Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Muses


These are my muses - Ralph and Rita Mouse. They were gifts over the years from my mother-in-law. Ralph is in the teacup. He is my main muse. When I'm stuck with a problem with my plot, or don't know what my hero or heroine should be doing, or just a down moment I just look up to the window sill and there is Ralph. He cheers me up, he whispers in my ear what I'm missing.


A couple of years ago I got the mouse in the shiny high heeled shoe. She didn't have a name. My MIL said she was good luck for my writing. My daughter, Jennifer said, "Her name is Rita." I was so teary-eyed; my family had been listening to me. They knew my dreams, they wanted me to achieve them, they knew about the Golden Heart and the Rita. What a family!


Too many times in the romance industry I hear sad stories of dreams crushed, husbands who don't LET their wives go to National, or who actually belittle the stories we create and rip them - literally - into pieces.


We have to treasure those who support us and our dreams. Hug the husbands and wives you GET IT, reward the children who give you that quiet hour to write each evening, the families who understand you are trying to reach your dream. Thank the spouse who bought that first computer - in 1991 - so you could write the book of your dreams, the one that didn't sell until 2010. Take note of the family budget that includes Internet so you can stay connected to the world while locked in your own imaginary one.


Do you have a muse? Do you have a support team for your dreams?


Jill James

21 comments:

Lee Lopez said...

I've heard all these stories with you, and actually have one young woman express it to me in tears at a conference. She didn't get what she promised her husband, which was a publishing contract, right there at National! She told me, he'd never let her go to another conference again.
I don't get that...But I think your mice have brought you some great luck.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Jill, your muses are lovely, especially 'Rita.' :)

Jill James said...

Lee, thank you for being with me every step of the way and for sharing the stories.

Dawn, thanks. I love Rita too. I actually still have the chocolate "Rita" they handed out at RWA National in Reno. I'm keeping it on my windowsill until I have a real one to replace it.

Nikki E said...

Rita's got a nice shoe there!

I don't have a muse--at least, not one that I can point to. But I DO have a supportive husband, which is such a blessing. And my kids respect the fact I'm pursuing my dream. So, my family is my support team.

I, too, have heard stories from fellow writers about their spouses or SOs who simply don't understand or, worse, try to keep them from realizing their dreams. It makes me both sad and angry.

The publishing biz is hard enough without that kind of roadblock.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I also have that chocolate RITA with hopes of replacing it with the real thing.

I am truly blessed with a family and friends who support my writing to say nothing of my critique partners and writing friends who never, ever let me sulk or feel sorry for myself in the tough times and praise and joy when I succeed. In fact, I think my friends who write are my biggest blessing and the best part about this business. :)

Carol Ericson said...

Hmm, I ATE that chocolate Rita! Your family sounds wonderfully supportive, Jill. While my husband isn't thrilled when I go to Nationals (he doesn't like being the family chauffeur!), he is very supportive. He's the one who told me to take out that book I wrote 20 years before (when I wasn't even with him) and get to work. He's the one who bought me books about preparing your manuscript and formatting and querying and a big book of literary agents. And of coure I have a big group of supportive writers to push me during online sprints and who cheer me on and who just get it!

pam owldreamer said...

Yes I have three muses. Unfortunately all of them have deserted me in favor of a three month vacation in Ireland,then a few weeks in New Orleans,followed by an undisclosed trip to a secret destination. The three ( once dependable) muses left without any way for me to contact them. If anyone sees two ladies resembling Audrey and Kathryn Hepburn and escorted by a six foot three inch,impossibly handsome, green eyed man with with midnight hair just touching his wide muscular shoulders please contact me. Sigh! I haven't written a single line since they left. P.Owldreamer

pam owldreamer said...

Hello again. I left a lighthearted comment earlier and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to say something near and dear to my heart. I HAVE NO SUPPORT SYSTEM AT HOME FOR MY WRITING. I have a great family. They love me and give me THAT SMILE when I talk about my writing and having a hard time with the story,etc.,etc.! Now that being said,I have a fabulous group of fellow writers @ RWA,FTHRW,etc. They give me sympathy,a kick in the butt,or words of encouragement during my periods of dry spells,revision hell, new MS vs Old MS.Whatever I need to help is out there for me. I was a Hospice nurse and I still believe being a writer is the most difficult job there is ,because when you sit down to write,you are all alone. The story,the characters and the dialogue come from no one but yourself.

Jill James said...

Nikki, a supportive family is priceless, whatever your dream is. Give yours big hugs.

Jill James said...

Paisley, lots of people thought I was nuts for keeping that chocolate Rita, but I've seen lots of blogs with people who kept theirs as a talisman.

Jill James said...

Carol, your husband is saying he GETS IT when he buys you those books. He's a keeper.

Jill James said...

Pam, you are so right. With all the support in the world we are still alone when it is time to get that story from our heart to the paper. Hopefully your family is supportive in other ways; like peace and quiet.

Sandy said...

Jill, my husband has always been supportive but in the last couple of years since I became published he's decided I can't use any of our money for conferences. It has to come from the money I make with my published books, which isn't much. At the same time, I can't blame him when he's supoorted and allowed me to go to conferences for the last 20 years. At some point I have to carry my weight.

A wonderful post, Jill.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

My hubby goes back and forth, but for the most part, he's more forth than back. :) Your little mice are so cute! Reminds me of the mice my mom collects--what's the name of the company they come from?

I hope you get to replace that chocolate Rita with the real thing someday! Looking forward to your release.

Jill James said...

Sandy, thanks for visiting. I'm sure when I start making money my husband will be the same way. Maybe he will pay for conference and make me take my own spending money. LOL

Jill James said...

Stacey, they are called Charming Tails. After you mentioned them I had to check the bottom, didn't know that before. hahaha

tonya kappes said...

My husband is totally on board. He's the one who got me started writing. I have the best family. This industry is so hard, I can't imagine what it would be like without them.

My muse is Lucky Lucy. Sometimes I have to smack her with her hot pink feather boa!

Jill James said...

Tonya, so true. I don't know how some writers keep going with no one in their corner.

Thanks for stopping by.

Joanne said...

Jill,
I've never thought about it much, but my DH must be my biggest supporter because he's married to a writer and never complains.

Jill James said...

Joanne, not complaining is priceless. Give him a big hug!

Joanne said...

I will, Jill. :)