Sunday, December 27, 2009

Write: Ray Bradbury Exercises

I was going through some old high school stuff this weekend and ran across a packet that we used in English.  We read Dandelion Wine by Raymond Bradbury in tenth grade, I believe, and did some exercises on 'how to keep and feed a Muse.'  I figured the exercises would be great for my Write post.  Plus, what better place than a blog about being Mused? 

I'm going to have to reread the book before summer.  It's awesome.  As much as I've always wanted to try to make dandelion wine, I don't think it's possible anymore unless you live in the country.  Everything here gets sprayed like crazy.

On to the exercises!

1.  What is the most important thing I have discovered about my Muse?
I have discovered that I am most in touch with my Muse when I am not constantly trying to create things.  If I slow down and have a plan, it helps my creativity so much more.  Like this blog, now that I have specific days that I post certain things I am no longer lost in the ideas.  I still have a million ideas, but they are managable.  I can say, not now but I'll write it down for later.  I have learned that I must respect my Muse and she will respect me.

2.  Express a deep thought about Muses.  Tell the truth.
The truth?  Muses are great to have, but they drive you crazy.  If it isn't driving you to distraction with ideas, it's piercing your ego/confidence by making things that everyone else laughs at.  There is the stereotype of artists/poets starving and being half crazy.  That is because the Muses ride them hard.  As much as I hate to say that order is the way to go, it has to be.  Muses are beautiful and wonderous for the gifts they give us, but our poor human minds sometimes cannot take the pressure. 

3.  What makes a Muse sick? (You'll recall that too much change and death made Douglas Spaulding's Muse sick.)
I think my Muse gets sick when I don't use her enough.  When I have a million ideas that are never accomplished, she gets sick wading through the mass.  There isn't enough time to fully form the ideas and then she sits in it like stagnant water.  My Muse often takes the day off when I've been doing too much, like the week before xmas.  I had so much to do but all I wanted to do was zone.  My Muse was sick from me having too many projects lined up to do and overreaching myself.  I cut way down and feel bad because I didn't make enough things, but at the same time I'm not horribly stressed about it.

Unlike Douglas Spaulding's Muse (he is the main character of the book), mine thrives on change although sometimes it is too much.  Death... Death is inspiring and depressing, but I've seen so much of it that I have learned to take the lessons and learn from it.  I honor those that have passed, and I grieve terribly, but I think there is always something to learn.  The dark times teach us things we need to know, even if it's learning how to live without someone.  That just means we have to be stronger. 

Well, I think I answered the questions.  Next time I might find another writing exercise to do.  Have a good week!

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