Friday Speak Out!: Living with a Sadistic Muse

Friday, July 07, 2017
by P.R. Gutierrez

I’m probably one of the rare writers who have a name for the inhuman voice in their head known as The Muse. I call her Lydia, after one of my scrapped pennames back when I thought writing would just be a hobby. She prefers Mistress, for reasons. She imagines herself as an embodiment of the painting with Aphrodite standing in an open shell, skin softer than silk and hair billowing in the breeze as other deities clothed her in flowers. I see her as a siren clothed in the night sky, stars sparkling like diamonds around her curving hips and elegant neck, eyes like burning embers with a grin like a predator stalking its prey as her talon-like nails cut open my skin as wine-colored blood flows onto the pages of my notebook or the keys of my laptop.

Working with her for all these years has created a complicated relationship. Sure, she would keep me from boredom during class with tales that would develop into short stories or the beginning of novels I wouldn’t finish, although there were moments when I’d miss something important since she would let out one of countless plot-bunnies that would hop around in my head at random points in the day. This unfortunately didn’t stop during college, the years when lectures held precious gems of information that could be on the next exam, or as the moment when I would hold my degree in my hand, valuable subjects for future essays or short story assignments.

If you could ask her she’d say I try to starve her by withholding fun whereas I’ll say she’s the one withholding inspiration when I’m working on either a book review or a story I’ve been writing for a literary magazine out of financial desperation. There are no shouting matches between us where glass decorates the floor like glitter. It’s more like silence that would often last for days, even months if we’re both particularly huffy. I recall moments when she’s wrapped my wrists in my insecurities for several hours, letting its venom sink into my bloodstream. She’d whisper in my ear, voice honeyed velvet, that this is for my own good as she ties a scarf around my mouth, leaving me wondering where she found it.

Most of the time she’s hiding somewhere, traveling to places I can only dream of going until she comes back. I ask her where she’s been but she smiles her cruel smile before locking the door behind her.

There are still moments when she’s gentle, sweeter than any chocolate I’ve ever tasted. She’ll embrace me with all the warmth of a cozy blanket in winter. She’ll whisper soft words of encouragement and motivation as the pen or pencil in my fingers runs across the page. Perhaps there’s a reason she hasn’t left me yet, or perhaps she enjoys tormenting me too much.

Either way, I miss her when she’s gone, and love when she's home.

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P.R. Gutierrez is an avid book and coffee lover who blogs about both. When she’s not reading she’s crafting boxes with her thrift store and yard sale finds. She’s also a writer of short stories, poems, and novels from fantasy, mystery, suspense, and horror. She tries her best to write every day, but her house panther prefers stealing her attention and her pencils. Find her at ~ ~ and

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

P.R.--It sounds like you and your muse are a great pair. Good luck with your future writing projects.

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