Farewell, beautiful muse

Tonight, I am reeling. My muse and inspiration, Chris Cornell, is reported to have passed away. So much more to me than just a voice, I cannot grasp the new reality of a world without him. My heart is broken, genuinely shattered.

How did he end up my muse? It started with a photo he posted on Twitter. I was a long-time fan, so I was already following him. Actually, he was the first person I followed on Twitter. Anyway, I digress. The photo was of a wall, marble or something similar, with the ghost of his image reflected. He asked us, his followers, what did we see? It sparked an image, then a paragraph, a scene, a chapter… The resulting story is as yet unfinished, but that was when I knew I’d found my muse.

My first novel has a hero that is not difficult to identify as having been inspired by Chris. But back then, I didn’t see him as my muse. His talent and beautiful character were the source for my character, and I thought it was as simple as that. But after that photo of the wall… Songs, interviews, other photos, so many things sparked ideas and stories.

Now he’s gone. I want to finish those stories he inspired, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to write. I guess I will one day. I think he’d like me to. But my heart is broken. It will heal, I have known grief before, but I have lost my touchstone, the star I navigate with through the waters of creativity.

Only two weeks ago I published a novella inspired by the lyrics of one of Chris’s songs. The temptation is to remove it from sale. I don’t want it to look like I’m being opportunistic or disrespectful. But would he want me to? He enjoyed it when artists covered his songs, so I’ll leave it up. For now, at least. And the other novellas I’d planned that were also based on his songs? Maybe, one day, they’ll make an appearance.

Farewell, my beautiful muse. Thank you for everything, for so much more than I could ever express.


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