Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

From One Challenge to the Next


It’s September 2, the big reveal day for Pitch Wars is today. Well, more accurately, it was last night. Rumors were flying that the fantabulous Brenda Drake had a few surprises up her sleeve. During a live you-tube/twitter (I’m not sure what’s it’s called, but it was like a live video-chat) broadcast/chat last night with a number of the mentors, Brenda revealed her surprises, one of which was, of course as many had guessed, early reveal of the lucky mentees.

And I’m mentor-less, though I did win a drawing for a free 25-page edit–yay! I’m hoping the mentors I submitted to will send me some feedback; wish I could remember all five. I’ll let the confetti settle a bit before I ask if they’ll send me their thoughts. So happy for the writers who did manage to snag a mentor! I wish them all good luck with the next couple months of revision and the agent round.

The best part about the Pitch Wars contest is the community. A good number of the potential mentees were active on the #PitchWars feed through the past two weeks, which was fun. I’ve got two possible CPs to work with, and there’s a ready-made pool of other writers who might be willing to do beta reads, etc. All in all, a great experience, and I’m glad I tossed my hat into the ring this year. On the bright side, I can work on my WIP over the next two months and still send out queries for my mss (*Mentees cannot send out any queries until after the agent round).

Now, back to querying my mss, and working on my WIP. As the summer ends, the garden wanes, and the kids head back to school, I’ll have more time to write. Well, after the bustle of getting the school year underway is over. Daughter is a sophomore this year, and starting to drive. Son is a senior this year and still doesn’t know where he wants to go to college (sigh), but he’s narrowed his field of study to engineering. Wait! Hmm, maybe I’ll be able to set up a writing room once he leaves.

So what’s the next challenge, you say? Aw, that’s easy. My WIP. I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this November, per se. I’ve already done my NaNo this year–in February. But, in lieu of the typical fresh NaNo project, I’m planning to hammer on my WIP. My goal: have the mss query-worthy by next spring. I’m trying to hone my voice for romantic mystery/suspense, and refining my process. I rough outline–not scene-by-scene–but I’m trying a few things to see what works for me. I think (and maybe it’s my mentor’s influence here) more planning may help me, since I’m at the point now where instead of writing stories I’ve built in my head over many years, I’m writing stories I haven’t mentally walked through a hundred times.

Who are you looking for? *scans the room* Oh, you’re wondering where my Muse is after the machete incident. He said something about research, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and deep-fried cheese curds. I’m guessing he’s headed to the MN State Fair, and didn’t bother to ask me along because, well, I hate crowds. Oh, and it’s gonna be tropical hot the next couple days. Research, though … there’s something to be said about people-watching and fodder for stories. What’s the addage? Be nice to writers, or they’ll put you in their next book.

Have a great rest of the week. Stay cool, stay focused, and write on!


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 “From One Challenge to the Next

  1. Well, I’m bummed you didn’t land a mentor, but that free 25-page edit is nothing to sneeze at. Kudos to you for snagging it!

    You also sound really focused as you move ahead and that’s part of the battle. I’m jazzed to hear you’re venturing into romantic mystery/suspense. YIPEEEE! That’s my genre….although I’ll be upping the mystery angle more as I move ahead. Welcome to the fold! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • No mentor, but hey, great community. I’ve already got a couple new possible CPs. Ooo, I fooled you 😉 I figure if I keep telling myself I’m really focused, I will be. Glad to join the club–I’ve been reading more mysteries, and romantic mysteries lately. Tami Hoag and Nora Roberts (mysteries, not romances) are a couple of my faves. Trying to read them as a writer and make notes along the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t read Tami but I like a lot of Nora’s stuff (despite her penchant for head hoping). There are lot of wonderful mystery/thrillers out there, too. A very cool genre.

        And yes, you definitely sound focused, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the experience was rewarding despite not snagging a mentor. Just connecting with other writers is a reward in and of itself. And stocking up on all those resources! Yay. Have fun with your WIP when the kids are back to school 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, D! I still think it’s so amazing how writers connect with each other; the wonders of the Internet! With all the great suggestions from my writing sisters at the retreat, I’m kinda overwhelmed at the revisions I know I need to make. Their suggestions will make an okay story a really strong story, but the amount of work I know it’ll take is daunting. I just have to go at it in small chunks.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s