Monday, July 14, 2003


Everything is out of the old place (well, aside from lots of dust and dirt and tiny cat toys). And we've got the new place almost entirely settled. We need to organize a couple closets so they are neat, orderly, and able to store more stuff in the future. And we still need to hang up all those pictures and such. But everything is else is good to go. Feels wonderful. We celebrated by spending Mark's roulette winnings at The Melting Pot, an amazing fondue restaurant. I know I mentioned it in my last entry, but the food is just that good and it bears repeating. Check it out.

Big changes like moving always do weird things to me. Last night, I couldn't shake the feeling that things were going to change again. Like somehow the move was temporary or something. I'm choosing to interpret this as a sign that I'll win or just move on to the final round of judging in the Colorado Gold writing contest. Mainly because I don't want to think about moving or anything else that would make me feel like what I'm doing now will drastically change. And, knowing my life, this will just turn out to be a delayed reaction to the move and there's really no big change coming. That's the problem with Instinct (or whatever you want to call it). It's not an exact thing, and it often gets you really worked up for nothing. But it works well with my muse, and that helps.

Sometimes to the muse's detriment, I think. As we were driving home from dinner last night, a song came on the radio. For whatever reason, the song evoked a glimmer of a story idea. But very faint. I just knew there was something there but I had no concept of a theme, a plot, a character, a setting, or even a scrap of dialogue. Just that I was getting close to one of those elements. But as the song ended, the glimmer faded. And all I was left with was an image of my muse wiping her overworked, sweaty brow in relief. And it occurred to me that Dear Ol' Musey might get just as annoyed, frustrated, happy, sad, and irked with me as I do with her. She probably had a nice plan set out as to how she was going to reveal all these great ideas. A little snippet here. A little idea there. A few characters later. Back in 2000 when Human Dignity wandered into my head, she probably thought, "Oh, good. She's listening now. Let's just ease her - and me - into things and take a nice leisurely stroll into Inspiration." And then I left the PhD program and got a secretarial job for a summer while preparing to teach. This gave me more time to write and join a critique group. At this point, I'm sure Muse started to get worried. I had wandered away from Her Plan and looked to be catching up with her too quickly. I bet she was relieved when I started teaching and saw how little time I would have for her. She could afford to relax. But then I quit teaching and became a secretary again. And I went full throttle into the idea of writing for a living (well, for a supplemental income to the fortune Mark will be earning as soon as he gets his PhD). That first month I think really freaked poor Muse out. She tried throwing all sorts of things at me to slow me down. Self-doubt and laziness worked the best. As I battled through those, she and I came to a good understanding. We seem to be a pretty snazzy team. But she must still get a little tired. She must not be ready for me to snatch certain ideas from her just yet. Hence the whiff of Inspiration, but no dice in the frenzied search to find the idea sitting out on the windowsill to cool.

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