The Flat-Heeled MuseApril 1, 1965
The muse in charge of fantasy wears good, sensible shoes. No
foam-born Aphrodite, she vaguely resembles my old piano teacher, who was
keen on metronomes. She does not carry a soothing lyre for inspiration,
but is more likely to shake you roughly awake at four in the morning
and rattle a sheaf of subtle, sneaky questions under your nose. And you
had better answer them. The Muse will stand for no nonsense (that is,
non-sense). Her geometries are no more Euclidean than Einstein’s, but
they are equally rigorous.
I was aware of the problems and disciplines of fantasy, but in a
left-handed sort of way; because there is a difference between knowing
and doing. Until I met the Muse in Charge of Fantasy personally, I had
no hint of what a virago she could be.
Our first encounter was relatively cordial and came in the course of working on a book called Time Cat. I suspect I learn more from writing books than readers very likely learn from reading th…