My Bossy Muse

My muse. Image purchased from shutterstock

I’m polishing up the last bits of Soul Swallower and Legacy of Souls when I hear the clomp of my muse’s heavy boots on my writing-room stairs. I haven’t seen her since September 2016 when she gave me an ultimatum about finishing up The Rose Shield series. It was that or she was going to quit.

Well, I finished it in the spring of 2017 and took the summer off to rest. Instead of popping the cork on a bottle of champagne, she hired a mercenary muse, and abruptly my break was over. The guy was a hulking brute with a bad attitude and worse breath. And not only did he expect me to get writing, but he forced me to exercise.

Amazing artwork by Peter Pham

I can’t imagine what this visit is going to bring, and I brace myself. The door opens and the muse walks in as if she owns the place. She’s decked out in her clunky boots, and she’s carrying that magical staff that I still don’t know how to use since she never shares.

“You haven’t written sci-fi in years,” she remarks, having read my mind. I hate it when muses do that.

“I’ll bet you stopped by to congratulate me on the new books,” I say with a smug smile and flash the yummy covers. “They’re just about ready to go.”

“I’m not here to pamper you, Peach. That’s your husband’s job.” She settles onto a metal quasi-throne with rusted pipes that suddenly materializes against the wall.

I grimace at the contraption. “You know, I hope that’s not permanent. I just cleaned the place up after the bats!”

She ignores me and leans forward, elbows on her knees. “I’m here to talk about the next books.”

“What next books?” Oh, oops. Yeeesh. I wince. “Oh, yeah. Um…”

“Exactly.” Her eyes are blue today and they shoot icicles into my skin. “You’re a few weeks away from finishing the latest series, and you haven’t even thought about the next one.”

“I’ve been really busy!” I cross my arms and huff. “And it’s not like there are any real deadlines.”

“Except mine.” She raises an eyebrow. “You know I have other authors to manage. And there are plenty more in line looking for some guidance.”

“Looking for a taskmaster more like it,” I mutter under my breath and give her a fake smile. I know she heard it or heard me think it. “I can’t believe you have other authors. I thought you were all mine.”

She rolls her eyes. I scratch my head and blow out a breath. “Sorry. You’re right. I haven’t even thought about the next one, and I’ve got nothin’, zippo, squat. I don’t even have a starting place. I need your help.”

“That’s more like it.” Her shoulders relax now that I’ve been thoroughly cowed. “I want you to start thinking about shapeshifters. They’ve been on your mind.”

It’s true. “I can think about them.”

She narrows her eyes at me, but gives the wise-guy comment a pass. “And goblins.”

“Shapeshifters and goblins?” I twist my face. “That’s ridiculous. They don’t go together. I need a new muse.” I laugh but she doesn’t. “You can’t be serious. Are you serious?”

“You can make it work. I want betrayals, lies, manipulation. I want you to make things miserable for your characters and then make them worse. I want twists, flaws, nobility, and redemption.”

I don’t know what to say. My muse has totally lost it. What comes out of my mouth is, “Okay.”

“Good. Three books, two years. It’s a gift.”

I calculate the time frame in my head. It’s not bad. But shapeshifters and goblins?

She gets to her feet, tall and powerful. “Congrats on the latest books, by the way.” The metal throne thing disappears, and suddenly she’s changing, her form taking a new shape. A shapeshifter? She winks a feline eye and pads out the door.

The wheels in my head start turning…

pixabay image compilation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rat Named Lucy and a Backyard Muse

In the mood for a laugh? The muse stories expand to the animal kingdom with two hysterical posts from a couple of funny bloggers. Meet Mike Allegra’s furry rodent muse, Lucy,  and join Molly Stevens as she hunts for her muse in her backyard. I’ve attached intros and links to both posts and, since it’s Sunday, closed comments here.  Enjoy 🙂

Mike Allegra’s Muse, Lucy

A Muse for Youse

by Mike Allegra at Hey Look a Writer Fellow

“You’re lying on the couch,” my muse observes with an arched eyebrow.

“Yes,” I say.

