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Musings Copyright © 1993, Joe DeRouen All rights reserved

[This article originally appeared in Lucia Chamber's Electronic magazine Smoke & Mirrors]

Where do I get my Muse? Interesting question, and one I thought I'd be able to answer easily. When Lucia Chambers asked me to write this article I never even dreamed that it would remain unwritten til just a few days before the deadline.

I guess my Muse is hiding.

Where do I get my muse? That's a hard question. It's not like "Where do you get your socks?" You can answer that one easily enough, and still have time for brunch. My muse doesn't come often enough for me to know when she'll be paying her respects again, let alone where she came from in the first place.

Ah, but when she does come - my muse is most definitely of the female persuasion - she strikes hard and fast. She hides in many guises, preferring to offer inspiration when it's least expected. Often, too, when it's least convenient.

She comes to me in different forms, in different ways, whispering sweet hints of a long-forgotten song, or dancing across my mind's eye in the flash of an instant. Unfortunately, she's usually whispering in Greek and often whilst dancing across my mind's eye, she steps on my nose.

More than once, in a fit of uncontrollable sneezing, I've scared my muse away. It's just as well, anyway; my Greek phrasebook rarely if ever is of any help, and by the time I *do* manage to decipher exactly what it is she's saying, she's off doing other things.

And how do I know that my muse is a she, you might ask? Simple: who else but a woman could tantalize you by revealing only bits and pieces of herself, yank it all away in an instant, and leave you wanting for more? Who else could drive you to stay up half the night putting words to an electronic screen, just waiting for the ones that work? Indeed, I have no doubt that my Muse is of the fairer sex. For a final bit of proof, I offer you this: who but a woman could take you to the edge, make you think that she's finally come, only to leave you with the knowledge that it was all a fake?

Talk about my Muse coming when it's least convenient. She just came, inspiring me to write the chauvinistic, risque' bit of drivel you just read. But what else can I do? To paraphrase an old saying, "My Muse made me do it."

Whatever problems she causes - she's caused several near wrecks, for example, as I searched furtively for a pad and paper and failed to remember that I was in my car at the time - I wouldn't trade her for anything. Without her.. I couldn't be me.

But that still doesn't explain where my Muse actually comes from, does it? I suppose that's because I don't really know. She's told me so many conflicting stories that I can't even begin to sort out the truth. For all I know, she really *could* be the reincarnation of Elvis. Stranger things have happened, for my Muse and me.

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