I woke up at five o’clock on Sunday. By visiting my parents, I missed out on a visit from my daughter. Old What’s Her Face said if I got on the road by seven, our daughter would stick around Boise and cut my hair. It felt kind of abusive of her time, but I wanted to see her.
The drive started before sunrise, and I enjoyed the dawning across the high desert. This is something I used to see every day, but took for granted.
By the time I reached Lone Mountain Station, there she was. It’s still winter, so she wore a bulky sweater, tights and knee high boots. Her shock of long brown hair moved slightly in the breeze. She watched two vehicles drive by, then stuck out her thumb as I approached.
I eased into the parking lot, then rolled down the window. “What brings you all the way out here, Lorelei? Kind of lonely territory for a Muse.”
I watched, mesmerized by her tights, as she walked around to the passenger side, then climbed inside.
“I just wanted to check in. See how your writing is going.”
“It’s been kind of slow. There were a couple of good days, but I got bogged down in the muddy middle for a while.”
“That’s familiar territory for you. Still, I know you’ve added to your storyboards. It seems like you are well primed for your next few tales.”
“Yeah, listen to this.” I turned up the music.
As she listened, I kept talking. “It’s just too obscure for Lizzie and the Pythons to play at one of their gigs.”
“Maybe when they make the movie you can include it as background music.”
“Yeah. That would be great. Since Netflix doesn’t seem to be calling, about all I can do with it is enjoy it.”
“Have you thought about making a character based around this theme?”
“That’s a great idea. He could take a supporting role for one of Lizzie’s adventures. But, I have storyboards that will take years to write out.”
“Hang onto him. He might fit on an existing board, or maybe he needs a new story.”
“Gives me something to think about.”
“That what a Muse does.”
“Of course, Good Liniment is next for that series. Then there’s The Midnight Rambler, and I have one with some gremlins, maybe one about St. Vitus’ Dance, and I’m toying with one that will take Lizzie to the Kentucky Derby.”
“How did you come up with that?”
“The hat, of course. He would hate to be one of those fancy women’s hats. I can get some comedic mileage out of that.”
“That’s a paragraph. You’re going to need a bit more.”
“Okay, Good Liniment will expand the witchcraft world. Readers asked for that, but I wanted Lizzie to evolve into her position for a few tales. There are going to be a bunch of new characters in that story. One of which is a horse lover in the form of the headless horseman. I figure he can be the herald to walk Lizzie into some problem with the horses. Weird enough for one of my tales?”
“It’s certainly weird, but so are you.”
“Thanks, I think. I don’t think I can get her there with a Barnstable Brown performance, or even Phillies and Lillies. Lizzie and the Pythons aren’t big enough for those events. I might have to invent some dive bar in the area for them to perform at.”
“Then invent one. Sounds like it’s going to take a couple of years before you write it. I’m sure something will come to you. Start a storyboard, and remember you only have about two years to complete it.”
I signaled to exit the freeway at Meridian. “What I really need is some help with Lanternfish.”
“Sorry, this is where I get out.”
“Oh, come on!”
“Anywhere near that strip mall is fine. I’ve seen your board. Lanternfish will be fine. You just need to sift through the parts until the pieces are in position for the end game. Since this is a trilogy, make sure you bring some closure to more than just James and Serang.”
“But, you could really help me.”
She leaned over and kissed my cheek. “Of course I could, but your creativity feeds me. Not the other way around. The next time you make a long drive, maybe play something other than your Lizzie and the hat playlist.”
“But, it’s such good music.”
“It really is. Sounds like that series will survive for a long time. You gained a new character out of our visit. Be happy with that.”