|Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon by Claude Lorrain|
In Greek mythology, Zeus created The Muses to celebrate the victory over the Titans and to forget the evils of the world. I’m sure you already know that Zeus was a prolific father. According to myth, he laid with the goddess of memory nine times to create the nine Muses, goddesses of literature, sciences, and the arts. Two of them are directly related to literature—Melpomene (tragedy) and Thalia (comedy). Although I claim Thalia as my muse because I’d rather write humor than tragedy, I can’t ignore Melpomene. A good book must contain both. Tension and danger need the comic relief.
They say inspiration can come from anywhere. I claim Thalia and Melpomene visited last week. My work-in-progress, a romantic suspense, began fifteen years ago. It was the only story I’ve ever written out of sequence. I’m such a linear writer that I have to start a story at the beginning and write through to the end. This story was an anomaly. I wrote scenes as I thought of them. Worse, I named the files poorly. Even worse than that, I saved every variation of the story in separate files on 3.25” floppy disks. Considering that the story began at least four computers ago, I’m thrilled that I found it on those disks. Good thing Hubs purchased an external reader for those disks.
As a place-holder, I named the story Katie’s Story then The Camping Trip. Finally, it became Unpredictable Nature. None was a good title. For one thing, since my daughter-in-law's name is Katy, I changed the main character to Maggie. (I couldn't write love scenes and not think of my son and his wife. Not going there!) At the time, I thought the focus of the story was about camping and the outdoors, especially as it related to Maggie and Drew, the main characters. As I said, that was fifteen years ago.
I’ve been sharing snippets from this story every weekend for the Weekend Writing Warriors’ blog hop. On four Mondays (including yesterday), I shared character sketches of the main characters on my blog. Enter the Muses. A new title. Numbers Never Lie. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Inspiration can strike at any time. Being open to inspiration is the trick.
Here’s the blurb for Numbers Never Lie:
A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.
As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.
Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that—an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.
A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack leave behind?
As I edit and revise Numbers Never Lie I feel so much better about the title. Thank you, Melpomene and Thalia.
Has your Muse helped you in a big way?
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 13th of each month.