Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Inspiration!

“You have to understand, this isn’t the kind of neighborhood where that happens. I mean, look around. Manicured lawns, nice cars. We are people who care about our community! So, you can just imagine how we felt when we saw that girl walk up to Daisy’s door. For starters, Daisy doesn’t have a daughter—just a son who moved up to Poughkeepsie and runs a very successful marketing concern up there. And with George passing away so suddenly last year, well, there was some concern about this girl being some sort of a by-blow…”

Excuse me? I wouldn’t say ‘by-blow’—I don’t even know what that means.

It’s a word Shakespeare liked, and I’ve always wanted to use it. Anyway, Muriel, you are breaking up my flow. Get back in the story.

Muriel: I won’t say ‘by-blow’ and anyway, I wouldn’t even think that. You are trying to make people dislike us, and so you are only telling one side of the story. We are Daisy’s FRIENDS, we were genuinely worried about her! I mean, wouldn’t you be if you saw this girl, her hair combed forward on her face like a horse grooming brush, hiding herself in this huge black trenchcoat? I watch the news. I know what happens to older women living alone. We’re neighbors, we look out for each other!

Horse-grooming brush?

Muriel: Yes, see, I’m trying to help you. I’m being all poetical too.

Uh, OK. Let me get back to the main story, please.

Muriel: Hold on, Jenny wants to say something.


Muriel: Yes, she’s Daisy’s oldest and dearest friend.

But she’s not the main voice, you are! Can we please get back to work? Muriel, start again with what you saw…

Muriel: Look, you opened the floor.


Jenny: Daisy, poor Daisy, has been going through such a hard time since George passed. Just sitting in that empty room…you know she gave all of his exercise equipment to the Goodwill? Can’t bear to look at it, says it betrayed her! She spends her days looking through that photo album…one page a day. Says she sits there and stares at each picture until she can remember every conversation she and George had during that time. Michael, that’s her son, he’s constantly looking to move her to Poughkeepsie to live with them, but she says, “How can I leave this place where George and I talked so much? How will I hear him in a new place? He never talked much at your house, Michael, no offense.”

I think we’re getting off track here, ladies. Can we get back to the girl?

Jenny: Don’t you think your readers will want to know a little about Daisy’s state of mind? Otherwise, won’t she just be an anonymous old lady, answering the door to all sorts of dangerous people, just to ease past a little loneliness?

That’s a nice phrase, Jenny.

Jenny: Oh, thank you…I took a writing class at the Y at night last year.

Muriel: Ahem, can I interrupt this love fest and remind you all that I am the main voice she chose? ANYway...

This girl knocks on the door, once, twice, no answer. We figure she’ll get the hint, move on to the next house with whatever she’s selling. But no…she just stays there. Knocking. It starts to get dark. She stays there. It starts to rain, she stays there.

Finally, Daisy comes out, rubbing her eyes like she just woke up. And I expected her to tell this strange girl to scram, but she just looks her up and down and then lets her in."

I’m not crazy, you know. I had my reasons.

Daisy? What are you doing here?

Daisy: Well, it’s my story, isn’t it?

Yeah, but…I sort of wanted to tell it through the eyes of the neighbors, you know, Gatsby-style.

Daisy: It’s my story, and I got something to say. The girl was disheveled, yes, but she had a nice face. A face that reminded me of, I don’t know, my own in George’s eyes. And she said she had something to tell me. What else do I have to do? Nothing’s happened in my life since George left me. This was something happening.

Muriel: But, Daisy, didn’t you think of us? Your neighbors? She could have been casing the joint for some sort of gang!

Daisy: You watch too many cop shows, Muriel.

“After looking at her hard, when the rain smoothed down her hair, I realized that The girl looked like someone Daisy knew, maybe even a little like the person Daisy was when she first moved here, when we first met. And I heard her say the strangest thing, 'I know what you are thinking, but I’m a gift to you from George. I’m your muse of inspiration. He said you always wanted to paint…well, I’m here to help you with that.' That certainly got my attention. After all, like I said, things like that just don't happen here.

Daisy: No offense, but if she had said that, I would have kicked her out! It makes for a good story, but that’s not how it happened.

But…look, I’m writing a sort of parable here, about following your inspirations, about meeting your muse.

Jenny: I always thought Muses we're small and golden-like fairies, or something. And they fly.

I think that's Tinkerbell. Anyway, I really like the idea of you meeting your muse, but if you feel that strongly about it...

Daisy: Look, it depends on what you mean by muse, I suppose. She’s just George’s cousin’s daughter Melissa, a sweet girl going to college in town, and she wanted to spend some time and talk about George. She mentioned her art classes, and I mentioned my art interest, and next thing you know, we’re drawing together everyday.It helps get my mind off of things. I could paint the things we saw together, me and George. The things we lived through. The talks we had. Only in pictures, like the photo album, not words.

