Sticks and Carrots

Short post this week as the negotiations with Little Miss Muse continue.

Give and take.

Pout and huff.

Carrots and sticks.

Mostly carrots for her (promises of purple pretties and lavender lovelies. She’s one expensive muse…).

Sticks for me (deadlines, completed projects, and some resemblance of rhythm and routine).

But we are making headway.

I’m thrilled she’s sticking around, even though the cats have not yet adjusted to her reentry to the home. She’ll spook them, and we’ll hear them scoot down the hallway so fast that their paws squeak like sneakers on a gym floor followed by an inevitable screech, howl, or thud of a body into a wall.

She thinks this torment a fun pastime.

The cats think not.

What we both agree on is that we need external deadlines. We’re working on a system for that which doesn’t require me to shell out tons of dough on competitions or challenges. I’m an adult, daggonit, and I should be able to set in place some method to produce consistent volumes of work.

Should be.


But maybe I’m the one that needs the carrots.

A new fountain pen.

Notebooks, crisp and clean.

Reese cups. Little Miss agrees here, though she feels the orange wrapper to be ostentatious and that a lovely shade of amethyst would complement the sweet just fine. But she’d also add edible plum glitter to the peanut butter filling, so maybe we shouldn’t take her word on this.

We also agree that even though nothing catastrophic has happened in our home, and we’re blessed beyond measure, we’re both grieving the loss of “what used to be.”

A world where she and I understood the ins and outs and rhythms of my “real job” and writing was a welcome respite from that.

To solve this “stalled-out pandemic brain” problem, Little Miss has hired (out of her own pocket!!) the purple-clad sultan to get our donkey butts in gear. He came highly recommended by a couple of other muses she met while she was on hiatus from the office, though she refused to tell me who these other muses work for or their credentials.

We shall see where he leads us and if he lives up to his glorious reputation.

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