Monday, December 30, 2013

My Muse is a Stern Taskmaster

I'm 44 years old.  I've always wanted to have a book published.  I think I even wanted that when I was in the womb.  But wanting something and getting what you want are two entirely different things.  I've tried writing many manuscripts and something always went wrong with every single one.  My biological clock is ticking, except I want a book and not a baby.

The best part of writing is when you can hear the characters speak to you.  The words appear on the page and you have barely any concept of writing or typing them.  Hours fly by and you feel more and more awake as words go onto the page.

I have made money as a writer.  I basically get paid to summarize very long chunks of information for the general public.  Writing a novel is much different. 

But it's much easier when you have a Muse.  The Muse helps you complete the work.  Although I am an atheist, I do believe I have a Muse.  And he's a stern taskmaster.  He starts talking about 8pm and won't shut up for another 10 hours, whether I need to sleep or not.  He just talks and talks and if I'm sleepy enough I see him in my hypnagogic dreams.  He sends me brief flashes of his story, like mailing me snapshots.

My Muse is Sherlock Holmes, but I'm only allowed to call him Mr. Holmes -- well, his parents named him Sherlock Holmes.  This  photo of Jeremy Brett is what my Muse looks like.  He's a very hard man to ignore.  He does, however, fall abruptly silent when something urgent happens in the house -- the dog needs to go outside, Mom needs her dinner or someone knocks at the door.

I've now completed a prologue and seven chapters.  I'm doing it on Microsoft Word for now because that's the program I'm most used to.  Right now, all of the chapters are in separate documents stored in a folder with the novel's working title, Not the New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  I suppose I'll have to format the whole thing differently if I want to publish it as an e-book or submit it to a traditional publishing house.

I just wish he'd change his working hours so I can work in the day and sleep at night.  Oh well -- I guess no Muse is perfect.

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