Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

The inside scoop


I add another tweak to the sentence, hit “Save”, and stand to stretch. Gads, I’m going to have to print the whole manuscript out again. Writing longhand does have merits, but I’m not going to write a 90k-word book by hand. I find editing on paper is better for me. I can often catch things I miss otherwise, and it’s easier to check things pages or chapters back in hard copy.

Coffee’s empty, and I’m feeling the drag. I grab my cup and open the office door.

Holy crap! Have you ever pushed open the door to the ladies’ room at the exact same time someone inside is pulling it open to leave? Yeah, it was like that.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I just … Your Muse called and, um, I thought he’d be here. He said to go right in.” She loops a lock of dark brown hair with a stark white tress around an ear. “He isn’t, is he?”

Of course he isn’t. I’m sure he didn’t think twice about calling her to stop by, and then heading out to “run errands”. Setting me up is more like it. “Hi, Sierra. Nope, he isn’t here, but I’m sure that was his plan all along.” I step aside and invite her in. “Where’s Quinn?”

She blushes. Her mouth curls into a smile, like she’s remembering a private joke. “Working. Your Muse said he didn’t need to be here.”

Uh-huh. Of course he did. I offer her coffee, which she turns down because she works tonight. I fill my mug and grab a bottle of water for her before we settle down at the small table in my office. “Did he tell you why he wanted you to come?”

“Something about ramping up tension and you needing help.”

“I thought I was doing okay once I got the whole suspicion versus romantic atmosphere thing figured out. Apparently he doesn’t agree or he wouldn’t have called you. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s conveniently absent for our meeting.” That’s when I notice the far-away look on her face amid a fading flush. “Sooo, how did breakfast go this morning?”

Her face reddens like my son’s skin from golfing without sunscreen. “Good.” Her tone indicates “good” isn’t quite the word she’s thinking. I imagine “mind-blowing” is closer.

Sigh. I remember those days.

O-kay. She isn’t going to like this next part. Correction, Quinn isn’t going to like it. “Did you tell Quinn you work tonight?”

She becomes very interested in the ingredients on the bottle’s label. That’s what I thought; she’s much too cheery for things to have played out like I need them to.


“You do realize you need to tell him.”

“I’ll leave him a note.”

“Yeah, no.  You remember the part where I said suspicion, right?”

She lifts her eyes to mine. The left one really is a little paler than the right. Matches the side her white tress is on. “What does that have to do with me? He knows I’m not involved. I just found the body.”

Not so much. “You need to tell him you’re going to work tonight so he can tell you what he … ” Dammit. I can’t tell her, it’ll ruin her reaction. “Never mind. We need to replay the breakfast scene, and you need to tell him before he leaves.”

“What do you mean by ‘replay’?” She sounds excited, like she gets to go to Disneyland all over again.

Man, I miss those days before kids, back when we had energy.

“I’ll take you back to the point where you make breakfast and Quinn’s getting ready for work.”

Her enthusiasm wanes. “Can’t you go back a little further?”

I feel my evil side peek out. Mwahahahaha. “Don’t need to.”

“Please? It’s only a couple hours.”

“I’m on too tight a deadline.” I think my horns are showing.

“Sorry I’m late.” My Muse makes his entrance, sliding his aviator sunglasses up onto his head. “What’d I miss?”

The scenes I’m working on have taken longer than I expected, but I think in the end it’ll be good. I’m at an emotional turning point for my main characters; hoping I’m up to the challenge!

Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms out there!








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.

10 thoughts on “The inside scoop

  1. Oh, you are evil to your characters — love it!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t wait until this book is available. It sounds so intriguing!
    Great post, too. I love how you presented it to show your writing progress and where you’re at in the story. Inside scoop, indeed! 🙂

    Time to set your muse to work!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! I can’t wait until the book is available either. It’s kinda fun to mess with my characters a bit 🙂 I’m restocking the fridge tonight! Gotta get this done before the garden goes in and the grad party hits. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like how your muse and characters are frequently visiting and conferencing and you all give each other a hard time! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, you’re up for the challenge!! I love this post and the way you bring your characters to life. I’m intrigued!! Good luck with your emotional turning point…and glad the muse is there to ‘help’ you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I’m slowly working through the scene; today’s sinus headache is cramping my style. Still, gorgeous spring day, but it’s too early to plant the garden, so I get to write instead! Have a Happy Mother’s Day! (even if you aren’t in the US 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • So sorry about your sinus headache – ouch – that’s nasty. I hope you get better soon and I can well imagine that ‘cramps your style’! Yep, gorgeous warm sunny day here today; I feel like I’m in the south of Europe. The tulips in the pots are still blooming beautifully two months later – a world record?! Happy planting for later; there’s nothing quite so therapeutic.

        Liked by 1 person

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