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The Care And Feeding Of Muses

Jerry Rasmussen 25 Jun 04 - 04:53 PM
Megan L 25 Jun 04 - 04:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Jun 04 - 07:32 PM
wysiwyg 25 Jun 04 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Betsy 26 Jun 04 - 11:30 AM
Megan L 26 Jun 04 - 12:37 PM
M.Ted 26 Jun 04 - 06:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Jun 04 - 08:30 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 04 - 08:37 PM
Hrothgar 27 Jun 04 - 03:22 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jun 04 - 07:40 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jun 04 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Jun 04 - 06:34 PM
Amos 27 Jun 04 - 06:48 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM
M.Ted 27 Jun 04 - 11:29 PM
Mudlark 28 Jun 04 - 12:20 AM
Roger the Skiffler 28 Jun 04 - 03:57 AM
JennyO 28 Jun 04 - 07:08 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jun 04 - 07:18 AM
George Papavgeris 28 Jun 04 - 07:48 AM
greg stephens 28 Jun 04 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,R Grieves 28 Jun 04 - 08:24 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jun 04 - 09:13 AM
greg stephens 28 Jun 04 - 09:21 AM
Vixen 28 Jun 04 - 11:26 AM
Ellenpoly 28 Jun 04 - 11:40 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jun 04 - 12:34 PM
beardedbruce 29 Jun 04 - 03:44 PM
freightdawg 29 Jun 04 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Jun 04 - 10:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jun 04 - 10:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jun 04 - 10:56 PM
freightdawg 29 Jun 04 - 11:03 PM
Vixen 30 Jun 04 - 09:48 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jun 04 - 12:21 PM
Vixen 30 Jun 04 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,MMario 30 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 04 - 02:16 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM
beardedbruce 02 Jul 04 - 06:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jul 04 - 07:12 AM
beardedbruce 02 Jul 04 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark 03 Jul 04 - 07:28 AM
matai 03 Jul 04 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Crystal 03 Jul 04 - 10:57 AM
beardedbruce 03 Jul 04 - 10:59 AM
beardedbruce 03 Jul 04 - 11:17 AM
Amos 03 Jul 04 - 12:42 PM
beardedbruce 03 Jul 04 - 12:44 PM
Megan L 03 Jul 04 - 04:29 PM
beardedbruce 03 Jul 04 - 04:32 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Jul 04 - 04:33 PM
Megan L 03 Jul 04 - 04:41 PM
Amos 03 Jul 04 - 07:12 PM
matai 04 Jul 04 - 10:15 AM
beardedbruce 04 Jul 04 - 10:18 AM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 11:40 AM
beardedbruce 04 Jul 04 - 11:47 AM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 02:20 PM
Megan L 04 Jul 04 - 02:32 PM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 02:47 PM
beardedbruce 04 Jul 04 - 02:59 PM
Megan L 04 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM
beardedbruce 04 Jul 04 - 03:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Jul 04 - 04:15 PM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 04:28 PM
Mudlark 04 Jul 04 - 05:31 PM
Amos 04 Jul 04 - 06:11 PM
matai 04 Jul 04 - 08:17 PM
Amos 05 Jul 04 - 08:21 PM
beardedbruce 07 Jul 04 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,MMario 07 Jul 04 - 08:22 AM
beardedbruce 07 Jul 04 - 08:27 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jul 04 - 08:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Jul 04 - 09:18 AM
wysiwyg 07 Jul 04 - 09:24 AM
Amos 07 Jul 04 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,MMario 07 Jul 04 - 09:31 AM
beardedbruce 07 Jul 04 - 09:32 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Jul 04 - 12:35 PM
beardedbruce 07 Jul 04 - 04:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM
beardedbruce 07 Jul 04 - 05:43 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jul 04 - 05:47 PM
Amos 07 Jul 04 - 06:49 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jul 04 - 07:08 PM
Jeri 07 Jul 04 - 10:19 PM
mg 08 Jul 04 - 01:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jul 04 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Crystal 08 Jul 04 - 06:15 AM
matai 08 Jul 04 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,MMario 08 Jul 04 - 09:58 AM
beardedbruce 12 Jul 04 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,MMario 12 Jul 04 - 08:59 AM
beardedbruce 12 Jul 04 - 09:02 AM
Jeri 12 Jul 04 - 12:58 PM
beardedbruce 12 Jul 04 - 12:59 PM
Jeri 12 Jul 04 - 01:00 PM
Jeri 12 Jul 04 - 01:01 PM
beardedbruce 12 Jul 04 - 01:22 PM
beardedbruce 16 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM
beardedbruce 16 Jul 04 - 10:25 AM
Cap't Bob 16 Jul 04 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 17 Jul 04 - 08:02 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jul 04 - 10:27 AM
beardedbruce 13 Aug 04 - 10:09 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 04 - 02:23 PM
beardedbruce 15 Aug 04 - 12:28 PM
beardedbruce 15 Aug 04 - 12:29 PM
beardedbruce 01 Sep 04 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,MMario 12 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM
beardedbruce 14 Oct 04 - 03:52 AM
George Papavgeris 14 Oct 04 - 04:06 AM
beardedbruce 14 Oct 04 - 04:08 AM
beardedbruce 14 Oct 04 - 09:01 PM
hesperis 16 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM
Genie 20 Jun 06 - 12:16 AM
CapriUni 26 Jan 07 - 05:32 PM
beardedbruce 10 Jul 07 - 10:14 AM
beardedbruce 10 Jul 07 - 10:22 AM
beardedbruce 25 Jun 12 - 08:16 AM
beardedbruce 24 May 18 - 01:35 PM
beardedbruce 24 May 18 - 01:45 PM
GUEST 24 May 18 - 08:39 PM
beardedbruce 24 May 18 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 May 18 - 02:33 AM
beardedbruce 27 May 18 - 10:13 PM
beardedbruce 29 May 18 - 08:54 AM
beardedbruce 30 May 18 - 10:08 AM
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Subject: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 04:53 PM

I started this in a songwriting thread, but thought maybe it might be better to put it in its own thread. This comes from an article I wrote many years ago.

In more genteel days, muses wore togas, played lyres and harps and struck attractive poses. Composers sat in deep thought, their fingers poised above the keyboard, and communed with their muse. They didn't have to carry out the garbage or stop their kids from dissassembling each other. Creativity was a good business to be in. While you might think that those days are gone, muses are still around if you take the time to listen to them, and for a musician, The Care And Feeding Of Muses is an essential skill.

The first thing to realize about folk muses is that they are far more liberated than any of the old Greek goddess. Because the pay is so small, it's hard to say that folk muses even work for a living. Without having to worry about record sales, they have become an independent lot. When you try to find something in common between the muses of Utah Phillips, Gordon Bok and Sally Rogers, you have to do some pretty heavy thinking. When I first went in search of my muse, he (I expect that women have female muses) responded by giving me a song. He was very explicit about his needs, in the chorus:

   And I feed my muse on rhythm and blues
   And old-time country songs
   All night talks and long, slow walks
   And playing until dawn

As a starter, any muse needs to hear a lot of music. You can't expect your muse to make up songs out of whole cloth. Muses can be very opinionated about what they want to hear, and whether you're a songwriter or play mostly traditional music, the music you play for your muse will have a lot do to with what he gives you in return. As a gesture of friendship, I made a tape for my muse a few months ago. I made sure that I included some of his favorite songs. While the choices may seem strange to someone else, he was delighted with the tape. It included everything from Not Fade Away by Buddy Holly, Let The Good Times Roll by Shirley and Lee, Muleskinner Blues by the Fendermen and Smokey, Part II by the Bill Black Combo to Country Pie/Brandenburgh Concerto #6 by the Nice, Been Here and Gone by the Insect Trust, Rider in the Rain by Randy Newman and I Must Be Dreaming by Cat Mother and the All-night Newsboys(with Jay Unger on fiddle.

