You hear a lot from writers about their muses. The word muse conjures up images of some formless, mystical creature that comes down with a magic wand and –bwang!– the writer is inspired. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not over here knocking muses. It’s very true that sometimes, something just hits you and away your fingers fly. However, if you hang around forever waiting for that bwang moment, you might never finish that book. Writing, or at least writing well, is hard, day-to-day work. That’s just a fact of life.
However, inspiration struck in the fish aisle of PetsMart yesterday as I watched the mesmerized look on my son’s face. I didn’t need a muse…I needed a muse-fish! A relaxation-inducing, thought-provoking, idea-inspiring muse-fish. And so, despite my husband’s eye-rolling, I carefully examined the rows of beta fish, and we arrived home with a pretty little crowntail beta. He sits right next to my writing area, to do all that -inducing, -provoking, and -inspiring stuff a muse-fish does when you take a break to watch him swim.
He has been christened Tennyson. Because with a name like that, he’s got to be inspiring.