Tag Archives: Lorelei

The Muse returns

Long time readers of this blog will know about my prostate problem. I hate to bring it up again, but it played a supporting role last night. I have to relieve myself several times every night. Last night was different.

I slept through the entire night, but at 5:30 AM nature didn't call, it made a Tarzan yell. I stumbled into the bathroom, then back to bed. With the recent time change, it felt like time to get up. We still don't have a furnace, and those warm covers won out.

I wound up in that slumbering stage between real sleep, and really should get my ass up. That's when I smelled the sandalwood.

I smiled and gave in. Lorelei* was here, and I wanted to know what she brought me.

I dreamed about a girl in an icy car wreck. She slid off a mountain and nobody rescued her. Magpies showed up and spoke to her. For those of you who don't know, magpies are carrion birds. They are members of the jay family, along with crows and ravens.

I sprang from my bed, fed the old pit bull, made coffee, and started writing. I wound up with something North of 1000 words. I don't know if that qualifies as micro-fiction or a short story. It needs editing, and I may be able to beef it up, or trim it down.

I have no idea what to do with it, but I think it's awesome. Maybe I should file it away for Macabre Macaroni 2016. Maybe I should save it for a second Experimental Notebook. (Notebook is selling pretty well, and I have a hunch there will be another one. Or something similar.)

I'm one of those authors your mother warned you about. I don't write every day. When I write, I dedicate myself to it and produce a lot of words. I also spend a lot of time on outlining, blogging, and promoting.

This caused some friction between Lorelei and I. I know she wants me to get started on Yak Guy's novel. We decided that micro-fiction and short stories were an acceptable way to keep her happy.

Lorelei doesn't give a damn about publishing. She wants me to create. She's indifferent to editing too. She's almost like the Muse of first drafts. Short fiction bridges the gap for her.

There have been times when she beat me over the head to get me to write. There was the purple nurple situation, and she threatened me with a lion this summer. Short fiction keeps us on friendly terms.

The best part is almost exactly when I finished, there was a knock at the door. We have an appointment for the furnace installation on Monday. They are here now, someone messed up and we benefit. I hope they aren't charging me overtime.

It's a win for me. A new bit of short fiction, heat – finally, but I missed out on what Lorelei was wearing. She chose to appear in my sub-conscious.

* For those of you who didn't get it from context, Lorelei is the name of my Muse.

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Coaching from the Gods

I sat behind my desk at the writing cabin. Lisa* asked for the day off to celebrate with Bunny. She believes today is a holiday for rabbit lovers everywhere. She filed back and forth from the basement to her upstairs room with boxes to build a fort for her beloved pet.

Lorelei** walked in and paused in the doorway. She wore a purple Easter dress with small white polka dots. The low-cut collar was framed by a ruffle of the same material. It cinched tight around her athletic waist. She wore a straw Easter bonnet with a large brim that turned up in front. The backlight made it look like a halo. She manipulated the light so the halo remained no matter where she went.

“You always knew how to make an entr–“

Squee! That dress is so cute!”

“Good morning, Lisa. I'm here to see Craig. I'll send you a link where I bought it.”

Lisa thanked her and carried a small basket of fresh vegetables upstairs.

Lorelei sat on the couch and crossed her legs. “Vacation's over. How do you think you did?”

“Bad.” I picked up my cup and moved to the easy chair beside her. “I tried to finish my novel, but didn't even get close.”

“I was watching from Olympus. I think you're being too hard on yourself. You did some good work.”

“I just didn't do enough of it. There were whole days where I didn't write.”

“Was that your fault?”

“No, but–“

She held a finger up to silence me. “Things happen. You don't control your own destiny, so you have to make the best of the time you get. I saw new chapters, and some of it's very good. I also saw new short stories.”

“Maybe I should get rid of the short stories for a while. At least until I finish my novel.”

“I send you ideas. You've been discarding those that can't carry a novel. That was fine, but now it's time for you to grow as an author. Those ideas are good, but sometimes a shorter tale is better suited. I like the idea that you've been writing them.”

“I think I have too many ideas. I could have spent that time on my novel.”

“But you wouldn't have. You like to write in quiet and solitude. You always have, and probably always will.” She uncrossed her legs and leaned forward. “I saw you writing at the same time as your lovely wife was watching television.”

