Muse for Hire

Amazing artwork by Peter Pham

The day is half over and I open the door to my writing room. My coffee sloshes over the rim at my sudden halt. The man’s jaw swivels my way, and I swallow. “Um…Who are you?”

“Your muse,” he growls.

“Oh.” I edge into the room and leave the door cracked for a quick escape. “Where’s my other one? You know, the… usual one?”

He stares at me like I’m a bug. “She hired me.”

“You’re a mercenary muse?” I trap a nervous laugh behind my lips. The guy looks cranky. Dried sweat coats his bulging muscles, and bloody grit etches the gold lions adorning his skimpy outfit.

He points a finger at a wooden chair, my humming laptop on the table beside it. “I’m here to make sure you keep your commitments.”

“What commitments?” I sit, my smile as shaky as my hands.

“Summer off, then a new series, full time, starting September first.” He taps his ragged fingernails on the armrest. “Your muse thinks you’re an oil-tongued shirker who’ll attempt to cut yourself a part-time deal. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“Oh, that. Well, I’ll have you know, the prep work is coming along nicely.” I lift my chin, every speck of rickety indignation putting on a solid show, and I turn my laptop so he can see. “In fact, I’ve created a map!”

His lips curl in a sneer. “Don’t get cute. She says you love making maps, so that doesn’t count. What about the rest? The bios?”

“Ninety percent done.”  I show him the files – images and profiles for all main characters and most secondaries. “I’m still tweaking, but you know they don’t settle in until the story starts. World building is progressing too. I have sea-cliffs, waterfalls, and cities with layers of arching bridges. And, I’ve got a great magic system.”

I wasn’t expecting applause, but a smidgeon of encouragement wouldn’t have hurt. Instead, his little pellets for eyes are waiting to pelt me. “What about the outline?”

I wince. The story is there, but the goals and obstacles aren’t strong enough. The subplots are solid, but the main plot is nebulous at best. That’s a huge problem. My muse-from-hell leans forward in his throne and does he ever smell ripe. He opens his mouth, revealing a rack of chipped teeth, and spits out two words, “It sucks.”

“Gah! I know!” I wilt in my chair. “I should have started working on it sooner. This is a tough one because –“

“You have one week to finish your outline.”

“But–“

“One week.” He leans back. “Then I want two thousand words a day, six days a week, and I’m being generous.”

I bite my lips and do the math. It’s a stretch, but I can probably manage it. “But what about blogging? I’ve been blogging ten hours a day…”

“You’re going to write in the mornings,” he orders. “It’s your most creative time. Two thousand words, and then you can blog all you want.”

“That’s going to cut my blogging time in half,” I whine. “It’ll already be night in the UK when I just get started.”

“They’ll survive. They’re grown-ups.”

“But I enjoy blogging. I’m going to miss posts.” I know he’s right, but I’m already undergoing blog-withdrawal.

He scowls at me. “She said you’d snivel, but I didn’t think you’d be this pathetic.”

“You don’t need to be so mean about it.” I push out my lower lip. Yeesh, what a hard ass. “Fine. I’ll write in the morning, blog after I reach my quota.”

His grin turns my stomach. “One other thing.”

“Now, what?”

“You need to exercise.”

“You’re kidding me. My muse told you that?”

“She didn’t need to. I can see it myself. One hour a day. Cardio and strengthening.”

“Oh, this is just great. A muse who doubles as a personal trainer.” I hate his smug smirk. “Where do I find the time to do that?”

“Figure it out.” On his feet, the guy hulks over me like a troll, and I lean so far back I’m close to toppling my chair.  He taps my chin with his meaty fist. “I’ll be checking in; don’t disappoint me.”

I roll my eyes and rub my forehead, a muse-induced headache forming behind my eyes. Through the window, I watch him clomp down the steps from my writing room and join my other muse, The Traitor, in the driveway. They share a good laugh. Damn muses. I wish they weren’t right.

Guess I better get to work.

***

Needless to say, I’ll be switching around my blogging schedule. Though I’ll miss a few posts here and there, I’ll be visiting as much as I’m able. Enjoy the last of August, and Happy Blogging.

