Tag Archives: Greek mythology

The Daughters of Zeus (6)

A_muses_me_by_jstone16

Terpsichore, Thalia, Euterpe & Calliope

Writing Irish Firebrands was usually fun, but it wasn’t always pleasant. Many of the characters had flaws that were difficult for me to write about.

Sometimes what I wrote seemed to look like one of Chekhov’s Guns. That was when I’d ask the Muse on duty, “Why do I have to write that?”

I usually got some noncommittal grunt, and, “Just do what you’re told.”

Once, I asked, “Are these some sort of red herrings?”

That day, there were two of them: Melpomene and Clio. Melpomene got all huffy: “I’ll have you know, I don’t work that way! I-“

Clio interrupted. “Go ahead and tell her, Mel. She may as well know it, now.”

Melpomene pouted for a moment, but then she said, “Okay. Those things are there, because there was another tragedy in that house, which you’re gonna to have to write about.”

I said, “Whaddaya mean? I’ve written more than a hundred thousand words, already.”

Clio said, “Mel’s right. They have to be there, because they tie this novel to the book that comes before and the book that comes after.” When I gawked at her, she said, “You’re writing a family saga, not a stand-alone.”

I’d already done about 6,000 words of respite writing, on a sequel about one of the secondary characters, but this was news to me; nevertheless, after three years of writing and nine months of editing the first book, I started writing a prelude novel which begins 101 years before the first story.

Calli has retained overall control. The new novel (The Passions of Patriots) is historical, so Clio has the most influence, and Mel has a larger role, for although Rati’s love story shapes the plot, it’s not a romance. Euti has added Wagnerian music to her inspirational repertoire. Thal, Terp, Polly and Rani have flagged various plot holes with sticky notes in their favorite colors.

One morning, somebody left a paper written in Greek on the kitchen table. When I copied it into Google Translate, it turned out to be a grocery shopping list. There were nine different brands of canned beans on it.

Looks like the stockings are in my sink to stay….

greek beans

©2014 – 2016 Christine Plouvier. All Rights Reserved.

Find the artist of the Daughters of Zeus here.

Visit The Passions of Patriots blog here.

Shop for Irish Firebrands here.

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The Daughters of Zeus (5)

They trickled in, but they didn’t trickle out.

With so many roommates, it can get crowded: all nine of ’em coming in and going out at all hours without so much as a by-your-leave, painting their nails, washing their stockings in my hand-basin, and eating me out of house and home (while having the cheek to criticize my choice of canned beans, on their toast). And then, there’s the eternal bickering, which never resolves anything, and usually ends in expletives that are best left deleted: “Hoity-toity Euti!” and  “Terp the twerp!” are mild examples.

I wrote by watching the characters and reporting what they said and did, but sometimes they didn’t feel like entertaining a guest. They’d lock the doors and windows to their dwelling, and put up the shutters or pull down the shades. I’d prowl the perimeter, just barely hearing the murmur of voices, or catching a glimpse of the action as one of them slipped into or out of the door. Then I’d come back and start typing, but some Muse would look over my shoulder, and say, “No, that’s not what happened.”

“No, that’s not what happened.”

“No, that’s not what happened.”

One day, I got fed up. “A whole lot of help you guys are! I oughta call the Sheriff and evict the lot of you! Then I’ll find my own Muse. Maybe a male, like the one Stephen King said he has.”

thalia

Thalia

melpomene

Melpomene

Thalia said, “Oh, that one!” She laughed. “He’s – ”

“Shut up, Thal,” Melpomene growled.

I asked, “Is he your brother?”

For the time of about two deep breaths, all I heard were the scrape of Calliope’s quill on a scroll, and the swish of meteoroids through the air (Urania was juggling). Then Euterpe said, “We … uh … don’t have any brothers.”

“Just brothers-in-law,” Terpsichore said.

Thalia said, “Ex brothers-in-law, you mean! Like Mel’s – ”

“I said, shut up!” Melpomene shrieked.

“You have no sense of humor!” Thalia sang.

“You bet I don’t! And you have no sense, at all! Like when you took up with -”

“Oh, come on!” Thalia snapped. “That’s over with!”

Melpomene snorted. “Look who’s lost her sense of humor, now!”

Polyhymnia sighed and shook her head.

“That’s history!” Thalia squealed.

Erato snickered and rolled her eyes.

“That’s right,” Clio said. “I can quote chapter and verse on every one of you – and your histories.”

The quill quit scratching, and the meteoroids hit the floor with the sound of randomly bouncing basketballs. For the next three days, the Muse on duty wouldn’t speak if another Muse passed through the room.

To be continued…. 

©2014 – 2016 Christine Plouvier. All Rights Reserved.

You can find the artist of the Daughters of Zeus here.

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The Daughters of Zeus (4)

Weeks became months, and then years, while the other Daughters of Zeus trickled in.

euterpe

Euterpe

terpsichore

Terpsichore

Euterpe (Euti), the Muse of Lyric Poetry (or Music), contributed the lilts of Irish and Hiberno-English usage to the voices of the unknown narrator and the Irish characters, as well as the role of Irish traditional music throughout the book. She performed mood music during every writing session, compiled playlists of Irish trad and other numbers, and used my bedside boom box to fertilize my subconscious with music while I slept. Terpsichore (Terp), the Muse of Dance, connived with Euti to bring main character Dillon Carroll, a career journalist, unexpectedly alive as a singer and dancer, too.

Melpomene (Mel), the Muse of Tragedy, turned up during a thunderstorm that hurled the next-door neighbor’s tool shed into the top of a tree. She brought to light some traumatic events in the characters’ backgrounds, which had helped to make them into the persons they were when I met them.

polyhymnia

Polyhymnia

urania

Urania

The remaining Muses played smaller but significant roles in writing the novel. Thalia (Thal), the Muse of Comedy, collaborated with Euti on the limericks about Queen Medb of Connacht in Chapter 25, and she contributed some other moments of comic relief. Polyhymnia (Polly), the Muse of Sacred Song, helped me re-translate a favorite hymn from the German, which featured in the final chapter. Even Urania (Rani), the Muse of Astronomy, managed to get her dominion mentioned a few times, in references to the sky and stars.

To be continued…. 

©2014 – 2016 Christine Plouvier. All Rights Reserved.

You can find the artist of the Daughters of Zeus here.

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