Much like Lily, muses are high up on my favorites list—just behind the chimera. This may be because I possess a living muse, my husband, whom influences so much of my writing without being acutely aware of it. And man, did he inspire the hell out of my Lily Graves series, more specifically, Evan Walker, my leading chimera.
In Lily’s world, they’re not so much gods or goddesses like in Greek mythology. Rather, they’re like the fey or elementals—immortal so long as nothing kills them—but their powers are limited to shaping others’ minds.
According to Lily:
Muses were by far my favorite to observe and read about. How they could gather a group of artists, share time with them, and inspire such variations of themselves and their stories. They were creatures that could be found within most characters in assorted story types. Others talked to everyone about anything, spreading seeds on the wind to hope for germination.
I see my husband do this ALL THE TIME. It’s fascinating.
Lily even gets to experience this:
Starr’s far-off look made me wonder if she whispered to the squirrels outside. Her hand fell to the piece on her easel before her attention followed, like a muse directed her.
I searched the room as casually as I could muster, which I had to admit, wasn’t much. A boy with a blue and purple fade and a flop of curls in front of his left eye moved his lips silently, but the cadence had energy, the kind I felt more than heard. He smiled around his words and a wave hit me.
My pencil hit the paper, scribbling before my mind caught up.
With tear-drop petals.
I nabbed a pack of pastel sticks.
Water emerged around the pad.
Green, one dimensional under the lily.
I highlighted it with the blues and greens. Lightly. As the energy swirled and died around me.
I sucked in a breath as I set down the pastels.
Starr laughed at me. “You are funny.”
The elegant coloring of the flower struck me. I wasn’t being humble when I said I didn’t have any talent. But this…was one of those moments you get blessed with every now and again—that one when you’re in the right place at the right time and stuff works out perfectly.
“How am I funny?”
I got a shake of the head for an answer.
It’s how I’ve often experienced getting hit with inspiration, so it only made sense to reflect that in my version of the muse.
In fact, they seem to combine the current culture’s depiction of muses with the Ancient Greek variety. The mythological muses are often seen as nine goddesses, the daughters or Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences, becoming both their symbols and their protectors. Essentially, they were inspirational goddesses and embodied poetry, history, music, tragedy, hymns, dance, comedy, and astronomy.
In any case, these are some interesting folks, and I can’t wait to discover more about them.
Stay tuned for more mini-ethology lessons from Lily Graves’s world and sign up for an ARC of the first in her series, GIRL WITH THE GLOWING HAIR.