Monday, February 23, 2009

Muse Amusement

“Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.” –Saint Bartholomew

A muse is the real or imaginary person a writer considers responsible for their inspirations. Most of our modern day muses still come from the nine muses of Greek Mythology: Calliope, Euterpe, Clio, Melpomene, Thalia, Terpsichore, Erato, Urania and Polyhymnia. Together they are supposedly infinite sources of wisdom and creativity. Holding a wax tablet and stylus, Calliope is probably the one most poets, writers or storytellers draw upon.

Stephen King in his book On Writing, says of his muse, “…the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic.”

This made me think that instead of a generic or Greek muse, I, like Stephen King, needed a more personal one. If I could visualize her, then possibly I’d be able to successfully call upon her more frequently. I had fun with the idea. I named my muse Metteccup, derived from the first letter of the names of the original nine muses. I defined her name as meaning ‘metaphysical cup.’ I’m using the archaic definition of metaphysical which, according to Dictionary. com, is: imaginary or fanciful.

I picture her as an elderly Tinkerbelle type character whose pink tutu is a stretched a bit tight around the middle and slightly frayed around the edges. She has a rosy completion, laugh lines around her sparkling dark eyes, a ski-slope kind of nose and a Mona Lisa type of smile. But don’t let her looks fool you. She can be very mischievous and has, at times, vanished for days.

However, when I’m on her good side and she uses her magic wand to shower me with cupfuls of imaginary and fanciful ideas, I wonder how I ever managed to write a word without her. I have no idea how a psychiatrist may interpret my use of an imaginary muse, but I’m almost certain that since she’s come into my life, my writing has improved.

Do you have a real or imaginary muse? If imaginary, how would you describe him, her or it?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tags: Stephen King, On Writing, Muse, Calliope, Saint Bartholomew, mythology,


Marvin D. Wilson said...

Good post and an interesting question. I am King disciple when it comes to writing style in a lot of ways. LOVE "On Writing" - keep it like a literary bible. I don't visualize or have an anthropomorphic picture of my muse - it's an androgynous spirit that just consumes me and brings me into the blessed "zone."

Morgan Mandel said...

I don't think I have a particular muse. Every once in a while one of them shows up and drops off a drab of inspiration.

Morgan Mandel

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

I wish I had a muse! Sounds like a good deal. I have no idea where my ideas come from.

Sharon said...

Very interesting concept. My muse is pretty straightforward. Without him I can do nothing. He is the Holy Spirit. If He doesn't inspire me I'm sunk! (lol)

Sharon Reece

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think my muse looks like God, because that is definitely from where my inspiration comes.

(I couldn't think up all this stuff on my own!)

L. Diane Wolfe

Helen Ginger said...

I don't have a muse. You seemed to have conjured up yours. You named her, described her and she appears to you and inspires you.

Sounds like a plan.

Chester Campbell said...

I tend to think of muses as elfin creatures who hover over our shoulders and funnel in ideas while we aren't looking. If that's not where mine come from, I have no idea where.

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