I’ve had several requests to revive a little Muse You Can Use ditty that I wrote circa the winter solstice in 2003. So here it is, my gift to all of you fabulous writers out there:
12 Days of Writers’ Wishes
In honor of the season (and because “public domain” copyright law permits derivative works, ha, ha), I’m revising the lyrics from “The 12 Days of Christmas” to offer inspiration to those of you who’ve been working with the word this year.
I’ve omitted the “my true love gave to me” portion because we writers know that no one – not even our truest loves – can give us what it takes to inventively emote on the page. That gift comes from within and above.
I’ve also deleted the “days” idea (wow, this looks nothing like the original work!) and replaced each verse with things that writers REALLY want—none of that piping and drumming nonsense. Of what use are milking maids or geese-a-laying anyway, unless you own a cow or have a fetish for large waterfowl?
What remains after all this editing are 12 gifts that I hope you will receive in the coming year, if you so desire!
12 Drummers Drumming = 12 percent (or more) royalties
11 Pipers Piping = 11 hours of heavenly solitude to write, write, write
10 Lords a Leaping = 10 larger-than-life fiction characters leaping off the page, including one bad-ass antagonist and a main character who makes your heart melt
9 Ladies Dancing = 9 muses dancing in your head, rousing your imagination all year long
8 Maids a Milking = milking each of your first-rights-only articles 8 times through serial rights
7 Swans a Swimming = 7 article acceptance notices swimming in your e-box
6 Geese a Laying = 6th sense about when your project is rightfully “done,” and the patience to keep incubating until it is
5 Golden Rings = 5 testimonials from readers saying how much they enjoyed reading you
4 Calling Birds = 4 call-in talk show offers, at least one in syndication
3 French Hens = 3 AAR literary agents offering representation (I don’t mean to infer that agents are hens)
2 Turtle Doves = 2 editors-in-charge of imprints, cooing for your manuscript (auction!)
A Partridge in a Pear Tree = a screen adaptation and a call from Oprah’s executive producer
HAPPY, HAPPY BLESSED HOLIDAY EVERYONE!