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Saturday, November 24, 2012

You! Over There! You Will Amuse Me Now...


People have asked me how I can find something to write about every day.

Sometimes, I wonder that myself.

And that got me thinking.

Where does inspiration come from?

For me, it’s not the margaritas, the impressive genealogy (including farmers, a postal worker and a high school teacher) or the kissy-lipped face of concentration I’ve been known to adopt while writing.

No, my ideas start outside of myself, spurred by muses. And while “spurred by muses” sounds like something that could be taken care of with some sort of burning soap and a tiny-toothed comb, I’m glad I have them.

The thing that has surprised me most about discovering the concept of the muse is that anyone can be one.

Take T for instance.

T says things that make me think, make me look deeper. The following exchange has stayed with me for years:

Me: I just can’t believe Scott screwed me over like that! After I’ve gone above and beyond for him!

T: You know what the problem with the world is? There aren’t enough people doing stuff for Scott.

That comment inspired a story and helped me drop the attitude I had been working on.

And there are other muses! Take, for example, my friend Diana, who once suggested that I could pass for Canadian.

For some reason, that tickles me.

You can't buy stuff like that.

I think everyone has muses, but I’m not sure everyone sees them. It would be best, of course, if muses were easily identified, if they were required to, say, wear those shoes with the little bells on the toes, or present printed cards, little gold-embossed cards calling them out as licensed and bonded inspirers of creativity.

But maybe we just need to open our eyes to the fact that sometimes muses aren’t readily identifiable.

Sometimes, they look just like the people next to us.

22 comments:

Buttons said...

You sound like a Canadian farmer to me:) B

fmcgmccllc said...

And once again at the Thanksgiving table I had to state, I can't make this stuff up. There is hilarity all about us.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What stage is that book at? I'm waiting to read about the kittehs and their adventures...real and imagined.

Sioux said...

Pearl--

And sometimes they're your inbred relatives (speaking for myself, not for you).

Jacquelineand.... said...

You just *had* to go and make me think, didn't you.

Do you have any idea how much that hurts? I smell smoke....

Douglas said...

Muses? We doan need no steenkin' muses! Wait, reflecting back... I certainly could use a couple.

sage said...

There are times I wish I could pass for a Canadian, but with my accent, suggesting I'm from South Ontario doesn't convince folk... But you're right, there are muses all around. The other week someone commented on my accent and asked if I was from Boston. I probably should have wrote about it; instead I shook my head and walked away, worried that ignorance might be contagious

TexWisGirl said...

just like you have muses for stories/writings, i have muses for drawing. :)

bill lisleman said...

I am one of those that wonder how you do it. Your muses contribute but I think your ability to pull an odd comparison out of the dark matter of the universe is a talent you have perfected.

Eva Gallant said...

So often we miss what is right in front of us!

fishducky said...

I have personally spawned generations of muses!!

jenny_o said...

Bill said it above, but I'll say it again: perhaps everyone has muses but most of us don't generally see them and we wouldn't know what to do with them if we did see them. You have the gift, and I'm so glad.

Plus, if I wrote about the people next to me, I'd be run out of town. It's a small town :)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You pay attention, and you write stuff down. When I was writing for a living, I jotted down notes quite often. I still do it, but not nearly often enough.

Leenie said...

You may get a kick out of this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love (I know, I know--best seller of sappy)). But it is a fun and funny muse on Muses.

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

Indigo Roth said...

Those are wise words, Pearli-Wan Kenobi x

Geo. said...

"Sometimes, they look just like the people next to us."

Wait a minute, WE look like the people next to us!

Gigi said...

I see muses, alright. It's the inability to string together words and thoughts into something comprehensible and worthwhile that holds me back.

Red said...

Neat way to bring up topics to write on. It really works for you as I enjoy your posts. They are humorous but leave you with something to think about.

River said...

Are these "muses" available online?
I'll take a box....

I started scribbling down notes on the bus a while back, but later found I couldn't decipher them, and after a full-on shift I couldn't remember anything that happened on the morning ride anyway. So I went with key words, only to wonder why the heck I'd written holey pants or odd shoes.
I should pay more attention.

Simply Suthern said...

I usually find my muses hanging around food. Maybe I should set some muse traps for ideas. Is it legal to catch muses over a baited field?

Suldog said...

Not to get altogether spooky here, but I think some of us are just born with a better sort of story magnet. That is, we naturally have stories (and the people who carry them) gravitate toward us because the stories somehow sense we can tell them better than someone else would.

Wow. I am so full of it. I promise I won't comment again here until after I've relieved myself.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I love it when a comment out of nowhere helps me "drop the attitude I had been working on."