Meet Rufus

I can hear my friends and family asking, “Who is Rufus?” as they scratch their collective heads in bewilderment.

Well let’s back up and start at the beginning….

Rufus is a muse – well more specifically, the one that apparently is either assigned to me or maybe volunteered. I’m not really sure how that works.

According to Wikipedia, “The Muses are nine goddesses in Greek mythology who control and symbolize nine types of art known to Ancient Greece, and are associated with artistic inspiration.” So basically, its nine ladies that provide a reason for an artist to do their thing.

Muses

“The Muses were Greek goddesses, daughters of Zeus, who presided over the Arts and Sciences. If they sent you their inspiration, you’d be able to come up with that brilliant idea that was escaping you all day – or suddenly find the answer to a nagging problem. Something like being touched with a magic wand. The point I’m making is that you should be prepared to invite the Muse into your work.”

Have you seen the Disney Cartoon, Hercules? Those singing songstresses touting Herc’s glory were muses. What about the 80’s movie, Xanadu? Yep, those ladies of light were muses. (I admit that I do like the movie – Olivia Newton John is a heck of a singer, but I love anything that has Gene Kelly in it – even mediocre roller disco films.)

But I digress.

Since I began this long hard journey called “becoming a writer”, I have joined up with a lot of groups on Facebook and become friends with many people who also write. When someone mentions the word “muse”, most think of those nine lovely graceful ladies and perhaps for others that’s the way it goes. Sadly, that’s not me.

I have determined that my muse is a 320 pound sweaty bald headed jerk. He is mostly a lazy bum, sitting around swilling beer and belching garlic. I have named him “Rufus”. Why, you may ask? Because in my mind, that is his name.

Rufus is not particularly motivated for the most part. He’s happy to just leave me alone and let me flounder helplessly like a kitten in a creek. I think the bastard even laughs at my helplessness at times.

When I get writer’s block, I beg Rufus to help. I try to entice him with promises of comfort, food and all the cheep beer he could possibly drink. He laughs.

Then, when I have given up and decide to watch a movie, suddenly there he is. Bellowing at me as he grabs my hair in a caveman like pose and drags me to the computer. “Write,” he grunts and proceeds to belt me over the head with his huge bat of inspiration. Yes, I know that inspiration should be gentle. Those broads of ancient Greece are always depicted as enticement with nudges and guidance.

I hate them.

Maybe Rufus was once one of them but was cast out and changed gender? Who knows. I do know that when he is being a harsh task master, I will type my fingers down to the bone before he finally wanders off to his own happy place and I can soak my fingers in ice water.

So if you don’t hear from me, blame Rufus.

Ah crap.. here he comes again.

Rufus

Save… me…..

LYMI – Inspiration

Image

A few months back, I posted about one of my friends who was an inspiration to me and my desire to become an author.  Her name was Robin, or as affectionately known by her friends, “Wobin” or “Delswife”.  Though I mentioned her name, I didn’t really go into much detail about her other than to way that she wrote anecdotes about her life and her frequent trips to Disney World.

There was so much more to her than that.

Robin was a true loving sweet and caring friend.  She had a heart as big as all of Disney World and an infallible spirit that refused to give up.  She was a mother, a grandmother, a sister and a writer.

Yes, she was a writer – a wonderful, funny, delightful writer.  Her stories were full of humor and she had no qualms at picking good-natured fun at herself and her lovely family.  Through her vivid recalling of potent moments, her readers became immersed in the various adventures she experienced and always with a smile on her face and a laugh in her heart.  Her trade mark was “LYMI”, which stands for the phrase, “Love You, Mean It”.  It was her way of saying though the world is not perfect and even when she is poking a bit of fun, in the end family is family and no matter what, she still loves you and yes, she means it.

When Robin loved, she loved absolutely.  Even when in horrible pain, she never let it show.  Her last few years was plagued with debilitating nerve problems that forced her to wear air casts on both of her feet. What did she do?   She found the humor in it recounted her adventures wearing them. 

Not only would she do her best to brighten your mood and entertain you with a story, she would go out of her way to help you in any way she could.  When her stories became more well known, pins were created bearing the LYMI logo and sold to the general public.  Instead of taking the money herself, she gave it to JDR and MS foundations.

That was Robin.

Two years ago today, we lost her at a very young age.  When she passed away, her friends got together and made a book of all her stories and had them bound for her family.  Pdf copies were available for the rest of us.  It remains my most prized book in my kindle collection  and to this day, I still read from it regularly.  Last year, I read ‘When Christmas Trees Attack’ on my family’s ride home from my parents house during the holidays.  Some prefer a story about a jolly old elf paying a visit, but give us the tale of a younger Robin fending off a yule tree full of ornaments that jumped her when she wasn’t watching it.  Every pizza delivered to my home reminds me of the dozens of stories she told of her time as a “pizza boy”.

Robin always wanted to write a book and was intending on doing that someday, but that ‘someday’ never came for her.  It’s a sad thing that so many in this world will never know the unique prose that was Robin.  If I could have done one thing for her, it would be to go back and encourage her to get that book done and it’s such a sad thing that she never completed that goal.  That thought continued to circle in my mind for more than a year until finally, this year, I decided to learn from it.  I quit thinking “someday” and make it “now”. I wrote my first full book this year and published it.  I have accomplished one goal that my wonderful, beautiful friend couldn’t. 

Though you will never know it, Robin, YOU are one of the biggest influences of my attempt to become an author.  Not a day goes by that I don’t wish you were still here so I could talk to you.  Not a moment that I sit in front of my computer to write don’t think about you and all you did in your much too short life.

Though I can never hope to approach the genius that came so effortlessly from her, I will continue to putter away at my own attempts.  It’s all because of one little Maine woman who had such a long reach – a reach that still affects others including one mediocre writer.

Love you, really mean it!