The Muse by Alyssa Alexander

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Alyssa Alexander here, back from 10ish days in the wilds of Canada! I had a lovely vacation that included all kinds of, ah, interesting happenings. Let’s see:

First of the blueberries!
First of the blueberries! Picked on the side of the road as we drove in.


3 bee stings in our party
17 mosquito bites on me at last count
1 flat tire
4 new tires
1 sick kid
3 s’mores (for me alone)
6-ish cups of wild blueberries
1 gazillion earwigs
3 walleye I caught and cleaned myself (first time ever!)
1 black bear sighting
0 uses of black bear spray
1 earwig in my cereal box when I got home *shudder*
3 fresh fried fish meals
2 waterfall climbs
1 shore lunch
2 swimming sessions off the dock
14,400 minutes of happiness (assuming I can use a calculator properly)

Me, looking desheveled and, er, not thin. But I'm triumphant--we beat the flat tire!
Me, looking disheveled and, er, not attractive. But I’m triumphant–we beat the flat tire!

But what was most exciting for me was the arrival of The Muse.

I think she needs a name, come to think of it. Something that hints at recalcitrance and stubbornness. (Maybe, um, Alyssa?). I’ve been calling her The Muse for so long, but since we’re such good friends—and enemies—she probably deserves a name by now.

Anywho, The Muse deigned to visit while I was vacationing. There’s something freeing about the distance from home and work demands—and being almost completely unplugged—which activates The Muse. Apparently she’s a quiet, solitary soul, who requires nothing but water, forest and sky to come alive.

Sunrise, Day 1
Sunrise, Day 1

I wrote by hand in a spiral-bound notebook. I wrote on my laptop. I scribbled on notepads and index cards and, once, the palm of my hand. I got up at dawn simply to drink coffee and watch the sun come up all rosy gold—and plot. Sometimes it seemed as if my fingers couldn’t move fast enough on paper or keyboard to keep up with the ideas The Muse was winging my way.

That Muse, she’s a sneaky one. Keeping her distance at home, yet

My writing view, while sorting blueberries and eating Pringles for breakfast...Hey, I was on vacay!
My writing view, while sorting blueberries and eating Pringles for breakfast…Hey, I was on vacay!

bombarding me while on vacation.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Muse needs to be refilled at times in order to be generous with all that story goodness.

She needs quiet and solitude, easy days and brilliant sunrises, the rush of wind through birch leaves and the constant background of waves lapping the shore.

In short, The Muse needs peace. When she has it, she’ll gift me with all the words…

My question to you, Dear Reader: What would you name a recalcitrant, stubborn, introverted, fairy-like Muse who prefers solitude, blue skies and a brilliant sun?

Follow Alyssa Alexander:

Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes. Alyssa’s debut release, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, was awarded 4.5 Stars and Top Pick, nominated for 2014 Best First Historical by the Romantic Times and Best First Book in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest. Her second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, released in December 2014 from Berkley, and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic times. She has been called a “talented newcomer” and “a rising star you won’t want to miss.” You can find Alyssa at all the usual places! Please stop by and say hello! And you can always reach her by email at

4 Responses

    • Alyssa Alexander

      About 20-25 minutes from Wawa, Ontario. The last 5 miles were dirt road, but GORGEOUS forest and lakes. I’m planning to go back next summer!