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Jude McLean Author


00:00 / 03:50

Frankie Valli said it best, “Silence is golden.”


Have any of you ever lost your voice? I mean literally. I began recording the audiobook of Escape, got to chapter nineteen, and then was forced to stop my narration. My throat felt like a red hot poker had been crammed inside, and then, if that weren’t bad enough, I was throttled with it. My neck looks like a teenager’s padded bra. It even hurts to yawn. Laryngitis is a bitch. 


I have been mute for a week. Obvious setback aside, there has been an unexpected goody thrown my way. Not being capable of speaking has muzzled my inner voice. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but there you have it. I’ve had considerably less negative chatter in my head, less stress, and more peace. Figures that it would take an infection to shut me up full stop.


“Jude, you must rest.” 

“But, I have things to do!”

“They will have to wait.”


I have a small swimming pool. It’s nothing special to anyone but me. But it’s one of my most favorite places on earth. I haven’t truly enjoyed my swimming pool even once this Summer, and that isn’t anyone’s fault but mine. Today I floated in my pool for half of the afternoon. In fact, it took a thunderstorm to get me out. I floated, weightless in the water, my hair loose in the small current I created as I lazily paddled around while staring up at the clouds. I saw three mermaids, a gargoyle, an eagle, a dragon, a harp … you get the picture. I spent a lazy, sedative, satiny afternoon alone in the warm water, and not one real thought passed my mind. They were all cotton candy, and it was delightful. I forgot that my throat is in pain, that my work has come to a screeching halt, and every other setback that has been hovering over my head simply dissolved. Even now, as I write, the honest truth is that none of it bothers me. 


I never realized how loud my inner voice can be. Especially when it’s spewing venom. She fell mute right along with my obnoxious outer voice, and I would be very grateful if that little snit would remain quiet for the rest of my days. She needs an etiquette lesson! Although, we do have some amusing conversations every now and then. You know the kind I mean? 


“Can you believe the nerve?”

“I know! I didn’t get the memo that they’re God almighty! Did you?”

“Pfft, nope. And if they’re God, then we are all doomed.”

“Well, since you and I are going to Hell in a handbasket anyway, wanna go stir up some trouble?”



I’m someone who makes myself available to everyone when they need me. Unfortunately, I often forget to make myself available to only me. All too often, I don’t pay attention to what I need. If I did, then I would have noticed the flame in my swollen throat. Take a lesson from my mistake and pay closer attention to yourself. 


Sometimes, even when twenty tasks are beating on your door, you need to sit down and shut up. My work is patiently waiting for me to recover. The audiobook, the marketing, the research, Break Free, and everything else isn’t going anywhere. In the meantime, I will enjoy the peaceful silence. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a pool singing my name.

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