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Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer)( 05/20/10)
The Irish Muse
By Gregory Kane
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"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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