National Coffee Day! Celebrate!!


Coffee, because waking up is hard

☕️ Coffee ☕️

September 29 is National Coffee Day. Officially. Of course, for some of us, this is an every day celebration.

*to my family – specifically my husband, I am NOT making this up. It’s a thing. Bring me home a venti.

I’m currently savoring my second cup. I plan on continuing my celebration of this delightful beverage throughout the day.

I love coffee. Adore it. Hot, iced, luke warm . . . whatever. Put it in a cup and gimme it. Sprinkle in some sugar and pour the cream. Bliss.

Addicted? Perhaps.

There are worse things, like crack or decaf.

I wasn’t always a coffee connoisseur, that was before I had kids. Four of them. Four of them. Coffee found me, wrapped me in a sweet, warm hug and said, “Let me help.” We’ve been inseparable since.


In honor of this beloved beverage, I’d like to share a few of my caffeinated musings about . . . Coffee.

First, a few Haikus

My dear coffee plant
thank you for giving your seeds
so I can wake up 

Perfect little bean
finely ground and brewed
liquid love for me

White blooms and red fruit
with a little seed inside
coffea arabica tree

And now, a poem

A Token of His Love

When the night is long
and sleep eludes me
I think of you
until the solace
of slumber
transforms thought
into dream.

I drift within illusion
until I know you’re
by my side,
and I wake
to drink you in.

Your warmth enlivens me,
your taste lingers sweet
upon my lips,
awakening my senses,
stirring my soul,
leaving me longing
for more,
and always,
always, I rise
to pour myself
another cup . . .




Happy Coffee Day! 

The Qwiet Muse Follow Giveaway

Ya’ll have heard of Facebook, right? It’s been around for a while now, all the cool kids hang out there (I do, so . . . )

So here’s the thing, The Qwiet Muse has a home away from home on the book of face, and It’s occurred to me I’ve never formally invited any of you to stop by.

The Qwiet Muse

I’m an introverted, slightly less than normal writer-type, so social graces are often lost on me. I’m working on it.

That said, I would like to cordially invite you to click on over and say hello! Feel free to get comfy, click like and come back anytime, the door will always be open.

I have a present for you 

You can use any of the links in this post or just look a little way down over there on the right side of this page and you’ll see my little Facebook box.

imageNow, if you click on it and likeThe Qwiet Muse on Facebook this week, you might get a little something in your mailbox from me.

In one week, next Friday evening, I’ll be randomly selecting one new follower for a giveaway, it’s not like a million dollars or anything, but it’s something. Just a little token to say thank you for following.

To enter, simply like The Qwiet Muse on Facebook and leave me a comment under the Giveaway post to say hello and introduce yourself so I can add your name into the random drawing. If you’re a blogger and have a Facebook page, drop me a link (here or on Facebook) so I can leave some love on your page as well!

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

I’m not leaving out those who already follow me on Facebook! If you’ve already followed there, but haven’t subscribed to the blog, pop on over, subscribe and leave me a comment on the giveaway post to enter the drawing as well! If you’re not a WordPress subscriber, you can still get new posts via email.

I’ll be holding more giveaways and some contests in the coming months, so stay tuned and join in . . .


Throwback Thursday! *And now I’m not allowed to burn candles without supervision – again.

Another Thursday in which I throwback. This time though, it isn’t because I’m in lazy mode and haven’t the oomph or the care to write, no, this time it’s because I am writing. Lots of words. A lot of them. Like enough to maybe become something like a book . . . that many.

So, back to the throwback, this is about me and fire and melted things.

I am proud to say I have not had any mishaps nor have I created or participated in any mayhem involving fire since this post was first written.

Lie. There was a little, BUT, I was an observer. My son was the mischief maker. Did you know coffee creamer is awesome when it meets flame?

AND just so you know, I am not letting a child play with fire, he’s 20, so . . .

And now I’m not allowed
to burn candles without supervision.



I’ve always had a thing for fire. It’s beautiful, mesmerizing, terrifying, and . . . it gets me into trouble. Some people in my family may have accused me of being a bit of a pyromaniac, but I’m not. I never was. I could have been, but I wasn’t. Don’t listen to them, they just don’t understand.

Fire has always been one of my greatest fears and yet, I am drawn to it like the poor clichéd moth is drawn to a flame. It’s fascinating to watch, it moves, it breathes . . . it lives. It also burns and destroys and melts stuff.

