Quest for the Missing Muse

What a long strange trip this has been. My life no sooner settled down somewhat from the turmoil left by Hurricane Harvey last August than a new circus came into town. I sold my house and relocated. The process of negotiating the sale, searching for a new place to live, packing, moving, and unpacking took more time and more out of me than I ever would have imagined.

It occurred to me after the fact that I could have made it all less arduous had I regarded it as a personal odyssey.

For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like writing. I don’t lack for ideas; I just don’t have the compulsion to do anything with them. Where is my Muse? Is she embalmed in bubble wrap at the bottom of a yet unopened packing crate?

Creative friends tell me I’m worn out. They assure me that my spark will reignite. I suspect, though, that this is like writer’s block. And I know the cure for writer’s block is to write. Inspiration does not come and settle on a writer’s shoulders like fairy dust. The Muse must be invited. The writer must prove worthiness by doing the work even on those days when creativity not only doesn’t spark, it’s undetectable.

With the intent of reestablishing my writing habit, I charged myself with writing to a daily prompt. I happened to have an ancient (December 2000) edition of Writer’s Digest magazine with 365 prompts. The guidelines are to write about 75 words. I needn’t worry about whether the writing is any good, or if the story will ever be finished much less developed further. The goal simply is to write, every day.

Hans_Thoma_-_Einsamer_Ritt_(1889)knightonhorsebackBut I learned my lesson from my tortuous relocation experience. I’m going to frame this as a heroic undertaking, a quest to find my missing Muse. Heroes on quests undertake tests to prove their stamina and commitment. My tests will be those daily writing assignments. I’ll leap into the saddle (my desk chair), unsheath my sword (my pen), and ride into battle.

You can champion me on this quest to exhume my Muse from that packing crate. Like spectators at a jousting tournament, you can cheer me on with your comments. Feel free to make side bets as to how long this quest will take, or if I’ll be successful at all.


 

Today’s prompt was to describe a successful, confident writer.

Devorah Fox, world famous author. I confess I do smile when I’m in Walmart and see my novel displayed on the most conspicuous shelf. No mistaking it’s one of my creations. My name is in big bold capital letters, larger than the book’s title. Myu work is so well liked, it no longer matters what the story is. People know that if I wrote it, they will enjoy it.

I was changing planes the other day, on my way to a convention where I had been asked to deliver the keynote address. In the preferred-customer lounge, a perk paid for by the convention’s sponsors, I spotted a passenger reading my latest release. At about the same time, she looked up, saw me, and frowned. She flipped to the author photo at the back of the book and looked up again, this time with wide eyes and an open mouth.


 

About Dee

"What if?" Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of “The Redoubt,” voted one of 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2016, and three other books in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic historical fantasy series. She also co-authored the contemporary thriller, Naked Came the Sharks, with Jed Donellie. She contributed to Masters of Time: a SciFi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology and has several Short Reads to her name, including Murder by the Book, A Mystery Mini. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in The Barefoot Palace on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats ... and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.
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