This never ceases to be a topic of intrigue and sometimes confusion. Muses are something different to every creator. For me, there are two kinds:
~Those which I cannot see and who whisper in my ear 24/7, telling me what to write.
~Those who influence my characters in face, form, voice, motion, and emotion.
My writing process cannot have one without the other–my stories don’t exist without both. The former almost always arrives first, and sometimes it takes a while for the latter to be revealed. I have absolutely no control in either case. If a character is going to look a certain way, I don’t choose him or her. I don’t know how that works–it’s clearly beyond me, and many times it’s a surprise, if not surprising. Take the main character for “Papercuts”, for instance–never in a million years would I have thought to cast a young Kevin Klein for the part, but there he is. Now and then his image wavers and Errol Flynn steps in, but that’s in quick and rare flashes.
I’m writing this post mostly because I have hit a strange situation and I’m not entirely sure how to handle it. I know how I would like to, but when real, easily approachable, but fleetingly accessible people are involved, I am fearful of treading the line that makes such muses uncomfortable. It’s a very fine line, and some people take offense to all kinds of stalking…I can assure those in question (should they be reading this….Cirque Italia-related such muses….) I mean it in the very safest and most flattering of ways.
That said: I need a photograph of two recently-met muses, for the sake of the illustration for the story they are in (it’s called “Staged”, by the way–The Doll Collection: Volume Two, unless I can somehow finish it in time to get into Volume one…I’m tempted, my darlings. So very tempted). I have tried to sketch this out–I’m not doing a very good job of it, as per the norm. Can I make do with it? Probably. Would a real photo be better for Felix to go on? Absolutely. Would I feel better about it? Without a doubt.
So the conundrum: Do I take advantage of their proximity while I have it, knowing that once they move on, we’ll probably never cross paths again? Or let it go…?
I know what I want, what the story needs. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.