Saturday, June 7, 2014

What's That Muse of Mine Up To??

I was on author/radio host Karen Vaughan's radio show a few weeks ago when Karen asked me whether I had any plans to write another novel. At the time, my latest book (Organic Screenwriting) had only just come out and the idea of any new book was far from my mind. "Sure, if inspiration strikes," I replied aloud, adding under my breath, "some time in the future."

That exchange flashed briefly through my mind yesterday when I was updating some of the answers to the Q&A that writer Sandy S. Bazinet did with me on her blog this past spring. (I will be posting the updated version of that interview here on my blog next week.) One of Sandy's questions was "What are you working on right now?" At the time of the original interview, I said that I was just finishing From Memory to Memoir: Writing the Stories of Your Life. Yesterday, with both that book and Organic Screenwriting completed and published, I rewrote my answer to say that I was "taking a well-deserved break after having written two books back-to-back."

That, I thought, was that.

It wasn't.

Earlier today, I was chatting with a friend about our trip to L.A. next week and found myself mentioning that I was pretty sure that I had at least one more novel in me. I knew nothing about this next novel, I added, nor did I have any immediate plans to do anything to find out.

The words had barely left my mouth when I heard the voice of my Muse as clear and insistent as ever: "The time for a new novel is NOW," it insisted, "or, at least, next week. Start it when you're in L.A."

Start it next week? When I'm in L.A.? Are you crazy!!?

Even as my mind launched a volley of objections, I knew – with that some knowingness that has guided my life and creative life for nearly three decades – that my Muse was right. It is time.

I know nothing about this next novel I'm to write. But launching into it from that formless void out of which all creation emerges is how I have always written. And launching into it from L.A., the city which my heart keeps pulling me toward (even as New Mexico seems reluctant to let me go!), also feels perfect.

Of my nine published books, three completed screenplays and three stage-musicals-in-progress, only four of those projects have not originated in New Mexico. (I started The MoonQuest book when I was living in Toronto and The Voice of the MuseThe Book of Messages and The StarQuest when I was living in Sedona)

As I continue to set my sights on a full-time return to Los Angeles, it's interesting that I am to birth my next book in the city I hope soon to again call home.

Meantime, even before this afternoon's revelation, I had not felt called to make much in the way of plans for my L.A. sojourn. Even the sole Facebook friend I had hoped to meet in person (he lives close to where I'll be staying) will be uncharacteristically out-of-town during the precise dates I will be in his neighborhood! I will see my daughter, of course. I will go on some photography outings, undoubtedly. And there are a few meetings I will need to attend.

But I know now that none of those is the real reason I'm going to Los Angeles. I am going to birth a new book and – who knows? – perhaps a new life.


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