This morning I had one of those chat loop/Facebook conversations authors sometimes have, in this case with Celtic author Maeve Greyson, who is having a book release. I'll leave it to Maeve to disclose that here if she cares to (did'ja get that, Maeve-me-girl?), but in the course of the conversation it evolved that the heroine of her latest book just gives her fits. The girl gives everyone fits, apparently. It's part of her charm.
The more Maeve talked about her heroine, Ciara, the more she reminded me of my muse.
My muse, otherwise known as "The Wench," appeared when I was five year old and trying to write my first book on my mother's shopping list. Tall, slender, with a crescent moon tattoed on her forehead and a crow perched on her shoulder, she scared the daylights out of me. She looked an awful lot like the Celtic Queen, Morrigan, and I knew this how? Well, because my Nana had read Irish myths and legends to me from the time I gave any indication that I could hear, of course. "You can never start 'em too young" was her motto and so I learned that Morrigan was the Great Queen - a Mothergoddess of the Irish Celtoi - the goddess of war, death, prophecy and passionate love.
War, death, prophecy and passionate love: did Nana have any inkling she was creating a romance writer? Yeah, probably.
Eventually I got used to The Wench hanging around, whispering sweet nothings in my ear. She was the one who helped me finish my first "book," which I recall was about a Hollywood stunt horse outrunning a brush fire in California, saving the life of the handsome actor who rode him in all his films. I think that was around the time I was in love with cowboy actors. The Wench humored me. She seemed to see promise of some sort in me. Sometimes she was even kind...until the day I tried to copy her by picking up a fallen baby blackbird which I named Downy. I fed Downy hamburger and hard-boiled egg yolk on the end of an eyedropper filled with milk, which I cleverly shot down her throat in between bites. I hauled her to Girl Scout camp in a carton so she didn't die of neglect. I let her ride around on my shoulder just like Morrigan's crow, though I took the precaution of wearing a length of shower curtain beneath her. I was obsessed with her, teaching her how to pick through grass for seed in preparation for leaving me someday to make her way in the wild. My mother was convinced I was going to become a veterinarian.
The Wench was pissed. I was envisioning myself as Dr. Doolittle instead of a romance writer. She split.
That was the first time my muse left me. It wouldn't be the last.
TOMORROW: Evolution of The Muse