Friday, January 29, 2010

With Great Shoes Comes Great Responsibility

Welcome guest blogger Daisy James!

Daisy James is a Californian writer, biotech researcher and shoe enthusiast. Her blog, Half the Fun, is largely concerned with travel, shoes, odd food products, hairstyles and, occasionally, killer robot dinosaurs. Her most recent fiction publication, “The Ghost in the Death Trap” was Episode 224 of Escape Pod.

One time, she stopped shopping for four months and the entire economy collapsed. She still feels kind of bad about that.

I’ll just come right out and say it: I have a ridiculous number of shoes. No one who has seen my closet*, or my credit card statements, could possibly dispute that. I spent an entire month posting pictures of shoes on my blog (Shoetember!), and had enough left over to do the same for every Tuesday since (Shoesday!). And I will say, if I may be immodest for a moment**, that I have amassed a fairly impressive collection.

Why? That’s a good question. The easy answer is that they are fun, but you already knew that and anyway, that isn’t really an answer at all— it’s like saying you climb mountains because they’re there. (I mean, of course they’re there. Where else would they be?) The cynical answer is that it’s all feminine competition, an attempt to claim alpha female status by a show of wealth, and like most cynical answers that’s probably at least partly true. The real answer could probably form the basis of a graduate thesis in the sort of field where it’s impossible to get a job, so I’ll leave that for others to do, and go back to trying to explain the “fun” thing.

My first brush with the power of shoes came in high school, with a pair of green Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high tops. It was the early nineties, the height of the grunge era, and the All-Star was the shoe of choice for anyone who didn’t have the nerve or the ready cash for Doc Martens. I was (prepare to be shocked) something of a dork and an outsider, but somehow, when I wore those green Converse, in defiance of the laws of physics and nature, I was cool***.

Years passed, and I packed away my plaid shirts and beat-up jeans to the land of teenage trends, but the lesson of the All-Stars endured. Shoes were a way to fit in and, done right, they could be a way to stand out too. The shoes you wear can transform you****, from how your legs look, to how (or if) your outfit works, to what other people think of you. And if they’re thinking bitter thoughts of jealousy because you so clearly have style, class, and a pair of four inch, crocodile skin de la Renta heels, well then, all the better.

Hey, the title just says you have great responsibility. Doesn’t mean you have to use it well.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I by no means am trying to say that you have to spend a third of your disposable income on footwear to be complete as a person. I happen to have a very good friend who owns exactly one pair of dress shoes, and despite that is still able to live a full and happy life. And I hardly need to say that just being expensive does not automatically make something fabulous. (Exhibit A) But if you do happen to enjoy a fine pair of heels, or own sneakers that make your heart sing, or know that you are never hotter than when you’ve got your boots on, well, come sit over by me. And then tell the class about them in the comments, won’t you?

*We recently moved, to a place that is infinitely better in almost every way than our old apartment, but the one thing I really miss is the shoe closet. A whole closet, just for my shoes! (This may not have been its original intended purpose.)

**No? Whoops. Oh well, too late.

***At least in my own mind. Which, as I would come to learn later in life, was actually what mattered.

****For example, if you wear Crocs, they transform you into an escaped mental patient— not the exciting, dangerous kind, the kind that shuffles around and asks people if they’ve seen Jerry.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chuck & Cindy


I never wanted to be a princess. I’d rather be Queen, thank you very much. I mean, as long as you’re dreaming, why mess around in the minors when you can go straight to the  big league, right?

But there was always a single exception. Cinderella. 

From the gory Grimm to the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Disney, I Love Cinderella. That’s right capital “L” love. I’m not messing around here, people. What’s not to love? Kindness beats cruelty. Love wins the day.  And, for once in a fairy tale, the girl gets to be the hero. Nobody saves Cindy. Cindy’s got everything she needs to save herself--courage, friends and love.

And one hell of a calling card.

 Her glass slipper. 

A shoe so uniquely hers that proves her identity. 

I always wanted one...Ok, maybe not a real one. For starters, I never really learned to walk in heels. Add to that the stress of literally walking on glass, and I’d be a wreck. But a metaphorical glass slipper, a shoe that told the world who I really am, that I can handle.

I’ve come close. Look at these lovelies.

