I don't usually talk about muses as concrete beings that come and go. And if the writing isn't going well, it's usually because there is something wrong with the story itself, and that once I make the connection it all runs freely again.
But the last few months have been different. I definitely felt like I was "writing into the mist" with my Christmas novella, unsure of myself, of what I was doing, if what I had done worked (sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't and my editor's discerning eye told me which was which). Briefly the old muse returned as I raced through the front third of a totally different story than the one I was scheduled to write. It was fun and I had a blast working on it...but I've had to put it aside briefly to get to work on the first of my rancher duet.
I was even excited to get to work on this story. And then my muse went on vacation. I'd say she went to Sorrento with my critique partner Michelle, only Michelle was only gone a week and my muse has been flitting about for longer than that. I started this silly story three times, finally thinking I might have started in the right place with number three. And I sent it to my CP.
Well. The letter that came back was wild...the gist being, what the heck is wrong with you and do I need to call? I'm worried. (See, this is why I love my cp). Ok...number three in the trash heap.
So maybe what my muse needed (and me too) is Michelle's very firm boot up her arse. I know why the first attempts failed, all three were for different reasons and reason number three was the worst of them all. So I opened a new document. I'd read a couple of posts lately on opening lines and I thought, I need something meaningful. I changed my font, double spaced my document, and wrote CHAPTER ONE.
Beneath it, I wrote "There were times in life you either had to go big, or go broke."
In that one sentence, my confidence came back with a rush. I could either shut myself away and be negative, or I could come out swinging. I've always preferred the swinging end of things. Suddenly questions Michelle had asked were answered with some clarity. Suddenly I had characters who were acting.
Today I found a couple of songs too...the way songs come to me for books is random and usually out of the blue...not sure why I thought of Josh Groban, but I found a youtube clip of a song not on his main albums and ended up finding two songs that just spoke to me. I LOVE it when that happens...and it usually does, if I wait for it.
Between yesterday and today I've written chapter one and the start of chapter two.
And I'm excited.
And I love my heroine.
And I love my hero.
The muse is back in the building!
I'm so relieved.