January Word of the Month — Muddle

Looking back at 2017, the word muddle came instantly to mind. From Dictionary.com:

verb (used with object), muddled, muddling.

1. to mix up in a confused or bungling manner; jumble.

2. to cause to become mentally confused.

3. to cause to become confused or stupid with or as if with an intoxicating drink.

4. to make muddy or turbid, as water.

010418 muddled drink

5. to mix or stir (a cocktail, chocolate, etc.).

6. Ceramics. to smooth (clay) by rubbing it on glass.

verb (used without object), muddled, muddling.

7. to behave, proceed, or think in a confused or aimless fashion or with an air of improvisation:

Some people just muddle along, waiting for their big break.


8. the state or condition of being muddled, especially a confused mental state.

9. a confused, disordered, or embarrassing condition; mess.

Verb phrases

10. muddle through, to achieve a certain degree of success but without much skill, polish, experience, or direction:

None of us knew much about staging a variety show, so we just had to muddle through.

010418 painting

If I were using this word in a romance story, I could say something like, “He muddled her brain when he held her so close, his lips only inches away from hers.” If the story took place on another planet, we’d say, “The sensors gave only a muddled picture of the real threat.” And if I wrote current events, “The administration has muddled so many good qualities this country had during the past administration that I want to cry.”

010418 confucious say

I write some stories of a paranormal nature that orbit around a bar, The Bowman’s Inn. So, of course, I am familiar with the term muddling for mixing up fruit or different spirits. An Old Fashioned takes a cube of sugar muddled with bitters and water. There is also a lot of fruit involved. I read an article that linked personality types to the drinks ordered which said people who ask for an Old Fashioned are a complete waste of time. Most bartenders will try to push something simpler. So I had my first kind of bad guy try to order that and Valentine Archer, the bartender, just stared him down until he ordered something else.

010418 too drunk

At the start of a new year, people can get muddled while trying to set goals, trying to make personal improvements, and trying to get everything done that must be done. I believe that if something is meant to be, there will be an easy path to it. That doesn’t imply that all things will come to you without any effort on your part. It means that if you walk every day for exercise and want to move up to running, you will find the right information on how to do that, you’ll find the right shoes and clothes, and you’ll find the right people to run with. If the Universe throws problems in your way, then you might think of some other level up for your exercise. Maybe try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for a while.

010418 running

I have a great book on writing habits called The 8-Minute Writing Habit by Monica Leonelle. I love the clear, easy steps in the book on how to improve your daily writing habit. I know I can manage 8 minutes every day, first thing. But the current state of my mind is too muddled to really sit down and do that. I hope to clear the time for it and to move on to the rest of the steps in the book. Eventually, I will be writing faster and ready to make an impact on the readers of Romance.

Hope Muddle doesn’t apply too much to your life right now. Happy New Year and keep on writing. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.


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