I Love Converse. (There’s that capital “L” again.) All canvas and rubber soles. In a world of designer high heels, I’m a Chuck Taylor girl. There’s nothing I can’t do in my Cons--do the laundry, meet my fairy godmother, go on a date with my very own Prince Charming. Hell, one day I might even wear them to the ball.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Juliet thinks guys have it easy when it comes to shoes...but grrls have more fun

I don't mean to whine. I really don't. I detest whiners.

But this schlepping carry-on bags onto airplanes really blooooows. Where the heck am I supposed to pack my shoes?

Like Rachael, I'm not a huge shoes fetishist. Imelda Marcos found no sympathetic ear at my house. But when I'm off to a conference, or a long weekend in New York, or even just on a visit to see my parents, shoes become an issue. Packing shoes, more specifically. It becomes a major feat of engineering and coordination, since shoes have a whole lot to do with the rest of the wardrobe.

And what makes this much worse is that I've noticed men do not have this issue.

Guys: go to a conference and get away with a decent pair of shoes on the plane, and every day and night thereafter. If they get fancy they might bring along a pair of sneakers or running shoes.

1) Comfy, easy to slip on-and-off pair for the plane and airport security.

2) A pair of decent looking shoes that can be worn with nice conference clothes but that won't leave you crippled at the end of the day.

3) that same or similar pair in light colors for light stuff, dark colors for dark stuff. And maybe a red, but a bright lipstick red that only goes with one outfit... but it really makes the outfit.

4) A pair of fabulous looking shoes that might just leave you crippled for cocktail parties, dinners out, when you need to impress someone, etc.

5) Summer? sexy sandals. And if you come from Oakland, boots are a must.

6) Pair of sports shoes for the hotel fitness center that you swore you would go to every day but almost never do.

Don't even get me started on open-toed or closed, and therefore what kind of nylons a person needs, and thigh-high vs. panty hose and how many extra pairs. Or bras, for that matter.

When it comes to packing, womanhood kind of blows. On the other hand, men have to wear the same old shoes all the time. They don't get to constantly change their personality, based on their footwear.

So I guess, ultimately, it's more fun walking in my shoes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rachael's Shoes Have Personality

Shoes. Oy.

This is a hard one for me. I like shoes. They're nice. They keep my feet warm and safe, and I like cute ones as much as the next girl.

But I'm one of those who can have five pairs of shoes for five years and not feel like I'm lacking. One pair of tennies for the beach with the dogs, one pair of running shoes for running, one pair for work, pretty Danskos for most other occasions, and black heels for going out. Oh, and my Croc slippers for at home. (Don't laugh! They're awful and ugly and the best things ever.)

I guess I just don't get it -- it's right up there with shopping for me. I hate the mall. I don't like to shop. I don't like to spend money on things like shoes when I have serviceable shoes already.

Serviceable. That's the operative word. Oh, how BORING. But my shoes usually have stories. My red Danskos were bought with my first real writing check. The beach tennies I have on right now (that I put on to walk the dogs earlier) were passed on to me from a friend who bought them on a rainy day in Venice -- her feet were wet, and I'd convinced her to pack light, only one pair of shoes. She'd listened to me, and she was miserable, so she bought this blue pair of knock-off Keds with a fake Nike swoosh. At the end of the trip, she didn't like them, and they fit me, so she passed them on. Ten years or so later, I still wear them. They have a stripe of yellow paint where I stepped on a paint roller while painting the bathroom of the first place I owned. They're beat to hell, and I love them.

I guess it comes down to this: I only like shoes with stories. With character. And if you have too many shoes, how can they have personality?

*I do, actually, own more than 5 pairs of shoes. Maybe 10. But I only wear about six regularly. Shameful, I know. Someday, perhaps, I'll expand my horizons. But for now, I'm happy with what I have.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Tall Tale

by Sophie


I'm kind of a tall type of gal. A little over five-nine, so not extraordinarily so, and not as tall as Junior will be when she gets done growing, but tall enough that when you slap a pair of 3 1/2" heels on me, I can see over pretty much everyone's head at church.

Or, ahem, in a bar.

Or, for that matter, at a ninth grade dance. Because that is where my relationship with high-heeled shoes began.

