Writerly Update, Ruminations on the Muse

I added 1,221 words to The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster, which I think is a respectable output for a non-NaNoWriMo day.  The trouble I’m having with things right now is that the narrative is demanding that some of my characters be given more scenes, and I’m perfectly happy to oblige; however, this doesn’t really fit in with the structure I’ve developed for the novel, what with its four different viewpoint characters and a pretty balanced distribution of POV scenes.

In her blog, Ray Solberg wrote about mugging her muse to get some work done, and that made me think about muses in general.  Every now and then I like to ask my writer friends about their muses.  So, if you have a muse, what is your muse like?  Is she like a fairy, all graceful and delicate like a delicate nymph of old, prone to bouts of hyperproductive bouts of inspiration interspersed with bouts of bulimia?  Or something less poetic?

My own muse hasn’t changed.  He’s still a big, smelly troll who lives in the basement, wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt that’s way too small so that his belly hangs out, sprawled on the couch in front of the television, munching down Doritos and beer.  He belches a lot.  He farts.  He scratches his butt and picks at his ears.  I don’t know him to have ever brushed his teeth.

He has changed.  Used to be, his T shirts were a rotation of band shirts — Styx, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, and the like.  Now it’s a selection of geek-themed shirts like you’d get at Think Geek, even if he wouldn’t know a SQL query from a keyboard.  When I go into the basement to beg for an idea, he’s as likely to throw a wad of day old pizza at me as he is an actual, usable idea.  He shouts out ideas and thoughts and profanities like Father Jack in Father Ted.  I avoid my muse as much as possible.

His name, by the way, is Berthold.  The "th" is pronounced like a hard "t".  Bertold.  Don’t ask me way.

What’s your muse like, if you have one?

Another Brave Soldier Fallen

Now, I know that the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is a cause of joy to all patriotic Americans who love their country, but I admit I’m a little sad.  It’s not just that it’s inevitable that Bush will replace him with someone who’s just as committed to putting politics over law (ideally someone who has already fouled up one Federal agency and has been rejected by the Republican Senate twice on grounds of incompetency), or that Gonzales’s departure probably won’t help bring the rest of the administration to justice.

No, it’s that the man was such a master of comedy, bringing an almost dada-esque level of absurdity to an administration that has gotten so weird that parodying it is, frankly, impossible (it’s like trying to spoof Monty Python; you just can’t parody parody).  Who can forget classic exchanges like this:

GONZALES:  I clarified that question with the reporters.
SENATOR:  So what, exactly, did you tell the reporters?
GONZALES:  I didn’t talk to the reporters.
SENATOR:  Okay.  So what did your spokesperson tell the reporters?
GONZALES:  I don’t know.

Only Gonzales could deliver that kind of dialog with the proud smirk that said, "I’m untouchable and you know it, so bite on that, losers!"  I think that what Congress failed to understand was that Gonzales was an underappreciated master of absurd whimsy.

Perhaps the government’s loss will be the Improv’s gain.  I’d bet that Gonzales will show up on Whose Line Is It, Anyway?

Of course, Fred Clarke over at Slacktivist raises some interesting questions as well.  Like the so-called "Liar’s Paradox":  If Alberto Gonzales says he retires, can we believe him?  Or, can Alberto Gonzales make a rock so big that even he can’t pretend it isn’t there?


It seems that every single geek oriented podcast I listen to as well as every single geek oriented blog I read is all a-twitter over Dragon*Con.  For days my Twitter feed has been full of people posting messages about how they’re packing for Dragon*Con, setting up book signings for Dragon*Con, arranging panels for Dragon*Con, or just planning on all the parties they’re going to go to at Dragon*Con.  It’s like they’re rubbing my face in the fact that the housing market in Sacramento tanked approximately three hours after we bought our new house, and now no one wants to buy our old one, so we can’t afford to go this year.  And this year’s chock-full of great guests, including Feedback and Major Victory!  Dammit.  Stupid economy and its burst bubbles.

Well, to all those who are going, I hope you have a splendid time, and that you die in a fire.

(Oh, and 2,035 words added to The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster over the past three days.  Over 50% of them were original to this draft, too!)