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of a work of art in the public domain.
As some of you may know, my alter ego is a tax accountant. January through April is tax season, a time of the year I call hell on earth. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Stress levels during this time of year can get very high.
Wait! Stay with me. I’m not going to bore you with tax stuff. I promise. I’d rather not bore me with tax stuff, but the non-writing job supports my writing habit, so I immerse myself in tax stuff. This time of year, it’s hard to get all that tax stuff out of my head when I’m trying to write, and a writer has to have priorities.
After tax season ended last year, I tried to quit my part-time accounting job to write full time. I really tried, but the accounting boss man asked me nicely if I’d considered staying. The men and women I work with have become my extended family. I’ve developed a rapport with most of the clients I work with. I mourned losing my connections with them, because no matter how hard a person tries, connections get lost after a certain amount of time. So when the boss man asked nicely, I agreed to stay. Reluctantly.
My muse was furious.
Last April, our conversation went something like this:
Muse: What are you doing? Yells in my ear while I’m completing a Form 1040 (To the left you can view one of these obnoxious creations.)
Me: Jumps out of skin (figuratively if not literally). Go away. I’m working. Muttering under my breath while I glance around cubicle world to see if anyone notices me talking to my invisible muse. My co-workers already think I’m nuts.
Muse: You should be working on something important, like your manuscript. You’ll never get it finished this way.
Me: Gritting my teeth and growling my answer. I’m working on it. Besides, what I’m doing here is important.
Muse: Uttering in an incredulous voice. You can’t work on your manuscript here.
Me: I can so work on it here. Just because I’m not typing doesn’t mean I’m not organizing my next chapter in my head.
Muse: Hogwash. You need to be in your writing environment to write. She’s so wrong. I can write anywhere. Most of my writing is done in my head before I even start typing. She knows that. What’s her problem?
Muse: I have an idea…
Me: Rolls eyes. You’ve given me enough ideas to keep me writing for ten years. I don’t need any more. Let me finish the ones I’m already working on.
Muse: Are you really sending me away? Pouting. Not a pretty sight, I guarantee.
Me: Just until I finish working on this tax return. Then, you can help me think about how I’m going to get my character out of that sticky situation I left her in.
Muse: Picking at her fingernails. It’s not nice to leave a heroine with a villain’s fingers around her neck. You should have finished that scene before you came to work. I told you what to write.
Me: Huffing. I was already late for work this morning. If I’d finished the scene… Never mind. You have no sympathy.
Muse: So when are you going to quit this job and come back to work?
Me: Oh, please. Go away.
And she did for a long, long time. The ungrateful wench left me on my own for a few months. Thankfully, she’d left me with plenty of ideas to work with. I just had to come up with the details on my own. I finished the manuscript I was working on and released it in April 2015. I was still rolling with ideas, so I wrote the follow-up book and released it in July 2015. After that, I needed her help badly. I didn’t release the next book in the series until December 2015.
She came back, loaded with ideas and snarkier than ever. Yeah, I kind of missed her.