Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’
Wow, the fourth installment of The Dissemination (of Thought) Files is already upon us. Today I’ll be speaking to Thalia, my Muse, about a missing sock, a sex tape that doesn’t exist and why she refuses to protect me from the questionable women I date.
Lyndon Keane (TDoT): Thanks for joining me on The Dissemination (of Thought) Files couch. I thought it would be great to get you out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight. You know, give my readers the opportunity to put a face to the Muse.
Thalia (funnily enough, she’ll just be referred to as Thalia): You forgot to interview someone, didn’t you.
TDoT: Forgot it probably the wrong word. I’d like to think I procrastinated past the point of no return.
Thalia: Yeah, you certainly procrastinated your way around that pool yesterday.
TDoT: Long time readers of The Dissemination of Thought will remember that you disappeared for an extended period last year without any explanation. You also took a bottle of 30-year-old single malt and a solitary sock. Now that you’ve decided to grace me with your presence once again, can you please tell me what the hell you wanted one sock for, and where is it now?
Thalia: Firstly, I didn’t steal your precious fucking Scotch. Don’t you remember that magical Saturday when you convinced yourself that you could scribe lyrics for Grammy-winning songs? I’m sure your neighbours vividly recall you standing in the shower with a glass of whisky, singing along to Oasis and The Smiths. You were having a drink every time you got stuck on a line, and you got stuck a lot.
As for the sock, I needed it for my trip. I had to hide something inside it.
TDoT: You had to what?
Thalia: What part didn’t you understand? I was carrying something I didn’t want airport security to find, so hiding it seemed like the best solution. As I was packing, I saw your sock on the floor. I decided to use it.
TDoT: Oh, great. My Muse is a mule.
Thalia: I’m not a mule, you feeble-minded twit. I was travelling alone, so I wanted to take something to ensure my creativity remained stimulated for the duration.
Thalia: A dildo, you imbecile. I hid my travel dildo in your sock.
TDoT: That’s just classy. You’d better keep the sock.
Thalia: As if you can take the fucking moral high road.
TDoT: One of the phrases someone plugged into a search engine to find The Dissemination of Thought was “thalia sextaped”. Do you want to make any comment about that?
Thalia: Are you insinuating that I made a tawdry, D-grade porno? What would it be called, Mr I-Fucking-Think-I-Know-Everything? Thalia Taps Toronto?
TDoT: I’m not insinuating anything, but you were missing in action for a long time. By the way, that title of the movie you assure me doesn’t exist has an alliteratively salacious ring to it.
While we are on the subject of all things intimate, let’s discuss dating. I’ve been subjected to some appalling romantic dalliances, so many in fact, I was inspired to write a Valentine’s Day tribute to the 10 most intriguing psychopaths I’ve ever dated. Shouldn’t you have had a quiet word in my ear about these women before I agreed to go out with them? You could have at least warned me about The Super Cougar. As my Muse, don’t you have a duty of care to ensure my delicate, creative psyche isn’t exposed to anyone who wants to mount me within the first few hours of meeting?
Thalia: You do understand what a Muse is, don’t you? I’m here to inspire you and make sure your lazy ass puts pen to paper. I’m not some sort of mythical matchmaker sent to you to tap you on the shoulder every time you contemplate dating someone who’s emotionally unbalanced. That’s a freakin’ full-time job, and I’ve got commitments outside of musing hours.
TDoT: You are being incredibly difficult. I’m not sure where you think you need to be, but your attitude towards this interview sucks. How do you think the readers will feel when they realise you have no interest in providing witty, thought-provoking answers?
Thalia: How do you think your readers feel about you doing an interview with an entity that no one can see?
TDoT: Do you think they’ll notice?
Thalia: I imagine so. That family over there with the combined intellect of a box of crayons has been watching you for fifteen minutes, and they sure as hell know you’re talking to yourself. Your readers are way smarter than that, so I’d say the jig is up.
TDoT: We might leave it there then. Thalia, thanks for being here.
For week 5 of The Dissemination (of Thought) Files, I promise to interview someone interesting. And real.
If you aren’t already doing so, check out the TDoT Facebook page. I want to sincerely thank the 91 people who already like it, but let’s aim to hit 100 by the weekend.
While I’m thanking people, I’d like to express my gratitude to the lovely Erin and wonderful Korinda for putting up with my incessant nagging this afternoon. An edited version of “Espresso Etiquette 101: 6 Lessons in Coffee Shop Culture” featured as the “For what it’s worth” column in today’s Brisbane edition of mX, and the girls patiently sent me photographs of the paper without once telling me to go to hell. When I actually have a copy of the newspaper in my hands, I’ll scan the column and post it on the Facebook page.
There wasn’t meant to be a The Dissemination of Thought post tonight. I was planning on relaxing with a DVD and ice cream while I bid on shit I really don’t need on eBay. Like most good plans, mine came unstuck somewhere along the line, specifically at the point where I substituted the mint chocolate chip for three glasses of red wine and a few Scotches.
Between witnessing a myriad of morons – which from this point on will officially replace the twelve drummers drumming – throwing credit cards around in a last-minute buying frenzy and contemplating Thalia’s eventual return, I postulated about what I’d request for Christmas if there was actually an omnipotent figure with a penchant for red suits in charge of dishing out presents. A Ferrari? My weight in cash? A perpetual supply of socks and jocks? No, there’s only one thing that makes any sense to ask this festive season genie for: my Muse.