That’s nice, but not very dramatic. It's not a story.

Daisy: Sometimes things don’t look so pretty in words, but they make all the difference. Look, you want to tell the story of inspiration? Inspiration is like being one of those whales, the ones with the mouths like carwashes, they just take everything in, and they find some sort of nutrition from it. Inspiration is having a big open mouth, like my friends here.

Muriel: Hrumph! Strange coming from you, Miss Daisy, considering how you’ve been blabbing since you got here!

I think I’ve lost total control of this story. But, I’m curious. How does it end?

Daisy: End? My dear, you do have a lot to learn, no offense. Real life doesn’t just end until you are dead, bless and keep my poor George’s heart. But thanks to Melissa, I am exhibiting a bunch of my work downtown.

Jenny: Really? Ooh, that's so exciting! You know, I always knew you'd end up doing something like this. A real-creative type, that's you.

Muriel: We should all go see them, make a day of it…and Daisy, maybe you can teach us how to sketch? I’ve always been curious, and you’ve always had such a flair…

Ladies? Hello? We're not done here! Hello?

Well, have fun downtown, then.


Melissa, is that you?

Melissa: You were right. I am her Muse. I just needed a good cover story. So, thanks for being so quick on your feet!

No, no, thank YOU for the inspiration.

For more inspiration from the Muse, go here.



Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi there,
So shall i call you Mardou or Muriel? :-)
i'm glad to have found your blog also.
Happy Inspirational writing!
btw, who is your favourite South-Asian author?

3:15 AM, March 18, 2007  
Anonymous Frida said...

Okay - you and Laini just bewilder me somedays. I know the whole point of this weeks scribbles is inspiration and I also know that asking "where do you get those ideas from" sounds as silly as can be. But really! Where do these wonderful voices come from? These folks with their personalities so strong I can see them in a few short lines? My muse is altogether more prosaic, although I love her for her perseverance and her guts.

7:39 AM, March 18, 2007  
Anonymous khambagirl said...

I really enjoyed this! Thanks for an inspiring piece!!!

9:13 AM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger Kamsin said...

This is a very, very enjoyable read! Thanks to you and your muse for sharing it with us!

9:47 AM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, WOW- that's all I can say... this was truly a wonderful story! I started off thinking the whole story was a true one- and I come to the end and I still think it is- it's true for all of us that have had inspiration come into their lives through those little forlorn girls on our doorsteps...
Thank you, thank you, thank you...

9:53 AM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger wendy said...

really marvelous!

12:59 PM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Very clever piece - your muse has quite the story to tell!

1:35 PM, March 18, 2007  
Anonymous KG said...

You had me really guessing for awhile. Dread, fear, foreboding, mystery — then a MUSE, of all things! Wonderful transitions and a lesson for us all.

I really liked your description of how whales get their nutrition.

6:58 PM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger Kimberley McGill said...

It's been said, but I have to say it again. Delightful! Marvelous! Clever!

7:13 PM, March 18, 2007  
Blogger Sunday Scribblings said...

Oh my god, AWESOME! I just read that with the biggest grin on my face. I could HEAR all those voices, kind of sweetly bickering. Love the ideas, the characters, all of it. Such fun! And the end -- that the girl gets her two cents in and fesses up to being the muse. Great! And I do appreciate that difficulty of trying to figure out whose perspective to use. I have a really hard time with it, so I tend to jump around from head to head. Hope they don't mind too much!
- Laini (too lazy to log out and back in)

12:55 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Caroline said...

Brilliant way of showing how inspiration can vary so much from what one was hoping to write about! Very descriptive.

Also adds to my synchronicities from yesterday as manicured lawns and words Shakespeare used were both part of the fabric of the day...

1:50 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Remiman said...

Inspiration is everywhere. What trips your trigger could very well leave another person cold. It's, of course, what we do in response to that prompy that makes the difference.
Nicely told!

5:07 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Rach said...

Lovely conversations run throughout your words. I was intrigued for the first paragraph thinking something awful was happening to your neighbour. Great writing

7:43 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Becca said...

I simply loved this story, and could picture every one of those characters, sitting around discussing the advent of this mysterious muse.

And isn't it true that sometimes we're a little afraid of inspiration when it comes knocking at the door? I know I am - I sometimes want to slam the door in it's face, saying, no, not now, I'm just too busy with laundry and cleaning and work!

I glad Daisy let Melissa in to her life...

8:12 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Jessie said...

hoooooooot! omg, grrl. where do you get this stuff? i want to live inside of your mind for awhile. this piece KICK ASS!! :)

10:09 PM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger deirdre said...

I LOVE THIS!! Oops, didn't mean to yell it. Okay, maybe I did. This is good, but then, I'm not surprised. All the voices flow and are distinctive, they ring true.

11:02 PM, March 26, 2007  

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