342 thoughts on “Muse for Hire

  1. joylennick says:

    Reblogged this on Joy Lennick and commented:
    Surely inspired by ‘the Gods’?! Fabulous. Best seller material.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I originally started my blog in hopes that “mini-deadines” would help me finish a few books languishing on my hard drive. Hah! It has eaten my life whole as the books languish still.

    Even tho’ I truly abhor ap-world, I think I may need to get one of those “muse-calls.” 🙂 I hope she turns out to be a seductress and isn’t friends with yours, however. I don’t respond well to tough love.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] to the decidedly unratty Diana at Myths of the Mirror for serving as my muse for this […]

    Liked by 2 people

  4. […] D. Wallace Peach (Diana) wrote a brilliant post about her muse who betrayed her by hiring a thug to make her accountable. As is so often the case, when one person shares such a personal experience, it gives others the courage to share theirs. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. lifelessons says:

    Very a”muse”ing. Good luck on curtainling the blogging. I have the same problem. Addictive as chocolate. (I can do without the crack cocaine.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. […] post about her muse, the blogosphere is full of muses. You can read about Diana’s muse here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2017/08/25/muse-for-hire/ – so far the scariest of them […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. […] from Diana’s disciplinarian muse. Thanks dear […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] in pubs anymore, love. Not here, anyway. There’ll be a half dozen of us or so. D’s mercenary muse, A’s Moka and her cousin, G’s muse“–he counts off on his […]

    Liked by 2 people

  9. […] by – and thanks to – Diana of Myths of the Mirror. Check out her fearsome […]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] check out Diana’s hilarious post about her muse. Thanks, Diana, for the fun read and inspiration to spend some quality, fictional time with our own […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bel says:

    Different muses for different moods – I think mine is completely out there. Loved reading this – sorry I’m way behind (hate when life gets in the way of reading and writing blogs) 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Liesbet says:

    Wow. You have a great schedule going! And, if you manage to get that hour exercise in as well, I”m even doubly impressed! It sounds to me that this book is half written already. Or at least half created. Some muse pressure once is a while is probably not a bad thing. 🙂 Great story!

    Liked by 2 people

    • One week down, Liesbet, and so far so good on the writing and exercising. I’m still tweaking the plot, but that is pretty normal for me. I need the muse pressure otherwise I’m super lazy. Thanks for the visit and Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This was amusing! Question: What final word count is your goal? Is this for a YA book? I know children’s picture books are supposed to be between 500-1000, but not sure about middle school and YA word counts. Don’t expect to hear from you for a while… That muse of yours is your “gate keeper” right now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. […] maybe I have a new muse that is all about writing schedules ala D. Wallace’s Muse for Hire.  Personally, I’d much rather have a muse like Greg from Almost Iowa. His muse is playful, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Norah says:

    I think your muse has been talking to my muse – about exercise anyway. Gah! I am not amused. Best wishes for your change of schedule. I hope it works wonders for you. (PS Fantastic post! Very creative. Your muses have nothing to worry about.)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. reocochran says:

    I am proud and amazed you had 305 comments, Diana! You’ve gone viral!!
    Congratulations on hiring this rugged, harsh muse. . .
    I can imagine how strict this schedule would be.
    Seriously though, ten hours allotted to blogging is way too much.
    Take it easy and be careful. That Muse is going to drive you crazy. He is one tough cookie.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Delightful Marian, and underneath all that armor, quite handsome.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is adorable, Diana. Maybe you need some chocolate to buy him off if you don’t meet your word count commitment one day. You know, just in case. Not that you would ever reach for a piece in moment of weakness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. […] I wasn’t expecting applause, but a smidgeon of encouragement wouldn’t have hurt. Instead, his little pellets for eyes are waiting to pelt me. Continue Reading . . . […]

    Like

  20. Lyn Horner says:

    Hmm, I could use a muse like him to “crack the whip.” I wonder if he has a brother, preferable as hunky as she is.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. marianbeaman says:

    WOW! My muse doesn’t look like at all this hunk and is much less demanding. I love blogging but I know I too may have to cut back a little after I get my manuscript back from another beta reader, I hope very soon.

    Onward and upward!

    Liked by 1 person

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