Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Slow Out of the Gate


Hiya! Day Four of NaNoWriMo is almost here.

My grand plan to dig deep into my WIP rewrite is stumbling off the starting block. I’m like the dust hovering in the wake of American Pharoh’s first step out of the gate at the Breeder’s Cup.

Can you say “real life”? I knew you could.

So, needless to say I’m a bit late with my blog post. And I think my Muse is hanging at the pub with Mr. E, because he’s certainly not gracing me with his presence. I’ve been staring at the same scene for two days, not sure where I want to take it.


What the–

“Don’t be blaming me for your brain freeze.” My Muse leans against the door he so rudely closed. He’s wearing a black polo with the Guinness logo embroidered on the upper left chest, dark indigo jeans, and deck shoes. The stink of stale beer, fried food, and cigarette smoke hovers around him.

“Oh, and I suppose your pub crawl with Mr. E supersedes working with me on this? Where the hell were you, anyway? Smoking’s not allowed in bars anymore.”

“Cork. That’s in Ireland, love. You’d like it. Very nice local brew, good music, friendly folks.”

“I know where Cork is. In case you forgot, my contemporary fantasy is set in that area of Ireland. Are you finished getting your wanderlust out of your system for a while? Ready to get to work?”

“Are you?” he counters. “You’re not settled.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means,” he paces to a stop in front of me and pokes a finger into my forehead, “someone’s shaking the jar up here, and the marbles haven’t stopped moving.” He lowers his hand to my shoulder. “You aren’t focusing.”

I brush his hand off my shoulder and retreat a step. “First off, you smell like a bar. Second, that’s why I need you to stick around.”

He shakes his head. “Um, no. My job, as your Muse, is to channel creative energy and foster inspiration. Your job, my darling writer, is to sit your ass in the chair where there aren’t any distractions and focus on the story.”

“And here I thought your job was to keep me in line so I can write.”

His grin is far too warm and welcoming. I’m starting to feel like a cat being lured into the carrier for a trip to the vet. “It is, but that’s so my primary tasks are more effective.”


He heads to my writing chair. At his touch, it changes from a worn, stuck-halfway-to-recline, Lay-Z-Boy wanna-be into a plush oh-man-I-could-so-sleep-there chair. Why doesn’t this make me feel any better?

“You know that chair says ‘take a nap’ more than it says ‘sit your butt down and write’, don’t you?”

He settles into the comfy chair and puts his hands behind his head. “Yep.” He waves at a corner of my writing area. An ergonomic kneeling/sitting chair appears, complete with a small desk at the appropriate height. To his credit, the view from my window now looks directly into a thick Northwest forest complete with ferns, moss, and a sense of quiet wonder. “Now, get to work, and maybe I’ll let you take a turn here after you get a couple chapters done.”

“Or what?”

Something electric crackles in the air. The scent of ozone wafts past me. “I’ll think of something.”




Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have 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. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven 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.

17 thoughts on “Slow Out of the Gate

  1. Those darn muses, taking of just when you need them. Hope you get some good inspiration on your rewrite!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trying. Part of the problem, I think, has been the unseasonably nice weather we’re having now. 70 degrees in November in MN! So, quick to get home after work so I can get out to the track and run before the sun sets at 5. Man, that time change really put a damper on doing anything outside after work. Taking Friday off to try and focus (did you hear that, my Muse?)


  2. I’m right there with you! Oh, that pain in they butt muse! But he does have a point. Good luck with your nano!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The pressure is on, Julie. I took the day off to blog but back at it tonight. Your muse is having a grand old time. I’ll be stopping by nano tonight to cheer all the buddies on. Keep writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So now I know where Mr. E. has been for the last week, doing the pub thing with your muse! I’ve been in Punta Cana for the last week, living a blissfully relaxing life of beaches, sun, and fun. Mr. E. has already promised me he’s going to turn into a taskmaster this weekend, so I’m gearing up to buckle down. Hopefully, both of our guys will work some magic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I figured you were on vacation, since it seems Mr. E had nothing better to do than drag my Muse out on a pub crawl 🙂 I ran out of craft beer, so my Muse has been a bit standoffish. Gonna restock later 😉 Counting on him to work his magic the rest of the week–weather is supposed to be rainy and cold, perfect for staying in and writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do my best writing on rainy days. Grab some of that craft beer and see if you can’t entice your guy back. I’ll be sure to tell Mr. E. he is NOT to suggest another pub crawl, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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