There I was, minding my own business. I was driving from one town to another in the course of my day job, listening to one of the podcasts that are my habit in the car, not at all thinking about my stalled novel about a kaiju (giant monster).
The narrative was stalled. I have the trilogy sketched out and the novels plotted. I had been working on a chapter about an early encounter between my kaiju and the people of a small, barely inhabited island, when the creative muse flew away. Days – weeks? – had passed.
But none of that was on my mind as I hit the highway to the office where I do most of my newspapering. The author in the podcast was talking about – something. You know when you wake up from a dream and you know it was good but you can’t remember another darn thing about it?
All I know is all of a sudden a guy on the island leaned toward me and said, “You do know who I AM, don’t you?”
And I did know, all of a sudden. This was our first encounter with THAT character, the one who – well, maybe it’s not time to explain who THAT character is. The possibilities flew across my mind. It was like the tumblers of a safe falling into place and reopening the door to the story.
The creative muse sat in the passenger seat. She had been waiting for me to recognize the guy on the island.
“Well?” she said. “Get going.”