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The writing muse

August 12, 2011

While in Corfu we visited the Achillion Palace.  The courtyard shown below is flanked by statues of the 9 muses and the 3 graces.  It was the setting for a casino scene in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only in 1981.  This week, I converted it into the outer courtyard of the Hall of Scribes on mount Lykabettos in Athens – one of the locations portrayed in my story Obsidian Fields.  Whilst researching the Muse, I came across different ideas for calling the writing muse in.  An interesting one, which I might try next time I’m in a bookshop, is to visualise your published book sitting on the shelf.   Another was to write a prayer to the Muse.  This put me in mind of a poem I wrote a few months ago called O Kalliope. 

 The first three verses are:

O Kalliope,

o epic Muse,

daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne,

I beseech thee

for help with my writing projects.

Inspire me

to keep a journal

of my life story,

and to chronicle

my family history.

Likewise, support me

to produce;

a collection of poetry,


and mantras for writers.

The Muse heard my prayer and I am well under way with various writing projects.  As regards mantras, I have collected them from various sources over the years and often take a selection to talks/workshops for people to pull one out of a bag at the end of the session.  It occurred to me to take a lucky dip for you today and here it is;

‘List all the senses and let them into your writing.’

Let me know how you get on with it.   If it inspires you to look for more writing ideas, try the list of quotes on

In the meantime, should you wish to address a Muse yourself, the others are;

Erato – love poetry, Polymnia – sacred hymns, Euterpe – lyrical songs, Thaleia – comedy, Melpomene – tragedy, Terpsichore – dance, Clio – history and Urania – astronomy.

(Source: Gods and Men by the Stephanides Brothers, Sigma Publications, Athens, 2008)


From → Poetry

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