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Fairies and My Muse

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.


Kay Wilde said...

How true! Love the post. My only complaint is - how do I get a male muse? My muse, Cybill, is fickle, and often contrary as hell. Poor thing is so overworked and abused.

Hummmm? Think I'll have a talk with her and see what we can do to add a male into the mix, to share the workload. Think she go for it?

I totally understand the driving thing. Cybill loves to drive, and should never under any circumstances be allowed behind the wheel of a car. She's color blind and doesn't seem to be able to read stop signs. With her in control, God only knows where we will end up. It's a wonder she hasn't gotten us both killed, at the very least a ticket.

Somehow I don't thing a cop would be amused if I said, "Wasn't me, Cybill did it."


Brynn Paulin said...

You might get a special jacket if you told the cop that, lol!

I'm not sure how I got two males in the mix. It's just been super obvious from the start of my writing career that these two are definitely guys. *g*

Dakota Rebel said...

I want a shower muse. A hot one like yours would be great.

I currently have the:

Middle of a "real job" project muse. She likes to show up when I am swamped with work and scream at me.

Can you write me a novella in 3 weeks muse. I think she is my new favorite. When the impossible looms there she is saying "yay, let's write this. Right now."

Unfortunately today I received both and my head is throbbing from all the attention vying they are competing in.

Sigh, gotta love being a writer huh?


Lyn Cash said...

I'd post something intelligent, but I can't quit laughing and re-reading and laughing some more.

*sigh* Oh, to have a muse at all. I've been orphaned - deserted.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

Brilliant blog, Brynn! Please pardon the alliteration ;)

I need my faeries to come visit me soon...I hope they haven't abandoned me.

Ashley Ladd said...

I have fairies and didn't realize it. What a cool concept.

I haven't named my muse either and don't know if it's male or female.

I have a walking fairy and a gym fairy and a swimming fairy - or maybe it's one exercise fairy. He, or she, gets my muse working and helps me come up with wonderful story ideas - either completely new or to help along a WIP.

I must have a car fairy, too, as I always keep a notebook in the car and pen ideas there as well.

I have my music fairy. He, or she, is usually good. I have to have music to write by, well, almost always, or else all the noise around me intrudes and I get distracted. I like to listen to my MP3 player when I write, work out, and walk. I've listened to my music so often, it's only background and helps, not distracts. When he's missing, though, I have trouble and I hear everybody else's noise. No good.

I have the dream fairy which is good and bad, or maybe it's really a reception fairy as you call it. Sometimes, it brings me good dreams with good book ideas. Most of the time, it loses the idea or the bulk of the idea before I can get the idea on paper or firmly in my mind.

I'm sure there's others, but I've not stopped to think about it like you have.

Good article. Thanks!

Brynn Paulin said...

Oh I used to get the job muse to Dakota. She's been reassigned, lol.

Good luck with your novella.

Brynn Paulin said...

Lyn, perhaps your muse, too, is a man. Looooooong vacations I tell you. LONG.

Brynn Paulin said...

Bronwyn: they haven't abandoned you. They're hiding in your sewing room.

Brynn Paulin said...

Ashley: OMG! an exercise fairy! I think mine must have asthma because all I hear then is wheezing...or maybe that's me. ;-)

barbara huffert said...

How cool that you have the same fairies with you constantly. Each of my stories is guided by one or more of the characters so when the story is finished they move on. Sad because some have been great fun and I miss them.

sterlingwriter said...

No fairies, no muses. Just me. My brilliant brain. My awesome talent. Why let some make believe creature take credit when it's all you, baby?

Lisabet Sarai said...

Can I borrow the shower fairy?


A wonderful,funny post, Brynn, but
with more than a morsel of wisdom!

Ann Cory said...

I need a shower faerie!! :) Great post - very enjoyable *tossing confetti*

~Ann Cory

Anonymous said...

Fun post Brynn.It's interesting that no-one has mentioned the Toilet Fairy, or the Hanging out Washing fairy. That's where I seem to get most of my ideas - usually when I can't get to a pen & paper. And with my brain I can honestly swear that by the time I've stood up or turned around it's gone. Drives me mental! Actually I think it won't be long before I'll be writing all this from the Dementia ward ;)