Muses

[These are not a complete listing of authors’ and artists’ works, but chiefly the works that inspired me. In addition, not a complete list of authors’ and artists’ contributions and skills, just the ones applicable as my muses.]

Writers/Novelists:

J.D. Salinger

Jerome David Salinger. American Novelist. Notable influential works as muse: The Catcher in the Rye (1951) Franny and Zooey (1961) and my favorite, Nine Stories (1953).

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis. English Novelist, Essayist, Christian Apologist. Notable influential works as muse: The Screwtape Letters (1942), Pick any of his essays, the man’s awesome and articulate. The Chronicles of Narnia (1950 – 1956). Additional recognition to the Cosmic Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandra (1943) and That Hideous Strength (1945).

Dr. Seuss, i.e. Theodor Seuss Geisel

American Writer & Cartoonist. Notable influential works as muse: Green, Eggs, & Ham (1960), The Lorax (1971), and additional recognition to the classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957).

David Sedaris

American Humorist and predominantly autobiographical author. His creative nonfiction is hilarious and notable works as muse: essay SantaLand Diaries also published in short collection Holidays on Ice (1997), Naked (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004), and When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008).

Poets:

e.e. cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings. American Poet. Notable as muse for innovative style and structure—poems experimented with form, grammar, punctuation, spacing, and pacing. Some favorites include [from Selected Poems (1960)]: “since feeling is first” (page 99), “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond” (page 65) “it is so long since my heart has been with yours” (page 68), “hate blows a bubble of despair into” (page 70) “i like my body when it is with your body” (page 82), “don’t get me wrong oblivion” (page 116) and more. Poems written between 1923 – 1958.

Edgar Allen Poe

American author and poet, part of the American Romantic Movement, known for his talent of mystery and macabre. One of the earliest practitioners of the short story form and considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. Notable works as muse: Poetry—”The Raven” (1845), “A Dream within a Dream” (1849), and “The Bells” (1849) for its execution of sound and onomatopoeic properties. Short stories—The Tell-Tale Heart (1843), The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), The Pit and the Pendulum (1842), The Cask of Amontillado (1846), The Black Cat (1843) and more.  

Composers:

Fryderyk Chopin

Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. Renowned for his craftsmanship, form, and overall distinct musical language. Notable as muse for his general awesomeness. A few examples include: Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 (1831), Nocturne No. 2 in E-Flat, Op. 9 No. 2 (circa 1830), and Impromptu No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor (n/a).

Danny Elfman

Daniel Elfman, American Composer. Compositions appear in many Tim Burton films. His incredible scores set the tone for movies like Beetlejuice (1988), Batman Returns (1992), Good Will Hunting (1997), Big Fish (2003), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Scrooged (1988), and special mention The Simpsons (1989) and Desperate Housewives (2004) main themes.

Playwrights:

William Shakespeare

Bands/Musicians:

Radiohead

Tool

Frank Sinatra

Bob Dylan

Film Directors/Screenwriters:

David Fincher

American Film Director. Notable as muse for films: Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999), and acknowledgement of psychological thriller The Game (1997).

Christopher Nolan

English Film Director & Screenwriter. Notable as muse for films: The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and honorable mention Memento (2000).

Wes Anderson

Diablo Cody

Brooke M. Busey, American Screenwriter. Notable as muse for screenplay Juno (2007). A simple, honest, and genuine script.

Philosophers:

Friedrich Nietzsche

Rene Descartes

Plato

Psychologists

Carl Jung

Academy-Award Winning Actors/Actresses:

Paul Newman

Cary Grant

Audrey Hepburn

People I know:

Daniel McCloskey

Novelist and comic artist. Extremely dedicated and disciplined artist. Notable as muse for innovative hybrid novel A Film About Billy as well as for his strict devotion to his craft. In addition, Dan created the Cyberpunk Apocalypse (2009 – 2015), a cooperative for writers & comic artists based in Pittsburgh. This muse can be credited to inspiring my works: Home Brewed, and a bunch of random poetry like Death of a Confidence Man (2013) and “This Fucking Town(2013).

kate drawing portrait

C.R. Tucker

Pianist. Notable as muse for helping me see the stories within the music. This muse can be credited to inspiring my non-fiction hybrid piece Amazing Grace.

That Girl from my Undergraduate Writing Classes

Mackenzie Leigh Whitehair. Poet. Notable as muse for incredible natural talent. I remember hearing “Sugar” in our creative writing class and being totally blown away by its uncomplicated power and telling word choices. Poignant imagery paired with latent psychological ingenuity.

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