Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Words or Weeds?


stirrup hoeAh, gardening season. Or, as some of us call it, the return of the War of the Weeds. It’s a battle to keep the green things you planted intentionally free of the grip of green things that just decide they need to grow in the same area as the stuff you planted. How rude!

My main weapon of mass weed destruction is my trusty stirrup hoe, sometimes also called a shuffle hoe. I like it because it’s easy to use–just think mopping forward and back. That’s it. The hoe cuts through the weeds on the backstroke. It works quite well, except between the individual plants in the rows, and if the weeds are too big or the garden too wet. Then I have to turn to my second string: my hands.

I can usually keep up in the beginning of the season, until the weeds call in the reinforcements, and turn on the super-fast grow switch. That’s the one where they grow three inches overnight. Sure, I could use weed killer, but I’d rather not. Fewer chemicals = better in my book. radishes

There is something therapeutic about weeding, at least if you’re not battling mosquitoes, sore shoulders, and an overwhelming force of pigweed, purslane, and quackgrass. That said, weeding is cutting into my writing time. Like, a lot. Sure, I like fresh veggies, or I wouldn’t plant a huge garden every year.

But I’m behind on my blog, my other blog (meetyourmaincharacter) with a group of writers, my WIP, and a run-through of my finished manuscript before sending it to the agents who requested it during #PitMad yesterday. There haven’t been enough rainy days to make up for the two to three hours every night after work spent waging war on the green invaders.

And don’t mention my Muse. I sent him on an errand that should take him a while. In the meantime, I’m going through my manuscript to check for nits that might be turning agents off. I’ve still got a couple fulls out, but it doesn’t hurt to go through it.

So, I’m torn. Do I retreat in the face of impending weed takeover to catch up on writing? Or do I forgo my writing to keep the weeds at bay?

“So this is why you sent me on that errand? So you could bore your blog readers with the weeds/words dilemma?” My Muse slams the subject of his errand, a printout of my manuscript, onto the desk. “You need my help, and you send me out on a busy run?”

“I needed to get my post written; I’m having a hard enough time coming up with a Top 5 for my MYMC group, and I’ve missed my turn at Twitter for the group.”

He plants his hands on the desk and leans toward me. “Tomorrow is Saturday. You will finish your run through of your manuscript, send it to the requesters, and then you will–and I mean will–work on your WIP.”

“Where does weeding fit into that? I have to finish weeding the onions; I didn’t get them done tonight.”

“After you rewrite the chapter you’re on in your WIP.”

He’s right, of course. I’d better get to bed, so I can get started early tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend!


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.

6 thoughts on “Words or Weeds?

  1. I can relate to your weeding-writing dilemma, believe me. I end up splitting my time and doing neither to the extent I should. Not enough time in the day. Your muse, as usual, is highly entertaining if not a little bossy. I could use him at my house. Happy weeding…writing…both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems like there’s always something demanding our attention when all we really want to do is write. Well..sometimes though you just have to play hooky 🙂

    Of course, you could always try to convince your muse that when you’re weeding, you’re actually mentally working out plot threads for your WIP. I do that frequently with mine!

    Liked by 1 person

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