Are Muses being Cheated?
by Swamp Thingy
Professional Muse with degrees M.U.D., B.O.G., and O.O.Z.E.
Has it ever occurred to you muses that we are being cheated of our claim to fame? We don't get the credit for our ideas, our names are never on what is written by us as credit goes to the human too lazy to think for him- or herself. For instance, years ago I had a great idea for a new story and dictated it to my then companion who took it down word for word, typed it up and submitted it as her own work. She got the contract and I got zilch.
Think of the injustice. My name should have been on the cover, not hers. She didn't even give me a credit line anywhere in the book and owns the copyright too. She says she is my employer and pays me with a place to live. Well, harrumph... . Pardon me, but it is a soggy prison and that's all. Water and mud slip and slosh all day or any time she moves her head. Her brain is tiny and floats about freely, bumping into me as I try to rest. If it were a living thing, I could understand its need for companionship, except it is nothing but a hard, dried-out shell that pretends to think.
Think about what, you may well ask. Well, that little hunk of dried wood pretends to think of plots for a mish mash of characters that I must straighten out before they can live or move on the page. What an outrage!! I do all the work and a large splinter gets the credit.
That is why I ask, are we muses being cheated? Shouldn't we get the credit for our work? There is a law that protects the rights to intellectual property, but in my case it wouldn't work. Think what would happen if I had to appear in a courtroom. They'd all take one look and holler, “Monster” or something equally stupid. Just because I look different than humans do, and am probably their idea of an alien or a creature from some lagoon, is that fair? Okay, I am different, I slime my way around the roads at night and leave a slippery mess in some back yards where I take a dip in their pools to cool off on hot nights. There are those who call in the police to hunt for ‘an alien from a space ship that landed' and so forth.
You humans are so locked in on what might live in outer space that you never look into your inner space. That's where you'd find things stranger than me.
I'm just a muse trying to make a living and enjoy life. Most of the time I must slosh around in that infernal steamy, smelly bog and try to come up with an idea that the writer I live in will accept. She's picky. If I don't give her an idea she likes, she threatens to make me homeless. So while I complain about being cheated, I must take care not to offend too much until I find another place to live. Do any of you know of any empty heads that have running water and steam heat where I can plant my bog plants and move in?
It is very hard for my type of muse to find a job. I took this one only because I was the only applicant. I must be honest and say I was warned by the previous resident about the cranky character of my present companion. She has compromised by allowing me to have my own column for opinion pieces like this. But I am still willing to consider another, better deal where I can get credit for my work. I can see the by line now—by SWAMP THINGY, Creative Muse.
(by Anne K. Edwards)
Anne K. Edwards writes in a variety of genres and enjoys the creative challenge in each. She lives on a small farm in south central Pennsylvania with several cats. Her interests include meeting people and reading for pleasure and review.
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Published by permission of the author.