Muses, Vampires And Just Plain Boredom

I’ve been offline for almost 2 weeks now due to my Internet contract expiring. I had to wait to get connected again, hence my long absence. Believe it or not there is one good thing about not having the Internet at home: you get loads more done than you would have normally, even if you didn’t mean to.
Dancing around to J-Lo’s Papi like a crazy clubber high on E might not be considered productive in any way, but I did start a new short story. And what a start it was.

In between the hectic dance moves and the dreary ennui (otherwise known as no internet) an idea struck me; or rather it pervaded my thoughts and inspired me long after the fact.
Most writers refer to this sort of thing as the ‘awakening of the Muse’ or whatever. But as far as I’m concerned this was no Muse. The Muse is like sudden divine inspiration, a remnant of some arcane piece of Hermetic wisdom that’s being passed down from higher powers, vertically filtering itself through a light tube into the top of your head.
This idea of mine was not the result of the Muse. It was more the result of a daydream gone astray. The Muses call for action. Daydreams call for…well just that, daydreaming.

Hours had passed. Hours that most would have been considered a waste. I brought myself back to consciousness just before the daydream turned farcical and nonsensical, and instead of just pondering about it, I decided to turn it into a story.
Usually for me an idea comes in a flash, in a moment of minute clarity. In this case, the spark came not in the form an idea but in the actual thought that this might make a cool story; the idea seemed to be there already, stewing.
As a result the story was easy to write. Within 2 days I outlined, drafted and began writing it and now with only a week having passed, I’m two-thirds of the way to completing it. For those couple of days I was working at such a frenzied pace I was convinced that my brain was high on… (okay, now I’m convinced our local municipality is adding Ecstacy tablets into our drinking water!)
Anyway I thought it was fun to reflect on how moments of sheer boredom can actually result in some thing creative.

Carmilla likes getting to know her lady-friends. Illustration by DH Friston, 1872

By the way, did I mention that this new story is about vampires? I made a promise a long time ago that I would avoid writing about vampires (Bride of Corinth doesn’t count as I had rehashed an already established legend). Not because I have no interest in them, on the absolute contrary. They are the stars of the horror genre and it’s purely out of respect that I refuse to write a vampire tale. The days of Le Fanu and Stoker are over.

But here I sit eating my words, disgusted at my own audacity to think that I can pull off a brilliant piece of work like Carmilla.
Well I’m here to tell you that it ain’t no Carmilla (sorry about the double negative, I’m trying to make a grand statement here). And while Peter Haining will never consider it for any of his anthologies, I’ve enjoyed writing it and that I suppose is what really matters.

And if nobody likes it, I’ll just blame it on the drinking water.

NM 🙂