The muse, called late to dinner

He stared at the blank page and realized his mind was also blank. He started to turn to an earlier page, when he heard the voice.

“Don’t look back; just write something.”

“But I think I forgot to call the muse,” he responded.

“How do you do that, anyway? He-ere, Musey, Musey, Musey’?”

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Let it never be said …

Let it never be said that it never be said.

Let no thought be condemned to disappear because it was too much to bear.

Foul thoughts, bottled up, tend to fester and grow even more foul if not let out into the air and allowed to mingle with clearer and saner fare.

Am I advocating for unfettered ugly speech? No. I’m advocating for a conversation where the ugly can be met with beauty, or at least with anti-ugly. Free speech means you can say whatever you like, freely and honestly, but you have to be willing to allow a free and honest response.

Let sunshine cleanse the dark and chase it with healthy rebuke, rather than let the dark simmer and grow strong.

Listening: Ladies of the Canyon

I had Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon on the turntable Friday morning while I toiled away at the news desk, which most often in these COVID times resembles my home desk complete with visits from bored golden retrievers. When it occurred to me that the LP has been in my possession for 50 years, I found myself in awe of the passage of time but even more in awe of how timeless a collection of songs it is.

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Maintaining focus through the beeps and bloops

My writer business involves an eclectic mix of stuff — this blog, books, local news, and — (Gaah! How do we turn off every beep, bell and whistle that notifies us that something new just popped up on the magic device so stop everything and come look! look! look!)

Sorry, I had to see if that bloop from the phone was important. What was I saying? (It doesn’t matter! Look here!!) I’m trying to write something important here. (It can’t be as important as what just appeared on your device!) Gaah …

Thanks for waiting. I am first and foremost a writer — I’ve been calling myself a “wordsmith and podcaster,” if you will, although it’s been some years since I broke out the microphone, so long ago that podcasts actually became popular while I’ve been gone.

(A ringing phone. A beep that indicates a new email has arrived. Another beep. Was that a text? A third kind of beep to remind me of a meeting in 90 minutes. No wonder maintaining focus is so hard.)

Excuse me, I’m going to go turn off all my notification settings, if I can find them all. We’ll pick this up another time …

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Illustration © Feodora Chiosea |

Joy Joy Joy to the World

I know what to do, he sniffled, but I never seem to be able to get it done. I need a schedule. No, I need to go moment-by-moment and do what each moment requires. No, I need to put away childish dreams and be a grownup. No, I need to recapture the childlike wonder that made me write songs and create superheroes by the dozen. No, I need to make a to-do list and stick to it. No, I need to go where the muse takes me. No no no no no yes yes yes yes yes. All the voices talking in my brain (no, not literally, doc, give me a break) and I follow each one given whatever moment it is. Is this attention deficit disorder or simply everyday life in the new world?

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The nicest and sweetest days

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea