Monday, March 2, 2015

My Muse is Full of Beans

I envy writers whose faithful muse hangs on their ear like a blue tooth; a steady connection to the mystical universe of creativity. Spontaneous and confident, these writers view the world through prose colored glasses and everything they write goes viral.

But not all writers have such a potent and vigorous ally welded to their shoulder. Some of us would give our left adverb if it would get our muse to show up and cuss.

I usually picture a muse as a girl of some sort. An ethereal, wispy, slightly opaque vision, floating around the universe like a mischievous nymph. She lights on her writer's shoulder and leaning close, she cups one hand to the side of her mouth to whisper. In this fleeting moment, she conveys an idea that will swell into glorious prose or poetry as soon as the ink touches the page. Lucky writer.

I haven't actually seen my muse but I gotta tell you, I think mine is a guy. He never whispers the rudiments of literary glory into my ear. He never thrills me with hints of exotic adventure. He never swoons me with the sultry whisper of a romance. Not my muse. When he visits, I get beans. Hard, dry, ten-year-shelf-life beans that must first be soaked in the tears of frustration. And he brings only a few at a time as if they're some kind of treasure. Like they'll grow into some kind of bean stalk that will lead to a golden goose. He's not a proper muse. I don't think this is his normal line of work. He must have lost his regular job in the economic downturn. He's got an attitude a lot like my old boss: “Always keep them hungry.” What a rotten muse.

Sometimes, I wish I could post a want ad for a new muse. Mine would go like this:

Wanted: Experienced muse. Must be prolific, punctual and a good speaker. Grammar should be polished but edgy, no profanity please. Muses with a sense of humor will be given priority. Position is live-in, but may consider an on-call for the right muse. Knowledge of social media a plus. Employer is allergic to legumes. Muses full of beans need not apply.

If it were that simple, perhaps my name would be perking up the covers of several best sellers instead of hanging around down on the mailing label of a writer's magazine.

But for now, I've got beans. And beans are hard to work with. It's still hard to tell if they're going to grow into something or end up a bunch of hot air. But in the absence of a proper muse, I keep trying to grow them. Some days they sprout and some days they stink. That's how it is with beans. That's how it is with my muse.

 I hope your muse is different. I hope you have a shimmery, wispy muse with an ear fetish that visits you daily and lingers on your shoulder for hours but if not, remember this:

Even a preoccupied, cantankerous old wraith that shows up once a month in a moth eaten sweater carrying a bottle of two buck to dump a train load of purple prose on you is better than a displaced elitist who's full of beans.

What's your muse like?


Jennifer Rova said...

What a delightful post! I love the analogy of muses and beans. Your sense of humor is so fun to read. I am looking forward to more of your posts.

Lila said...

Thanks Jennifer. I can't always get the funny girl inside to show herself. Blame it on the muse.

Anonymous said...

Very a-muse-ing! I like your style of writing and your sense of humor.You will be a great addition to Writing North Idaho.

Willow Feller said...

I loved this. It isn't just creative and funny, it's actually really encouraging to me. It's good to know I'm not the only one slogging instead of flitting through the writing process right now. Thank you!

Lila said...

Thank you for the very nice comments.