Friday, January 29, 2010

My Muse

As I read writers’ blogs, it seems writers have one thing in common: a muse. Some people have their cats and dogs; Liane has her copulating geckos (well lizards). I didn’t have a muse. Didn’t even know what that word meant until I began reading Liane's blog. So like any good writer, I decided I needed a muse. I looked high and low to find something that could be defined as my muse, but couldn’t, until a few weeks ago…

My six year old daughter has always loved a camera. She would take pictures with my digital camera or my phone since she was old enough to hold one in her hand. When she was three, I gave her a cute little toy camera that talked. She played with it for a little while and came right back for mine. When she was four, I gave her a toy digital camera that took real photos but the quality was low. She played with it for a little while but came right back for mine. I tried giving her my old broken camera. Again, she played with it for a little while but came back for mine.

At first she would take some weird photos. She would up-skirt a lamp. She would take the sky through some
trees. She would photograph a house because it looked different. She would even place the camera next to her skin to “photograph the blood, under it”. It was only at my nieces’ christening when she was still four years old, that I came to appreciate her love and talent for photography. She begged for the camera, and I being pregnant at the time with my husband part of the ceremony, obliged. When we downloaded the photos, I was astonished at the quality. Of course when we christened her baby sister I happily gave her the camera. Again she did a good job.

So when it came time to have a photograph taken for the back cover of my debut novel who did I turn to? You guessed it right, my daughter, then five years old. So that photo and all these appearing on this blog today were taken by my daughter.
Her love for photography, her determination to use only my best cameras, her constant snapping of photos is an inspiration for me. A few weeks ago while writing, I was stuck. I sat in front of the computer blank. The screen saver kicked in and the photos on the hard drive, most taken by my daughter, flashed by. I found myself just looking them and drifting into my creative mode. Suddenly the scenes were clear to me and the words flowed. That’s when I realized, I do have a muse. It’s my six year old daughter! Now when I write, I have a habit of gazing at some of the photos she takes, especially those nature shots of the sky through the trees. I am so inspired by them they get my creative juices flowing.

A few days ago she became my muse in a totally different way. I was writing in the office (finally ditched the bed) while she was doing homework. She asked what I was working on and I gave her a summary of the story.

“Is that all?” she asked and demanded the details.

As I mentally crafted the story and told it to her, her eyes got big. She was so excited and into it that she started suggesting alternate scenes and ending. It made it so clear in my head that I began to write a more detailed outline, incorporating some of her ideas and fine tuning my own. Then she gave me something that I always had trouble finding for myself: a title for the story. Yes! That’s my muse.

So move over gecko. I’ve found my muse and it’s a living breathing, talking child.

What’s your muse?


Phyllis Bourne said...

Wow! Your daughter did an awesome job on your photo!

Muse... Mmmm... I'm going to have to think about that one. Starbucks is where I find my writing rhythm, but not sure that counts.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Inspiration is inspiration regardless of its source. Maybe it's the Starbucks coffee...

Phyllis, thanks for stopping by. I'll be sure to pass on the compliment.

Liane Spicer said...

How did I miss this post? Was looking for my lizard post and stumbled on to this. Is she the same daughter who is now a bona fide author? Awesome!