A Penny For Your Thoughts


I’ve had too many anxious moments throughout this pandemic wondering if I would ever be able to write again. After an extended break, I’m relieved that the more I write, the easier it’s becoming. And, hopefully, I didn’t just jinx myself by expressing that thought. Maybe I should clarify and say, traditionally, the more I write the easier it is to continue writing. I’m sure there’s some theorem that explains how or why writing begets writing, but I just know that’s how it’s working at the moment for me. Anyway, I feel like I’ve explained this sufficiently so that if all of a sudden I go cold and can’t write anything else, then at least my muse won’t have made a complete ass out of me.

Certainly, inspiration’s been elusive. I feel like my muse just up and left me to fend for myself. Could it be that even she, “The Mighty Muse,” (who should never be confused with the “Mighty Mouse” because oh what a difference an ‘o’ can make in writing, n’est-ce pas?) has socially distanced herself over this last year and a half? She’s sporadically provided her two cents whenever I’ve come up with names for her, which is something I’ve been doing over the last several months; but she really hasn’t pushed me to put down words, which is what I really need to do.


All I know is that it won’t be long now before my family and I go in for our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It’s both thrilling and a little daunting. Fingers and toes crossed, by June, we’ll be living a more normal life…whatever that means anymore. So ready or not…Woo Hoo!


Speaking of “the Muse,” around the first of January, I decided I would give her a real name as a friendly gesture and in respect for the inspiration she usually provides me. For close to four months, I’ve come up with solid names. My favorite, Endora, seemed an especially wicked cool fit. Pfffftttt! She rejected each and every name I proffered.

How do I know that she’s actually rejected these names? It’s hard to explain. It’s been more of an intuitive understanding between the two of us. It’s as though when a potential name would come up in my head and I thought, “Ah, that’s a really good name. That’s what I’m going to call her,” she just shook her metaphorical head, frowned and said inside my mind, “Absolutely not! What are you thinking?!!!! That’s not my name. Do better next time!”

Frankly, after months of this, I was ready to give up calling her anything but “the Muse.” Of course, it also occurred to me that I could refer to her as, “She Who Refuses to be Named” or  SWRTBN for short even if SWRTBN isn’t easy to remember. Trust me, you don’t want to know what she said in my head when I ran that by her.


Creative writers often talk about “the Muse” or “their Muse.” Also, everyone seems to have one — or more — these days, Dah-ling! Matter of fact, there are so many, many muses out in the ether, who can tell one from the other anymore, especially when they’re all wearing masks, Dah-ling?” Ha! It’s like trying to figure out who’s on first when Who’s actually on first but you can’t wrap your mind around that.

Wrap my mind around that? What? What’s that got to do with anything?

“No, not That or What. Who. Try to keep up, Dah-ling!

What I mean by “muse,” of course, is that unseen, inspirational force who’s the impetus for human creative endeavors. The muse works through each of our individual filters/brains utilizing our unique perspectives, experiences, knowledge, temperament, abilities, senses, etc. to come up with original works, expressions, ideas and thought.


I don’t know this for sure, but I assume my muse is not the same as your muse even if our muses are kissing cousins. But even if we shared the same muse, I have no doubt that our creations — whether in writing, music, dance, cooking, the visual arts or any other kind of imaginative/ artistic effort — would be different because we are different. Regardless of whether she who inspires me also inspires others, I wanted to give her a proper first name.


I thought naming her would be easy, but that just shows you how much I know. Finding her one, true name among all of the thousands of names out there has been harder even than when I named my children; and, trust me, my son went without a first and middle name for the first two days after he was born. I finally spoke to her directly and said, “Oh, come on, now, don’t be like that, Muse. Surely, there’s a name out there that will work for you. A penny for your thoughts. Tell me what you want me to call you.” Well, the funny thing is, when I asked that question, a bell went off  in my head. “Ding, ding, ding, ding!” How about that? I finally stumbled upon my muse’s true name.


I scratch my head when I think that “Tink” wasn’t good enough for her. I love the name Tink.  “Lilith” caused her to roll her eyes and sigh, “Isn’t that name a trifle overused?” She laughed maniacally when I mentioned Endora, which was a little unsettling and confusing. Was Endora my muse’s true name? Apparently, not. She wasn’t laughing with me. No, she was laughing at me; which I think just strengthens my argument that her name should be Endora because her indomitable and slightly naughty energy is definitely reminiscent of Samantha’s mother from Bewitched.

Erin, Morgana, Agnes, Cheyenne, Allie, Dorothy, Jane, Jack, Rogue, Rebel and every other name that popped into my head didn’t make the cut either. I’m just happy I’ve finally discovered her true name; because what the hey, I would never have come up with ‘Penny’ on my own. But Penny she shall be called, which isn’t a supercool name or edgy or anything, so that’s kind of disappointing; but whatever. I mean I really, really liked Endora.

The good news is that there’s no one in my life named Penny except my muse. And, what the hell, so what if Penny isn’t a cool name. Maybe I just don’t have a supercool and edgy muse.

Wait a minute. Penny’s telling me that she is definitely supercool and edgy and, therefore, the name ‘Penny’ is  supercool and edgy, even if I don’t think so. She’s also telling me, “You don’t get paid to think. You get paid to sit there at the computer and take dictation from me.”



