Stopping And Starting

When we last left Betsy, she was dealing with some difficult situations in her life. These included the loss of her beloved mother, a severely broken ankle resulting in months of recovery, and the company she worked for being sold, causing an employment shakeup. It’s been quite a year!

Still, it’s been unnervingly silent around Betsy’s brain – the caverns and rooms echoing, the dust gathering. The Muse has conspicuously absent and even Harry, the white rabbit who is Betsy’s Guide on her Quest to become a successful independent author-entrepreneur, has been quiet.

But now, suddenly, there is a commotion at the deep, deep lake in the center of Betsy’s brain.

What in the world is going on?

Let’s see…


*Betsy is flailing around in the blue water of the deep lake at the center of her mind* *Her arms are flying* *Her legs churn* *She goes under the surface and then pops up again, choking*

Help! *Betsy goes down, comes up, spits out water* Help!

*Harry is sitting on the lush, green bank at the side of the lake, watching her*

I can’t help you. *He pulls his pocketwatch out of his waistcoat and twirls it nervously*

*Betsy stops flailing around long enough to glare at him* Why not? You’re my Guide, aren’t you?

Yes. But there are some things you have to do for yourself.

Oh yeah? Like what?

Like getting out of the water and walking up onto the bank. I can Guide you after that.

Oh, really. *Betsy’s glare is thunderous and she folds her arms over her chest* *She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s not sinking under the water* That sounds like a bunch of bull. You just don’t want to get wet.

True. *Harry puts away his watch and runs a paw down his very nice striped waistcoat* But that’s not why I can’t come in and help you.

*Betsy realizes she should be struggling and starts to flail around again* Can’t you see I need you?

I can see that you think you do. *Harry scratches his long, silky ear* But really, you just need to stand up and come up on shore. You’ve been at a complete stop for months, so you need to start again.

It’s not that simple! *Betsy yells at him*

Of course it is. If you’re stopped and you want to go on, you need to start again.

It’s too hard!

Of course it is. That’s why so few people start again once they’ve stopped. It’s a lot easier to keep going than it is to stop completely and then start over again.

So I need help! *Betsy coughs as waves roll over her head*

You need to make a choice.

I didn’t decide to stop! That wasn’t a freaking choice!

No. Stopping isn’t always under our control. But starting usually is.

Huh. *Betsy stops flailing around and treads water for a few minutes, thinking* So you’re saying that I can decide to start again, and if I do, if I get out onto the bank, you’ll help me?


And the Muse will help me?

Well, you’ll need to prove yourself to her a little bit first. She’s a very busy woman. She doesn’t have time for dilettantes.


But after you’ve pushed a boulder up a hill or two, she’ll come around again.

Pushed a boulder—

It won’t be easy. *Harry holds up a paw of warning* You’ve lost all of your momentum.

But I’ll never get it back if I don’t start.


*Betsy thinks a little while longer, then slowly, step by step, makes her way to shore* *Finally, gasping for air, she falls onto the grass at Harry’s side*

Good. *Harry pats her shoulder* I was hoping you’d make the correct choice.

Things are a lot different now than they were at the beginning of the year. *Betsy bats wet eyelashes at him* My path is going to be different.

It will be a slightly different path with some different twists and turns. It will be very interesting to see where it goes, don’t you think? *Harry beams at her*

Yes. *Betsy gets to her feet and shakes out her wet clothing* Guess we’d better get started then.

That’s usually the first step.

*Betsy turns and starts walking towards the mountains* *Harry hops alongside her*


To be continued…





  1. Jenny Schwartz says

    Betsy I had no idea! (((hugs))) I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. And everything else. What a horrible time you’ve been having (((hugs))) Yes, again, and I’m not a huggy person.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Jenny Schwartz: Awww, thank you, Jenny. <3 It has really been a HECK of a year!! But it's okay - just took time to work through some of it. I definitely appreciate the hugs!! 🙂 (((hugging you back)))

  2. Nancy Arbuco says

    Coco Chanel — ‘A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.’ ✅ you’re off to a great start!!

  3. Liz Gilbert says

    HUZZAH, dear friend. The Angels are smiling, and pushing. Keep helping them along.

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