What is it that makes us try to find words for the pictures and the voices in our heads? And what is it that puts those pictures and voices in there?
Along with many of my fellow writers, I refer to what non-writers might call schizophrenia as a muse. One of my friends has a name for her muse, Kink. Kink even has a gender, male. When she’s having trouble writing, she imagines that Kink is off on some tropical vacation, sipping drinks under a cabana and eyeing the pool boys. Whenever she talks about it, I can actually picture him, pale and almost sidhe-like, lounging on a chair with sunglasses over his anime-style eyes.
My muse is more amorphous. I don’t have Kink or even a lovely woman in a toga with hair a la Greque. My muse is genderless and far more difficult to pin down. Sometimes it won’t focus on my work in progress, preferring to whisper in my ear about all the fun I could be having if I’d just forget about my loyalty to that almost completed work and run off with it to frolic with new characters.
I remember reading about an author who considered her muse to be more of a monster locked in a closet, being fed scraps from her notebook until it was fattened and she let it out. She had to keep it chained though, because it was unpredictable and dangerous.
My muse is that at times. Dangerous. It makes my characters say things that throw the scene or even the entire novel off-track. It makes me want to write things that scare me a little. Things that hurt. It promises me a wonderful story and then abandons me to fight for the ending on my own.
When my muse comes up with something so completely unexpected I seriously doubt that it could possibly have hatched in my thoughts, I wonder what my brain would look like if I were hooked up to one of those machines that charts the activity by color. What parts would light up? Where exactly does my muse live? And what does it look like?
I won’t deny that my muse is at times frightening, other times kinky. It will never be the monster in the closet or the beautiful man on the beach chair. I envy the more solid relationships other authors have with their muses, but I hope mine never needs to be chained and never disappears for a long, tropical vacation. As much as they sometimes keep me up at night, I hope that the voices in my head never shut up. Whether as a result of my muse or something that needs a more professional diagnosis, I’m happy to have stories in my head. Whatever it is, I hope it sticks around for a long time.
My new Samhain release Hot Ticket was a gift from the kinky part of my muse. To read a free prequel that doesn’t appear in the release, come on over to my live journal.