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.
Muse: "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.