Writing a Life Not My Own

Hi there! I’m Mae. I write things. Some of you probably know me from A Small Press Life, which I started in December 2011. My favorite blogging subjects are old books, dead writers, classic movies, tea, and random musings about whatever catches my fancy. Two months ago, I started a colossal real-world project: researching and writing the life of an obscure 20th-century musical theater performer. How I came to own a thick slice of her archives is the subject for another post. Or two. It really is an interesting tale in its own right. I created Alternative Muses in an effort to keep this creative obsession from enveloping A Small Press Life. Containment was no longer an option, so here we are on a new wavelength. Let’s hope it’s worth riding.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Deciding to write a biography of J was the easy part; researching it is radically different. I expect the latter to take three to five years. This blog won’t be a dumping ground for all of my data, though, because that would be overwhelming and odd. I’m in the midst of brainstorming content ideas and setting parameters for the same. As it stands, I promise you essays, anecdotes, photos, reviews, and resources covering a variety of relevant subjects. Beyond that, only time will tell. 


Here’s a roundup of my [R]evolving Research series from A Small Press Life. It is about J and will remain a permanent feature there. Everything else J-centric will live here.

Two months in and research is a strong thread in my daily routine.* This level of commitment is the only way I can tackle such an intimidating yet exhilarating project and keep my wits intact. No days off, not even holidays. Minimum of half an hour, usually early or late. Otherwise, I cannot properly sleep. I aim for ten hours a week, though, give or take. My true goal is forty hours a month, the equivalent of a week’s worth of work at a full-time job. To date, I’ve been more or less successful.

Let me know if there are any topics you would like me to cover. I’ll do my best to accommodate those types of requests. 


“Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.”–W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up

I couldn’t dream up a bigger or more soul-galvanizing pursuit than the one I’ll be chronicling on Alternative Muses. I hope you’ll join me on this journey into the unknown.


*I also have a part-time day job and work at my family’s new business. I write and blog on the side. 

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