Writing To That Spooky Feeling

Forest Wanderer by Caspar David FriedrichDéjà Vu All Over Again: I had one of those spooky feelings about my work last weekend. I’m sure you writers have experienced something similar, or at least I hope you have. I’ve had several versions of it. I have found myself able to perfectly picture places I’ve never been. I have felt I was in the skin of characters I’ve never met or seen anywhere else. I’ve wondered where story elements came from even as my fingers tapped them out.

It’s been one of the most amazing parts of my writing journey. And even though I have written outlines in the past, and plan on continuing to explore better and more efficient ways to plot and outline in future works, I hope I never stop having spooky epiphanies and instances of literary déjà vu.

Whapped By My Muse: In this past weekend’s instance, I suddenly knew something about my historical fantasy series. I have four finished manuscripts—a trilogy and its prequel. At the end of the trilogy is a built-in spring-board to move the story forward. And I’d always had ideas, nearly a notebook full of them, for the day when I can actually continue the story. My spooky feeling this weekend came when I was noodling and writing my weekly facebook history post about a small group of actual historical figures—Goths and Romans. I started a sentence: “Although none of my characters is specifically based on…” And I got stuck. I stood up, stretched and went for more coffee to work out the rest. I poured the coffee and stood staring out the window, and said aloud to myself, “It’s almost as if the trilogy was about their parents’ generation.”

And voilà. My wheels were spinning so fast, I could hardly get the surge of ideas down on paper. It was as if my muse had whapped me upside my head and was standing there with her arms crossed, nodding in satisfaction, but saying to herself, “It’s about time you got it!” If I can pull this off, it’s going to be as if all four of my manuscripts had been specifically designed to lead into this exact series of events. The stars had aligned, as if it was always meant to be—as if by magic.

Channeling Ancient Terror & Tumult: I said that the spooky feeling is one of the most amazing parts of my writing journey. And my writing journey has been the most amazing of my life. Of course the emotions that surface are not always happy. But the emotions found are my own, and therefore an important part of my journey toward self-knowledge and personal growth. Even the sadness and grief I’ve found in fiction are cathartic. They help me to recognize and order my emotions, as well as to release those that are buried or bound up inside.

The tragic events in Boston this week remind me of my most profoundly haunting and emotional writing experience. It occurred during the writing of book three of my trilogy. Beforehand I’d read an account of a historical atrocity, and I immediately recognized it as a part of the motivation and mindset for my characters’ actions. The account was brief and very prosaic—maybe three paragraphs.

Reading about the atrocity hadn’t particularly moved me. It was just another terrible, cruel thing one group of people had done to another; history is rife with such behavior. But I knew it belonged in my story. When it came time to write the scene, a funny thing happened. Now I knew the characters involved. I knew it meant death for a few and immense pain for many others. I put it off… for weeks.

The day came when I could put it off no longer. I steeled myself and sat to write. The scene poured out of me as if from a broken dam. It came out fully formed, and has required almost no revision since. The moment I finished typing the final, tragic sentence, I leapt to my feet. I walked laps around my house, unable to draw a satisfying breath, tears streaming down my face. I finally threw on a coat and walked to my bench on the beach. I sat and sobbed. Until my black lab, Belle, could stand my odd behavior no longer, and nudged me to play Frisbee with her, as if to remind me that life goes on. She has a way of doing that.

Immortal Feelings: But the experience serves to remind me of the importance of fiction. Terrible events are marginalized by time and distance. Atrocities become history, which becomes prosaic. Until we are brought to the proper perspective. Writers offer that perspective. They say we write to be immortal. They say we write to make sense of the world and to seek ourselves. I think there is truth to those things. But my experience makes me wonder if we write to make sure that events remain immortal as well. And not just to make sure the events are unforgotten, but that the feelings evoked live on, as well. History cannot be allowed to become prosaic. Atrocities should never become statistics, and cruelty should never be a footnote.

