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Monday, March 30, 2009

Grappling the Muse to the Ground

And making her "give it up, baby."
by Ann Lethbridge

And if you are wondering about the eggs -- read on.

: "the presiding spirit or force behind any person or creative act" Just one of the definitions in the OED.

Where do ideas come from? Now clearly anyone who can think the stuff up in my books all by themselves has an over-active imagination. But, since I know I'm perfectly normal, quite ordinary in fact, these strange ideas must come from somewhere else, a muse, an outside force, not under my control.

Naturally a muse pops in to visit with great ideas whenever you need one.

If only. She does pop in unexpectedly. She looks like a cross between Angela Joli and Marg Simpson, and has a weird sense of humor. The ideas she scatters about like fairy dust are badly formed, illogical and impossible. Like a cartoon of eggs dropped on the floor, too sticky to gather up with a dustpan and brush, too runny to pick up with a cloth and too gelatinous to scoop into a container. To make it worse, she then runs away laughing. Leaving me to clean up the mess.

What I needed in my arsenal to deal with this crazy lady was a body slam, a take down stragegy instead of stomping around the house, looking under beds and behind doors, muttering questions like: "Why on earth would a man leave his courtesan to his nephew? Isn't that a bit well...off?" Or. "Why would a responsible man do anything so rash as to take her on?" And. "Why is she fighting it tooth and nail, he's gorgeous?"

Well you get the picture.

Once I found that crafty muse-lady babe, I forced her into my office, sat her on my chair, and plonked into her lap. Gotcha!

Sometimes she still gives me completely wrong answers to my questions, forcing me to write the scene more than once. Sometimes she makes me cry when she reveals the true story behind my characters (bless her). But I learned very early on-- Butt in chair every day or my muse doesn't play at all.

My first Harlequin Historical "The Rake's Inherited Courtesan" is in stores April 1. The day after tomorrow.

April fool's day. I wonder if muse-baby had something to do with that?

Want to win a copy? Tell me about your muse, or your favorite egg dish. Me and the muse will pick the comment we like best.


housemouse88 said...


Sorry I don't have a muse, I'm an avid reader instead. I wouldn't know where to find my muse. LOL

As far as an egg dish goes, I'm not sure I have one of them either. I do love them in my tuna salad with Miracle Whip, dill pickle and sometimes a little onion.

Have a great day.

Paty Jager said...

Great post!

As for my muse, I have no idea where she is or comes from. Characters pop into my head and then I have to concoct a world to put them in so they leave me alone! LOL

kerribookwriter said...

Hey Ann,

Your blog post today was "a-Muse-ing". :-)

I do believe that I have a Muse and she is a wicked thing. She only visits me while I'm in the bath/shower or in bed. I believe that she likes to make it difficult for me to be able to document her insight. Because I so rarely have a pen and paper handy in the bathtub. LOL

Just the other night, she graciously provided me the best plot line and title in my dreams. When I woke, I struggled all day to recall that title. It drove me crazy!

I finally got it but why do they have to play games? LOL

Enjoyed your post.

Virginia said...


I think I do have a muse, because all of these ideas pop into my head for quilting. I am now a writer but a reader and I do some quilting, that where my muse pops in. She must be pretty good because I get some wonderful ideas that seem to work well.

As far as eggs go I love them any about any kind of dish. I guess my favorite way to cook them is scrambled, but I eat them about any way they come.

robynl said...

reader here; one of our favorites with eggs is to take a bun or bagle, toast it, fry an egg, heat up a slice of ham or fry bacon. Butter the toasted bread, put down a piece of ham or couple slices of bacon, put the fried egg on top and top with a slice of cheese and add the top piece of bagle or bun. Delicious!!!

Ann Lethbridge said...

Housemaid, aha, tuna sald, sounds great. Thanks for dropping by. We love to hear from readers!

Ann Lethbridge said...

Paty, it is cool, isn't it. All that popping going on in your head. lol

Ann Lethbridge said...

Kerribookwriter, Hah, you need to get that gal of yours trained! As if!
You are not alone on the warm water thing. I've experienced it myself and have heard the same from a couple of other writers. I believe it has something to do with positive ions. Waterproof ink perhaps? And those just falling asleep visits. Too cruel.
Thanks for coming by.

Ann Lethbridge said...

Hey Virginia, quilting. I love quilts. So admire the talent.. er muse... Yes, certainly muse lady isn't just about writing. And scrambled eggs are great, hmmm, I don't think I should used the ones I dropped though. lol.

Ann Lethbridge said...

Robynl, No fair, you made me hungry! Thanks for being you and for dropping in.

Regencyresearcher said...

I get ideas from fiction, non fiction, and the world around me. The idea usually comes with an idea about the two people who will be involved with it. And then my muse departs. I have many ideas and no finished books.
I usually just poach my eggs but several of my friends will bring egg ,cheese, and sausage casseroles even to Sunday School.

Susan Macatee said...

I don't think I have a muse. I get most of my inspiration from reading.

As for egg dishes, I like to scramble my eggs and mix Mexican cheese in. Yum!

Maureen said...

Reading your post just makes me happy that I don't write just read the wonderful stories that authors produce. Congratulations on the new book!

Ann Lethbridge said...

Dear Regencyresearcher, I feel your pain. Perhaps if you kept going she'd come back. I like poached eggs too. On toast.

Ann Lethbridge said...

Hi Susan, nice not to be at the mercy of a blue haired fairy! just kidding! It really is amazing how different we all are.
Mexican cheese yum indeed.

Ann Lethbridge said...

Hey Maureen, nice to meet you here. Thanks for your congratulations.

Ann Lethbridge said...

And the winner is.......robinl. Drop me a line with your address at ann@annlethbridge.com and the book will wing its way to you.