17 December 2018
I awoke this morning at 7 or so. This awakening was not a matter of being fully awake. I did not open my eyes. My interior sight was “seeing” the opening paragraph of THE SILENT HEART, in words and in movement, the kind of action scene that opens a film. I told My Muse that I would work on this writing later, after breakfast. It’s always a nice wish, delaying the march of My Muse.
I tried to go back to sleep, but then character details for the male character in this scene, Isaac Riley, filled my consciousness. There is no escape, I thought.
As I half-dozed in bed, I planned my day in later shifts to accommodate this unscheduled creative activity at daybreak. I (accurately) figured an hour or so of my writing time would do the trick, or the magic, or whatever is needed to satisfy My Muse. It’s the week before Christmas and She wants me to start composing my first Western.
Watching a movie last night must have triggered My Muse. Holiday Affair, a 1949 flick with Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, and Wendell Corey, was a fluffy delight. That opening scene of Mitchum pouring what looked like Ivory Snow over a toy train on a track in a department store: it was so engagingly funny that the DVD got reverse-shifted so I could watch it again. And again.
I used to use Ivory Snow for hand-washing delicates. I wonder if the stuff is still around.
My Muse might have been (must have been) at work during the previous night’s film viewing adventure, It Happened on Fifth Avenue. That movie was light-hearted and sentimentally uplifting. I learned the name of a quick cuisine concoction that I’ve been making for many years: slum gullion. There I was, thinking I was taking a break from creative work, and My Muse was taking notes! And so, in all fairness to My Muse, at 7:45 of the morning clock, I said to Dear Husband, “I need my large pad of paper and a pen.” “This sounds serious,” he commented as he got out of bed. “It is.” The opening scene of THE SILENT HEART has been in my mind for quite some time, at least four or five years. I hadn’t been saving the writing of it for some special moment, but that special moment came this morning, unexpectedly, at least for me, Debra. My Muse has undoubtedly been waiting for years to “roll the tape”. Why She chose my moments of awakening this morning, I can only surmise: The genesis for this Western sprung from a dream that I had on Christmas Night 1995 (this thrilling tidbit shall be explained in an upcoming Backstory). There is a logic, at least in temporal terms, to the aesthetic demands of My Muse. She decided to grant me a holiday this year!
Yesterday, I worked for a couple of hours on my translation of THE DAWN into L’AUBE. I have come to discover that visions of scenes for my Westerns are somehow “embedded” in portions of this Master Book. My mind was working towards the Westerns even during the composition of THE DAWN. Chapter 20 is a gold mine for inspirational and mnemonic retrieval, along with some wretched reminders of my working too quickly at the keyboard. I’ve found 2 run-on sentences that I had to rescue and revise into shorter sentences. They couldn’t breathe! This section of this chapter deals with the history of Château Vallon. I must have been racing through the medieval mansion to get outta there and reach Chapter 21!
Much of my fictional writing is unplanned but My Muse is always at her drawing board, even as I sleep. I did plan one certainty for my 2018 Holiday Season: last month I bought a new stack of 8-1/2 x 11 legal pads. Christmas Present for My Muse!