Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Poetry Nerd Alert! (Or Dreams, Darth Vader Without Pants, And My Muse Daniel Craig.)

"Had I the heaven' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

Aedh Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven by William Butler Yeats

As you know, I'm an old poetry nerd. Poetry has depth and soul, and I enjoy having a meeting of the minds with a person from the distant past. This poem is one of my favorites. Yeats loved a woman named Maud Gonne. She was a fiery, beautiful actress/ feminist/ Irish revolutionary, and though Yeats asked her to marry him a total of four times throughout the decades they knew each other, she refused each offer. It's said that Yeats spoke of Maud when he penned those immortal lines, "I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." I don't know about you, but if Yeats had written that poem for me, I would have grabbed him by the lapels and kissed him hard on the mouth. Love, love, love Yeats. His dreams sustained him.

Writers are dreamers. Funny enough, as I was sleeping last night, I found myself sitting in my living room and wondering why I write in the genre I do. My teenage daughter walks in, looking excited, and says, "Mom, so and so from such and such agency wants to represent you. They have a publisher all lined up!" I remember feeling elated for a few seconds before saying aloud, "This is a dream, right?" I woke up immediately after making that remark.

I thought this was funny. It made me laugh at myself. Obviously, I worry way too much about publishing success. I take that aspect of writing as a sign of vindication, as a means of showing those who have overlooked and underestimated me that I have merit in spite of what they think. I'm weaving psychological need into my writing and that tangles with my enjoyment of the craft. Whatever happened to just finding joy in doing something you love?
This is a picture of my youngest. He is one of the happiest people I know. As you can see, he lives in the moment. "Who cares about pants? I'm Darth Vader!" Mr. Man doesn't worry about stuff that doesn't matter. He dreams up wonderful, entertaining stories with his action figures. Complete with motivated characters, tense plot lines, and funny voices. We should all be more like him. (Although, I do recommend wearing pants.)

This is my muse Daniel Craig comforting me and saying, "Your story doesn't suck, love. Stop saying it does."
This is the angry Daniel muse. He doesn't like being ignored. When he tells you to write down that new idea, do it. Quickly.
In this picture, I've just told Dan about a plot twist I came up with. His expression really says it all, doesn't it? Usually when he looks this way, he crosses his ankles, sighs, and squints up at the heavens. I know what's going on behind those cool, blue eyes. He's thinking, "Why? Out of all the writers in the world, why do I have this one?"

(Disclaimer! My husband is far more inspiring than Daniel, but he works a lot so I had to find someone else to stand in as my muse...)

Fellow writers, I hope we can remember the dreams we had when we first started making up stories and focus on the joy of creating something good. What does your muse look like? Tell me about him or her.


  1. Roxy, you are the best, do you know that? I know I tell you all the time, but you are :) This is so true, you have to write because you love to not because your dreaming of what your life will be like when you're finally published. Love, love, love this post! And man, you have got THE muse! Amazing! I guess (sappy warning) my husband is my muse. Just this morning, he was encouraging me, he said, "If you want to quit because it will make you happy then quit, but if you want to quit because you don't think you're good enough, you can't quit." Thanks for this Roxy, I have been drowning in self pity lately and this was just the kick in the pants I needed. And yes I am wearing them :) Have a great day! I know you will find the perfect agent and publisher soon, I just know it!

  2. Great post! Made me smile. Thanks for reminding us to dream.

  3. I have a pantsless Vader too! So funny. I'll be making a Darth Vader cake next week as well. I'll have to post how it turns out.

    And yes, as writers we must keep the dream alive. Great post.

    P.S. Can you shoot me an email please? I don't know where to send your winnings, Lucky girl.
    anissaaz (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Im sorry to have to inform you that Daniel is MY muse! ;) I'll be unoriginal and say my hubby is my muse too. He inspires me simply by believing in me, trusting me to do what I think is right, and 'bragging' about me to other people. Even though I am still a work in progress. His faith is wonderful.

    Love the pic of the little Vader, kids must be the best muses. They help us keep perspectives at least, don't they?!

    Thanks for the follow, Im returning the favour--enjoying this blog!

  5. Writing and dreaming are so entwined, as you've very eloquently demonstrated here ;)

    Happy writing, and dreaming too!

  6. Thanks for this post Roxy. I've been rejected again and have been wallowing in chocolate and Kleenex for 2 days now. I needed this post to tell me to STOP. I'd forgotten why I write -- the passion, the thrill of meeting new characters, the discovery of something new -- and instead concentrated on the pleasing of other people (agents). I took the hiatus to figure out what I'm doing wrong, and now, reading this post, I know. I've got to get to back to what's inside of ME, not them. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    And, can I borrow Daniel for a few days, he's sooooo HOT!!!