More about muse tapes in the next installment.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 04:58 PM

Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. that takes a lot of feeding :)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 07:32 PM

You got all but one, Megan. You forgot Fred..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 09:37 PM

I think whether you call the Muse a part of yourself or something external--or God-- or whatever, it all comes down to the same simple thing:

TRUST THE MUSE.

Feed it what it asks for, let it rest or be active at its own whim, do what it tells you to do. Might not make sense at the time but in the end, hindsight always tells you how wise it was.

~S~


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 11:30 AM

Hiya WYSIWYG ( & Jerry ) ,
I guess Jerry started this Thread because as one recent thread "HOW do you write your songs" was starting to drift into this area of Muses.
I've written most of my thoughts in that particular thread, but your comments assure me I'm not as big a wierdo as some people in that thread believe, just because of my subscription to the idea that the Muses DO indeed exist.
In answer to How do I feed / care for the Muses – I couldn't rightly say , but I think they're occasionally coaxed when I drink Drambuie.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:37 PM

drat jerry How could i forget fred


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 06:30 PM

You're obvious lack of respect for the Muses will cost you in the long run, Jerry---your big mistake is to assume that they are genteel, they are not and never were--they are already mad because you started a thread about them without my brief and admittedly plagarized descriptions--your problem is that you neglected the classics for rock'n'roll--Better do your homework--time is wasting, and they can take cruel revenge!


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 08:30 PM

I ain't afraid a no muses:

I press onward:

After writing the first part of the article, I decided just for the fun of it to send my first Muse Food tape to some friends (whose muses probably turned up their noses at half the music on the tape): Gordon Bok, Sandy Paton, Jerry Rau and Pat Conte (Major Contay of Major Contay and the Canebrake Rattlers.) It seemed like the start of a good idea... exchanging Muse Food tapes. Just so that it's clear what a Muse Food tape isn't: it isn't a learning tape of songs that a musician would like to sing, himself. It also isn't a collection of music by people who are "important," or influential in the history of folk or pop music. Songs shouldn't be chosen to impress anyone, either. As a matter of fact, some of the songs you choose might even be an embarassment to you. Most of all, it's a tape that your muse will delight in listening to. And, the songs that you get back in return sooner or later are guaranteed not to be museless. (A real word..) Of course, one muse tape isn't enough to keep a muse happy for any period of time. They need new music and a broader range of songs than you're likely to be able to squeeze onto one tape. That's why I've made folk-rock, old-timey, rock-a-billy, contemporary folk and jazz tapes, too.

If my muse is typical, it needs kmore than music to keep it happy., and that's where the last two lines of the chorus come in... "the "all night talks," and "long slow walks" and "playing until dawn." Of all music, folk music seems the most poorly suited to exist in a formal music room on a Long Island estate. Muses need people, just as much as they do music. Many songs get their start as a natural, enthusiastic response to an all-night talk with friends. (Sometimes a long letter can generate the same reaction.) Muses don't seem capable of keeping their feelings to themselves for very long, and sometimes talking with friends is such a strong need that the instrument cases are never opened.

"Playing until dawn" is a sure-fire way to keep your muse contented. While they may not like to admit it, muses aren't nearly as creative as they'd like you to believe. They need to commune with other muses, and get new ideas. Muses can get into ruts, too. One of the great ways to rouse your muse is to play music with other musicians. That makes him stretch. For my muse, playing with old-time musicians is like eating a ten course meal. If I don't play with other musicians for a long time, my muse gets lazy and starts stealing ideas from songs he's already given me. I dn't know who he thinks he's kidding, because I can spot used inspiration as well as the next person.

That's enough for now... think I may just make a new muse tape tonight... I haven't made one for a long time... no wonder my muse has been so sullen recently.

And my muse smokes cigars, M Ted..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 08:37 PM

IMO, there needs to be a distinction between Muse, the creative force, and muse, the inspiration for one's creative work.

I have found a number of muses, who inspire me to write. They are human, and as flawed as any of us, but still the thought of them bring poetry to my mind.

My Muse remains a distinct idea, unreachable, but always there as a goal.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 03:22 AM

I thought muses were Greek, Jerry. You make them sound as though they have a very Irish attitude to the ownership of tunes.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM

Hey, you've had our Marbles, leave our Muses alone!

At this rate, having kindled the flame of civilisation, and passed it on, Greece will be left without any.

(Who turned out the lights?)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 07:40 AM

No disrespect meant to the Original, Genuoooooine Muses. I just can't relate to togas...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 09:54 AM

All kidding aside for a moment, what I REALLY believe about the whole creative process is:

Creativity is a gift. If you are secretly thinking, "Damn, I'm good!"
you're deluding yourself. Our responsibility is only to use gifts wisely.


When you receive a gift, you should thank the giver. I agree with Hirsutebruce that people are often the givers. Not just people we know, but all those who have used the gift of creativity in the past, who give us inspiration. I wrote a song about that once, with the chorus:

   "We are walking in the footsteps
    Of those who've gone on before
    And their music will go on ringing
    'Till we reach God's golden shore

But often, I can't thank a particular person for the gift of a song.
I have to look beyond that. And, for those who believe that creativity is a gift, it's up to each of us to decide who is the giver... a Greek muse, a cigar-smoking Irish muse, or God.

Some of the other lines that came out in the song about my muse are all part of the creative process for me.

Freshening the well of inspiration is central to creativity in my mind... kind of a more spiritual variation of the computer truism... "Junk in, junk out." And, if you don't continually freshen the well, it will eventually dry up. It is true that we start to plagiarize ourselves after awhile, if we don't freshen the well. Muse food tapes (jokingly) are one way... listening to music we love, whether it is a direct stimulus for creativity, or just a feeding of the creative spirit within all of us.

Playing music with others is another way of freshening the well, as is the simple connection of caring conversation. Long, slow walks are one form of quiet times... times of reflection, times of listening.

All of these things feed the creative heart.

In the long run for me, music is connection, as are all forms of art.
Music is more than creation, because creation needs to be shared. It is one of the most beautiful ways to step beyond all the barriers we set up between each other and find that common spirit that unites us all.

I know who I thank. Do you?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 06:34 PM

Nice thread Mr. Rasmussen.

From the Prologue....Henry the Fifth...





O For a Muse of Fire, that would ascend
The brightest Heauen of Inuention:
A Kingdome for a Stage, Princes to Act,
And Monarchs to behold the swelling Scene.

The flat vnraysed Spirits, that hath dar'd,
On this vnworthy Scaffold, to bring forth
So great an Obiect.

On your imaginarie Forces worke.

The perillous narrow Ocean parts asunder.
Peece out our imperfections with your thoughts

Into a thousand parts diuide one Man

Carry them here and there: Iumping o're Times;
Turning th' accomplishment of many yeeres
Into an Howre-glasse.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle



That's Willie's spelling not mine.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 06:48 PM

With spelling modernized and omitted bits included:

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!


Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment.  But pardon, gentles all,


The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram


Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;


And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 11:02 PM

Jerry:

Hear, hear!

Excellent post! I agree entirely.

I find that I write (poetry) to a specific person: That is my muse.

I do not feel that i an so much creating it, as writing down what has been given me. Perhaps all have muses whispering to them- the trick seems to be to listen, and catch what they give.