In ninth grade, I had a real catch of a boyfriend. Seriously out of my league, had to pinch myself to believe he'd really asked me out after the final performance of the play we were both in. (Okay, I wasn't in the play; I was in the orchestra.) Anyway, he was kind of...short. Like maybe almost as tall as I was if we were both barefoot.

And I had these new shoes I was desperate to wear. (I had the shoes before the boyfriend.) Shoe people, like Daisy, lean in close; the rest of you skip ahead: lace-up ankle-tie open-toed espadrilles, black crinkle nylon broadcloth with silver grommets, covered three-inch wedge heel and cork sole.

They made me taller than the boy. Not a little taller - a lot taller.

And so I didn't wear them. I wore ugly-ass flats.

When I got married, I thought it would be more ladylike if I was shorter than my husband in the pictures. He's six feet, so it wasn't that hard, except I ended up wearing something like this. Not an ugly-ass flat, but definitely a homely mid-heel.

Then came a long stretch when I was mostly shlepping kids around. I guess I'm still in that phase, come to think of it. Kids start out pretty short, but I didn't really mind being taller than them, but the demands of the job pretty much dictated flats. During this phase, I would buy the same pair of Nikes at the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale. Every year they had a new color. I remember whole years based on the color of the Nikes that year.

Finally, finally, though, I got this writing thing going and I was packing for a conference and I thought to myself that if I was going to be away, acting like an adult for an entire four-day weekend, I was damn sure going to wear whatever i wanted and what I wanted was heels. Big old towering hard-to-walk-in girly high heels.

And I was taller than everyone. (It was an RWA conference, 99% women.) And I didn't care.

And guess what, I haven't gotten around to caring again. I wear my Nikes (and my sweats and flannel snowflake pajama top) during the working day, but whenever I actually get to go OUT it's right into the heels for me. Taller than the boys? Don't care. Taller than the person I'm interviewing? Don't care. Taller than all the other panelists? Don't care.

And here's something truly lovely: Junior is only fourteen but she already has the "don't-care" nailed. She would kill me if I shared that she likes this one boy who is shorter than her...but I doubt she'd mind if I told you that she wears her own big heels whenever the heck she wants to.

Junior and I have the same size feet - yay shoe sharing!

So there's this fancy dress-up thingie I'm going to in April, and I'm already trying to decide how high I should go...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Graham's Army of Musii

Today's guest is our friend Graham Brown, who we met because one of us shares his marrrrvelous agent. Graham's the kind of friend you always hope you'll find among your fellow writers - easygoing, funny, enthusiastic, pretty much up for anything and always has a smile on his face. You also get the feeling that even when he gets famous (and trust us Pens on this one, because we've read BLACK RAIN, the man is going to be freakin' huge) he'll be the same laid-back character he was before. (Although we are totally convinced that the character Hawker in BLACK RAIN is Graham....)

Graham was born in Chicago and went to college in Arizona, earning a degree in Aeronautical Science and learning how to fly.
He later attended law school, where he spent many lectures pretending to listen while scribbling down notes for what he hoped would be a great novel. After working as an attorney for a couple of years, he decided to see if there were any good ideas in those notes. Apparently there were, because Random House bought the rights to his first book, BLACK RAIN, which comes out next week. Graham is currently working on the sequel, BLACK SUN. Latest news on that and anything else he’s doing can be found at:

The Muse

First off, let me say thank you to Pens Fatales for having me on as a guest blogger. There's nothing better than being surrounded by gorgeous and talented women. Seriously , can I photo-shop my picture into your group – it will look something like a bad Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien skit, but it will be worth it...

So, the Muse. Inspirations comes from so many places; can there really be just one? Maybe there’s a whole army of muses (musii?) out there.

I know that for me, each character seems to have his or her own inspiration, and when I get into trouble with the character I go back to those original inspirations, to try and figure out where I went wrong.

A perfect example: in my novel Black Rain—which comes out on January 26th, by the way—the heroine, Danielle, is a type-A leader who takes a government expedition on a dangerous trek into the Amazon. My inspiration for her came from the strong women I know, and from day one I was damn certain that she wasn’t going to trip and fall in the climactic moment and need to be rescued. I also knew she had a difficult road to travel, juggling the lies she’s been ordered to tell, with her ambition and her own sense of humanity.

