On Writing

Heeding The Call During Dishes


This is where I wash the dishes. The window looks into the muddy back yard. There is barely room to stack the dirty dishes to the left what with the school lunch pails, the knife block, and the paper towel stand taking space. To the right, pots and pans always clutter the counter, butting up against the coffee maker. It’s all fine. Our house is cluttered. That’s the way it will be. That’s the way we like it. (We really do. I asked the kids if they mind that there’s jazz everywhere – on every wall, on every table surface. They told me they love it.)

This is where I am struck with writing ideas. My muse is made of soapsuds and setting sun rays. And she struck me hard this evening. (Note to self: I was washing dishes having just made and eaten the first Shepherd’s Pie of the season. Correlation?) She struck me hard and whilst I was washing and rinsing the dishes, there was a battle in my head as to whether or not I should give myself the time to act on this inspiration. To write out of my brain this story idea. This conversation between two characters who’ve been hiding in the blips and blasts of my brain’s jelly for years. I was deciding if I should give myself the time to write it out of me.

I did. I gave myself the time. Forty-five minutes later, I’d spewed out 7 pages of story. A conversation, a setting, a blooming relationship I could barely keep up with through my fingertips.

I didn’t read poetry like I should have. I didn’t edit like I should have.

I wrote. A new story. New characters. New fire bursting from within.

I asked the kids to help me with names for my characters.

Caroline Firewood (I came up with Caroline. Miller came up with Firewood. Could she feel my fire?!)

Torkin (The male character. Jett came up with this name.)

I wrote a version of chapter one of a book…? Will it be a novel? Who knows? I can’t care.

The chapter title:


The last line:

…I’m here to collect you before you die because you have to write the next book.” (Torkin says this.)

There you have it.

I heeded the call. I grabbed the muse by her sudsy belly and let her inspiration flow out of me.

Now – I’ll edit. Then I’ll read poetry. Then I’ll put the kids to bed…and in between I’ll do a thousand other little things that make me a mother. A mother who is also a writer.

And your muse? Is she sudsy too?

4 thoughts on “Heeding The Call During Dishes

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