No one likes to say "I'm sorry." But when we have wronged someone, turned our back on them, or invalidated them in some way, we owe them an apology. And I owe my muse an apology.
Yes, I have a muse. It is not uncommon amongst writers, musicians and artists. Homer and Virgil publicly invoked them in their respective epics, John Lennon let his ruin The Beatles, and The Bard dedicated 25 sonnets to his "dark lady." Muses have inspired everything from poetry and music to hairstyles (Google Astrid Kirchherr) and movies (Remember Xanadu?).
Well, I have a muse, too.
While muses are typically female, and in recent times, human...mine's a dude and supernatural.
I know. Weird.
But those of you who know me from Original Bliss, know I'm a little odd - "kooky" has actually been the term used. But you also know I tell it like it is. So there you have it. I have a little spirit in the closet. Actually, I don't think he's little, he seems like he's quite tall. And he doesn't stick around in my closet or even my house. He mostly roams the Multiverse. If he has a name, I don't know it. It is probably unpronounceable to our Earthly tongue. So I just call him "Muse" when I feel him around or shout out "Muse!" when I need him. He isn't always prompt. Sometimes I have to wait for him. And though I'd like to think we are exclusive, I may not be his only client.
So here's how it happened.
Seven years ago, I had a dream~a whole series of them. And from them came the seed idea for Dream Walker. I guess you can say Dream Walker is based on a true story. Kooky. I warned you. Anyway, I was thus inspired. I plotted out my novel, developed characters and hammered out about 12,000 words. But inspiration faded and I set my book aside.
Three years ago, I pulled DW out again and tried to breathe some life into her. But I basically just smeared those first 12,000 words around in the word processor and called it editing. Dream Walker did not resuscitate.
Then, just over a year ago, my life fell apart. No, really...it completely fell apart. Everything I held dear, my marriage, my family, my home, my dreams for the future, collapsed into ruin. I became deeply depressed. I lived in my bathtub with a bottle of wine, hoping I would sink.
One night, in the in-between of sleep and stupor, I heard his voice. Out loud. Yes. Crazy shit right there. But maybe you've heard an unseen voice at some time in your life. When you were driving and looked down at your iPhone and you heard "Look up!" just in time to see that traffic was coming to an abrupt stop. So you know what I mean.
He said, "It's time."
That all. And it was as clear as if he was standing right next to my bed.
Normally I would have responded with, "Time for what?" Scratch that. Normally I would have responded by screaming some profanity because I heard someone who wasn't really there, then I would have asked, "Time for what?"
But I didn't ask. I already knew.
It was time for me to write my book. In an instant it all flashed into my mind. Only it wasn't the book I started writing 7 years ago. Names had changed. Ages were different. The time frame had shifted. It was my book, but new and fresh, and I got out of bed and started writing it.
Writing Dream Walker has been an intuitive process for me. Maybe it is that way for all writers. It only flows when I get my head out of the way. Rationale does not work...intellect fucks it up. Many times I thought I was going one direction only to be told by the character, that no, they weren't. The story was full of surprises--for me. There were times that my gut seized up with a knowing that everything was wrong with a chapter. I absolutely could not write another word. I would have to completely let that train of thought go so Muse would come and work his magic, lighting the synapses of my brain with epiphany.
Muse isn't just genius about storytelling either. He has also been very insistent about what I should do once the book was written, telling me over and over, "Self-publish." He's whispered marketing ideas and promotion suggestions to me in my sleep. He has pointed me toward workshops, websites and blogs specifically geared toward the independent author. Every time I move in that direction, synchronicities happen.
But my head got in the way.
Yes, I know now is an exciting time to be a writer. The opportunities and services supporting independent authors are abundant and incredible. But my head clings to the old ways. It tries to convince me that the traditional route is the only "legit" path.
Get an agent. Have them find the publisher. Self-publishing is only for people who can't make it any other way. I am a coward, afraid of the dreaded rejection slips! I have to earn my stripes by taking my licks! Amanda Hocking be damned!
Muse and I got in an argument. He left in a huff. Alright, I exaggerate. He just shrugged his shoulders and sulked off.. And I went about checking the boxes on my "traditional" route task list so I could start gathering some rejections slips for the scrapbook.
And my gut froze up. Inspiration and enthusiasm left me when muse did. My soul is not in it.
I swallowed my pride and said, "Muse. If you can hear me across the dimensions, could you please come back? I think I am on the wrong path with this."
He was by my side right away. Even muses don't want to miss an opportunity to gloat and say, "I told you so." Again, he outlined the plan--the Independent, Self Publishing Plan of Action for Shannan Sinclair and Dream Walker. He knew I was still really apprehensive about committing to this plan, so he sent one of his helpers...an elf, a human elf.
This elf sent me an email last week. He has a friend who has the coveted Agent. And her agent scored her a publisher!!!! Her book is going to be published LEGITIMATELY!!!! His friend holds the Holy Grail of Writer's Success in her hands! Contracts have been signed. Her book will be available to the public! In January 2014.
Yes... you read that shit right. JANUARY 2014! TWO FREAKIN' YEARS AWAY!!!!!!!!!
Muse was rolling on the floor laughing his ass off. "Told you so." He couldn't help one last dig.
That sealed the deal for me. Dream Walker is NOT going to be published in 2014. It is going to be published March 1, 2012 or very soon after. It will be available on Nook, Kindle, and Apple--electronically. And for those of you who haven't moved into the 21st century yet, I am figuring out how to kill a couple of trees just for you.
In the coming weeks, you'll be hearing more about Dream Walker's release and how you can help my book go viral! Maybe we can organize one of those Flash Mob things? Or maybe we can invade peoples dreams and seed the idea --"Buy Dream Walker today." That would be bad ass... creepy... but bad ass!
Until next time, remember...
We live in the fiction.
Reposted from SHANNANSINCLAIR.COM