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October 1, 2009 - 8:20am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, journey.


 Mississippi Riverboat(Riverboat)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still feeling good about my writing decisions.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Writing for money or with an agenda confines my writing. I become responsible for finding what to write.
CALLIOPE: As opposed to what?
JOE: Letting my observations of life and the human condition guide me.
CALLIOPE: Is that a new approach for you?
JOE: No. It's where I started when I began writing. It's more a question of getting back to my roots.
CALLIOPE: Could you elaborate?
JOE: At the beginning I saw myself as a channel for observations rather than being in charge of deciding what to write.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you chose to follow your muse rather than try to force anything.
JOE: Exactly. That's how our conversation started in the first place.
CALLIOPE: I'm happy to lead you where life takes us.
JOE: Glad to have you as a guide again. Talk with you tomorrow.


April 2, 2009 - 8:17am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, inspiration.

(Oatka Creek)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Energized. But do you have to start your inspiration so early?
CALLIOPE: What do you mean?
JOE: You know exactly what I mean. The ideas you placed in my head at 4:30 this morning. I had to get up and write them down to be sure I wouldn't forget them.
CALLIOPE: I wanted to make sure I didn't forget them either. What ideas did you receive?
JOE: One was the difference between lies and creativity in dealing with literal truth. The other was whether our national bird should be the eagle, turkey or phoenix.
CALLIOPE: That's exactly what I remember. Do you want me to take the chance of forgetting and inspire you later in the day?
JOE: No, I just wondered. I'm ready for inspiration any time. But you sure keep me on my toes.
CALLIOPE: That's the nature of my job and our relationship.
JOE: Well said. I accept the terms. I guess I can always go back to bed later if you wear me out.
CALLIOPE: Glad you understand.
JOE: I think we understand each other. Talk with you tomorrow.

March 5, 2009 - 7:23am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, dialogue.


(Inside a Beehive)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Feeling energetic for the first time in over a week. My head is clear, I can breathe and the wheels are turning in my head.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear it. Were you able to work yesterday?
JOE: I was gone until early afternoon to a funeral and reception. After that I felt energetic and got to work on our book, Conversations with Calliope: A Writer's Year With his Muse. At least that's the working title.
CALLIOPE: I'm honored. How far did you get?
JOE: I made all the entries for the whole year. Now I am going back to make sure I didn't miss any and am also revising the format for consistency.
CALLIOPE: What are your plans for this book?
JOE: I plan to approach Booklocker with it. They will publish writing related e-books without a setup charge.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good.
JOE: I think so.
CALLIOPE: What's after that?
JOE: Good question. I have some ideas. I'll elaborate when we talk tomorrow.
February 24, 2009 - 8:47am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, journal.


(Canadian Sailing Ship- St. Lucia)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's this about a journey? I thought you just got back from a trip.
JOE: I did. This time you're invited.
JOE: Actually we already took the trip. I am planning a book about our exploits in writing over the past year.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do with it?
JOE: I am working on an e-book documenting our conversations over the course of a year.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting. How did you settle on this project?
JOE: Booklocker has an interest in writing related books. I thought it might be a good place for us to hang out.
CALLIOPE: How will you organize it?
JOE: Right now I don't think I will. I see it as documenting the day to day adventures in writing and publishing for people who wonder what the writing life is about.
CALLIOPE: I like the idea. I guess I have never thought about the progress of our work together.
JOE: Neither have I. But I think we might both learn something about the process of writing.
CALLIOPE: Maybe it will suggest some new directions.
JOE: Perhaps. In any case I am looking forward to the adventure.
February 4, 2009 - 8:17am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing.

(Serenade of the Seas)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Having trouble concentrating on matters literary.
CALLIOPE: Why's that?
JOE: I'm leaving for a cruise on Friday and will have a chance to get away from my usual routine. I'm afraid my mind has already left.
CALLIOPE: Not surprising. It is rather exciting.
JOE: It is. I have been on a fair number of cruises before, but it's always a marvel for me to live aboard a floating town for week.
CALLIOPE: Will I hear from you while you are gone?
JOE: Probably not. If I can find a way to send a post I will, but no promises. It might be beyond my mortal powers.
CALLIOPE: I can't help you there. Muses are versed in inspiration but not technology.
JOE: I'm glad you understand.
CALLIOPE: Maybe I need a little break too.
JOE: Perhaps. If you do take one, say hello to the folks at Mt. Olympus for me. Talk with you on February 16 if not before.

August 11, 2008 - 8:16am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, inspiration.


