Journal logo

Suze is Hunting Muses, 1

Suze Kay catalogs her endless hunt for inspiration

By Proud ViM ProductionsPublished 3 months ago 7 min read

Hi. My name is Suze Kay, and I’m a proud moderator of Voices in Minor, a community of Vocal authors who desire to uplift, inspire, and support one another. If you’re here, maybe you like my writing. Maybe you’re already a member of our wonderful Facebook or Discord communities, or maybe you’re new to us and ready to fall down the rabbit hole. Whichever way you’re flowing today: Welcome.

Every Wednesday, PViM will publish a weekly round-up of whatever stirs my soul. I’m a magpie of eclectic music, writing, art, culture, and life experience – all of which builds me as a person and a writer. I’d like to invite you, dear reader, into my mind, to see what I’m obsessing over each week. Maybe you’ll see it pop up in my future writing. Maybe it will inspire you. And maybe you’ll drop me a comment at the end to share what’s feeding you, too.


Setting the Trap

My muse is as elusive as she is endless. When I look around my apartment, and my life at large, I see I’ve built my world to court her. I hoard things that make me go ‘huh.’ I create nests for different moods - my writing desk, my knitting chair, my reading corner, my dreaming zone. I keep notebooks in pockets, on every windowsill, in every purse. All of it is a baited trap, waiting for a muse to whisper so I can trap her.

What did I catch this week?


I listen to a wide variety of music, but I listen very deeply – or maybe, the better word is ‘repetitively.’ This week, the album “El Bueno Y El Malo” by Hermanos Gutierrez has been playing over my laptop speakers while I write, my kitchen speaker while I cook dinner, and my AirPods while I stalk my neighborhood. It’s great music to think to.

The cinematic influence of Ennio Morricone is felt so deeply through the album, and the folky soul of Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys ripples through the song “Tres Hermanos” most acutely. (Auerbach has signed the band to his record label, and holds production credit for the whole album.) I love this music’s atmospheric vibes, its lyric-less lyricism, and the driving, traveling rhythms that underpin it all. It makes me want to ‘get western with it’ – and I mean that both figuratively and literally.

Pop Culture

I confess: I watch a lot of reality TV. This week, I watched all the available episodes of Love Is Blind Season Six on Netflix, and I hate it just as much as I love it. There’s a dystopian beauty to the premise, in which people fall in love sight-unseen, then must navigate the next four weeks of their lives as a couple – while dogged by producers, exes, and the complexities of real life.

I could write a whole-ass thinkpiece about this stupid show, but I’ll limit myself to a couple of paragraphs for your sake. Do I think you can fall in love without seeing one another? Yeah, absolutely – I think many of the couples that end up not working out do fall in love with a version of the person they chose. But that’s a version without appearance, scent, and physicality, all of which are principle elements of attraction.

It’s also a version of performative identity. Just as I blowdry my hair or apply makeup before meeting people I want to impress, I shine up my side of the conversational penny while introducing myself to someone new. I gloss over my worse habits and fixations, I pretend I’ve never regretted any move I ever made. A personality can be just as much a simulacra of identity as a pound of makeup can be a face.

Somewhere on the path to a true, soul-enriching relationship, one must bare themselves without makeup, without pretense, without grace. Do I think any of these people are capable of that? Sure. But definitely not on reality television, where the rest of the world is tuned in, too.


Daniel James Brown’s The Indifferent Stars Above is a very dense tome of nonfiction, so naturally I’ve switched from library hardcover to audiobook as my medium of consumption. There’s something deliciously ironic in going about my daily work as a pastry chef in urban splendor while I listen to the Donner Party starving their way across the western frontier of yesteryear.

I adore true crime, and the story of the Donner Party is about as gruesome as it gets. But it’s Brown’s intimate, personal approach to history which has me mulling the why of it all more deeply than a wikipedia page or a podcast episode. He uses the perspective of Sarah Graves, a survivor of the ill-fated party, to guide us through their journey. From her tale, I find myself pondering the necessity of sisterhood in survival, the evolved definition of ‘frontier’ in our modern era, and the wobbly boundary between man’s capacity for cruelty and his biological imperatives.

There are so many crossroads where the Donner Party was mislead by greedy prospectors, plagued by bad actors, and waylaid by sheer dumb luck. It’s an excellent plot, and I’m gripped – especially as I begin to map out my own short story. Working title? Female Frontiers: Donner Party in Space.