Mystical Connection or Cognitive Complexity? I’m still not sure if my connection to the atrocity was somehow mystical, or if I was simply releasing my own pent up, Caspar_David_Friedrich_Cemetery_at_Dusk (1825)subconscious grief. But I know it was a significant moment in my life. Whether my work is published, or whether another soul ever reads it or feels even a fraction of what I felt, it is significant. And I’m grateful.

In my first interview ever, here, interviewer extraordinaire Lara Schiffbauer asked, “Do you believe in everyday magic?”

My answer then applies here: “In a recent discussion about the mystical versus the scientific in regard to writers having a muse, I weighed in on the side of the mystical. I believe there is so much more going on than can be easily explained. Those on the other side claim that the seemingly amazing story elements that occur as if from nowhere are just a byproduct of our brain’s complexity—the result of accessing our cognitive subconscious. Even if the science proponents are right, it’s still pretty damn magical to me. Even if I’m self-deluding, why would I want to live in a world without magic?”

I still stand by my answer, even if I’m still self-deluding.

Have you written to the spooky feeling? Do you think it’s mystical or cognitive complexity? Or does it matter? Would you rather just join me in potential self-deluding than consider it? 

41 comments on “Writing To That Spooky Feeling

  1. M.L. Swift says:

    I’m part of the “why contemplate it, just let it happen” group. But I lean on the mystical side of it, whether a self-delusion or not. I like that spooky feeling that happens during the course of things, when I’m actually there, watching things unfold.

    Your blog appeals to me Vaughn, because deep down, I am drawn to the mystical and ethereal. And I LOVE history…a total freak about it. I agree that we are here as writers to immortalize the past, so that it will not be forgotten, yet I continue to see the same things happening, over and over and over again. The names change, an updated storyline is told, but the scenario is still the same.

    I believe the way I do because of the many uncanny life events that have led me to this point. They can only be described as mystical and spiritual.

    So when the muse, or God, or whomever or whatever you call your inspiration leads you, it pays to be aware and open to the guidance.

    Hearing this news of your muse whapping you over the head thrills me for your sake. I hope it didn’t hurt.

    Wonderful post!


    • I feel the same–I am drawn to it, like a moth to the flame. And it is sad that history repeats itself. Giving all the more importance to the mission of memorializing–to continue to seek to enlighten the dark corners of the collective human mind.

      I’m glad you believe and have had uncanny experiences, Michael. It’s great fodder of the page, and staying open to the guidance will serve your writing well and enhance your journey. Don’t worry about my head. Bumping into what should’ve been obvious always stings, but only for a minute. 😉 Thanks, and wishing you many more spooky-feeling incidents!


  2. All of my writing is free flow in fact a lot of the time when I go back and read some of it I cannot remember writing it! So yes it is magical to me. The ideas are channeled through me into my finger tips and exposed on the screen.
    Believe in the magic.


  3. sugaropal says:

    Well, my rational, intellectual, “show me the money” side scoffs at things like ghosts, psychics, reincarnation, etc. Yet, as you know from reading my last blog post, mysticism and its handmaidens like to smack me upside the head every so often. And what do I choose to write about? Ghosts, spirits, possession, psychic abilities, scent magic, and so on. I guess I know which side’s winning – at least in my literary life.


    • I don’t know about you, Rhiann, but I’m starting to get spooked by how often we write along a similar vein in our blog posts. I know, it’s usually me stealing from you, but not this time. My approach to writing was as with my rational, intellectual side thinking he was in control. Wow, was he ever gobsmacked–or should I say, Musesmacked. I even thought I knew what my themes would be then. Silly rational side.

      Can’t wait to read you work. I’m intrigued by scent magic. Thanks for weighing in, my psychic-connection blogger friend! 🙂


    • ddfalvo says:

      I had to laugh when I read this–you write about that stuff Rhiann b/c it gives you “all the feels.” Lol. Just like with the music. 😀


  4. vpchandler says:

    I always knew you needed a good smack upside the head. 😉
    Just kidding, I love this post! Not only do I like to read about the writing process of other writers, I can relate to the mystical side of it. Stuff like this happens again and again if you listen to your gut. And don’t be embarassed about your reaction to what you wrote; that means it’s good and will resonate with your readers.

