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The muse vs. the artist

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Muses can be everything: that song that plays on the radio while you are in the supermarket, a random thought that suddenly pops up in your head for no good reason, maybe even a cat staring out of the window in the same boring way you are staring at him; as long as it give you inspiration to create something. Mine comes in many forms too, but usually he's a person. Yes, 'he'. I know muses are usually portrayed as women, but mine is a guy. Why? I don't know. I guess it makes him feel more comfortable.

I was sitting on the couch, feet resting on the coffee table. It is my favourite spot in the house - mainly because there is power outlet right next to it. The cable of my laptop isn't that long, you see. Speaking about that piece of clever electronics; it was humming happily on my lap. Its screen was filled with words - but no new ones were added and the old ones weren't changed. They weren’t even deleted. The cursor stood still in the middle of some random sentence, flicking on and off. I was the heartbeat of the document, but it couldn't slumber more.

'I've got a great idea,' a voice said next to me. Well, next to me; it was in my head, but it pretended to be next to me.

'Good for you,' I told it, 'but please save it for later; I'm busy with something else now.'

The man - just as imaginary as his voice - leaned over my shoulder. Then he gave me a crooked smile that didn't do a thing to hide his complacency.

'I can see that,' he said, while pointing at the screen. 'Very busy...' He pronounced that second to last word in such a way that it seemed twice as long as it actually was.

I rolled my eyes. My muse was being an ass again.

'You can also leave me alone.' I told him. 'I would be glad if you did that more often - especially when I'm at work. I need to do other things there you know.'

Mr. Muse shrugged. Of course he didn't care. The guy always came along when he wanted to.

'You could also draw something,' he said.' That painting you've been working on would look so much better with a slightly different background. Or go work on your costumes. I've come up with a little craft experiment involving duct tape and acrylic caulk that might be useful for you. Better work on them anyway; they need to be done before April.'

'I know they need to be done before April, but now I want to write.'

'Then you should go to chapter thirty-one. You know...' he winked at me in such a naughty way it still gives me goosebumps, 'that romantic chapter.'

Thirty-one?! That was miles away.

'I'm still busy editing chapter three...' I muttered.

And, at the moment I’m writing this, I’m still doing that. George R.R. Martin will certainly have finished his a Song of Ice and Fire series by the time I’m done with this chapter; that’s how slow I go.

My eyes returned to my laptop screen and I forced the words out of my fingertips. It didn't go well at all. I didn't hear the clicks of the keyboard as much as I wanted to and the few words I did manage to get down got destroyed by a few taps on the 'delete' button almost immediately.

The muse wasn't doing a lot to help me, of course. He had stood up from the couch to pace around my coffee table, focusing on the things only he found interesting.

'Stars...' he mumbled, 'you should do something with them. Oh, and magic, of course. to spice that chapter up a bit.'

'Please stop throwing in random words. It doesn't improve my workflow.'

He laughed. 'What workflow?' Then he stopped, as if my lack of productivity had inspired him to come to a standstill as well. His lips curled up again, in a way I knew too well. In case you haven’t noticed yet: not all smiles are joy’s trademark. This one is a bad omen. Really bad. Mischief twinkled in his eyes. I had to do my best not to groan out loud.

Here it comes...  I thought to myself, what has he come up with this time?

'You can draw me -'

'- Draw you? Again?'

The correct answer to my own question would be something along the lines of 'don't even think about it', but that was pointless. I draw my own muse. A lot. And I write about him too. He has a face and a personality, so why not? I like doing that and he must like the attention, considering how often he's asking for it - until I make a drawing of him doing something highly embarrassing.

Mr. Muse raised one eyebrow in response, while the other one dropped so low it almost hid his eye from sight. I don't think it is possible to create a face that's more asymmetric than that. You are very funny, but it would be great if you listened to me, his expression said.

'Yes, draw me.' His eyes started to twinkle even more. 'But in a scene from chapter thirty-one... Give the world a bit of fanservice.'

The pompous snob - that was the last thing I wanted to think about! I grabbed my computer and threw it in his face - mentally, of course. I didn't want to throw it for real. The thing was only three months old, it would be such a waste. My imaginary attack didn't hurt him - the non-existing version of my laptop just flew through his head, like he was made of smoke - but it looked like he got the point. The twinkle in his eyes disappeared and his lips returned to a normal position.

