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The Elusive Muse
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The Elusive Muse
by Brenton Tomlinson

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According to Dictionary.com v1.1

Muse / –noun

1. Classical Mythology
a. any of a number of sister goddesses, originally given as Aoede (song), Melete (meditation), and Mneme (memory), but latterly and more commonly as the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who presided over various arts: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy); identified by the Romans with the Camenae.

b. any goddess presiding over a particular art.


2. (sometimes lowercase) the goddess or power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.

3. (lowercase) the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

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I am a new author, struggling to find my voice in a world where there are many such as I with an urge to write and a dream to do it full time. I like to think I’m a little different in that I am not naturally creative, I struggle to find inspiration - I struggle to gain a good grip on my muse.

I know I need one. I need inspiration just as many writers do but where to find it.

Being the logical, realistic, boring type of guy I am I thought I had better come to grips with this lack of an inspirational spark and research what a muse was and how to entrap it for all time so I could stroke or squeeze it as required.

Then I came across the above definition on the Internet. How on earth could I trap a goddess to do my bidding, did I even believe in the religious deities of the world (the olden day pantheon type or the more modern counterparts). Surely not every creative person had their own deity hidden under their desk. Perhaps they shared. No-one had offered to share theirs with me. I must be looking in the wrong place.

Perhaps my nearest and dearest could substitute as my muse(s). No they just interrupt me when I’m trying to write, it is definitely not easier to pen (type) a masterpiece when they are around. I love them more than life itself but couldn’t they just leave me alone as I bang on my keyboard?

A little budda idol or something similar - that’s just silly. The small fast food toy my daughter gave me, now I’m getting desperate.

I continue my research and find the depiction of a woman (the blue haired beauty above) and I have found my muse. She lives inside me providing a voice of encouragement and of stark honest critique. She offers suggestions and finds that word I’m trying to think of that sits on the tip of my tongue. She was always inside me just as the muse is always inside all of us. Sometimes she just needs a physical object to provide a link to that creative spark, sometimes the muse must be given a name. For me it had to be a she and I needed to see her. She has no name and I cannot define her voice but she speaks to me on a level that no other can. It was her idea to write this note.

Copyright Brenton Tomlinson. All Rights Reserved.

Brenton Tomlinson is a writer from Adelaide, South Australia. His father instilled in him the mantra that trying many and varied jobs would lead to greater experience and better insight into those around you. He has used this to great advantage through his life and has now coupled it with the writer’s best inspirational tool “What if…” to produce a broad range of speculative fiction. He currently works for the Australian Department of Defence in the area of Science and Technology. He also administers a website - “Musings of an Aussie Writer” and a blog of the same name, both aimed at helping writers in their craft.