(Tower of London Gate)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you on Saturday.
JOE: I'm glad someone did. The weekend was very busy with a family reunion and a birthday party. I am doing my best to stay socially active. Sorry I missed you.
CALLIOPE: Being more social was one of your goals as I remember. Any literary progress?
JOE: I wrote in my journal and was inspired for a column this Saturday.
CALLIOPE: What's the topic.
JOE: I planned to write about the birthday party for my eighty year old neighbor Russ. At first I just wanted to do it as a tribute to him.
CALLIOPE: And it developed further?
JOE: It did. I thought of how a large group of family members and friends could come together with no conflict. I wonder whether it would be possible for the world to do this rather than being at each others' throats so often.
CALLIOPE: Good question. What do you plan to say?
JOE: I don't have have any particular ideas for what to say. I planned to just start writing and be open to your inspiration.
CALLIOPE: Thanks for the vote of confidence.
JOE: That's what you're best at, isn't it?
CALLIOPE: It is my job and I will be glad to help if I can.
JOE: Thanks. I'll get out my pen tonight. Talk with you tomorrow.
July 29, 2008 - 9:31am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, inspiration.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Ready to get back to my routine after a whirlwind few days. Yesterday was taken up with chauffeur and yard work duties.
CALLIOPE: What's on the agenda for today?
JOE: I have a column to write.
CALLIOPE: Have you chosen a topic?
JOE: I had an idea about addressing stresses and strategies.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to say?
JOE: I said it was an idea. It sounds catchy but I'm not sure what I will say yet. I guess I will have to start writing and see what comes out.
CALLIOPE: Sometimes that's the best approach. Any other ideas in the hopper?
JOE: I have been wondering about all the murders and suicides, sometimes at the same time. I think I would like to explore this more before writing about it. I also wonder about people rushing to get somewhere and missing the experience of life in the process.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you have enough ideas for a while.
JOE: I guess I do. I will just need to let them percolate until I am ready to address them.
CALLIOPE: Sounds reasonable. Good luck with all of them.
JOE: And your inspiration is also appreciated. Talk with you to tomorrow.
(Statue of Bull Rider- Cheyenne, Wyoming)
July 16, 2008 - 9:10am
posted by Joseph Langen in muse, writing, inspiration.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Relaxed and refreshed.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: I am planning a column on how music brings us together. Last night I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing a concert in Centennial Park of Batavia presented by the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra.
CALLIOPE: Did the concert provide you with some ideas for your column?
JOE: Sort of. It provided me with experience but not with words. I know the feeling I would like to convey in my column but not how to express them. I can't even think of a good title for the column.
CALLIOPE: Do you need some help?
JOE: Of course. Would you be so kind?
CALLIOPE: I will consider the matter and drop you some hints today if I am at all able.
JOE: You're a kind muse. Thank you. Not too long ago I read a post by a person taking his muse to task. It seemed ungrateful to me.
CALLIOPE: Me too. Muses have the job of inspiring people but not always with the inspiration they expect or want, or dare I say even feel they deserve.
JOE: I agree. It is presumptuous to expect a muse to do one's bidding.
CALLIOPE: As I see it, the point of having a muse is to stretch your imagination and offer you ideas you would not have thought of on your own. You can't expect to be thrilled by every idea which comes your way.
JOE: Again I agree. I don't have to accept every idea you send me. But if you do send it, I think it is my duty to at least consider it and wonder why. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Dusk- Allegany River)
July 10, 2008 - 4:14pm
posted by Joseph Langen in creative writing, conversation, muse.

Ongoing dialogue with my muse about my writing

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Relaxed. I spent last night with friends listening to a Coupe Devilles concert and dancing at Charlotte beach in Rochester.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like fun. I'm glad you're continuing to socialize. What's doing on in your literary world?
JOE: I am continuing to work on my revision of
Marital Property, changing it to a first person account. The more I do the more comfortable I am with this approach.
CALLIOPE: What do you like best about it?
JOE: The characters are coming to life and all have a chance to share their perceptions on observations. I think it makes for a much richer story.
CALLIOPE: I'm surprised you didn't think of it before.
JOE: Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to see reality. I thank my readers for their incisive comments helping me sharpen the text.
CALLIOPE: I agree that it's better not to write in a vacuum or at least let your story see the light of day for a little airing out. What do you have on the agenda for today?
JOE: More of the same- work on Marital Property and work on marketing.
CALLIOPE: Speaking of which, how is The Pastor's Inferno doing?
JOE: Not so well. I think the book scares many people with its theme.
CALLIOPE: What do you think you can do about it.
JOE: I've been wondering that myself. I have been considering promotional material directly addressing these fears. I think it's at least worth a try. Talk with you tomorrow.(Aerial sculptures- Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY)

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