'I was only joking,' he said.

'It didn't feel like a joke to me - you can be terribly self-centered, you know. And that was put into kind words.'

He looked away, with a slight hint of guilt veiling his face. 'Ah...' was the only thing he managed to spill out - nothing close to a decent sentence.

'You can help me with this,' I asked him, hoping that butt-kicking his ego had made him a bit more cooperative. 'What sounds better; "by the gods", "by the stars" or "by my granny's beard"?'

A sly smile began to grow on his lips.

'And then go to chapter thirty-one?' he asked. 'You really should write down this idea of mine before I forget it. It's just a few lines, nothing big.'

I nodded. 'Sure.'

He stretched out his hand and touched the screen of my laptop and took the word document out of it as if he was picking up a simple piece of paper. It might just be my own imagination, but I can still be surprised by the lack of limits it has.

Mr. Muse flopped down on the couch. He put his feet on the coffee table next to mine and leaned back in the same ungraceful way as I did. His eyes glued themselves to his copy of the document, jumping from left to right as he devoured the words.

'"By my granny's beard" sounds the best,' he said after a couple of minutes. 'I can make a lovely mental picture about that. Maybe you can adjust the sentence over here too...'

I don't know what to do with this guy: hug him for giving me inspiration, or hit him on the head with my huge 'wok of death' bought at IKEA for being as cooperative as the average five-year-old. We can make pretty great things together - storylines, plot hole fillers, religions, entire worlds - as long as we are focused on the same thing. Too bad we usually seem to be completely out of phase. That can’t possibly be my fault, of course. I’m just the little idiot that tries to keep my laptop’s keyboard active. Oh well. At least the guy is quite good at throwing ideas at me, useful or not. Thank you, Mr. Muse.

Now, where is that wok?
I always talk to voices in my head... It's perfectly normal :3 Or should I seek help?

So yeah, welcome to my brain and my biggest source of inspiration. This is probably the vaguest thing I ever put on paper. I guess you need to know me a bit to get it. I keep most of my mental talks with my muse, or whoever the idiot is who's talking back at me, to myself. I don't know why this one had to be written down. Because I don't like people taking a peek into my mind, I wasn't so sure about uploading this. But sharing personal stuff is good, right?

Mr. Muse continues 'bothering' me at odd moments. Guess when inspiration hit me to write this: when I was taking a friggin' shower. Very annoying, since you can't write anything down when your hair is more foam and bubbles than anything else. And I have a lot of hair.

Oh, and before people start asking about 'chapter thirty-one': it doesn't exist. Well, the romantic chapter does exist, but I don't number the chapters of my manuscript. I just gave the beastie a number to make this easier to read for you. I will eventually give it a number though, when I know where it will end up. 

I wrote this quite some time ago, so Chapter 3 got finished while this was gathering dust. And about 'fanservice'; Mr. Muse got his way and I made that too. Lovely.

And yes; I make costumes out of duct tape and acrylic caulk. You can make wonderful things with that stuff!
Published:
© 2016 - 2020 queenofeagles
Comments35
anonymous's avatar
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elohveeE419's avatar

:+favlove: :clap: I likey, pretty interesting read..lol made me chuckle and grin few times, thank you Queen. Gems are indeed gems! and Why the hell haven't I read any of your writings before? :stupidme: feeling like a bad watcher.

queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Thank you! and no worries, many of the writings I show here are old and could use a huge amount of editing. At least, the stuff related to my big story project, that is. I'm making huge changes to all chapters I put here (except the prologue) ;) You're not missing much ;) 
elohveeE419's avatar

I still want to read the chapters when they are ready for reading xD let me know.

TheBaneOfHelios's avatar
TheBaneOfHeliosStudent Writer
This just made me cry.

I lost her after I got to bachelor. Please, give Mr. muse an imaginary hug and tell him you love him before you wake up someday and find the peace and tranquility that drives mad men mad (or sane again). And if you get bored you can always send him to anyone of your readers, I´m sure we´ll like to have him by our side. Enjoy the voices while you still can, fellow writer, when you´re older you´ll miss them (or heck, you´ll end up with more!).
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Oh dear, that wasn't my intention...

