Write about your muse – what does he or she look like? What does your muse do to inspire you?
I thought about this one long and hard and decided I don't really have one set muse. I mostly get inspired by the women in my life, the women I see on TV and in film, the women I read about in books or news articles, the women I see walking around every day. It inspires me and my writing, which is why so many of my short stories and poems come from the point-of-view of a woman or girl.
I find women to be inspirational because the cards are often stacked against us. And stacked a little higher the browner you are, the gayer you are, the more masculine you are, etc. There's beauty in taking our pain, our trauma, our tragedy and turning it into art. Refocusing that bad energy into something positive, something motivating.
My muse is a woman who owns her flaws and uses her voice to stand up for those who can't do it themselves.
My muse is a woman who was left alone to raise her kids by herself and persevered.
My muse is a woman who has been beaten down and brutalized by the so-called justice system and lost her life because she couldn't get out.
My muse is a woman who hides her love of women because she's afraid her family will disown her.
My muse is a woman who musters up enough bravery to walk away from an abusive relationship.
My muse is a woman who calls out her friends for their blatant bigotry.
My muse is a woman who gives and gives and gives so much of herself to her family and asks nothing in return.
My muse is a woman who finds solace in God's prayer.
My muse is a woman who helps the falling-down, drunk girl instead of laughing like everyone else.
My muse is a woman who discovered late in life that she was meant to be a "she" and not a "he."
My muse is a woman who punches Nazis in the fucking face.
Powerful, strong, flawed, morally gray, impressive, righteously angry women are my muses. The ones who refuse to back down and let life fuck them over.