(First posted February 2002)
Disclaimer: Don’t need one this time.
Note to the reader: This was written in response to a challenge/request by JohnsKeedvaBBQ to describe our
“Muses”. After reading this, Scapeartist determined that I don’t have ‘a muse’, I have ‘an amusement park’.
That might be the best description for what happens whenever The Youses Muses Gang stops by my house. It
can get pretty intense. I’m talking about Voices Of Reason in this a couple of times. It was very close to being
finished, the first six parts or so had been posted, and I was on a “Reply High” from the responses on the
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The fever burns within.
Farscape Dementia, Farcosis, The Well Of Farcosis … The Pit Of Hungry Drannits. A blinding vision of
someone else’s creation. Wrap myself in the images, vivid scenery surrounds me, the voices enter my ear.
Walk the stars, find a home, emptiness of losing all that’s familiar. Love, hope, perseverance … Aeryn.
Strength can be beautiful, capability gorgeous. John Everyman Crichton struggling to live and love … a symbol
for something much closer. It’s his voice mostly I hear.
A thought enters in, a single idea, interrogatory most basic, offer it up, flung back with an invitation to
imagination. The fever burns within. Open my mind, the chains dropping off, stand straight reaching forward at
last. The damage of decades overturned in a day, reaching out with the fire in my mind to give something …
anything … back. A community of sharing, of caring. No judgmental looks, no shrinking away, they let me be
who I am.
Ahhh, the voice in my ear, breaking in at all hours. A new perspective on life, finding impact in everything, a
rapier spearing small moments for later. Life with a laptop, twenty-four-seven, a small notebook goes
everywhere for when the whispers suggest, write it down before it runs off like a breeze. Reading takes a new
hue, notes from SciAm to make sure its correct. The Man Inside My Head insists on a base of reality, its NOT
turtles all the way to the bottom.
The shouting begins, breaking down my front door, the crew rushes in, insisting I’m telling it wrong. They point
out the errors, the missing scenes, the great battles (Rygel the hero? Come again? Won‘t get fooled again, I
won‘t do it.) Pizza boxes on the floor, my Guinness is gone, the printer is smoking. Get out of here, I’ll finish on
my own!! They won’t leave. My muse is a crowd, a cacophony of yelling, insisting I get it just right. And now a
new character, someone a bit different, he’s sitting in my Lazy-Boy waiting his turn.
A Moment goes by, but belonging to just One Man. A glimpse into new lands. I reach in so deep, I let
something else loose, the writer’s curse and blessing is found. I turn away from the trauma, the memory which
must be cast off, and dive deep back into Known Territories so strange. I search and find the funnier moment,
the lightness, the brightness, the love. I put on music to dance with the muse, spiraling inward and outward,
bittersweet moments of relief … Bookends. NOW, I’ve given something in return.
The bar is set so high, by those who’ve gone before me. Emotive words burning the screen. The muse must
do better, must seek new capacity. Delve deeper, fly higher, share the vision, give back. I paint the scenery,
another paints the heart in three line wonders of cadence. I learn more. The fever burns within. My freight
train screams down the track, two signalmen keeping it straight. (OK, signal-women.) Support, kind words,
FAN E-MAIL! flood in. A fantasy high but humbling as well. I need to remain true to the source. They’ve given
to me, I need to give back.
A new whisper has entered, words unfamiliar, scenery unlike what we’ve all seen. It’s getting louder,
demanding attention, requiring new effort from me. Like the cry of a child, it can not be ignored for much
longer. The new voices there tease me to come, beckoning with original wonder. Something new, an interview
… to get the new lead just right. And hiding even deeper a three book arc … John and Aeryn … but that would
be telling and must wait.
But for now I embrace this place. Beckoning the muse needs only a sharp whistle, it comes running like a dog
for its dinner. Fur flying, ears flapping, golden retriever eagerness to please, drooling, barking, and shedding.
I love it, I hate it, I wish it were gone, I’d never consider giving it up for adoption. It demands regular tending, will
gnaw on my furniture when ignored.
And now … Frell!! A Challenge … look away quickly, perhaps it didn’t notice. Stand frozen, raw eggs in hand,
pan heating with warm empty poppings … words singing again, a tune half written asking for form. Take a deep
breath, put breakfast away unbroken, answer the muse, care for it well. Its given me new life, purpose, and
One last idea still floats, a raucous, drunken celebration … John’s voice at the summit. It’s his voice I hear,
everyman searching, when the call comes early or late. I see his strength, I see his weakness, I see all of us
striving in life. I see the heroism of small actions, sometimes just tenacity winning, hanging on until winds
change in our favor. It’s the small things in life that combine into big, the small people winning out over furor.
My muse is that voice, even when speaking from another perspective. It wears leather pants (yum), strides in
thick leather boots, black duster swirling around it. I just wish it would let me finish my breakfast.
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