’s trademark. This one is a bad omen. Really bad. Mischief twinkled in his eyes. I had to do my best not to groan out loud.

Here it comes...  I thought to myself, what has he come up with this time?

'You can draw me -'

'- Draw you? Again?'

The correct answer to my own question would be something along the lines of 'don't even think about it', but that was pointless. I draw my own muse. A lot. And I write about him too. He has a face and a personality, so why not? I like doing that and he must like the attention, considering how often he's asking for it - until I make a drawing of him doing something highly embarrassing.

Mr. Muse raised one eyebrow in response, while the other one dropped so low it almost hid his eye from sight. I don't think it is possible to create a face that's more asymmetric than that. You are very funny, but it would be great if you listened to me, his expression said.

'Yes, draw me.' His eyes started to twinkle even more. 'But in a scene from chapter thirty-one... Give the world a bit of fanservice.'

The pompous snob - that was the last thing I wanted to think about! I grabbed my computer and threw it in his face - mentally, of course. I didn't want to throw it for real. The thing was only three months old, it would be such a waste. My imaginary attack didn't hurt him - the non-existing version of my laptop just flew through his head, like he was made of smoke - but it looked like he got the point. The twinkle in his eyes disappeared and his lips returned to a normal position.

'I was only joking,' he said.

'It didn't feel like a joke to me - you can be terribly self-centered, you know. And that was put into kind words.'

He looked away, with a slight hint of guilt veiling his face. 'Ah...' was the only thing he managed to spill out - nothing close to a decent sentence.

'You can help me with this,' I asked him, hoping that butt-kicking his ego had made him a bit more cooperative. 'What sounds better; "by the gods", "by the stars" or "by my granny's beard"?'

A sly smile began to grow on his lips.

'And then go to chapter thirty-one?' he asked. 'You really should write down this idea of mine before I forget it. It's just a few lines, nothing big.'

I nodded. 'Sure.'

He stretched out his hand and touched the screen of my laptop and took the word document out of it as if he was picking up a simple piece of paper. It might just be my own imagination, but I can still be surprised by the lack of limits it has.

Mr. Muse flopped down on the couch. He put his feet on the coffee table next to mine and leaned back in the same ungraceful way as I did. His eyes glued themselves to his copy of the document, jumping from left to right as he devoured the words.

'"By my granny's beard" sounds the best,' he said after a couple of minutes. 'I can make a lovely mental picture about that. Maybe you can adjust the sentence over here too...'

I don't know what to do with this guy: hug him for giving me inspiration, or hit him on the head with my huge 'wok of death' bought at IKEA for being as cooperative as the average five-year-old. We can make pretty great things together - storylines, plot hole fillers, religions, entire worlds - as long as we are focused on the same thing. Too bad we usually seem to be completely out of phase. That can’t possibly be my fault, of course. I’m just the little idiot that tries to keep my laptop’s keyboard active. Oh well. At least the guy is quite good at throwing ideas at me, useful or not. Thank you, Mr. Muse.

Now, where is that wok?
I always talk to voices in my head... It's perfectly normal :3 Or should I seek help?

So yeah, welcome to my brain and my biggest source of inspiration. This is probably the vaguest thing I ever put on paper. I guess you need to know me a bit to get it. I keep most of my mental talks with my muse, or whoever the idiot is who's talking back at me, to myself. I don't know why this one had to be written down. Because I don't like people taking a peek into my mind, I wasn't so sure about uploading this. But sharing personal stuff is good, right?

Mr. Muse continues 'bothering' me at odd moments. Guess when inspiration hit me to write this: when I was taking a friggin' shower. Very annoying, since you can't write anything down when your hair is more foam and bubbles than anything else. And I have a lot of hair.

Oh, and before people start asking about 'chapter thirty-one': it doesn't exist. Well, the romantic chapter does exist, but I don't number the chapters of my manuscript. I just gave the beastie a number to make this easier to read for you. I will eventually give it a number though, when I know where it will end up. 

I wrote this quite some time ago, so Chapter 3 got finished while this was gathering dust. And about 'fanservice'; Mr. Muse got his way and I made that too. Lovely.

And yes; I make costumes out of duct tape and acrylic caulk. You can make wonderful things with that stuff!
© 2016 - 2024 queenofeagles
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elohveeE419's avatar

:+favlove: :clap: I likey, pretty interesting read..lol made me chuckle and grin few times, thank you Queen. Gems are indeed gems! and Why the hell haven't I read any of your writings before? :stupidme: feeling like a bad watcher.