When Your Muse Is Speechless

Ciao, amici! I guess I took too long to get back to the creative aspect of my career. I had another visit from my muse. It went something like this…


I was staring at my laptop screen, watching the cursor blink on the empty page. I’d been editing for over a week, completing two lengthy manuscripts for clients, and my brain felt muzzy. Around the time I noticed my vision had blurred, my hearing perked up—just in time to catch a low, guttural “ahem” followed by a sigh.

Rolling my eyes, I resisted the urge to sigh myself.

Cara.” His voice was low, soft. Sultry.

I didn’t want to look up. Didn’t want to meet what was sure to be an intense stare and an expression of derision. But something about my muse is compelling. Mesmerizing. Almost against my volition, I found my head turning his way, my gaze traveling up his long, muscular legs. Over his chiseled abs and broad chest. (Why the man can’t wear long pants or a shirt in the house, I’ll never know.) Along his square jawline to that thick, sable hair that curled at the ends where his collar should be. I tried to stop there. I really tried.

Cara.” This time, his tone was sharp, commanding.

I met his gaze. Of course I did. Like there was any doubt I’d do what he wanted.

Remember when you were young and you did something that upset your parents? Something that was so bad, they didn’t even yell. They just looked at you with that look. The one that said they were disappointed. You know the one … far worse than any angry expression they could muster.

Now you know how my muse was looking at me.

Heat suffused my face, and I started to look away.

Another “ahem” brought my attention right back to him.

He didn’t say anything. Just blinked once. Again. His left eyebrow arched.

I read somewhere that the person who speaks first in a negotiation loses. That thought even flitted through my mind as we stared at each other.

“I was working.” Yep. I lost the battle, caved under his scrutiny. “Well, I was doing the pre-work. You know … the thinking, the planning. Brainstorming.”

Another blink.

“Which, if I’m not mistaken, is what you’re supposed to be here for. You know, inspiring me. Not leaving me to my own devices.”

His jaw ticked.

Oops. That couldn’t be good. So I prattled on, hoping to dig myself out of the hole. “I mean, it’s not like I don’t love these conversations. Although, I’m thinking I could concentrate better if you had on more than a pair of cargo shorts with the waist unbuttoned and hanging low on your hips.”

By now, you should realize that nerves make me chatty, and I was in the middle of a verbal vomit that I couldn’t stop.

“And the elastic Armani band of your boxers. Do you wear boxers? Maybe you’re a boxer brief kind of muse. Which is funny, now that I think about it, because I always assumed muses wore togas, which I’m given to understand were worn without underwear.” That was an image I didn’t need. “Yet here you are, looking like a better version of a Ralph Lauren model. Albeit, without the ubiquitous Polo shirt. Not that you need a shirt. Seriously, look at you. If I was that in shape, I—”

Another sigh.

This time it was me clearing my throat. “But I’m a little off topic, huh?”

His eyebrow arched again, but this time the corner of his lips twitched.

“I’m sorry. I’ll do my brainstorming on the page, not in my head.”

He nodded and walked away.


I don’t know where he went, but I was glad he left. He’s supposed to inspire me, but I really find him to be more of a distraction. And now he’s not even talking to me. Just the occasional nickname (I don’t even know if he knows my real name), some throat clearing, and some sighs.

Quite honestly, it’s embarrassing.

On the other hand, I did get one outline done and have ideas for two more, so … maybe he knows what he’s doing.

Wishing you productivity, too. Arrivederci!

32 thoughts on “When Your Muse Is Speechless

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  1. LOL… well, there’s nothing like feeling productive. I get tickled at the conversations, confrontations, and spats writers imagine with their muse. I don’t seem to have one…. Maybe that’s just as well. 😉 Have a wonderful Wednesday, Staci. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “verbal vomit”
    Loved that phrase!
    I think I’d do some verbal vomiting (or maybe the complete opposite and clam up) if I had that kind of sexy muse traipsing around the house. Not that Mr. E isn’t sexy, he just tends to deck to deck himself out in black all the time. 🙂

    I am so glad your muse has you inspired with new outlines!
    I had a productive weekend too. Mr. E and I collaborated on several scenes of the WIP. It’s nice getting back into a regular routine again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was about as unproductive this weekend as I have been in months. My Muse, Lorelei, shows up with inspiration, then leaves me with all the work part. I didn’t do my part this weekend. I have some projects to address today, but new words appear to be off the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. O. M. G. And I though my Muse was bad with “that look”. Granted, he tends to wear more clothing (not that he wouldn’t look incredible in just cargo shorts, but I think he might be saving that as one of those ‘get yer shit done or else’ kind of threats), but yeah, the “look”. ‘Course, I can see where you’d get distracted. I mean, if you’re waiting for him to sneak up on you like that–who can work under those conditions? And sloppy, too yet. At least he doesn’t wear his shorts around his knees like some urban youth do. He does comb his hair though, right?

    Thanks for a fun read (and drool-worthy–ahem, I didn’t say that out loud, did I? scans for Muse) Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See? You know the power of the look. It’s chilling. (In a good way. Ish.)

      I’m not sure if he combs his hair of if it’s just supernaturally-maintained to always look perfect, but the guy is seriously well-groomed. That’s probably another reason he’s so disgusted with me all the time. I can’t even call my look disheveled-chic. It’s more “I work from home and the only people who see me are my dogs” so I’m pretty rough. He was probably hoping for author-profile-picture every day and got my no-cosmetics-frizzy-hair look.

      Glad you liked the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I sometimes think my muse has given up on me. Oh, he visited all right and inspired an idea that I had to write, but it’s something I’ll never publish. Just a story I had to get out of my system. Well, at least I was writing. Now to get the muse back and finish my WIP>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those stories are the best ones. They were nagging at you, so they had to be done and because you were passionate about it, it’s probably good. Or at least worth mining later. (I hope I eventually get to read what you wrote.)

      Julie was kind enough (I think) to ask her muse for a friend for me. If you want, I can ask mine for a new one for you. Just remember to be careful what you wish for!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Staci, your muse sounds way better than mine. The one i have takes off in the middle of a project and leaves me high and dry.
    On a side note, that look parents give? it’s way out of fashion these days,when i do that, i get back a clueless look and a ‘yes, mom?’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no, Jina! Having your muse disappear in the middle of a project is awful! I do hope you can track him or her down when that happens. And fast!

      As for “the look”… It worked when my parents gave it to me, but you might be right about it not mattering (too much) to the next generation. My kids (both in college now) didn’t necessarily ignore the look when I gave it to them. And they didn’t look confused. They definitely knew it meant something had shifted. But it never did produce the same contrition it produced in me when my parents gave it. At least most of the people reading this blog can relate. (I think.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I stopped trying to track my muse or force her back. these days when she leaves me, i pick up a book and act like it’s the most natural thing. Most of the times, she comes back before i’m done reading! it’s amazing what some change can do to creativity.
        And yes, i got the look from my parents, and it worked better than words. My kids are still young 11, 6, 4… and most parents i know have this same problem communicating expressions.
        Now, if i sent them a jiff, i bet they’d understand…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll admit to texting my kids when I can’t get through to them otherwise. Not often, but I’ve done it. It didn’t work much better than a face-to-face, although I was spared an eye roll or two. 😉

        Like

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