Seducing the Muse

museum-398761_1280I called out to her, nearly moaning in frustration. “Please! Give me anything.”

She didn’t respond. So typical of the fickle, flighty fairy. When you need inspiration, she is nowhere to be found. She shows up on her own at the most inconvenient times; when you’re stepping into the shower, closing your eyes to sleep, driving to the grocery–and often, with no pen or paper handy to jot down the divine pouring of illumination.

Then, as fickle, flighty fairies usually operate, she goes silent as you plop down to write…perfect.

whisper-408482_1280It was several years before I realized my mistake. As with most darling deities, muses favor those who give offerings. The more sincere the gift (even if imperfect) the faster their reply.

What, you may ask, should I offer to the Muse? What gift would a being of pure imagination and creativity find seductive enough to prompt a visit? Your creativity. Your medium.

Begin from the heart. You need to know at least the direction you want to go (North, South, Hunger, Lust) but other than that, sincerity is most important. And no matter how many hands of solitaire or Free Cell you play, you won’t find it there.

frustrating, hands in pockets. Smoking, pacing, fear; I’m trying here.

Good start. You should hear her whispering now.

She shoved her hands in her pockets and began to pace. “What have I done?” she said. The blood was already starting to congeal in the floor behind her. She was afraid to turn around.

Closer. I think you’re really starting to get her attention now.

She jammed her fingers into her pockets, not wanting to see the blood crusted tips. Like whistling through a graveyard, she kept her eyes forward, resisting the temptation to look. “That didn’t just happen,” she whispered, shaking her head. “no, no, no.”

She sat, keeping her back to the carnage. With shaky fingers she fished a cigarette from the pack on the table. As she brought it to her lips, a sob caught in her throat–a single, gasping, catchy burst of pure grief. She swallowed it hard before lighting the cigarette.

There she is. She clearly likes what you’ve offered her. Now sit back and let her flow.

She stood, her back to the carnage, eyes wide and fingers trembling. Her tears burned her cheeks, tracing the curves of her face before dropping from her chin to the floor, mingling with the blood. She looked down at the pool gathering at her feet and had to will her legs to move.

“No, no, no, no,” she whispered, shaking her head. “It didn’t happen. It didn’t happ…”

She looked down at her quivering hands. The blood had already started to dry and crust over.

“No!” she said more loudly causing her to cringe. Too loud, shhhhh, she thought jamming her hands into her pockets and lifting her head.

With no purpose but to create a pocket of sanity in the presence of the catastrophe behind her, she sat at the table, careful to keep her back to the atrocity. Inhaling deeply, a sob caught in her throat, a single, catchy breath that threatened to undermine her second of calm.

Chin up, back straight…you’re stronger than this, she thought as she fished a cigarette from the pack on the table. With shaking fingers, she brought it to her lips to light. She allowed the lighter’s flame to draw her attention away from the gore on her finger tips before inhaling deeply.

As she blew a stream of silken white into the air, she began to relax. After ashing on the floor, she sat back and a grim smile formed across her porcelain features. “I should have done that ten years ago.”

genoa-663419_1280And now the Muse is loving you. Because as your story flows, it is a greater offering, resulting in even more attention from her. She loves winners, not whiners. Success flows from success, and the Muse knows the difference between desperation and passion. Fickle, flighty thing she is, she may understand desperation, but she will never respond to it unless it is accompanied by the passion.

She loves being loved. She doesn’t respond to fear and she doesn’t care how desperate your situation is…she wants her offering. Give it to her.

S.L. Shelton is the author of an Amazon Bestselling Political Thriller Action Espionage Series, (The Scott Wolfe Series). Follow him on Twitter @SLSheltonAuthor or Facebook. He will love you for it. And if you like the posts, click like (likes, follows and reviews are the secret way to get authors to write more.)

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