The melting of stuff is why I am currently banned from enjoying the aromatic and softly glowing comfort of candles.

It’s not as though I set out to incinerate things. I’m not inattentive or irresponsible, stuff happens, you know? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever accidentally set fire to a book – or a hand towel, or a wispy curtain, a television, or a treehouse . . . right?

Okay, the treehouse was bad, but it’s not like I meant it to go up in flames. Sometime in the early eighties, I accidentally discovered the incendiary joy produced by aerosol hairspray and a Bic. By the way, I blame Aquanet for many bad decisions in the eighties.

I blame Aquanet

I blame Aquanet

The treehouse happened to have been built a little too close to where I was testing out the awesomeness capacity of my newly found flamethrower. Hindsight – I should have stood further back, and by further back, what I obviously mean, is I should have never been using a full bottle of aerosol hairspray as a flamethrower. Fire bad. I know. I learned a valuable lesson that day. And I swear, I don’t recall doing it again. Wait, I did spray a smiley face on a neighbor’s garage door and lit that up. Again, lesson learned. But seriously, after that I only used hairspray on my hair.

The other stuff just sort of happened over the years, none of the flaming, scorching, or melting was done with the intent to flame, scorch or melt. Like I said, stuff just . . . happens. Aside from the treehouse, melting our new TV was probably the worst, in terms of actual damage. I really did think the shelf the candle was sitting on was far enough below the TV. The new TV. It wasn’t. But that was a long time ago, we have a new new TV now, no candles anywhere near it.



I don’t think an outright candle ban is necessary, I am a grown woman and shouldn’t have rules and regulations in regard to my use of, what I deem essential to my well-being, candles. It’s not like I burned the place down. I have become quite good at removing candle wax from furniture and floors and carpets and clothing. I realize the prowess I’ve gained from having to remove wax from all those things does little to help my case, but I thought it necessary to point out.

I have no idea how long it will be before I am trusted again, but I’m still going to light my candles. I’ll do it with the utmost care and keep a watchful eye one them. I’ll just have to extinguish their flickering flame before the man gets home.


This is the direct result of a defective candle. It was obviously more melty than it should have been.







Look UP a Little More – Six Sentence Stories

Look up a little more.

IMG_2458These days, he spends so much time looking down – his head is bowed, but not in prayer, he holds an alter in his hand, the god he worships speaks to him in 140 characters, hashtags, and memes, using click-bait to reel him in.

Look up a little more.

His friends consist of profile pics and avatars, voices speaking in emoji and acronym in a silent cacophony, deafening him to the sound of life beyond the screen.

Look up a little more.

He types LOL without even smiling, he lives for likes and filters himself for others to envy while his life passes by, he feels lost and alone in a crowd when wifi is weak, he doesn’t know he’s alone until the battery dies and he looks up, surrounded by strangers he used to know.

He needs to look up a little more.

Six Sentence Storied

This weeks word was UP, thanks to Ivy at Uncharted Blog for keeping us writing every week!

The Tomb at the Top of the Stairs

– A Six Sentence Story –

The attic looked much the same as it always had, the cobwebs were bigger and the dust was thicker, but it remained, as it had in her mind, a mausoleum of forgotten things and fading memories.

Being there left her with a physical ache deep inside, but the movers were on the way and if she wanted to salvage something, anything her grandmothers hands once held, she had to keep the tears from clouding her eyes and find it.

Picking things up and putting them down, she sifted through the moth eaten past packed away in boxes and stacked in precarious piles, she nearly missed the faded green volume propped almost proudly amidst generations of detritus no one could bring themselves to throw out, but like a guide, a sliver of sunlight found its way into the attic from the small vent beneath the rafters and lighted softly upon the gilt lettering decorating its spine, making it dance just for her.

The dust plumed and swirled and waltzed in the air as she gently wiped the powdery remnants of time from a beautifully illustrated copy of The Children’s Longfellow, tears again filled her eyes when she looked beneath the cover, a faded ex-librīs revealed the books lineage, her great grandmother, her grandmother, and her mother’s names were all printed there on that bookplate.

She stood and tiptoed back through everything she was leaving behind, cradling the book close to her heart, she closed the door to the tomb at the top of the stairs for the last time.

Sitting at her grandfathers desk, she carefully added her name beneath those of the women who helped shape who she’d become, leaving room enough for her own daughters name to one day be written.