9-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 11:29 PM

I think, all kidding aside, that the key is to keeping your work honest--which is to say, to make your creations the best embodiment of your own vision that you can manage--not warmed over imitations of somebody else, or, even worse, warmed over imitations of yourself--


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:20 AM

I am grateful to all who have given me music I enjoy, whether in person or via tapes and CD's. Altho in person is the most exciting, all are stimulating... But even creativity outside music stirs me. Looking at brilliantly conceived and executed wooden creatures from Mexico inspired me to a whole line of pots that, on the surface had no connection. And often making pots ispired me to song. I know my Muse is present when I see or hear something that not only pleases me but resonates so strongly I feel compelled to respond, a sort of giving back, so to speak.

Thanks, Gargoyle and Amos for the great S'peare lines.

And altho I agree with 99% of all you say, Jerry, I do take exception to not allowing for at least a little of that "damn, I'm good" feeling. It comes to me rarely, never stays long, but while I'm in the zone, whether I'm making pots, music, an inspired spaghetti or bringing off a good piece of writing, it's a great feeling, and to me, transends simple ego...when I feel that good, the rest of the world is that good, too.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 03:57 AM

Togas schmogas, that wuz de Romans. Ancient Greeks wore chitons, I believe!
(Modern Greeks still worship Nike!)

RtS
("We are not amused")


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 07:08 AM

I thort chitons were little sea-creatures - molluscs I believe.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 07:18 AM

Hey, Mudlark:

Yes of course, you are right. We all have brains, and we can't help but notice when we've created something beautiful. I guess the way I would describe it is that I think, "Damn, that was good!".. and I feel a deep sense of thanksgiving, and humility. It's not so much an ego thing as a recognition that I have just been used to produce something beautiful. I think that's what bruce is feeling. There are times when I'm singing that I almost have an out-of-body experience, where I am standing next to myself, when I realize that something far more powerful and universal than my own limited abilities is moving in me. When we have that feeling, it's something that we don't ever want to end, because it is so powerful.

And bruce... there are so many examples of songs that have flowed through me as a direct result of the enjoyment of being with friends.
Sometimes, I feel more like a recording secretary than the creator.
Many years ago, I'd had an especially joyful night playing music at Sandy & Caroline Paton's. We'd been up recording until early in the morning with friends, and I was the first one up. I wandered downstairs to the living room, and the instruments were still leaning against the wall. And one of the verses to a new song just came tumbling out:

   Downstairs, no one is waking
   Though the clock on the wall says a quartet to eight
   And the banjos and fiddles still lean by the wall
   With songs of their own that just wait to be played
   And it's almost like being back home

Many years ago when my youngest sister was really suffering, the words came flowing out.. the chorus to a song:

   God rest those who find mercy in sleep
   All those who sow, who never will reap
   All those who search, who never find peace
   May they find rest tonight

You're right, too, Mudlark... inspiration often comes from other forms of creativity... a movie can inspire a song, or a poem... a painting can inspire a sculpture.

Perhaps the true muse is just the experience of life.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 07:48 AM

Good thread, Jerry. But I do have a problem with its title, because it implies that we can "control" the creative process - which I, for one, am totally unable to. The best output gives me a feeling of "who opened the window and let that one in?" - it feels like someone else created it, and I was just the tool, the medium.

Am I grateful? YES, definitely! You cannot possibly imagine how much (well, perhaps you can...). It gives meaning to a life to create something that gives pleasure to others while expressing your soul.

Proud? No, definitely not - because they don't feel "mine". I have a theory: Songs (and music, and poems etc) exist "in potential"; they pre-exist, if you like. Now and then, someone, somehow is attuned enough to recognise them and give them physical/aural form. They are just the channel, not the creator.

Having said that, I made sure to register the copyright ;-)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 08:01 AM

Definitely not togas Jerry. Those are great blanket things that Julius Caesar and Cato and Nero wear when making pompous speeches in the Senate. Muses wear cute little flimsy dresses like Isadora Duncan danced in. Plenty of leg showing, and when they are jumping about with the sun behind them you can see all their....you know what I'm talking about Jerry boy, even if you're not allowed to think about it.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,R Grieves
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 08:24 AM

All Whores, Madonna's and Hags.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:13 AM

I think the term is diaphonous, Greg. Definitely inspirational.

The "Care and Feeding" is different than controlling, El Greko. The things I referred to earlier in this thread: listening to music, (and enjoying all creative arts), sharing conversations with friends, playing music together and taking the time for quiet reflection and listening all are part of "feeding" my muse. Many wonderful, creative artists find that discipline and working at their art every day is the most productive way for them to create. I am just the opposite. Sitting down every day to write songs would never work for me. My songwriting is a response to fully living each day, as best I can. I can't "control" the creative process. But, I can respond to it, work with it, and be a co-creator. I just don't seem to have the ability to make it happen on my own.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:21 AM

Diaphanous, that's the word exactly Jerry. just take a little time for some quiet calm reflection looking at them darling little muses dancing around in diaphanous dresses and you'll soon feel that old inspiration stirring.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Vixen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:26 AM

Listen, listen, listen, write, write, write, play, play, play.

My Muse spends a lot of time frustrated because I'm just not physically doing what she wants. I do it all as much as possible, and I muse a lot when I'm doing things on automatic pilot.

I always say thank you...I feel an overwhelming gratitude and humility when I produce something that effectively expresses my ideas and emotions in such a way that someone else can recognize and understand them.

Great thread. I like Gerry's Muse Food idea--tapes, places, smells, all sorts of things can work--I'm thinking now about ice cream.

V


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:40 AM

I'm afraid my muse went on a long holiday and forgot my address.

I still hope she'll be back someday because we had some grand times together.

Be kind to your muses, folks. They may only visit for short whiles.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:34 PM

I'd be happy to loan you mine, Ellenpoly, but I think he's a one man muse..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 03:44 PM

One's muses come and go, but when they give,
All one can do is hold the words, and pray
That they will come again. We let dreams live,
In hope that muse might find reason to stay.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: freightdawg
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 07:13 PM

Just a question, Jerry. You advocate feeding your muse with a lot of other music (the results of the muse' predecessors). However, I remember hearing an interview with Paul McCartney and he was asked who his favorite classical composer was. McCartney responded that he never listened to classical music, for fear that what he heard would subconsciously come out in a piece that he was creating. He said that as he tended to write less and less he wanted to begin listening to classical music.

So my question is this: how do we keep our muse from stealing the work of another muse, and then sticking the thought in our mind? In addition to being somewhat fickle, they tend to be equally shifty and mischievious. Also, how do we get our muse to multi-task? Mine seems to provide only poetry, or seminal lyrics, but he (or she, I'm not quite sure of the gender of my muse) appears to be bereft of any compositional skills whatsoever. Is there a way that one's muse can network with, say, the muse of Paul McCartney? And what of the muse of those dearly departed? I think of the muse of Jim Croce, or John Denver, Marty Robbins, etc. Surely their work was not complete. Are they in a retirement home for muses? How might we coax them into coming out of retirement?

Eagerly awaiting your muse-inspired response.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:40 PM

Good Friends

Good Books

Good Golly-Miss-Molly

They have all contributed

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:47 PM

Hey, Freight:

People what makes money out of music are sometimes driven to lead very restrictive lives as far as the music they listen to. Many years ago, the Patons tried to get a couple of my songs into the ears of Willie Nelson and Don Williams. As it turned out, from what I remember, Willie has to be careful about what he listens to, just for fear that he will subconsciously fold a line or a chord progression from someone else's song into one he has written. Certainly George Harrison, among others paid a price for "borrowing" (consciously or subconsciously) a melody from someone else.

