by Paul D. Marks
The muse can strike anywhere. Anything and everything can spark ideas, either ideas for new stories or ideas for scenes or bits for something I'm already working on. I can be walking the dogs or driving or at the beach. Watching a movie, having a conversation with someone. The muses are everywhere, you just have to be tuned into them.
One of the places that they strike often is in the shower. For some reason that frees up my mind. To that end, I keep a diver's slate in the shower to write down notes so I don't forget things by the time I get out.
But muses or not, what you really have to do is just sit down at your keyboard, start typing, stream of consciousness if nothing else, and let it bleed. Even if it's not initially useable it will help get the juices flowing and free up the mind. As Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
But getting ideas and thinking about new works or works in progress come anywhere and everywhere. There's a FB meme attributed to Eugene Ionesco that says "A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing," and it's very true.
My favorite place to write these days is in my home office. Not very romantic, but it's got everything I need close at hand. Probably more than I need. I know some people say you shouldn't have a TV or phone in your office, but I do. But I can turn them off. And I have a nice view. Pictures on the wall that inspire me. Mostly album covers and movie lobby cards, some other things. And, of course, my picture of Dennis Hopper flipping the bird from Easy Rider. When I was younger I had a full-sized poster of that shot, now it's just a little 8x10. Oh how we change as we get older.
I also have access to diet Cherry Pepsi and Waiwera water. And I used to like to scarf down Red Vines while I wrote, but that is, unfortunately, a thing of the past.
One of my assistants, in his usual place, where he can do his
best job editing my work.