Do you have a totem or a muse? What does it look like?
“I have a collage of photos I found online that I cut out and put on some posterboard. It really helps me to have a visual representation of the main themes in my story.” (I did this for Sacred Fire.)
The Muse bumped
Against my window this morning.
No one was at home but me
And the baby. The muse said
there was room on her back for two.
Okay, I said, but first I’ve got to
Pack his favorite toys.
Small ones are the best:
that was he can sit and play quietly
as the earth slides out from under our feet.
Let’s see, somewhere there’s
a wind-up dog with a drum
that sometimes keeps him busy
ten minutes or more.
And we’d better take some books.
and I’ll pack a lunch.
Peanut butter and crackers
And the crumbs brush right off.
While I was packing his lunch
the baby got hungry,
so I put him in his high chair,
unpacked the crackers,
and gave him some.
He threw the third one down,
So I took him out,
wiped the high chair,
wiped the floor and around the chair,
wiped the window next to it,
and wiped his fingers and face.
Then I took off his pants,
shook them out,
and wiped the soles of his shoes.
I filled two plastic bottles,
changed his diaper,
and got him dressed.
I washed my hands.
I sat down at my desk.
Okay, I said. Now.
I’m ready for takeoff.
As he cried for a bottle,
I saw my next-door neighbor,
shirtless, in the pants he wears
to work in his garden,
scribbling furiously on the back of a paper bag
as he ascended over the roof of his house
on the Muse’s huge, sun-spangled wings.