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Ah, Muse...

So, check off the first completed part of the goals list: I have completed a short story. It is not, however, the short story I needed to complete on this trip (that one still has to get written). Nor is it a story I even intended to finish while on this trip. Apparently, however, it was the story that wanted to be written, and it wanted to be written last night, much later than I had really intended to stay awake. But when the story wants to be written... well, don't waste the moments of the Muse speaking!

(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-story strategy of writing. My FPA is terribly organized and expects responsible writing. My Muse? She wants to work when she feels like working on the things she feels like working on. Me? One of these days I'll strike the right balance.

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.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
niliphim
May. 21st, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
Strange how that happens. I had the urge to start another painting whilst still elbows-deep in my commission. I made a deal with myself that I couldn't start on the new painting till the commission was done... somehow that still hasn't sped up my production of the commission. GR!

London sounds great- take pictures!
alanajoli
May. 23rd, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Hmmm... maybe if you switch back and forth you'll progress better on both? It works for me, sometimes!
shanna_s
May. 21st, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, that explains everything! I do have that nagging voice inside the head that insists on charts and work logs and production quotas, and then I have that weird subconscious creative squirrel that chafes at those restrictions and even comes up with diversions to send the Fictional Personal Assistant off on some errand so the creative squirrel can get some work done. (I don't have a muse. I have the hyperkinetic squirrel from the comic strip/movie Over the Hedge living in my brain and coming up with ideas.)
alanajoli
May. 23rd, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Wow, excellent tactics on the part of your squirrel! ;) Have you seen any of the anime Kodocha/Child's Toy? (I know you're not much into manga, so I'll be surprised if you *have* seen any!) The mother is a writer who has a very weird bee-hive-like hair style who has a squirrel living in it. My friends in college called the show "pink girly crack" anime, as I recall. It was definitely a little weird, but I've never forgotten the squirrel living in the writer's hair!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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