Last night, around 8:15pm, I completed Chapter 20 of Blessed By Light. Not only that, but on its heels, an overview of Chapter 21 came right into my head. If I hadn’t been worn out from writing for 12 hours, I could have easily begun writing Chapter 21.
Isn’t it awesome when the Muse is like that?
Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that this particular novel is sort of being “dictated” to me by the Muse from some nonphysical place, so I never know what’s coming beforehand. And perhaps you will also recall that as soon as I got the opening paragraph for Chapter 20 last week, I knew it was going to be an emotional chapter. A contemplative one. And it was. In a most unexpected way. It was just beautiful.
It’s a chapter where he (the Muse who is dictating this) is talking about the sudden, unexpected death of his best friend. They’d been friends for 40 years and, although they’re both American musicians, from New York City, they met at a gig in London.
Obviously, I was thinking the chapter was going to deal with this intense, sad death, but most of it actually dealt with stuff about his first wife. Really sweet, moving stuff, and up until Chapter 20, anything having to do with his first wife is pretty brutal, emotionally. So it was completely unexpected, for me, that his mind would suddenly dip into this beautiful place about this woman he now despises, while he’s grieving the death of his friend.
And then the closing paragraphs circled back to George (his best friend) and completely floored me. Only because I just wasn’t expecting it. I literally have no idea what’s coming in this novel until I type the words onto the page. (Closing paragraphs of Chapter 20; he’s talking about the mid- 1970s):
The world was really changing then, coming out into the open, and London had it all on display. I think that’s why George and I hit it off so well right from the start. We were both kinda pretty looking, you know? Rough but pretty and so the boys in London came on to us. Boys. Until then, neither one of us had ever had that happen. It happened a whole lot after we each got really famous, but up until then? We were hanging out together, backstage, smoking. Just shooting the breeze. Other bands everywhere, waiting to go on. We barely knew each other yet and then here come these London boys. Really pretty boys. In make-up and all, wearing jeans and tee shirts and high heels. And they came up to us and wanted to, you know. Go to the loo with us and give us oral sex. We were, like – well, you hear that word ‘blowjob’ and your first thought is not to say ‘no.’ Still. He and I were simply into girls. That’s just how it was. So it was weird that he and I bonded over not wanting boys in make-up to give us blowjobs. I think he might have changed his mind a little bit about that as time went on. He was just a man who eventually tried everything. But I was just never into it. I’m vanilla; like you said, honey. Oh well. Your mouth is the only one in the world that I want, that’s for sure.
I just totally wasn’t expecting that. And I thought it was so simple and beautiful. And suddenly I recalled how exciting the 1970s really were, musically. Even though I hated a whole lot of the music, so much change was in the air. I was a teenager in Ohio and I just wanted to go to New York City so badly. (I finally moved there in 1980 after going to California first, for some inexplicable reason, in late 1979.)
After I finally closed the laptop, I did some yoga because my neck and shoulders and wrists were killing me from 12 hours of being hunched over at my desk.
Then I re-read all of Chapter 20 and was once again in awe of the whole creative process. The chapter is just so sweet, so moving. And I’d had no clue whatsoever that any of it was coming.
But I do have the framework already for Chapter 21 and I know it’s going to be short but very erotic. So I’m sure that’ll be worth tuning into.
I lit some candles, then, turned out the lights and just played music. The night was so beautiful. It had gotten up into the 80s yesterday so all the windows were open, a breeze was blowing through. The streets in this little town were completely quiet. An occasional car. Birds singing their final goodnight songs in the trees, you know? And I sat on the floor, looking out the windows, just talking to the Muse. Just so grateful that he chose me to tell this story through.
And I said, “Look at it out there. Summer’s coming. It’s gonna be the best one yet.” I haven’t been this happy in a really long time, gang.