I paused and thought before I spoke. “I'm just having fun with the short stuff. There are less plot points to work out, and generally fewer characters. I can free write them, and edit them later.”

“You're on the verge of a breakthrough. Let me help you here.” She steepled her fingers and chose her words. “You started writing, because you love it. You are the one who turned it into a job. I had nothing to do with that, and am trying to support you. Your own mind rebelled, and gave you something to write for fun once more.”

“Wait, wait, wait! How can I improve if I don't take it seriously?”

“I never said not to take it seriously. You simply need, a bit, of fun. All work and no play makes Craig a dull boy.” She reached over and lifted my chin with a perfectly manicured nail. A shiver ran down my spine.

“Maybe if I had less ideas I could take some time away after this novel is finished.”

“But you won't. You'll get all worked up over marketing, or some new project you want to outline. You're even talking about making the short stories into a book. I need you to write for fun too. If some of the shorts are good, I'll let you bundle the good ones together for others. Just consider them as personal entertainment for today. Write many, and harvest the best. Enjoy yourself.”

“Doesn't the blog do that?”

“It provides you with interaction, something you also need. It requires participating in comments, and even hosting friends. Those are important, but different than we're discussing today. You could easily be a hermit, because that's your nature. I won't let that happen.”

I emptied my coffee and retrieved the pot, along with a cup for Lorelei. “Sorry, Lisa usually does all this. So what's next for me?”

“Keep writing. Keep including a personal challenge in each story.”

“What challenges do you have in mind?”

“You still like the epistolary style. Maybe it's time you tried it. You could try an omniscient narrator, that would be new. Maybe you should write the story of an extroverted character.”

“Maybe somewhere down the road.”

“That's the point. Now you get to think about these things, and someday later you challenge yourself. Right now, your lovely wife just put the ham in the oven and you'd better get back. You have company coming.”

* Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept. She's a robot and works as my personal assistant.

* Lorelei is my Muse. She's from Olympus, and takes my writing very seriously.

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Holy, just, Wow!

Last night I wanted to gain two more views to tie my all time record, and three for the win. I woke up to about forty more than that. I’m overwhelmed at the reception my micro fiction is receiving. Many of you went back and read last week’s story too.

I jumped in the shower and lathered up my head and beard. I heard the door open and peeked out behind the curtain.

Lorelei* primped her hair in my mirror. She had on a black jogging suit from the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

“What the– I’ll be out in a minute.”

She looked me up and down. “Relax.” She wiggled a finger toward my nether region. “Cover your little self up, and I’ll make the room coffee. I want to talk to you about something.”

I rinsed my hair and wrapped up in a towel. She was on my iPad and going through my blog stats.

I made a quick dash for some underwear and pants. Lorelei smirked as I dashed by.

I pulled a comb through my hair and grabbed my coffee.

“You’ve been blog wanking.” She gave me that stern look that all women possess.

“Well, um, yeah, a little.”

“That’s a dangerous habit. Your fiction is strong enough to be interesting without resorting to tricks.”

“But I got my extra views, and received more likes than ever too. WordPress even sent me a badge.”

“Really? How old are you? What’s next a sticker and gold star?” She took my coffee and started drinking it. “It’s a neat trick, but the reblog of your friends promotion would have gotten you enough views, and it was a nice thing to do.”

“Okay. I’ll behave.”

“You have to save it for special occasions. If you become like the boy who cried wolf, you’ll lose credibility.”

I poured myself a new cup of coffee. “I need to get ready for work, but I promise not to get addicted to blog wanking.”

“Good boy.” She finished her/my coffee and opened the door. “I have a spa appointment, then I’m going on a lake cruise to look for eagles. Have a good day at work, and behave.”
***

Thanks everyone for the red letter day at Entertaining Stories. Time for work.

* Lorelei is my Muse; my cranky Muse today.

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The weekend update

I took two days off so I could write earlier this week. I managed somewhere around ten thousand words and feel pretty good about it. It needs some pretty serious work, but I had company all weekend.

