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