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The Other Me
by April Kay Arns

Through the sleepless nights, I sit and stare at the computer screen, needing words to fill it. Whether I am in a chat room, working on an article or story, I find that I am, many times, at a loss for words to express what or how I feel. Then, suddenly they get switched on and start to flow. It is almost like a second person has to wake up inside and come out of hiding so that I can write.

This other person is good with words, can find them when I cannot. They flow from her fingertips like music strummed from a guitar. She has confidence in what she does, while I have little in myself. Watching, listening, and recording what I think or say. She knows all the secret places and my deepest, darkest thoughts and yet, she and I are the same. We are one, yet very different. We both remember what the other does, but there are two of us in here.

"The Muses' Surprise"
by Patse Hemsley

On those nights when I cannot sleep because the writer in me wants to put pen to paper or tap away at the keyboard, I just have to indulge it. For so long that voice inside of me was silent. Twenty years too long--it had been gone. Now she is awake again, working again. I cannot deny her that time. So I lose sleep and my legs ache in the morning, my hands cramp, but I have many words, thoughts, and feelings down on paper to show for my efforts. Ideas fleshed out and meanings become clearer with each session that I allow her to have.

This other me can be relentless in her pursuit of being published, I have found. This other me is sure that the dream of being a real writer is just a matter of time and effort. "I" am not sure, so I let her be sure and guide me on that path that leads us to that goal. I know the stories must be told, the dreams recorded, and the world around me described. I know this as surely as I know I must breathe to stay alive. She is professional and steadfast. She is a very serious person and yet I am more the procrastinating and game-loving individual. One wants to play, the other wants to work. Sometimes she writes about what I like to play. The historical games that I like so much, she turns them into journals, and then the journals into stories. I re-read one the other day and was surprised how it drew me back into that realm and time. She knows me so well.

On those rare days that I let her take over, I find I get a lot accomplished. Then, she is content to let me play later. Tonight is one of those rare nights. I have let her out to write to her heart's content. Until my eyes will not stay open one moment longer and I have to drag myself into bed. She is now content and will let me sleep. When I wake, I read what she wrote and am surprised that this came out of me. My feelings, my thoughts, my dreams - everything. They are there on the paper or screen for the world to see and feel with me.

It all just pours out of me on to the page. She knows the words to stir a reader's soul and I have even wept at words that I have written because her impact affects me too. They are of me and yet not me. They are here inside me and yet I do not know from where they come. I call her my Muse, this inspiration that God has granted me for this time. Never again will it be denied or left to go silent in the long night.

I live so I write. It is all I can do most days, all I want to do, and yet, so many other things need doing. I go now to bed, to sleep, to dream, and to wake to find what she has written of me this time. We work together and yet I am ever surprised at what she deems worthy to put down on paper. I look inside myself and see the other me. I see the me I want to be.

My name is April Arns and I am 41 years old and have been married 16 years come this May 25th. I have no children and am disabled but that doesn't stop me from using my mind, my hands and my heart. I craft and write constantly.

After a 20 year bout of writer's block I finally found my writing voice again albeit a bit rusty at first. Other than this essay I have written several short stories, articles for an online craft newsletter, am working on several novels and do all manor of crafting you can imagine. I even have a children's book in the works. I keep very busy and love doing all that I do.



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