Monday, July 26, 2010

Muse Interrupted

Almost two weeks ago, I had to have my 10-year-old dog, Sambuca put down. When I thought about my muse, I realized my best ideas always occurred when I was out with him for his last pee break of the night. Since Sambuca went to the great doggy park in the sky, I had yet to have a decent idea about my current work in progress. I’ve spent day after day in front of my computer writing complete drivel. Nothing came to me. No divine inspiration, no great idea about how to get past the roadblock I’d successfully built to keep my characters apart. I’ve been stressing, thinking that I had lost my muse.

Yesterday I drove from Maryland to Florida with my two critique partners, Laura and Deborah. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it, our muses decided to come with us for the 19-hour drive from Maryland to Tampa. The trip usually takes 16 hours, but thanks to Laura’s trouble making muse, Trixie, we hit nothing but traffic and accidents until we reached South Carolina. It was then I discovered I hadn’t lost my muse at all. He had just decided to go party with their muses. After all, my place was bringing him down.

By 11:30 last night, we’d all had our fill of driving and dealing with unruly muses, so we put them to work and began plotting my next project. It was amazing to find my muse again, and even though we are no longer attached at the hip, at least he was stuck in the same car and actively participating. He dumped the plot of an entirely different book right in my lap as we traveled the last miles to our destination. It would have been nice if he’d helped me resolve my current dilemma before starting a new project, but right now I’m just glad my muse is still with me. He isn’t always working on my project of choice, but at least he didn’t leave me for long—and that in itself is a huge relief.


  1. Great post, with you own brand of wonderful humor.

    I'm so sorry to hear of Sambuca's passing. Whether a dog or cat could BE a muse, I don't know, but I do know that muses seem more comfortable--and frankly, better natured, meaning more likely to put out--when one is around.

    And in my experience, muses have a way of decamping when one is grieving or in the grip of any strong emotion which cannot be channeled into the WIP.

  2. A muse is a muse is a muse, whether it be dog, cat, or a fairy on your shoulder. Sorry about Sambuca, but glad you got your muse back!

  3. Thanks, Mary Margaret.

    I think with everyone grieving, my muse went to Deborah's house to play with hers.

    I'm just happy to be writing again.

  4. Hi Cheryl~

    I'm thrilled. Now if only I can get him to do what I want him to do. But he has a stubborn streak.

  5. Robin,
    So sorry to hear about Sambuca. I hope your trip with friends down to Orlando will help lift your spirits (and Muse).

    Muses are funny creatures and hard to pin down. Maybe it is our emotions that bring them forward (as edgy as I've been lately-hubby without a job, teenage daughter(s) social/work schedule, the lack of private time now, my laptop being down for a few days etc.)or sends them away. All I know is I miss the 2:00am sessions with my Muse and hope to find her again.

    For now, dealing with a leak in the upstairs bathroom in need of repair and possibly a new sub-floor. Can I write about that and put it in one of my stories? Some how I don't find that Romantic just very realistic.

    Wish I were in Orlando too. Hope you have a great time!

  6. So glad to hear the muse returned, Robin. See, 'he' just needed a little vacation.