I have my feet up in my writing room, and I’m getting a little cross-eyed from editing commas.
I look up and listen. Someone’s clomping up the stairs. I’m hoping it’s the hubby with an iced coffee. But no such luck. I hear the roar of a howler monkey, and my laptop nearly flips to the floor. I know who it is.
She walks in without knocking. The monkey on her shoulder bares its yellow teeth and squeezes a banana until the peel splits. The muse sits beside me and puts her boots up on the coffee table. The howler smears banana on my arm and grins.
I frown at the mess. “Why did you have to bring him?”
She ignores my question and gives me a flat look. “I just had an iced coffee with your husband. He said you’re planning to do the usual.”
My chin draws back. First, where’s my iced coffee? Second, I have no idea what “the usual” means.
I’m about to ask when the howler swings to the floor and starts pulling books out of my bookcase. He bites the corner of Jacqui Murray’s new book Against All Odds. I jump up and snatch it from the beast’s teeth. It barks at me, and I growl in reply.
I keep one eye on the monkey while questioning my visitor, “Okay, I give up. What’s ‘the usual?’ You know, I have work to do for my launch.”
“Exactly,” my muse says. “A launch is more than one blog post announcing a new book.”
“Oh.” I wince. “But… but that’s…”
The muse arches an eyebrow. “… what you usually do?”
My face contorts. My stomach hurts. She’s going to make me do a real launch. My little introverted self squirms at the thought. “Do I have to?”
“I’m not forcing you to eat a goblin’s heart.” She rolls her eyes and takes Jacqui’s tooth-marked book. “Jacqui does great launches. Run it by her. If you do half of what she does, it will be ten times more than your usual.”
“But she’s good at everything.” I slump, my head sliding down between my shoulders. “She’s so organized.”
My muse looks as sympathetic as a stump. “The next time you see me, we’ll discuss a new book. It’s up to you to finish this series up and give it your best. Ask for help.”
With that, she takes the monkey’s hand and clomps down the stairs. I get up and peek out the window. The monkey vanishes in the sunlight. My muse turns to wave and shifts into her next shape, the one that will invade my space in a few months with fresh inspiration…
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