I’m happy to say that most early readers have found her to be a winning, realistic character, one who acts true to her basic traits and faults. I was even proud when the father of someone close to me read an early copy and said “I love the book, but why was Danielle such a bitch ?”

I guess it’s a generational type thing. The only answer I could come up with was to paraphrase Tina Fey’s famous SNL statement: “She’s got a lot to accomplish,” I said, “and bitches get things done.”

If there are multiple muses, I’m thinking one type works on character and another concentrates on helping us connect with place. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many parts of the world, but not usually the places my intrepid characters have been to.

In BLACK RAIN, there is a second hero, an ex-patriot American mercenary, who goes by the name of Hawker. I had a good idea of how I wanted this character to be. Instead of the classic “rogue cop who plays by his own rules,” I wanted a guy who thought he could play by his own rules and got burned. He needed to be a guy whose sense of duty, habit of questioning authority and his own inherent arrogance combined to ruin his life. No accident made him a pariah, he’d done it to himself, bathed in the bright light of knowing exactly where it was headed. Now, he’s willing to do anything to find his way back. Honor? Forget that, he just wants out.

But where had he been in the mean time? Parts of the world I haven’t seen. So I went online and looked at photos of distant lands, places where I thought a mercenary might travel and fight. I scanned hundreds of JPEGs, not really sure what I was looking for, but thinking I’d know when I found it.

And I did. Pictures of lost places, where stories were cut short and forgotten; remote places; haunted places. Here are some of the pictures I used when thinking about where this character had been:

Lucapa Airport - Angola

Antov crash

Ruined bridge in Cazombo, Angola

These locations don’t occur in the story - they aren’t even mentioned - but I knew Hawker had been there or somewhere similar. It gave me the sense of darkness that surrounded him, one which I needed to make him real.

So there is no shortage of muses as far as I can tell: a conversation you overhear in a crowded restaurant, the sound of an airliner taking off for a distant land, friends, family, the boss who kept you down, the mentor who helped you up.
They’re everywhere - we just have to open our eyes and find them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gigi's Muse is Fickle

The muse is fickle.

That's correct; I'm not one of those people who can write every day. I need to be inspired.

Luckily for me, a lot of things happen to inspire me.

Castle ruins perched on a cliff. That'll do it.

Too remote? It's true that stumbling across ruins doesn't happen every day. At least not for those of us in California.

Then how about San Francisco on a foggy day. That'll do it, too.

Perhaps that's not quite inspiring enough for a bad day, though. Then how about a moss-covered statue at a cemetery.

OK, so I've been inspired...

Now what? I know it's hard work, so I really do try to sit down and write -- even when the mood doesn't strike me and I feel like the muse hasn't found me. I do get some work done when I force myself to sit down. It's just that it isn't always writing that happens.

Sometimes I bounce around plot ideas. Other times I finish research that needs to be done. But if I'm not inspired, I can't do more than that. I need to find that place where my characters talk to each other, writing their dialogue for me.

I play the odds. I surround myself with inspiring mystery-related art in my office, like this Sherlock Holmes poster. I also know the muse tends to appear in the morning, so I've arranged my schedule to fit in morning writing. (Since I'm a slave to this fickle muse, I might as well go with it.)

Last week I finished the revised outline of a new book (whew!). The reason I was able to do so was because I was sitting in my writing nook while this furious storm beat down outside. A storm, like fog, is inspiring. I hope the storm continues through this weekend. Who knows how far it'll take me.

If not, I can always take a break and watch a kick-ass TV heroine for inspiration. Here's one of my favorites.

-- Gigi

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally! Martha Finds A Way To Write Off The Satellite TV Bill

Two hours ago, I didn't think I had a muse. I was flying high on my own mojo. My flashy high-concept ideas were all mine.

Then I got an email from Friend J reminding me of our fan fiction days. Yes, you read that correctly. Fan Fiction. Off the X-rated variety. (Hey, it was college - we were all experimenting.) By X - I mean:

The X-Files

Oh yes, I have co-authored Mulder-Scully Fan Fiction. Stop judging me.

This reminder led me to the muse I didn't even know I had - kickass women on television.

When The X-Files came out, Scully was an anomaly. The skeptic physician to the flighty, flirtatious crazy guy. I LURVED HER.

