Who thought I’d ever be playing hide and seek at my age. And not the dignified kind of hide and seek where you get stuck in the play tube at McDonald’s and the manager has to pull you out by the ankles. Since you emerge with your hair and half of your sweater flipped over your eyes it isn’t bad. It’s not like you can see people pointing and staring. And since you can’t see them it’s easy to pretend the giggles and titters are because something funny is showing on the TV in the corner. Still kind of peeved it took a two cherry pie bribe to get a kid to dive in the ball pit until he located my left shoe that popped off sometime during the rescue process. No this is something infinitely more embarrassing.
I’m talking about the times I can’t write for lack of a muse. I don’t mean family tales. Family can be counted on to give me plenty of material. I mean what I’ve chosen to write; the paranormal. I have storylines plotted; strong, compelling characters with back story sheets; settings explored and documented with pictures and recordings to draw realism from; snippets of conversation logged that show a particular character’s personality perfectly. I have coffee. I have chocolate. I have Canadian Mist. Yet I’m left waiting for my characters to show up.
I mean the same little buggers that rap on the back of my eyelids in the middle of my sleep, demanding their story be told. Now. I accommodate them because usually what they have to say it pretty good stuff. But when I have a nice free block of time with no duties or distractions will they return the favor? Nooo.
I hoped to give a glowing report containing word count tallies, primary and secondary characters growth, number of chapters completed and an estimated finish date. Thanks to Mz. Muse and her uncooperative self, I got nuthin’.
So thank heavens for family or you’d have nothing to read this week either. A couple of the kids came up this weekend and mowed the grass for me. Since six of ten acres is grass, it’s quite a job. They were also clearing trees that had grown up around the pond. They claim they were worried about the roots penetrating the levee, but I think it was more to reclaim all the fishing gear tangled in the branches. When the sun hit just right, a couple were so full of silver spoons, glass-beaded spin beetles and multi-hued lures they could have been dream-worthy Christmas displays for some world-renowned tackle shop.
I thought I was safe inside cooking until my youngest daughter burst in, all in a snit, hollering, of all things, “Will won’t let me use the chainsaw!” Will, never one to miss a chance to torment her, was hot on her heels mimicking her in falsetto with, “Momma! Momma! I’m gonna tell Momma!” The visual of a six-foot, two-hundred sixty pound man wiggling around flapping his hands like a kindergartener is unsettling. And hard to shake.
“Shut up, Will!” Rachel’s glare can blister paint.
Will grins because he got a rise out of her. Still using that shrill falsetto he whines: “Momma’ll make you let me use the chainsaw!”
Rachel: “Girls can use chain saws! Ask Momma, she’ll tell you!”
Will, in falsetto: “It’s not fair!” Hand flap, hand flap. “Girls can use chain saws too!”
I’m holding a spatula in the air, looking from one to the other trying to figure out if they’re serious or joking with each other. About that time Rachel got a wicked little victory gleam in her eye. How do I know it’s a victory gleam? I’ve been watching it for thirty years. She takes off across the room.
“Hey! Where are you going?” Will asks in his normal male voice, worried and suspicious. He starts after her just a little too late.
“You left the chainsaw on the levee and I can run faster than you! Nyah! Nyah!” That jibe is tossed over her shoulder as she bolts out the door.
Two sets of feet thunder away from me. Chainsaw started a couple of minutes later. Don’t know who got it. Don’t care. All I want is for my absentee muse to show up. So I can get back to things that make sense to me. Like the Paranormal.
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