Ciao, amici. Thanks for waiting for me. I know it’s been a little more than eight months since I had any real social media interaction. Life has a funny way of derailing you when you least expect it. On the other hand, it tends to want you to continue participating in the ride. I can’t guarantee my car is going to stay on the tracks; it’s holding on by a thread, and I’ve noticed the rails are nowhere near as smooth as I thought. Plus, when you’re the only one in the car, you have to do all the work yourself. But I had a wake-up call recently that made me climb back onto the ride. Let me tell you all about it.
As you probably guessed, it was a conversation (really more like a lecture) between me and Mr. Muse.
“You’re still in your jammies, cara.”
I didn’t even glance his way. “Yep.”
“You’re always in your jammies.”
“If you don’t like it, don’t look.”
“What man doesn’t like a woman in pajamas?”
That wasn’t worth dignifying with even a non-verbal a response.
“In the right time and place, I actually prefer them.”
I mustered the energy to shoot a glare in his direction. He was in dark jeans and a Henley. His sleeves were bunched up and all the buttons at his throat were open. I should probably be glad he was as covered as he was. He’s usually one item of clothing away from naked. “I guess this isn’t the right time or place, then.”
He sat beside me. “You know, the rest of the world is starting to get back to living their lives. Businesses are opening their doors. Parks opening their gates.”
“I vaguely recall seeing that mentioned on TV.” And I did mean vaguely. Nothing has really captured my interest in several months, particularly not the nightly news. Why tune in to negative reports from around the world when life sucks under my own roof?
“So, don’t you think it’s about time you start living again, too?”
As comfortable as I was sprawled on the sofa, I forced myself to sit up. “You want me to live again, huh? Want me to get back out in the world? Get some work done?”
“Well, yeah. Don’t you think it’s time?”
“Gee, I don’t know. I mean, my boss has been waiting for me to finish my Astral Conspiracy series for months now. His patience has waned. Considerably. Imagine my surprise when I turned to my muse for help, but he was nowhere to be found.”
“Oh, cara. I was here. I’m always here. I’d never leave you.”
Where had I heard that before?
“You didn’t see me because you weren’t ready for me. But now you are.”
“I was never not ready.”
“I’ll give you a lot of leeway, but I won’t let you lie. To me or to yourself. You weren’t ready.”
“I don’t lie. I hate liars.”
“I know. Mi Scusi. I misspoke. I meant to say I wouldn’t let you kid yourself.”
Semantics, but I’d accept it. I really do hate liars.
“Sorry. My mind wandered.
“And I know where it went. Time to stop dwelling on the past.”
He was right, but I didn’t want to talk about it. So, I focused on the problem at hand. “All I’ve had the energy to do for the last several months is write. But you weren’t here, and I was stuck, so even that didn’t get done.” I know it wasn’t totally his fault—or at all, really—but I was lashing out and couldn’t stop. “And now my boss is mad and I’m worked up and I don’t see how I’m going to get anything done today, let alone from now on. I’m too far behind. The hole is too deep to dig out of.”
He rolled his eyes. Gave me a long-suffering sigh that only Italians can pull off. (As I’m part Italian, I would know.) Met my gaze with a heated stare. “I’d think by now, you’d be tired of the pity party. Especially since you’re the only one in attendance. Now, go get a shower. Put on something that you can wear in public—and yoga pants don’t count. Maybe even swipe some liner on your lids and color on your lips. When you come back to the living room, you’d better resemble a human being.”
Typically, I struggle with authority. But that time, I didn’t put up a fuss. I (and here’s a word I loathe) obeyed his command. Figured I’d hate every second of it, but it actually felt good to make myself presentable, even if it did take me longer than it usually would. Part of the delay was my hesitation. I didn’t think I could bear it if he was gone when I went back downstairs.
When I finally had the courage to leave my bedroom, I found he’d kept his word. He was still there. He’d made me coffee, put a few pieces of my favorite chocolate candy on a plate, and opened a Scrivener file for me. My slippers were on the floor under my desk, and a small pillow was on the chair for back support.
“You thought of everything.”
“Even the next scene for your novel.”
And he was right. The ideas were flowing again. I typed thousands of words that day without looking up. When I finally did, I’d expected to find the room empty. I know I’m not his only charge. But he kept his word. He hadn’t left me.
He did, however, strip down to a pair of shorts and nothing else. Sweat had dampened the curled-up ends of his sable hair, and his muscles were bulging as he worked out in the middle of the floor—pushups. “Something simple to pass the time until you needed me again,” he’d said. I think he was on number 318 when I noticed what he was doing.
I’m not sure how that could have escaped my notice for so long.
“I’m going for a jog, cara. But you’ve got this. And if you get stuck, just holler. I’ll come running.”
I didn’t want him to go. I almost called out to bring him back, but it was because he was easy on the eyes, not because I needed him. He was right to have faith in me. I did have my project under control. I was still way behind, but I knew I could finish before my boss wiped his hands of me.
It was probably better that Mr. Muse decided to go out for a while. I’d suddenly remembered what a distraction he could be, and I had writing to do.
I nibbled on my candy and got back to work.
I’m happy to say I finished writing the series in record time, and I spent last week revising and editing all five novels. They’re now being edited, and they release this summer. I’m already working on my next project, and I’m super excited about it.
Sorry I was away so long. Life does like to hand out lemons every now and then, and not long ago, it gave me an orchard full. Took a while, but I finally remembered how many things you can do with that tart little fruit.
I’ll be easing back into blogging, though I can’t sustain the schedule I used to maintain. I’m still working out which content I’ll post when. As soon as I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know. I’m also easing back into social media. I’ve been liking Twitter posts and blog posts, sharing a few links. Soon I’ll be commenting, too. It’s hard becoming social again, especially when the world isn’t being very social, but I’m getting there. I’ve missed you all and look forward to the day when I’m back to 100% interaction again.
Until then, thanks for your patience with me! Arrivederci!