Around the same time, I developed a massive girl crush on Buffy.

Ah, young folk have never known a day without interesting female leads on television. BUT I DO! And man, was I angry about it. (I'm still a little angry, to be honest.)

Now I'm awash in them - everywhere I turn there's another female lead to fall in love with. A couple more favorites:

These women are complex and, best of all, damaged in a way that made them stronger.

Ask people who have read my work (friends, crit partners, agents, editors) and they'll tell you I'm a high-concept plot-oriented gal, not too strong on emotion and character. I think it's because I failed to recognize this part of myself - the part that wants to explore how trauma makes women blossom, grow, and overcome.

So look out world, armed with my newly recognized muse (thanks Friend J, co-author in crime), I'm taking you by storm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lisa says, "Muse, Shmuse".

I don’t believe in a muse.

Writing is work. Fun work, challenging work, exhilarating work, excruciating work. Our brains are constantly connecting neurons, rejecting or accepting plot lines, motivations, character traits, settings. And when we’re stuck, it is easy to say our muse has deserted us.

I reject that theory. We’re subconsciously working through a glitch in the manuscript. A hiccup in the flow of words. A working writer doesn’t shrug and think the muse is on vacation. A working writer writes around the blockage. We research, we write scenes in other points of view, we write backstory, we write pages and pages of extraneous description that will never see the light of day, we stare out the window (laptop on and in our lap) at the leaves letting our minds wander, we make color-coded charts and note cards, we revise and revise and revise.

Equally important, when the work is really pouring out of us, I refuse to embrace the concept of some nameless mythological entity bestowing their generosity upon us. We worked hard to get to the point where the story vomits out in giant technicolor bursts and the revisions will be minimal because every aspect that we normally labor over seems to be miraculously right. Giving the credit to someone else (unless it is a critique group for un-sticking us) rubs me the wrong way.

I own my work habits, both good and bad. And no stinking ‘muse’ is gonna take them away.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Breathe It In

L.G.C. Smith

I'm writing in a Pens vacuum. In the last ten days, while visiting my brother, his family, and my parents, when I had time to myself, I wrote. I didn't spend any time online. Hard to imagine for many, I know, but I'm such a dinosaur I can remember when blow dryers were the sparkly new miracle of modern technology. Now I'm home, but my laptop won't connect to my home network. Gah. I feel lost not having read what Sophie, Rachael, Juliet and Adrienne have written about Muse.

What inspires me? My instinctive answer is too simple: Life. Anything. Everything. I need to try harder.

So I made a list of things from which I've taken inspiration, and it's long. Too long. A fraction of it includes: Trees. Rocks. Ruins. Landscapes. Language. Culture. Changes in all those things. Time. Anything unknown that's left clues about what happened before. Space. Stories. Hidden things. Forgotten words. Will. What makes people sacrifice self-interest to do something that makes someone else's life better?

So many things. Life. Anything. Everything.

The traditional Greek Muses were born of Zeus and Memory, and I feel Memory's influence keenly in what draws my attention. More than her daughters, she prods me. But more than ancient mythology, a medieval sense of pilgrimage defines how I perceive my inspirations. I've spoken here of writing as pilgrimage; a journey with intention. No aimless ramble, however entertaining. A feckless choice of path, however, can be as inspiring as one chosen carefully, as long as it is traveled with intent.

What kind of intent? For me, most often, it's the intent to learn. To pick up rocks to see what they look like on the other side, and what's beneath them. To poke into the sound and meaning of a word, looking at how the individual components, phonetic, morphological, syntactic or semantic influence all the others and are shaped by them in turn. To delve into DNA analysis to see where our ancestors came from long, long years ago.

So that's my answer. My greatest Muse is Pilgrimage, those journeys undertaken with the intent to learn whatever lessons come along, to traverse paths that welcome mystery and tempt me to discover what I do not know. Memory whispers in my ear as I walk, and her daughters dance along with us, different Muses on different pages of each book, each day, each step.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mysteria, the Muse of Mystery

Gary Corby is one of the Pens' treasured recent finds - a dashing mystery author who hales from Australia. After stalking him all around a recent conference giggling at his accent and trying to become his personal stylists, we finally calmed down and settled for just being his friend and fan.

