Inspiration v. The Muse – a Cagey Fight

Where do you find your inspiration?  I find mine in people and the news, but if I don’t get outside on a regular basis, the last thing I want to do is write.  The more I am outside, the more I want to write and vice versa. Ironically, I do not enjoy writing outside.  I’ll do it, but my best work happens when I am inside, surrounded by dust and clutter. Anyway, I think the Muse is different than inspiration, but sometimes I question Her existence.  Is She real?

In Episode 3, “Solstice”, our January author, Dan Klefstad clearly states, “The Muse exists!” and he even tells us where: Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.  

It’s Spring Break, so my family and I are following in the literary footsteps of the Guildy Pleasures authors.  It’s simple:  if they talk about it on the Guildy Pleasures Podcast, we visit it.  If they believe in something, we try to believe it, too.

Yesterday, we traveled to Williams Bay, Wisconsin.  Upon crossing the city limits, the Kishwauketoe is on your left, but you can see the treeline from the highway and it’s very inviting.  We parked in the lot across the street and strolled on in.

The narrow, serpentine creek is inviting to kids and creatures.

The trails we usually run in northern Illinois are either super hard-packed or ridiculously muddy this time of year.  It’s different at the Kishwauketoe.  The earth beneath our feet was soft and supple.  Three of my kids took their shoes off and kept them off.

Is the Muse lurking just beyond the curve?

There are also wonderful boardwalks, a dramatic overlook, and tiny bridges placed here and there. Birdwatchers will appreciate this place, too.  We weren’t even working that hard to see them, but we saw one cedar waxwing, one bluebird, and two great blue herons!

There was a recent prescribed prairie burn at the Kishwauketoe.  While burns are necessary to keep the weed trees from taking over, there is always a stink that lingers for a week or so after the blaze.  The conservationists are also laying down some new pipework, so some of the trails are off-limits.  That said, don’t let either of those factors deter you from visiting.  This is a thoroughly lovely nature conservancy.  It’s everything Dan describes and more.

We hope you listen to his podcast here, then go check out The Kishwauketoe for yourself.  After that, go write!  -Connie Kuntz