    And thanks for giving me an idea for my blog; I haven’t written one in awhile. 🙂


    • You and my sisters too, on the smack. 🙂

      I think you hit on a key point there, Valerie–listening to your gut. Early on I was trying (in vain) to ‘force’ some aspects of my story. My muse was having none of it. I think listening to your gut does lead you to these moments. I hope so, regarding the resonating. I was feeling pretty vulnerable when I hit the publish button on this one.

      Glad the post gave you an idea! Looking forward to it. Thanks for everything, Val!


  5. Jink Willis says:

    Well, you nailed it for passion and for magic. YOUR post always make me proud to be a writer.


  6. Man, I love this post! Gave me chills just reading about your experiences. You totally nailed the explanation of why story matters. Brilliant, Vaughn.


  7. The only thing I don’t like about your posts is that I wish you posted more often. You go beyond writing’s surface experience and dig deeper. Yes, you’ve done it again.

    I know that spooky feeling and have known it many times. The most recent was days ago. There was a kink in my story that I too long ignored and then fixed with one clunky, forced solution after another. It was frustrating because I could see the moment as if I was standing there and could see the character (well, actually, a ghost) mouth the words that would solve everything. I just couldn’t hear the words.

    A few days ago I heard them…said them actually. I stood there in shock knowing it was right, knowing that everything—absolutely everything—would then fall into place. I was right.

    I also know well the frantic need to record such moments…the muse driving away with the writer chugging alongside the car on foot trying to capture all the inspiration before she fully depresses the gas. It’s like that.

    My theory is that every world has its own brand of magic. How strange that the science in this world that we don’t understand we still take for granted. It’s magic to me. Go 500 years into the past with your smart phone and convince those people it isn’t magic. Go ahead. When you’re done you can convince me the super collider isn’t searching for magic. Science? It’s all magic to me. Magic is what I don’t understand.

    This may be my brand of self-delusion, but that’s okay. I know the magic in the world I created so well that it’s becoming science. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. Where others refuse to go I go by any twisted path necessary. I look at the ordinary and dissect it.


    • How cool was your most recent spooky moment?! Wow, Christina. I love that you couldn’t quite hear the words, but then they came to you in a moment of peacefulness. And I love the image of chasing the muse’s car on foot. Spot on!

      It is funny, how inured we are as a society. People seem to be in such a hurry to prove they are above it, they don’t even see or appreciate the everyday magic in their lives. Keep forging along those twisty paths. Thanks so much for wonderful addition to the conversation and for the praise! 🙂


  8. liz says:

    “Atrocities should never become statistics, and cruelty should never be a footnote.”
    Perfect, Vaughn.


  9. kimbullock says:

    I wrote pretty much every word of The Oak Lovers to that spooky feeling, but that could be because the protagonists are my ancestors and their blood is strong in me. I can relate to putting off certain scenes. The worst, for me, was when I had to write about the loss of a small child from the mother’s POV. I have photographs of that actual child up in my house and my own daughter was the same age. When I finally did write it, it came out in one big gush. I’m glad because I am not strong enough to put myself in “that place” for more than a few hours.

    I got a lot of direction from my great-grandfather’s paintings. It’s almost as though he left a trail of breadcrumbs for me to follow.


