Things just seemed so much easier when I had my Inner Critic to blame. New recipe killed off dinner guests? Pin it on him. Couldn't reach my daily word count? It's his fault. In fact, my IC made life simple because he was the best scapegoat I ever had.

So when he retired last month, I really wasn't prepared for what would happen: it got real quiet.

At first, I didn't really notice with all the parades and hootenanny going on. Gotta love the clowns on tricycles. ;) But after the cake ran out and everyone went back to the regular party hangouts, I became aware of the IC's absence in odd ways.

First of all, I could write freely. No, seriously -- I'd just sit at the keyboard and words would pop out of my head and make it onto the page. Every once in a while I'd feel a twinge and brace myself, expecting to hear the Penguins of Panic (my IC's favourite tactic) taunting me from their ice cube tray, but they never appeared.

Then the silence started to get to me. I mean, there had to be something I was writing that could use a little critique...or total rewriting. Heck, I knew there was -- especially that one scene I wrote that had my main character talking to a shoe.

Ah, gotta love those decongestants. ;)

And I think that's when I finally started to miss him. That cranky, opinionated MENSA-wannabe who didn't know what "it's okay, let it go" meant. Le sigh.

Not that I want him back or anything. I'll make do somehow.