Hag, Crucified: Chapter One of HAG
The Hag begins her story with Stephanie on a cross, wearing a white silk dress. She crawls across the floor. She tosses back her long red hair. Who is this woman, flashing her legs in silken stockings? Her lipstick-red mouth opens in—what? despair? triumph? Who is this woman? And who is this man—this artist, this voyeur—pursuing her?
HAG is the third of my Lola Trilogy: three novels that expressly deal with the Muse, whom I call Lola. The others are Orifice and Autobiography of a Wanderer (which have not been made into movies but are available as e-books). I hoped that these stories would provide me with a greater insight into the nature of creativity. The muse has always seemed to me cruelly whimsical. Her cruelty, and the ease with which she abandoned me, were the subjects of the first two novels; but with Hag, I expected a kind of dialog to emerge, or perhaps her blessing. I was, after all, blessing her, admiring her beauty, offering my love and whatever skills I had as an artist.
The original impetus for Hag came when I took photographs of a woman the same age as myself, that is a woman who was at the time in her sixties: an elegant, slender woman with a kind of half-controlled, furious energy. I began writing with her in mind, her style, her willingness to expose her inner self. I did not want the Hag to be a young woman. After the first chapter, however, the words stopped. I began contemplating something new: a kind of movie based on an unwritten book. I had met a young acting student at our local college, Stephanie, and admired her work. She agreed to help me. I found a white silk dress for her to wear, old-fashioned RHT stockings. Why not, I thought, have this young woman play the role of an older woman playing the role of the Hag? Who could say what would emerge?