D. Wallace Peach (Diana) wrote a brilliant post about her muse who betrayed her by hiring a thug to make her accountable. As is so often the case, when one person shares such a personal experience, it gives others the courage to share theirs.
Almost Iowa’s muse offered a tearful confession about her twisted relationship with Diana’s muse, admitting this thug was her source of discipline until they broke up.
Robbie Cheadle’s muse is a General, barking orders with the expectation she will follow them without delay. He even threatened to make her trim her own hair when he deemed a trip to the salon a deterrent to his writing schedule.
Sarah Brentyn had an unwelcome visit from her muse’s petulant sister, who is a bona fide diva. I decided if my muse sent annoying relatives to my house unannounced, I would either move or enter the witness protection program.
Julie Homes’s muse is sadistic and left a bullwhip behind while he went out drinking with other muses. This reinforced my belief that muses are party animals and writers are their slaves. I made a resolution to show my muse I can write without her and that is what I will do, as soon as I polish off a glass of wine. Okay, it’s a box of wine, but that’s a minor detail, don’t you think?
The more stories I read about writers getting intimate with their muses-with-issues, the more fearful I was to encounter mine. What if she is a tyrant with no sense of humor? But what would I miss, if she is more fun than a barrel of animatronic monkeys, hanging out in amusement parks? Like Disney World?
I mustered the courage to look for her. And since I didn’t have money in the budget for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I decided to hunt for her in my backyard.
I searched for a Muse Hunting Call in the app store, downloaded it, and it put it to use. It made a throaty, grunting sound.
To my surprise, a full grown, bull moose lumbered out of the woods, looking confused as to why a middle-aged woman without a gun or a moose-hunting permit would call him.
He asked, “What do you want?”
I said, “There must be some mistake. I was calling my muse, not a mangy moose.”
“Hey, watch who you are calling mangy. You don’t look that spiffy yourself with all those stains on your t-shirt.”
“Er, well, I admit I have a problem keeping my clothes clean, but if I was going to call a moose by mistake, why couldn’t it have been chocolate?”
I scurried into the house with the moose at my heels.
“Be careful. That china belonged to my mother, and I’m saving it for my son so he can sell it in a yard sale someday.”
“You do know that no bull of any species has ever upended a china shop, right?”
“You’re one to talk about stereotypes, Bullwinkle. Now everyone who reads this will think Mainers not only wear plaid year round but also have a pet moose.”
I shooed my unwelcome guest outside, saying ‘Scat, scat!” Then I got out my cleaning supplies because he may not have broken any china, but he took my admonishment to ‘scat’ a bit too literally.
I wasn’t discouraged and started searching again, abandoning the flawed app and calling my muse by name. I heard a familiar sound, and soon enough the source plodded into view, uttering moos.
“Do I look like Old MacDonald? Listen, Bessie, I am not amused!”
I knew I needed to improve my enunciation if I was ever going to catch a glimpse of my muse.
“Muse! Muse! Here muse!”
The neighbors’ cat emerged from the thicket.
I looked at her with irritation and said, “You aren’t fooling me. Two mews don’t make a muse.”
Have you had a close encounter with your muse? Was it a beast, like mine?