By a very Fickle-Muse
There are muses that inspire music and there are muses for poetry and writing.
And then there is my muse. *Sigh*
Let me tell you about my muse. She used to get me in trouble at school. “Hey Janice,” she’d whisper during 3rd grade class. “You see those sparrows over there.”
I’d look out the window at the sparrows chirping in the trees. “Yeah?”
“What do you think it would be like to played tag with them?” Suddenly, I had wings to chase the birds around.
“Janice!” the teacher yelled. “Are you daydreaming again?”
“No,” I lied, ducking my head.
I loved arts and crafts, it occupied a lot of my free time. I could easily envision how the finished project was going to look, but it surprised me when other people couldn’t do the same.
When I was asked what’s going on in the picture? I told a story. I didn’t mean to, but the story was there in the drawing. I kind of wondered why no one else saw it but me. At age twenty I dabbled a bit with writing, but soon returned to my pen and ink drawings then later woodcrafts.
It wasn’t till a little over ten years ago that I finally followed the calling of my muse and started to write seriously for publication.
My muse finally told me her name, Anna-Bella. She’s about the size of a Barbie doll and wears very feminine clothes. She first showed up when I was the age to play with Barbie, which may account for her looking the way she does.
Often she’s not there when I need her. Sometimes I’d get lucky and she’ll show up, give me part of the story as a dream or a movie like flash. Which could be a paragraph, or page, or if she’s feeling really generous a whole chapter.
Anna-Bella would say, “Okay, got it?” Then my fickle muse would disappear for a while, and I’d have to figure out what happened next—on my own.
The worst time is Christmas, she’d disappear completely. I’ll call and call, but I get nothing from her, not even a shred of an idea. Then she’ll show up drunk on eggnog. “Oh sorry.” She’d hick-up. “I was watching Christmas tree lights. They’re cool. You ought to watch them sometime.”
“Yeah, I use to think they were cool too, when I was nine. What about this story we’re working on?” I’d thump a finger on the keyboard.
“Tomorrow, I’m heading to bed.”
Disheartened, I’d sigh and shake my head.
Last Christmas I had enough. I had the second round of edits to do on Windswept Shores, which is my first book. I thought she’d be as excited, too. After all she had inspired me to write it.
But she just yawned. “Yeah-yeah, I knew we’d get one sooner or later. Edits? Not my department sweetie.” She wondered off doing God knows what. Stare at Christmas lights again, I suppose.
Then she came home drunk on eggnog, singing silly little Christmas tunes in a high squeaky voice.
“Where the hell have you been?” I snarled at her. “We have edits to do, missy.” Looking her up and down, I yelled, “Just what are you wearing? What’s with the candy stripped dress and stockings, and red shoes with the curly toes?” I narrowed my eyes. “Did you mug an elf?”
Then she pantomimed locking her lips and throwing away the key.
“Okay, that’s it.” I tossed her sorry little butt in a birdcage then hung it by my desk. “Now help me out here.”
Saying nothing, she stuck her legs through the bars to rock it like a swing, and then stuck her tongue at me.
Grrr. Those were some very hard edits to get through too.
It wasn’t until recently I finally let her out, but I made her promise not to run off again. She’s sitting on my shoulder right now, still wearing the elf costume and smelling like a stinky little bird.
For a treat we went out to the mall. We took my daughter to Hot Topic and bought her a jacket. Then my daughter remembered she needed a dress, we found the best outfit . . .
Wait a minute . . . where did you get those elbow length, lace up gloves? I know I saw some at Hot Topic. You didn’t—?
Anna-Bella murmured something.
The little muse shop? But there’s no such thing. Anna-Bella what did you do!
Anna-Bella smugly produced a frilly dress and changed right there in front of me. The material is roses with a black back ground, she also has black stocking and Mary-Jane’s to complete the outfit. She says, “I’m tired of the elf costume.” Anna-Bella kicks the old outfit off my desk.
Well, no duh. You’ve been wearing it for months. Picking it up, I throw the smelly barbie doll sized clothes into the garbage.
She made herself comfortable on my shoulder. “Tell the nice people about our book.”
What? I have to go to work—now?
She nods, and then pulls my ear.
Ouch, what did I do to deserve a muse like you?
Something warm to read, while the months grow chilly.
From Pink Petal Books: Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves (and Anna-Bella).
Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves
Cover Contest Winner
erotic contemporary romance
novel (approx 50K)
Cover Art by Pink Petal Books with assistance from Winterheart Design
The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?
Excerpt: Megan’s first snorkel lesson interrupted by . . . something very large.
“Oh, good, I thought you would insist that I learn the whole thing all at once,” Megan said, relieved. Jonathan would have.
“You aren’t ready to learn it all at once,” Seth told her. “Just float on you tummy and watch the fishies.”
They floated side by side. The bright-colored tropical fish darted about, reminding her of an aquarium seen from above. Something puzzled her. What’s happened to the fish? There’s not as many as there was before.
She floated over the kelp, noting pieces of crab shells scattered about. With a start, she spotted a pair of eyes watching her. Megan grabbed Seth’s arm, pointing. Her heart hammered in her chest while her stomach clinched. What the hell is that thing? The urge to run hit her hard. Calm, calm, wait and see what Seth does.
Seth nodded and swam down.
Floating in place, only occasionally moving his hand or foot, he and the critter seemed to take each other’s measure. A long moment passed, with Megan watching, still holding her breath. He swam back up to the surface.
Seth pulled his goggles and mouth piece off, setting them on top of his head. “It’s a giant octopus, luv. It blends right into the kelp, so we didn’t notice him before.”
Megan yanked out her mouth piece and sputtered, “What do you mean, giant octopus?”
“I reckon there isn’t so much seaweed as octopus. I think it’s been feeding on the fishies and the crabs here.”
“Well, that explains what happened to the fish.”
“You want to stay, or do you want give the ocean a burl?”
“The ocean. This little lagoon doesn’t feel so safe with a hungry giant octopus hanging around, pretending to be plant life.”
“Orright, let’s go. I’ll get a spear gun and collecting bag.” He headed toward the shore.
Megan swam slowly after until she felt something brush against her, going from crotch to foot. She put more speed into her stroke and soon passed Seth, hitting the beach at a dead run. Turning, she stared back at the innocent-seeming pool. For a brief moment, the water appeared crystal clear, and she could clearly see the giant octopus as it seemed to wink at her, before pulling itself back into the kelp. The breeze picked up, obscuring the surface.
“What’s the matter, luv?” Seth asked as he took off his goggles.
“I think. No, I know that thing touched me.” She pointed at the lagoon with a shaking finger.
“A touch or a grab?” he asked, looking back at the pool.
“A touch,” she admitted.
“They’re intelligent creatures, luv. It might have had a bit of fun with you.” He grinned.
“You’re a fisherman. Go get it—kill it,” she demanded, glaring back at the water. “How do you like that, huh? Tentacles, it’s what’s for dinner!”
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XUAMBhl76k