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When Muses Come Home

A shaft of sunlight shines on the forest floor; the backdrop is a stand of mountain laurel shrubs with glistening leaves and one large tree with dark bark.

It’s been months since I last posted. To anyone who was worried about my lost muse, I apologize. And to the rest of you, who only now realize I’ve been missing from your inbox: it’s been a crazy year, hasn’t it?

The good news? I found my muse! When I walked into my office after vacation, she was twirling around in my chair, making a silver and gold paper clip chain.

The bad news? Her first words were those known and feared by all humankind. “We need to talk.”


“I’m tired of carrying you. Your work needs sparkle! It needs joy! It needs laughter! And YOU,” she jabbed a turquoise pen in my direction, “are an Eeyore.”

I perched on my dusty exercise ball. “You realize we’re in the middle of a pandemic, right? Why shouldn’t I feel sad?”

“You write humor.”

“Your point?”

“Look, it won’t get easier. Cassandra predicts COVID will stick around AND there’s a new plague on the horizon.”

Ouch. Cassandra, the ancient Greek seer, was never wrong. No one ever believed her, but she was never wrong. “You’re not helping with the whole joy thing, you know. And how is Cassandra these days?”

“Less gloomy than you. She’s started a support group for other accurate-but-ignored prophets. The scientists studying climate change have signed on, and she tells me epidemiologists are expressing interest, too.” My muse stood up. “Call me when you’ve learned to be happy.” And, POOF, she was gone in a swirl of fuchsia and scarlet sticky notes.

So… I’ve spent the past year revising my manuscript by bribing my muse with office supplies. Meanwhile, I’ve been desperately seeking joy before I max out my credit card at Staples. But every time I’m inspired to burst into song and pirouette across the room, my phone dings with news of another area stricken by drought… or flooding… or both! (How is that even possible?) Or I hear about a new mass shooting or hate crime.

Joy is impossible.

Instead, I’ve regained my hope.

Today is an election day. Whatever the results, the younger generations aren’t going away. They’ve found the activism and idealism that much of my generation once had but somehow lost. Was it because we thought we’d won? This group won’t make that mistake. So I’m hopeful—and grateful.

With that realization, my muse and I have reached an uneasy compromise. She agreed to help me write. In return, I am nurturing hope and becoming more spontaneous. Going forward, I will therefore add to my blog only when I have something to say. It may be a screed, but it may be a few lines. The timing will be irregular. It may be about writing, it may be about nature, or it could focus on the paranormal. It may even be laundry tips. Who knows?

If that doesn’t work for those of you who follow my blog, I understand if you unsubscribe. Thank you for sticking with me for so long. To those who choose to stay, thank you! But please buckle up. If my muse is driving, it could be a wild—but colorful—ride.

6 responses to “When Muses Come Home”

  1. Please do continue to blog whenever about whatever, as your muse dictates. While I admire those who can write good stuff most of the time despite writing frequently and narrowly, I don’t pretend to be like them.

    *Stale Bread Can Wait*
    ~ My muse is stingy (when implored)
    ~ or really bitchy (when ignored).
    ~ If I want to sing of croutons
    ~ (but her fancy turns to plutons),
    ~ I have just one way to go:
    ~ with the mighty magma flow.


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