Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Post! Melissa Stewart

As one of the stops on the Fins, Wings, and Other Things blog tour, I am honored to have Melissa Stewart, author of the new A Place for Fish, here at the blog to talk about her muse for writing. Check out this AMAZING statue:

When writers talk about their “muse,” most are speaking figuratively. They are referring to a mysterious form of inspiration that occasionally strikes out of the blue. But when I talk about my muse, I’m referring to something physical, literal, and, yes, deeply inspirational.

I visit my muse each Earth Day and any time I’m feeling creatively drained. Her name is Venusvine and she resides at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA.

The photo here doesn’t do the 16-foot-tall cast bronze sculpture justice. She is so much more beautiful in person. Even up close, she appears to be a forest nymph with branches for limbs and roots for hair. The first time I saw her, I thought she was made of organic materials. I didn’t realize she was bronzed until I read her plaque.

I have photos of Venusvine on the wall of my office. Sometimes I point them out to students during Skype visits. But sometimes I don’t. On those days, I need to keep her for myself.

Does Venusvine really give me creative energy? Who knows. But I still like having her around. Staring at her sometimes helps me focus my thoughts as I write books about the natural world. And she always reminds me of why I do what I do. If something I write in a book or say during a school visit inspires a child to take a closer look at a rock or chase after a butterfly just to see where it’s going, then my job is done.

Do all authors have a specific muse they look to when needing creative energy? I think that would be a pretty cool interview question to ask. 

One of my favorite bloggers Abby the Librarian is also participating in the tour and has a review up of Bring on the Birds Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelf has a review of Melissa Stewart's A Place for Fish. Head over to her blog and check it out! You can also visit the Peachtree Publishing blog to check out all the other stops on the tour. Lots of fun things going on!

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