Then the Ducks

Then the Ducks

Little Miss Muse and I packed up our bags and headed back home Friday after two weeks away completely saturated in writing and relaxation.

The trip was much needed on many fronts, even though the workshop portion was insane and triggered information-overload symptoms. Sitting at the feet of the masters and soaking in the experiences and stories from all the other writers will do that—all in a good way.

But it was time to go.

Because. You know. Little Miss Muse was at her antics once again in the Golden Nugget’s shark tank swimming pool.

By day three, two lifeguards had quit, and one shark filed a complaint with the aquarium authorities that a life of being well cared for and adequately fed was just not worth the hassle of seeing that little purple imp show up every couple of years. The great fish shed twenty-two teeth at first sight of her, and his dorsal fin will never be the same. (Who knew bottle rockets worked underwater?)

So on day four of the workshop, Little Miss had been permanently banned from the pool. I found her in the casino, wrapped in her purple polka-dotted towel. She was dropping coins into one of the slot machines. At first, I thought she was pouting. But on closer inspection, I noticed a pile of tokens at her feet, one lavender stiletto perched atop the shiny mound of coins, and a grin working its way across her chunky face as she won time and time again.

From across the casino, two burly guys were headed in her direction. I scooped her up in her towel, grabbed the high heel, and off we went to pack lest she be arrested.

She settled down once we got to the airport and agreed it was time to return to Indiana and get to work.

I’ve never not been excited about writing, but lately, more often than not, creating new words had to take a backseat to life and emergencies, and I missed it terribly. Immersion in the topic these past two weeks was heaven, and the writing was so much fun…

Then the ducks.

My mind started going to the to-do lists and the what-next tasks waiting for me once I landed. Ducks to put back in rows. Ducks to ship elsewhere. New ducklings to the journey that needed more attention than others.

Some ducks I knew about. Some were surprises.

Some are easy, one-off issues to check off the list and move on. Many are not.

So the goal for the next couple of weeks is this: Keep above the clamor of the noisy duck rows. If one waddles off to someone else’s pond, so be it. If a duck decides to stage a protest, so be it. If a duck decides he doesn’t want to be a Hoosier and wishes to move to the Virgin Islands, I’ll buy him a ticket.

Little Miss Muse and I have decided to close our eyes and find our happy places in times of stress and chaos. Hers is the shark pool or at the slot machine, and mine is in a world that exists only in my imagination—at least until the words topple out of my fingertips onto a manuscript…

Because I’m back to the Hoosier cornfields, where the drama never ends and there’s always another duck.


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