Monday, January 14, 2013

Enticing the Muse

"A Lady With Lyre"
Charles Edward Halle

'm working on a new project. Had intended to finish an old project but, as is often the case with my creative world, a shiny new object popped up and distracted me -- er, the Muse. There are times to buckle down and force the Muse; there are times to indulge her. Now is a time to offer decadent soft-centered truffles and deep, satisfying massages. Soon enough, there will be deadlines and unpleasantries, pouts and protests. For now, Persephone will be indulged and appeased.

I shared a few hundred words with a cross-section of volunteer readers (and three coerced ones as well -- my gratitude to all of you) to conduct sort of a temperature check. I wanted to gain a sense of the meaning(s) folks made, to see if what I wrote was effective -- if what I intended to convey, conveyed.

Turns out this section means something different to every reader so far. Ranging from birth, to death, to claustrophobia, to rebirth, to depression, to loneliness, to sleep, to dreaming, to drowning, to being trapped within one's own head due to a traumatic brain injury -- the Muse has found a way to pluck the lyre's strings and elicit a different note in each person's head. She even triggered a panic attack in one reader. 

This is sobering, and thrillingly exciting, and frightening at the same time. At first, I felt a great sense of accountability and responsibility. Then I realized that would only serve to impose self-censoring and that is not a path I want to take. So I will trust that you, Dear Reader, can handle your own reactions. It's not my job to protect you; it is my job to write. And write I shall.~~GH


Karin Fuller said...

I personally get the most of my muse when he's well liquored up. LOL

Actually, the most productive my muse EVER was was when I was on Cymbalta. I had the most amazing dreams when I was on that. Woke up with complete and detailed (and sensible) stories and all I had to do was record them. Well, there was a little more to it than that, but you know what I mean. The nut of the store came at once, and they were more bizarre than anything I ever came up with on my own. I miss it. (My joints miss it, too, but it only works for about 2 years.)

Ginger said...

I hear you! I tend to think our muses come out to play most happily when we turn off our left brain and become right-brain-centered.

A trick I use to entice the muse is I put on some music that has engaging lyrics -- I often use Billy Joel because his images make me focus in order to "see" what he means; in other words, I have to interpret a bit -- and then I turn up the volume so it short-circuits my brain. I honestly cannot think consciously of what words I want to write.

Then I type. I keep typing. I generally like what comes out of those sessions, and I'm still legal to drive if need be ;)

That's crazy-cool about the Cymbalta. I'm sure there is some connection between it and what part(s) of the brain it works on.

I am interested in trying absinthe someday. I am on a waiting list with an absinthe manufacturer in England, for their next batch. They won't even discuss the cost, so I imagine it's way out of my league, but I remain hopeful. I've read amazing writing arises after imbibing absinthe and I want to give it a shot.

Of course, it is also said that regular absinthe consumption drives a person to madness. Here's a site devoted entirely to absinthe:

Thanks for sharing!

Ginger 01-14-13