I’ve had a story rolling around in my head for over a year now. It started as a few really vivid images from a dream I had that stuck with me for several days. After talking through them with my husband, it was clear they needed to be turned into something other than an interesting dream. At least a short story, and maybe a novel or screenplay.
So, I sketched out an idea for a story, and even did a little research on the time-period and location I have in mind. That was last year, and I haven’t really done anything with it since then. Until today. Today, John Mayer became my muse.
I’m sure that when a musician releases a new cd they hope that it inspires some listeners. They would be happy if it provides a bit of a soundtrack to someone’s day, or even a special event, or a break up, or some other emotional moment. I am confident they hope it means something to some people. When I started working on this story idea, I was listening to The Civil Wars‘ cd, Barton Hollow, a lot, and the sound of that music seemed to fit perfectly with the mood of my words.
Lately, I’ve had Mayer’s new release, Paradise Valley, on repeat on my Spotify feed. I’ve really been loving his lyrics and kind of rediscovered him after not listening to much after Continuum was released in 2007.
Okay, this is where it gets odd…
Sometimes, I talk to myself. In fact, I have conversations with people that are not only not in the room, but are also no one I have ever met or will ever meet. I chalk it up to my highly creative mind. I swear I don’t do drugs. When I was in my early 20s, I imagined entire conversations with Prince Andrew. (Before he met Fergie, of course.) And today, I chatted with John Mayer in my kitchen.
For today’s break with reality, we were both traveling through Europe and met at a hostel somewhere in Bavaria. I was cool when I met him, not letting on that I knew he was a famous musician who dates gorgeous young things. We chatted about meditation and why we’re on the road in Europe. He told me he was taking some time to himself after a break up and I told him about a book I’m trying to write. He made me promise not to write about meeting him… because that would kind of blow the whole anonymous traveling thing. Makes sense, I was fine with that. So, as I described the synopsis to John (who was listening with rapt attention, of course), I had a breakthrough about my main antagonist.
Now, I’m not saying that it was John who brought this creative brilliance on… I mean, it probably could have just as easily been Dave Matthews, Viggo Mortensen or Johnny Depp. Okay, maybe not Johnny Depp… he seems to shy to be much of a conversationalist. But John just happened to be the guy on the patio with me in Bavaria… in my kitchen.
The bottom line is that I was chatting with John Mayer(‘s pretend self) and I had a creative breakthrough. That makes him my muse, right? I can list him in my “Thanks” notes in the book jacket, at least.
Works for me. Thanks John. 🙂