By Kelsey Weber, Bluegrass Writers Studio
I've always been fascinated by the drama that surrounds the tale of Henry the VIII, Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn. I have read many books on all the individuals involved and passed on the story to anyone who would listen. So when I saw on the Winter Residency schedule that Jason Howard was set to talk about Anne Boleyn in his craft talk, I was excited to say the least. Howard seemed just as excited to talk to us about Anne Boleyn as I was to hear about her. He spoke of his familial connection to her and how that connection had influenced his writing in many different ways. He not only wrote about her directly but also felt her sway in his other forms as well. It was clear he held this strong, brave, determined woman in the highest regard. His reverence for her went beyond just Anne Boleyn herself and her story but also where she lived and died. His muse was not just a person but also the place, London.
I know most authors, myself included, have a place where they go to write, that little niche that helps to nurture that creative spark. Howard took it a step further and traveled far to gain that extra insight into Anne's life. The image that stays with me is when Howard spoke of running through the streets of London with Anne. He let his muse be his guide. I think it is important to write what you know to the best of your abilities and means and although he didn't mention it directly, I think Howard embodies this idea. He wanted to understand another person's life and experiences and ventured to where Anne lived to do so.
Whether your muse is a person, real or imagined, a place, or an atmosphere, embrace it and follow it wherever it leads.
Published on February 26, 2015