Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere


Best-made plans, derailed by stairs? #amwriting


I slam the door to my writing office.

“Hey.” My Muse intercepts me on my way to the corner.

I shove around him; I hear a recliner calling my name.

He grabs my arm, pulling me to a stop. “What’s going on, love?”

Something about my Muse in his burgundy henley and worn-well jeans and smelling like the great outdoors in fall cools my frustration. I can’t help the sigh.

“You know, when you have a nice list of stuff to do on an impromptu trip that you didn’t really plan to do on your day off but planned anyway because it made sense, and you think of all the stuff you’ll be able to cross off your to-do list, and you really want to cross all that stuff off because then it’s done?” Yes, I know it’s a run-on sentence, but I don’t care.

He pauses for a moment, probably deciphering my ramble. “Yes.”

“And then Murphy comes along and sticks a finger in it just because he has nothing better to do?”

“I take it you weren’t able to cross much off your list.”

Another sigh. “I know unexpected stuff comes up, and I’m okay with that because that’s life, but I wanted to do some writing after I got home.” Grumble. “Totally trashed that idea.” The day was such a bust I’m having a hard time just settling my frustration, much less writing anything.

He steers me toward a recliner. “Sit.” I comply without protest because that was my plan anyway. He sits on the edge of the other recliner. “Do you need to walk through it?”

Argh. “So, I go down to Mankato to help my daughter get her student loan paperwork done and tuition paid, and she wants to come home this weekend but needs a ride because her last class ends at four and her friends that are coming home this weekend want to leave earlier and my son isn’t coming home so she needs a ride home and since I’m down there I was going to do my errands and probably have a little extra time I could spend working on my stuff.” Deep breath.

“Slow down, love.”

“I took today off so I could do some writing and I needed a break from work but then the whole Mankato thing came up–tuition is due the end of the month but I know that if I don’t push her to do anything she’ll wait until the very last minute and then if she has to do extra stuff in oder to get the loan she won’t be able to pay tuition on time–and I have to get my new glasses reworked again because they still don’t have the progression in the right spot so I wanted to do that and I have a book fair thing all day on Saturday so I won’t get anything done other than what I can do there which might not be much so I only have Sunday to really do stuff, but I’ll need to recover a bit from Saturday …”

“Stop.” He leans over me. “Slow. Down. What happened?”

“So, I get to campus and meet my daughter at eleven–she has a break until her one o’clock class–and we walk over to the cashier’s office and find out she has to accept her loan first and to do that she has to watch some informational video thing …”


“I’m getting to it. So I tell her to do the video thing at home this weekend because it takes a half hour, she shouldn’t do it on her phone, and her brother will be there to help if she needs it. He is coming home anyway this weekend.”

“You still haven’t told me what happened.”

“You know it was hot and sooo humid. And campus is, like, a ten-minute hike from her apartment. I left her on campus to go to her class and walked back to her apartment.  I left her apartment and head to the shopping area to start my errands, and I get a call from her while I’m driving–Minnesota is hands-free now so I can’t talk–but she says it’s an emergency.”

“I’m waiting.”

“She fell down a step. She misstepped and basically rolled her foot and fell hard. She had friends with her, but needed me to come and get her and take her to the hospital.”

Another pause. “Don’t they have emergency services on campus?”

“There’s a clinic, but no sort of ER or anything. So right then, my plans go ‘poof’. Luckily one of her friends called the EMT and her other friend is a guy big enough to pick her up and carry her someplace not on the stairs outside in the humid heat because she can’t walk. The EMT thought nothing was broken but he advised getting an X-ray but the clinic doesn’t have anything like that.”

“Finish up, love.”

“So I finally find her–I don’t know where anything is on campus except the dorm she and my son used to live in–and my sense of direction is as good as a rock. She tells me what buildings she’s by, but I don’t know where they are, and she sends me a campus map with her location circled and it still takes me ten freaking minutes to figure out where she is and how to get there then we have to get her stuff from her apartment before driving all the way up to our usual hospital to Urgent Care, because we know that hospital is in our network and she wasn’t bleeding to death or anything. And then we were in Urgent Care for, like, two hours. Two hours! After an hour and a half drive.”

