My Alter-Muses

kids in costumeI’m taking a class with D. D. Scott about getting inspired, and we did a fun exercise where we named our muses. Pick out that spark inside ourselves that gives us ideas, and think about what feeds it. What makes him or her excited and what’s a total turnoff? What do they do for fun and what music do they like? D. D. calls her muses the Carrie Squad, in reference to the characters on Sex and the City—you don’t have to limit yourself to one. Here are some of my girls in the basement:

Ann the Intrepid. She’s a Tarzan for the snowy climes, who likes hiking, skiing, and adventures. Complications! Crisis! Cousins-in-law! Never fear, Ann is here, with trusty jacknife and compass. She’s looking for a reason to buy a blow torch. Singing? Norwegian folk choirs, who belt it out at volumes that can be heard on the other side of the fjord. This muse likes new tools, new projects, brainstorming, and clearly identified problems to attack. She has no patience for little fiddly bits, indecision, need for sales pitches, or fear of the unknown.

Yolanda the Sensualist. She signed us up for belly dancing classes and spends an unfortunate amount of money on scented candles, wine, bubble bath, and wacky stockings. She is a huge fan of the rococo period in art (think naked cherubs and gold leaf) and Ray Charles. Bling? Oh god, yes, although fortunately cubic zirconias are very sparkly. She has no patience at all, and is lounging around elsewhere if there’s any heavy lifting going on.

Yoopsy Topsy the Zaftig Hatmaker. Cheery, optimistic, good time gal. Loves puns and wordplay, bright colors, asymmetry, nutty clothes. Music: When Harry Met Sally soundtrack (big band/swing music mixed to be bigger, brassier, and faster). Irritations: tastefulness (black is for bank robbers) and bookkeeping.

So it’s a brash crew, disinclined to be quiet and pretty easy to entertain even with stuff I can find around the house. However, I notice that none of these muses is interested in nose-to-the-grindstone follow-through. That’s a task for different muscles—or maybe I need to recruit an Anita the Accountant to this party.

More Värttinä, because I love them so.


Published by annmariegamble

Ann Marie Gamble has been putting pen to paper since her mom made her scrub the crayon off the stairwell walls (one chapter per step). Although there is plenty of inspiration to be had in the carpool lane, she likes writing her way across the galaxy as well as across town, and she especially enjoys research missions (aka family vacations) when she and the boys can get away. Her favorite place to write is a room with a view and a pot of tea.

4 thoughts on “My Alter-Muses

  1. Luv learning about your muses, Ann Marie!

    You’re really rockin’ my Muse Therapy Session!

    I’m just thrilled to have met you “in therapy”…LOL!!!

    And by the time we’re done with Muse Therapy, you’ll know exactly how to get your muses’ BITCHOK groove on! (Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard)

    Sexy Sassy Smart Muse Therapy Wishes — D. D. Scott

  2. Interesting reading this just now. It’s very timely for me. My daughter, a high school freshman, is very much into creative writing at the moment. She meets with a group of other young writers, and they too have named their muses.

    My daughter discussed her muse at school one day, which resulted in a teacher contacting the counselor, who called me to find out if there is a family history of schizophrenia. Oy! I tried explaining the concept of a muse to him, but I’m not sure he got it.

    1. Oy, indeed! My school-tries-to-do-creative-writing-but-lacks-creative-sense story. The writing prompt was to finish this sentence: “Peas, carrots, and broccoli are. . . .” The student wrote, “. . . some of the deadliest weapons known to man,” and continued in that vein–and got sent to the office for insubordination.

      In my family, there is schizophrenia, but none of my family think these muses describe anyone separate from me, i.e., they have a different diagnosis. 😉

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