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Rated: 13+ · Interview · Contest · #1086811
While waiting for my flight out of Miami, I met my Muse [The M.U.S.E. Contest Entry]
Honorable Mention in "Invalid Item

“Mortimer Unger Smith Everett.”

“That’s quite a mouthful. Got a nickname?”

“Just call me Muse.”


“Yeah, it’s what the initials of my name spells out.”

“Oh, right. Very clever.”

“I try to be.”

“Well then, Muse. What brings you here?”

“Why, to inspire, of course.”

“To inspire? Isn’t that a bit too general?”

“I don’t how else to put it, Sam. I mean, you are writing right now, aren’t you? Wasn’t it one minute ago that you were just sitting there, reading the New York Times and drinking your Amstel Light, and, the next thing you know, you’re grabbing your notebook and pen, and just started writing? Right?”

“Well, you’ve certainly got a point there. I mean, I did have my laptop out earlier, and I’d begun typing an outline to a story. I'd figured out the character bios, and had come up with a brief description of the story’s location, but had to stop. It’s a sci-fi short story that I’d been trying to write for a couple of days, but just haven’t been inspired to spend any time on it.”

“And, how far did you get?”

“Not too far, quite honestly. I stopped after boredom stepped in. Plus, it’s kinda tough writing in an airport sometimes. Too noisy.”

“So, boredom stepped in…?”

“Yeah, that’s normally what happens if my heart and soul are not one hundred percent into a project.”

“I know. I’ve seen some of your unpublished work.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Nothing. Don’t get defensive! It’s just that I know when my inspiration has worked on you and when it hasn’t.”

“Heh. Sounds like you’re merely taking credit for the good stuff that I write.”

“On the contrary. I’m responsible for everything that you write, even the unfinished, unpublished ones. As well as the stuff that you published that didn’t get the rave reviews you were hoping for. I was there to have those words flow out of you, but I can only do so much. I just inspire. I’m not the one who’s Mr. Verbose here. I’m not the one who thinks up these crazy stuff that end up on the other side of that computer keyboard. That’s all you, man. I just simply—”

“Inspire. I get it. But, that just doesn’t make one hundred percent sense to me.”

“How so?”

“If you’re just there to inspire, how is it that my subject matters are all across the board? I can’t possibly have that many unique ideas in my head. Surely, you must have been responsible for all of those. I mean, I wrote this story about this guardian angel—”

“I’m aware of what that story is about, Sam.”

“Well, anyway, that ended up very differently than how it first started in my head. Do you remember?”

“Yup, I do. Although, that earlier version was also pretty cool.”

“But, not as cool as how the story finally ended up being written. I mean, when I read that story, I sometimes wonder how on Earth I came up with that idea.”

“Well, it’s not really that impossible, is it? I mean, you’re a creative guy; don’t sell yourself short. All stories start off as wild ideas. All you do—all you’ve always done—is work it out in your head. I do help out by flipping on the switch.”

“The switch?”

“Yeah, the switch to the movie player—the little movie player in your mind. Don’t you notice how you can sometimes see the story play out in your head while you’re formulating it, before you even touch the keyboard? And, they’re not just still images, mind you—they’re like mini-movies. You actually could see the faces of your characters, their surroundings, and all that. Well, that would be because of that little movie player in your mind.”

“The one that you have the switch for.”


“This just sounds way too bizarre to me. I don’t see that movie all the time, though.”

“That’s because sometimes you don’t need that much help in fleshing out your stories. Like I said—you’re pretty creative.”

“Wow…I never realized how much I owe you for the cool stuff that I’d written so far. How long have you—”

“Since your high school days.”

“H-How did you know what I was going to ask?”

“Do you really need to ask that?”

“No, heh-heh. I suppose not. So, high school, huh?”

“Yup. That’s when you first conjured me—when your desire to write gave me life. And I’ve been with you ever since. There were times when you made me sleep for a very long period of time. I’m glad that you woke me up again a couple of years ago. I was getting bored.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be. It always has to be the right time to write. It can’t be forced. You have to give in to the inspiration to write, rather than rationalizing your writing.”


“Yeah. Sometimes you get too technical. Putting the cart before the proverbial horse, so to speak.”

“If you’re talking about ‘outlining,’ then I’d have to disagree with you. ‘Outlining’ is an excellent tool; one that I’ve used before, and will continue to use.”

“Yeah, but, sometimes, it actually deters you from being fully creative. Trust me on this. I’ve seen your best work, and I’ve seen the other stuff that almost made me want to change my name.”

“Geez, they weren’t that bad.”

“No, they weren’t. But, I see the difference in your work when you let me inspire you and when you don’t.”

“But I’ve got to have structure in my story writing—”

“Oh, yeah? What are you doing right now?”


“That’s right! You’re in an airport lounge, surrounded by dozens and dozens of loud, obnoxious fellow passengers, which, by the way, would normally distract you from writing, and here you are writing like a madman on that little notebook of yours. Tell me, did you start with an outline?”

“Well, no, but I had a general idea about what I was going to write.”

“Exactly! Then, you gave in to my inspiration, and just started writing. Do you feel it?”

“Feel what?”

“The arthritis pains in your fingers?”

“Um, no. Not really. Why?”

“Why? Because you’re inspired, man! That’s why. And nothing—not arthritic fingers, or a busy airport crowd—can stop you from writing this piece right now.”

“You know…you’re right!”

“Write on, brother, because you’re going to finish this piece today. You know you have until the thirty-first to turn it in, but there’s no time like the present, right?

“Wow! This is pretty cool!”

“It sure is. And, you’re welcome.”

“For what?”

“For getting to the end of this piece before your plane begins boarding.”

“Oh, you’re right! I’ve still got about fifteen minutes before first call.”

“Sometimes I’m pretty impressed with myself. You know, I’m surprised that you haven’t asked me yet.”

“Asked you yet about what?”

“You haven’t asked me why I look exactly like you.”

“Well, I must say that I’d imagined my muse to look a little differently.”

“You imagined a white guy with a goatee, didn’t you?”

“Uh, yes. How did you—? Oh, never mind. But why do you look like me? It’s now making me feel a little weird talking to myself.”

“It’s alright. You imagined me this way for today. The way I appear to you right now is just the most comfortable image for you to conjure.”

“Gosh, it almost seems like I’m a vain person.”

“Not at all. It only means that what I said to you earlier was true. That I only inspire. The rest, as it always has been, is up to you. So, it’s no surprise that I’ve taken on this image.”

“Wow…I don’t know what to say. I’m suddenly at a loss for words…”

“I think maybe now would be a good time to end this interview then.”

“I guess you’re right. Well, it certainly has been a pleasure to finally meet you in person. I really want to thank you for inspiring me all this time, and for the inspiration that you’ll continue to send my way.”

“I’m here to help, Sam. But, remember to always believe in your creativity, and, if you hear me knocking, let me in, will ya?”

“I sure will. Goodbye, Mr. Mortimer Unger Smith Everett.”

“Please, just call me Muse.”
© Copyright 2006 Sam N. Yago (jonsquared at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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