I find, much to my amusement that, long after I've written an "original" song, that there are similarities to other existing songs that I've heard. I think that's all right. I never intentionally swipe someone else's melody (well, once I used a traditional melody... of Will The Circle Be Unbroken, in a song that I wrote honoring the songs that came before us. Fortunately, it never made a penny for me, so no one thought to sue me.

As for multi-tasking, most muses seem to have a fairly narrow focus to their strengths. That's why it's best not to buy an album of standards sung by Bill Cosby or William Shatner. A wonderful jazz guitarist I came to know, Sal Salvadore said once that "a musician's style is the summation of his limitations." He made the comment referring to Tal Farlow's limitations as a jazz guitarist. Tal was one of the finest, most creative jazz guitarists to ever live, and yet he worked within his own limitations. We should have such limitations. I can write song lyrics, but only within the framework of a melody, chord progression and rhythm. A friend once got up on stage and read the lyrics to a couple of my songs as if they were poetry. I thought they sounded phenomenally weak as poetry. That's why I am always a little hesitant to share lyrics to songs without the music. They always sound naked to me.

Maybe the greatest blessing is to recognize your limitations, and play to your strengths.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:56 PM

You said it all, Gargoyle. Gotta give credit where cerdit is due.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: freightdawg
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:03 PM

Well said, and much appreciated.

I really like what BeardedBruce, El Greko and Vixen had to say about creativity vs. just capturing what has been given to us, and the sense of awe at just being a part of the process. It really is a gift, if it were anything else then anyone and everyone could apply a formula and come out with a song.

All praise to the muses, in all their multi-faceted glory.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Vixen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 09:48 AM

I've been thinking more about this idea about the care and feeding of muses...probably because I'm in a really creative streak (for me) right now.

In addition to listening, writing, and playing, here are three other things that seem to stimulate MY Muse (YOUR Muses, of course, will no doubt have other stimulants!)

1. Stress: if I have too much to do and think about, that's when my Muse is most productive.

2. New Instruments: my Muse seems to get lots of ideas when I'm noodling around making noises on instruments I have no idea how to play.

3. Sleep: I keep a pad and pen near the bed, and I have taught myself how to write legibly in the dark, because my Muse often comes up with really good ideas when I'm dozing off or waking up. Sometimes ideas are presented to me in dreams--I got one whole song (5 verses, chorus, and melody) that way. As an aside, does anybody know why I can play both the guitar and the pennywhistle flawlessly in my dreams, adding embellishments at will, when in real life I don't even come close to that standard of proficiency? Most frustrating!

My $0.02--your mileage, of course, may vary!

V


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 12:21 PM

Hey, Vixen:

Your muse must work the night shift. Mine often does, too. I've received verses, choruses, sometimes just a provactive line in dreams.
I don't take credit for them. One night, after I'd just sung at a nursing home and was deeply moved by a woman who was totally paralyzed except for one finger she could tap in rhythm to the songs, I awakened with the line:

"And somewhere inside her, there's still that young girl with a tortoise shell comb in her hair."

I have no idea where that came from, but I tried to go back to sleep to see what else was in there. I ended up getting most of the rest of the song, floating between sleep and awakening.

Stress certainly can produce art. I started another thread a while back challenging the concept that art is ONLY produced because of stress and misery. Stress can arouse the sleeping muse, just as joy can. Even contentment(which is usually denigrated as being a second-rate state of being.)

I'm pleased that so many people recognize creativity is a gift. Some people confuse creativity with craftsmanship. They aren't the same. Craftsmanship (or craftswomanship) is what you do with creativity.

And why is it called Animal husbandry and not Animal Wifeandry?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Vixen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 01:41 PM

Dear Jerry--

We've met at Branford and other places, but I don't know if you'd remember me. This is a really interesting discussion...

I hear what you're saying about stress and misery--I've gotten some good material from being "in the pits". But I've also found that just general stress can stimulate my Muse. At the moment, I'm planning my wedding (10 July) and trying to get all the loose ends wrapped up at work before vacation starts (2 July) and Tim and I just got back from camping at Old Songs, which was relaxing and fun, but involved a lot of effort. All of this is very positive stress, no "blues" or misery about it. And with all of that going on, in the last two weeks my Muse has produced 3 new songs for me to work on. Sometimes I'll go a whole year with only 3 new songs to work on.

Another thing that puzzles me about my Muse is that I don't listen to much gospel (just what I absorb second-hand through bluegrass) and I'm not a "religious" person (though I consider myself "spiritually oriented"). I don't go to church, or revival meetings. I don't come from a family tradition that included gospel. Nevertheless, my Muse likes to produce gospel music. Now where does THAT come from?

I find the entire process inscrutable, mysterious, and wholly ethereal...I am humbled to be a part of it, and understand why Biblical authors believed they were writing the words of the divine. I truly feel that the songs, stories, prose and poetry I produce come from somewhere other than inside me.

V


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM

sidetracking a moment - it is animal husbandry rather then Wifandry due to it being "husband" as in "to conserve or to care for".


re: muses - keeping with the "care and feeding" metaphor (allegory? I always did confuse those two)- you shouldn't keep your muse confined - the majority of muses prefer to roam in many directions - though most ultimatley return to a preferred locale.   Some will tend to strike out primarily in one direction - but often produce their best when going in a totally different direction.

To cage one's muse is like trying to chain a dragon to toast your bread.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 02:16 PM

Here's a link to a brief recent discussion regarding the muse Erato. Poem included.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=71080

SRS


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

Getting married... Aye... there's some stress for you! Congratulations, Vixen and Tim.

As for producing gospel songs and not feeling "religious," that's not so surprising, I guess. As long as you allow mystery in your life, Vixen, your heart will be open to all things spiritual, no matter what label we apply to them. I think that it's acknowledging that there is something beyond our understanding working in our lives that makes us open to creativity. I've had a couple of long discussions with my younger son recently about changes I see happening in his life. He is agnostic, so he was asking me what I meant when I said that I felt that the Lord was leading me, or showing me something.
No burning bushes.. or Bushes, even. I put it all in the area of "Something tells me." Everyone has used that phrase, not necessarily meaning that there is a Capital "S" something out there. It's just a recognition that there are things afoot that we sense (and then try to make sense out of.) That holds true with creativity and spirituality. I have good friends who are Atheists who sing a lot of gospel. They'd probably say that it's because they like the harmonies and choruses, and that may well be true. But, for a lot of people, there's something more than meets the eye.

As Iris DeMent said, she'd like to Let The Mystery Be. It's good to acknowledge it, though..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 06:41 AM

Sonnet 30/06/04    On Muses               CMXX

One's Muses come and go, but when they give,
All one can do is hold the words, and pray
That they will come again. We let dreams live
In hope that Muse might find reason to stay.
What is the reason Muse offers such gem
That we would sell our souls to keep their gift?
Is it just chance, or does their givimg stem
From higher purpose, to other souls lift?
Our Muses give us power to share dreams
And tell of heart's desires. But, should we seek
To claim words inspired as our own? Such seems
Ungrateful, to not of thanks for gift speak.
Can any of us say "This work is mine.",
And not admit some part might be divine?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 07:12 AM

That's wonderful, bruce!

My sentiments, exactly. Funny thing is, there's something very releasing about accepting that creativity is a gift. It releases you from all the comparing that artists are prone to do. That's something I talk about often with my quartet. A couple of the less secure members of the group can get very tense when we sing at a program or festival where several other groups are singing? What if we screw up a song? Are we as good as the other groups? What will people think of us. Like all the other guys, I don't want to blow a song (although EVERYONE does from time to time.) But, if you accept that creativity is a gift, and that each of us is gifted in their own unique way, then it's foolish to compare your gift to someone else's. We used to do that when we were kids, at Christmas, but we should long ago have outgrown that.

