There’s a Diva in my Basement

May 9th, 2010 by Melina

Better than a nightmare in my closet???

Some people have nightmares in their closets. Some people have boys in their basements (and not in a serial killer way).

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My basement, however, has a diva infestation.

I’ve never seen them, but here’s a picture of their ancestors, The Nine Muses:

First, let me clarify something. I’ve never seen the basement in this building. I’m in Brooklyn, but the divas happen to live in my old building in Manhattan. That basement, I was very familiar with. It was haunted, and not in a good way.

The divas live in a private section of that basement that I never got to see. The divas are way more girlie than I. They decorate with daffodils, gerber daisies, and the color pink. Not to mention they’ve stocked up on champagne, tiaras, boas, and big squishy chairs. They have really fast Internet that never, ever, ever goes out. These divas sleep on mattresses with marshmallow like pillow tops and feather beds, with Egyptian cotton sheets (the thread count, of course being about 1,015).

They get Peet’s coffee delivered straight from Berkeley every morning. If it’s cold, they order white chocolate mochas. If it’s hot, they get vanilla freddos. But on most days, the temperature in their lair is perfect, so they just get regular coffee.

Incidentally, the delivery men are smoking hot.

Their taste in music differs from mine. Yet, they have control of my iTunes account, so sometimes I find songs by the Bangles and The Cure on my iPhone, usually as part of a playlist for the book I’m working on, and I listen, happily.

We do, however, agree that writing can’t happen unless at least one song from the most recent episode of Glee has been downloaded.

And they have a huge thing for glittery pens and flowery sticky notes.

Whatever works, right?

So that’s why my writing space is full of junk like this, and why my computer cover is pink.

Yes, that’s a tiara back there. Don’t mock. It’s from Purim, and it makes the divas happy.

Comment from my mom: You didn’t have such a huge thing for the color pink even when you were six. What happened?

I’m telling you, it’s the divas! I get them what they want, and do what they want, and in return, if they’re feeling happy, they shout messages up the stairs. Only I can hear them. (Although, now that I’m in Brooklyn, they have to shout a lot louder, and they’re complaining about throat pain. We certainly can NOT have that! So I’m talking to my landlord about getting some muscular moving men with rocking tan arms to move them to my current basement).

What kind of messages do they send? Here are a few gems:

“Have your hero and heroine have to help a goat deliver her kid! Oh yeah, and while your’e at it, make it a breech birth. BTW, the goat’s having twins. You don’t know Jack about goat births? No worries. Get thyself to YouTube.”

“Force your heroine to do karaoke! Trust us. And your hero just got a job in the Greek church teaching impossible middle schoolers who feel they have better places to be after school.”

“You’re naming your heroine Polyhymnia, after the muse of sacred hymns and poetry. Just go with it. You can call her Polly. You have our permission to joke about how she wants a cracker. You’re welcome.”

“Guess what?!? Your heroine’s ex just got engaged. Sucks to be her!”

“Your hero and heroine are in the process of removing each other’s clothes. For the first time. Bwah ha ha. Oh noes! The village is on fire! Did you hear us? There’s. A. Fire! They better get their clothes back on. NOW! So much for that.”

And they absolutely love when my heart is broken. They sit back on their divans, basking in the schadenfreude.

“You know that playlist that guy gave you? We know you want to delete it, but no! Your heroine has to listen to the one the song that breaks your heart, over and over again. Mel, don’t argue! We know that’s him playing bass. But in return, we’ll let you import a picture of said guy into your Scrivener file, and label it villain. You want to win NaNoWriMo, right? That’ll get you at least 7,000 words.”

(You can read more about this guy here.)

They were so right. I rocked NaNo for the third time, and wrote tissue worthy heartbreak scenes.

I’ve got to run. The divas are getting snappy. I’m supposed to be revising.

And there you have it. For the writers among you: What are your muses like? For the non writers among you: What inspires you and sparks your creativity?

It’s been a pleasure, as always! Bye!

Posted in Basement Divas (Muses), Mel's Favorite Posts, The Lucky Mr. Mel, Writing Life

9 Responses

  1. Cynthia

    My muses are the Younger Miss Bennets from Pride & Prejudice, the A&E version . . . the one with Colin Firth. Yup, they earned that title when then held one of my ideas hostage until they had pink paper. They’ve taken to pushing me out of my comfort zone lately . . . my mischief from a couple weeks ago? That was me sending an email inquiry to the EXACT man who inspired my hero and ask to interview him. Told him I’m writing fiction and had some questions about his job. Yeah, flash forward to this morning when his second email to me came in suggesting that rather than chatting via email we talk . . . on the phone . . . someone shoot me now. That sound you hear, it’s either my heart beating out of my chest or the girls giggling.

  2. admin

    Cynthia, I love that image! And pink paper? Score! Our muses must beet for mimosas.

    That guy wants to talk to you? How cool is that! :-) Just remember, he won’t be able to see you blushing or hear your heart beating through the phone.

  3. Cynthia

    Our muses and us must meet for mimosas someday.

    I’ll try to remember that it’s a phone call not a video chat when he does call. I’ll probably jump out of my skin the next couple times my phone rings. Now let’s hope I can just remember how to speak English when he does call, instead of blithering idiot which I’ve done before.

  4. admin

    You speak Blithering Idiot too? Yeah, I’m totally fluent in that. I studied it all through middle and high school, and became fluent as an adult.

  5. Karne


  6. Davina Pearson

    I love, love LOVE this post. Your divas sound like they quite enjoy causing trouble. And glittery pens, obviously. That part seems to be fairly universal :)

  7. admin

    Hi Davina!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Yes, the glittery pen thing started when I taught Kindergarten / first grade and I used to walk around and draw glittery stars on the children’s work.

    Then I didn’t use them for a while, and then I met Cynthia. ;-)

  8. Pamela Cayne

    Oh, what a wonderful post!!! Your divas sound divine, and I hope they keep sending you such lovely and crunchy thoughts forever and ever, because they sound FABULOUS! Go, you pink sparkly writer, go! :-D

  9. admin

    Hi Pam! The divas used to annoy me a little, but now that I’ve been at this writing thing a while, our relationship is more symbiotic. I trust them more than I used to, because no matter how much they piss me off, they come through. Eventually.

    I’m a little jealous of their lifestyle though.

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