And now the Work Begins

I heard a rustling sound in my office and woke up. I’d slept in my recliner at the writing cabin. Roald’s dwarven beer is some pretty strong stuff.

Lisa gathered the drinking horns and headed for the sink. I headed for the bathroom, then the coffee pot.

“Aren’t they cute,” Lisa said. “They wash up like two birds in a birdbath.” The drinking horns played under the faucet.

“Yeah, adorable. Remind me of this the next time I want to write fantasy. Where’d Roald get to?”

“He’s tending his cows and shoveling the snow off the porch.”

I made my way to the office and booted up my Mac. A rooster’s crow sounded by the back door. I knew what it was, and it wasn’t an actual rooster. A quick look through my old binoculars showed Cobby, the dwarf, snowshoeing across the meadow. “Hey Lisa, will you let Gallicus inside, he’s probably cold. Don’t be afraid, he’s good around friends.”

“Why should I be afraid of a cockatrice? I’m not a biological life form. He can’t turn me to stone.” I heard her open the door and let him in. She shot by me, ran upstairs and shut her door. “I’m going to keep Bunny away from him, just in case.”

Gallicus the Cockatrice

Gallicus the Cockatrice

Gallicus took up a branch on the bronze tree that served as Doubt, the raven’s perch. I watched them for awhile to make sure they got along.

Cobby hung his cloak on the coat rack and came into my office. He was limping, and looked older since I’d last written about him. His beard hung in thick black ringlets down to his solar plexus. I guess I tortured him quite a bit in his book.

“You’re looking good,” I said, “but I see you’re limping.”

“I managed to hurt myself again.” He sat a leather wrapped brick of something on the coffee table. “Uncle sent you some scrapple.”

“Tell him I said thanks, that’s wonderful.” Scrapple consists of boiled down pig snouts, hoofs, fish heads and whatever else Uncle can think of. There was no way I was eating it, but it doesn’t hurt to be polite. Doubt, the raven, would be very happy with it.

I grabbed a notebook and pen and took up my usual spot in the recliner. “The editor says we need more emotions when the bad stuff happens. The readers will like you more if some of that gets on the page. I also need more description, not just sight and sound, but taste, scent and touch.”

Lisa brought him a coffee and he detailed out the settings from his story. I wrote as fast as I could, but it was hard to keep up. I didn’t want to miss anything, but some of this would bog down the story too. Today was all about notes, I’d sort it all out later.

Things got much harder when we talked about his feelings. I prompted him a little, “You suffered some pretty big losses in the story. Friends, family, personal injuries. Readers want to know how you feel about that.”

Cobby wrinkled his brow and paused. “Those are personal thoughts. They’re not for everyone.”

“They aren’t going to be judging you, they need a little help to understand you. You’re a fictional character, and they need to feel your pain. I know you cry, and mourn. They need to get a taste of that too.”

“I don’t want to blubber all over the page. I have an image to uphold, people are counting on me.”

It took a long time, but I finally got him talking. I had to pry information out of him by asking about his family, his relationship with Echo, and how his apprentice was getting along. He told me how worried he was that the Remsians would get him eventually.

I scribbled like mad for about six hours. I had pages of notes to consider.

The drinking horns blasted the peace and quiet away. We went to the kitchen and they marched back and forth along the countertop.

Roald came back inside and rubbed his hands together. “Sounds like it’s time for something cold and frosty, by golly.”

They were quite the contrast; Cobby with his Mediterainean looks and Roald with his pale skin and blond beard. They were the best of friends.

I sat down my notes and found a mug for one of us. I knew I missed some things, but I wrote as fast as I could.
Lisa saw the look on my face and tapped her forehead. She leaned over and whispered, “I recorded it all, and can print you a transcript if you like.”

“Thanks, but I’m afraid I have to feel this part. Just don’t lose it.”

Lorelei, my Muse showed up with a bottle of wine and found a glass.

I said, “Oh hey, Lorelei, um we’re just working on a few edits. I’ll get back to my new story soon.”

“I’m not worried, you know. My job is to inspire your creativity.” She held up the drinking horns on either side of her face, and curtsied.

“So you aren’t mad that I didn’t write more of Will ‘O the Wisp?”

“I don’t care what you work on, I just want you to be creative.”

Lorelei’s quite the gal. Never judgmental, she just wants me to create. She’s not the one pushing me to post something on Amazon either. That’s all on my head. As long as I write, and try to improve she’s as happy as can be.


Filed under Muse, Writing

7 responses to “And now the Work Begins

  1. feardorcha82

    I’ve read this through three times now. I love the playful imagery.


  2. Great piece, thanks! 🙂


  3. I’ve enjoyed the image of the drinking horns you have developed.


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