Writing Assignment
Author: Lycanthrophile (lycanthrophile@imadethis.org)
Fandom: Original Characters
Disclaimer: These are all mine
Rating: PG for language
Summary: My muse and I have a conversation while trying to get some homework done.
Word Count: 752
Notes: Copyright September 1, 1999.
Archive: Do not archive without my express permission.

"And that," I mutter under my breath as I send off the meeting notice, "is lunch. Time to start my homework." I thumb open my copy of Writing Fiction, Fourth Edition. "Okay, let's see here, page 168, number one. 'Write a scene in which a character speaks politely or enthusiastically, but whose thoughts run in a strong contradiction. Characterize the listener by appearance, action, and dialogue.' That sounds easy enough."

A small imp appears on my shoulder to whisper in my ear. "I don't want to do that."

I give a deep sigh as I sit back. Here we go again. My muse can be a real bitch sometimes, and is especially fond of creating 'writer's block.' "Listen, I've got to get my homework done."

"And I don't want to do that. I want to work on one of your other stories."

"Listen," I cajole. "When we're through with this, we can work on them. This is for a grade, which is a little more important to me at this moment than self-fulfillment."

"But I'm inspired to write fanfiction now."

"And where were you when I was staring at the computer screen last night for two hours? Keep that thought on hold and I'll get back to it later. I promise." I listen for another response, but only hear silence, which I assume means she'll cooperate. 'Okay, time to start thinking.'

So I sit there and think. I think about how my cats freaked out during last night's rain and win. I think that my birthday is coming up soon, and I needed to decide where my grandmother will be taking me to eat. I think about the meeting I just set up for tomorrow between my boss and an engineer. I think of anything but an idea that I can make work for my chosen assignment. 'This isn't working.'

The muse standing on my shoulder crosses her arms. "It's not working because I don't want to do this."

I flip back a few pages. Maybe a change of theme would do the trick. "How about this one? 'Write a character sketch by describing the contents of a wastebasket or garbage can.'"

"Talk about an assignment that stinks."

"That's not funny." Even though I don't turn my head, I know I am getting The Look, the one your mother uses when you tell a lie and she knows the truth. "Okay, that is funny. But I've got to write something here."

"So write another story about Jess and be done with it."

"Nope. I want to stretch as a writer. Writing another werewolf/revenge story would be too easy."

"Then how about a werewolf/romance story? Give Jess a human boyfriend. That has great potential for conflict."

I stand firm. "No."

"Okay, a human girlfriend then."

I twist my head to look at her, unseating her from her perch. "Would you be serious?" I say with a bit of a laugh. "I have to get this done, and I won't have time this weekend with the craft fair and helping my friend set up her webpage."

After hanging on by the fabric of my tee shirt for a few seconds, she climbs back up onto my shoulder and sits with her legs crossed. "It sounds like you've got time for everyone else but me."

"I know, but with school and work, I don't have time to just play around like I used to." I shift topics, still trying to exert some control on the situation. "'Write a scene in which a man (or boy) questions a woman (or girl) about her mother.'"

"Bor-ing! I want to do something full of blood, death, and sex."

"And writing about my mother isn't full of that stuff?" I look over the lists of assignments and one catches my eye. Fingers flying furiously, I type out the conversation verbatim.

She leans forward, almost unseating herself from my shoulder, trying to read the words that are wrapping around the screen. "What are you doing?"

"Number seven. 'Write this short story: You must write a short story, and you must therefore get your major character to do whatever he or she is to do in the story. But the character is too lazy, irritable, cruel, stupid, frivolous, or having too good a time. You must trick, cajole, or force the character into the story.'"

Now it is her turn to sit back and sigh. "Damn. You're right. We just did that."

The End, Or Is It?