Wow. Uhm, okay. Maybe Penny’s got a point…except, thus far, I have yet to get paid. Anything. Damn. Even so, Penny’s kind of a hardcore bad ass, y’all.

“Damned straight, I am.”

“Sorry, Penny, you’re right. I meant no disrespect. You’re supercool, edgy, hardcore and bad ass. I stand corrected.”

“Much better…slave.”



It’s good to be back, y’all. I hope everyone’s doing well and staying Covid-free!

A huge shout out to my friend Sherry at feelingfunny.ca. If you haven’t checked out her blog, why’s it taking you so long? Go there now and see what you’ve been missing! She’s awesome and her writing’s fucking awesome and someday, Wayward Peeps, you’ll thank me for turning you on to her site! You’re welcome!

Also, happy Cinco de Mayo!

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13 thoughts on “A Penny For Your Thoughts”

    • Patricia,
      It’s so good to hear from you, too! I’ve been out of the loop for far too long. What’s new and how are things going with you and yours, my friend?

      • I’ve been awol too — somehow feeling less of a need to record things and more of a need to just live each day and enjoy what comes 🙂 Sometimes I think of it as making a story rather than writing one, if that makes sense. I have a new puppy, three months old now, a gorgeous English golden, very cuddleable, very funny, very beautiful. Daisy and I are walking, playing and bringing smiles to people everyday. It’s been almost ten years since I buried my last golden, so it’s time! Everyone in my circle is good. Business is great. Backyard is a mess, twenty trees or so removed on account of an addition for my mom in the works. But seeing something good come where nothing was before — that’s part of what keeps me going 🙂

        • Patricia,
          So glad to hear things are working out well for you. Of course I miss reading your blog. You do know that it’s been about a year since you last posted, right? I fully understand, though. Time flies and you’ve been super busy it sounds like. Your new Daisy sounds like a wonderful addition to your family. I hope you post lots of pictures whenever you get back into blogging. Also, new construction! I love new construction. I’m sure your mom’s gonna love it when you’re finished. Are you building a bedroom suite or a whole stand alone house just for her? Thanks for the update! Big hugs to you, my friend! Mona

  1. I think the name Penny is fab. Is it a cute (but bad-ass) derivative of Penelope? I always like muses to have an extra name, you know, one that you can use to get their attention when they go a little bat-shit which they are wont to do aren’t they. Anyway. Good luck with her. She sounds just right. And thank you for the shout-out! Made me blush. xo Sherry

    • Sherry,
      I like the idea of being able to use a first, middle and last name to grab the attention of my children, husband, and now muse when behavior needs correcting such as — Penelope Diane Muse! What were you thinking? Pull yourself together! Thanks for steering me in that direction. Also, sorry it took so long for me to get my own act together. Of course, I’m blaming Penelope Diane Muse, so… I’m not sure if I have much of an audience left after so many months of naught on my blog, but, hopefully, whoever comes across this post will also head out to your blog as well. You deserve all the traffic you can get! Peace and much success to you, Mona

    • LA, I’m so glad you’re able to comment on my blog again! I know that was an issue in the past. Anyway, I’ve missed you bunches and am delighted to see you here! So is your cat also your muse or is she just amusing? Ha! Okay, I’m off to visit you on your site! Big hugs to you! Mona

    • Hey, Boo!
      Yep, one problem down, so many more with which to deal! Glad you like the name Penny and I’m glad to be back as well. Missed you, too, my friend! Hugs, Mona

  2. Lorca called it “duende” which is also a Spanish word meaning “heightened state of emotion”, and Kafka wrote about that too, saying once in one of his diaries that he’d been up all night with such wonderful inspiration that any sentence he wrote was perfect, and then there’s that picture of Voltaire dictating to his secretary while getting dressed and, well, let’s just say writing about inspiration can be very inspiring, can’t it? But I like Penny because every muse deserves to be personified and you can’t really personify a heightened state of emotion. Hey, even muses gotta sleep sometimes.
    I also like Endora, although I’m more of an Uncle Arthur kind of guy myself. The shirts Paul Lynde wore on Hollywood Squares certainly put me in a heightened state of emotion, and that emotion was wanting those shirts.
    All this is missing the point of course which is congratulations on getting your second shot, which is very pointed, but at least it’s over quickly. At least things are somewhat back to normal already, if anything with your muse ever can be normal.

    • Christopher,
      Damn, I love it when you comment! You are one of the most knowledgeable people I know, which means, of course, that if I’m ever on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you will be my phone call/life line, even if I don’t have your phone number. That’s okay, we’ll figure something out! And if I ever do get on that show (I won’t but it’s nice to think I might), you bet your sweet ass that I’ll be wearing something as groovy and vintage as Paul Lynde when he was on Hollywood Squares (though I don’t think his shirts were “vintage” at the time!) Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m getting very verklempt, but I don’t believe it’s because Penny’s calling, just thinking about Paul Lynde and how much I miss him. Big hugs to you, my friend! Here’s to heightened states of normalcy and pointed needles of vaccine! 🙂 Mona


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