When my group is learning a new song, the person who is singing lead always seems to end up comparing themselves to the lead singer on the recording (when we're learning it from a recording.) Invariably, they
measure themselves against the original recording, and feel insecure because they aren't doing it "as good as" the recording. My attitude is that we can't do it the same way as the recording, or anyone else, because we have different gifts. But, it works both ways. Right now, I'm learning a lead on a song for the Men's Chorus I sing in. The woman who sings the lead on the recording I have is a real powerhouse... like Etta James, for those who like blues/jazz/soul. I could never sing it like Etta, but then Etta could never sing like I do.

Gifts is gifts. Best not to compare yours with anyone else's. As Sly said,

Different Strokes For Different Folks.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 11:37 AM

Vixen,

I have to keep a notebook by my bed, as well, Some of my "best" thoughts come at either the start, or end of the day- when I am at the point of falling asleep, or waking up. Perhaps that is when I can best hear my muse.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 07:28 AM

I wrote this poem in 2001, after a friend asked if I'd ever written a song or poem to my muse.

The Muse

She speaks to me from shadows in the corners
Her voice is like the sound of running water
She walks among the celebrants and mourners
And chooses those who have, and haven't sought her

She speaks in tiny whispers when I seek her
And then, when I do not, her voice is thunder!
And sometimes. if I've nerve to dare bespeak her
She will not let me rest nor pause to wonder

Once inspiration strikes I'm at her mercy
I cannot fight it, that would lead to madness
But if I let her use my hands, let her see
Through my eyes, I can gain relief from sadness

For, once I let her take me, I'm transported
Into a world where music flows like velvet
I sometimes feel as though I'm being courted
By creatures of some breed I cannot tell yet

'til, caught within their claws, I am enraptured
By visions and by rythmns from the darkness
And swiftly, I forget that I've been captured
As, straining, I can almost hear...Oh! Hark! Yes!

The words are clear and pure, their meaning faultless
I strive to write them down before they scatter
Before she drops me back into that haltness,
That fog which usu'lly clouds my grey matter

I know some think she uses me unfairly
In fact, I've heard it said that she's a 'Muther'!
And oft I think that I survive just barely
But still, she is my muse, I'd have no other.


I think she thrives on depression. Most of the best stuff that I've written has come from depression and pain. When I feel her touch, the best thing I can do is grab pen and paper, and get out of the way.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: matai
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 07:55 AM

I am amused and musing upon your musings about the muse but sigh sadly because after twenty years of a constant stream of writing in response to my muse she seems to have taken a trip overseas. Do I go in search of her or wait for her to come back?
In recent times my mother who has declined into a delusional state has replaced former muses and dominated my thoughts and the writing that has come out of it. Now she has been incarcerated in a rest-home by the Mental Health authorities for her own safety her muse status in my creativity has also disappeared. So I am museless. Sadly nothing new is being written. All my gigs are based on past stuff. For the first time in my life my creativity is totally stuck. The only positive thing I can see in this is that I can only spend the time recording/publishing all that I have gathered together. But I do so miss having a muse. I feel quite bereft.
Matai


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 10:57 AM

My Muse isn't very musical, she forces me to write pages of bad fan fiction insted. I think she hates me.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 10:59 AM

Matai,

One cannot search to find one's Muse- but one might wander, looking at the world with open eyes, and perhaps the Muse will find one again, at some point when the thought of Muse has been forgotten in wonder at what one has found.

In times of absent Muse, I have found that ( for poetry) reading the works of others has been of some use. It seems to get the words moving in my thoughts, and perhaps that attracts the Muse. Sometimes I reread my old verse- proofing is always a good thing, given my skill ( or lack thereof) in typing. I think music might be the similar- Jerry?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 11:17 AM

Mudlark,

From your earlier post:
"but resonates so strongly I feel compelled to respond, a sort of giving back, "

I think this is a perfect description. This is exactly what I feel, when I am talking with my muse ( lowercase) and find that some lines of verse have formed in my mind. I find I have little control over it- it pours through me, as well as out onto the page.

GUEST, Crystal,

I do not know if Muses hate, or just ignore those they dislike. I would like to think that your Muse is being heard imperfectly- One does have to provide the craft to contain the creativity. The Muse provides the spark- but the person is required to supply the wood ( or coal...) for the fire, to forge out a work, be it song, or poem, or prose. IMHO, of course.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 12:42 PM

I think projecting one's creative power into the form of a female spirit who comes and goes and has attitudes is kind of like forming a religion based on an image of God as an old white guy with a beard who delegates your responsibility to others. Kinda cuckoo.


A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 12:44 PM

Amos,

So, how do you account for inspiration?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 04:29 PM

ALRIGHT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH would the person who has been feeding my muse please stop it and send the little bissm home, my keyboard is missing him :)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 04:32 PM

MeganL,

Can you describe your missing muse? Maybe we can locate him- put a picyure on milk cartons, post signs around town...

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 04:33 PM

An old bearded white guy who delegates your responsibility to others?

Never heard of the guy..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 04:41 PM

Jerry wasn't he meaning that wierd guy on the coke adverts :)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 07:12 PM

The one last seen on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

Anyway, inspiration is what you allow yourself to reconnect with when it is "safe". Some people are better at getting back into that mind set than others, but it has to do with how much one owns or rejects the ownership of his own nature and his own mind.

A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: matai
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 10:15 AM

I must say I do like the idea of being hated by my muse. I think if my muse hated me she would be saying....'you are wasting your time, there is no money in this kind of work, get a real job, especially if it's poetry, no one wants to listen to poetry, well only weirdos, depressives, drunks and why do you want to waste your time with those sorts of people when you could be doing something really constructive in the world like'.....Ha. She couldn't think of anything. Yes if I had a muse right now she would be angry and that's what she'd be saying. Thanks crystal, you have helped me clarify something. Now all I need to do is find out where my muse is hiding and why she is so angry with me....

Matai


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 10:18 AM

That may very well be how one connects with inspiration, but where does the inspiration come from? I think that is the topic- and not having an answer, human beings usually try to put a human face on it. I do not believe that this means we can visualize a specific person, with specific physical attributes, but that it becomes convenient to speak of the Muse as a person. On the other hand, as I have stated earlier, I have found muses ( note lower case), who are individuals that the thought of, or conversation with, has given me inspiration.
Perhaps for some it is the sea, or woods, or mountains. Each of us finds inspiration where we can.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 11:40 AM

Creation doesn't "come from" somewhere. It is what you bring into being from nothingness, an act of aware will, POW! That's where inspiration comes from. Hooking up with enough of your lost, scattered, disconnected, discombobulated, or denied bits of awareness to bring some back together again with a rush of accompanying energy, a proper Shazaam of the soul. Why go around painting yourself as another power?

A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 11:47 AM

and if I choose to call my "lost, scattered, disconnected, discombobulated, or denied bits of awareness" the Muse, to make conversation about the creative process easier, what is the harm?

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 02:20 PM

Well, the problem comes in when you start believing you are not the source of something you are in fact the source of. Buying deep and intimate falsehoods about your own nature will tend to cripple you spiritually.

If you're just calling it that for a lark, no harm I can see.


A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 02:32 PM

Amos my dear stop being a grumpy auld bissim theres enough of them around here.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 02:47 PM

No grump, intended, Megan!! I do get a bit sticky about a small handful of issues, I admit...sorry if it sobered things overmuch! :>)


A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 02:59 PM

Amos,

OK, now can you tell us how you go about "Hooking up with enough of your lost, scattered, disconnected, discombobulated, or denied bits of awareness to bring some back together again with a rush of accompanying energy, a proper Shazaam of the soul. " ?

