Do you have a muse?
What is s/he like?
And what is a Muse, anyway?
For the family history and definition of who represents what (and to be honest I’m not sure who represents fiction, although poets have a choice of several), go here. The Muses are a group of Greek goddesses, the offspring of Zeus and Mnemosyne (“memory,” who may or may not have been another goddess, although Zeus had a tendency to get it on with anyone, or anything). They are the divinities who guide artists and scientists.
My personal Muse is a lady of a certain age. Wait, I’m a lady (or at least a woman) of a certain age. She’s even older than me. She favors cameo brooches, sensible shoes, and tweed skirts and is a cross between Miss Costello, the headmistress of the English all-girls school I attended (she never seemed to wash her hair; like boytoys who maintain a three-day stubble, she always had the same grease factor), and Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marples. She is, however, much less agreeable than Miss Marples, given to sarcasm and the delicate raising of a single eyebrow for emphasis. She is very prim, proper, and upper-class.
“My dear. Surely you do not really wish to scrub beneath the kitchen sink rather than write?”
“Another look at the email? So soon? I think not.”
And, this is the killer, comments made in reference to other writers:
“As the dear Count said to me the other day…oh yes, that Count; he didn’t finish War and Peace by frolicking online during valuable writing time, you know. Dear Nikolai, dead but still writing…”
Well, you get the picture. That’s my Muse. Tell us about yours.
Meanwhile, over at the Wet Noodle Posse I’m blogging today on what I like doing in bed.
Enter my contest all this month at roadtoromance.ca
DEDICATION~Winner, 2006 Golden Leaf Contest (Regency)
Ah well. . . hmm. I haven’t been in school in a while, so I can’t think of what that might have been (but hope that comes back soon, when I do make it back! LOL), so the most I do that is creative at the moment are my lousy icons and collages, and mostly that’s a certain Phantom. It’s been a while since I’ve done any X-Files ones, and that would be a certain Mr. Mulder as a muse. . . boy I’m boring. LOL 🙂
My muse is like a sensitive child, talented, eager to please, but also terribly afraid of making a mistake. When the pressure’s on she likes to hide. The best way to coax her out is to just start working without her. Eventually she sneaks out to tell me how to fix the mess.
I think Janet’s muse would tell my muse to stop being such a pea-goose and get out from under the table…
I’m afraid I don’t have a muse. My uber-rational brain will not allow it.
I do, however, have a stuffed cat who insists on drinking my tea in the mornings, and tries to trick me into playing Lara Croft. But he’s really more like an anti-muse. 🙂
Janet, I loved this post.
If I had to choose amongst the lovely ladies fo the muse circle, As a writer of historical fiction, I would choose Clio and Calliope.
Clio the “Proclaimer” is the muse of history and is often seen sitting with a scroll and accompanied by a chest of books.
Calliope (Calliopeia), the “Fair Voiced” and the eldest Muse, is the muse of epic poetry and is seen holding a writing tablet in hand, sometimes seen with a roll of paper or a book, and crowned in gold.
However, I suspect my muse would be different from these lovely nubile young women living thousands of years ago. Mine is definitely English, with a shock of well-cut white hair, granny reading glasses perched on her nose, impeccably dressed, but not really upper class. I would put Grana as an independently wealthy woman living alone easide town, Bath will do in a pinch. She is very particular about how she wants things done. And she is strict about work etiquetts and getting things done well and on time. She doesn’t allow herself to nag and nag, that would be beneath her. She just has to voice her decided opinion in her well-bred voice. And that’s the law of the land.
I’m a procrastinator, so my muse is the best thing that happened to me. I haven’t talked to her much about research problems, or when I get stuck. Not sure how she will react to that.
OK. Phew! Long post.
I need to find a photograph of my muse. Janet, where did you look for the picture on your post?
Can I borrow your muse? Maybe she’d tell me to stop worrying about vaccuuming (because, you know, I don’t actually DO it) rather than write.
I don’t have a muse–I’ve got self-imposed deadlines, an incredibly guilty conscience, and a superego the size of Manhattan.
Sort of works for me.
Keira, I did a google image search on MUSES GREEK MYTHOLOGY (the Greek mythology tag to avoid getting dozens of pics of a band called Muse). I don’t know what the actual pic is, tho it has a sort of late Regency/early Victorian feel to it.
And the link I gave in the original post has a lot of pics and info too.
Glad you enjoyed the post!
I’d like to borrow your Muse, too, Janet. She sounds like she might actually be helpful, unlike mine, who is a bit like the pastel party girls of Versailles in “Marie Antoinette” (which I just saw this afternoon!). Sometimes she lolls around by my desk giving me good, creative ideas, but most of the time she’s off to the Petit Trianon to drink champagne and frolic in the gardens. Her name is Francoise. 🙂
I have a feeling my muse is a slouch, a teenager saying, “Hey, check that email. Read that blog.”
But, Lois, I’d take the Phantom to …um…distract in other ways.
Stephen King wrote about his muse in the Washington Post on October 1. Leave it to Stephen King to have a muse that sounds absolutely horrifying. Heh.