“Was her foot broken?”

“No, and we really didn’t think it was. A ligament on the top of the foot was pulled, so it’s a bad sprain. But all that just torched the whole day. And it was mostly the drive and the two or more hours in Urgent Care–and we were, like, the only people there.”

My Muse nods. “Okay, I get it. Shit happens.”

“I know, I know. But it’s still frustrating.”

My daughter is okay. They gave her a splint so she can’t twist her foot and gave her the whole ibuprofen, ice, rest routine. And I’m off to my book fair all day. At least there will be four other Sisters in Crime members there to hang with. And maybe my sister-in-law, who is a member of the Friends of the Library there.

Have a productive writing weekend!




I’ve got a blank page on the screen, and so many thoughts careening in my head. What the hell’s wrong with people these days? What happened to …

My Muse bursts into my writing office. “Don’t.”

“‘Don’t’ what?”

He closes my laptop. “Don’t do it, love. You write fiction.”

“So do all the politicians, and a good portion of the media.”

He nudges me away from my desk, then leans against it in front of me. “Yes, you’re right. Stay out of it.”

I rock back in my chair, filled with the frustration of seeing and hearing things I can’t do anything about. “I’m a writer. I have to write about it. Did you read the letter to the editor in the local paper last week? Oh. My. God. Are there really that many short-sighted, narrow-minded people in this country?”

He reaches to me. “Come here, love.”

I don’t take his hand. Instead, I look up at him. He’s wearing faded cutoffs, deck shoes (no socks) and a muscle shirt that leaves no question he’s in very fine condition. Sigh. His sandy blond hair is mussed just enough to add a roguish charm to his appeal. “Why?”

“Because you need a break from all the depressing rhetoric out there.”

“I need to write something. I need to remind people to think for themselves, and not listen to all the crap everyone is slinging like so much shit in a monkey cage. Why do they have to dwell on the bad stuff? Why can’t they talk about all the good stuff that happens? All the good stuff people do?”

“You know why. Good stuff doesn’t get as many ratings as the bad stuff. And you know they sensationalize it to get even more ratings. Hell, writing’s the same way. Look at that 50 Shades book. Sex sells. So do the angry rantings of narcissistic sociopaths.” He curls his fingers in a come-along gesture. “C’mon, love.”

“I want to tell people to think for themselves. Get their heads out of their asses. Why can’t they stop listening to people who play on their fears? How do they think the ball started rolling toward World War II? Do they even remember history? Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Why can’t people see that?”

“Because when people are angry and afraid, they stop listening to reason.”

“Stop listening? Seems like they stop thinking, too. Gawd, people need to think about what matters in the grand scheme of things outside their little patch of ground. People need to remember the core of what their prophet of choice preached. Every major religion promotes peace, harmony, and treating others as you want to be treated. Every. Single. One. Why don’t people get it?”

He plants his fists on his hips. “Stop that.” He grabs my arm and yanks me to my feet so fast I have to catch myself on his very nice chest. He smells like summer, that scent of refreshing lakes and fresh-cut clover. “This is not the venue, and you know it.”

I try to push away. He keeps me close, tips my face up with a finger under my chin. His blue eyes reflect the calm of clear skies. “Let that energy go, love. It doesn’t help your stress or your writing.”

“Let me go.” I can’t bring myself to struggle. He feels like a refuge of sorts. I slump against him. “You’ll stay close, right? I’m hammering on yet another revision of my WIP. I need to get it done. I want to send it off before the reunion.”

“I’ve been close. Even restocked the fridge.”

“Chocolate, too?”

He gives me a reassuring hug. “Of course.”

“You’re a good Muse. I think I’ll keep you around.” I don’t tell him he’s too sexy to fire. 😀

Sorry this post is off my usual schedule. Just venting, y’all. I apologize ahead of time if I offend anyone. I needed to vent, which I typically don’t do, but man, the world is going crazy. I’m turning comments off for this post, because I don’t want to bait the trolls. They’ve got bridge work to do. Just wish they’d build them instead of tearing them down.