“You’re eating ice cream,” she continues. “While lying on the couch.”

“Yes,” I repeat.

“And you’re watching Spaceballs.”

“Yes,” I say again. “I am watching Spaceballs while eating ice cream while lying on the couch.”

She chitters with disapproval. “Is this a new way to write that nobody told me about?”

“I’m writing,” I reply. “Writing is about a lot more than typing, you know. You need time to, you know, ponder things.”

“Oh, so this is ‘pondering,’ then?” She flicks an invisible speck of dust from her whisker. “Because what you’re doing looks an awful lot like ‘farting around.’”

“Well, that’s why…

(Continue Reading: A Muse for Youse)

 

Images from Pixabay, edited by Molly

Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my

by Molly Stevens at Shallow Reflections

The more stories I read about writers getting intimate with their muses-with-issues, the more fearful I was to encounter mine. What if she is a tyrant with no sense of humor? But what would I miss, if she is more fun than a barrel of animatronic monkeys, hanging out in amusement parks? Like Disney World?

I mustered the courage to look for her. And since I didn’t have money in the budget for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I decided to hunt for her in my backyard.

I searched for a Muse Hunting Call in the app store, downloaded it, and put it to use. It made a throaty, grunting sound.

To my surprise, a full grown, bull moose lumbered out of the woods, looking confused as to why a middle-aged woman without a gun or a moose-hunting permit would call him.

He asked, “What do you want?”

I said, “There must be some mistake. I was calling my muse, not a mangy moose.”

“Hey, watch who you are calling mangy…

(Continue Reading: Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my)

Sunday Blog Share: Allie Potts – An interview with my muse

 

I’m enjoying meeting all the muses that my post kicked off.
Allie Potts goes on a clever, caffeine-induced search of her muse.
Comments are closed here on Sundays. Enjoy Allie’s post.

***

The air was heavy with procrastination as I heard the door open behind me. I didn’t have to turn around to recognize her perfume, a mix of earth and chocolate spice. It could only be Moka. Moka Chino. She spelled her name with a k rather than a ch. She thought it gave her an extra shot of originality. I’d never had the heart to tell her I thought it made me question whether her head was on right.

She sashayed into my office as if it hadn’t been years since we last met. Though I tried to keep my expression neutral, I couldn’t help drinking in her appearance. “What brings you to the old neighborhood?” I asked as she removed a pair nutmeg shaded glasses, revealing mascara stained eyes underneath.

“It’s Latte. She’s missing.”

Latte was Moka’s cousin. Tall and skinny, though just as smooth. I’d met her at one of Moka’s parties and we’d spent the next hours in easy conversation. Latte’s side of the family wasn’t nearly as rich and she’d offered to help with the occasional job or two for whatever change I could spare, which was never much.

It was worth the expense. Her contributions might cause me the occasional heartburn, but…

 

Continue Reading: An interview with my muse – a fiction challenge

My Muse (Almost Iowa)

Greg from Almost Iowa took up my challenge to write about his muse. The post took an unexpected turn… very funny. Here goes:

***

My muse arrived late.

Our appointment was for 7:00 a.m. sharp but she didn’t stagger in until well after noon and then she flopped on the couch and moaned, “I need chocolate chip ice cream.”

That was the last thing I wanted to hear.

Three weeks ago, I banished a pail of chocolate chip ice cream to the freezer in the garage. Admittedly, it was a cruel thing to do to something that I loved so much but it was not really me who did it, rather it was my diet.

Now the bucket was calling my name and apparently its plaintive cries had captured my muse.

“Absolutely not,” I told her, “I am sticking to my diet.”

She wailed and shook uncontrollably.

“It is only ice cream,” I told her.

“Noooo,” she cried, “it is not.  You are siding with HIM.”

“Him?”

“Yes, Discipline. He was my muse,” her lipped quivered as she tried to continue, “but we broke up.”

“A muse needs a muse?”

She struggled to speak through her tears.

“Tell me more,” I told her, “because I am writing about you.”

(Head over and see what happened: My Muse)