* * *

My six, ever so slightly run-on sentences inspired by this weeks word from Unchartedplate.



What Happened in the Barnes & Noble Bathroom Last Night

By now, you should know (and if you didn’t, now you do) bookstores are my happy place. My sanctuary from the world around me. I find solace and peace and adventure and knowledge within the rows and stacks of paper and ink.


Sometimes, I even find unexpected joy, happiness, hope, and hilarity from the people who roam those magical aisles alongside me. I enjoy sharing those moments with you.

Coffee, Books, and a Tale To Tell – A Day at the Bookstore

Book Store Story OR The Complete and Utter Ruination of His Life

Not long ago, I also shared a story about a fart ninja who cleared out nearly an entire section with a silent but deadly . . . you can read that one, People Who Fart in Bookstores and Other Heinous FiendsHERE if you’d like. Today, I share another bookstore fart tale with you.

* * *

Last night I had the chance for an evening run to the bookstore. I was a little on the left side of grumpy and like I said, bookstores are my happy place. They soothe the savage beast within and all that, so I put on some pants and headed out for a little literary therapy.

Before I’d even made my first selection, I begrudgingly had to stop my perusal to make a beeline for the bathroom. It had been a multiple cup of coffee kind of day. Thankfully there was one open stall. So including me, that made three ladies in the ladies room.


All was quiet aside from some tinkling noises when all of a sudden, the silence was shattered, broken by a sound I would have expected from a mountain lumberjack with a healthy appetite for nothing but broccoli and pork and beans.

It came from the furthest stall from me. It sounded like three consecutive bursts from a rapid fire machine gun, fired into a cave at midnight. Bathrooms always have excellent acoustics. Each release was approximately two seconds long, with perhaps a second between them.

IMG_2385Once I realized we were not under attack, I heard a mortified sounding sigh followed by a whispered curse and, “Omigod. That actually just happened.”

The gal in the stall next to me immediately said, “Grandpa? Is that you?” I would have pissed myself if I hadn’t already emptied my bladder.

Nothing from the shooter. Not a sound.

I got out of there quickly because if didn’t, I was going to lose it and laugh, possibly hysterically, and likely add to the poor lady in the last stalls obvious embarrassment.

Mind you, I wasn’t restraining laughter directed at the woman with some obvious gastrointestinal difficulties, although, and no – I am not a child, farts are sometimes funny, I raised four kids. You have to laugh. I wanted to giggle, perhaps even guffaw at the comment that came after the gas attack.

Now, don’t judge me too harshly here, but damn I want to be friends with that chick in the middle stall. I wanted to high five her under the wall separating us, but you know, gross.

I do hope the gas attack lady was okay, I’m quite certain IMG_2388she felt better following the epic release. The three of us will likely never forget our time in the bookstore bathroom. I think we bonded.

To the quick-witted and slightly twisted occupant in the middle stall, you made an awkward situation possibly even more awkward in a hey, no big deal, everyone farts, might as well make it funny kind of way, and if you ever find this little retelling of our time in the Barnes & Noble bathroom on September 20, 2017 at approximately 7:30 PM – message me. Seriously. We might be related.

A Thursday Throwback – Heed my warning . . .

Giuseppe Mentessi, Despairing Woman 1901

Giuseppe Mentessi, Despairing Woman 1901

‘Tis a cautionary tale I have to tell. 

Oh misery. Oh woe. 

Of woe and misery I speak.

Ne’er a more wretched creature than I could be made to endure such a beautiful morn as this. Tis this truly the light, come at last to dispel the darkness of this long and enervated night? Alas! This loathsome, beautifully vexatious blaze dost pierce mine eyes as penance for enterprises I indulged throughout the night.

I beseech thee night, come back! Come back and cast upon me again thine shadows, dispel this light which illuminates my gloom with ray upon ray of golden glare upon my solecism, upon my sin. Let it leave me till the morrow – let me linger still beneath thine darkened shroud. Let tarry the sun, and the birds of song, let them tarry too, for I, wretched beast I have become, am weary.

I must make haste to close the windows and draw the shades, and beneath cascade of curtain, dispel this morn mine eyes cannot yet be made behold, and sleep, sleep until this melancholy and madness takes leave of me. Sleep, sleep. Sleep until the morrow.

