The Shower Muse
By SHEILA S HUDSON
Think about the last time and place you got a great idea or solved a problem that’d been plaguing you. Where were you? The answer is a cliché: You were probably in the shower – Christine Carter
It never fails. My best ideas come to me whenever I am in the shower. For some scribes, writers’ block melts while on a stroll in the park or dissolves while mowing the lawn or taking a drive. A friend I know meets her muse in the “quiet” room complete with incense and earth sounds. Others relate that their ideas gurgle forth at 5:00 a.m. or spew into overdrive after midnight. Not me. My ideas are most potent when taken with water. Lots of water. Preferably mixed with a potion from Bath and Body Works©.
Funny scenarios parade before me when I’m lathered in Juniper Breeze. Juvenile stories worthy of the Newberry impress themselves into my brain while soaking in Peach Nectar or Iced Pineapple. Plumeria conjures up Hawaiian sunsets, rides on the coconut train, and an erupting Kilauea volcano against a background of palm trees and swaying hula dancers all the while dining at Bubba Gump’s.
Chapter by chapter an entire novel comes alive complete with plot, subplots, brilliant synopsis, and twist ending while I wash away the cares of the day. Clever first lines and stunning closures present themselves for approval in a myriad of subjects while Toasted Almond reminds me of a childhood adventure on my grandparents’ farm when my cousin and I let out the prize bull. It was truth on steroids. Warm foam trickles down my back renewing the pleasures of an Amsterdam vacation complete with trespassing charges.
Writing with my shower muse is joyously inspirational. However, it does have its challenges, such as note taking. It isn’t possible and my memory is not that terrific.
I tried leaving legal pads of paper on the bathroom counter only to find disintegrated blobs of paper pieces and faded ink puddles. A micro recorder was my second attempt to conserve my brilliant thoughts only to have them drowned out by the sounds of water spraying onto the ceramic surfaces.
Currently, I rehearse what I have conceived during my beauty regime and repeat it constantly until I can rinse, towel off, and capture these splinters of thought onto my laptop. It is fortunate that I am performing in the second-floor bathroom and my husband is hard of hearing. I pray no one hears my rehearsals or that a phone call or a doorbell waylays me. If that happens, I am distracted, and the entire train of thought leaves the brain station. I get lost in translation. I can’t remember what I was so excited about.
A friend suggested that I order a waterproof tablet that she saw advertised on a popular online store. I was dubious since that same store sent my dog’s prescription dog food to North Carolina. Nevertheless, bygones and all that.
The tablet arrived and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I studiously adhered to every instruction; too bad the tablet didn’t do the same – adhere that is. It kept sliding and I kept lowering my body to write on it. Soon I was on the floor and nearly drowned when it dawned on me that this wasn’t working either.
If I could somehow relocate my writing studio to the shower, I know the Pulitzer would be mine in no time. I’d soon garner the Newberry and go on to clinch an Oscar, Emmy, maybe even a Grammy. With that kind of talent captured, my luck would know no bounds. No doubt I’d win the lottery too.
If it could be done with finesse, I’d write with my shower muse for hours at a time. It doesn’t matter how messy it would be. My skin would shrivel, but the words would flood (excuse the pun). Success with the shower muse would be worth the inconvenience.
But alas, the family would have no hot water and I would be banned from the shower. Thus, my writing career would end. As it is I have been allocated only to shower at night when everyone else has had a turn. I can’t avoid my muse. She always accompanies my evening oblations. Hang the hassle. I’ve determined that a shower muse is a good thing to have especially when writing for children. After a rendezvous with the muse, my editor never complains about my prose. He even declared it was “squeaky clean.”
Read more by Sheila Hudson…
What do I need to reach the delicious writing goal?
You need a host of fresh characters, imaginative plotting, soupçon of back-story, descriptive settings, minimal but creative description, tension leading up to conflict, theme, subtext, allusion, pacing, climax, resolution, logic, whimsy, surprise, and prose.