Archive for 'muse'



Where do babies come from?
by Jessa Slade on December 15th, 2008

Currently working on: Cover copy for SEDUCED
BY SHADOWS — Look, ma! It’s a book!
Mood: Obsessively perfectionist

Where do ideas come from?  If authors sometimes refer to their books as their children, for me, the answer to where ideas come from is as simple and boring as the 20-page picture book I read that was supposed to answer the perennial childhood question, Where do babies come from?  All I remember was the sentence: “The egg is no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence.”  And it wasn’t really a large font size.

Scientifically unverified reasons it’s likely my “ideas” are actually just eggs:

  • It seems they come from somewhere inside me
  • They start out small and unformed and more than a little alien-like
  • I break a lot of them in the course of half-baking them
  • My job is to hatch them, raise them up and let them fly

Now that I review my list, my ideas are really less like children and more like chickens.  Have you ever watched chickens?  They’ll wander, clucking to themselves, rather aimless.  Then all of a sudden, they’ll freak and scramble with sudden (if often obscure) purpose.  My ideas work like that too.  And come to think of it, my handwriting bears a striking resemblance to their footprints…

The chicken as Muse.  Sigh.  But you take inspiration where you can find it.

[If you're still looking for the perfect Christmas gift, you could do worse than a Mike the Headless Chicken t-shirt.  I'm just saying.]

Could I wish for a more noble, more coherent symbolic source of ideas than a headless chicken?  No doubt.  But if babies come from cabbage patches and storks — not to mention the periods at the ends of sentences — why not ideas from chickens?

Who — or what — does your muse look like?

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