asked me how the novel was going.
I toyed with sending various responses, including:
"I can write you SO much better than you actually are."
"Fabulously! It's 5 AM and here I am, still at it..."
"Too slow. Never enough time."
"It's going. I miss you."
"You are infinitely less annoying in the book than you are in real life--three cheers for artistic license!"
"Didn't I ask you nicely to stop contacting me?"
"You'll really regret your stupidity when I'm a famous writer."
But I finally settled on this: "Every time I remember meeting my muse, I smile a smile that is completely unique to that memory, and I'm flooded with inspiration again. I have to write this book so it can do to others what my muse's work has done to me."
Diplomatic and truthful, saying so much without really saying much at all.
In case you're wondering, the person who sent me the letter is not my muse--but he knows who is.