I made the mistake of looking at the calendar. Ack! I thought I had a month to work on my WIP before the conference. Now, I’ve got two weeks. Less actually, since we’re hosting a family gathering next weekend.
And I still need to work on the post for the Liebster Award Annika Perry nominated me for. Sorry, Annika. I will get to it. Promise! Might not be until after the Writers’ Institute, though.
I did have fun as a guest on Mae Clair’s blog. She’s got some great stuff over there, so if you didn’t look around when you stopped over, head back and browse a bit.
I jump, startled. “What the hell?”
My Muse tosses his worn leather tam across the room and peels his varsity jacket off. I haven’t seen that one before. It’s navy with a patch depicting the Australian flag on the chest, and an open book with an inkwell and quill on the back of the jacket. He chucks it onto the recliner in the corner of my writing office.
He’s wearing a rugby jersey from an Australian team–probably from Adelaide–and those oh-so-well-worn jeans of his. I’m getting some weird vibes from him.
“Pub crawl not go well last night?”
He paces. The thing about my office–it’s not very big. The pacing thing just makes it smaller if I don’t want him to walk over me. “Depends on who you ask. Mr. E acted like I stole his girl or something. Did Mae say something to him?”
Oh, boy. “Why would I know?”
He stops and nails me with those intense blue eyes. My heart skips a beat, and I check for the door.
“Don’t make me drag it out of you, love.”
“Come on, I just wrote a guest post for her. It did really well, I think.”
He lurches toward my computer. I block him. “You read the post before I sent it to her. She just added an introduction.”
“Step aside, love.” He grabs my shoulders and shoves me aside before snatching my laptop from the desk. A few taps, a couple clicks, and his lips press into a thin line before a corner turns up in a wry grin.
“See, I told you.”
He shakes his head and sets the computer back on the desk. “Uber-sexy? Really?”
The last thing I need is a Muse with an inflated ego. Okay, maybe not the last thing, but pretty close to the bottom of the list. “Mr. Evening is sexy, too. I mean, in a dark, mysterious, handsome, James-Bond-meets-Sam-Spade sort of way.”
“I remember now. She sent me a fan letter.” He looms over me. “Did you send a fan letter to Mr. E?”
Gulp. “What if I did?”
A scent of pine forest mixed with that earthy aroma of humus surrounds me, and conjures an image of a thick Black Forest vista as seen from mountain slopes. “So, he was jealous last night.”
I clear my throat. “Why would he be jealous? It’s not like you’re going over and helping Mae with her book. That’s his job.”
He leans down. I can feel his breath on my face. It smells like a creek rushing through autumn leaves. “Because I’m jealous you think he’s hot.”
Oh, shit. A Muse pissing match? Nothing like a Muse with testosterone. Maybe I need a cat muse.
“You won’t give me up for a cat.”
Dammit, he knows me too well. “I could exchange you for a nice, tame tiger.”
“You won’t,” he says with confidence. He leans back on my desk, arms crossed on his broad chest. “Is that why you hooked up with me?”
Wait. What?! “Ahh, ‘hooked up’? You’re my Muse, we …”
“You know what I mean.” He spreads his arms. “Is that why you picked this manifestation? Because it’s uber-sexy? And here I thought you loved me for my brain.” His crooked grin belies his pleasure.
*Face-palm* Let the ego-stroking commence. “You know exactly why I have you as my Muse: you inspire me, and you can kick me in the ass when I start dragging. It goes with the job. Look, if this is going to be an issue, I can trade you in for a newer model.”
An eyebrow arches high. “Empty threat, love.”
“You don’t think I’ve got a list of potential Muse material if something goes wonky with you? I can name a dozen replacements …”
“Oh, I’m sure you can.” He stands, uses his full height to his advantage. “When I got here, we hit the ground running. How long do you suppose you’d have to work to bring new blood up to speed? And none of them would be as good at kicking your non-writing ass into gear as I am.” He waves a finger. “Speaking of, you’re running out of time to shine up that WIP.”
“Don’t remind me. I’ve got my next revision just about ready to send for critique.”
He stares at me. My skin starts to crawl. “Why do I get the feeling you’re not telling me something?” he asks, suspicion thick in his voice.
Who? Me? I shrug. “Dunno.” Judging by his ego-meter, best to wait on those “when I met my Muse” short stories I’m pondering. “Well, gotta go. I’ll be back after work to give the new revision one more go-through. You’ll be here; no pub crawling tonight, right?”
He grabs my laptop, dumps his jacket to the floor, and settles into the recliner. “I’m not going anywhere, love. You’re stuck with me.”
Sigh. This weekend’s docket: Cleaning (ugh), writing (woo-hoo!), and counting down to the Writers’ Institute!