This is a serious question- this thread is looking for ways to access one's inspiration, regardless of the terminology one chooses to use to describ it.



" inspiration is what you allow yourself to reconnect with when it is "safe". Some people are better at getting back into that mind set than others, but it has to do with how much one owns or rejects the ownership of his own nature and his own mind. "

Any suggestions as to how to get into that mindset? A number of people here and on the "How do you write your songs" thread ( myself included) have mentioned that it seems easier when one is half-asleep ( waking or going to sleep). Should we be talking about cross-connecting with the subconcious? Or unconcious?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Megan L
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM

Ach Amos yer nae sae bad as grumpy auld bissims go mind you thon beardie fella is catching us up pretty quick :)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM

Well there's the point. What is "sub"-conscious in my experience is just as likely to be banished consciousness; I doubnt there is some organic threshold with lots of thoughts running around below it, or some such. But there are lots of viewpoints we hold -- poetic or otherwise, creative or destructive -- that for one or another reason we decide to disavow. Often this is because the viewpoint necessary to think them is of a degree of sensitivity we decide we cannot sustain, and therefore have to shut them off.

Suggestions? Learn to meditate, first in quietude and isolation, and eventually integrate the abilities thus acquired so that you can practice "walking meditation", an always-on connection integrating your own highest self with your own ordinary activities. Learn to know you are the author and also thehandmaiden of any inspiration and find for yourself the frame of mind or the chains of thought that tend to bring it about.

This is not ducking the question but it should be clear that a rigid formulaic approach is least likely to match the way in which one or another individual has constructed their universe.

The best approach is "ass-in-chair" time, spent intentionally writing anything at all, opening the rivers of creative exercise and wit.

There is a book I would also recommend, called "The Artist's Way" which provides lots of exercises in exactly these directions.

A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 03:18 PM

Thanks!

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 04:15 PM

Perhaps you should start another thread, Amos?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 04:28 PM

I will say this, Jerry -- you started a real live one here!! Good thread!


A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Mudlark
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 05:31 PM

I agree that the "ass-in-chair" mode is the best way to access inspiration. External input can be helpful, even inspirational, but day in, day out, just doing whatever it is you want inspiration for, while not so romantic as a visitation by the/a/one's muse, is the best way I've found to surprise myself out of the mundane. I think my own bigest inspiration gag is the fact that I tend to lose confidence in my abilities: for some (often not very obvious) reason I will begin to think my voice is not worthy of the music I love to sing, or that while the last article I wrote was pretty good, I'll never be able to write another. I can almost always get past this type of stopper with the ass-in-chair routine. I suppose that's why the discipline of daily writing, or practicing an instrument, or whatever, is so important to growth and fulfillment of the creative process.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 06:11 PM

Jerry:

We cross posted just up-thread -- sorry. I don't think I need to start another thread but if you do, please tell me -- glad to help out.

A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: matai
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 08:17 PM

So what i'm hearing is that the muse is not a muse but part of myself. Fair enough but there are people in my life who have inspired me with everything, which is an exceedingly huge amount, that I have written so far. Usually they are real people. People outside myself. What I write might be my own but it is in response to how I perceive others, others in situations.... I don't believe anyone can create in a vacuum. There are always influences. It goes without saying that one's art must be practised everyday. Even if it is only writing in a journal (or to this list) And a class or group of somekind can be helpful but ultimately it is me and the pen/guitar and my muse. I can't see any other way.

Matai


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 04 - 08:21 PM

Matai:

I agree completely, as far as I understand.

A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 08:00 AM

Matai,

I agree with you. That is why I have had to differentiate between my Muse (upper case), the creative spirit that is inside of me, and my muses (lower case), those who inspire me to write. The Muse can be encouraged with practice, study, and meditation/prayer/self-hypnosis ( did I cover them all, Amos?) , while the muses can be people, places, sights, sounds, etc. IMHO, of course.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 08:22 AM

I think poart of the reason inspiration and creativity have been embodied as "muses" is that though the actual creativity is indwelling the inspiration/motivation/spark is often external - or appears to be so - though in the long run I suppose that it is the (internal) perception of the external object/event.

Confusing enough? easier to say you had a visit from the muse!


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 08:27 AM

So, the question becomes, "Is chocolate the proper food to offer the Muse?"

8-{E

(BG)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 08:57 AM

I think this thread is starting to get a little silly...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 09:18 AM

Tme more folkses talk the confusinger it gets.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 09:24 AM

That is the heart of Mudcat.... discussion, rather than articles. A perpetual letter to the editor. Gets messy sometimes. Not all will read and repond with, "wow, that's cool--" some will pay the higher compliment of responding, "hm, interesting, and my experience is....."

~Susan


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 09:28 AM

Chocolate is definitely indicated.


A


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 09:31 AM

Silly Amos! Chocolate is always indicated.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 09:32 AM

Perhaps a "Care and feeding of Muses" workshop at the Getaway, complete with chocolate? And muse tapes- and other ideas to get the creative juices flowing?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 12:35 PM

My muse would be happy to exchange one of his CDs for one of your muse's, bruce. Perhaps they could do lunch?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 04:11 PM

Mine would be happy to do lunch, but, alas, has no cd- I listen to various music at times, but my muse seems to come when I am about to sleep, or just waking. I think it like dreams. I always have a spiral notebook and pen by my bed- and use it to try to capture the pieces of verse that my muse leaves me.

But seriously, what about an outline for the Getaway- or for mudcat? Techniques of finding one's creative voice, whatever it might be. Perhaps we could work it up into a full-blown weekend workshop...

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM

Hey, bruce:

There are many things I under-excell at. One of them is trying to suggest to people how to "create." I don't know "how" to write a song, and I surely don't know "how" to stir the muse. I suspect that it is very different for each of us, and I have a very casual, wait- for-inspiration approach to creativity. How do I write an outline for that? I most likely experience things very differently than almost everyone on this thread. Every experience is valid, as far as I'm concerned. I DO share your experience of often being moved to write as I'm drifting off to sleep, am sleeping, or am just waking up.
So, what would we do in a workshop? Give everyone a sleeping pill at the beginning of the workshop and ask them to write a song when they wake up?

Seriously, my creativity seems to flow from fully experiencing life... whether it's a time of spiritual reflection, revelation, friendship, conversations, long walks... all the thing I talked about in the beginning of this thread. "Fully experiencing life" sound suspicuosly like b.s., so I hesitate to even say something like that. Truth is, too much of my time is spent on auto-cruise, and it takes a heaightened awareness to even see the world around me.

Wrote a song about that once:

We are drowning in the details of life
Seeking answers without any clues
We all think that we're playing Wheel Of Fortune
When our lives are more like Trivial Pursuit

I think the idea for a workshop is a good one. I just don't think that I have much to offer.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 05:43 PM

hmmm... anyone else out there have anything to add? Any hints, besides the above thread?

I think it might require some kind of weekend session, where we all stay up and brainstorm for a few days. Not sure if that will help everyone.

I found that a workshop I was in that gave "assignments" was actually usefull- Each month we were given a phrase, or term, and told to do something with it- that was all. The next month we got back together and read our efforts. I know that Keats and Leigh Hunt did the same type of thing, with verse. No talking about it until the next month, so each effort took off from the single phrase.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 05:47 PM

Getaway workshops as I understand them are usually not so much teaching events as peer-sharing events, and it's not a Mudcat event either-- we're there as guests of the hosting group (FSGW).

