Monday, September 26, 2011

What time's the next muse?

    A couple of months ago, W magazine had a beautiful story on Woody Allen's muses. Beautiful, because it had pictures of them. They were all actresses in his movies, from "Annie Hall" to "Manhattan" to "Midnight In Paris".

       These various muses (Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, to name a few) inspired Woody to write films for them, and he did, because he was in love with each one. I need a muse to inspire me to write this blog. I'm sort of in-between muses right now.

       In advertising, muses are everywhere. On my first job I shared an office with raven-haired Ashley. When I was asked to write poetry for the Christmas card for the c.e.o. of Sara Lee, it was Ashley who inspired me to go down to the bar on the first floor, have a few drinks, and write the thing. When I had to write a commercial for Sealy mattresses, I would talk to our receptionist, Miss Goldblatt. Somehow, she would inspire me to think about matresses, as she did every salesman who came calling at our office.

     Over the years, my muses have included Harriette, the photographer who became a midwife. She brought out my natural side. Marianne, a copywriter from Des Moines who inspired me to create an ad campaign for tourism in Iceland when I came back with pneumonia from a field trip there. There was Bonnie, almost too beautiful to look at, who inspired me to do a GM campaign for using quality replacement parts. And I can't forget Margaret, who ultimately inspired me to quit smoking forever, only to relapse when she introduced me to her boyfriend.

      Writing a blog requires a different kind of muse than writing an ad or a mid-term exam.  When you write a blog, you need a muse with the long view. One who thinks this could be the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast one day. One who gives me ideas every time she walks in the room, just by walking in the room.

       I'm easy to please. She simply needs to be part Scarlett Johansson, part Tina Fey, and part Della Street.

       But where do you find such a muse? I guess I should write an ad for one.

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