Shakespeare wormed his way into my manuscript.

I already had a connection with the Bard and chances that he would knock on my novel’s door were big, if only because one of my main sparring partners for this project is the playwright George Isherwood, who wrote Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits back in the 70s, and recently the one-man version of Othello and the hilarious one-man-and-a-rope version of King Lear, which I saw in tryout before I left for San Francisco.


The knock came and there he was. The Bard. With Hamlet in his hand, no less. Or rather, Ophelia. Of course we all know about Ophelia’s fate. Not pretty. Not pretty at all and when she slipped into the novel, my initial thought was: couldn’t you’ve dealt me a more uplifting character? Like one of the gravediggers?

I knew the answer even before the thought popped up. It’s a dark book I’m writing. It needs its tragic characters. Ophelia is a tragic character par excellence. Besides, between the two of us, George is the funny one. By far.

Enter Ophelia. A good thing.


It was a busy day. I not only had the Bard knocking on my door, my muse showed up as well. He wasn’t his perky self, so most of the thinking had to be done by me, but that’s fine. A good thing too, though, that he manifested just as I struggled with some matters of life and death. Death, mainly. My protagonist’s death (yup, that’s where Ophelia comes in…).

Now, before I gone on, I have to confess that I talk out loud to my muse. I’m okay with that. As a writer I’m entitled to some crazy stuff. Right?


It’s a thinking thing, this talking to my muse, and it works surprisingly well. I love to sort out my thoughts by verbalizing them and the muse loves to hear me thinking.

How I know? He’s my creation, my work of art. I love dominating my creations. They do as I tell them – well, not always, but most of the time. So, I verbalize, he listens, and I get the Aha-Erlebnis.

Like today. Total Aha-Erlebnis. I adore my muse. Honestly. I do. Very much.



Ophelia at the beach – Sheer Madness