(For the Barfieldians reading this blog, yes, I realize I am originally participating my writing process. It's only kind of a figure of speech. It's also kind of the way it happens. I'm not sure what step that is in the process of consciousness, but it is what it is.)
Friend of the blog Chandra Rooney coined the phrase "Fictional Personal Assistant," or FPA, who she refers to instead of her muse. I suspect that both exist -- or have the potential to exist -- and have entirely different functions. My initial response to Chandra looked like this:
I love the idea of a fictional personal assistant. I can actually imagine them alongside a traditional muse and can just see the three-way arguments destined to occur between my FPA, my muse, and me.
FPA [to muse]: But it says right here in your contract that we agreed on 1,000 words per day.
MUSE: Does it? Huh. I don't feel like it today. [to me] Wanna go play video games? They're like inspiration!
ME: [sighs and gets out Mario Kart]
I'm fairly certain that my FPA would not approve of the staying-up-late-to-finish-the-short-stor
In the mean time, "Good Company" is off with first readers, and I'm off to Salisbury, where I'll get cracking on the short story I'm actually contracted to finish over this trip. Because my FPA says so.