Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Muse needs a snooze button

Inspiration is a wonderful thing, especially to an artist. It’s the reason every painting doesn’t depict the same vase of flowers or gathering of canines playing cards. It’s the moment when the metaphorical lights go on and the liquid flow of random thoughts crystallizes into a tangible idea. It is also the reason I’m tired, cranky and huddled over my second cup of coffee like it were the last embers of a fire during a blizzard.

For the last two nights I’ve been plagued by the persistent nattering of my muse, and for a figment of my often overly fertile imagination, she certainly has a lot to say. Unfortunately she seems to need to say it while I’m trying to get some much needed sleep, and between her and the nocturnal shenanigans of my cat I am starting to suspect a conspiracy.

Plot ideas, characters and storylines dance in my head every time I try to close my eyes, and even the sheep I’ve tried to count have ended up bleating out suggestions as the wander through my sleep deprived brain. Sometime after midnight last night, having gotten up for the third time to threaten my feline companion with a painful death (or maybe it was just the withholding of treats…I don’t rightly recall) I realized that while I tossed and turned in a half doze, I’d come up with not only a title, but an entire concept for another novel. Torn between the need for sleep and the writer’s ever present fear of losing a good idea by putting off writing it down, I opted for sleep and hoped the plot would survive until morning. 

In retrospect I should have just written the damn thing down at the time, because the rest of my night was spent muttering over remembered bits and pieces. It was 3 or 4 in the morning when I got to sleep properly. I know that because that’s when the dreams started. You know the ones, we’ve all had a variation on them. You’ve forgotten something, something terribly important. Panic sets in as you realize that everything you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been working towards, is all going to be lost because somehow you managed to forget some key element.  By 4:30 I had actually get up out of bed and go to my computer to show my addled brain that no, I had not forgotten anything. Everything I had written was saved and safe, and the “lost manuscripts” my subconscious was going on about was a figment of my imagination’s imagination.

Once I was awake, the muse struck again and the cat flew by, tail puffed out and eyes wide as she yowled as only a Siamese on a catnip high can. 

Maybe tonight I’ll be able to sleep.  If not, then by the morning I expect to be found typing away at my keyboard, muttering about the voice in my head that won’t let me sleep.  You know, maybe that’s another plot idea right there…