I roll to my feet, giddy with dehydration and dizzy wth sickness. The pharmacy’s worth of meds coursting through my veins is the only thing allowing me to get even that far. My objective: the computer screen across the room.

“Oh come on now,” grunts my creative muse. He sprawls out over the couch that I had occupied until a moment ago in wifebeater and boxers, beer in hand. As always, his metaphysical appearance is a direct invitation to litigation from Stephen King’s On Writing that only my obscurity prevents from making it to Maine Superior Court.

“Come on what?” I say, rolling a pair of kleenex pills and jamming them in my nose to dam up the flow.

“You’re stick with the Bug that Will Not Die,” my muse cries. “Every time you think you’ve licked it you wake up with a headache measured on the Richter scale and more goo than a Jell-O factory gumming up your various ducts.”

“Yeah,” I croak. “So?”

“So how do you expect to write, much less finish, a book under those conditions?” my muse cries. “Especially when it’s the most nebulous idea yo’ve had in years?”

“I’m working on getting it nailed down,” I reply, slumping into my chair. “It’s gonna have themes, more complex themes than a John Williams concert. You’ll see.”

My muse snorts. “Or it’ll be more wishy-washy than a drive-thru no-touch,” he says.

“Hey,” I snap, inasmuch as my gooey passages allow such sharpness. “I finished a book for Camp Naonowrimo this year already!”

“Yeah, and it was a flabby, rushed piece of…stuff,” my muse says. “You wrote it under ideal conditions, too, with nothing going on at work and even less at home. How do you expect to jam a full book into the time you have this month, especially if you want to get all of those so-called themes in there?”

“I’ll find a way,” I say. “I always do.”

“We’ll see,” grunts my muse. “Oh, we’ll see about that. Aim for the stars with science fiction and burn up in the atmosphere. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last.”

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