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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer) (05/20/10)

TITLE: The Irish Muse
By Gregory Kane
~6th Place


"Top of t'e mornin' to you. T'e name is Seamus and ’tis a pleasure to be conversin' wit' a gentleman such as yourself. I've only just got rid me last client. When she hurled her notebook on t'e glowin' embers, I cried till me cheeks were as wet as t'e Liffey in springtime. T'e old dear just couldn’t string two sentences together, somet'ing t'at made me job as a muse just a tad difficult.

"Let me tell you one t'ing t'at really gets me goat. Back in t'e old days when people cottoned on t'at it was t'e faerie people who inspired writers, t'ey always pictured us muses as beautiful women. Now is t'at sexist or what? It was t'e same wit' t'at awful film wit' Sharon Stone. But fact is stranger t'an fiction, don't t'ey say. Take Shakespeare for example. His muse was a weaselly old geezer wit' a crooked back and one leg t'icker t'an t'e ot'er. But boy could he dream up incredible story lines. ’Tis no wonder t'at t'e Bard penned nigh on 40 plays in his lifetime. Forget about blamin' Christopher Marlow. ’Twas a irritable old codger named Pugmore Smugbreath who was responsible.

"Now I wouldn’t want you t'inkin t'at we muses can take all t'e credit. ’Tis more of an inspirational role, sort of like plantin' ideas and possibilities in our clients’ minds. T'e hard slog of puttin' it all down on paper is up to t'e writer. T'e Chief, he doesn’t like us to interfere too much. Creativity is his gift to menfolk and sure if he doesn’t enjoy t'em conjurin' up worlds and adventures out of t'in air. Not t'at he objects to our givin' t'e odd nudge now and again.

"Not all muses are t'e same, you know. Some are downright wicked. And don’t go gettin' me started on t'e drivel t'at comes out of Hollywood. But if you ask me, you can’t beat a muse from t'e old turf, particularly one who’s had t'e good fortune to kiss t'e Blarney stone. I spent a pleasant fifty years assistin' Oscar Wilde. Do you remember t'at one about t'e handbag and t'e lost baby named Ernest? T'at was one of our more popular collaborations. But me personal favourite was t'e Picture of Dorian Gray. Poor Oscar may have got up to some right peculiar antics, but once you got him pointed in t'e right direction wit' a story, t'ere was no stoppin' t'e boy.

"Me friend Rory was muse to Clive Staples Lewis. You know, t'e fellow who wrote about talkin' lions and quill-wieldin' demons. Our Rory was dancin' a right merry jig t'e night CS upped and repented. T'ere’s not'in quite like workin' as a muse for someone whose writin' pleases t'e Chief. T'at was part o' t'e problem wit' me last assignment. Bridget Finegal, she was called. Lovely woman, heart of gold, wouldn’t say boo to a goose, not t'at we got too many geese round her part o' Drogheda, but t'at’s gettin' off t'e point somewhat. T'e t'ing was t'at Bridget was convinced t'e Chief wanted her to write poetry to help ot'er people believe in him.

"I must have given t'at woman more t'an t'ree hundred ideas for decent, upliftin' poetry. But Bridget’s only literary skill lay in manglin' t'e English language. Here’s an example of one of her better verses, but just don’t go holdin' me responsible:

A dappled donkey carried the Lord on its back
To die a dreadful death upon the cross;
The day turned black, the sheep did quail and the ducks all quacked,
And a centurion believed while sat on his horse.

"T'at’s when I finally decided to block her. T'ere was no chance t'is side of eternity of Bridget producin' anyt'ing faintly intelligible and besides she was doin' me head in. So for five long months I distracted her mercilessly. Every time an interestin' idea seized her, I snatched it away. I bombarded her mind instead wit' t'oughts of pizza and television and chocolate. Especially chocolate. At long last Bridget chucked her fountain pen in t'e bin and consigned her notebook to t'e fire, leavin' me free to take up a new client. Which brings us back to yourself, sir. I understand you’re t'inkin about a screenplay. It just so happens I have t'e perfect storyline for you. ’Tis about t'is jolly wee fellow called Seamus from t'e Emerald Isle..."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Francy Judge 05/30/10
I enjoyed your fun tale--a creative way of looking at writer's block.
Lollie Hofer06/02/10
I had trouble reading the story until I read it outloud and then it flowed smoothly. I read it to my granddaughter and she enjoyed it as well. What a delightful tale. Good take on this week's challenge.
Kimberly Russell06/02/10
I found the "accent writing" a bit distracting but I admire your attempt. I would have like the story simplified with just sprinkles but nicely done.
Karen Rice06/02/10
I loved the personalization of the muse, both of old and modern, streetwise and savy. What a smart idea!
Rachel Phelps06/02/10
I loved the dialect, although my eyes had trouble sticking with it. Perhaps smaller paragraphs, or just a suggestion of dialect would have improved it. On the other hand, I am in awe of your mastery of the tricky Irish way o' speakin'. Great characterization!
Ann Grover06/02/10
Wonderful! I loved every word.

(I've been wondering what the voices in my head are ... now, I know it's Seamus, Rory, and Co.)
Mona Purvis06/02/10
I love the Irish, so it goes to reason this was just up my alley. This is a difficult pattern to express and sound genuine as this does.

Susan Montaperto06/02/10
Quite an interestin' take on inspiration/writers block. It did take me a minute or so to get the "hang" of the accent, but then I really enjoyed the whole effect on the story. Keep writing.
Carol Penhorwood 06/03/10
Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed this. I personally didn't think the accent was overdone at all. Congratulations on your placement!
Rachel Phelps06/03/10
Congrats on your EC! This story is awesome.
Beth LaBuff 06/04/10
Your lilt is firmly ingrained in my brain. :) This is so creative! Congrats on your level award AND editor's choice! :)