That picture describes the situation perfectly…
You know how as a kid, if you thought about doing something wrong, you knew that if you did it, you would get a spanking? But then you do it anyway—and when you get the spanking, you get mad.
You knew you were going to be punished, so why are you mad?
So, you go to your room, and you pout, and you grumble, and you cry yourself to sleep because Mama gave you a spanking that you knew you were going to get.
That’s my Muse.
This “Madrid” storyline was written months ago—thousands of words over several chapters that was just waiting to be inserted into the story, and they are still a few prewritten chapters left. I knew when I wrote it that reactions would be volatile. Yet, when the different reactions started flowing in, my Muse saw it and closed up shop, and nothing that I said or did made her want to come out and play anymore. In addition to that, I just got tired. I got physically tired, so I just shut it down for a minute.
As a result, when I was ready to approach “the story” again, I had to resort to the mechanical route—writing outlines and doing voice recordings of bits and pieces of storyline, when normally, I always went the creative route—sit down at the computer and let my fingers and my mind go wherever they want to go… and that’s how you guys got these stories. So right now, because she’s “gun shy,” there’s nothing after Madrid. There are bits and pieces of storylines and things that need to happen and even entire storylines with nowhere to go—but there’s no timeline after Madrid. It just falls off a cliff like Ana almost did.
Well, while my Muse is very sensitive about her work, she’s also very vain and doesn’t like to be left out. So, when I got up today and said, “I should probably post a chapter,” she sat in a corner with her arms folded like she wasn’t going to participate. I didn’t want to edit the chapter—I just wanted to post it with all its errors and no pictures. Well, of course when I went to do that, the chapter has not title. All of my chapters are in Word like this…
… where “XX” is a chapter number and “AA” is just “AA,” so I have to read the chapter to give it a title.
Well, shit. Fine.
So, as I’m editing and reading the chapter, I get a few chapters in and my Muse goes, “Wasn’t there a picture to go with that line?”
Oh, you’ve decided to speak!
So, now I go off into my bookmarks and my Pinterest to find this picture of this cute dress that Ana is wearing (which I still haven’t found yet), and I discover that there are pictures in my Pinterest “Holding Tank” from the last chapter that I never posted.
Well, shit. Okay.
So, I go to post the pictures to the correct pages and end up landing on my Pinterest home page—suggestions for Tupac, Barack and Michelle…
… and butterflies.
“Ooo, pretty butterflies! Your author’s page is a little old. Shouldn’t you update that?”
Shouldn’t you go back to shutting up if you’re not going to give me some content?
Turns out that she’s only sensitive to what other people say. She don’t give a fuck about my opinion… much like The Bitch.
I start playing with pictures of butterflies, many of them very pretty on Pinterest, but they suck on my Facebook author’s page. I find these really gorgeous blinged-out hands encompassing a blinged-out butterfly and oh yes! We’re in business! But something’s still not quite right…
“Those chained-up hands don’t really fit the theme.”
Well, shit. Okay.
So, now I’m looking for another profile picture. I changed it out three times and I finally find my heart’s content in a beautiful bronze butterfly with a sunset background, also with releasing hands.
“You’ve got that same dark picture on your website page.”
I liked it better when you were in the corner quietly pondering life and trying to find an angle for the story. Can’t you go back and do that?
I used the same bronze butterfly from my author’s page profile and put it on the website. It turns out The Bitch—er, I mean, my Muse was right, and it really brightened up the page. I even found another butterfly for my website welcome page that doesn’t look as janky as the previous one did.
Also, I’m going to be moving my website to another location—a paid website—but that’s not going to be for quite a while yet.
Anywho, now she’s all in “coming out of cocoon” mode, but she still hasn’t given me any new content. She’s just looking over my shoulder right now and poking me in the brain at the most inopportune moments—like at the beginning of this post. I said that I would post the chapter and run away. She said, “No, tell them what’s going on.”
I don’t wanna tell them what’s going on! I want to drop the chapter and dash!
Well, shit. Fine.
So, three pages later, now you know what’s going on.
I’ve always try to have “real-life” stuff happen with Christian and Ana, even if this kind of “real-life” stuff may not have happened to everyone who reads the story. However, I think the drama and the realism may be a bit too real for the fantasy that we’ve developed for Christian and Ana over the years. As such, just like television series in real life have to take a break over the summer and come back in the fall with fresh ideas and good storylines, you will find that I will be taking a break every now and then to give my mind—and this temperamental fucking Muse—a rest.
I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t comment or can’t say how they feel. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but where I was once known as the “Zinger Queen,” I’ve retracted my claws just a bit when I don’t agree with what you’ve written, and most often, I just remain silent. But please know that I love and hate dramatic reactions. When you write a comment, I feel what you feel. I am often in tears when I’m writing some of these storylines, so I’m very invested. In the end, it’s emotionally and physically exhausting.
I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for pats on the back or rubs on the head. I’m not looking for anybody to blow rainbows up my ass. I’m certainly not asking anyone to shut up and withhold their opinions. I’m just saying all this to say that it takes time and energy to absorb this stuff; and if you see that the story is moving slowly and/or I’m slow to post from here on out, this is why.
I still love you all… really, and thank you for sticking it out with me.