The Muse has been a term I’ve used for awhile to describe a sort of personification of the motivation I feel when writing. Not an uncommon thing, of course. A while back Devi and I were chatting about something, and another personification just sort of popped in my head – The Writer, who’s the poor bastard who’s got to put up with The Muse. It’s hard to explain the whole story here, but, we both have some personifications that we use to describe situations (er, she has the Quotations. There’s a whole fucking backstory here that makes it funny to her and I. Everyone else would just look at us like idiots while we laughed.)
Anyway, we were having a discussion on the phone the other day, and part of it turned to an area where I’ve still got ghosts and demons running around. So I didn’t actually say what was on my mind.
Later, I said fuck it, and set down to write her a message on Facebook. I started to preface it with a couple lines about an exchange between The Muse and The Writer about what I was supposed to say. This is what came out (called The Muse in Fear’s Realm):
The Muse leans in, stroking the writers long, unkempt hair. “You failed me. Why?”
His cigarette trembles, “I didn’t fail you. Really – I wrote the words. I told the story. I did ask you asked!”
She pauses. She looks at him, a darkness running across her face, “If you wrote them, where did they go? They don’t just disappear dear. Where are they?”
“I think,” he gulps, “I think Fear got them.”
Her eyes flash, her disapproval searing into his soul, “Again? That little twerp.” She strokes his hair for a minute or two, calming him, soothing him. Don’t abuse your toys, and if you do, never leave them broken.
The Muse walks into Fear’s domain. There he sits in front of an Atari 2600 playing games. Short hair, parted to the side, still manages to look unruly. Unlike The Writer or The Muse, he shifts slightly in appearance from time to time. He’s no zit faced basement dwelling teenager, but his young age shows. Sometimes he looks geeky, then mean or downright sadistic, then handsome, then sad, then petrified with fear. He finally notices her, and sits down the joystick to giver her his attention. His adams apple bobs slightly. He knows she holds no control over him, but he is Fear – and as such, he fears her.
“Why did you take The Writers work again?” The Muse looks genuinely perplexed. She rarely found herself in the same room as Fear. She couldn’t control him, and he could banish her instantly.
“I dunno. Just ’cause.”
“Because… please fill in the blank for me here. Just ’cause,” the world ’cause slurred slightly since such poor speech was alien to her, “doesn’t explain it for me. Please, explain it. I want to understand.”
He sighs. His manner of speaking changes, more abrupt, and shifts form to a meaner appearance. “Because I’m Fear. That should be enough to know. Because those words could have caused Us pain. It could have caused Him pain. Whatever her name is might not have understood. And any more information given to her could be used against Him later. It’s my job to help avoid that pain.”
She looked at him as sternly as she dared, “And He has requested that we always tell the truth, that we are always open with his…” she paused, looking for a word, “Distraction. He says she has earned it through her trust in him.”
Fear snorted, “I’m part of his decision making process. He can say anything He wants, but in the end, I’ve got to be addressed. I will protect Us at all costs!”
She stepped back, and took a more neutral stance. “I understand what you are saying. But He has willed it. And even I think She deserves it. We both have a job to do – you protect Us, and I further Us. Please, what did you do with the words?”
Fear’s appearance became sad. He reached into darkness, and pulled out a few pages of paper, typewritten, stained with nicotine and splashes of alcohol on them. “Here. Take them. But it’s too late – the moment has passed. I picked my own words to say – these are now useless.”
The Muse took them, and a wry grin appeared. “Oh no, it’s never too late. A moment as passed, but it’s just a moment. There are other moments. He will tell the Distraction what He wanted to say. It might not even be these exact words, but the same ideas will be there,” She turned walking into the darkness, “It’s never too late.”
She appeared in The Writers room, dropping the pages on his wooden desk, and then leaned against the desk. He looked at her, raising an eyebrow. “Darling, I’ve got another job for you,” she said in a silky voice.
“You want me to call The Orator,” he said pointing at the old rotary phone, “and have him ready for the words, maybe give him a little extra time to polish his delivery?”
She smiled. “No, this time we’ll do it a little more directly – Fear has less power on the Internet.”
I instantly loved it. Devi had somehow talked me into setting up a Deviant Art account, and I posed it up there just for the hell of it (I’ve got a couple of shorts up there – mostly raw nerve sort of writing for a book I’ve had in mind.) The next day The Muse (as a story character) came up in my head again while working at the mill in Kenosha. Then again while I was having supper – and this whole plotline starts to roll out of my head for a complete book with The Muse and The Writer as central characters.
And it was awesome.
So I’ve pounded out 6,000 words (about 24 manuscript pages) of it. The setup was the important part, and the slowest writing. Now that I’m out of that set of traps I could create for myself, it’s proceeding quickly. If I hit a brick wall, I’ll switch back and finish The Horror Game’s core book until inspiration hits again. But man do I really like the concept. Now the real question is, will anyone else – it’s pretty, er, unique in it’s concept.
Still Working Out
Well, my plan was to carry all of my workout stuff with me to Kenosha. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a first floor room – so no DDR for cardio. Crap. So I switched everything up, and managed to find a way to utilize what I had to produce a pretty intense workout.
One of the things I was playing with was the chinup bar (not sure if I mentioned it, but I managed to pick one up for $20 🙂 You can use it for chinups, plus you can do things like hang from it to do an ab workout with leg lifts, etc.
At some point, it occurred to me to try something – I stuck my legs out at a perfect 90 degrees from my body and do a pullup.
HOLYMOTHEROFJESUSANDALLTHAT, what the hell was THAT?!
So, yeah, found something that will produce more abdominal stress than anything I’ve experienced before. Part of my routine involves those now. Ow. Ow. A really good ow though.