    • Having read The Oak Lovers, I can totally see how hard that scene must have been, Kim. And it’s quite clear to me that you ‘wrote to the spooky feeling’ throughout the book. I love that you had the paintings, and I can only imagine how inspirational they were. They inspire ME, and I wasn’t even writing about Carl. 😉 Thanks for sharing in the spooky-fest, my friend! 🙂


  10. I had to think about this one. I’ve always been a spiritual person, not religious, but spiritual. Like you, I’m learning to outline and plot, but when my muse (be it music or a stubborn man,ha) gives me a whallop upside the head, I listen. When I don’t, I begin to feel almost physically ill. Being thick-headed, it may take awhile but then I sit down, stew in the scene, and get it out. My poetry is like that as well. Not all or most of it very good, but I feel as though I’ve completed something undefinable. Something that leads me to believe there is a greater consciousness at work.
    I once said that working on Follow You Down has been a lot like being haunted. Perhaps Evie’s ghost, in a matter of speaking, did follow me home from a chance encounter with a country cemetary. This brings me to agree that we do write, in our way, to immortalize history. Not that my story is based on a documented tragic event like yours. Mine is pure paranormal, going beyond the realm of life. But that spooky feeling? With this story, for me, I do believe I’m telling part of a story that happened. Despite all the odds of a paranormal genre piece, I believe there is a kernel of truth at the heart of the story.
    And there lies the rub- I need to finish edits and put Evie’s spirit to rest. At last.
    Another evocative piece Vaughn, thank you. 🙂


    • I know that feeling of being “almost physically ill” until it’s out on the page. And please! You’re one of the finest poets I know. I’m so glad it’s cathartic for you–win, win! 🙂

      I love the phrase, “a greater consciousness at work.” And I truly believe your story is a truth that needs to be told. It doesn’t matter if it’s based on a documented event. The truth of it is inherent in your ‘need’ to release it, and its associated emotions. And it’s not just Evie you will allow to rest–there are others out there that need her story! Stay true to your journey, my friend. Thanks so much for sharing here!


  11. Maybe our emotions sharpen the act of writing. This is a half-formed thought, but when I wrote a scene where the bad guys murder one of my favorite characters, I was at the library, sobbing as I did so. Much like your experience, out of all the people who have critiqued/edited Finding Meara, that scene is generally left alone. Not much has needed to be “fixed.” I’ve noticed that in other high-emotion or tension-filled scenes. So, I’m wondering if our emotions lower our inhibitions and enable us to get out of our own way, so our muse can do it’s thing unimpeded. The brain is magical, and it’s incredible what what it can do, when it’s allowed to!

    Oh, and thanks for the mention! You were great to interview!


    • That thought not only sounds fully-formed, but brilliant. I think you’re really on to something there, about getting out of our own way by nature of being “in the spooky-emotion zone.” We’ve discussed this before, and you know I concur, that the brain’s special abilities are magical in and of themselves. I really don’t have a qualm at all in calling that Magic, with a capital ‘M.’

      My pleasure on the mention. Thanks for furthering my thoughts and enhancing the conversation, Lara! And thanks for reminding me to go and download Finding Meara right now. I’ve been remiss, but it will be addressed right after I hit the Post Comment button. 🙂


    • ddfalvo says:

      Lara is absolutely dead on with this–her emotionally-charged scenes were spot on perfect.


  12. ddfalvo says:

    Ah, well, I’ll always advocate for the magic. It’s the go-go juice for my imagination. 😀 You picked a great theme, and gave me so much to think about. I nodded as I remembered same joy of discovery in my work, and the haunting sadness of the conflict that can’t be denied. Art imitates life on so many levels, but you made me think about it how it also preserves it in a powerful way.

    This was beautiful: “History cannot be allowed to become prosaic. Atrocities should never become statistics, and cruelty should never be a footnote.” May it ever be so.


    • Hey, D! Thanks for taking the time to comment on your crazy-busy week. 🙂 I wish we could package and sell magic go-go juice for writers (and other artists). We’d make a fortune! I think the preservation part is what really struck me this week.

      So glad the post resonated for you, my friend! And, amen, may it ever be so. I know we’ll both do our part. Thanks for everything, D!


  13. Rob McKay says:

    Hi Vaughn, what a great post!

