What a Way to Come Back


Ciao, amici. I know… it feels like forever since we chatted. Sorry about that. There were some things I needed to deal with, some changes I needed to make. I started reading and liking posts this week. Boy, I missed you all so much! Starting Monday, I intend to start commenting, too. The plan is to be back to my regular schedule then.

Wondering what got me going again? Read on; the explanation will be clear.


I look up from the book I’m not reading, past the TV playing a show I’m not watching. Mr. Muse is standing there, leaning against the wall.

Wearing a tuxedo.

A freaking tuxedo. I’m in my jammies. More to the point, I’m in mismatched jammies. The pants are torn, the shirt has a stain. My messy hair is up in a clip. I can’t remember the last time I opened my makeup bag.

The juxtaposition of our two levels of hygiene is horrifying. I take down my hair, run—try to run my fingers through the tangles.

His widening eyes tell me it was better before. So, I twist the tresses, replace the clip. Without the use of a mirror.

He presses his lips together and looks away.

Perfect. I can only imagine how I look now.

On second thought, I don’t even care.

I lay aside my book and look up at him. “You interrupted?”

“I thought an author would know the definition of ‘interrupted.'”

I’m too tired to cross my arms or glare. I manage a disgruntled sigh.

“Let me define it for you, then. To interrupt means to stop someone when she’s in the middle of doing something. As you were—as you always are, these days—in the middle of doing nothing, it’s not accurate to say I interrupted anything.”

“What do you want?”

“I want you to get back to work.”

“Well, we don’t always get what we want, do we?”

Cara, I say this with all the love in my heart—get off your ass and write something.”

My eyebrows arch. “Excuse me?”

He opens the blinds. A flood of sunlight pours into the room.

I cringe at the the brightness. I didn’t even know it was daytime.

“This is your cue to stand up. Take a shower. Put on clothes that match. Pants without an elastic waistband.” He sits beside me, places his hand on my shoulder. “Open your laptop and write something.”

His hand is warm, soothing. He smells like a dream, conjuring images of pine forests and ocean waves, melting chocolate and freshly baked bread. The scents shouldn’t go together, but they make a powerful and intoxicating blend.

I want to yell at him. Instead, I fall into his arms. He holds me while I cry. And he doesn’t even complain when I mess up his lapel.

After thirty-ish seconds that feel like a month, I sit up and mop my face with my sleeve. He looks more affronted by the wetness on my shirt than he did by my tears on his jacket.

Maybe he’s just recoiling from my appearance in general. And who could blame him?

“Good cries are cathartic. And you’ve had more than your share of late. Are you ready to get back to business now?”

“You know, if you hadn’t deserted me, I’d have been working. You’re my muse. You’re the one who’s supposed to be motivating me.”

“Deserted you? I’ve been here this whole time, cara. You’re the one who’s been ignoring me.”

You have no idea how annoying it is that he’s always right. But I’m still not ready to admit it. “I haven’t been ignoring you. I just didn’t get your messages.”

“I don’t leave messages. I’m here. You haven’t been paying attention.”

Again, I looked at him. Really looked. And regretted it instantly.

He’s usually barely dressed, body slick with sweat, hair mussed from working out or wet from the pool…

Wait, where was I going with this? I lost my train of thought.

Oh, right. His usual appearance. Completely un-ignorable. But now, all cleaned up? The top of his bright white shirt unbuttoned to show that Mediterranean tan. The tails of his tie dangling over his broad, muscular chest…

Dang it. I was going somewhere, but I lost my point.

“You were saying?” His eyes were dark pools of concern, but a soft smile lifted one side of his lips.

Oh, those lips.

I blinked a few times. Shook my head to clear my thoughts.

When he grinned, my cheeks burned. He always reads my mind. Which is humiliating, given my fertile imagination.

“Go, cara. Take a shower. You’re behind on… well, everything. It’s time you get to work.”

I rise. Stretch. Start walking toward my room. But then I stop. “Hey. Where are you going all dressed up?”

“What?” He runs his fingers over his lapels. “This old thing?”

“Seriously. An award ceremony for one of your charges? A hot date?” I waggle my eyebrows.

“No, cara. I did this for you.”

And I thought my cheeks were burning before.

“You’re getting back to work. It’s cause to celebrate.”

“You didn’t know you’d get me working again.”

He rolled his eyes at me.

Right. Of course he knew.

“You’re awfully cocky, you know that?”

“Stop stalling, cara.”

His smile follows me out of the room.

So, there you have it. Mr. Muse had enough of my mental health sabbatical and got me going again. I’m so behind, it’s frightening. But I’m working overtime to catch up.

I’m freshly showered and wearing a proper outfit. My hair clip is in a totally different room.

And he’s now standing in the doorway, dressed in his usual workout clothes. Sigh.

Okay, he’s tapping his watch and glaring at me. So I need to sign off now and get back to my WIP. Our hero is fighting for his life against—well, you can read all about it after I finish the story, revise it, submit it to my publisher, go through their edits…

I’ve got a lot to do. Gotta run. Arrivederci!

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at https://stacitroilo.com.

68 thoughts on “What a Way to Come Back

  1. So glad you are back! And wow, your muse actually dresses up for you? Nice! I’ll have to make a suggestion to mine, although I can hear him now: If I have to dress up for you, love, then you’ll have to do the same.

