Saturday, February 12, 2011

When your muse has you by the....BRAIN

This is a VALENTINE'S re-run from a couple years ago!



Today was a hamster wheel kind of day...I ran...I ran...I ran!

Man oh Man, I should be ready to crash but I am feeling a creative vibe today that I just can't shake...and here's how my muse works....

(for those of you new to my blog... I am a writer of children's books...and I dabble in the grown-up stuff, too!)

She (my muse) likes to visit me when I don't even have a second to grab a pencil to jot down her ideas. So, for the rest of the day I traipse through the grocery store, walk the dog, pick up the kids, go to the doctor's and clean the house with the same story outline mantra running through my head...

"mean girl and nice girl stuck in school overnight, mean girl and nice girl stuck in school overnight..."

or "humor essay about girlfriends, humor essay about girlfriends..."

or "doogie howser kind of kid/wants to be a teacher, doogie howser kind of kid/wants to be a teacher..."

So, you see why the checkout girls turn off their light when they see me coming...I am the "repeater" they talk about in the lunchroom. Sigh!

So, my muse must've slept in this morning as I packed lunches, watched over the neighbor kids, got them and 2 of my 3 on the bus and drove my oldest to the doctor without any "a-ha" moments.

But in the middle of a conversation with the doctor about my middle schooler's ailments she flew in...and started banging me on the head with her bag of ideas! I continued looking at the doctor but, like a puzzle, I had no control over the pieces as they started coming together...and they kept coming. They wouldn't stop!

It was an important conversation the doctor and I were having and I didn't want to miss a word so it is a good thing I am "Mom" and not "Dad" because I can do more than one thing at a time.

Then it was off to an area church to drop something off....chatting with the pastor and still, I am putting the pieces together, wishing desperately there was a pad of paper and a pen surgically implanted in my forearm and finger respectively as he spoke. Like an Inspector Gadget kind of deal...little sliding door right above my wrist that reveals a never-ending supply of notepaper and a ballpoint pen sticking out of the tip of my first finger. Oh no, is that another book idea?

"super kid with funky gadgets, super kid with funky gadgets..."

We raced home to get my youngest off the pre-school bus, then some dishes and straightening put me right at the hour that I had to get him to the neighbors so my I could head off to meet my oldest I had just had at the doctor's at ART CLUB (I teach it). A room filled with 36 5th and 6th graders is NOT conducive to carrying on a conversation with the voice in your head or taking notes, for that matter. But I still mumbled, making sure I hadn't lost a single piece of that puzzle.

5pm - it was time to run home, grab the other two kids from the neighbors and throw together something that resembles dinner..."How's a breakfast-dinner sound to everyone? Eggs, waffles and bacon?" SCORE! They ALL said "yes!"

After I (somewhat) cleaned up the kitchen, I poured yesterday's cold coffee still in the pot into a mug, nuked it and sat on the floor and played cars for a bit.

Books, PJs, diapers and 30 repeats of "Silent Night" and all 3 are in bed. It's after 9pm!

That's when I started melting chocolate to make the rest of the 120+ dipped pretzel rods that I started for the 14 teachers and bus drivers who were worthy of something sweet for tomorrow's 1/2 day Valentine's Day celebrations.

Hubby came home, scarfed down some leftovers and we watched the last hour of the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice cross-over event. He kissed me and went to bed.

That's, of course, when I placed my sprinkled chocolate pretzels in decorative bags and started the cupcakes....yep, cupcakes. It was 11pm and I had 48 cupcakes to make. I will ice them tomorrow before going in to my daughter's class. I think cupcakes is all I was responsible for. You would think as Homeroom Mom I would know these things. But my brain space is being taken up by the book idea I can't seem to find the time to write down. Repeating my mantra, going about my work.

The second batch of cupcakes goes in the oven and I breathed an "everyone is asleep and I have two (maybe three) articles and essays to write" sigh of relief. I even thought maybe, just maybe I could bang out a couple of pages of this new idea my muse was now suffocating me with.

That's when it happened, the inevitable....

...his eye hurts... WHAT?!!!

It is now 12:34 am...the cupcakes are out of the oven cooling, the baby is back to sleep, I have a cup of tea and I am sitting at my computer wondering how I could possibly have enough energy to write this book NOW!

Because everyone knows it would take a minimum of 100 re-writes, 2 1/2 years in production and hours of phone calls and emails about illustration development before it would actually BE on the shelves.

But what a cool story it would be if I did....and it caught someone's attention. Can you see me on the TODAY SHOW as they introduce me as the newest New York Times Best Selling Author?

"Well, Meredith, it really wasn't that difficult, I had an idea and I wrote it."

Good night! Apparently, in the wee hours of Friday morning, I have now become delusional! :)



Kim said...

Hey Michelle - It's really obvious to me why I enjoy reading your blog so much, because your life is as crazy as mine is! Wednesday I had a typing project to finish overnight, then I also was making heart cut-out cookies (cut-out cookies! what was I thinking??) for my son's preschool class which I started at 7:00 a.m., then I had to make the frosting, iron my husband's clothes for work, take a shower, and be at school by 9:30 for the party. UGH! I was so relieved today (Thursday) was over!

And your coloring page was a HUGE hit! I had done what you suggested and put it in Word - it came out a little fuzzy, but that added to the cuteness of it, I think! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity =)

Anonymous said...

Don't feel alone. I have those kinds of days all day. My book is in my head, muddling around, and i know that one day I'll have that "aha" moment and start writing. My book, however, will be in collaboration with my daughter, who is now 300 miles away in college.

Once I start writing, everything else will fall to the wayside. I will not write like David McCullough or John Updike or Ken Follett with a "day" plan. I will spill coffee, leave random notes all over the place, fill my computer desktop with disparate thoughts, and finally, after all is finished our dream interview is not Meredith, but Oprah announcing our names in only they way that Oprah can announce someone to her stage!!!

Happy writing!!!

Anonymous said...

Michelle - I can so empathize with you right now! Don't you love it when those muses just pop in so totally unexpected and just won't stop?!? I keep a pen and paper within easy reach at all times. My problem is, I have so many little notebooks all over the place that I can never find the one I want with what I want in it!

Happy writing girlfriend...when you find the time!

Daisy said...

Oh, motherhood!! The things we didn't know when we signed on for this.

How to Party with an Infant said...

I love your imaginary conversation with Meredith. I've had a few of those.