Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Head Above Water


It’s almost here–the New Year!

I’m still pounding on my WIP. I can see the end, and I’m anxious to get there, but I feel like so many other things need to be done ASAP, like the FAFSA for my son (who graduates this spring from high school), scholarship applications for same, research for broken appliances and vehicles (repair or replace?), writing contest entries, writing conference signup, oh boy.

The cold stalking me (courtesy, I’m sure, of all the little kids I saw over the holidays) is threatening to take me down, but I’m trying to hold it at arm’s length, at least until I get my WIP draft finished. The problem: to fend it off, I need to rest/nap, which equals no writing (haven’t gotten the hang of sleep-writing yet).

So, if I seem a bit withdrawn, no worries. I’m writing. Promise! (note to self: take a few extra days off to finish WIP next time)

Got your list of resolutions for the new year finished? Neither do I. I’ve got a couple things on it, though:

  1. Be more cheerful with family. (I can hear the chorus of “huh”s in the background) I think it started when I was a teen, going through the hormone-driven emotional roller coaster so many of us are familiar with. That lasted until my late twenties, when I had a near-breakdown courtesy of postpartum depression. To compensate for the low lows (I think; I wouldn’t touch a psychology class with a 29.5 foot pole), I try not to go too high emotionally. It’s a bit of a drop to the lows from the highs, so I try to stay in the middle. Not necessarily good for the rest of the family, when Mom is seldom upbeat. I’m aware of it, and just need to be mindful.
  2. Focus on writing. Yes, this has a permanent spot on my list, but I start to slack around the holidays because there just isn’t any time for it with all the holiday-ing, and I get out of the habit. I won’t be able to finish my WIP draft tonight, but I’ve got the weekend and Monday off. And my Muse is prepped with craft beer and chocolate. Look out, words!
  3. Get an agent. Gotta have something somewhat out of my control on here, right? I’ve got high hopes for my WIP, and I’ve gotten some good advice for my current mss, so the plan is to get the WIP draft done, tweak my mss, then back to work my WIP draft into shape by April, when I’ll be attending the Writer’s Institute at UW-Madison. I’m getting closer, judging by a slow rise of interest in my mss this year, including a near-miss for a mentor in Pitch Wars.
  4. Smaller garden, so I have more time to write in the summer. Maybe I should bold this one, and make the font bigger. And highlight it.

Then I started thinking about resolutions, and why we bother when most of the time we forget by Easter just what we resolved. Another writer, who has a great blog about Irish myth and a YA fantasy series based on Irish myth, has a timely post about New Year’s Day and the various stories behind it, including a probable reason we continue to make resolutions. Check it out here: The Ancient Babylonians Invented New Year’s Resolutions. Stay a while and check out Ali’s other posts. My fantasy novel is based on Irish myth, and Ali is a great resource if that’s what you’re interested in.

May you greet 2016 with a whoop and a hollar!

May your writing be better than it was last year.

May your family be blessed with health, happiness, and prosperity.

May your muses continue to inspire you.

Happy New Year everyone!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over 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, four 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.

14 thoughts on “Head Above Water

  1. Julie, Happy New Year! I am right there with you about so many things, including a steady diet of Airborne cocktails as I keep the those pesky cold symptoms at bay . You have a great set of resolutions here, and I hope you see much success in the coming months…even those things which might be out of your control (I am with you on that as well!) Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susan! May you kick your cold in the ass (I’m gonna try pointy boots πŸ™‚ ) Good luck to you as well in the new year. Wouldn’t it be great to get to the end of the year and actually be able to check off everything on your resolution list? Maybe 2016 will be the year! Have a great one!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie, wishing you the best as you run with your resolutions for 2016. And especially for keeping that cold at bay. I’m just coming off two weeks of acute sinusitis. In my area, the stuff is almost like a plague with the number of people in my office coming down with it, growing daily. Ugh! The joys of winter, LOL.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great resolutions! Hope you can kick that cold and stay healthy for the new year. Best of luck in all your writing endeavors! You can do it! Go, Julie, go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year, Julie. Take a breath, January is right around the corner – no garden, no holidays, no pressing business (beyond the FAFSA and all the other stuff). Be well and may your all writing wishes come true πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: I had a love affair | Myths of the Mirror

  6. Thanks so much for the reblog, Julie! And hope your resolutions are hanging in there:)

    Liked by 1 person

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