Got Muse? Maybe two?
For grins and giggles, talk about them here.
My muse is much different than I am. I’m female while my muse is male. If he were a real person, I’d be repulsed. I’m not sure how often he bathes, but I’m loathe to ask. We won’t talk about his attire that has mustard stains and who knows what else. His name is Brutal Brutus, and he’s balding, smokes cigars, is overweight, and very sarcastic. The good thing is that he’s honest and usually dead-on. He could care less than I’ve spent days working on a scene or chapter. If he doesn’t like it, it’s ‘outta here.’
There are rare times he doesn’t show up. When he doesn’t, there’s a temp muse I call Penelope. If she were real, she’d be Rita Skeeter’s sister. I don’t care for her as much as she likes to cause chaos with my confidence and she’s anal about edits before the first draft is done, but she does help to make things more concise. She’s also better when it comes to any romantic parts or internal monolgue.
It’s no wonder I keep Excedrin close by.
So! Introduce your muse!
My muse is more and more myself. I’ve probably had enough of female muses, unless they last no longer than an evening or just a few days. Since the time I decided to devote to this new muse, I started writing a lot more, instead of staying for hours doing nothing, looking at the void of the blank page and dreaming always the same thing.
Muses. I’ve never been so good in Greek literature, after all.
(However, she has long red hairs, and looks dramatically similar to Botticelli’s Venus. Sometimes she comes back to me by phone or mail, or we meet at theatre shows. But that’s all I can ask to her now…) (Ehy! You PROMISED!) (Ok, Ok, no need to scream…)
My muse is the snow leopard.
He’s so powerfully beautiful as to be seductive. He’s sleek, he’s fast. He’s always stalking prey, but getting him to pounce, much less sink his teeth in, is a ceaseless struggle. He saunters wherever and whenever he pleases, casting that haughty look known to all cats at whomever tries to control him. Imprison him, and he’ll either simply go to sleep, or leap from the cage.
I love him as brother, companion, and adversary (and I do think that people usually love their adversaries, in a particularly painful way). And I’m glad he’s mine.
Alexandra is my muse.
I made her up when I was an anorexic 14-year-old. She was everything I wanted to grow up to be: tall, beautiful, brainy, sophisticated, confident and competent. I got the “tall” and the “brainy,” and I’m told I got the “competent.” Dunno about the rest. “Beautiful” certainly eluded me. Alexandra became the heroine of endless space operas that I spun out over the years. Finally, I’ve finished a novel about her. Whether she’ll ever get published is irrelevant, I guess. She’s still my muse.
I like the snow leopard! What a gorgeous inspiration! Alas, the feline that springs fastest to my mind is the tailless tabby napping on my sofa. He’s not mysterious or adversarial. He’s just damn cute.
It’s also a worthless inspiration. Writing has been mostly futile for about sixteen months. My life is going nowhere.
I’m very sorry. It sounds like your muse needs some catnip … and you need to go easy on yourself about it.
** Warning **
What follows is a discussion I have been having with myself. Since there are clearly others who are in the unfortunate situation of being “uninspired” like I am at this time, I figured I would share a little tirade from note to myself. Yes I edited my entry a little for this post (pulled some personal stuff out) but the message is there.
Some one should recognize the distinct influence of a particular forum signature in here. If you read other threads I am sure you will all know who I am talking about. Thank you for poking me in the eye. I needed it.
May 30, 2008
Inspiration makes for a bad result.
While there may be a moment of inspiration, it is the drudgery that makes things valuable. The painter is inspired by a scene, but it is he tediousness of each stroke, the years of awful results, wasted paint and canvas, these are the things that make us step back and go “WOW!” once the inspiration is sweated out to completion.
As a musician, I find inspiration problematic. It distracts and torments, constantly dangling a carrot in front of me pointing to an ideal that I may never reach, leading me down a potholed dusty road where I am likely to get lost and forget what trip I was even on. Sure it is fun and exciting for a while, but then I am stranded with no gas or a flat and no way to get help.
If there is a fault with any of us “artists” it is that we have not learned the habits of writers like Antony, Paul, Druid, AmberV and many others who I can’t remember. Sit down and WRITE like you are getting paid to do it. Heck, they are. But it isn’t because they are waiting for inspiration, but sweating out the tedious details.
So what are poor schmucks like us to do? Well, we can sit back and wait for inspiration and catch up on our reading and post messages to irritate vic-k (which is my current choice) or we can slog away at the tedium that is writing. I guess it all depends on your reasons for writing in the first place.
You’ve a good point. When I was a newspaper reporter, I couldn’t wait for inspiration - unless you want to count as “inspiration” a cranky editor standing over my desk, reminding me in language inappropriate for a “family newspaper” that we were five minutes to deadline, it was time to put the baby to bed, and the presses were going to roll with or without me. It didn’t matter what the story was about, either. Ever try to find inspiration when you’re writing about sewers? (Yecch!)
Cause or effect,
s the same. Lifes for living,
t a game; Its for seeing through,
to the bitter end.