    As you said, there’s more going on than we can realize. “We” (as a society) are hobbled by the belief that only things seen can be proven. Of course, this is wrong. Some things do exist whether we believe in them or not; they aren’t concerned about whether we acknowledge their existence.
    But some of them do tend to support their devotees 🙂

    I’ve felt connected with my Muse since starting to write poetry at 16. I wondered which one she might be? I fancied Calliope (as did one other to a deservedly ill end; see Gaiman’s brilliant “The Sandman”), but after thinking on things decided that there were FAR more Muses than just the historic handful of the Greeks. Because… we just don’t know, do we?

    Unless we believe in whatever the descriptor of that urge, that push, that pang to Create might be called. “Muse” works for me, because I’ve not seen, but felt, communed with, and served her with as much devotion as she showed me in prompting this story (of UNBOUND). I believe in her. We shouldn’t be blinded by science (OR religion) I have Faith in the Muse 😉

    So, I let her pick me based on my desire to craft a significant story, the energy I wanted to run through it, the message I wanted to impart, and she provided the current that resonated with her. It is called “Love”.

    I believe that (on a higher level) The World wants its wondrous stories, and “The Muse(s)” filter/respond by reaching into the Writer(s) who are sensitive to them to deliver the word(s) of the stories we need. It is asking, and accepting. Caring, and giving. Transmitting, and receiving. to those who will simply open to them..It is, on a higher level, a measure of Love.

    And so in this Spirit I bonded with my Muse a long time ago, and we remain very close 🙂 But she sure gave me a hard row to hoe (NOT COMPLAINING!). One particular scene brought me to a screeching halt. I did NOT want to go there, but she showed me that the story needed to pass through this Crucible; all the paths of the story onward depended on it happening. I pondered the necessity of a rewrite, but that would have been avoiding my Duty, and being brave in spite of life-threatening danger is one of the novel’s themes. I had to do it. It was devastating, and my First Readers agreed. But they added: Do NOT change it! As you know, the Reader is always right 😉

    Writing that several-pages-long scene assuredly crushed me; I broke down and wept more than once while drafting it. But “she” stayed nearby, comforting and encouraging. Finally, it was done. The rest flowed along fine after that, and we got through it together. But at every rewrite/revision, I would need to take a week-long break before working on that terrible Passage. Eventually the pain lessened. In the end, it was all worth it 🙂

    But my Muse still had no identity, or did she? Lily Godwin, my MC, was so thoroughly “alive”, and shared qualities with my Muse so closely that they seemed as one: caring, involved, loving, and devoted. “Lily” means “devotion” and so the two share her name because both have been very devoted to everyone connected. Hopefully for Readers too, but that remains to be seen 😉

    I even bought a little “house” for her. but that’s a story for another time and Blog 😉

    Even if the concept of “muses” is too “heady” a topic, it simply comes down to this: “Send out the Signals, deep and loud” then “receive and transmit.” It will come to you.

    Here’s a bonus link to Peter Gabriel’s transcendent “Signal to Noise” which, purely coincidentally (REALLY!) is like a musical microcosm OST of the full length of UNBOUND. But it might indicate a way to communicate with your own Muse(s)… http://youtu.be/Ov-_Qs_OJeM

    The signal led me Here 🙂

    Apologies for the lengthy post; I don’t do “short ‘n’ pithy” very well 😛

    And, thanks for all you (and WU) do!


    • Wow, Epic comment, Rob! I agree that there are more than just the Greek muses. Just in our tribe I know of dragons and musical muses. My mentor, Cathy Yardely, has one of the coolest muses I’ve heard about. She says she’s:”…thin and pixie-ish, ears like an elf, sharp features and huge hazel-brown eyes. She’s dressed in Ragged Woodland chic, like Peter Pan as interpreted by Alexander McQueen. She’s got wings that are thinner than plastic wrap, and iridescent as a gas slick.” And the best part: “She’s rough and tumble and looks like she just kicked Tinkerbell’s ass. In a knife fight.” 🙂 So yes, they come in all shapes and sizes.

