A Muse Needs Something to Work With

Nobody takes muses seriously, not even the creative types. Or, in my case, someone who just thinks he’s creative. Seriously: You try working with him. Were I real and not an anthropomorphic personification, I’d wonder who I pissed off to get assigned to him. To hear him talk, he wonders the same thing about me. He’s not the easiest guy to work with. I go to inspire him and what does he do? Looks into making chair bottoms out of paracord. Then he goes off and thinks about making a paracord hammock; then whether he can turn a shaving brush handle without a jaw chuck; then about soap making; then he goes off on a tangent and thinks about how to build metal working machines out of concrete and how to turn them into computer controlled thingamajigs. He wasn’t joking in a writing prompt the Sunday before last about running Easter calculations though his head. He’ll take a notion and do it. For “fun.” Try inspiring that.

Did he take my suggestion of jotting down the nudges of inspiration I send his way? Noooo. He doesn’t want to stop what he’s doing. “I’ll remember it later.” Yeah, right. That does happen – sometimes. So I give him nudges and he’s doing whatever and ignores it, and then racks his brain for ideas. Or he’ll reject my suggestions out of hand. Last week I gave him a perfectly good idea to a writing prompt. “Can’t use that,” he says, “it’s a double entendre.” As if he doesn’t like them. Then last Friday, when I give him an idea of a satire about ESPN, he goes “They (Disney) will sic lawyers on me, and the idea’s not funny.” Hey, I just provide the inspiration. If it wasn’t funny, it was because he was too scared to go for the jugular. It wasn’t like anyone would read it, anyway.

Look: I’m a muse, the representation of inspiration. Doing something with it is the creative type’s job. Once I give the nudge, it becomes his problem. It’s not like he gave me much to work with last week.

For instance, did he read? No: he had his mind on other things. Okay, so some of it was cranking out essays. Still, who ever heard of a writer who doesn’t read? When he does, it’s rarely fiction, which wouldn’t be bad if he went strictly non-fiction. But he wants to write fiction. The last time he read some fiction, he picked up all sorts of nudges and not a one a knock-off or derivative. We’re talking socko stuff here. Believe it or not, he followed up on some of it, too. Then he gives me nothing to work with, and whines I’m not doing my job. Hey, bub: how about giving me some material once in a while. Read good books; listen to good music. Do something. I can’t pull inspiration out of thin air, you know.

Oh, but to listen to him you’d think I was off doing my nails, or chatting with other anthropomorphic personifications. He’s even insinuated I slip off with Emperor Mong. No, not Ming; Mong. Oh, never mind. Here I am, doing my best with what I have, and does he appreciate it? Of course not. No one takes us seriously.

Of course I’d rather hang with Mong. Even that creepy dude in the black robe. It has to be better than this.

Sigh. I guess I could give him a few clues. “Not getting inspired while stressed? What does that tell you? Come on: This isn’t rocket science. If you can run calculations in your head, you can figure this out. You can’t harvest corn if you don’t plant the seeds, you know.” Would he listen for a change?

Ah, to blazes with it. I wonder if Mong’s got plans for tonight.