What is muse and where do you find it?

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As the weather cools in the Southwest, the mountains beckon me with their rugged magnetism, the twists and turns in their craggy landscape. Yet sometimes it’s different, not the terrain—although, each time I’m there, it feels like new territory to explore—but the escape. Instead of finding respite, the noise in my mind might be matched by the noise on the trails. Hyper aware of my surroundings, this prohibits me from receiving solace, from settling into my muse—or source of inspiration—and picking up where I left off the last time I set foot in the desert. My time there is never wasted, however.
Oftentimes, it’s there I feel closest to my creator as I marvel at the splendor of my surroundings. And then I realize that it’s life, in all its glorious imperfections and unpredictability, that serves as my real muse. The mountains simply function as a catalyst to fan the dormant embers of passion into a burning flame.

What and/or where is your muse?

Take a hike: where my mojo woke up

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take a hike


I’ve called the Southwest home for more than 16 years and, although I view the mountains daily, hike them on occasion, share the scenic panorama with visiting friends and family, this past weekend I fell in love with the rugged and mysterious desert beauty all over again. It only took two hours and 5.3 miles of exploring the Sonoran Preserve to make that happen. It was almost as if I saw the majestic outcroppings, yellow-white orb hung low in the bluest of blue cloudless skies, for the first time. As I traipsed solo over the rocky trail, while remaining alert for native desert dwellers crossing my path, I wrote a book. It’s a story I’ve chewed on for months—more of an outline than a whole book, with holes to fill. It might be a fluke, but I believe the mountains could be my new go-to place for inspiration. Now to transcribe the story from memory. Or to take another hike.

Where does your mojo wake itself up?

Just what the doctor ordered

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Just what the doctor ordered

[Image credit: David Castillo]

This past weekend I traveled to the Midwest to surprise my dad for his 87th birthday.  A few days prior to leaving, I learned of family illness, so plan A for the party locale changed to plan B.  Then, my dad started to come down with a cold, so we switched to plan C.  Which made the most sense because we were now smack dab in the middle of a snow advisory.  My dad’s party was a success, but throughout that night, the white stuff came down.  Hard.  Admittedly, twelve years of living in the Southwest has turned me into “one of those drivers” and, although I made it to breakfast with a friend that morning, the rest of the day found me holed up in the hotel, the remainder of my plans derailed.  All was not lost, however.  I spent my last few hours of vacation resting and regrouping.  Perhaps that’s just what the doctor ordered.

When your plans change, do the revised plans turn out better?