      I also love the idea of reciprocation of choice. We do choose each other, I think. And it can be tough. They can lay heavy expectations on us. I was swimming over my head in stormy seas when my muse and I chose each other. She threw me in without a life-vest, nary a qualm. She knew it would be tough, what with my inexperience and all she laid on me. Like you, I don’t hold any grudges. I’m still grateful, and striving to make her gift worthy.

      Great song, and perfect for the subject at hand! I’m glad the signal led you here today!
      And it’s my honor to help out with WU, after all WU has done for me. Thank the gods (and our muses) for our tribe! Thanks for reading and identifying, for your epic comment, and for your kind praise!


      • Rob McKay says:

        It’s funny how differently we all approach our Creative Force , when it’s essentially the same “Thing” for everyone! (“Muse” works best for me too)

        I felt a little jealous reading your description of your Companion, as I haven’t really tried to envision mine. Odd since I envision EVERYTHING LOL!

        But I definitely felt her presence, and like you, at possibly the lowest point of despair in my life to that point. WHY WAIT TILL NOW???

        I think it’s because we are more receptive in our crises? Desperate? Willing? Desirous? The Muse approaches and whispers “I will tell you a Story, but you must get through this first.” And at that desperate point it’s the sweetest sound you could want to hear. “Take the bair,” she teases.

        I answered her willingly, and offered my life. Seemed a fair trade 🙂

        Because she has never left me, and I feel her patiently waiting for our channel to re-open during this latest crisis while it’s shut. She is kind and devoted, like Lily, whom I tried to “face” the Muse with, but of course, it’s not Lily. She feels just as Good as her though, which is fine enough for me 🙂

        She didn’t force me through that hellish situation but allowed me to deal with it in due course of Time (it took six years to get out). Once I did I pulled all stakes and moved 800 miles away to seclude myself in order to relate her Story. Then she overwhelmed me with her speed and forcefulness! We wrote like the wind 😉

        But now I want to SEE her xD Personally, I like to minimize the number of possibilities for explaining “strange phenomena”, so “my invisible world” boils down to souls, angels, and spirits. This doesn’t eliminate any OTHER possibilities though; I just go with what I believe (in). YMMV 😉

        I believe that she’s an angel, and most likely the same one I saw at the age of six, in my darkened bedroom, a light that Awakened me. I’ve believed in “guardian angels” ever since! And, never truly alone. Even given Horatio’s advice, I think that Life is simpler than it appears (or, doesn’t appear)!

        This connectivity is something that is open to all humans, writers or not; all it requires is a receptiveness and willingness, even bravery, to face an unknown Space where everything is possible; *everything*. We get to tell the wondrous stories 😀

        I’m happy that you enjoyed the video! Not to push my luck here’s another (shorter) pertinent one for you and your writerly Readers, who might want to read the lyrics on the YouTube page. “Wondrous Stories” by Yes. Feel it, and begin Hearing 😉

        Thank You 🙂


      • Hooray for different approaches. Your “fair trade” made me smile this morning. Very cool angel story. And, again, excellent taste in music. Thanks for sharing your ideas, Rob! 🙂


  14. What a thought-provoking post. I’ve been IN the mind of a few of my characters (my most cherished is the abused wife who hacks up her husband with a meat cleaver), but I do not think I’ve experienced what you have. Must be awesome. I have felt “I’m there” on a few occasions, but those are rare. That pouring out feeling comes too seldom to this writer. Most of my work is just that, “work.” But when I get it right, I know it.


    • Boy, that meat-cleaver-wielder must have been a harsh rush! I’ve been IN it while I was in the POV of a character doing bad things before, and for me it was like getting coated in rancid cooking oil, or something–feels scummy and tough to wash away.

      I agree that the feeling doesn’t come often enough, and is interspersed with work that is just ‘work.’ It seems like that becomes more and more the case as I proceed. I don’t know if I was more open to it in the beginning, or if I’ve developed a harder shell after receiving my share of rejection. No matter how hard I try to tell myself to let go on first drafts, “being good” rather than “being in the moment” tends to take precedence after your rejection indoctrination.

