Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not A-Mused


Standing Ganesh,
the Chola period,
bronze, late 11th/early 12th century.

No. Not like Victoria.

I mean that I have never conformed to the writerly tradition of relating light bulb illumination and inspiration to "my Muse."

Greeks bearing gifts, you know.

The first book I ever bought with my very own money was a collection of fairy tales. The facination with myths and legends and folk fables continues to this day; and one notices eventually certain Aesopian similarities between cultures.

Which is why I see no disconnect between having both an Alpine horn and a brass temple gong in my kitchen to call the faithful to the feast. The mind is many-armed.

So if I were to pick a guardian and guide to the writerly process it might well be the elephant god, the remover of obstacles, an Opener of Ways, who represents the acquisition of knowledge, as well as luck.

Someone once gave me a small ganesha, the colour of ghee. He sits appropriately on my book shelf. Perhaps he should be closer to my computer.

I understand wine is acceptable.

21 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

The first book I ever bought with my own money was Moon of Three Rings by Andre Norton.

Muses come in many forms. Neopagans are pretty eclectic, so I have called on whomever seemed to fit the bill for the purpose at hand. Why not? The mind, as well as the soul, is many armed indeed.

Ric said...

Neopagans? That's interesting.
I've discovered waiting for the Muse to come calling is akin to waiting for Publishers Clearinghouse to show up with a big check. Better to let her come sit on your shoulder when you hit that rough spot halfway down the page.
Does anyone have other things they use? Like a special coffee cup? or lucky shirt?

writtenwyrdd said...

music to suit the character or mood of the piece works for me.

Seeley deBorn said...

I've never liked the idea of putting my life and my work into someone else's hands. I'm much too much of a control freak for that kind of thing.

As to Ric's question: cookies. Something will always come to me when I'm otherwise occupied (read: stuffing my face) and I'll drop the goodies to sputter crumbs all over the keyboard as I say out loud what I'm about to type so that my slow fingers don't impede my speeding brain.

Bernita said...

Written, every now and then I go back to Norton's Witch World for inspiration.Her capacity for inference is astonishing.
Funny, I almost wrote "the soul is many-armed."

Parking my wee behind on a chair in front of the screen is my best tantric method, Ric.

I'm not a control freak, Seeley, but I don't care for the transfer of responsibility either - or the laments and hand-wringing about the fickleness of the designated alter ego.

Jaye Wells said...

Questioning the source of my ideas makes them skitter away like cockroaches when the kitchen light comes on.

I've told you before I have an anti-muse called Land Shark who taunts me through the door. I've gotten very good at not answering anymore.

Bernita said...

"Questioning the source of my ideas makes them skitter away..."
Oh, aye and yes, Jaye.

Charles Gramlich said...

I thought Ganesha drank mostly milk. The first book I bought with my own money was a 25 center from the book club that our grade school was allowed to join. It was probably "Strange, Sudden and Unexpected," or "Something is up there," or "Football stars of 1971."

Bernita said...

I believe rites vary, Charles, though milk is quite common.

The Anti-Wife said...

My first book was a Nancy Drew mystery. I had the whole series along with Trixie Belden. Everything else came from the library and only visited for 2 weeks at a time.

I have an anti-muse in the guise of my mother who sits on my shoulder and tells me I'll never amount to anything and what a disappointment I am. Proving her wrong motivates me.

Bernita said...

Anti-Muses can be very useful.
Another one is "they published this shit?"

raine said...

uAgree, butt in chair behind keyboard is the magical ingredient.

But maybe I'll go looking for an Opener of Ways, just in case...

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I agree with Bernita, ass in chair, fingers on keyboard is my muse. The words come if I "assume the position."

Write when you hate every word, write when you love it, write when it's hard, write EVERY DAY. That's my muse.

M&Ms never hurt, though.

Word ver, Ongys. Sounds like the name of a god of writing if I ever heard one.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Oh, and yeah, A-W, I'm with ya. I can't write with my mom in the house.

writtenwyrdd said...

Hah. I live with my mom (okay, she lives with me) and it's taken me four months to be able to write regularly again. And she is very encouraging.

I have to agree, butt in chair and typing ANYTHING is the magic ingredient.

SzélsőFa said...

The only reason I like to stick to symbols of my nation/country/religion is the belief is that if I'm born to a specific nation I might understand its symbolism better than of any other nation's.

Help might come from/when the most unexpected.

Bernita said...

He does fit the needs, doesn't he, Raine.

Elizabeth (EA Monroe) has a lovely expression, SS, "chipping stone for the pharaoh."

And your mother's a honey, WW!

Szelsofa, many myths and symbols are universal - it's only the style that changes.

Jeff said...

Bernita, can I borrow your elephant god when my muse takes a vacation?

kmfrontain said...

I laughed when I came to the last line of the post. Yeah, wine is good, but I like the little statuette too.

LadyBronco said...

I believe the first book I bought with my own money was "Are you there God, It's me, Margaret" ~ It changed my world, at the time.

I have a very cool old-world style globe on my desk that serves as one of my muses when the mood strikes. It works quite well, surprisingly.

And then there's the Buddha on a side-table...

Bernita said...

Certainly, Jeff. As a remover of obstacles,he's an ideal writer's patron.

In vino...Karen!

I like that. A lovely inspirational item, Lady B.
A Kuan Yin might be a nice addition too...