Nothing good ever happens when I write a love story.


THE MUSE was late.

Usually when he’s late, he doesn’t come at all.

The sun had already topped the trees, and the last hint of darkness was fading above the hills toward Dallas.

The Muse expected me to be at my word machine.

I didn’t disappoint him.

“What are you writing?” he asked.

“A review,” I said.

“I didn’t think you liked to write reviews,” he said.

“I don’t.”

“Then why do it?”

“It may help somebody sell another book or two,” I said.

He nodded.

He shrugged.

He sat down on the sofa in the darkest part of the room.

I would have offered him coffee.

He brought his own.

It had the faint aroma of liquor.

He judges me.

I don’t judge him.

I let it go.

“Whose book are you reviewing?” he asked.

“Martha Bourke.”

“She good?”

“I like her work.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s a romance.”

“I didn’t think you liked romance books,” the Muse said.

“I like them,” I said.

I paused.

“I just don’t understand them,” I said.

The Muse grinned.

“What’s the name of the book?”

Mating Call.”

“Have any sex in it?”

“It does.”

“I didn’t think you read books about sex.”

“I read them,” I said. “I don’t understand them either.

The Muse took a long sip of coffee.

His eyes looked like the coffee might have the faint taste of liquor.

“In other words,” he said, “you can’t write it.”

I nodded.

“I don’t know how,” I said. “As the old saying goes, I know what goes where and why, but something always gets in the way.”

“You ever been in love?”

“For a long time.”

“Write your own love story,” the Muse said.

“It doesn’t work that way.”

“Why not?”

“I can have boy meets girl.”

“That’s a start.”

“I can even throw in a little passion.”

“That always works.”

“I can even have them throw their clothes in the far corner.”



“Well,” the Muse said, “you understand the fine points.”

“Then I hit a road block,” I said.

The Muse arched his eyebrow.

He was running out of coffee and didn’t like it.

He took a flask from his hip pocket and filled his cup.

It wasn’t coffee.

“What’s the problem?” the Muse asked.

“He holds her.”

The Muse smiled.

“She holds him.”

The Muse nodded.

“Then somebody dies.”



“That’s not good,” the Muse says. “Who dies?”

“A bad guy.”

“Your hero always carry a gun?”

“In my last book, the girl shot the bad guy.”

“It’s hard to make love at a crime scene,” the Muse said.

“I’ve never had much luck at it.”

“So what are you going to do about love stories?” the Muse wanted to know.

“Review them.”

“Good idea,” he said.

The cup was empty.

The flask was empty.

He was gone.

Please click the book cover image to read more about Caleb Pirtle’s Wicked Little Lies. It almost has a premeditated sex scene or two.


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  • Sara Marie Hogg

    That was what was so good about old movies–it fades to black right before the good stuff. It left it to the imagination.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Sara, imagination is a powerful camera.

      • Sara Marie Hogg

        I couldn’t agree more.

  • Caleb,
    It doesn’t look hopeful for you.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      On writing or love.

      • You’ve already got love in the real world. I think you can hang up the notion of having it in your novels.

  • jack43

    Anyone who argues that men and women are the same hasn’t been paying attention to their reading habits, have they?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      The secret, Jack, is that we have to learn how to write for women.

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