This isn’t your traditional article about Fairies. This is about the writing fairies who plague…I mean enhance…my writing life. You see my muse is male. How do I know this? He’s never around when I need him. He likes to take long trips during which I am forced to muddle along without him and he likes to leave me messes to clean up. He also has this way of often placing logic into my stories that I don’t at first understand. Then I look back and see the trail to where I’m at has been clearly marked the entire way and the nifty plot twist I’ve “just” thought of has been completely set up. Man, he’s good.
So this guy, my muse, and I call him that loosely, has a harem of fairies in his employ. They do most of his work. He’s a stereotypical manager and a delegator to the end. He has five fairies who flit in to see me on a regular basis. Two are good, two are naughty and one can go either way.
The first is the Shower Fairy. He’s one of my favourites. Since my husband has forbidden Mr. Muse from visiting me in the shower (fun hater), the Shower Fairy must oblige. Okay, so I haven't mentioned to my husband that the Shower Fairy is a guy. He prefers being called messenger instead of fairy. Whenever I’ve got a really tough problem to untangle or my direction is too foggy to decipher, I hop beneath the water and wait for the answer to wash over me. Usually by the end, I have an answer whispered to me by you know who. Sometimes I take some very long showers and sometimes I take lots of showers.
The next fairy in my muse’s service is the Receptionist Fairy. She’s disgruntled. She apparently doesn’t like her job much, but I haven’t yet managed to get her fired. You see my muse sometimes whispers messages to me as I’m going to sleep—and sometimes during sex which tends to irritate the husband. He just isn’t on the bandwagon when I’m suddenly thinking about my characters instead of him when…well, you get the picture. Anyway, the Receptionist Fairy always assures me she’ll take the message and remind me of it in the morning. Let’s put it this way…she’s lost more messages than I can count. Or more frustrating, I get completely garbled and useless messages. What sounded great as I was going to sleep suddenly is about as good as garbage.
A close friend to the Receptionist Fairy is the Fairy of Procrastination. She comes in the form of DVDs to watch, video games to play, music mixes to burn to CD, and various other creative endeavours such as drawing, scrapbooking and needlework. She’s devious. Her ploy is to divert my muse's messages. I think she’s planning a hostile take-over. She whispers, “Just play the 80’s Game for a few minutes. The trivia will help you think.” Right. An hour later, I can tell you the year half of my favourite movies came out but I’m no closer to progressing on my story. “Do something artistic,” she urges. “It will free up your mind so the ideas can come to you.” Right, again. Not! Two days later, I have craft supplies all over my coffee table but no story brewing on the screen. She’s devious. If she comes to your house don’t listen to her.
Speaking of listening. The Music Fairy. She’s a lovely little wenchling. She says, “Listen to this song. You like that movie in your head? Write about it.” If I don’t she’ll send the same movie over and over and over until I finally do. She says, “Isn’t the mood of this song perfect for the story you're writing? Listen to it and write…” That’s when she’s good. But sometimes, she teams up with the Fairy of Procrastination and says, “You must gather your CDs and burn this music mix for your book. You must make a soundtrack for your book. I refuse to speak to you until you’re done.” She’s a bit fickle, but I’ve learned how to counteract her. I turn off the music and refuse to let her have it back until she starts talking.
The fairy I love best is the Car Fairy. She comes to me while I’m driving. I carry a notebook in my car for when she visits and I’ve become very adept at writing in it while I’m driving. Yes I can write a straight line without looking at the paper. It’s a gift. Seriously. I’ve been given entire story plots while driving—ALONE—in the car. I sat in a parking lot once with a notebook and wrote almost an entire story longhand. I’m sure she arranged for MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) to provide all the standstill construction traffic where my next Total-e-Bound book Tribute for the Goddess (Jan. 21) was penned. The Car Fairy loves me. I love her. I wish she’d visit more often.
No I’m not crazy. No I don’t see flittery people around my house dropping story ideas onto my computer. But I am a writer and as a writer, I’ve learned to recognize where I’m inspired and where I’m sidetracked. It’s essential. I just call them fairies because it’s more fun and really, for me, fun is what it’s all about.