Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Countdown to …


It’s almost the end of July already–ack! That means it’s only about a month until school starts again. That also means school shopping, getting oldest child to apply to colleges and get his senior pictures taken, athletic meeting for school, orientation for incoming sophomores to the senior high school, and I’m sure a whole lot more.

Harvest is in full swing. My early corn is at the “pick me” stage, but we’ve had enough now that the mere thought of sweet corn just doesn’t sound like a summer treat any more. I’ve got almost enough cucumbers for my first batch of pickles (7 quarts a pop, because that’s all that fits in the canner). The zucchini and patty pan summer squash didn’t hear the order to slow it down, and my watermelon vines are spreading like crazy. The cherry tomatoes are ripening, and tasty!

We had some summer storms that knocked over the towering dill and cilantro plants, so the garden really looks a mess. When I work up the courage (and pull some of the offenders), I’ll share more pics. The weeds are now officially turbocharged: the hot weather and just this time of the season trigger the weeds to seed. It’s a race I’m starting to tire of, which is pretty typical at the end of July.

“Crikey, you’re pathetic.” My Muse leans his fishing pole into the corner behind the door and sets his tackle box beside it. “I’m gone for what, a week, and now this?” He rolls his eyes. “I don’t suppose you worked on your WIP while I was gone, did you?”

He smells like coconut sunscreen and lake. There’s a dark stain on his faded t-shirt that looks like he wiped something nasty on his chest. Fish guts? “Catch anything?” Maybe I can distract him so he’ll forget about my writing in his absence. Or, not writing.

“Yep. Smallmouth bass on Mille Lacs. You shoulda been there.” He peels off his baseball cap and runs fingers though dark blond hair that’s gained a few more highlights since he left. “Show me what you’ve gotten done.”

Gulp. Gotta distract him. “I snagged a spot in the agent round of a contest. Got one request so far. Bonus–I tweaked my query and first 250 words. I like the changes. I pegged a couple tweets for #MSWL, so …”

His hand on my shoulder stops my babbling. “Nice. Congrats. Now, show me your WIP.”

“I’m a little behind in my blog posts, so I’m working on one now, and I started reading the pages from my writing sisters for the reunion next week. OMG, you won’t believe how great those pages are.”

He nails me with his blue gaze. “You haven’t touched your WIP since you sent your pages to your writing sisters, have you?”

Crap. Wait. “Yes, I did. I worked out the rest of the scene in the detective’s office, and I know how he finds out who the victim is.”

He frowns and taps his temple. “Sure, you worked it out in here, but not on paper, did you?”

“Um, no. Hey, I’ve been busy. I was at a family gathering last weekend, I’ve got plans for this weekend, then next week I’m off to the reunion. I’m going to have to do a batch of pickles on Friday after work.”

“And every night until then, you will work on your WIP,” he says as he grips both my shoulders and spins me 180 degrees. He shoves me forward, and his voice develops an edge. “And this weekend after your plans, and every night until you leave for the reunion. If you want to start querying that book next year, you need to get your ass moving on it.”

As usual, he’s right, but don’t tell him that.

Ah, okay. Gotta go. May your zucchini be fruitful (and if you need some, I’ve got plenty!).


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 “Countdown to …

  1. Love it! Julie, you and your muse are very entertaining. I always look forward to your posts. Now, get writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So entertaining as usual. It makes me realize how much I’ve been slacking off, too—especially with multiple deadlines hanging over my head. Ugh! Guess I need to sit down and have a chat with my muse and get back in gear. Thanks for a fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I’ve got my writing reunion next week–I’m soooo looking forward to focusing on nothing but fellowship and writing. Maybe that’s why I need my Muse to shake things up a bit before I leave. Now, repeat after me: I will write tonight. I will write tonight. I will–oh, hell, who am I kidding? 😉


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