BB I would say try your idea at a Mudcat Gathering, and see how it goes.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 06:49 PM

If you actually do the things I mentioned on 04 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM
you won't need to go any further. If you want individual tasks, do the following:

1. Find a simple meditation course that is not overly complex and sign up for it.

2. Practice meditation daily for at least 15 minutes each morning.

3. Locate a copy of "The Artist's Way" and read it once thorugh without doing anyhting.

4. Re-read it up to the first task it asks you to do and do it. Proceed throguh it doing each step. Continue the daily meditation while you do this.

Amos


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 07:08 PM

Read 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 10:19 PM

Susan, I believe Bruce arrived at Mudcat after he met some 'Catters at a Getaway. Rita's always looking for ideas.

I'm with Jerry, though. The more I analyze the act of song-writing, the harder it gets. The more I try to force inspiration, the farther away it gets. It seems like the type of thing that could be explained with one sentence, ending with 'Grasshopper'.

I've been sort of stuck. I think I managed to get myself un-stuck a couple of days ago. Thinking about rhyming and meter were seriously interfering with trying to get anything creative to come out. The solution was to just let my mind wander a bit and write prose. Guess what - it's not bad, and half of it managed to rhyme anyway. Editing will be the hard part, but it always is. Nobody wants to cut stuff out.

A friend here who is a songwriter, says something I believe is true: "All songs are love songs." I think love is necessary for inspiration. The ability to write, critique your work, and edit are a whole 'nother beast.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: mg
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 01:20 AM

Au contraire..I love to edit and cut stuff out. Actually I really don't cut much of my stuff because I don't put it in in the first place...I will leave blanks where the rhythm goes. Like old fashioned typesetting. I don't put a word in that doesn't fit in (theoretically of course). What I think matters more than almost anything is the rhythm of the words. What the actual words are or mean I dont think matters that much. Like who can figure out Raglan Road or Rocky Raccoon?

So if anyone has too many words for a song I would be glad to help edit. Of course i would probably lose the meaning but you would end up with fairly good rhythm.

mg


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 05:19 AM

"who can figure out Raglan Road or Rocky Raccoon?"

or 'American Pie'?
... or 'MacArthur Park is melting in the dark' .... :-)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 06:15 AM

:So, the question becomes, "Is chocolate the proper food to offer the Muse?"

It depends how hyperactive your muse is! I feed mine on carrots.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: matai
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 09:49 AM

Well I made an inordinately large chocolate cake the other day, covered it with glad wrap and put it in the fridge. When I took it out tonight I noticed a couple of wedges missing. Now I live on my own at the moment so I figure my muse must be hovering quite close by.
Methinks she is returning.

Matai


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 09:58 AM

I think a brainstorming/discussion group on "The care and feeding Muses" would be a great workshop. - Perhaps followed by a "Song Challenge!" workshop?

BTW - anyone else heard the "rumour" that a certain Gaelic Goddess will be attending Getaway? (or else!)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 08:25 AM

Jeri,

"A friend here who is a songwriter, says something I believe is true: "All songs are love songs." I think love is necessary for inspiration."

I can agree with this... Must be why chocolate is such an important part of this thread. (BG)

Actually, I think it is all the strong emotions that feed creativity- but most of us enjoy the pleasant ones more, and prefer them to inspire our various works.

The questions I have are, ie it better to get excited about something, to bring out creativity, or to be relaxed to the point that one's semi/unconcious can contribute? Does soothing backgorund music help or hinder the creative process? Are the sharp flavours of peppers and ginger better than the smooth taste of chocolate or cheesecake? Are dark, shadowed forests more inspiring than bright sunlit beaches ( though one must factor in the waves...)

Any comments? If I bring a couple of pounds of ginger and chocolate to the getaway, and a few bottles of some potable liquid, can we have a study of this?

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 08:59 AM

Candied Ginger?

I think a few rounds of experiments with chocolate, ginger, cheesecake, tiramisu, etc are warrented.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 09:02 AM

Well, I have acess to the Glut food coop- they have both candied ginger and ginger tea. I can bring the ginger ( good to know how many pounds, though) and the chocolate ( have to have a variety- bittersweet, dark, milk...) Anyone signing up to bring the cheesecake?

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:58 PM

Every song is a love song, vs. " Actually, I think it is all the strong emotions that feed creativity-". Name a strong emotion for which love, in some form, isn't somehow the basis. Why is a person angry, grieving, hurt, happy? Because something happened to someone or something they love.

Regarding being excited vs. being relaxed, both are important and they aren't mutually exclusive, if you're talking about mental states. You have to be excited, because that's what makes you care enough about something to write, and it's what motivates you to do so. Relaxation is necessary so the words and music flow naturally. It's possible to write when you lack either, but the results are likely to sound boring and/or forced.

Any sort of music takes my mind off what I'm doing. Some folks deal well with 'wallpaper' music. There IS no 'background' for me when it comes to music. If it's on, I listen to it.

"chocolate, ginger, cheesecake, tiramisu"
Feed me these, and I will write a song for you
I don't yearn for roses red or violets of blue
Gimme chocolate, ginger, cheesecake, tiramasu

If it's that wonderful Australian candied ginger, I think a couple of pounds would be OK. Of course, other people might want some. I have access to really good chocolate, but I don't know what the temperatures will be like. Things (like cheesecake) that need to be kept cold don't do really well on 9-hour car trips. Especially if I'm in the car with them, unsupervised.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:59 PM

I will take you up on that...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 01:00 PM

And an unofficial songwriters' get-together doesn't sound like a bad idea.

(I do believe I got the 100th post. Nyah, nyah.)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 01:01 PM

damn...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 01:22 PM

Jeri, Jeri.. never nyah at a man with ginger and chocolate...

Are you going to be in at the Getaway Friday night? I think I can talk Rita into giving me a space that night ( 8Pm on??). I will bring at least 5 pounds of ginger, so we have to keep it small (BG) If you want to bring chocolate, I will try to get someone local for the cheesecake... Now, about the tiramasu....

Really, a workshop on creativity would be good. I do not know how to invoke my muse- but I will try any reasonable suggestions. Perhaps between a number of us we might be able to come up with some ideas.

Or we could adjourn to the sushi place just north of Baltimore on Monday- it is an all-you-can-eat buffet... Maybe an hour south of the Getaway, I think lunch is from noon to three... Not sure that would allow us to try chocolate as a muse-food, though.

8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM

more ideas for muse-food?

Cashews?

Macadamia nuts? ***

Popcorn?

cheese?



*** Usefull fact- To make a macadamia nut into a "lowfat" version, one need only dip it in chocolate- that drops the fat from 21 grams per ounce to 17! (BG)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 10:25 AM

oops- that should have been 23 grams, not 21. Sorry about that...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 10:14 PM

Many of you have mentioned muses coming and going. Well the Posey Lake Akademy of Musicology has been researching this phenomenon for years. "If they do go ~ where do they go?"   After years of searching in desperation I found myself on a small island located in norther Lake Huron. The natives call it Bob Lo it's name on the map is "Boise Blanc" and others refer to it as Boy's Blank. Well I was....

"sitting on the beach out on Bob Lo,
Huron's waves lapping at my toes.
A gentle breeze wafts the sandy shore of Bob Lo,
it's the place to be where all the muses go."

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 08:02 PM

I think there have to be musons - they are a variant of ideons, interstellar particals which ocassionaly encounter a brain and cause a flash of inspiration as some hitherto unknown idea springs into being.

The muson variation is a slower kind of operator, or maybe it has an orbital tendency so that for a short while the words and rhymes just seem to flow effortlessly, and then it is gone.

Some brains seem to attract musons and hold them, maybe keeping them in orbit for long periods, whilst others seem to be anti-muson. Unfortunately this does not stop them writing poetry.

