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April 10, 2007


"Sing then, O Muse, about ... yourself!" What's your muse like?

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Dave: Muse

She tickles with her tongue,
And she pokes with pitchfork tines,
Enticing with seductive voice,
And wheedling with whines.

She flees when I pursue her
But creeps up unawares,
Striking at most awkward times
With lightning-bolted snares.

Keyboard tapping mutters
And calls to contemplate
Offspring wild and wonderful
With her to procreate.

I ignore her at the peril
Of guilt and shame and woe,
For every child I didn't birth
Right when she told me so.

She's a harsh but lovely mistress
Who weeps when I refuse,
Ah, what will-o-wisps call out to me
When sings my fickle muse.

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David: Inspiration Is Hard

“Harry, I came right over. What—Oh my God!”

“Vince, I can explain.”

Vince stepped around the young woman lying on the floor in Harry’s living room. “Who is she? Is she dead?”

“Vince, remember my writer’s block? Last night I decided to push through it. I sat down at my keyboard and started typing. Shopping lists, titles of my CD’s, anything. Finally, I broke through. I wrote 4500 good words last night, and fell asleep at my desk. This morning, she was here.”

“That doesn’t tell me—“

“I think it’s Melpomene. I’m pretty sure she had an aneurism.”

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Jeff R.: Aoide, Melete, and Mneme

Originally, there weren't nine muses, but three: Voice, Practice, and Memory. Humanity eventually gained two of these in abundance. Medical and mechanical assistance made perfect memory, of not just one's own life but all humanity's culture. Practice was easy, with ever-growing amounts of lesiure time availible along with virtual audiences and critics. That left only Voice.

Attempts were made to engineer that in, but without success. None of the artistic-talent genmods really worked (although this didn't stop parents from spending fortunes on them.) So while every would-be artist was vaulted to the upper bounds of mediocrity, genius remained surpassingly rare.

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