I find it very easy to believe in a Muse because, at times, I have words that spill from me and fill the page easily and require the bare minimum of re-writing. Other days it seems like every sentence is like skiing uphill.
Recently I was challenged to write a story about a worm dealing with a motorway. More than that - it had to be a children's story. Literature for children has been my Achilles Heel for such a long time. I do not have children and don't really understand them in the way others seem to be able to so easily.
OK, I said. And a couple of days later 'The Lazy Worm' was written. Being a children's story I wasn't too keen on it I sent it to my friend,
Here it is:
The Lazy Worm © 2012 M. Leon Smith
"Wilmot! Wilmot!" they shouted but he just snuggled down into his duvet and went back to sleep.
When he woke up it was quiet. Wilmot liked the quiet, it made sleeping so much easier. He stretched again, yawned some more and had another nap.
He dreamt a sweet dream of soft mud and mushy over-ripe apples. It was a lovely dream and Wilmot was sorry when it was rudely interrupted.
"What is that awful noise?" he asked out loud. None of the other worms answered. Suddenly there was another, even scarier, roar. Then another and another.
"Where are you?" Wilmot shouted to the other worms but got no answer except for another thundering roar.
He slid out of bed and squiggled around his bedroom. He wiggled into the next room and shouted again but there was no answer.
"I should see what is making that horrible noise," muttered the little worm to himself but instead he yawned, stretched and went back to bed.
He couldn't sleep. The noise got louder and came more often. It simply would not do! Wilmot decided to see who was making the noise and tell them to keep it down. He started to dig up in that special way worms have so he could poke his head he'd up through the ground and take a look.
Wilmot wasn't the fastest digger. He was much better at lying down and resting. There were times on his slow climb through the soil when he wanted to simply go back to bed but the noise was so awful he had to stop it.
After much pushing and digging and earth moving he banged his head.
What had he banged his head on? He looked up and saw something hard and black. The horrible din from above came back and was much louder now he was so close to it. It hurt his little worm ears. The black rattled when the noise came.
Wilmot was suddenly very scared. He rushed back to his little worm house and looked for clues. He searched the house until he found a note.
We tried to wake you but you wouldn't get out of bed. The humans have built a motorway. Right over our house! We have moved to get away from the cars and lorries. We are in Farmer Flannigan's horse field. We went across the top but the motorway means you will have to dig all the way.
Wilmot knew he would have to follow them. The noise would never, ever stop. It would be hard work digging so far but he knew the journey had to be made. He would roll up his sleeves and find his friends. It would be tiring but he could do it. He would make it to his new house!
But... if it was going to be so tiring, he better have a nap first.
My friend, it would be fair to say, was delighted by the piece. She considered herself to be a Muse. And I can't really argue with that. She had an idea, gave it to me, a story was written. She decided to have another go and told me to write a story called 'The Secret Rock Pool'
The effect of that was Muse-like. Within an hour a fully formed story was emailed to her. The character, Lucy-May, popped into my head complete with description, personality and problems. I love the story and it's not going to appear here as it has already been sent to a publisher. Will it get picked up? I don't know but it will see print eventually, one way or another..
So, yes, it would seem I have a Muse...