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She sits there drinking beer, slumped in my papasan chair, leg bouncing up and down hinged at the knee, while staring out the window in feigned boredom. Some muse I have. I’m stuck with this blank page and she’s more intent on a beer buzz.

Where’s the practiced wave of her hand causing perfect verbs and nouns to spew forth like gold flowing out of a Leprechaun’s bottomless pot? Where’s the creative doyen intent on ordering my thoughts into clever, succinct, and dare I say, sellable prose?

“So what have you written so far,” she says without looking at me, lips smacking from giving her gum a workout. “Give me something to work with.”

She wasn’t this lazy back when I had that run of published articles, when everything submitted seemed to catch ink. Then she was sophisticated, sipping champagne and daintily nibbling gourmet noshes while patiently offering inspiration. Words fell out easily and she did her job well. Now she seems content to slop random words up against the wall and see what sticks, if she puts that much effort into it. No wonder I can’t write lately. Who can work like this?

I concentrate, trying to ignore her. My god, is that “Feelings” she’s humming?

“So this is writer’s block,” I think while pondering how I can coax her into working or get her out of here before she drinks all my brews. “At least it’s not expensive champagne,” I mutter, hoping she won’t hear me.

“Seriously, whatcha got? I got some good adverbs and adjectives you can use to spice things up,” she offers, pulling her gum out and stretching it away from her clenched teeth. Clearly she’s far more interested in how long she can make the gum-string before it breaks than helping me with pearly prose. She never, ever offered modifiers before. She was always at the ready with vivid nouns, and precise active verbs.

I close my eyes, hoping this is all a dream and when I open them the old muse will be sitting there with perfect posture, supportive manners, and ready once more to push my writing to new levels.

Her soft burp and follow-up giggle jerks my eyes open. She’s still here. So how does one fire a muse? And can I find a temp agency that will send another over, even on a Friday afternoon?

I stare back at the blank screen and realize it’s going to be a long weekend.

Writer, sketcher, traveler at www.garyvarner.com

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