Writer's Block, Flow, and Some Views on 'the Muse' –

Inspiration is not the problem.

Inspiration is BLOODY EVERYWHERE. All the time.

It’s in the song you hear over breakfast. In the conversation of strangers on the SkyTrain. It’s in the summary of the movie on tv later tonight, a paragraph of someone else’s invention that sparks a thought about something almost, but not quite, completely different.

Every day, there’s something that makes me stop and look at a picture only I can see. Perhaps it’s a whole scene, perhaps just a vignette. Sometimes it’s a story thread, winding away through the air like a piano playing in the room next door.

Inspiration is the brain’s cold-caller, ringing me up when I have my hands full, finding their way around the blocks on their numbers to offer the best deal on anything I could ever want, but I have to answer RIGHT NOW, hand over my credit card details without delay or this offer will expire…

And it’s impossible to silence this clarion call, there’s no escaping it in my everyday life. Driving the work van, choosing the books for today’s patrons, walking from the SkyTrain station to the library, there are mountains of potential unfolding in my brain, crowds of characters parading through my head, their arcs intersecting in moments of blinding drama that would shake the foundations of the literary world if only –


And the grim truth is that I can escape. If the noise of Calliope’s musings gets too loud, I can bring down the curtain with a single, simple act.

I sit at my keyboard.

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