Thanks to Kirsten at http//ascenicroute.wordpress.com/ for inspiring my own visits with the muse.
Orion is tilting in the sky, creeping to the west, heralding spring. In a month, our planet will lean toward the Milky Way gifting those of us who live in dry, high climates the most gorgeous views of the stars from Earth.
However, my life has leaned away from the starry sky of writing, tilting toward life’s situations, spinning its own story.
My sometime muse, Juan Reyes, perches on the end of my desk, holding the fifth chapter of my current novel between thumb and forefinger like a piece of literary road kill.
“I suppose you hold me responsible for this mess?” he asks, winking at me.
He’s wearing the same clothes he wore the day of his death, the day I red-shirted him in my first novel with a bullet hole over the left breast pocket and sonic flame thrower burns down the front of his camera vest. His waist-length dreads are gathered at his neck with a silver clip. The high cheek bones of an Aztec priest and the confident grin of a talented, if dead, cosmic videographer still amaze me – I wrote this gorgeous creature.
I sniff. “Well, what do you think? You wandered off on some damned galactic vision quest, leaving me alone and look what happened.”
He lights a cigarette, inhales deeply and smiles in my direction. I can almost smell the smoke.
“Don’t short out this monitor with some vain attempt to enter the corporeal world,” I shout. “It’s an iMac; it cost a fortune!”
He smiles the dark smile that broke hearts all over the universe as he shakes his head. “You twenty-first century writers think this overpriced, slick equipment is going to mine the creative recesses of your brains. Much better authors than you wrote with quill pens, pencils, or Sharpies. They didn’t allow distractions to get in their way, and they didn’t allow their personal lives to stop them.” His eyes glint at me and the edges of his body haze – a sure sign he’s leaving.
“You made the choice, my writer, ” he says. “You made the choice to concentrate on your life. Sometimes humans have to work the cards they’re dealt, but that means you have to look harder for inspiration. It is everywhere: in the imagination of friends, in the eyes of strangers, in the night sky. You just have to take the time and the courage to look.”
Juan blows me a kiss as the stars begin to glow through his body. “And, don’t forget, http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ is just around the corner. I’ll be sending you short bursts of inspiration, 21-cm wavelengths from the stars , but you’ll have to be alert and ready to receive them.”
I grab the nearest paper and stubby pencil and scribble for a few minutes. When I look up again, he’s gone. But, I know he’ll be back, sooner than later. And I’ll be ready.
How do you find your way back from life on Earth to the realms of writing?
Photos from Foter, art from Clkr.