Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Recalling Inspiration

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To me, one of the best muses in the world is nature. I find myself inspired by anything from a shiny dragonfly zipping across my path to lightning splintering across the sky. There’s something about the natural world. It just … is. It encompasses all of us, even those living in the heart of a city. Outside man-made structures there is still a sky, still the sun, still the wind.

I went outside to pick zucchini this morning. After last night’s storms, the grass was still soaking wet. Clouds took their turn coating the sky, giving the early morning a gray cast. The temperature was a tad cool, and there was little wind. Humidity weighed down the air, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I stood still and just tried to absorb the feel of it, the cool touch of moist air, the drops rolling off each layer of leaves on their way to the ground, the smell of rain and green things, the muted sound of the world waking up after the unseen sun had nearly cleared the horizon.

Now, too many cloudy days are depressing, but after nearly a month of sunny summer skies with no rain, the cloak of varigated gray was welcome. Even more welcome was the fact that I don’t have to water the garden tonight! Of course, that also means the weeds got a boost.

What inspired you today? Was it the swallow that swooped over the field to snag breakfast? Was it the spicy aroma of roses from a flowerbed? Maybe it was the earthy aroma of that first cup of coffee or the neon magenta of the sunrise. Take five minutes to remember what it was and why it inspired you. Write a paragraph or three that brings back the creative energy you felt at that moment.

Bonus–Meal idea: Ah, zucchini. Those of you who have veggie gardens likely know how quickly one can get buried under this tasty summer treat. Okay, by now it isn’t a treat anymore, it’s a race to find people to give it to who aren’t tired of it yet.

Fire up that grill. Slice your zucchini into about 3/8″ thick planks, doesn’t matter if you do it long-ways or short-ways. Brush slices on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt, and put on grill. Cover the grill to keep in that smokey flavor. In about 10 minutes depending on how thick the slices are and how hot the grill is, flip the slices. In another 5-10 minutes, or when zucchini is tender, remove from grill, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and enjoy! Best when fresh off the grill. You may have to experiment with the timing depending on how tender you like it, but it is delish!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, two chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

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