We've all seen them...bellies hanging over pants that are a few sizes too small. I've even done it myself when I needed to wear dress pants that I'd bought when I was 10 pounds lighter. I camouflaged it with a "blousey" shirt, but it was underneath. Ready to make an appearance if I sat the wrong way or the wind blew too hard. I first heard the term "muffin top" come out of my husband's mouth several years ago after a trip that took him through the Miami Airport. I'd never heard it, but laughed at the preciseness of what it described. When you see muffin top on the street or in the grocery store or at the beach, you tend to see only that. The person might have a blinding smile or the darkest red hair you've ever seen or the sweetest eyes, but you miss the beauty and uniqueness of them because you can focus only on the muffin top.
I love words. When I read a poetic phrase in a novel, I re-read it. Letting the words sit on my tongue. I savor them. And hope that my work rises to that level some day. But no matter how beautiful prose is or thought-provoking or moving, there can be too much. As a reader, you find yourself tripping over the author and losing focus on the story. This is true in everyone's daily lives--not just readers and writers. We often say too much and want to take it back. Or push away someone who was so close because we didn't stop talking when we should have. Just one extra word can negate an entire conversation.
I've posted a few chapters of my new novel on Goodreads. If you do me the honor of checking it out, please let me know if you spy muffin top.