Desperately Seeking the Muse
I work hard at most everything I do. These days, that means I am heavily focused on school work and trust me, there’s a lot to juggle there. I plan, trying to tighten up my lessons to be more effective in the classroom. I grade, holding the kids to the rubrics and expectations that come with being in 10th or 11th grade. I do administrative paperwork that is part reflection and part data analysis. Then there are the grade grubbers, kids in desperate need of guidance, and parents who ask for my time.
As a result, when I have the decks clear and can focus on my own writing, I’m often mentally tired. I certainly haven’t been feeling inspired to do long works of fiction so the various reviews, columns, and stories have been ideal. Still, there’s a part of me that feels like I have not taken full advantage of Crazy 8 Press, having an outlet for my own tales.
It doesn’t help that I vacillate between thinking I can successfully write fiction or should strictly focus on non-fiction pieces. I have come to often doubt my skills, especially after carefully analyzing the works of others in my classes. Still, there are characters and worlds I have played with that I would very much like to get back to before the window of opportunity closes.
Way back in the 1990s, I had an outline for a fictional story, inspired by events at college. I showed it around, got some feedback and was revising it when the files vanished. I have the research clippings, but the actual MS Word files vanished sometime between computers. They’ve never been seen since. And with each passing year, I feel less and less qualified to write about the lives of college students.
I have other half-finished projects lingering and I keep waiting for that spark of inspiration.
And that is one reason I really enjoy going to conventions. There, I spend hours with my peers and we talk writing, and the business of writing, and gossip, and trash talk and it’s wonderful. At Farpoint recently, Aaron Rosenberg got me focused once more on ReDeus, the shared universe he, Paul Kupperberg, and I co-created. In the last year, I managed a mere short story featuring my character, Gabby Trotter, and she was on a quest.
After talking to Aaron, I too am on a quest. I am determined to spend the coming weeks getting a ReDeus novel outline whipped into shape, building off the events of the final story in Beyond Borders our third anthology. Once you blow up the UN and kill a bunch of gods, you kinda want to know what happens next. Gabby was there so I need to figure out when she arrived in NYC and what she did after posting the video of this tragic event.
If the Muses were still around, I would like to think they will come visit me, whispering in my ear, and telling me where Gabby goes, who she encounters, and, most of all, why her.
Trust me, this is something I am very much looking forward to finding the answers to.