My muse* is a pestâ€”an incredibly annoying pain in the butt. She comes knocking on my door at the worst possible times. There I am snug as bug in bed, covers up to my chin, lights off, and sleep nearly reached.
â€œHey! Hey, Liz! Wake up! I have an idea.â€
I open one eye and look around my bedroom. Same as always. Sheâ€™s shy and doesnâ€™t want to make an appearance, but she has no trouble pulling me from my extremely comfy situation because she has â€œan idea.â€
â€œWhat if itâ€™s a bad one?â€ I ask.
â€œItâ€™s not. I promise.â€
Ha! Iâ€™ve heard that before. I wouldnâ€™t trust her as far as I can throw her, and since Iâ€™ve never been able to get my hands on her to throttle her for said sleep deprivation, weâ€™ll never know how far that is.
I snuggle a little further under the covers. If I ignore her, sheâ€™s bound to go away.
â€œLi-iz. Li-iz. You have to get up.â€
â€œWhat?â€ I steam, throwing covers to the floor and kicking my mattress. â€œWhat could possibly be so important at midnight?â€
â€œItâ€™s a good idea. I swear.â€
I squint, shake my head, and finally shrug. Thereâ€™s no going back to sleep now. Turning on my laptop, I cover my legs with my quilt again, trying to return some semblance of the coziness Iâ€™d been enjoying before such a rude interruption.
Computer humming, work in progress open, I wait. â€œSo â€¦ what was the great idea?â€
â€œCome on. Iâ€™m tired, and I have to work in the morning. Whatâ€™s this master plan you were swearing by a few minutes ago?â€
â€œUmmm â€¦ I forgot.â€
Iâ€™m going to shoot her. I swear. â€œReally? You got me out of bed for â€˜um. I forgotâ€™?â€ I glare in her general, albeit, invisible direction. â€œIâ€™m going back to bed. Donâ€™t even think about waking me up again.â€
My finger is an inch away from the computerâ€™s off button when she explodes, â€œWait! Wait! I remember! Itâ€™s about him.â€
She lives with me, and she canâ€™t even remember my heroâ€™s name? Useless, pathetic, annoying, pain in the butt. Whatâ€™d I tell you?
â€œWhat about Levi?â€
She gets a little cocky tone in her voice. â€œHe needs a better conflict.â€ Well, thatâ€™s not news to anyone, and I think she can tell that from the way I move to shut off my computer again. â€œNo, no! But I know what the conflict should be.â€
â€œOh, really. Do tell.â€ My skepticism is so heavy I think it might drip onto my keyboard.
â€œThere has to be a reason he canâ€™t go back to his job, back to San Diego.â€
â€œYes, I know that. Get to the point.â€
Her pause, pregnant with anticipation, is nearly my undoing. â€œWhat if heâ€™s been accused of misconduct by one of the girls?â€
â€œDonâ€™t be stuâ€”Wait. What? Accused by one of the girls?â€
â€œAnd his boss forced him to take a leave of absence. And-and thatâ€™s why he canâ€™t go back just yet. But he wants to.â€
I nod slowly. â€œBut he wants to.â€
â€œSee. Right there. You can add it right there.â€ She points over my shoulder, and I just keep nodding, my fingers slowly gaining speed, as the words roll onto the page.
We sit like that for at least an hour. She whispers in my ear. I reject her idea on principle, then begrudgingly admit that it might work. She points out a bad sentence, but I ignore it for at least three minutes, until sheâ€™s forgotten and moved on. Then I go back to fix it.
And this night, as a yawn cracks my jaw, I know I canâ€™t keep my eyes open any longer.
She sashays toward the door. Just before slipping out of the room, she brags, â€œI told you it was a good idea.â€
Maybe. But Iâ€™ll never admit it to her.
*names have been withheld to protect the innocent and annoying.
Liz Johnson lives this mostly true experience far too often, but sheâ€™s slowly learning not to mind the interruptions. By day sheâ€™s a book publicist. By night she is her museâ€™s plaything. She lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where she enjoys theater, ice skating, and doting on her nephew and nieces in Arizona. She is the author of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, and her second novel, Vanishing Act, will release in 2010.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I post a review of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn.