By Susan G. Haws
Do you ever wish you were in a culture where as a child you were formally introduced to your muse Areelia or Ben and you could sit down and discuss things with her/ him, argue and bribe with cookies then new clothes or a vacation as you both aged? You would know right off if they were whimsical or practical; and if, after a few years the two of you didn’t get along you could both go find other partners at the Muse Match and Trade the first Friday of the month at the local Starbucks.
I often catch myself thinking I wish I wrote like her or him. That is how I want to write. But the ideas provided by my muse often are down the opposite fork in the road from the route I have plotted on my personal map.
My muse is mercurial. She won’t give me her name and hides in the back corner of my mind playing World of War Craft or watching Avatar and demanding Belgian chocolates. She only slides out hints for my work in progress, or should I say work in stall, and frequently sends out pages on characters or plots in different genres from my planned focus, most with questionable market potential. Yet, I come to love these ideas. Hey, they must be a part of me. Right? Obviously not the part I was planning for but, oh well.
So then I message my muse, she is terribly unsocial and won’t come over for tea, or even a quick stop and a glass of water.
“OK, I did what you want. Can I have another installment on what I wanted to write?”
With a smirk and a snarky comment she sends me on a scavenger hunt. Very moody too when I mention how I envy someone else’s muse.
Since I can’t see my muse and drive to her house with a pan of brownies, a veggie tray or tickets to a play. She always wins any arguments. Like a cat sitting on a curio shelf amongst porcelain figurines flicking her tail near my favorite knick knack; she doles out cryptic messages then threatens to never communicate again when I protest that her clues don’t lead to the kind of story I want to write. So I write the ideas she gives.
Does anyone know how to conquer or at least negotiate a treaty with a muse?