He stared at the blank page and realized his mind was also blank. He started to turn to an earlier page, when he heard the voice.
“Don’t look back; just write something.”
“But I think I forgot to call the muse,” he responded.
“How do you do that, anyway? He-ere, Musey, Musey, Musey’?”
“Now you’ve done it. This is serious work. You invite the muse and ask for her guidance and inspiration. It’s not a joke. Respecting the muse is essential.”
“So, no ‘Musey’ then?”
“I don’t think she’d like that.”
“Sounds like she has her undies in a bundle or a stick up her —”
“It works very well, under the right conditions.”
“I’ll show you your ‘right conditions,’ dummy,” the voice boomed. “You got a project due, and you need to get it done. Ready? Set? Get going!”
“But you have to allow for the creative process — the playing in the sand — combing through my psyche to unwrap the story —”
“Monsters from the Id and all that? How about: You get an idea for a song, you tinker around and create the song, and then you move on to the next song?”
“Well, writing a book isn’t like writing a song …”
“It’s exactly the same thing, only different! So get writing! You don’t need to write a book every day — I know what you do takes longer — but on the other hand it couldn’t hurt trying —”
“What about the muse?”
“I think if you start writing, and keep writing, the muse will show up and tag along for the ride along the way.”
He picked up the pen and started writing, “Once upon a twice-told time,” and he could swear he heard a woman’s delighted giggle.