This week, I stumbled across the beautiful poetry of W.S. Merwin. His career was long and well-decorated, and he seems to have lived in beautiful concert with the natural world and eschewed the evils of society as he felt them. I’ve ordered a copy of his influential book The Lice, which he wrote in response to the horror of the Vietnam War, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with some thoughts on the poem that first sucked me in. It’s called “Travelling Together,” and was published in his book From the Rain In the Trees.

The first stanza sets the scene of a hypothetical, sudden loss of companionship:

If we are separated I will

try to wait for you

on your side of things

There is a sense of preparation for an inevitable. Which makes sense to me, as I constantly ponder whether to love someone is, most simply, to fear their loss. Then, the poem moves me into a list of beautiful, reactive questions: What are the sides? Are they geographical, or emotional? Where are the boundaries? These are the kind of questions that get me writing my own poetry.

As the poem moves through the physical world - water, walls, leaves - it stays in a weightless, liminal zone of light and ‘if-ness.’ It implies there is a consequence of being seen, and doubles then triples down on the idea that there is a “side” each person has. Each element here rings me like a bell. I love how the poem operates as a promise and a fear, is grounded in the world and above it, and ends with an open-ended hope: that soon, the sides, whatever they were, will dissolve again, and we’ll be together.

By the way - I found this poem on Instagram, via the account @poetryisnotaluxury, which is well-worth a follow.


In college, I studied Art History. More specifically, I studied Decorative Arts, and though it didn’t give me very many career prospects, it did permanently alter how I define ‘Art’ and left me with expensive taste for the things I touch and use every day.

I’m a sucker for a handmade mug of true artistry. Two weeks ago, I chipped my favorite mug, and last week, I realized that none of my other mugs are appropriately-sized for a 16-oz cuppa. So this week I ordered a new mug, and now this lil beauty from the ceramic artist Nicole Aquillano has entered the rotation (read: constantly washed and replenished and the new favorite child).

Aquillano uses porcelain clay, which she etches and inlays before washing over with hazy color and a clear glaze that stretches and drags the crisp lines of her work. The result is grounded in perspective, but evocative in its vague, drifting boundaries. I chose my mug, decorated with trees and powerlines, because the imagery fits the circular design of a mug so well. It makes me think about a road trip, a round-trip, bringing me home, having changed. I also love revealing the interior drawings as I drink – a tree if I’m sipping from my right hand, a power line if I’m sipping from the left. Like a lot of good art, it’s better in view and in use than collecting dust.


It’s still a grubby, slushy mess outside my apartment, but the air has started smelling like Spring again. You know what I’m talking about: the smell of wet earth waking up, frost breaking down around crocus roots and trees budding subtle red against the gray skies. I went for a long walk in the last of the deep snow and found my trusty Doc Martens have sprung a leak.

Instead of replacing them, I made a poor financial decision and bought some comfy sunny-day walking shoes. I bought Sabahs, dusty suede loafers in a deep olive color, which promise to hug my feet like birkenstocks with consistent wear (without the risk of an open toe in a crowded subway car or city streets). Yeah, instagram got me here. I love the company’s ads, which promise no blisters and a beautiful patina that develops through use.

I’m breaking them in around the house while I wait for the weather to change. Once I wear them outside for the first time, they will no longer serve as my house shoes. I wonder: will this experience hold me back from wearing them as I’ve intended? Will I mourn the loss of an elevated slipper, or celebrate their new identity? When they get their first scuff, or a dreaded water stain, will I be angry with myself? Or will I feel the lovely, relieving unclenching that comes when something perfect is ruined, and therefore useful all the more?

Just some new boot goofin’, I guess.


Thank you, reader, for joining me in this jaunt through my world. I hope to catch you here again next week, when I’ll have a fresh collection of beauty, horror, and peace for you to dive into. If you’re still left wanting, why don’t you check out my profile and see if there’s something I’ve already processed on the page there to scratch your itch? And if there’s something you want to share with me, drop me a comment below and let me into your world, too.

pop culturelist

About the Creator

Proud ViM Productions

Alone, we are letters floating in the wind. Combined, we are an Opus. We hold community in our core, "We all rise when we lift each other up"

Voices in Minor Facebook

Queer Vocal Voices

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (6)

Sign in to comment
  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    That was an interesting trip through your muses. The book sounds fascinating and that mug is beautiful.

  • Oooo, I'm a hugeeeee fan of true crime but I've not heard about the Donner Party! I gotta check that out! So glad you included that!

  • ROCK 3 months ago

    So happy to have read your very diverse introduction; my day was horrible and you turned it around with your muse meanderings, wit and both reading and music suggestions. I love true crime also, btw.

  • Oneg In The Arctic3 months ago

    Lovin' the song, curious to check out the book now too!

  • Thank you for sharing

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.