When the Muse Does His Own Thing

My muse is kind of a bastard.

First, he (yes, he) gives me ideas that make my jaw drop, my eyes glaze over, and my heart trip hammer. But I’m driving. Or otherwise somewhere where I cannot write the idea down. Thankfully, I’ve circumvented this by having my phone on me at all times, so I can either dictate a note (driving) or tap out a quick text to myself while I’m waiting in line at the store.

Second, when I decide to sit down and write the story for which I got so excited, it’s not always the story the muse is up for exploring at the moment.
Muse: Oh! That character trait would work so much better on Donovan, your musician for that birthday fic you were writing Erin.
Me: But that was supposed to be for her only. Something special so she’d know how much I lurve her.
Muse: So? Ask her if you can turn it into a book, because damn!
Me to Erin: Hey, muse is being a dick again; can I turn your bday fic into a book? I’ll dedicate it to you because you’re so fawesome, but yeah, it kinda blew up and hey, here’s my visual inspiration. [throws her into Google Images to look up Sir-Blue-Eyes with the innocent face but oh my god, he’s beautiful with the not-so-innocent voice or body language]
Erin: Oh my word, he’s breathtaking. YES! MAKE ME A BOOK, WOMAN!
Muse: [smug grin]
Me: I knew you’d understand. [adds to the growing list of books to be written]

Third, publishing schedule? What publishing schedule?
Muse: Nah, I don’t feel like it today.
Me: Listen, asshole. I haven’t written in a month, since Long Fall of Night 1 came out, and I cannot afford to take these breaks. Do you want me to get stuck going back to Corporate America because you were coming down from ecstasy and now all your happy is gone? That’s really fucking selfish.
Muse: Are you threatening me? Because I can play much harder to get if you know what I mean.
Me: [narrows eyes] Oh really? Because I can think of a few things that make you pretty fucking unhappy, too, bitch. Like switching to something else. I bet I could write a knitting book. I wasn’t a half bad photographer, either.
Muse: You said the knitting was for family and for charity. And photography? What the fuck? You shoot three weddings and suddenly think you’re some big shot? You said other creative stuff would never come between us.
Me: What’s to come between? You’re on some kind getaway where all the other muses go to get high, fuck each other, and abandon your writers, so there’s practically a whole continent between us at the moment. If you’re gone, I have to do something. I’m not going to wait around for you to be ready for me. Two-way street, and you. are. failing.
Muse: Fine. But you’re not writing that. You’re writing this. [shoves new idea at me and makes the characters so loud, I have no choice but to comply]
Me: But! No! That’s not fair! I have readers, dude. They want the second LFoN book next! I can’t do a reaper story.
Muse: [grinning deviously] You wanted to write again, right? You can and you will.
Me: Fuck. [puts another tick in the Muse’s column]

Fourth, he knows I have exactly six hours before real life intrudes in which to get my daily quota (self-imposed) in. So he fiddle-farts around for four of those hours, and when I get exasperated and push in hour five for something productive despite his flighty attention span, he begrudges me a little bit of inspiration. In hour six, he opens the floodgates and oh my god this is so much fun, this is flowing, I’m in love with these characters and holy fucking hell they surprised me, and then I look at the clock, have about six ideas on where to go next, and see I have five goddamn minutes before I have to leave. So I scramble in those five minutes to write down the direction I want to go. Seriously, I have three notebooks on my desk at my fingertips, all with various stories, scene flashes, bits of character development, or plot points, plus four sticky note pads with the same, that I have grabbed in haste to keep from forgetting something. And when it’s time to use that inspiration, I can’t find it in the pile. Switching to a dry write board helped, but they’re full now, and because I have moved to story ideas at the muse’s whims, the notes on them are old. I can’t get rid of them because the second I do, that’s when the dick will want me to go back to it, and I don’t want to lose that work.

What’s the point of all of this? To let you, my dearest readers, know that The Dark Before Dawn is still at the top of the pile… just not the very top. Mitchell Seeker, reaper extraordinaire, is talking my ear off, and demanded to be written now, because he’s angsting about Nate, the ski instructor he’s trying so hard not to fall for. Nate has some interesting baggage of his own, and man, these two are fucking with my head. So!

I’m working. There will be a book out soon. It’s just not what I led you to think was coming next. The Dark Before Dawn is after that. And goddammit, if my muse doesn’t let that one just pour out of me when reaper stuff is complete, I will cutabitch. I’ll take away his ecstasy. That shit’s bad for you anyway.

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Interview (the Last Step)

Kate​ is in Scotland with her family on holiday but has received word that her interview with the US consulate in London is scheduled for September 3rd.

This is the last hurdle in our application for a fiancée visa for her to come to the US so we can marry. This is where they talk with her to verify our intentions and that we’re honest, really a couple, and won’t be a burden on anyone. The forums she’s been reading up on say they pretty much know if they’re granting approval or not by the time the interview rolls around, and that approval comes swiftly, if not the day of the interview, then within the week. For us specifically, they’ve requested no further documentation, and they’ve not had further questions on existing documentation. We have no reason to think there’ll be a negative decision.

This is it, folks. Now, I’m pretty sure Kate’s going to knock this out of the park, even if she’s nervous (she handles this stuff like a champ). I’m the one that’s a fucking basket case (mainly because all of this is out of my hands and I can only sit here and watch). There’s so much riding on this, not the least of which is our future together, and lemme tell you, this is where I would usually curse my jump-in-with-both-feet attitude.

When I first told Kate I had bigger feelings for her almost three years ago, she thought I was a guy (long story for the new peeps, and those who’ve been around awhile, you know already), there was a damned ocean separating us, same-sex marriage was not federally recognized with DOMA still in place, and most states did not recognize ssm. I think 8 states had equal marriage laws. In the last three years, it seems the obstacles in our path have simply gotten out of our way, with DOMA falling in June 2013, then the state I live in passing marriage equality in late 2013, and finally, SCOTUS declaring it this year in all states. I know at the heart of it all are couples who fought for all of us to be able to love equally, and I am forever grateful to them. My point is that so much was against us from the beginning, and now, we’re 24 days away from the last step. One more thing, and then that ocean can stop being between us.

I can’t find it in myself to curse my leap-without-looking mentality about this. After having toed the line for the first basically 30 years of my life, I refuse to do anything but live out loud, love as hard as I can, and go after the life I want to have. I’m fucking beside myself with the shakes, because I need her like air, and this is it. We have no reason to doubt the visa will be approved, but this is that moment. The one where the music crescendoes and the characters, who’ve been moving around the game board to get into position, do their thing to get their moment of victory. Yeah, that sounds hyperbolic, but in this case it’s not.

A yes means she comes back with me when I fly home from the UK Meet next month. A yes means we get married in October, before the paperwork has time to expire. A yes means I never have to say goodbye to her in an airport again with the stretch of months and an ocean to conquer before we are together again.

Yes means our Happily Ever After.

In 24 days.