So, I topped 35,000 words on Storm Shadows yesterday and was anxious to get back to it this morning.  The words were right there at the front of my mind and when I sat down at the computer, I could just imagine them flowing in an effortless stream from my brain to the keyboard.  I was happy, content, eager to work.  As I waited for the file to open, I sent up a prayer to the Romance gods that the dreaded “Midway Hump” would bypass me on this book.  Then I shoved up my sleeves, flexed my fingers and got busy. 

Less than a minute later it happened.  My muse popped up and shattered my world by uttering three little words.

Her (smirking):  You’re an idiot!

Me (eyes wide, mouth dropping open):  What?  What?  WTF are you talking about?

Her:  Watch your language, who do you think you are, one of your heroes?  I said, you’re an idiot.

Me (blinking owlishly, trying to hold on to my temper):  And just why am I an idiot?

Her (gesturing to the computer screen):  Pay attention to where you’re going with this story.  You can’t do that, it’s inconsistent with Snow.

Me:  I’m not working on Snow Shadows, that’s finished.  I’m working on the second book in the series, Storm Shadows.  Now, go away!

Her (rolling eyes):  That’s my point, Snow’s finished, its in the hands of the publisher, the ARCs have gone out, it’s ready to be printed.  You might even go so far as to say it’s etched in stone.  You can’t change…

Me (jumping up to dance and wave my hands over my head):  Only a couple of more months.  High five!

Her (crossing her arms over her chest):  Do you have any idea how stupid you look?  Sit down, shut up, and most important, listen up!  Your prologue on this one is inconsistent with Snow.  Hell, the whole thing is inconsistent.  Marc is always going on about his fear of death and about dying, you even have one part where he says he’s died before and he’ll do it again.  The curse, you mental genius, the curse, do you even remember the curse?  He’s immortal, he can’t die! 

Me (sitting down and sighing):  I know, but he doesn’t actually die and the legend I’m using for Marc is different.  I can–

Her (shaking a finger):  No, no, no, a thousand times no.  You can’t, and as long as I’m participating in this book, you damn well won’t!  Go back to the beginning and fix it.  Don’t make me get mean, you won’t like me when I’m mean.

Me (sulking):  You’re always mean.

Her:  No, I’m not.  What I am is consistent.  You’re writing a series, constistency is extremely important.  That (pointing at computer) is not consistent.

Me (sneering):  What was it Thoreau said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”?

Her (throwing her hands up in the air):  OMG, you are an idiot.  First, it was Emerson who said that, not Thoreau.  Second, when it comes to books in a series, a foolish INconsistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.  And the minds of your readers aren’t little.  You don’t think someone will catch it and call you on it?  Quit stalling and change it!

Me:  No!  Look, I know what I’m doing here.  I’m the writer, for God’s sake!  What I’ve done so far will be resolved later in the book.

Her (left eyebrow arched):  And how, pray tell, are you going to do that?

Me (mirroring her move, arching my right eyebrow):  I have some ideas.  You’re not the only one with an imagination, you know.

Her (snarling):  Your imagination is useless without me.  Now, how are you going to fix it?

Me (hunching shoulders):  I don’t know yet, but it’ll come to me.  Maybe I can…no, that won’t work.  How about…no, that won’t do it either.  I know, I know, I’ll…shit!

Her (laughing as she fades):  That’s what I thought.  Tell you what, when you figure it out, give me a call.  

Me:  Wait!  Wait!  Come back!  I need you to help me fix this, I need your input, your creativity, your thoughts.  I can’t–

Her (looking smug, hovering near the ceiling):  Go on, say it.

Me (sighing):  I can’t do this without you.

Her (shaking her head):  Somehow, I don’t think you really mean that.

Me:  I do!  I swear I do!

Her (pointing at the floor):  Not good enough.  Come on, you know the drill.

Me (getting down on my knees):  I’m sorry I doubted you.  Please, I need your help.  If you desert me, I’ll never finish this book.  I’m begging you, don’t go away and leave me here to do this alone.

Her (shoving up the sleeves of her bright yellow sweatshirt with a glowing lightbulb and the words “Muses do it in your head” emblazoned on the front):  Much better.  Now, get up and let’s see if we can fix this mess you’ve made.  Here’s what I’m thinking…

 

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