Monday’s Muse

My calendar says it’s February. And not only is it February, but it’s more than halfway over.  Calling my calendar a liar and ranting and raving that it must still be January did no good. It’s still February and it’s still more than halfway over. Stupid calendar.

In truth it’s not my calendar’s fault—time doesn’t stand still for anyone else so I suppose I can’t expect it to stand still for me either. At least not until I finish that time machine I’m making out of empty water bottles. Yeah. Then time better watch out!

Okay, back to reality. Even though it’s almost over, I didn’t miss February’s wonderful offerings. There was Groundhog Day—which I spent watching the Super Bowl. It seemed Denver was so depressed at the thought of six more weeks of winter, they forgot they had a game to play. Really, with the way winter has been slamming some parts of the country, I can’t blame them.

A few days ago was Valentine’s Day. Hubby and I went out to dinner—after which I wasn’t feeling well. It wasn’t dinner’s fault. I’ve been fighting a bug for the last few weeks and it finally snuck up on me when my defenses were down. So I’ve been curled up in a ball fighting the illness ever since. I’m feeling a bit better today, but not well enough to go with hubby and the kids to visit family in Flagstaff. So they went to play and enjoy Presidents’ Day (which they don’t care about other than the fact that they get a day off from school). And I’m here. Out of bed, sitting at my computer, writing this blog post (which may or may not make sense depending on how much of a fever I have at the moment).

While feeling lousy isn’t fun, it did give me time to lay in bed and read. And, oh, did I read! I used my Kindle App on my iPad to read some of the books I’ve had on there for a while, and some I purchased during my illness. I read The Space Between and Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff, Cress by Marissa Meyer, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Enders by Lissa Price, and Writing in a Nutshell  series by Jessica Bell. Then I got out Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott for another read-thru.

I enjoyed every one of the books I read. If I were feeling more up to it, I’d post reviews of every one of them. But I don’t feel up to it, so I won’t. But I did completely enjoy being transported out of my sick bed and into worlds of vampires (Coldtown), serial killers (Valentine), Purgatory (Space Between), Outer space and a plagued earth (Cress), body/mind snatchers (Enders), and writing advice (Nutshell). I recommend all of them.

And the reread of Bird by Bird was just what I needed to feel inspired and wanting to get back to writing. I haven’t wanted to write lately—and when I have, things have been to crazy busy to allow me the time. But the reminder in Bird by Bird to write at least 300 words a day seems more manageable. I can find time to write 300 words of something each day, no matter how crazy it gets. See, this blog post is more than 300 words and I’ve managed it!

There are many other muse worthy things in Bird by Bird but for today (because this blog post is wearing me out and I still want to see if I can get 300 words done in my WIP before I have to crawl back into bed), let me just post these inspirational words from the end of the book: “. . . if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

So let your words be your lighthouse, standing there, shining. Maybe they’ll save a boat someday. Maybe they won’t. But they’ll be there. Shining. Just in case.

Write on.

About Joan Stradling, Author

Joan Stradling is a middle grade and YA author of stories with magical elements. She loves painting, baking, crafting, pet wrangling, and anything else she can fit into her schedule. A passionate believer in the power of books, she still hopes to one day ride a dragon, meet a Hobbit, or discover new worlds by walking through a wardrobe. In the meantime, she imagines and writes about her own incredible worlds and characters–and continues to live vicariously through the adventures in other’s books. You can find her on Instagram (@JoanStradlingAuthor) or Twitter (@justJoanS) or FB (Joan Stradling aka Joan Stewart) Join me on Patreon:
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