  7. Thank you for those great comments! I appreciate each one.

    Crystal, I hope you know that I'm a member of your fan club.

    Anne, Daniel is yours anytime you need him! I'm glad if this helped a little bit. I've been rejected so many times. I often wonder how in-tune literary agencies really are with the reading public. Typically, they don't want to go out on a limb. They aren't looking for art so much as a marketable product to sell. And timing? It's crucial. Success is linked to contacting the right person on the right day at the right place. I think a good story sells eventually. You just have to hang in there and keep dreaming.

  8. Haha...Very nice musemen there. My muse guy is handsome too. Actually, too handsome for his own good.lol

    I like the way you write, Roxy!

    (Thank you for folowing. : ) I will too.)

  9. My muse looks more like a pile of clay or an empty canvas, a blank piece of paper, a wide open field. Okay, you get the idea. :D

  10. Great post, Roxy! I've never really thought about what my muse looks like but I know he takes a lot of heat from me. And he must be pretty tough to handle my creative mood swings.

    Hm.... I sense a future blog post of my own! ;o)

  11. Oh, I have a crush on Danny too! Those eyes. Those abs. Oh yes.
    (David Bekham aint bad either)

    And I say pants are overrated.
    He's adorable.

  12. You could do worse than having Daniel Craig as a muse! Perhaps I need a muse. (Orlando Bloom?)

    I love writing, but writing without an audience is a constant source of frustration. We want to share our stories with the world. Let's hope we all get there.

  13. Love that dreams quote - simply beautiful!

    And your Darth Vader is a cutie!! :)

  14. I love the Darth Vader pic! How cuuuute! :)

    What a neat post -- I especially enjoyed hearing about your dream. I'm not entirely sure who/what my muse is, if I have one, but I'll figure it out sometime.

  15. Hey! Daniel Craig's voice lives in MY head!!!

  16. Oh, man! A MUSE is what I've been missing all this time! I totally need one. And I know just the guy. *sigh*...

    Oh. Yeah. I was leaving a comment. Ahem. Your Darth Junior is adorable. :D Curly Jones is an advocate of Kids Sans Pants, too! Tootsie Roll won't wear pants to bed. Maybe they're onto something.

    I'm still early enough in my WiP not to get too down - it's still exciting and fun... but I know gloomy days are ahead. It seems to be the ebb and flow of the whole process, and I've noticed a lot of bloggers ebbing right about now (funk soul brutha). So I know my time will come. But then I'll read your blog and get over it. And write a prologue to my prologue! :D Take that!

  17. I love the Yeats quote. You're right--and so is your son. We have to embrace the joy of creating instead of just focusing on the end results.

    I bet Daniel Craig would be flattered to know he's someone's muse. :)

    Thanks for the follow. Back at ya. ;)

  18. I noticed you became a follower of my blog so I thought I'm come check yours out! My muse is split between 4 characters all fighting for my attention. It's hectic for me but worth it in the end. P.S. I'd love to have Daniel Craig as a muse :)

  19. I'm an old poetry nerd, myself. The new stuff just doesn't come close to the great - Keats, Byron, Longfellow, Poe. I mean really.

    And I love Daniel Craig! He was the best Bond IMHO. I love that he's your muse. I'm jealous. ;)

  20. "Your story doesn't suck, love." LOL, that's great! I need that kind of cuddle after a brutal rejection, as they so often are. Cute pic of your son :D

  21. HAHAHAH!!! Oh Daniel Craig, how sweet you are. Hmmm I think my muse is currently faceless, although he changes from time to time. That was a beautiful poem you posted!

  22. LOL! I love Vader without pants. George Lucas should have his people call your people. :) And Daniel Craig--yummy man-meat right there.

  23. Thank you for your comments the other day. I am in your fan club for sure. You will get that publishing deal you dream of--I know it. I have way too many muses --a couple were on my post yesterday. ;) Daniel Craig is not a bad muse--I can just hear his voice speaking to you ;)

  24. Your lil guy is so adorable. Thanks for posting this. It jarred me aside. Yes, I love writing. Yes, I've written for the love of it. Well, now, I feel as if I am twisting it for the public's pleasure. I think that's where it starts to lose its fresh innocence is when we do it to please others (editors, publishers, readers). Where does the purity go?
    I still do it for myself, with the dream of becoming published.

  25. My muse looks like a little boy with blue eyes who frequently says: Of course you can do it.