When you look past the ridiculous materialistic and commercial elements, this time of year is all about family and friends. Thalia’s a mix of both. She embarrasses me, but she makes me proud. I care deeply for her, but her jokes suck. She’s selfish, but I’ve got dibs on her liver. I’ve given up trying to work out where she is and when she’ll turn up next, but I know that if I really need her, she’ll be there. If it’s after 8:45am she’ll have a buzz on, and I’m convinced that she is stealing my CDs one by one, but my Muse will be there, inspiring me and offering answers as to why I’ve woken up in the shower with the water still running, holding an empty bottle of single malt and using a soggy copy of Rolling Stone as a makeshift pillow.
So if I only get one gift this year, I’d like Thalia back: tanned, sober(ish) and ready to get her lazy, hightailing ass back to work.
Author’s note to the jolly fat man: Santa, if you’re reading this, a left-handed Kurt Cobain Jaguar would make a fantastic stocking stuffer. I know I don’t play yet, but having that axe would certainly help to inspire me to guitar greatness. Or not. It’s your call.
Inspiration. It’s one of those overused and somewhat clichéd words favoured by life coaches and personal trainers to, well, inspire clients to want to be better versions of their current selves, in whatever form that may take.
1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
2. the quality of being inspired.
3. a person or thing that inspires.
4. a sudden brilliant or timely idea.
Shit. I’m currently 0-4. What one uses as inspiration is a very personal thing, and something that inspires you may bore me to tears, while something that enlivens yours truly may have you questioning how many sandwiches are actually missing from my picnic basket. Regular readers of TDoT will be well aware that my inspiration to write has been AWOL for quite some time now. I’ve mused (pun intended) about the disappearance of my beloved Thalia and how she has absconded with my enthusiasm to scribe. Upon further investigation, it would appear that she’s also taken a bottle of Scotch and one of my favourite socks. Who the fuck takes one sock? Wherever she is, I hope she’s enjoying herself. If you happen to stumble across a beautiful woman wearing a single plaid sock and swigging directly from a bottle of 30-year-old single malt, please let me know.
In her absence, I’ve attempted to draw inspiration from other sources. I’ve tried to immerse myself in new ideas and concepts, and I’ve spent some serious time revisiting things that I love, yet none of it is giving me enough of a jolt to start scribbling and constructing prose. I’m hoping that I don’t have to resort to using a car battery and nipple clamps to force a surge of creativity back into me – I saw it in a movie once, and while the protagonist certainly seemed inspired to tell his captors everything that they wanted to hear, it didn’t look all that fun. And let’s face it: if anyone happens to see me sitting on my balcony connecting jumper cables to my body while I smoke a Cohiba and consider the tongue of my newest whisky , there’s a better than average chance that an encounter with a police helicopter won’t be too far away.
The closest I’ve come to creative stimulation recently was on the CityGlider yesterday. I watched a woman assessing herself in a compact mirror that she’d pulled from her handbag, before seemingly adjudging that starting at her reflection in the bus window was the way to go. It led me to hypothesise about mirrors, both literal and metaphorical, and how what we see in them depends not only on the physical qualities of the reflective surface, but also on what we expect to see when we look. Did she not see what she wanted to see upon initial inspection? A few ideas and partial paragraphs started to bounce around between my ears, and I even had the closing pièce de résistance screaming at me before the lights were turned out on my inspiration. Try as I may for the rest of the evening, I couldn’t turn my supposition into anything more than a few dozen poorly structured sentences. Thalia’s absence had bitten me on the ass once again.
For me at present, writing is akin to a lighter that’s run out of butane – there may be an inconsequential, quasi impotent spark, but there’s no ignition. It might be time to buy a new lighter.
It’s official: I appear to have writer’s block. I spent over two and a half hours today trying to work on both my novel and a thought-provoking post for this blog, but all I have to show for the former is scattered, incoherent prose in a well-worn notebook. At least that’s something tangible: when I reflect on the latter, the blinking cursor position on the almost blank page seemed to mock me, its solitary presence a jarring reminder that my attempt at creativity had apparently failed. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that writing about writer’s block would help the creative juices to once again flow. Perhaps it was the third vodka, lemonade and lime that assisted in the decision-making process, or perhaps just the simple irony of it appealed to me – as you are well aware, I’m all about the irony.
It’s a very atypical, somewhat surreal sensation to be honest. I’m seldom lost for words, and to have a myriad of ideas, characters and opinions loitering in my head, as if waiting for the 4:06pm bus to Creativity that isn’t going to show up, may be unhinging me slightly. I am mystified as to how I have misplaced my Muse, but I have no doubt that I will stumble across her when I least expect it. She will turn up in a place that I’d never think to look for her, but have, simply because she can’t be anywhere else. Actually, when you think about it in that context, a Muse is not dissimilar to a wallet, or a set of keys.
What one uses for their artistic inspiration is a very individual thing. Some draw on personal experiences, both good and bad, while others get fodder from observing the seemingly commonplace in everyday life. Wherever your inspiration comes from, the general consensus is that if your Muse doesn’t want you to create, you won’t, regardless of how powerful the inspiration is. You may very well retain it for later use, but if that bitch has decided that now isn’t the time for you to write a modern day Nineteen Eighty-Four or repaint the Mona Lisa, you may as well just go with the flow – you can’t argue with her. Personally, I’ve found my Muse to be charming yet sociopathic. Insightful yet delusional. Committed, yet likely to take flight at a moment’s notice. She works when she pleases, keeps odd hours, and is probably the one who keeps eating the leftover curry in the fridge, without bothering to ask who it belongs to. Oh, Thalia, where art thou?
So here we are. In an added attempt to take a plunger to my writer’s block, I’m going to ask you, the readers of TDoT, to choose the topic for my next post. Either comment with your suggestions, or email me.
In closing, I think it would be remiss of me to do a piece on creative inspiration – or current lack thereof – and not make reference to Nick Cave’s defence of his Muse in a letter he sent to MTV:
“My relationship with my Muse is a delicate one at the best of times, and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.”