Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Catching up with the muse

Welcome to yesterday's installment of No, Seriously. Just Try It.

But first, we interrupt this program to thank Candace for naming this month's festivities. After careful analysis, I've decided we are definitely Decemberserking these days. If you enjoy puns, Candace (aka Sudo Nimm) is your woman. If not, well, why not?

For today's No, Seriously. Just Try It feature, I want you to get your pencil and paper, or your laptop, or your wax tablet and stylus. Now I want you to take those writing devices and toss them aside. We are not writing today. We are channeling the muse.

Here is a secret about the muse: she's subtle. She gives you hints and ideas all the time, but you keep missing them. Today, I want you to go somewhere you have never been before, preferably somewhere crowded. Pretend you are the main character in a middle grade chapter book mystery where some beneficent stranger is dropping clues for you everywhere you go. For everything you see, everything you overhear, everything upon which you stumble, think, "What is my muse trying to tell me? How can I use this?"

For example, graffiti. It is not just graffiti. It is a message from your muse. Today at the library, somebody had written, "Live for yourself. I did. Guys suck." on the wall. Clearly a message from my muse. You go to the museum and lo and behold! A special exhibit on ancient Persian pottery. Clearly a message from your muse. You turn the corner and someone's giving out fliers advertising a performance of a play called Jimmy and the Goat Man. Clearly a message from your muse.

What's that? You want to know what these messages mean? Ah. Dear child. That is for you to interpret. The muse is a complicated and cryptic woman. But when one of her messages hits its mark, you'll know.

I struggled with a plot problem all day. I stepped into Tink's music class this afternoon in time to hear the teacher casually mention an obscure fact about J.S. Bach. It was like inspiration rained down on my head. Her random comment was EXACTLY what I needed to figure out the problem I'd had all day.

So get out there and listen and watch. And report back what you hear from your muse.*

* Is anyone else marvelling at how many "muse" puns I DIDN'T make in this post?! Tink's muse-ic class. A-muse-ment park. Muse-eum. Stan Muse-ial. Okay, that last one makes no sense.

5 comments:

Candace Ryan said...

Aw shucks, Jacqui, you've got me blushing in the cyber corner. Thanks for the nod:)

And can you divulge the obscure fact about J.S. Bach? It's killing me!

Jacqui said...

Sorry. It's essential to solving the mystery of my book. Must keep it under wraps.

Ello said...

I have no muse because I am not a-musing lately. heh heh.

By the way, I got Two of a kind!!! Have stashed it away for Christmas and so excited to give it to Youngest!!! It is even cuter in realtime!

Mary Witzl said...

I was feeling tired and down once and I saw William Blake's "Energy is eternal delight" scrawled on the side of a fence. It perked me up -- seriously. I took it as a sign that I ought to start swimming. Probably saved myself thousands of calories...

Brenda said...

Great post...I do believe in signs...I just wish I could read them better...grin...

There are times when I feel like I need big billboard signs that tell me exactly what my muse wants me to write and/or do...

And then there are those times when she whispers and I hear every word...those are the best times...