Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Multiple Faces of our Muse.

Writers often talk about their muse, describing it as if it were a real person. As I considered the muse, I thought, it must have many faces. After all we writers are a diverse lot. I checked the dictionary and found this definition.

Goddess of art: in Greek mythology, one of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. The Muses inspired and presided over the creative arts.

They were Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania, responsible for epic poetry, history, love poetry, lyric poetry, tragedy, sacred song, dance, comedy, and astronomy, respectively.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Today’s writers might add a few other descriptions. Suspense, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Westerns and don’t forget, invisible friend. I prefer to think of my muse as one of my characters. They bother me when I am trying to figure out a difficult scene, or insist on telling their story even if it has nothing to do with the plot of the book. But they don’t follow me around or interfere with my ‘real’ life. So I guess that means I’m not crazy.

“Are you sure about that?” my villain, Renwyk, just said.

Since our muse is so diverse I’d love for you all to share something about your muse. Are they bothersome, silly, difficult, opinionated or just there waiting to receive your instructions?


Helen Ginger said...

I'd never really thought about having a muse, although my characters do talk to me, especially in my dreams.

Jules said...

Oh yes, my muse is all of those. :) But my follows me everywhere and doesn't mind shouting at the worst times. Maybe I am crazy?! :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Kay Theodoratus said...

Sorry, but I don't have such an elegant view of "muse". For me, it's more like an itch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't view my muse as a person. If she were, I'd have to say I have a pretty good handle on the gal.

N. R. Williams said...

All good comments, I especially like the itch, maybe you should name it scratch. Thank you all for stopping by and sharing.

Monti said...

My muse is probably mad at me because I haven't let her in lately. Just too much to do and not enough time to do half of it!!!


Morgan Mandel said...

My muse likes to strike me at times when I'm not ready for it, like at church when I'm supposed to be listening to a sermon, not getting inspired about a plot.

Theresa Milstein said...

There are a few writers who say they have a muse. I like to think it's my cat because she often sits on my lap when I'm typing (like right now).

N. R. Williams said...

Monti, perhaps if you bribe her she won't be mad any more.

Morgan, you should tell her you're not a punching bag.

Theresa, hmm, a cat. I guess it's good you live in this century.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment.

RCM said...

I don't have a "person" type muse but I do have a number of muses that visit me every day.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reminds me every day about people for whom the truth is so important they give their lives and liberty to tell it. I subscribe to a blog feed that updates several times a day.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times... feeding grounds for parody and satire.

Conversations with my characters... (really.)

And last, but not least, Sailor the Dog. He gives me humor, energy, and wisdom of the ages... OK, scratch the wisdom part. B^)

N. R. Williams said...

Dogs are great RCM, not sure about the news as a muse, but whatever works for you. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Nancy -- I've named mine Nagging Whisper because she's not only a muse (and a nasty-tempered one at that), she's also a nag. I doubt I'd ever get anything done without her. I'm a first-class procrastinator who has way too many interests to stay focused on one project at a time.


Kate said...

Hi Nancy, Sorry for the delay but thanks for the blog award a few posts back :-)

Thomas Taylor said...

My muse makes it onto my blog from time to time but she rarely hangs around for long.

N. R. Williams said...

I love Nagging Whisper for a name Pat.

You're welcome Kate.

That's the only kind of muse to have Thomas.

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment.