Hi, everyone. ~waves~ My name is Minnette Meador and I’m very happy to be here. I have a schizophrenic muse so I write in multiple genres: historical romance, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, children’s books, sci-fi, personal essays, just to name a few.
When Pen & Muse approached me about contributing to this blog, I was thrilled about the opportunity. This is one of my favorites and I really appreciate the talent here. I thought what better article to contribute than one about the muse…it’s an oldie, but a goodie. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you’d like to see more installments.
KILL ME – KILL ME, NOW – The Life of a Writer (or How to Resuscitate the Artist)
by Minnette Meador
Interestingly enough, it’s not the sex I miss, the sound of the voice of another human being, the mind-numbing chatter of America’s favorite past time, or even the time I used to have to myself. What I miss the most — is silence; that exquisite delight for just one moment, one precious second in time where your mind just shuts the f*** up and leaves you alone. It’s not thinking about plots, characters, blogging, email, websites, networking, editing, reviewing, your next novel, your next review, or your editor’s next tirade (not that mine has any, but that’s what I heard – ~I’ll send chocolates tomorrow, sweetheart~). That’s all you’ll ever ask for — just a moment of peace. My friend, don’t hold your breath. If you are dedicated to this life choice (and believe me, it is a life choice), then expect sixteen to twenty hour days, blinding headaches from the glare of your computer screen, rejection letters/emails, disappointment, and really, really upset relatives (of course, it’s amazing how much they settle down when you actually publish something). You will also experience the most exquisite ecstasy possible without having your heart explode; the first sentence that you know is absolutely PERFECT. Ahhhhh….
These are the journals of what it truly means to be a writer and it is not for the faint of heart…if you scare easy, you might want to turn away now.
Introduction: I am not an expert – I’m not a psychiatrist, a doctor, a priest or a nun, a publisher, a hooker or any other kind of professional. The only credentials I have is a little experience – so consider this the “novice’s” point of view (oh, mah gawd! POV – somebody kill me). I’m certain it will change from day to day and even minute to minute. Just the ramblings of someone who has worked non-stop on nine books for the last two years and decided to spread the torture around a little. Please take this for what it is – ALL IN FUN. But, if something of this touches you a bit, makes you feel like you are not alone out there (although, you — ARE), and maybe tickles you some, please read on.
Phase I: The Decision (or What Am I Doing? Am I insane?)
I think I started my career as a writer by reading – How many of you devour books (or did before you started writing)? Did you read anything you could get your hands on? Romance? Historicals? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Mainstream? Cereal boxes? Stereo instructions? Billboards? Then you probably understand about this particular addiction – if you don’t think you’re addicted, get a clue. When was the last time you read the back of the toothpaste tube? This is how that little voice gets into your head to begin with – other writers. At some point in your reading life you suddenly say to yourself, “I can do this! This is so simple – any fool can write a book!” That’s when it happens – that’s when she sneaks into your life – that’s when she takes her black leather clad body and wraps it around your brain, implants her 8” spiked heels into your soul and extends her long, vicious whip. That voice has a name, too. She’s called The Muse:
Phase II: The Muse (or How to Use Cosmetics to Cover Those Unsightly Whip Marks)
Now that you are out of the reading phase and into the writing phase, you have a new friend…
She’s a real cast iron, ball busting bitch, isn’t she?
When I first starting hitting the writing full time, I had this little creature standing on my shoulder, shouting, “More! More!! I want more! Gimme, gimme, gimme! Come…on…you can do it! More!” A crack dealer is a nun compared to this little pusher. I couldn’t get enough…I’d write on the bus…I’d write in the car (hard to do when you’re driving)…I’d write in the grocery store…I’d even write in the bathroom (toilet paper is not paper, by the way).
It was when I started writing 40-80 hours a week that I began to notice a slight change in my behavior (of course, this was on top of the 40-50 hours I was putting into my “real” job). When I spoke (which was seldom anymore) my voice was kind of high pitched and shaky. The entire world seemed a bit distorted to me, as if it wasn’t quite real, and for some reason the guilty pleasure of being creative for that many hours began to feel…well, kind of sexy. It was like being on some wonderful drug. The problem was my poor husband, who of course had to live with me, was getting a little worried. It’s hard to watch as your wife twitches at you and can only talk about her novel – even harder when you’re not entirely certain if she’s even talking to you: What? What? Shut up, I wasn’t talking to you… I’m sorry, honey, you were saying…
I don’t know about your muse, but mine was 14” tall (in her shoes), completely leather clad, from her 8” stiletto heels to the top of her spiky lopsided head and had a bull whip just long enough to go around my throat. Her teeth – well, let’s just say the edge of my ear got pretty ragged after a while. She loved to sit on my shoulder, play with my earring, and either scream bloody murder at me or sit on her ass and do her nails. Those nails really hurt, too (especially in the middle of the night), and the whip marks were leaving stains on my blouse. I realized one of us just had to settle down – and guess what, it wasn’t her.
Phase III: Taming the Monster (or Down, Bad Monkey, Down!)
TO BE CONTINUED….
2008 Releases: Starsight, Vol. I, Starsight, Vol. II, The Centurion & The Queen
The Edge of Honor, A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers
2009 Releases: A Boy & His Wizard
2010 Releases:Starsight III: The Restless Seed, Starsight Prequel: The God Wars,
A Boy & His Lizard
Other Releases:The Gladiator Prince – TBA, Keenan’s Dilemma – TBA