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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Muse Murdered In Cold Ink

What a week it's been. I am so glad I did Lynn Viehl's Left Behind and Loving It tour. She had some terrific posts and great guests as well. If you haven't been to her site, please make the pilgrimage. You'll thank me later.

I'll announce a winner tomorrow from those who commented this week to win a print copy of Touch Of Fire. But I did promise another announcement for today.

Starting next week Killer Campaigns will no longer continue on this blog. What I plan to do, most likely in the fall, is put every post on a document file or on Scribd and offer it as one neat package to anyone who's interested.

But wait, there's more.

Along with the existing Killer Campaign posts already on this blog, there will be new, never before seen posts too. I'm also thinking of doing some step by step tutorials for brochures and business cards. These will be offered as separate files.

Taking the place of Killer Campaigns on Fridays will be The Prudent Penny, my all time favorite money saving tips. When available, I'll also post links for free books, magazines and goodies as I find them.

Monday Markets will continue as before and in between there will be more (mis)adventures while we turn our home into a homestead. I hope you'll visit regularly.

In the meantime, I want to post a little story I wrote that ran on Romance Novel TV. It's one of my favorite posts. I hope you like it too.

***

Murder Your Muse

I’m a heathen. I freely admit that. So when I say I murdered Seamus, my muse, and chucked his body behind the dumpster of my local Kroger grocery store, you’ll understand that I never felt any remorse.

Yeah, the cops were surprised too.

But let me tell you, killing that sucker was liberating.

I’m always amused at how some writers stroke their muses, build altars to them, cherishing them as if that magical muse-alicious essence controlled the fate of the next great RITA winner.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your muse is better behaved than mine was. Sure, Seamus was useful when he wanted to help me. The guy was gorgeous, taunting me with that swishing kilt, whispering sweet promises of inspiration. And when he didn’t deliver, he’d blame me for not listening properly.

I’ve tossed out boyfriends for less cheek, so why was I going to take this from him?

One day, as I waited for Seamus to show up (yes, he’s deserted me a few times), I realized if I was going to get anywhere I’d have to do it on my own. I couldn’t wait for him to bring me inspiration, so I sat at that keyboard and lined up my characters in a row.

“You, hero! State your purpose.”

“You, klutzy alpha heroine! Why are you giving in so easily to Smiley over there?”

This interrogation went on and on until I worked out all the kinks. Within a couple of hours I had a perfectly credible scene with no saggy middles and a crackling good segue to the next chapter.

Guess what? That wasn’t so hard.

I discovered that inspiration comes from within and I didn’t need a crutch (even a handsome one) to hang all my hopes.

I wiped the sweat from my brow, knowing I had delivered a kick-ass turning point in the story, all without the help of Seamus.

And then here he comes, all six foot six, two-hundred and thirty pounds of him, swaggering to the lilt of his own tenor singing voice. “Maria,” he croons. “My spicy little Spanish flower.”

That’s when I decked him.

My heart lodged in my throat when I realized he wasn’t breathing. I poked his firm buttocks with my toe. He didn’t move a muscle.

Dead. Dead as last year’s Xbox.

I wish I could say it bothered me, but it didn’t. Seamus had helped me through some rough patches, especially in the beginning when I was just starting out, but lately he had been wearing out his welcome.

Countless times, he had come home drunk, tired, or ill-tempered. Deep down, I knew he was seeing another writer. Maybe he was giving her all his good stuff. All I knew was I wasn’t getting any. And you know how well that goes over.

So I dragged him behind the dumpster and left him there. I would have gotten away too if I hadn’t lingered, mesmerized by his beefy bare ass in the moonlight.

That’s when the cops arrived. They were ready to haul me away when they heard a groan coming from behind the dumpster.

I should have known. You can’t kill a muse.

At least he didn’t hold a grudge. The last I saw of Seamus, he was walking hand in hand with a perky little crime photographer.

***
Fast forward six months. In this morning’s paper there’s a picture of that cute photographer beaming in front of a packed auditorium. Seamus is in the background grinning like a love-sick hyena.

Apparently, she’d won a Pulitzer.

Damn muse.

***

Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini -- http://mariazannini.blogspot.com/.

5 comments:

Sherri said...

OMG that was funny!

Thank you for all your posts this week...I'm working my way through the older ones in the Killer series.

As for the trading cards I do in my scrapbooking...they're set up very much like baseball cards, perhaps because I'm raising only boys, LOL. So the fronts usually have a theme, or actual picture of the subject I working on, with layers of sub-subjects. The back has all the details, usually including another picture.

To translate into book promos...I think something like cover art on the front with maybe what is known as journal strips in scrapbooking (something like a demo or labeling machine strip) for the title and author. Or an actual picture of the cover. On the back genre, publishing, and author contact details.

Because, traditionally, trading cards are hand made, each one would be slightly different. But with a high quality scanner, you could create one and scan to print the cards as you would business cards. The beauty of them is that they are bigger than business cards therefore can hold more info.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Sherri,
I hope they were useful.

Having a scrapbooking background probably gives you a leg up on the rest of us when doing trading cards. --raising boys helps too. *g*

LJCohen said...

ROFL! This was a wonderfully funny blog post. I don't have a name or persona for the muse and I agree with you that the power is in the writer's hands, not at the whim of some external inspiration.

catie james said...

*snortle* You should "kill" your muse more often. That was funny! I'll miss Killer Campaign Fridays.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks guys. :o)