Good morning, everyone! Laura Bickle, one of my favorite urban fantasy authors, is visiting us again and has an excellent post about her muse.
TYING THE MUSE TO THE CHAIR
by Laura Bickle
I've always been envious of people who have good relationships with their muses. There are writers who have healthy relationships with their muses. They take their muses out on coffee dates, have long conversations at the beach while holding hands. Their muses arrive when summoned, sprinkling fairy dust and waving magic wands. They whisper with gossamer voices, reassuring and gentle. Words flow on paper, inspired and brilliant.
This is not my muse.
My muse is a....well, she's difficult. I suspect that she may have been kicked out of Tooth Fairy school for bad behavior and was assigned muse duty as penance for raiding the cash drawer. She's surly, unpredictable, and wholly unrepentant about being AWOL.
It's not that I've tried. I did all the rituals suggested to make friends with my muse. I have a writing nook set up. I played music. I lit candles. I wrote down statements of intention. Made dream boards. Meditated.
Nada. My muse laughed at my dream board, used the candles to light a cigarette, and complained that the desk was too small. She sat on the edge of the desk in her torn fishnet stockings and bitched about the lighting. And she used all my lipstick.
So I tried to bribe her. I bought her chocolates, made offerings of flowers. I acted like a Shakespearean actor in love, trying to woo her attentions.
She prompty informed me that she didn't like caramel and that my poetry sucked. I think that she also blew smoke in my face and told me I needed to lose weight.
Eventually, I gave up trying to be nice. I was spending a lot of time and energy courting inspiration, and she didn't want to be courted. I asked the benevolent universe for a new muse, but my request was denied. I was stuck with the surly muse who spent more time teasing her hair and sticking gum under my desk than helping me with my novel.
So...I decided to wage war on my muse.
"We are going to write this book, whether you want to or not," I told her. "I have a deadline."
"Oh, yeah?" She watched me with narrowed eyes covered in purple eyeliner. "Just try it, Chickie."
I threw a butterfly net over her, tied her to the chair, and sat on her. She yowled like an aggravated cat and got glitter all over the floor.
But her ass was in the chair. And so was mine. Lo and behold, writing occurred. And it was not bad writing.
I realized something...all this chasing inspiration was really meaningless for me. The only key to success was getting my butt in the chair and doing it, whether inspiration had struck me or not. I could be passive about it, and wait for my muse to bless me with insight...or I could just get to work.
Laura Bickle has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She and her chief muse live in the Midwest, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Her short fiction has appeared here and there. Embers, first in this exciting new urban fantasy series, was her debut as novelist. Sparks continues the series.
Laura also writes as Alayna Williams. Alayna's "debut" was Dark Oracle, Pocket Juno's June 2010 release. More info is available on her website at www.salamanderstales.com
Publisher's blurb for SPARKS:
WITHOUT A TRACE Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department–while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits plaguing a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell–but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains– or, more precisely, the lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims–and she is sure this was no naturally-occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more–she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly-hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city
Link to excerpt: http://www.juno-books.com/sparks-ex.html
Embers at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Embers-Laura-Bickle/dp/1439167656?
Sparks at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sparks-Laura-Bickle/dp/1439167680?
-- Lynda Again,
Laura is offering one reader a free copy of SPARKS - Leave a comment AND send an email to me with SPARKS in the subject line and your snail mail addy in the body. I'll forward them to Laura who will choose then notify the winner. Good luck!