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The Killing Inspiration

Much better today, thank you for asking.  I didn’t know if you were going to ask or not, so I figured I’d tell you anyway.  After all, if you’re coming here, you know I’m likely to sling something of a personal nature at you, and since I’ve been going on about my sniffles and sneezes, and shivers and shakes, then I have to tell you I’m getting better.  Almost good enough to head back to the office tomorrow.  Oh, joy.

Forward progression on Suggestive Amusements continues.  I had a short chat with someone last night, and mentioned that I had very little motivation to start writing.  She said that even when I say that, I eventually find my way into my story, then churn out a thousand words like a machine.  There are certain truths there, because after I’d opened Scrivener and brought up the story, I let it set for maybe fifteen minutes, then I was in the chapter and off, as they say, to the races.

The more I get into Erin’s story–which means, as it comes to me as I’m typing away at the keyboard–I’m struck by the sadness of her life.  Yes, she has her happy moments; she’s ever recounted a couple of them to Keith as they linger in bed together.  (Oh, wait:  did I just give something away?  I think I did.)  But she’s also recounting some hard reality that she knows, that her sister Talia knows, and the memory of one such reality left her with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Yes, I’m a total bitch:  I don’t cut my muse a break, and find her life full of pain.

It’s not fair, I know.  If you’re an immortal creature, you should live with joy and contentment.  Why get involved in tons of dramatic shit that’s going to bring you down?  There’s a simple explanation:  Erin is the embodiment of creativity.  That’s what a muse does:  she bring something to the table that’s going to help you find a way to drag those words out of your skin and put them on whatever writing medium one uses.

If you’ve never been creative, then you have no idea how much this act can hurt.  There’s a couple of lines in the U2 song The Fly that sums this up well:


Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief


Like it or not, we creative types suffer to make our creations sing.  In the process, we find a number of happy moments in our lives to write about, but at the same time, we dig deep into the crap heaps of sorrow that we’ve left behind, and a lot of that also ends up on the pages of our work.

Erin is almost always hurt by the time her charge has created their work, because they need to dig deep to find those moments that make up their story.  She is the inspiration, so it is she that must suffer for us to enjoy whatever is produced in the end.  Good or bad, she goes down at the end, even if her parting is a happy one.

Multiply that by a few thousand charges over the course of eight thousand years, and you have a muse with a history that would send most of us leaping off the nearest cliff without a second thought.

Maybe it’s not like that, however.  Maybe this is me finding something to pull out from whatever pits of fresh hell I’ve created over the last few years.  I know there are parts of Keith’s life–in particular a chapter that is coming up–that I can say come right from certain experiences I’ve had recently.

But am I Keith?  Well, yes, I am.  And I’m also Erin.  And her sister Talia.

I’m a writer, and I am many.

It’s only natural that I’m going to suffer with all my characters.

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