Optimistic Voices

As it’s been a little while since we’ve had this conversation, this might be a good time to remind everyone (including Betsy) that she is on a Quest to become a Successful Independent Author.  She has made some strides in the right direction, but she definitely has a long way to go!  Fortunately, Betsy has a Guide on her Quest—a white rabbit, who used to be a white gerbil and is named Harry.

Sadly, Betsy didn’t realize she had also named the hero in her latest novel (coming soon!) Harry until it was too late.  This is just a coincidence.  Please do not think that Betsy is harboring any romantic designs on Harry the Quest Guide.  She does, however, have romantic designs on Harry the Hero.  Perhaps she was caught up in the drama of the latest royal wedding / pregnancy / birth and just decided to name everyone Harry.  Perhaps she is simply crazy.

Regardless, in addition to Harry the Guide, as he shall henceforth be known, there are more members on Team Betsy.  They include The Muse—an ethereal being and Goddess of Creativity, Skipper—a chipmunk and Good Habit Implementation Specialist (she has her work cut out for her), and Coffee—the Beverage of Champions.

As Betsy has been in a bit of a battle lately (see previous blog post), she has been slogging it out in the Valley of Illusion and thus has not been spending much time with Team Betsy.  The Muse got through, mostly by shouting in Betsy’s ear.  It was painful.  But now that things finally seem to be moving in the right direction, Harry the Guide, Coordinator of Team Betsy, has decreed there shall be a meeting of the minds wherein A Plan For The Next Few Months Shall Be Decided.  Now Betsy is sitting in Harry the Guide’s office in her brain, waiting for the rest of the crew to show up.  But she is alone!  Where is everybody else?  What’s going on now?

Let’s see…


Betsy is sitting in Harry’s office.  She jiggles her leg impatiently.  Checks her Fitbit.  Gets up to pace.  Checks her task list on her phone.  Growls.

“Where is everyone?!?”

As she turns to pace to the other side of the office—which is just exactly as big as she wants it to be—the door opens and Harry the Guide walks in.  Actually he dances in, hopping on his big bunny back feet.  Behind him, paws on his shoulders, is Skipper, the Habit Implementation Specialist.  And bringing up the rear is Coffee, the Beverage of Champions.  They hop in, dancing in a conga line, kicking out their legs (yes, Coffee has legs—deal with it) side to side and singing…

You’re out of the woods

You’re out of the dark

You’re out of the night

Step into the sun,

Step into the light….

“What are you doing?”  Betsy demands.  “What is that noise?”

“We’re singing!”  The three reply in unison. 

“Yes!”  Skipper chips.

Keep straight ahead

For the most glorious place

On the Face of the Earth

Or the sky

“Yes!”  Harry chirps…

Hold onto your breath

Hold onto your heart

Hold onto your hope

“Yes!”  Coffee burps…

March up to the gate

And bid it open!

The three end the song with a flourish, arms and legs out in a “tah dah” gesture in the middle of the space.  (Yes, Coffee has arms, too.  Deal.)

“I know that song. It’s from the Wizard of Oz,” Betsy informs them.  “Right after Dorothy and the rest get to the Emerald City and got drugged out of their minds in the poppies.”

“It’s Optimistic!”  Harry tells her, swirling.

“I think you’ve been smelling too many of those poppies.”  Betsy rubs her forehead (yes, Betsy has a forehead in her brain—deal).  

Harry, Skipper, and Coffee ignore her and start to dance their conga line again.  A snap of their fingers and they are all wearing green sequins.

You’re out of the woods

You’re out of the dark

You’re out of the night

Step into the sun,

step into the light….

“Help,” Betsy whimpers.

“Let them dance.  They’re happy.”

“Muse!”  Betsy turns to find the Muse has come to stand beside her.  Betsy wraps her arms around Muse’s waist and hangs on.  “I missed you.”

“I was here.  You even heard me.  It just got a little muddy there for a while.”

“But now you’re working!” Harry hops past at the head of a conga line.

“And you’re developing good habits!” Skipper skips behind him.

“And, although you aren’t drinking as much of me now, we are still close, ma cherie,” Coffee twirls and dips at the end.

“I think you’re celebrating too early,” Betsy calls after them.

“Yes, but you are making progress, are you not?” Coffee stops and grabs Betsy’s hands. “Although I am sad that we are not so close, ma cherie, and that you have started spending time with DECAF.” Coffee spits the word. “Mon Dieu.  Decaf.  Still, that which does not kill us only serves to make us stronger, n’est pas?”  He dances off.

“I don’t even drink French Roast anymore you know,” Betsy yells after him.  “You should sound Colombian!”

“Let them have their fun.” The Muse settles on the sofa next to Betsy.  “They’ve waited a long time for you to be able to give them your attention again.”

“Not Coffee.  I’ve given him plenty of attention.”

The Muse dips her head in acknowledgment.  “True.”

Betsy chews on her bottom lip.  “It’s just…this isn’t a sure thing, you know.  I’ve screwed up before.  Just because I’m moving in a good direction at the moment doesn’t mean I’ll be able to keep doing it.”

“Do you think you’ll fail?”

“No.”  Betsy fidgets.  “Maybe.  I’m scared okay?  I’m scared that the good things I’m doing aren’t going to last.  They never lasted before.”

“Let me tell you something.”  The Muse settles back in her seat.  “Generally speaking, you get what you expect to get when it comes to this kind of thing.  So if you constantly expect to fail, guess what?”

“I’ll fail?”

“Ding, ding, ding!” The Muse waves a hand.  “Give the lady a prize.”

“So I should just expect to succeed?”


“And what if I fail anyway?”

“Well, then you think “hey, that was a mistake” and pick yourself up and move on.  It’s not a failure, it’s a lesson you needed to learn.”

“I’ve been learning these lessons for a long time.”

“Some lessons take time.”

Betsy thinks.  “So, just move forward and don’t be afraid?”

The Muse smiles.  “Exactly.  And you might want to go dance with Harry, Skipper, and Coffee.”

“You know what?” Betsy gets up.  “I think I will!”  She awkwardly starts dancing and joins the conga line, to the delight of the other participants.  Betsy tries not to step on their feet.  She fails.  So she learns to give them all some space.

Hold onto your breath

Hold onto your heart

Hold onto your hope

March up to the gate

And bid it open!


To be comtinued…

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