Credit Where Due...

Credit Where Due...

“You keep taking credit for my work.”

Little Miss Muse is in a tizzy of late. I—I mean, we—have been finishing up loose projects and getting ready for a couple of in-person events this fall.

Finished a novel… it’s nearly ready for the print run.

Working on another collection title.

Keeping up with the blog and the day job.

But none of this keeps her occupied. Little Miss likes slinging new ideas, and we’ve been working on old ones.

On a much-needed screen break, I came across this gem of a photo the other day. This is me, circa late 1970s, and I was told I put this getup together all by my little self. Turns out, I didn’t have a head for a hat then, either, but—

“No. I put that getup together.” Little Miss stomps around, ruffling Trudi’s concrete feathers and sending cats flying out of the office. Stella couldn’t get traction and ended up sending herself into the doorframe with a squall.

I sigh and lean back in my chair, hands over my face, ready to accept the consequences of whatever Little Miss wants to dish out over my unintended lack of appreciation.

Now, I’ve been aware of Little Miss Muse’s existence for quite a while, and I’ll even acknowledge she was around as far back as the late ‘80s. (Please, please… no one call my Couch Lady about this. She’s still suspicious that I have ongoing conversations with Big Bird and Mr. Rogers. But what she doesn’t know won’t result in extra couch time...)

“You took credit for my work in the ‘80s, too.”

“And I’ve apologized profusely for that. That’s how you got your first pair of stilettos, remember?”

She looks down at her chonky feet stuffed into too-large high heels. She’s still pouty. “I even got us to the Young Authors Conference—twice!”

“Again, my sincerest apologies and an extra pack of grape bubblegum for the hurt feelings.” I don’t know what more she wants me to do…

“I helped you pick out that getup. The glasses. The hat. And I loved that pipe. Filled it with all manner of—”

I interrupt her before we go too far down the rabbit hole. “That pipe held bubble solution. Bubbles. As in soap bubbles.”

“That’s what you thought it held. When I smoked it, it held—”

I put my hand over her mouth. “People are reading this blog.”

She squirms away. “Then they should know I’ve always been with you.”

“I think they’re getting the picture.”

“They might be, but you’re hardheaded. I’ve been pouring ideas into you from the beginning.”

“I was a little young, don’t ya think?”

“You have no idea how Muses even work, do you?” She sticks her hands on her tutu-ed hip and cocks her head at me.

“No. Not one solitary clue. There should be a manual.”

“If you’d sit still long enough at the keyboard, we could write one. But when it was done, you’d just take all the credit, so no insight for you!”

What a mood. She gets like this when her ideas get all backed up…

Trudi’s ducking under the desk. Cats are smart enough not to return to the office cat tree perch. They’ll have to get caught up on bird-watching later…

It’s time to start a new project before my Little Miss Muse molts her imp wings right off onto the floor. Which means I need to schmooze. Perhaps that’ll be the title of the manual: Schmoozing the Muse.

She’s looking over my shoulder. “That’s a good title.”


“See? That’s how you give credit where credit is due.”

“You did an excellent job of compiling an Author-in-the-Making style before I was two years old. Thank you.”

“See? Credit. That’s all I ask.” She pats me on the back and plops her fanny next to the keyboard, waving her hand over the screen, lavender sparkles shimmering all around. She’s full up on ideas—and herself. “Shall we?”

Off to work for me—I mean us.

In the meantime, local peeps can save the dates:

2023 Tri-State Food Truck Battle September 30

Indiana Author Extravaganza: October 6th and 7th

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