AMUSEing and adorable

PS I wanted the doll in pink but I got the doll in blue.

My muse is the ghost of Robbie past.

I see the ghostly shadow of my younger self peeking over my shoulder, watching my fingers move over the keyboard of my laptop and reading the words as they appear on my screen.

I recognise her as the little girl who used to sit quietly on a beanbag with a glass of milk and a book, and read all afternoon, every afternoon.

She was also the girl who traded sister #1 a pile of writing paper [we used to trade it at school] and an empty vanilla essence bottle [it smelled lovely] for her three library cards. Hers, when combined with my four cards, enabled me to borrow seven books at a time from our local library. This reduced my trips to the library to twice a week from three, or even four. The library was about four kilometres away from our house at this time. It doesn’t sound far, but I was eight years old at the time, so the eight kilometre round-trip, with a basket packed with seven books, took me a while.

Sometimes my younger self reminds me of the games I used to make-up as a young girl. I remember the time I involved my entire class in a mad game of catch the witch and got into a lot of trouble with my teacher when the raucous game became so loud we missed the end of break bell. My teacher, Sister I’ve Forgotten her Name but not her Fierce Expression, was extremely cross with me for master minding that one. She threatened to send me to Mother Superior’s office. Somehow, I think that game may have been a lot like ‘kikery’ from What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. Katy got into a lot of trouble over that game too.

Ghost Robbie shares flashes of memory of sister #2 and I sitting on the roof of the garden shed [no, my mother didn’t know I led her up there] making creations for shells we gathered on the beach [no, my mother didn’t know we crossed the railway line to get to the beach either], or making baskets out of clay gathered from a ditch next to the road, or running through the veld in long dresses with plastic buckets playing Little House on the Prairie.

She reminds me of my two live dolls, sisters #s 3 and 4, who I dressed up and played with. They were my patients when I was the doctor, my children when I was the mother, Jack and Jill when we played nursery rhymes, and many other imaginary people when we played our many different games.

Sometimes, she whispers to me, reminding me of favourite scenes from well loved books from the past. If I get stuck, she’ll suggest I take a peek at one of the hundreds of books we’ve read and find inspiration. It works every time.

Most of all, she reminds me of Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery which we read when we were about ten years old. I remember how much we loved that book and how inspired we were to write poetry and descriptive passes.

We are a team and we are glad to be working together to write our children’s and adult fiction.

Author, Diana Peach, has challenged her writer friends to share a little about their muse. You can join in here:

75 thoughts on “AMUSEing and adorable

  1. This is a great muse story! I love your dolls. I remember when we got teddy bears for Christmas and I liked my younger brother’s better than mine, so I just made an exchange. In the end, I kept both of them. He wasn’t that interested in teddy bears, I don’t think.

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      1. I’m so glad you did. And great news about your new book. I loved the first. On top of that, what a lovely thing to do with your mom. My mom loves reminiscing (though I’m recording not writing her memories). I’m looking forward to the read!

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        1. Yes, we are having a nice time together doing this book. Of course, she is extra critical of these ones. I’m really pleased you enjoyed the first book. I am quite far into Sunwielder and really enjoying it. It reminds me a little bit of the chose your own adventure books when I was a girl. When you died you got to go back and make another choice. Very clever.

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          1. Thanks, Robbie. Sunwielder is my husband’s favorite book. I think he related to Gryff and the whole way that small choices can completely change our lives. I never read any “choose your own adventure books.” I’m not sure they’d been invented when I was a kid. They sound like a lot of fun. 🙂 Happy Writing and Reading.

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          2. Thanks, Diana, you grandson might like them, they are a lot of fun. I responded to your comment on my post about Judy’s book and gave you the link to the junior Shakespeare collection. My older son loved them. I could hear him laughing when he read them.

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  2. These are lovely memories, Robbie, and I enjoyed the peek back into your childhood. I was a bit like you with my reading, but we were only allowed three library tickets and my sister didn’t want to trade!

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      1. We were of an age when books were our main childhood recreation at home, before wall to wall tv came along. If I wasn’t reading I’d be out playing football or cricket. That must have been lovely for your sister – I hope you didn’t mind!

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    1. Hi Jan, thank you. I have been thinking a bit recently about how my younger self has influenced how I am today, or maybe it is better to say that how I am today is not that different from how I was as a girl. I even still look the same.


  3. Hi Robbie – enjoyed hearing about your muse team! And the wonderful layers of your past that combine to give your writing flair and fuel!
    Have you ever seen the movie about Gloria Steinem ?
    Your post reminded me of it a little – with the layers –


  4. Robbie, this was such a sweet muse post. I wish I had had a sister who read as much as I did as a kid. I only had one library card. The book House 12 volume series was standard reading, and I branched out to Nancy Drew mysteries as a preteen. It seemed natural that you and your younger self should be writing children’s books & adult fiction. Happy writing you two. 📚🎶 Christine

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      1. Awesome! I still have the Book House series, minus one book that got lost over the years. I collected old books as an adult and they are in the bookcase today. I love paper books. 📚🎶 Christine


  5. Oh Robbie…I think my eight year old self and your eight year old self would have been friends. Books, libraries, and second hand book shops have been a huge part of my life, but I was a teddy bear girl. No dolls. 🙂 In some ways, I think my muse is the sum total of all those thousands of books I’ve read in the last 60 odd years. Hail fellow well met.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have said it perfectly, Meeks “I think my muse is the sum total of all those thousands of books I’ve read in the last 60 odd years” – this is exactly the same for me. I have a collection of teddy bears and antique and vintage dolls plus a few other rescues who just spoke to me.

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  6. Robbie, I LOVE this post … it is inspired! Thank you so for transporting us to your young self, to the magical world you inhabited along with your sisters and friends. I’m smiling how you traded items for library cards and your school games are fantastic… just not all the teachers saw it this way! With so much richness to draw on, your foundation in life, your muse will never desert you! Never stop writing! Xx

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  7. I enjoyed this post Robbie. How many siblings did you have? All sisters? I love this descriptor, “My teacher, Sister I’ve Forgotten her Name but not her Fierce Expression,” Remembering our past and how it has become a part of us is so important.

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