Gary is some sort of engineer (we think he is, anyway; we were in a wine bar) and our favorite line from his bio is "Despite my technical background, I am actually capable of rubbing two words together to make a sentence." Gary's debut novel, THE EPHIALTES AFFAIR, will be out in fall 2010 with St. Martin's/Minotaur. Learn more about Gary here.

Hi. It's a pleasure to be a guest on Pens Fatales. Sophie tells me today's topic is "The Muse". This is like a red rag to a bull, since I write historical mysteries set in Classical Greece, the home of the original Muses.

These days muse refers to anyone who inspires an artist. Pattie Boyd was the muse for both George Harrison's Something and Eric Clapton's Layla, thus making her, I suppose, a bi-muse.

But that's the modern meaning. Originally the Muses were supernatural beings. If you didn't have a Muse on your side then you were out of luck, inspiration-wise, doomed to create nothing but flat, lifeless work.

There were nine Muses, each providing inspiration for one of Epic Poetry, History, Lyric Song, Tragedy, Dance, Erotic Poetry, Sacred Song, Comedy and Astronomy. Those were the arts and sciences as the Greeks knew them 3,000 years ago.

I imagine that since then each Muse has had to move with the times. So for example Erato was the Muse of Erotic Poetry. What with the wide expansion in the genre, Erato these days is probably run off her feet inspiring all the Harlequin authors.

Euterpe likewise must be totally overworked. She was the Muse of Lyric Song, which exploded into rock 'n roll and pop. Euterpe did an outstanding job with Elvis, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd. I assume she doesn't attend Eurovision and Idol.

You'll notice there was no Muse of Mystery Writing. Does this mean we mystery writers are condemned to be uninspired? Not on the evidence. I'd argue mysteries, science fiction and fantasy have had the most vibrant writing of the last century.

I have an idea that as new art forms are created – ones which don't fit into the job descriptions of the current crew –a new Muse magically comes into being and joins her sisters. There is a Muse of Mystery, but she's a recent birth.

Mysteria is her name (and is in fact a true ancient Greek word taken slightly out of context).

Mysteria's attribute – all the Muses have attributes – is a bloody dagger which she holds in her raised hand. In case you're wondering, Euterpe's traditional attribute is a double flute, but it could use updating to an electric guitar. Erato's attribute is a small lyre. The lyre could use updating too, but although I have several suggestions for a Muse of Erotica, I'm not going there.

Mysteria comes to mystery writers and whispers into their ears the ideas they didn't know they were going to write until they suddenly appear on the page: the cool character who comes from seemingly nowhere; the minor detail tossed in at random, which 100 pages later turns into a major clue; the relationship which seemed minor, until during revision you realize it's what the book is all about.

If my experience is anything to go by, Mysteria the Muse works very odd hours.

Mysteria must creep into my house at night, because an awful lot of my good ideas are with me the moment I wake up. Perhaps more embarrassingly, she seems to hang out in my shower, because that's another place where ideas flow like, errr, water. I have never actually run naked from the shower to the keyboard, but that's because I keep pen and paper by the bed.

Mysteria likes to visit after midnight. She is noticeably absent during daylight hours. It's amazing how often I have written flat, lifeless dross all day long, only for my writing to come alive for no obvious reason the moment midnight ticks by. I can only assume that's the moment Mysteria enters the room, come from an assignment elsewhere (probably Sophie's house).

Sometimes Mysteria stays away for weeks at a time, and when she does it gets lonely.

I know of only one way to coax Mysteria into visiting my head, and that's to write. Mysteria helps those who help themselves by writing even when she's not around. So if you'd like to meet this Muse, sit down and write 50 pages, or 100, or 150. Eventually she'll drop by and whisper in your ear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Thousand (un)Common Muses

-- Adrienne Miller

Walking down a street in a far off place, there’s a tickle in the back of my head. My curiosity get the better of me. I look through the garden gate and there she is, pulling me closer to my story.

She’s in the signs hanging off the buildings.

The food I buy along the waterfront.

She shows up everywhere. In the words and faces of friends.

Of family.

She shows up in ways mundane.

And mystical.

She’s everywhere.

In the lush.

And in the stark.

There are stories all around, bits and pieces of them hiding in plain sight all through the world. There are a thousand muses in every moment of the day.