Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Courting the muse

Name dropping, which won’t mean much to any but us older folk: I was privileged for a few years to count as a friend the late Dorothy Johnson (A Man Called Horse, The Hanging Tree, and a lot of classic western short stories). She told me when her muse talked to her she was on fire and wrote furiously; when her muse was silent, she might as well give up and scrub floors (I don’t think she put it that way).

My muse was silent today. I’m sure she, like me, is distracted by Thursday’s surgery. I wrote a bit of the scene that I thought was coming next, but it didn’t flow and seemed wooden. I wrote the woman who edits for me and told her I relied on her to tell me when my writing was junk. She wrote back that she didn’t think I ever wrote junk—reassuring.

I gave up and read the novel I was deep into—Cleo Coyle’s Dead Cold Brew, one of the coffeehouse series. I’ve read every book in the series and feel that the characters are old friends—one advantage of writing (and reading) a series. The books seem to grow more complicated as the series goes on, and I was really wrapped up in this one though I did thank protagonist Claire Cosi became a bit too much of a superhero in the final episode (I won’t spoil it for you). Still if I could write like that….

I’m ready to dig into a new book—so my project for the evening is to study Amazon’s offering of mysteries.

A friend described on Facebook tonight an encounter in a WalMart where she started out grumpy and ended blown away by several acts of kindness that reassured her about our world. The way she described it, the encounter became one of those times when she was totally present in the moment. Such times are rare and to be treasured.

Two of my grown kids arrive tomorrow (the third will be here Thursday and of course Jordan is already here). Maybe I’ll have such an epiphany with my family together.

Sweet dreams.

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