      Thanks for weighing in, Karen! May we both be receptive to the spooky feelings sure to come. 🙂


      • Rob McKay says:

        This thought just occurred to me, but then I just woke up o.O -I think that the reason the writing gets harder and becomes more “work” is because on our first drafts we are dreamers and “religionists”, and by the last finally-edited versions have become realists, and scientists!


        Being in the heads of violent and evil characters is a necessary… well, “evil” but you know that. We get to absolve our distaste with plenty of good ‘uns to counter them and rinse our mental palates. Because the Reader’s going to have to, too. The more bitter the taste the sweeter victory will be 🙂

        But “coated in rancid cooking oil” sums up the feeling “nicely” LOL!


  15. Bernadette Phipps-Lincke says:

    First off, I’m so excited for you. Blessed be your muse within. Your experience I believe, is a mystical one. Jung called it the “collective unconscious”. It’s an exhilarating journey, even the scary parts, I look forward to reading what you give back, from what you’ve been given.


    • It certainly felt like I was tapping into collective unconsciousness. It seemed like finding a deep and painful outrage, resonating across the ages. I don’t think it’s ever been acknowledged by history, let alone redressed or condemned. I feel like I channeled a bit of it. May the victims rest more peacefully.

      I’m looking forward to reading you just as much as the reverse, my friend! Thanks so much for the Jungian take on what happened, and for your ongoing support! 🙂


  16. Yes, I’ve written to that spooky feeling. As with you, I almost never have to change anything within those scenes or lines. They tend to be raw, emotional, and braver than much of the surrounding work. I trust them more.

    I don’t see the need to choose between mysticism or brain function as causation. If there’s a biological advantage conferred by the ability to experience these moments, how did that come into being? Maybe we can tickle neural circuitry and cause certain emotions or experiences. That still doesn’t explain *why.* In this case, for me, it’s less relevant to take apart the watch than to marvel that it can keep time.

    Beautiful post, V.


    • “They tend to be raw, emotional, and braver than much of the surrounding work. I trust them more.”

      So true, Jan. And you’re right to question how we evolved to this state leading to heightened ability. But the think I love most about your comment is your observation on the relevance of the watch vs. simply marveling at its keeping time. Beautiful!

      I was a bit unsure how this one would be received. Thanks, for everything, Jan! 🙂


  17. I’ve not written at all lately. No muse. No words. Nothing but bronchitis. I’m glad you’ve been caught up in the words, Vaughn, and I love what you have to say about the power of story to keep emotion alive.


  18. Jo Eberhardt says:

    Beautiful post, Vaughn. As always, you got me thinking in a different way.

    I don’t have a Muse in the same way you do. I don’t have a cute dragon or a kick-ass pixie. If pressed, I’d be forced to admit that I (shhh!) don’t really believe in Muses. But I do believe in Magic. And I do believe in Stories.

    I believe in the power of words and the importance of Storytellers. I believe in a force of Creativity that comes from somewhere… else.

    When that spooky feeling hits, when I’m crying or laughing or feeling my heart swell with uncontainable emotion, when the words are flowing faster than I can write them down and the words I’ve already written all suddenly make sense, that’s when I feel my spirit is closest to the Elsewhere: the Od. A place of Divine Madness, the source of stories and songs and insanity.


    • I’m sort of jealous of the cool dragons and fairy-ass-kicking muses, too. Mine is a bit more vague, but she does stand over me, arms crossed in consternation sometimes. I guess that says more about me than her.

      Whatever form it comes in for you, Jo, you clearly feel and beautifully express what I’m speaking about.

      LOVE this: “…that’s when I feel my spirit is closest to the Elsewhere: the Od. A place of Divine Madness, the source of stories and songs and insanity.”

      Gorgeously written, but the sentiment is just awesome. 🙂 Here’s to reaching for the Divine Madness together, my friend! Thanks so much for enhancing the conversation!



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