My parents arrived mid day Friday, and wanted me to meet them at Sportsman’s Warehouse. They know where that is, but didn’t know where the auto detailing shop was. Dad scratched his new truck when he was antelope hunting and hired this guy to get the scratches out.

It was my job to lead them there, and take them to my house when he dropped his truck off. I needed two things at Sportsman’s so I got there early. They didn’t have everything I wanted. Mom called and said they were in the parking lot. When she found out I was inside she came running. It’s hard for Mom to pass up a store.

When we finished, I walked to my truck. Dad  moved his truck to park beside me. This is where the fun begins. He hit my truck while parking his. He left an 18 inch gouge in my fender flare, and knocked two small chunks off of it. His truck was unhurt. Apparently, metal trumps plastic. I need a new fender flare. This set the tone for my weekend.

Hawk Detailing, in Garden City did an outstanding job on his truck. If you’re in Idaho’s Treasure Valley and need this kind of service, I was impressed. Now Dad’s truck looks factory new, but mine doesn’t.

Today is Old What’s Her Face’s* birthday. Mom and Dad came up for that as much as anything. Mom took my wife shopping, and I had to entertain Dad. I decided to take him grouse hunting. My first idea was that “two go out, one comes back.” To tell you the truth, we had a great time. Our success was mostly limited to wild apples and pears, but it was a beautiful sunny day. Dad got a bit muddy, and scraped it all off INSIDE my truck on the way home.

Lorelei** whispered to me while we were driving around. “Your story is on the page, but your characters suck.”

“I’m usually pretty solid on my characters; what’s wrong?”

“It’s your heroine, Gina. You did a good job on her wound, and what makes her tick, but she’s just a dishrag after that. She’s a speaker of words with no personality. You could contrast her with those around her and make them all more believable. They can’t all be the same.”

“That’s a great idea, but it can’t do anything about it until my company leaves.”

“Of course it’s a good idea. Now watch the road and drive carefully.” Just like that, she was gone again.

Mom and Dad took us to dinner for my wife’s birthday, and it was really good. They just left about an hour ago.

We need to pick up my present to her, and then I have Dr. Who recorded to watch. I may not get back to my story until next week.

Sorry to leave you guys hanging, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

* Not my wife’s actual name.

** Lorelei is my Muse. She keeps me on track, and helps me see where I can improve.

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Something tells me I’m due for a visit

Today was kind of a slow blog day. Not too many new things in my Reader. Only one blog visit from some lucky visitor from Italy. It looks like many of the bloggers have a real life and better things to do today.

It also looks like I need to post something today.

Old What’s Her Face* bought me a new bottle of Angry Orchard Cider when she went shopping. It’s a new kind to me, and it’s absolutely awesome. Look what it’s called though.

image

Something tells me I’m going to have a visit from Lorelei** very soon. Maybe I’d better start my outline before she shows up.

Later bloggers. I’ve got hard cider to drink.

* Not my wife’s actual name.

** Lorelei is my Muse. She expects me to start writing again soon.

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Writing Like Mad

The phone rang on my way to the writing cabin this morning. “Hello. This is Bento* speaking – stop.”

“Hey Bento. I’m almost there, what’s up?”

“You have guest – stop. Miss Lorelei** is here – stop.”

“Why do you keep saying stop?”

“It’s standard telegraph etiquet – stop.”

“This is a phone, not a telegraph. You don’t have to say stop. What does she want?”

“She says she’s here to inspire you – st– she thinks you’re going to make up some lost ground today.”

“Give her some coffee or something, I’m almost there.”

“I already did. I’m not a barbarian,” Bento said.

I trudged in through the basement and put my boots in the soapbox. I slipped on my mocassins and headed up. Lorelei met me at the top of the stairs. She had on a short tight black witch’s dress and some black high heels. Her witch’s hat had the brim shaped to frame her face. I swear, she could make a throw rug look awesome.

I booted up my iPad and sat at the roll top desk in my paranormal room. Bento and Lorelei already had a fire started and the lights on. She opened the enchanted window and shooed Doubt*** outside. I smiled and turned away too late.

“Oh, he’s coming back. You need him, but not today. Today your job is to make the electronic ink fly,” she said.

Bento went to work on the alchemy artwork. It bubbled merrily from retort to retort and wound up smelling like a fresh tin of pipe tobacco when he finished.