That`s reality, my friend.
A cratered , potholed ‘Unadopted Road’;
No, ‘GIVE WAY’ signs;
No Travellers Guides;
Nor Highway Codes.
That puddle you stepped in,
Could`ve been a bottomless hole
sacs of Dispair Dead-ends; Blind alleyways everywhere! NO 'U' TURNING! So you cant turn back.
Christ…no wonder you`re
Wow! Your muse was certainly active, vic-k! Out of honest curiosity, which one was it - the pirate dog, Fluff, or M. le D? Or are there others? Trust me, I’m not being snarky. I’d really like to know.
s something I scribbled down on a piece of paper over fifteen years ago, at a certain point in my life, long before any of the gang existed. I only posted it here because jaysens:
reminded me of it. So I
m afraid its pure Vic. If there was a muse involved, I wasn`t aware of it.
I figured I
d got it all pretty much [i]'sussed[/i]' by the, "Feeling trapped" last line, but then another verse came at me: So, winners or losers, Were all the same.
But then…is it all
Which re-muddied the waters some what!
Several variants have made the rounds, but the essential point is this:
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Occasionally – say, once every five or six years – an idea or an image will strike, and I’ll attack the keyboard at white-heat, 120 wpm, cranking out reams of deathless prose, incisive commentary, brilliant exposition, mind-shattering psychological exploration.
Every bit of which, every line and phrase and word, needs to be cleaned up by ye olde editore.
Which is exactly what need to be done to the stuff I crank out at low voltage. The only difference is that, in the fell clutch of inspiration, the dreck accumulates faster.
Good morning. My human,Vic-k, mumbled to himself this morning, whilst reading you post, "Don
t know what hes mithering about. There
s a fortune to be made from [i]'dreck'[/i]. Theres loads of the stuff out there. Some buggers
re gettin bloody
good money for the stuff!" Actually, he didnt say bloody, he used a rude word, but
bloody, does the job.
He then muttered something that sounded like, “Publish and be damned”.
Take care Mr Philip
I believe that your homo-sapien’s position is due to a lack of … humanity. If we review the posts attributed to the shell we see you, Le D, and the 'rat. Very few seem to originate from the actual man himself.
So I ask you to reconsider the source. Are you certain the the real vic muttered that or was it one of your fellow alternate psychologies that did it?
Your human make a valid and necessary point. Dreck-mongers everywhere. But the market in dreck requires two participants, and we need to label and confront the buyers as well as the sellers.
My own problem – a practical one, alas, more than a moral one – is that there seems to be no demand in the current market for my idiosyncratic variety of dreck. Which is to say, I’m selling, but no one is buying.
As for modifying my output to meet the criteria of the market, publish the thought. (Or do I mean perish the thought? It’s still the shank of the morning in my time zone. Rational thought in abeyance until after noon.)
As far as I am aware, the entity: that shambles round and round the,'Writer
s Room'; tuts; sighs; hums and ahhs; makes irritating noises; and stands behind me, whistling through his teeth, whilst looking over my shoulder when I
m on line, in order to annoy me so much that Ill let him use Mac; is my human, vic.
Shank of the morning? The morning is pas… Oh wait. it was dark when I got out of bed and normal people sleep in the dark, right. Darn, even when i am right I am wrong.
So is it the fault of the reader that they can’t stomach decent writing? That would be like saying I am wrong because I don’t eat strawberries. Can’t stand the awful little things. The nasty seeds, the nauseating smell. Awful.
Am I wrong? in your opinion I might be. But if I add that I have an allergic reaction to strawberries then you might think that I am smart for not eating them (unless you are Le D in which case you would encourage me to eat more).
If you follow that logic (which I am sure you do) then let me ask you this: What in your experience would lead you to believe that the majority of Americans are NOT allergic to intellectual stimulation? Hmm?
I postulate that the current market accurately reflects the collective stupidity of the populace (I originally had an extra o in there but it was to accurate to leave in).
Anyone care to disagree?
I don’t know that they’re allergic. Lazy, yes. Indifferently educated, yes. Incapable, often. It’s pretty sad.
Shoot. I know I will loose an argument with you, Jacqi. Do you know I actually think Lawyers are smarter and better than Doctors? A generalization yes, but proving to have some accuracy lately…
Would you give me that the “ignorant majority” seems to have an “allergic reaction” to anything that remotely resembles intellectual stimulation?
Geeze vic-k. I might be in trouble here. She is used to those midwestern judges and probably wont give an inch unless you driver her to distraction. Put the dress back on over the combi-boots and do a little dance for her. Might want to bring the chiffon as well. Maybe that will unsettle her enough to get to to agree to anything.
I don’t think we really disagree. People who are stupid or lazy may not have a biologically-based aversive reaction to intellectual stimulation, but I agree with you that they certainly have a psychosomatic reaction that mimics an allergic response. For people who are either incredibly lazy, or are both stupid and lazy at the same time, this pseudo-allergic response verges on anaphylaxis!