A Clean, Uncluttered Place

Every writer needs a place to create. For some of us, that place is specific and consistent. For others, it is wherever we find ourselves when inspiration strikes.

Polyhymnia by Francisco del Cossa - the Muse of Poetry
Polyhymnia by Francisco del Cossa – the Muse of Poetry

For most of us, that place is both of the above. We are always prepared for that magic to pass from our thoughts, through our heart to our fingers. (Not to forget those who dictate their words to the waiting screen or digital recorder of some sort – this is something I’ve considered but pen and paper are more readily available.)

When I say ‘uncluttered,’ I don’t necessarily mean a tidy desk or Spartan environment. I’m really talking about that place in your head that takes over when you are linked to your muse. When I wrote the final installments of Nights Before, I had such a tight deadline, I had to find time to write at every opportunity.

My morning commute to my office in downtown San Francisco provided exactly that. From my residence to my office transverses the city diagonally and, depending on traffic in the Muni Metro tunnel, that commute may be an hour long and since I start at the first stop and end at the penultimate, that hour is mine to do as I wish. Writing scenes for ‘Twas the Night Before Labor Day and ‘Twas the Night Before Veterans Day came as welcome respites from the jostling and tinny music of my fellow commuters.

Hesiod and the Muse by Gustave Moreau
Hesiod and the Muse by Gustave Moreau

My usual physical place of ‘business’ is my dining table. For years, my only opportunity to write was sitting in bed at night, on lined tablets of paper of which I bought cases. In fact, writing in bed at night is where Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls, Wait a Lonely Lifetime and my two current works in progress, Dance by the Light of the Moon and This Can’t Be Love, first found their form in words.

Occasionally, when the story has a firm grip on me, I have had no choice but to go to the dining table to write from the early hours until dawn and the rest of the household awakens. These fleeting Muses, as the Greeks were well-aware, are fickle and will depart if they are not attended at their demand. A Muse will not tolerate neglect.

Where does your Muse find you unable to resist her call?

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