Today, in the matter of half an hour, I outlined an entire new book, inspired by a few connected events from the past few days. That led me to consider a new muse: Pain and Illness.
See, on Monday, while I was making lunch, I reached into the toaster oven to retrieve a bun I was toasting, and I accidentally touched the red-hot oven element with my fingernail. It was only for a fraction of a second, but for the next half an hour, the smell of burnt hair wafted through the kitchen. Luckily, the skin did not blister. That could have hurt. A lot.
Then on Tuesday, while picking up the kids from school, I twisted my foot, and apparently tore a bunch of ligaments in my big toe… on the same foot which I had surgery last week. Luckily, I had an appointment with my podiatrist on Wednesday morning for a follow up from the surgery. We did x-rays, and nothing looks broken, but today the toe is plenty of shades of red and blue and purple, and damn sore.
Then yesterday, to top it all off, I cut my finger while cutting a piece of ciabatta bread for a Panini I was making for lunch. I swore a few times, staunched the flow with a paper towel, and cursed a few more times. It took me a half dozen tries to get the band-aid on correctly. But after all that. I must say, the sandwich was, ahem, bloody good.
Yes, I am The Clumsiest Man Alive. But this is nothing new. I have an usually long record of odd accidents in my life. I thought about that as I climbed (carefully) into bed last night. And presto, the muse struck. It struck so hard, that I actually hunted down paper and pencil, and wrote a note to myself before I went to sleep so I wouldn’t forget it.
This morning, I wrote a four hundred word, point-form outline for a future book, based on the inspiration that struck last night as a result of all my accidents this week. I don’t know when I’ll have time to write that book, but now I at least have the idea written down, and can flush out the details as time permits.
See, the writing muse can strike at any time. You just have to decide to hear it over the sound of your own voice while it screams in pain.