Sorry to hear that. Feel free to borrow my Mr. Muse from 9am to 6pm - I need him back in the evening ;) Be careful what you wish for though, his voice (and others) are getting stronger and stronger and I still haven't figured out how to make him cooperative.
taibossigai's avatar
taibossigaiProfessional Traditional Artist
You say this is vague, but I love this! I can totally imagine the interplay going on - like a sitcom. It makes me wish I had a muse to talk to me & otherwise harass me during my dull moments.

My muse tends to be quiet music right now, piano, symphonies, sometimes Celtic music, & sometimes nature-type sounds. Sometimes it's just the sound of my own breath as I concentrate on the paper/canvas.
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
I am glad you like it! And that it doesn't sound vague and weird. Be careful what you wish for though; muses can be annoying too!

oh, that's a lovely muse! I can totally see how music can be inspiring. I use Celtic music to come in the right mood quite often too ;)
seralune's avatar
seraluneProfessional Artisan Crafter
I think you are normal, don't worry :D  :hug:
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear that! :D
Eyliana's avatar
EylianaStudent Traditional Artist
'You can also leave me alone.' I told him, 'I would be glad if you did that more often - especially when I'm at work. I need to do other things there you know.'

.... So familair, especially when I don't have any inspiration for work stuff!

And otherwise, you sound pretty normal ;)
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Exactly! it's so annoying! Ugh...

Yay, I am normal! Normally I take that as an insult though, but I'll make an exception for this subject ;)
The-Skykian-Archives's avatar
The-Skykian-ArchivesHobbyist General Artist
I have conversations with my characters all the time.  PERFECTLY NORMAL YEP
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Good! me and the voices in my head are glad to hear that :D
The-Skykian-Archives's avatar
The-Skykian-ArchivesHobbyist General Artist
*gigglesnort*
PikaWarriors's avatar
PikaWarriorsStudent General Artist
I'm the same way, I talk to the voices in my head. :3 I'm pretty sure its normal! Though... maybe we both need help xD

I always come up with my ideas whenever I don't have to think about anything else, or when I have nothing else to think about. Usually when I'm lying in bed at night and can't sleep, or when I'm in the shower or on long car rides.

Is Mr.Muse Orion? It sounds like Orion. x3
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
Hihi, maybe, but apparently more people have it. Maybe the people who only hear one voice are the crazy ones ;)

those are better situations to think about that then when you really need to do something else. Too bad you can't write anything down during a shower or car ride...

Well guessed ;) 
PikaWarriors's avatar
PikaWarriorsStudent General Artist
Hehe, yea! xD *Instantly thinks of Supernatural, season seven*

Very true. :3 I can sort of write things down in the car if I have my phone or lap top, but motion sickness will start to get the better of me if I don't keep looking out the window ;u;
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
oh, that sucks. I have that too, but if I am on a fairly straight, smooth road I'll be fine though. Maybe you can record your own voice and say your ideas out loud ;)
PikaWarriors's avatar
PikaWarriorsStudent General Artist
I like that idea, but there's usually other people in the car with me and I don't want to sound absolutely insane xD
queenofeagles's avatar
queenofeaglesHobbyist General Artist
haha, I can imagine that! XD
1DragonLover4Ever's avatar
1DragonLover4EverHobbyist General Artist
I'm the same way, I often come up with a lot of ideas when I can't sleep. In addition, sometimes I talk to myself while imagining I'm in the characters shoes and the words just flow out of my mouth. XD

Then comes the problem, I have so many ideas and dialogues but I never manage to put them down on paper (or word)...
PikaWarriors's avatar
PikaWarriorsStudent General Artist
Same, I tend to talk as if I'm the characters. Which means I have to be careful about when I come up with these ideas, I don't want to seem insane in the middle of my biology class or something xD

I know how that is! I can never remember/have acess to a pen or computer to right them down when a good idea comes to me. I normally come up with 20 different small ideas in a day, but over the course of a year have only started writing four of them down ;u;
1DragonLover4Ever's avatar
1DragonLover4EverHobbyist General Artist
I just tend not to want to write my ideas down, even though I usually have pen/paper or my iPad handy. Right now I have a bunch of characters that I want to write stories/books about. XD (So far I have three different book/book series ideas and I've only really started on one...)
PikaWarriors's avatar
PikaWarriorsStudent General Artist
I've tried writing a book before. It did not go well. I got four pages in and my idea was already long gone xD
anonymous's avatar
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