    I have a feeling the comfy clothes makes writing fun excuse might not fly. Then again, a nightgown is a type of dress, right?

    Seriously, so glad things are settling back into position for you. Mental health days (weeks?) are sometimes the very thing we need to refresh the creative energies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe me, Julie, the tux was a desperate measure. And as there are currently no gowns in my closet (save for old bridesmaids dresses and, yes, even old high school dance dresses), he’s out of luck if he expects reciprocity.

      I missed you, and I’m glad to be back. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so much fun! Glad you’re back, and hope you catch-up without needing another break. Hang in there. I’m looking forward to your new book, but I hope you get to enjoy writing the end of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m quite concerned about my 2020 calendar, even with the adjustments my publisher has made. Book 2 is done, and I’m almost done writing 3. Books 4 and 5 are outlined, but I haven’t started them yet (obviously). And there are plenty more works scheduled for next year, too. It’s quite ambitious! Fingers crossed. 🀞

      Thanks for the “welcome back” wishes. I missed everyone. It’s nice to start chatting again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my gosh, I LOVED this line: He smells like a dream, conjuring images of pine forests and ocean waves, melting chocolate and freshly baked bread.

    You, my friend, are a fantastic writer! So happy you’re back- now get to work! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks so much. That means the world to me. And I’m writing as we speak. Well, now I’m writing to you, but Scrivener is open and I’m typing away (when I’m not here).

      I’m just muddling the explanation. I better get back to work!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is so good to have you back! I got used to you being around, chatting, offering insightful tidbits. I know-that’s selfish. I AM glad you took a break! Just happy you’re back.

    “proper outfit”–only some people can carry off a proper outfit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed everyone so much, Jacqui. It’s great to be back. Thanks for the kind words.

      I think his idea of a proper outfit and mine might differ a bit. But I’m not in jammies, so I’m calling it a win!


  5. Welcome back, Staci! I missed you! But we all have to do what we have to do from time to time. With a muse like that, how can you refuse to go back to work? πŸ™‚ Don’t worry about “catching up.” Just start from here. No need to go backward! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My Muse has had me working overtime this year. She can be a bit of a task master. Don’t kill yourself trying to catch up. It’s an illusion, because things like blogs and Internet distractions keep going. Just step back in at a normal pace. We all missed you, and we’re glad you’re back. We’d like you to stay back and not overdo it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I seem to have two paces: overdoing and shutting down. I really need to learn moderation. I hope your muse relaxes a little. But not too much—I’m looking forward to more root monsters. πŸ™‚

      Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is the best news I’ve heard in weeks!! So glad you’re back, Staci! Can’t tell you how much you’ve been missed, and it does my heart good to know you’re writing again, too. (And you are doing it very well, based on the evidence in this brilliant post!) sigh

    Where was I when they were handing out Muses? I had to resort to pinning photos of people and places all over my work space bulletin boards! I wuz robbed! goes off in a snit for a few minutes, and then remembers–Staci’s back!

    All is well in the world again. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad to have put a smile on your face, Marcia. That warms my heart more than you know.

      As for when they were handing out muses? I missed that day, too. Then I made the mistake of asking Julie Holmes if her muse knew of another muse who was taking on clients. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! But if you want me to ask if any other muses are looking for charges, I can certainly do that for you.

      Thanks for the warm welcome back. ❀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahahaha. I had a feeling your muse and Julie’s were, at the very least, first cousins, if not brothers! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        I’d order one for myself, but, alas. I’m way too easily distracted by a pretty face! πŸ˜‰ Better not, unless it’s an old, wrinkly, crotchety kind of muse. (Of course, these days, even one like that sounds pretty good. πŸ˜€ ❀ )

        Welcome back! ❀

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Welcome back! You have been missed. Love the fact your muse showed up to inspire you (or rather that you paid attention). But I gotta say pants with an elastic waistband while writing sure is comfy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, they really are. I admit, I’m not sitting here in jammies, but I am in comfortable clothes. It’s the best I can manage at the moment.

      Mr. Muse couldn’t have come back at a better time. NaNo is around the corner!

      Thanks, Joan. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you, Charles. I missed everyone so much.

      I agree with you—comfortable clothes are conducive to writing, much more so than jeans. I think he took exception to the quality more than the style. (I guess a guy can only look at scrungie outfits for so long before they’ve had enough.) πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks, Harmony. I’m so glad to be back. (Glad you liked seeing Mr. Muse again, too. πŸ˜‰ )

      Book 2 will be released in January (we had to move the date back a bit). Books 3, 4, and 5 will follow shortly thereafter. I’m trying not to overdo things, but my calendar is pretty stacked next year. Cross your fingers for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Staci, I ADORED that – it was brilliant, really had me giggling. I’m an ancient writer and sometimes quite conservative, despite my other side…but one morning, very early, I wrote a mad piece which prompted my sons to ask me “What are you on , Ma?” I’ll have to unearth it and present it again (only four followers back then..all family.) Carry on with the good work (I rather like the sound of your muse…) Cheers. x.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m fairly conservative myself, but every now and then, Mr. Muse inspires a different side of me to come out. I’m sure your readers would love to see the piece that shocked your sons, Joy. I know I’d love to.

      Thanks for the warm welcome back!

      Liked by 1 person

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