When I left Kansas I still hadn’t dropped a single pound. As far as I know, I’m still 220 lbs – the same as when I started. But my clothes fit better across my center – actually, there’s plenty of room there now, and I’m starting to slowly see a change in shape. I have love handles, for instance. While not something a guy particularly wishes for, having them is a good sign in my case – I had lost my love handles a while back (er, quite a while) to make way for a full fledged beer belly. I’ve got a line starting to form down the center of my stomach, and indentations on both sides of my stomach. In other words, the beginnings of definition there again. Hm. Let’s see how far I can get this to go 🙂
The upper half of my shirts are tighter though. Good sign.
But the original reason was because of Devi’s 86 lb kid trying to hang off my arm, and not being able to do my old jungle gym tricks. I got to thinking back when I felt I had looked my best before, and realized something… I used to have to use the weight assist on the pullup machine to do reps when Heather and I were working out. I now do it without any assist (in fact, that whole stick the legs straight out and do a pull up couldn’t be done with an assist). In other words, I’ve exceeded what I was about five years ago, and didn’t even realize it.
Which got me even more curious – how big arm my arms in comparison to others now? A little research says an average male has a 13″ bicep when flexed. Flexed I now have 16″ biceps (15 1/2″ cold flexed). No shit. So I’m well beyond average now. They don’t LOOK great though – I’d have to do a lot of work to get all of those peaks and cut lines. But I’m fine with that – right now I’m going to concentrate on the main issues (flat out bulk strength and loosing that center section). Later I can mess with definition. Though the forearms are getting nice definition to them, but they are only 12 1/4″ flexed (definitely no Popeye forearms going on here.)
Since I’m in a hotel room with a HUGE mirror, I couldn’t resist – I had to flex just once to see what I looked like. Well… flexed up I really look pretty good.
I also did incline pushups in front of the mirror (I have to do incline pushups, otherwise my shoulders start grinding – eeeew. It takes some stress off of ’em. Though, I must admit, my left shoulder feels a LOT more solid, and hasn’t popped out of socket in a couple of weeks now!) and watched once as I did ’em – hehe. Cool. I can see my muscles moving across my shoulders and arms. Again, a good sign.
So, definitely encouraged to continue with my current efforts!
Oh, and Chris? Fuck you and your little “Metrosexual” comment. Yes, I like to look nice, I’d like to look like a fat, old, balding bastard my entire life. The only factor there I can change is fat really.
I’m back in Kenosha on vacation. Or at least it almost feels like a vacation – they didn’t have enough for me to do really, I’ve been sort of making stuff up to do. They provided me with a list of to-do’s and I’ve been leaving the mill every night at 5 PM, and the list is DONE. I’ve been going through their systems looking for anything to fix or tweak.
Part of the reason for getting me up here was just doing a bit of cleanup, and to do a little prep work for a second trip in June. Cool. But while I was here we discussed a $100,000 project. Not holding my breath on THAT, but shit, I really wouldn’t mind that one, since it would be a slow payout over a year – about $50k of it would be profit (after markup on various bits of hardware, software, off site labor, on site trips about once every two months, etc.).
But I’ve felt really isolated here. I’ve gotten used to there being things to go do like the Thursday Fountain Street meetings, Tweetups, and hanging around with Devi. It’s just not as enjoyable to be all by myself for a week as it used to. And my next trip is about two weeks long. Ug.
The drive up was suckage – lots of construction and detours. Detoured in Kansas City, Iowa City, near Chicago, and near Kenosha. Fuck that sucked. Though, for about four hours of it I had company – Devi called and we chatted until about 3 AM. That was new – it definitely made miles go by much faster!
Since she’s been mentioned in multiple blog posts, and at least twice in this one, I thought I’d update that situation on here.
There’s no situation.
A little romance in my life would be nice, but I’ve got “just another good friend” (actually, I don’t mind that part at all.) Ya know, there are days I really wish I was an asshole to women. Just one of those complete fucking jerks women seem to go for.
Not that it matter much in this particular equation – the issue is I’m a guy 🙂 But just a generic observation on the fact that it seems like it’s real easy for women to end up trusting me and being stuck in the friend zone with some hot girl. Oh fucking well.
We had a discussion about us again (actually caused by a miss-communication) and she laid it all out for me – basically, she trusts me with stuff she wouldn’t even trust the last two long term girlfriends she’s had. But I’m still a guy. (I’m simplifying the shit out of this, as this was actually a discussion that happened on the phone, and across two days worth of email.)
Ya know, I had been keeping a very pessimistic attitude about anything happening between us, I thought. Yet… after that discussion I became incredibly depressed. Somewhere in my heart, there had been a hope growing quietly. Any feelings I did have developing towards her had just been stuffed in with the hope, and left to ferment unseen. I ended up telling her about it (there’s a reason for that – she explained a lot about herself, her feelings, etc. and really wanted us to be able to share anything. So, fuck it, she got the bad part too), and spent a day bemoaning my fate. Then I was better. 🙂
That situation though… it bugs me. I’m starting to really believe I AM better off alone – it’s way too easy for me to start developing feelings for the wrong girl in the wrong situation (there’s a big story about that I’ve yet to tell on here. The statute of limitations hasn’t warn off yet, though a few people know that story 😉 I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. (And if you want to go by measure of “successful relationships”, technically I’ve yet to have a single one, so it’s always been either the wrong girl, or me 🙂 I’m thinkin’ it’s time to have the heart bronzed and put it up on a shelf, and focus my energies on a solid relationship with The Muse. It’s a hell of a lot more productive, and I don’t end up depressed (even if only for a day) when I finished with a book.