News Flash: Our lucky winners are Beth Medrano, Diane Gidley, and Ginny C! Please check your email, ladies, and congratulations!
Edith/Maddie here, writing from north of Boston, ecstatic to see my younger son again (and his new girlfriend) later this week after a year and a half!
But family reunions aren’t today’s topic. Instead, let’s talk about muses (and be sure to read to the end for a giveaway). According to Wikipedia, they are the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. In the following drawing, where they play for Zeus, I don’t see anyone with a pen and paper, or even a stylus and a papyrus. Still, they are the domain of writers.
I am not entirely sure where the words come from when I’m writing along and my characters surprise me with their words and actions, but I know I love it. Is it a muse guiding my story? Possibly. I also know it won’t happen if I don’t show up for the job, day after day, and keep my fingers moving on the keyboard.
Many of you know I start my writing day by checking in at seven AM with Ramona’s Sprint Club. Ramona DeFelice Long started the practice many years ago on her personal Facebook page. Writers from all over check in for an hour of uninterrupted creativity. Early last fall, when Ramona’s illness made it clear she didn’t have much longer to live, she and Wende Dikec shifted the check-in to a Facebook group, which Wende ably runs, now in Ramona’s absence (sniff). She always starts us off with a quote and a graphic.
Several weeks ago, the following graphic and message headed up the sprint.
Wende Dikec: “One of the authors [in a documentary Wende had watched] … said she couldn’t write until her muse showed up, and her muse had been painfully absent. Uh, no. That’s not how it works. You can’t sit around and wait for your muse to show up … Tchaikovsky felt the same, so I’m obviously not wrong. Have a great day, friends. And if your muse is giving you trouble, don’t wait for her to show up. Hunt her down.”
I love this so much, and I also loved the comments some of the writers shared about their muses. I give you the ones that struck my fancy, with the authors’ permission.
Annette Dashofy: “That author needs to join us here! We’ll handcuff her muse for her and whip it into submission.” [The documentary had been about erotica writers…]
Hilary Hauck: “We are masters of the muse. We summon her every morning for the sprint. If we left it up to her, we might all have a nice, long lie in.”
Amber Foxx: “I have a date with my muse every night at my desk, and she seems sufficiently committed that she often goes running with me or joins me for housework.”
Triss Finkleman Stein: “Barbara Kingsolver was the writer who said, ‘Chain that muse to the desk and get the job done.'”
(Edith: As shown in this picture I printed out and posted above my desk, Kingsolver’s is the kind of muse we all need.)
Claire Murray: “I find my muse is very active most mornings after I’ve painted the night before. She must like the relaxation of painting and sees it as an invitation to join me–then and the next morning.”
Kait Carson: “My muse presented me with a storyline for the 4th book in the series I’m writing. My muse is ambitious – I’m currently writing book 2!”
Jane Kelly: “My muse just got back from vacation. At least I hope she is back. I missed her.”
Gloria Muhly Baer Bostic: “Heading to the beach with the kids this morning. I’ll let my muse come along, but we won’t seriously get to work until later.”
Denise Weaver: “Here musie, musie, musie.”
Me: “After I woke up this morning, my muse kindly passed along six ideas for how to improve the book.”
Tiger Wiseman (in response): “Please have your muse text mine. I could use some ideas.”
Last week our guest Bruce Coffin said this about his muse: “…when I finally returned to writing, my muse grabbed me by the lapels and shoved me headlong down the murder/mystery path.”
Muses come in many forms, it seems, and call us in different ways. That’s a good thing!
Readers: Have you felt moved by a muse in any artistic pursuit? Tell us about it. I have three ARCs of my November-release Murder at the Lobstah Shack to give away (US only)!