Some of my greatest relationships have kept me guessing, on my toes, and anticipating the next great thing. The love of my life that I’m talking about here is my muse. I often wonder when it will pay a visit in my busy and unpredictable life! Will my muse speak to me when I’m covered in slippery bubbles? Will it show up when I’m sitting behind the wheel on I-95? Sometimes my muse has been known to murmur in my ear when I’m slick with perspiration smashed between simmering bodies on the F train. It’s okay, my muse knows how much I love him, her, it! It knows the depths I’ve gone to keep this torrid love affair alive. Let’s face it- muses have been known to be fun, fickle and, occasionally, fatal. My muse has played hard to get. I’ve chased it. I’ve delighted in it. Sometimes I’ve even cried about it. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve applied yet another layer of crimson red lip gloss waiting for it to ring the doorbell. I’ve dabbed tissues under my smudged mascara and wondered if it would call. I’ve wrung my hands, chewed my nail beds and then hidden my fingers in my pants pockets, hoping others wouldn’t see my distress. I admit that I’ve even given birth to books because my muse has sweet talked me into nocturnal raptures. Instead of weaving socks on a cold winter’s night, I’ve woven words together as I’ve sunk into my easy chair in front of my roaring stone fireplace. All thanks to my muse.
I’ve been told that I’ve needed to corral my muse. Let it know who the boss in this relationship is. I’m told not to pay too much attention as my fingers have danced across my keyboard. I’ve been advised to write in first person although my muse insists on third (my muse and I agree, never second person!). I’ve contemplated my muse’s head swelling, expanding, growing in size until it explodes-never to be heard from again, except that would be it giving human form-something I’m not ready to do. If it were human, my muse’s ego would be a lot bigger than mine. It tells me I can write the next best mystery and a Pulitzer is being polished just for me. My muse believes that I can live on a beach on a small island, in a gracious home in the woods or in an apartment in one of the most sought out neighborhoods in NYC. It whispers promises to me as I gaze into my crystal ball-encouraging me to make my dreams a reality and not to turn my back on myself or stand in my way-something that I have been known to do.
Sometimes my muse is busy and at other times I am. I’m especially grateful when my muse knows that I can’t add another thing to my plate. The days I forget to jot down a thought, my muse waits in the wings and often enough reminds me of what whistled through my mind when I have an envelope or index card within reach of my Z-Grip. We take turns at the wheel. We read for pleasure. My muse knows it’s important for me to run, to meditate and to eat salads for lunch. It also knows that I love chocolate ice cream, chatting with friends, and that my spouse and I need private time every once in a while. This is a relationship that will deepen. I feel it in my gut and my bones. I felt it last week when I submitted that short piece for the anthology that an editor had asked me for. I knew it again when a new mystery novel began revealing itself to me a couple of days ago. I was certain when I listened to it speak to me about the third set of revisions for a novel that’s been sitting in an editor’s slush pile. I love my muse. My muse loves me. I think we’re going to continue writing beautiful stories together.