Good morning, Lagniappers. Thanks so much for having me!
As most writers do, I have hobbies and interests outside of writing. (We kind of have to, lest our signature crazy take over utterly and leave us wandering around pie-eyed, muttering variations on “My Presssssshusssssss.”) One of my favorites is drawing. I love using a pencil and eraser to bring the scenes in my head to life on paper. A year ago I’d have laughed at the very idea of being able to draw anything beyond stick figures competently. I’m not currently taking any classes, but I like to draw every now and then just to keep my hand in and see how I’ve improved in the down time between.
And sometimes, just sometimes, my muse decides to have a little fun at my expense during these interludes.
I had just finished the first draft of my last release for Changeling Press, My Antarctica. With my fingertips still smoldering from writing 19,000 words in a 24-hour span to meet my self-imposed deadline, I was sick of my computer. Between nine classes totaling 25 credit hours, fully half of which were conducted online, and keeping up with a bi-monthly publication schedule, I wanted one night where I wasn’t staring at the laptop (sometimes acerbically referred to in my house as That Goddamned Doomsday Device) or running myself into the proverbial early grave. So I sat down one night with an erotic contemporary jazz mix, a glass of Merlot, and my drawing pad, pencils, and kneaded eraser.
Since artistic models are in limited supply in my neck of the woods, one uses what’s available. I had found a striking photo on the Internet of a lovely nude woman standing on a rocky promontory and proceeded to sketch the scene, replicating it as faithfully as I could manage.
Somewhere in the middle, my muse sauntered in.
“You know, she could be a sea goddess.”
“Shut up,” I growled, dabbing the eraser at the curve of the woman’s hip to soften it. “You nearly killed me this last time around. I need a break.”
“But I really think you want to hear this…”
I turned up the music louder.
“J.S. Wayne, are you listening to me?”
“Nope,” I replied, applying the vague suggestion of pubic hair over the penciled woman’s mound. “I’m drawing a nude woman. You can talk when I’m done.”
The drawing took me three solid hours, during which my muse simply refused to clam up. At one point I thought she was going to erect a stripper pole in the living room to get my full and undivided attention. (She’s like that. Being ignored tends to make her hellishly cranky.)
“Look, just listen while you work, okay?”
I sighed. “I’m listening to Soul Ballet. You hear that? It’s called ‘Exotique,’ and right now it’s the only thing I want to listen to.”
“Well, I’m not going to stop, so you might as well.”
“Okay, okay, fine.”
We argued while I brushed the figure with a light wash of brown and then yellow, sorting out the perfect match for the model’s skin tone.
“So, she’s the sea goddess…”
“Right. Sea goddess, rock out, whatever.”
“…and she falls in love with an Irish fisherman.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Riiiiiiiight. Little Mermaid, much?”
She scowled at me. “You’re not listening. This is like The Little Mermaid like shrimp is like a whale. For one thing, The Little Mermaid wasn’t set in Ireland.”
I blinked. “Who said anything about Ireland?”
“You’ve been wanting to do another story in Malin Head anyway, haven’t you?”
I tamped down my inner Vader and the temptation to Force-choke my muse. “So?”
“So how weird would it be for the sea goddess to fall in love with a mortal? Her throne’s imperiled, her heart’s in jeopardy, and she wants someone that by all rights she shouldn’t be able to have.”
“You have my attention,” I hedged.
As it turns out, my muse did me a huge solid that night. The moral of the story is, your muse is going to do what they want to do…so you might as well listen. You just might like what comes of it! The Gael and the Goddess comes out next Thursday at Changeling Press. I hope you’ll check it out!
As thanks for coming and hanging with me today, I’m giving one commentator a $10 Changeling Press gift card. Your comment is your ticket to win!
Contest ends January 12, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Until next time,
Even the heart of a goddess is subject to the whims of fate…
Every millennium, the Ocean Goddess, Yemala, makes a pilgrimage to the shore to continue good relations between land and wave. Leaving her watery realm in the hands of her Chancellor, the nymph Amphichrale, she travels to the surface for the first time in a thousand years. A lot has changed since she last surfaced, and the goddess immediately finds herself in the clutches of the mortal law… and unable to use her oceanic powers.
Liam McGrue is a hard-headed, hard-drinking, hardworking fisherman. He asks nothing of life but an easy catch during the day and a warm fire and a glass of whiskey at night. The fiery redhead who claims to have come from the sea itself intrigues him, and his rash, poetic Gaelic heart jumps to her defense and aid. But when he realizes she’s not daft or telling him a tale, that she really is who and what she claims to be, Liam will have to choose between his lonely life on the surface and a completely new existence beneath the waves as the consort of a goddess.