An Unexpected (and completely wonderful) Muse

If you frequent the Blogosphere, you will likely have come across someone, somewhere, writing furiously about their muse.

It possibly struck you as a bit pretentious.

I can completely sympathise, because it’s been one of the things I’ve been loath to comment on with regards to my own writing; partly because the largest portion of my writing concerns only one thing – me. As a narcissist, I think I rank pretty high, and for fear of further boring you, I refuse to write about writing about myself. The other part is that other than ‘in the words themselves’, I have no set muse, and almost anything can set me off.

But in this case, I’m going to let you in and tell you the story of a rather specific muse of mine…

I rarely make snap decisions about people; I’ve done it a handful of times in my life. As a rule, I tend to warm up to people slowly and cautiously. This broke all the rules.

There are these nondescript occasions when someone you’ve seen around the blogosphere in the comment lists of a few blogs you love, and you figure they probably have pretty good taste in writing (if nothing else), so you ‘follow them home’ to their blog to check them out. So I did that.

Somehow, when I got there, the world was off kilter and something shifted. I don’t even know what. Each time I went back, there was this same tinge of unreality. Gradually we spoke through the comments and got to know one another a bit and the je ne sais quois became stronger.

Then one day, (I forget how), it came up that she plays piano. And used to waitress. Fairly nondescript anybody-coulda-done-it kind of stuff, right?


The mojo of the muse; and the WriterHeart having one foot off the ground; and the moons of Saturn aligning with the Aurora Borealis (probably) all took effect at once: inspiration happened, in the most sudden and bewildering manner I’ve experienced yet.

Shadows and Stardust was the story (and the Part 1), which came out of it – a piece which has (in terms of usual numbers of people interacting here) gone vastly under-seen, but which is possibly my favourite thing I’ve ever written. I was ridiculously grateful, and told her all about it, and she read it and said gorgeous things about it, and my WriterHeart was filled to the brim.

What I didn’t know was that she wasn’t done with me yet.

Not two weeks ago I was alone in the office and a song came on the radio – one I’ve heard before, and not one I’ve ever paid attention to – when all of a sudden it was as though her name was hanging in the air, nearly visible amongst the notes. Stunned, I listened carefully to the rest of the song, then sent her a message to say what had happened. She came back with the news that this made perfect sense to her, as it’s one of her favourite songs ever.

Like being hit by a train, inspiration crashed into my mind, and the story I’d previously written for her got bigger and better, and exploded into another chapter. It seemed only fitting that I ask her to host this next part, and she graciously agreed. (She was also very gratifyingly excited about the story (*phew*)).

So, please, with no more ado or explanation, follow the music of The Wasted Minstrel and come with me to visit Mandi, who – due to no fault of her own – has provided me with some of the most powerful and unexpected muse I’ve yet encountered.

The force is strong with this one.

[Disclaimer: For the duration of this post, you’ve probably been thinking I’m some kind of nutter. I blame the WriterHeart, which has a tendency to do precisely as it pleases, without reference to me, nor with any kind of allowance made for state it leaves me in. So I’d love to reassure you that I truly am a (mostly) fully-functional, most-times rational adult, who is capable of conducting a sensible, mature, and fully appropriate relationship with those around her. I can understand why you might find that hard to believe, but there we have it.]


16 thoughts on “An Unexpected (and completely wonderful) Muse

  1. There's nothing to figure out, my dear. It's a gift; go with it. “Falling” doesn't have to be a bad thing if it means giving up control and being open to things you never — er — considered before.


  2. Intriguing. All the more so, for having gotten some background on it. And I love that you manage to capture that beguiled sensation on the doodle's face! I've said so before and will likely do so again, but I'm a huge fan of these doodles. They're both ironic and endearing. Quite clever. (And cute!)


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