Friday, February 24, 2012


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


  1. Looking forward to this "evolution" series, Miriam.

  2. Muses.....where would we be without them, but there are times I would like to try...LOL.

    I think it is neat that you have had yours for so long. What a neat relationship you have

  3. Miriam, several months back I wrote an article about my muse taking a vacation. She can be troublesome, can't she? I love that you named yours The Wench.

    And I think it's wonderful that your Nana imparted with her tales of myths and legends. What better influence could you have!

  4. Miriam, I love your Wench! And don't try to tell us that your Muse is elusive, look at the books you write!
    And now you have The King's Daughter in print, congratulations and I hope you sell a zillion copies.
    Still, my private fave will always be NĂ©el of The Comet.
    I remember wishing I had written him. A greater accolade is surely not possible.

    xoxo KATE

  5. Thanks, Sarah, Jannine and Kate. I'm glad you all stopped by. Muses are troublesome things sometimes. Mine evolved as I got older, which is why I couldn't get it all down in one post. Do you suppose she has Multiple Personality Disorder? Well, you can judge that for yourselves later.

  6. I love this, Miriam! Call her back!

  7. Rein in that muse, Miriam. Tie her in a closet. Put her feet in concrete. Staple her to your manuscript. I don't know, as lovely as you write, I'd say your muse isn't absent too often. XO, Susan

    1. Loved meeting The Wench, Miriam. I'm thinking she's still around quite a bit. :) So fascinating learning about other writer's personalities -- and those that visit them. LOL


  8. And they didn't think you were possessed and call for a Priest? You could write a middle-grade about your adventures. My muse looks like Matthew McConaughey and talks to me with his deep voice and Texas drawl. Now that's my kind of inspiration. I will be waiting for the next installment of your relationship with your muse.

  9. Thanks, Gerry, Susan, Tara and J. Boy, am I glad you could all stop in. J., I think there were those in my family who would have called for a priest and others who would have said, "Oh, leave the kid alone, she's only a Druidess." You would have to know them to understand. :) Or read the next excerpt/s. Some of the mist should clear, I hope.

  10. I just found your blog via the novelspot thread on facebook, and I'm so glad I did. I also love Celtic lore and history and art and music, and look forward to reading more from you!