Twas mine own folly. Twas mine own lamentable vice which left me in this state. I own this misfortune, indeed, it twas I, welcomed it with open arms, unconcerned with repercussion of mine own action. If blame be assigned, I bear sole burden of it. If my machinations be damned, so damn them. I knew better, and better I chose not. Fie!

Throughout the longsome night, the bells tolled with each hour, beseeching me to quit the obsession and pay them heed. I did not, holding fast to my indefatigable resolve, if not quickening it, to ignore my sensibilities and feed the hunger I could not seem to sate.

It began in innocent effort to abate a tedium birthed by the boredom of a restlessness I found myself unable to quell. I chanced upon a singular activity to pass the time I’d begun to despise and despair of, then grew from that accursed remedy, a desire, a rapacious longing, increased with each passing hour, to indulge this delight regardless of all rational inclinations to abdicate myself from the thing I discerned to be draining me of thought and vitality and constitution, accounting for my now fearsome countenance as I pen these words to the page before me.

Oh, dearest stranger, and oh, thine most especial of friends, lend your sensibilities to these words I’ve imparted, lest ye arrive at a fate such as mine, make no vigil of a Netflix original . . .

© Crystal R. Cook 

Beneath the Poet Tree


I’ll tell you
a tale
once shared
with me,
of a magical place
and the
Poet Tree,
where muses
in the
gentle breeze,
and butterflies fly
with gossamer wings.

It’s been told
a word
was planted,
and a tree began
to grow,
the trunk rose
high above,
the roots reached
far below.
Her branches lifted
toward the sky,
upon each leaf
a poem
was writ,
she shaded
wandering scribes,
who chose
that place
to sit.

Some say
the tree
called out,
to those it felt
would hear,
they sensed a
gentle pull
when they
dared to
venture near.

They say
the leaves
would whisper
in softly spoken
with pure and
perfect recitation,
line by
lovely line.

They felt a
temperate presence,
like a ghost
from days
of old,
weaving words
around them,
so the story has
been told.

With unseen
their words
began to spill,
filling full
their parchment,
their quills.

Oh, how I long
to hear
her softly
whispered plea,
to take
my place
and rest
and write
beneath the
Poet Tree.

With pen
in hand
and heart
I’d script
the hopes
and thoughts
inside me,
and words
would waltz
and words
would breathe,
upon a stage
they’d sing.
The words
would dance,
they’d be
with me,
while I dreamed
a paper dream.

© 2017 Crystal R. Cook

Wishing & Waiting


S’il vous plait . . . as you wish . . . but not just this moment. I would, if I could, gift your hearts desire, if only I could – if only.

Words. Spoken without meaning, knowing my yearning could not be quelled, would not be quelled, not yet.

Not now, not at this time, perhaps when morning comes.

I hunger through the night with bitter longing, anxiously awaiting the morn when he’ll rise and grant me my wish. But when the morning arrives he whispers, “Wait.”

And wait I must, and wait I will.

It’s better this way, the donuts are fresh in the morning.

Written for 100 Word Story – “wish”

Brought to us by Thin Spriral Notebook 


Oh, but I will rise . . .

Enemy Within by Crystal R. Cook

Thought and intellect cannot quell the voice within . . . it slithers beneath the surface of who I know I am and who I know I’m meant to be. It whispers lies, it screams in a cacophony of silence, a deafening roar to bind me.

I tell myself I’m safe, it tells me there is something to fear. I tell myself the skies are clear, no storms gather up above, it points to distant clouds and says, oh, but here they come.

I breathe, I pray, I think on other things, but still, it speaks.

I tell myself I’m strong, it reminds me I am weak. I battle this voice, I’m a warrior without a weapon facing a foe no one else can see, knowing I mustn’t surrender, lest it become all that is left of me. It tells me I’m a prisoner, trapped inside a shell, but I know – I know, I will escape this hell.

I breathe, I pray, I think of other things, and I begin to speak.

I reclaim my voice and rebuke the spell that brought me to my knees, I am bigger, I am more. I will not surrender to the trespasser trying to rob me of my peace. There are cracks somewhere within me I hope one day to repair, sealing forever the places the thief finds its way in, until that day I’ll continue to fight, and I’ll continue to win.

Anxiety, visceral disquietude buried deep inside, engaging me in battle. This enemy may knock me down with doubt and fear and lies, oh, but I will rise.

© Crystal R. Cook 2017

Written in response to The Daily Post – Visceral