I’m still at Disneyland, so I have another guest joining us today. This is the second installment of a new feature here on my blog: Interview with a…Muse (because interviewing our characters is just too sane). After I had so much fun with my Do You Have a Muse? post, I wanted to see who else might share my insanity.
Last time, we interviewed J.A. Paul and his muse, and today we’re checking in with Rachel Firasek and her… Well, she doesn’t call it a muse, but why don’t we be the judge of that.
Tickling My Muse
Jami’s on vacation and she’s allowed the madness to take over. I hope she can pull everything back under control when she returns. I’d like to discuss with you a growing problem in the writing community. That’s right, the ever-present muse. Now, I’ll be the first to wave my hand and declare that I’m lacking a muse, but that’s not altogether true.
I don’t suffer from a gorgeous woman wrapped in a toga, quoting inspirations from the corner of my desk. I don’t suffer from a hot nymph waiting to feed me stories while massaging my feet and calves. But I do suffer from a reflection. That’s right. I’m my own muse.
Rachel, you’ve lost your mind—I know that’s what you’re saying. It’s true, I probably have, but I’ve never had a creative muse. I suffer from a split personality (or alter ego, as I like to call it). My hubs has threatened to lock me up in one of the old Victorian asylums I’m so enamored with, but he likes his bedmate too much. *grin*
I thought I’d demonstrate how my alter ego and I work out a scene that’s not quite right. This is a piece from a new YA I’m working on. This is my first attempt at a YA, so be kind. Now, under each line, I’ll let you see how my “muse” alter ego and I fight it out—her name is Alana, by the way.
The wooden handle of the fan brush warmed my fingers, poised over the canvas, waiting for the final stroke to complete the portrait, when the sharp cry of my father’s voice broke my concentration and the brush’s red slash ruined the masterpiece.
Rachel: I like this. I think it has the picture created well.
Alana: Really, you do? Really? How can a wooden handle poise over a canvas? Wouldn’t your hand poise? Not the paintbrush?
Rachel: Well, crap, can’t you let me have a little poetic license?
Alana: That’s not poetic; it’s just crappy and lazy writing.
“Ambryn Marie Ranky, you get your scrawny ass in here.” His call was muffled by the thin door. The towel shoved beneath it didn’t even conceal his derogatory comments or the slur that mutated my name.
Alana: This is full of bad writing. Look at “was muffled.” You know better than to use passive writing.
Rachel: Well, I still have to revise this.
Alana: You wouldn’t have to revise so much if you’d write a tighter draft.
He hated the scent of my oil paints, and I did everything possible to make sure he didn’t notice me. After shoving the brushes in a can of turpentine, I wiped the remaining residue from my hands on the apron. The ties loosened with a quick swipe of my hand, and I dropped it over my favorite rocking chair. This room used to be my mother’s, so dad never came back here, but I loved it.
Rachel: This works! I like how I’ve dropped in bits of setting.
Alana: Except for it doesn’t make any sense. If she’s making sure he doesn’t notice what she’s doing, why wouldn’t she just drop everything and run to answer his call? You have a bad habit of not making sense in your first drafts. Fix, please.
(Rachel: That last line might look like she’s being pleasant, but in my mind, the words are dry and full of sarcasm.)
“I’m coming Dad.” I pulled the door open and stepped cautiously into the dim lit hallway. A hand caught the braid trailing down my back and pulled with the force of a bungee cord, yanking me up to my tiptoes. “What? Dad!” I clawed at the hand suspending me on my toes and staggered ahead of him down the hall.
Alana: This would be okay, if she didn’t ask “what” when someone’s snatching her bald-headed.
Rachel: So, you think you’d do better?
Alana: Oh, no, this is your gig. I’m just the critique. My job is to cut you down to make you great.
So, now you see my insane breakdown of my own writing. Please keep in mind the excerpt above is a first draft and nowhere near finished, but it was a good example of how I and my alter ego tear apart my works.
Before I turn the comment section over to Rachel, I think we should take a vote: Would you call Rachel’s alter ego a muse? (Why yes, I am a troublemaker. *smile*) I also want to know where to get one of those muses who offer foot massages. And now my muse is giving me the stink eye for even wondering that. *sigh* Let’s see what questions Rachel has for us…
Do you have a muse? Is your muse for creative purposes only? Does she/he or it help tear apart your work the same way mine does? Please share, I’d love to know!
Rachel Firasek’s writing career began at the impressionable age of twelve with a poem dedicated to the soldiers of Desert Storm. A dark macabre affair that earned her a publication in an anthology and many raised eyebrows from family and friends, she hid her poetry and artistic style for years…
Tucked away in the heart of Central Texas, with the loving support of her husband and three children, she dusted the cobwebs from her craft. Returning to those twisted regions of her mind, she creates dark urban fantasies and soul-searching paranormal romance.
About Piper’s Fury:
It’s an empath thing…
Using your “powers” to help the Dark Hills Police Department hunt down serial killers doesn’t leave much time for dating. Not that Piper Anast is complaining. The last thing she needs is some guy brushing up against her and pumping his pornographic thoughts into her head.
When she meets Bennett Slade, a sexy, tormented vampire, Piper stumbles headlong into a telepathic connection with his missing daughter. She can’t leave the kid to the evil surrounding her unwanted visions, nor can she resist her draw to Slade. He’s the first guy she’s been able to touch vision-free in, well, forever.
As she and Slade close in on the evil creature holding his daughter, Piper’s powers morph into a deadly fury. To save Slade’s daughter—and herself—Piper must face down demons she never knew she had and trust the one thing she keeps from everyone.