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My Meandering Muse

October 2, 2012

The stovetop of bubbling ideas for books just keeps getting bigger and my ambitious Muse ain’t slowin’ down yet! She keeps me up nights, haunts me in the shower, talks over my shower when I’m cooking or doing other housewifery chores, runs around me on nightly walks, dances beside me when I’m chilling to some music, follows me to town gabbing all the way, jumps up and down with chitter chatter while I’m out to dinner, and won’t leave me alone with my man at the movies. The ideas from my Muse never stop flowing in. She’s a yakkity yak nag. My personal Muse is like the Niagara Falls of inspirational waters. She’s always got new ideas for characters and stories spring-boarding off of almost anything or anyone around me. Sometimes I want to yell, “Stop!”, sort of.

Okay, that’s it! I’ve decided that I’ve been taking far too long finishing up my ninth novel. One more rewrite to go but for some reason, I’ve been finding excuses to work on other things for near a year and my poor ‘girl’ has been left waiting in the wings. My Muse has been having words with me: ‘Enough with the excuses! Get back to bloomin’ work!’, she says. Sometimes I feel like a sort of indentured literary servant to my Muse. She has so many more novels for me to write, and we both know that I won’t start writing the tenth novel in earnest until I finally finish up the ninth. And sheesh, I’ve got ten more stories sketched in and a hundred books backstage, so I’d better get a move on.

But, my house inside is still a mess, the weeds outside are wild, the dog is wooly, I’ve got some painting touchups of walls and ceilings to finish around here, several unfinished paintings on canvas awaiting, still a few pieces of furniture to stain and varnish, the wandering gardens beckon, the dishes pile, the laundry piles higher, I don’t want to mention the mending, the junk rooms are spawning children and maybe grands at this point, and on and on with my domestic nightmares. I told myself to take a couple of weeks off between rewrites to whip this house and yard into shape, but beyond the fact that I can’t work like the Dickens (and I do mean Charles) like I used to, I’ve managed to find better things to do. What’s new?

This never-ending repetitive conversation with myself again almost happily reminds me of something a highly successful guy once said to me, “Work like crazy and clean up the mess later.” For decades I’ve been saying things like, ‘sew, paint, and write like crazy and then clean up the household mess later’. Yes, the mess will always be there to vex me, but creative ideas and special moments in time with people we cherish won’t. It’s like magic. Or a rainbow. Suddenly it’s there, and soon it might be gone. So, even though I do need to clean up the mess now and then in-between more pressing things and people, what really makes life deliciously worth living is loved ones and things of the heart. Love life like crazy and deal with the mess later.

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