Anne


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 10:27 AM

Well, I have been pricing ginger... the cheap, local kind, sliced, or the (more expensive) Australian cubed... I can bring lots of one, or about half of the other... Any preferences? ( re Getaway Muse-feeding)


8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 10:09 AM

Reading "The Lives of the Muses"...


Did you know that Alice ( Of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass") was given an honorary Doctorate in museology by Columbia University in the 1930's?


Are Reese's Peanut butter cups a muse-attracting food?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 02:23 PM

I find the thought of Reese's Peanut Butter cups amuseing..


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 12:28 PM

Well, my Getaway budget will stretch to 10 pounds of ginger and about 100 Reese's PB cups. Workshop on this thread's topic still to be scheduled, but any comments about what people would like to see talked about ( re inspiration) can be put here, or sent to me by PM.

Thanks, all.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 12:29 PM

and I didn't even notice that was the eleventy-first post!


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:40 PM

brought back to the top just because I wanted to...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM

ditto


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 03:52 AM

refresh- discussion material for FSGW Getaway workshop

I will have ginger, chocolate, and other tidbits to tempt the Muse...


8-{E


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 04:06 AM

Ginger? Chocolate? I'm inspired already!

"Yesterday, all my chocolate seemed to melt away
and oh! the cleaning bills I had to pay!
but none of that - at the Getaway.

"Yesterday, I had to handle chocolate gingerly
but in the cold it hardens easily (the chocolate!!!)
I'm heading there so eagerly..."

OK, it gets better after I have tasted the ginger!


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 04:08 AM

only 10-15 pounds of ginger, so be there early...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 09:01 PM

ok- ginger, Reese's P'butter cups, Hershey's minis, various altoids, cashews, stuffed olives, and mushrooms.....

other contributions are welcome.

This workshop will be a POLITICS FREE ZONE. Please leave arguments, buttons, and clubs outside the workshop. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: hesperis
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM

My writing muse seems to like trance music a lot. But then, I write fantasy and that whole ethereal scifi-with-a-beat sound is exactly the right feel.

For music... Hmm. The muse tends to come of her own accord, especially when I've been playing with new sounds and new equipment.

For lyrics, it gets a little trickier. Often visual arts will provide the spark that the muse likes to fly in on.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: Genie
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 12:16 AM

I just discovered this thread, and it seems to tie in with the new thread on Tips for Singer-Songwriters, and I found that refreshing. ;)


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 05:32 PM

The Muses of the old Greeks may not walk among us today in long flowng gowns, with sandals and harps.

But I think the Greeks were onto something when they thought of the Muses as A) specialists in a chosen field of art & song, and B) that we mortals are "sponsered," so to speak, by these specialists.

I am gradually, but with increasing rapidity coming to the conclusion that my muse has no interest whatsoever in helping me out with songs of social commentary or politicall protest. No matter how many ideas for such songs come into my head, I always seem to struggle with them and the end result is never as clear or concise or touching as the ones I've written on so-called "lighter" themes (I've been laboring over one protesting the gift of diamonds as expression of love for about a month, now, and it's going nowhere).

Do others find this to be true for them, as well?

I'm beginning to suspect that my Musely patron (matron?) is Thalia: the muse of comedy and pastoral poetry. So maybe I'll look to the 2007 Joke thread, for my next bit of inspiration...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 10:14 AM

What with the start of discussion about the Getaway...


Sonnet 30/06/04       On Muses            CMXX

One's Muses come and go, but when they give,
All one can do is hold the words, and pray
That they will come again. We let dreams live
In hope that Muse might find reason to stay.
What is the reason Muse offers such gem
That we would sell our souls to keep their gift?
Is it just chance, or does their giving stem
From higher purpose, to other souls lift?
Our Muses give us power to share dreams
And tell of heart's desires. But, should we seek
To claim words inspired as our own? Such seems
Ungrateful, to not of thanks for gift speak.
Can any of us say "This work is mine.",
And not admit some part might be divine?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 10:22 AM

(just noticed I had posted this sonnet here when I wrote it, but I was looking for a more polite way to refresh besides just typing "refresh"


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 08:16 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 May 18 - 01:35 PM

OK, another attempt to continue this discussion.

The Getaway workshop in '04 was held, but no-one showed up- seems there was a concert scheduled at the same time. Had to eat a LOT of ginger...

"But I think the Greeks were onto something when they thought of the Muses as A) specialists in a chosen field of art & song, and B) that we mortals are "sponsered," so to speak, by these specialists."

Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Urania (astronomy).


Euterpe, Erato, and Polyhymnia

Are my Muses.


Star, Kelly, Katie, Rebecca, and Sara

have been my muses.



Sonnet 14/05/18                         MCLXIV

I do not worship muse, but I will pray
That Heaven shares her time. I would be blessed
To see her smile. I have heart’s hope confessed,
But do not demand that she meet desire:
To view her eyes will always verse inspire.
Yet, will it remain for forever wrong
To dream of muse, and for her kisses long?
Must I at such a distance always stay?
I am held by the light of muse’s eyes,
Touching her only with words. I may yearn
For more, but cannot muse’s wish defy.
I hope verse might to muse’s level rise.
That I would something new of Heaven learn.
I know only I cannot muse deny.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 May 18 - 01:45 PM

Mudlark- "I know my Muse is present when I see or hear something that not only pleases me but resonates so strongly I feel compelled to respond, a sort of giving back, so to speak."

I think this is a perfect description. This is exactly what I feel, when I am talking with my muse ( lowercase) and find that some lines of verse have formed in my mind. I find I have little control over it- it pours through me, as well as out onto the page.

... I would like to think that your Muse is being heard imperfectly- One does have to provide the craft to contain the creativity. The Muse provides the spark- but the person is required to supply the wood ( or coal...) for the fire, to forge out a work, be it song, or poem, or prose. IMHO, of course.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 18 - 08:39 PM

The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired
Book by Francine Prose


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 May 18 - 11:12 PM

Yes. Mentioned 13Aug 04.

Good book, well worth reading. I keep buying copies to give away.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 May 18 - 02:33 AM

Missed this thread first time round - enjoyed rolling through the intellectual grass.
Regards

P.s. Mind you - I thought Moses got by on a diet of tablets! What? "Muses?"" Oh, sorry...


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 May 18 - 10:13 PM

Can someone translate the previous post?


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 May 18 - 08:54 AM

Sorry about that- post has been removed. My 27 May 18 - 10:13 PM is now useless.


Another of my Muse sonnets:

Sonnet 24/01/06                         MXLIV

Are you then muse, that I might find a rhyme
Reflected in your eyes? Know you the spell
To hold to dreams, and heart? Can you stop time
With power of just smile? Might you hopes tell?
I look at you, and wonder how to know
If you are what I seek: To dream, the light
Upon desire; To heart, reason to show
Longings to hold and be held throughout night.
Yet, do dreams matter? My thoughts do not bind
More than my own desires: You remain free.
I search, but do not know if what I find
Is just a dream, or vision of “to be”.
I have no better means than to be bold,
And ask if you would want to my heart hold.


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Subject: RE: The Care And Feeding Of Muses
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 May 18 - 10:08 AM

A blessing for my muse...

Sonnet 05/11/03                         DCCCLVIII

Good night, sweet muse. May you dream of the dawn
When love and light and laughter greet your smile.
May stars gather above, as heart is drawn
To seek for love, and of these dreams make trial.
Rest well, and long: Awake to a new day
Where all is as should be, and you enjoy
The love that you deserve. Heart shows the way
To bright tomorrow: Let sleep fears destroy.
May the Lord bless and keep you; May He make
His countenance to shine on you, and be
Gracious unto you; And may the Lord give
Heart peace: If not for love, then for the sake
Of one that for your happiness gives plea.
You are the light that lets my passions live.


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