This is really an all-time favorite…

So. Around this exact time last year, I was finishing up all of the writing for The Hallowed Wide, and really starting to think about the visuals, the worldbuilding, the extra experiential wonder of it all…

And since the record is really a fantastical story of a venture across a magically treacherous canyon, I decided to pick up a VERY old hobby, and draw a fantasy-esque map to accompany the music.

I used a 28oz can of tomatoes (#quarantinehoarding) to draw a bunch of circles, and started imagining little vignettes to visually represent each song. It probably took me a good 5 hours to get each one right (did I mention it’s been about 20 years since I drew anything?). But I love how they turned out.

Next, I got started on the background – trying to create a scenery that would match the individual vignettes, and the overall story.

The Muse Map

And finally…once I’d completely finished the map itself, I just felt that something was still missing. So I summoned up ALL of my teenage prose-ish energy and penned a story guide to accompany the map. I LOVED doing this. It felt like the perfect end-cap for this project.

Since the first single is already out, I thought I’d record the first little bit of the story guide to go along with it…

As we wander through our lives searching for meaning and connection, we find ourselves twisted up in delicate threads of inchoate trust, and earnest bids for intimacy. We stumble over craggy edges of misunderstanding and judgement, vanity and selfishness. Reckless and blind, we cast our soft-hard hearts into every bliss and danger—and in our desperate thrashing, we too easily miss too much. We discover ourselves time and again in the desert. Wounded and wounding. Small. Alone.



This time, the cold and wasted wilderness feels different somehow. Impatient. An unexpected defiance builds, starting in your fingertips then extending to your heart, your throat, and down through the bones in your legs.  You’re struck with a thought that feels strangely new and innate. There must be another way…

Suddenly, you feel smooth stone underneath your feet and the eerie glow of a twilight moon on your brow. You’re standing at a precipice veiled in thick fog. You peer over the edge. Filled with a frightful curiosity, gripped by palpable urgency—breathless, you close your eyes and begin to climb.

Weeeee! I love it so much. I hope you do, too. As a very fun bonus, anyone who pre-orders The Hallowed Wide will get a hard copy of the map+story guide along with your CD (and stickers, duh).

More fantasy coming your way soon…