That’s what Kev calls it. I noted it down in my list of ideas to write about just like that, so now I forget the specific context. But his meaning is clear: instead of angelically waiting for the muse to descend and inspire — perhaps via a delightful bit of meditation or self-flagellating fasting — you set out bait, to lure it in. In this scenario the muse is a grizzly bear and the bait something suitably rank, perhaps a rotting old emotional wound or a pungent idea best not aired in polite company. It works to extend the analogy. Grizzly bears are magnificent animals, glorious and terrifying. You’d like to get close enough to see one, but drawing that near can leave you ravaged or dead.

I like this idea of the muse. More of an avenging angel or tricky demon, than the sprightly Olivia Newton-John roller girl. The artist who calls in the muse should be on her guard, ready for the swipe to the gut she didn’t see coming. The artist who baits the muse… well, be careful what you wish for.

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