Where Are The Muses Today?

This is my third attempt for today’s post. My first one reflected my morning “before coffee” mood. Not what I want to portray. My second attempt was not much better even though by then I’d had my third cup of coffee. An attitude probably induced from a combination of dreary weather and traffic. And, probably an absence of instant inspiration.

Usually, I am never at a loss of something to say, some words of wisdom to cast out into the air, some bon mots. For whatever reason, I found myself lacking today; the day of all days I needed to be inspired. Ever feel that way?

So, I asked myself, where does inspiration come from? For me, it can come from anywhere – something funny the dog does, a recipe I find interesting, a dream I had. Perhaps you have to be open to inspiration too. Certainly, one cannot be inspired without having had coffee and a shower or driving in the rain. Sometimes life seems to drown out the voices of the muses.

I did have a dream not too long ago I turned into a few paragraphs of a rough story part. I don’t know if it will be the beginning, the middle, or toward the end of a short story or a novella or novel. This is it. It’s raw and unedited and unworked.


She hated parking garages. Her heels clacked and echoed and announced to any hidden rapist that she was a lone woman in a deserted parking garage. The thought made her hurry. She was grateful to reach her SUV. She fished the keys out of her purse, tossed her briefcase into the back seat and climbed behind the wheel. She tossed her purse toward the passenger seat but it fell to the floor. She sighed and wearily leaned over to retrieve it and the items that had spilt out of it.

She wasn’t sure what happened. The blast was felt rather than heard. Her whole body felt bruised, her head was pounding and her ears were ringing. She was dazed and she rested laying across the seat trying to figure out what happened. Had she lost consciousness? Did she hit her head? Did she have a stroke?

It was dark and the darkness was becoming thicker and surrounding her and making it hard to breathe. She needed to sit up to see what was going on around her. There was shattered glass covering her and the seat she hadn’t noticed before. Carefully, she tried to sit up but the roof of the car was pushed down and rested on the top of the back of the driver’s seat. She squirmed and shimmied her way over the center console and into the passenger seat where there was a little more headroom. The door would not open. Duh, she thought. She managed to squeeze herself through the window.

Outside the confines of the car was a scene from hell. Cars were over turned, the upper decks of the garage had collapsed in some places, cars were on fire and concrete dust mixed with smoke. Dim shafts of light were beginning to filter in from outside. Somewhere a baby was crying, someone else was screaming. A voice was calling out encouraging words that help was on the way.

Blood was on her hands and on her blouse and she was sure her face was cut. Her skirt was torn and she was missing a shoe. Taking inventory, she was sure she had no broken bones. She brushed her hair back from her face, straightened her skirt, reached back into the car for her purse and briefcase and began staggering over the rubble and debris toward the light hoping it would be a way out.


Anyway, that was a dream. My character hasn’t told me her name yet and I don’t know why she was in the parking garage, who blew it up, why they would blow it up or any other details. I’m waiting for inspiration.

What inspires you?

LeeAnn Rhoden

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