Running Uphill

Betsy is climbing the mountain of her aspirations, again, struggling to reach the summit.  Again.  Except this time, unlike in the past, she isn’t carrying just ONE boulder that is her work in progress, she is carrying TWO of them!  TWO works in progress!  What the heck!

Both boulders are important in their own right.  Both need to reach the top of the mountain and be completed.  Boulder One is the book Betsy is currently writing.  Boulder Two is the book she just got back from her editor.  Boulder One needs to be shaped and created.  Boulder Two needs to be refined and polished so it can be published.

Both of them need to be finished.  Both of them.  Both.  At the same time.

Betsy is not exactly a wizard at multitasking when it comes to writing, so getting both of these works in progress to completion requires skills she is still developing.  That alone makes juggling them hard.  But the REAL problem, the problem causing the most trouble at the moment, is that Betsy also seems to be focused on the thought of her own, well, aging.  On the fact that time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.  That things need to happen NOW, or they might never happen. 

That she needs to hurry.

Why, yes. Betsy is basically panicking.

The Muse (Goddess of Creativity) and Harry the Rabbit (Guide on Betsy’s Quest to be a successful author) are watching her in some confusion.  They watch as Betsy tries to scrabble of the mountain of her aspirations, while at the same time juggling the work she needs to finish.  Will she make it?  Will she fall?  Will she turn into a hermit and forget to shower?

Let’s see…


Muse comes to stand beside Harry the Rabbit and puts her hands on her hips as she stares at the mountain.  “What the heck is she doing?”

“Running?” Harry tilts head. “I think?”

They watch Betsy for a moment.

“Why in the world does she think she can run up that mountain and juggle two boulders at the same time?”  The Muse frowns.  “She doesn’t run in the best of times.  I don’t think she CAN run.”

“I have no idea.”  Harry shrugs.  “Maybe she’s nuts?”

“Even if by some miracle she doesn’t trip and fall flat on her face, she’s going to burn herself out.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you,” Harry says, tugging his long white ears.  “You could just go ask her, you know.”

Muse slowly turns to him.  Raises an eyebrow.

Harry winces.  “Ma’am,” he adds hastily.

The Muse sighs.  “Well, you’re right that I need to find out what’s going on before she gets herself in trouble.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”  Harry’s bow is so deep his pocket watch falls out of his vest pocket.

The Muse shakes her head and walks over to Betsy.

“Have to get them done now!”  Betsy huffs. Holds the two boulders clutched to her chest like footballs, except they are bigger and heavier.  Tries to stagger a few more steps.  Tries to move a little bit faster.  “Now!” she pants.

“Why are you running?” the Muse asks.

“No time!  No time!  Too many plans!  Too many goals!  Have to do it now!  Have to do it while I can!  Too late!  Too old!”

“Uh-huh.”  Muse walks beside Betsy, easily keeping pace even though Betsy is trying to run. 

“I’m behind,” Betsy pants.  “So far behind.  Have to catch up.  Have to get going.  Not that much time!”

“You’re wound up so tight I’m surprised you’re not bouncing like a spring,” the Muse tells her.

“Yes!  Yes!”  Betsy’s eyes are wild.  “Bouncing!  Good!  Bouncing is good!  The wonderful thing about Tiggers!”  Betsy laughs maniacally.  Tries to bounce.  Fails.  Falls, dropping both boulders.  Staggers to her feet and picks up the boulders again.  “A few more feet!  Almost there!”

“Yeah, I don’t think so.”  Muse waves her hand and suddenly Betsy is on the ground and the boulders she’d been holding are suspended above her.  “I’m thinking you’d better take a minute to breathe.”

“Ow,” Betsy says, her face in the dirt.

“It was only a matter of time before you fell,”  the Muse tells her unsympathetically.  You’re juggling two things at once.  I know they both need to get done, so juggling them isn’t the problem.  But I don’t have a clue why you’re trying to run and rush? Why are you so panicked?”

“There’s so much to do! And there’s not enough time!”  Betsy flips onto her back and flops around, trying to get up.  “Why are we wasting time talking? I have to go again!”

“So let me get this straight.  You don’t think you have enough time, so you’re pushing and pushing and not stopping?”

“Right!  Right! Go, go, go!! Must go!”

“Uh-huh.”  Muse watches Betsy struggle for a moment.  “And what’s happened in the past when you’ve pushed too hard, hmmm? How’s that worked out for you?”

Betsy stops flopping around and thinks.  “I crashed?” she suggests after a moment.

“Riiiiight.”  Muse nods. “Crashed and burned, baby.” Mimics an airplane crashing with her hand. “Boom.”

Betsy lays on her back and frowns.  Crosses her arms and glares up at the Muse.  “Not every time,” she argues.

“Really?” Muse is skeptical.

Betsy pouts. “Okay,” she mumbles. “Every time.”

Muse sighs and helps Betsy get to her feet.  Dusts her off.  “Look I know you need to get these things done. I know you want to get them done as soon as you can. But maybe don’t panic okay? Maybe don’t make yourself crazy. Uh…crazier.”

Betsy looks up at the boulders.  “But—”

Muse puts her hands on Betsy’s shoulders.  Looks into Betsy’s eyes.  “You’re not too old and it’s not too late. Don’t worry. Keep moving. But be kind to yourself as well as your boulders, okay?”

“Okay.”  Betsy grabs the boulders as they float into her arms.  “I guess I’d better go.”


Muse watches as Betsy toddles off.  Not running, but still trying to move fast.

“Do you think she’ll listen?” Harry asks as he hops up to her.

“Some of her concerns are valid, so we’ll just have to make sure she doesn’t end up head first in a ditch.”  Muse taps her chin thoughtfully.  “And watch out for sugar.”

Harry’s ears droop.  “Oh, boy.”


To be continued…



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