13 January 2006

The Muse Prefers a Keyboard

"Yellow" says Is. "Your eyes are turning yellow." While chatting our way through a passable luncheon at a local establishment, Is and I were discussing writing. And just like that, the Inspiration struck for a piece. I quickly rattled off the first few lines, and then, as it does, the rest hung, waiting for me to type. "I have long considered the creative impulse to be a Visit - a thing of grace, not commanded or owned so much as awaited, prepared for. A thing, also, of mystery." says Loreena McKennitt. I know precisely what she means. My Muse smacks me in the back of my brain, and power-dumps three or four starting lines into my head. I have approximately five minutes to get to a keyboard, or it's gone forever. Apparently during this time, my eyes also turn yellow. I've never actually bothered to run past a mirror while scrambling for my laptop, so I was wholly unaware of this particular aspect of the creative visit. I'm usually more focused on getting to an outlet pronto, so I can catch this particular piece of grace before it hits its "use-by" date. In the interests of more fully being available to the Muse, I pinged my local geek community with questions about tiny, portable keyboard-entry notetaking devices. And got a pile of jokes about a pad and pencil. I've tried it. It just doesn't work. There's something about a keyboard that makes it all come out right that I cannot duplicate with non-keyboard writing. Certainly the Steno Solution would be cheaper and more accessable. But the Muse prefers the keyboard. "Woah." says Is. "You just lost it, didn't you?" She's right. The allotted five minute window is past, and the inspiration is so gone, I can't even remember the first few lines that I was originally smacked with. Gone. In potentia. My eyes are back to normal, apparently, and I'm nibbling absently on the remains of lunch. The french fries aren't bad, it's a pleasant day with pleasant company, and my muse has ditched my inadequately-responsive butt. In favor, I must suppose, of someone with a Treo.


At 1/14/2006 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of the writing mums I "know" love their AlphaSmarts for portable keyboarding. Personally I like a blank paper bound-back journal for on-the-run notes, and a keyboard for pounding out the details. It doesn't seem worth it to write and write long-hand when I will only have to transcribe it again later. (Though I do suspect that is my Anti-muse feeding me just another reason for NOT writing...)
Marnie - who should write more no matter whether it is at keyboard or on paper... LOL

At 1/15/2006 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Dana said...

I'm poking my head out of a codeine induced haze to comment briefly. I loved this blog. Took me back about 20 + years.

I remember the Muse feeling like that, like it would slip away unless I got a keyboard beneath my fingertips. But like anything else, the Muse can be trained, to slow down, to hang out longer, to come through a pen instead of a keyboard. Really. But first you have to nix the idea that it is repelled by the pen.

I think the reason the keyboard works so great with the Muse is because our typing speed can match the speed at which the words form. Ask it to hang on, to wait for you to catch up. Then ask it to continue.

Train your Muse to come through the pen by taking it to the bath tub. Nothing gets the Muse more lively than water. Take those moments to get it frantically written on to paper while you're deeply submerged in a hot, steamy bath.

After awhile, you realize you can write with the laptop, with crayon on a napkin, or with pad and paper.

Where I have trouble is with dictation. I have to see the words. My voice seems to block that process.

Ok, back to bed for me. I enjoyed this blog.

Yellow eyes. I had to reread that twice to make sure it wasn't the codeine talking.

Next time the Muse hits, I'll run to a mirror:-)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Dana

At 2/06/2009 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

Well, I don't know if you even get the comments from over here any more, but it's still online, so anyway!
I just wanted to tell you I thought of you the other day, in the shower, LOL - no, not like THAT! ;-)
I read this post last week, looking for something you wrote around the same time, and some time later I was in the shower and thought of something to blog about. I kept thinking of your Muse, and trying to hold that thought (in my sieve-like brain) long enough to write it down once I was dry enough, LOL.
All innocent, honest, but I thought of you and this classic post.
No idea what colour my eyes were, though...


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