I started writing, and my main character, Patty, suffered a terrible loss. She wound up alone in the dark with everyone mad at her. I even added some rain for her discomfort.

Lorelei swung the cauldron into the fireplace and added water. I watched her crouch down and stir. I hoped her dress would fail, but it managed to hold up somehow. This is what she calls inspiration, as if that actually works.

Bento added some pork and vegetables to the pot and disappeared again. The smells were delightful as the food mingled with the aromatherapy from the artwork.

I kept typing, but things were distracting. I put Patty through a major meltdown and a minor temper tantrum. I paused to pick my fingernails with the desk spindle, and had another idea. Another story element was born.

“When do we eat around here?” I asked. “That stuff smells wonderful.”

Lorelei ran her fingers through my hair and said, “Why don’t you give it another hour. You’re really making progress today. You’re going to lose some writing time in the next few weeks.”

A tingle ran down my spine, and I wanted nothing more than to make her happy. I went back to my typing.

“You know, I don’t know if I’m making this creepy and scary enough,” I said. I swung the coffee pot away from the fireplace and tipped the pot into my cup. I sat on the couch and blew the heat off the top.

Lorelei sat in the wingback chair and leaned way way forward. The view was mesmerizing. “I could invite the Stygian Witches for tea. They might give you some pointers.” She batted her eyes and smiled. “Or you could just keep going and see if you need them later.”

I walked to the desk and went back to work. “That isn’t fair, you know.”

“Aren’t you feeling inspired? I could whip out my Sharon Stone manuever.”

“Maybe when Patty has to confront the big bad evil. I might need some extra help there.”

She wrinkled her nose and said, “you’ve got it.”

Bento came back and set up a folding table I never knew we had. He tossed some noodles in the pot and set the table.

I wrote for another forty five minutes and asked, “So what are we having?”

“I call it pork noodles. I learned how to make it in Chinatown,” he said.

We moved around the table and Bento dished us up. The food was wonderful.

“So how did you do today?” Lorelei asked.

“Word count at 67,428. Holy cow, that’s 5171 words today.”

“See what a little inspiration can do?”

“Yeah, apparently so.”

“Don’t fall in love with your words,” she said. “You’ll have to get them past Doubt before you share them with anyone.”

 

* Bento is a supporting character from Panama. He’s coming to a Kindle near you if I can find a cover artist.

** Lorelei is my Muse. I’m pretty sure she actually knows the Stygian Witches.

*** Doubt is a raven, kind of. He was a gift from Lorelei and is supposed to be helpful.

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The Green Fairy

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I bought a bottle of absinthe . I always wanted to try it. First I mixed it according to the recipe. One absinthe in the glass, three ice waters trickled over a sugar cube to make it cloudy. I like it, but I wish it was greener. It probably depends on the brand. Tastes like anise candy.

I added it all to a cocktail shaker and took the easy way out for round two. It works the same. Next time I’ll mix it a little stronger. Maybe one to two.

I would have it again, but I …

“What are you doing?”

“Oh, hey Lorelei, we’re blogging. Have you met the Green Fairy?”

“Yeah, and you need to decide where your inspiration is coming from. I have other clients you know.”

“Well, she talks about different stuff.”

“True, and some of it’s good. It’s just that I’m all in, and I expect my clients to be all in too. I’ll have bourbon with you, even the occasional rye. Sometimes, I’ll even show up for craft beer. I draw the line at wine and absinthe.” Lorelei pushed out her chest and said, “She’s — fickle.”

“I’m not really that fancy either, I suppose. She’s hot though, other than being green. Not that you aren’t hot too. I mean, you’re totally hot.” The fairy licked my ear, and I pulled away.

“Whatever. Look, finish your binge, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Those are some really hot boots…

And she was gone. The fairy stuck around, and we had a third drink. She’s pretty seductive, but can’t hold a candle to Lorelei.

I’m a beer and whiskey kind of guy. Lorelei sends me good ideas. I think I’ll stick with the Muse. Maybe she’ll try harder, but don’t tell her I said that. Now if I could only get Lorelei to help with editing.

Do fairies know how to edit?

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October 23, 2013 · 9:07 PM