Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Especially With a Muse

My muse arrived at 7:00 a.m. sharp.

The only problem, she was four months late.

I tried to contain my sarcasm.

“Glad to see you made it on time.”

She didn’t even look in my direction. “I just stopped by to pick up something,” she snapped.

“I could use your help with this essay.”

“You don’t get it, do you?”


“I am breaking up with you. We are done, through, finished, finito – no longer an item.”

“I know we were having issues,” I stammered, “but can’t we try to work things out?”

That really made her angry.

“Try? Oh, now there is a word. Trying is something you never tried.”


“A writing relationship takes trying. It takes effort and dedication. It means putting your butt in a chair every morning and working at it.”

She was on a roll.

“It takes…”

“Don’t say it,” I shouted.

“…discipline.” she shrieked and collapsed into a quivering ball of muse misery.

“Oh my dear,” I said, “you still carry a torch for him.”

“How could I not?” she sobbed.

For years, my muse had suffered through a tumultuous relationship with the muse of discipline. They were good for each other at first. He provided the structure and purpose that she lacked – but his goals always came first. It was always about him and what he wanted and when his desires were not met, he became cruel.

The truth is, my mused needed discipline but he never needed her and being in an one way relationship was destroying her.

They broke up two years ago when he stormed off to manage a fitness website.

You can read about that here.

This was about the same time I fell into the clutches of a diet and we both sought solace in the bottomless pail of chocolate chip ice cream that I keep hidden in the garage freezer.

The writing and the waistlines suffered accordingly.

Then by chance, a childhood friend, inspiration stopped by.

We had not seen each other since I embarked on a technical career fifty years ago and I hoped we could renew our acquaintance.

It was meant to be.

He took one look at my muse, and her gaze fell upon him and they came together like a thunderclap. She banished the ice cream to its lair in the garage, and our words flowed with the giddiness of new love.

Ah, the manic madness of infatuation!

Idea sprung up like dandelions in the spring.

Characters rushed into the writing room frantically waving their resumes.

Sunrises and sunsets chased each other across the pages on the heels of angst and heartbreak.



The fall off the inevitable cliff.

There was no structure, no unifying theme, no purpose to our writing. Just words…

My muse rushed back to discipline, but he would not have her.

She rebounded to inspiration.

Then tried to claw her way back into the affections of discipline.

After countless volleys of failed love, here she was again, poised on my couch, eyes flashing anger, face flushed with rage.

“Just a little help with this essay,” I pleaded.

NO!” The word banged like a slammed door. “I said I just came by to pick up something.”

“Like what?”

She softened.

“Remember that pail of chocolate chip ice cream you keep hidden in the garage freezer?”

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