By C.L. Beck
(Keywords: C.L. Beck, muse, muses, a muse-ing, mythology, magic, Olivia Newton-John, inspiration, ator, YourLDSNeighborhood.com)
In mythology, there are only she-muses. That’s not too bad for the women of the world, but I’m sorry to tell you this, guys—it looks like you’re stuck with a gal for your inspiration. Probably a gal who primps, colors her hair and wears fingernail polish named “Who Needs a Prince?”
Even though there are no he-muses mentioned in mythology, I’m certain they exist. They appear right after inspiration strikes and before the writer/artist/musician has a chance to even get one word, drawing, or musical note down on paper. The he-muses are the cause for delayed manuscripts, funky artwork, and music that falls flat in all the wrong places.
Naturally, they don’t have sissy names like the female muses. Their names typically end with “ator” or “ucto” or some other bizarre, “go out and wreak havoc on the world” syllables. I’m sure many of you have encountered them; maybe we’ve even met a few of the same ones.
The Alphabetizer-ator: The muse who inspires you to alphabetize your magazines, canned vegetables, and the spices in the cupboard before writing that award winning novel or concerto. Then he mentions that the cans of old paint in the basement really need to be sorted by color.
The Grinder-ator: The one who reminds you that you can’t create anything unless your pencils are sharp. All your pencils. Every one that’s in the house. Oh, and don’t forget that one out in the car’s glove box. Who cares that you haven’t used a pencil for anything since you were in the third grade? Or that you don’t use a pencil for oil painting.
The Cleaner-ator: That burly guy who bugs you because your desk is a mess. So, before you create anything, you straighten and clean. And then get out the vacuum, take the computer apart and vacuum out the dust. If you’re an author, he’s the one you hear laughing in your head as you accidentally suck the mother board out of your computer, effectively ending your writing career for the month.
The Sharpener-ator: The man’s man. He’s the one that whispers to all the guys that the shovels, hoes, and pitchfork need to be sharpened. It’s a macho issue, since no guy can stand being creative when he has unsharpened tools hanging over his head. This is also the same muse who then tells the guys to go sharpen the Water-Pik.
The Barker-ator: The muse who insists that you can’t think with the dog barking. Or the cat meowing. And can't the birds chirp quieter? Or the leaves stop rustling? He’s the one who inspires you to stuff a potato into the tailpipe of that noisy car across the street.
So far, I've given you a taste of the personalities of just a few of them, but the list goes on and on. They’re insidious. It takes a strong, determined person to defeat them. However, forewarned is also forearmed.
And I intend to tell you more so you can resist. Really, I do.
But first … give me a few minutes to clean off my desk, sharpen my pencils and vacuum out the computer.
What's playing in my head: Magic by Olivia Newton-John (from the movie, Xanadu).
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