A Chocolate Eating Writer’s Muse

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

We’re still deep in winter here in Kentucky although we had a beautiful sunshiny day on Friday with the temps rising to near sixty. All of us started dreaming of spring to come. That’s the way it is here in this border state between north and south. Days and sometimes weeks of warmer weather can come to call, but then winter always returns. Sometimes even in the spring when the cold should be gone and the flowers and trees are ready to burst into bloom, winter will sneak back a nasty finger of cold that freezes the blooms and steals our summer fruit. In January we don’t have to worry about that. We just have to hope for snow instead of ice.

I’m several chapters into my new story and trying to keep to my page allotment each day. As always the way I thought I saw everything going so clearly is meandering into some alleyways I didn’t notice at all. But I’m trying to trust my characters and my muse.

Bobbi’s comment on my last entry got me to thinking about the writer’s muse. Here is a Ray Bradbury quote about the Muse. “What is The Subconscious to every other man, in its creative aspect becomes, for writers, The Muse.”

I’ve had people ask me if I waited for my muse before I started writing. Or wanted to know how I corralled the slippery little sucker. Actually I’ve never given my muse a lot of consideration. Maybe not enough. I’ve always wanted to write so much that I may have taken it for granted that if I sat down and started writing a story would come. Gee, I hope my muse isn’t listening and goes off to hide in a closet to pout where I’ll never be able to find her again. I wish I hadn’t thought about that! :o(

In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he describes his muse as a cigar-smoking guy with wings. But he warns us our muse is not going to come fluttering down into our rooms and sprinkle creative fairy dust all over our computers. King is of the opinion that the writer has to do all the work while the muse just sits around and pretends to ignore you. His all the while smoking those cigars. I don’t think I want my muse to smoke cigars. I’ll let her eat chocolates. But then King adds that the muse has the inspiration, the bag of magic a writer needs.

And it does sometimes feel like magic when you’ve sat in front of the computer screen and fed in words on top of words that maybe didn’t seem like anywhere close to the right words, but then somehow the story comes. Perhaps a character jumps into the story out of nowhere or you suddenly see what really happened instead of what you thought might happen. Not because you waited for your muse to show up, but because you chased her down. And maybe bought her a new box of those imaginary inspirational chocolates.

I’m ready to do a new give-away. Any of you have one of my books you’d like to have in the give-away more than any of the others, let me know. I’ll probably add an autographed copy of a different author’s book, too. I’ll let you know which books on Wednesday. Before I head up to WV to babysit the twins for a few days. They’re five and a half months old already. I’ll get my baby holding tank filled up to the brim with two babies to spoil.

Hope winter is being kind to you all. And spring is coming.