Stephen King once said, in response to people who asked him why he wrote horror stories, (paraphrasing here) "What makes you think I have a choice?"
I sort of understood that at the time.
Now I really understand it.
After a year of trying to turn a short story into a novel, trying to turn parts of a novel into short stories, and trying to write non-fiction essays that don't suck donkey sweat, I so deeply and truly understand it.
I was killing my muse.
I can't force myself to write something. I can only write what the Muse wants me to write. And if that means I will be an anonymous dilettante scribbling away in solitude, annoying agents with my query letters, then so be it.
As the great Popeye once said, "I yam what I yam."
So, I abandon the non-fiction. I abandon the short story. I abandon (for now) the novel in progress.
Because the Muse took an offhand remark made to me ("Maybe you should consider a romantic comedy.") and ran away with it. She has been feverishly polishing this idea and finally let me in on her plan:
Take my disaster of a first novel attempt, a suspense/mystery genre, and turn it into a romantic comedy. An idea at which first I scoffed. But now it is beginning to take a hold of my imagination. I've always liked the characters from that novel, if not the contrived story I goose-stepped them through. I always had a vague idea to use at least a few of them in another story.
But to take the whole thing, location, primary and secondary characters and turn it all into something else, that is firing my imagination.
So excuse me now, while I go reacquaint myself with the citizens of a small town in the North Carolina mountains.
Loki sez: Just don't forget our lunch.