Friday, February 24, 2012

I Need Friends Friday: My Muse

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

In ancient Greece, the Muses were the patron goddesses of the arts. They were believed to be responsible for inspiring sculptors to sculpt, dancers to dance, painters to paint, writers to write, musicians to... musicify. To this day, those who pursue the creative arts refer to their muse, that something in them that drives them to create, that inspires their pursuits. We all have one, and we all have a love-hate relationship with our muse.

Today, you get to meet mine.

SME: Welcome to I Need Friends Friday.

Muse: I am pleased to be here.

SME: I am rather pleased you are here, as well. Not to start this off on an overly critical footing, but you don’t always show up when you are scheduled to.

Muse: Are you calling me fickle?

SME: Your word choice, not mine.

Muse: *expression grows silently stoic, a single eyebrow arches ominously*

SME: Don’t get all like that. You have to admit there have been more than a few instances in which you and I had an agreed upon meeting time and you never showed up. That happened yesterday, in fact.

Muse: *expression remains silently stoic, that single eyebrow still arched ominously*

SME: I even played our song, and you didn’t come.

Muse: Chariots of Fire is not our song.

SME: It’s inspirational.

Muse: It’s cliché.

SME: Oh, and your suggestion was better?

Muse: I Write the Songs is not cliché.

SME: *rolls eyes* Please. Barry Manilow is a universally accepted synonym for cliché.

Muse: Say what you will, I actually do write the songs. I’m a muse. It’s what I do.

SME: Wait. I thought you were a literary muse.

Muse: There’s been downsizing. Muses are having to expand their clientele beyond a single art form.

SME: *growing a bit alarmed* You mean you aren’t just my muse? I thought we had an exclusive thing going on here.

Muse: Perhaps you won’t be so critical when I can’t show up at 3 in the morning for a writing session just because you’re awake and have nothing better to do.

SME: Showing up when a client is trying to be creative is your job.

Muse: Writing is your job, but you haven’t done a whole lot of that lately, have you?

SME: Hmm. Wonder why that is? Maybe it has something to do with my no-show muse.

Muse: *mutters* Why are artistic types so high maintenance?

SME: Are you calling me a drama queen?

Muse: Your wording, not mine.

SME: Look, this whole “I write the songs” thing goes both ways, ya know. You bring the inspiration, we “artistic types” do the work. But you have to actually show up for that to happen.

Muse: It also helps if the “artistic type” isn’t on Facebook during our creative sessions.

SME: *ahem* So, any advice for other authors who are struggling to really connect with their muse?

Muse: Yes. For one thing, this disconnect is seldom the muse’s fault.

SME: *under breath* Says the muse.

Muse: For another thing, authors can only blame so much on their muse. Just the other day I was at Muse-Con and I attended a session entitled “They Always Blame the Muse.” Turns out the phrase “I would have done some work on my project today, but my muse wasn’t cooperating” is a universal excuse, translatable into every language, both modern and ancient.

SME: Okay. Wait. I’m still stuck on “I was at Muse-Con.” There’s a convention for muses?

Muse: Why shouldn’t there be? Authors have conventions. Comic book collectors have conventions. Devotees of science-fiction themed television programs have conventions. Muses need each other, too. We, after all, have to deal with—

SME: I know, I know. —with “artistic types”

Muse: Artistic types who see us as easy scapegoats for their own procrastination and lack of discipline.

SME: Was there also a session at Muse-Con entitled “How to Start Taking Responsibility for Your Own Poor Job Performance Instead of Resorting to Stereotypical Complaints About Your Clientele,” or “Throwing Vaguely Insulting Insinuations at Your Client’s Head is Not the Best Approach to Maintaining a Healthy Muse-Client Relationship,” because those could be really useful classes.

Muse: Word to the wise, my high-maintenance friend: don’t ever tempt a muse to give you the cold shoulder.

SME: Point taken.


SME: Still there?

SME: *plays Chariots of Fire and runs in place, slow motion*

SME: *plays I Write the Songs and tries to smile through the pain*

SME: Ah, crumb. *cue exit music* Well, this has been “I Need Friends Friday.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a muse to placate.

If you'd like to be interviewed for I Need Friends Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


Becca said...

I was sort of hoping for a drawing, complete with toga, or at least laurels.

Paul D. Eden said...


Rachel Rossano said...

LOL I love it! Thank you for shedding the light on the seldom delved world of muses. :)

Cherise L. C. said...

Haha! Very creative. I was sad to see that even experienced writers experience tension in this relationship...maybe we share the same one?

Wendy A. Jones said...

"Please. Barry Manilow is a universally accepted synonym for cliché."

Best. Line. Ever.

Real Chick said...

On the internet "I need my muse," sometimes means, "I'm out of ideas for my staff writers to develop and I'm down to my last million," so my new motto is, "I need my typewriter." real muse threw another woman in my face and she can have him. I wish him many years of inspiration with her.

Brittany said...

Best. INFF. Ever. I do wonder, though, if Muse-Con included panel discussions with celebrity muses.


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