Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Garden time again, and a treat


You know you’re getting old when you spend 3 hours in the garden laying out the soaker hoses, raking cut grass for mulch, and covering the hoses with landscape fabric weighed down with said grass, and feel twice your age the next day.

And I’m not that old. (let’s just say I was in jr. high when Michael Jackson’s Thriller came out)

Ugh. Or I’m just really out of shape šŸ™‚ Not so sure about that, considering I have no second thoughts about running a 5k tomorrow with my daughter. I’m pretty sure I won’t be sore from that. I’ll be sore from spending another 3 hrs in the garden tonight finishing mulching and getting the planting done.

Why not wait until the weekend? Well, that’s where the treat comes in. I’ve got two–count ’em, two–mini writing retreats: this weekend and next.

Excuse me while I whoop and hollar and dance around like the crazy writer I am.
“Hey, watch it, love.” My Muse jumps aside before I happy-Snoopy-dance into the space he occupies.

“Sorry.” I stop (I was getting tired anyway). “Hey, you didn’t tell me you were meeting with my writing sister’s Muse.”

He tries to pull off a who, me? expression, but he doesn’t fool me. “Which one?” he asks once he realizes I know things.

“The one plying you with drinks while you gave her tips on how to annoy her writer.”

His cheeks redden. “Oh, that one. She, ah, asked for advice, and since her writer is one of your writing sisters, I figured I’d give her a few tips.”

Uh-huh. I’ll just bet that’s how it went down. Not. “Yes, well, stop giving her ideas. She’s supposed to be inspiring her writer, not trying to bug the hell out of her.”

Sheepish, he leads the way out of my writing office and onto a tropical beach. Turquoise water stretches to the horizon, framed by palm trees and jungle-covered fingers of land that protect the lagoon. An expanse of sugar sand is interrupted only by a pair of low-slung beach chairs under umbrellas.

The enticing part isn’t the view as much as it is the salty smell of the ocean and the soothing whoosh of waves lapping the shore. A light breeze carries the sound of rustling leaves to compliment the rhythm of the sea.

“Are you trying to bribe me?” I ask in mock-offense. I’m itching to shuck off my shoes and dig my toes into the warm sand.

“Is it working?”

Like I’m going to tell him. “We’ll see. You ready for this weekend? I’m talking balls-to-the-walls writing marathon.”

“Yeah, about that …”

“There’s no ‘about that’. We’re going to an empty house where I won’t have any interruptions. No arguments to overhear, or loud televisions to block out, or gardens to plant. I can sit on the deck and drink my coffee in the morning. I can walk around the old neighborhood when I need a break.” Short break; it’s a small neighborhood.

He drops into one of the beach chairs and reaches his toes into the water. “I’m supposed to meet someone at …”

“Really? You better not be telling me you’re going on a date with my writing sister’s Muse.”

An eyebrow arches high. “Date?” He laughs, a full-bodied guffaw that echoes over the lagoon. “No, it isn’t like that. Besides, love, why her when I’ve got you? Not that there aren’t times I’d like to spend a weekend with someone who doesn’t make me want to rip my hair out when she can’t get past a roadblock.

“I was going to say I’m supposed to meet someone at … eh, forget it. I’ll tell him his writer needs him more than he needs a weekend pub crawl.”

“Mr E.? He wants Mae to give him a juicier part. He’d better stick around her place. And I need you with me. I’m going to make the most of this writing weekend if it drives me nuts. I’ve got a month until my soft deadline, and that doesn’t even include my beta readers. I need to send out the almost-ready-for-beta-readers draft to my other writing sisters by the end of the month.”

He tugs on my hand. I relent, and settle into the other beach chair, aches and all. The water is warm, the sand is warm, and I think I’ll just hang out here for a bit before I dig into my WIP this weekend.

If you ever get a chance, take a mini-retreat. Take advantage of a relative going on vacation to take over an empty house and focus on writing. Write on!


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, six 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 “Garden time again, and a treat

  1. Oh, yeah…love that post! I’m getting ready to tackle something new this weekend with Mr. E (no weekend pub crawl for this guy, LOL), and this post has me inspired. I’m also a Snoopy dancing kind of girl so I love that graphic.

    Quiet houses and such are the best for being prolific. And that beach view is just the sort of downtime relaxing you need before jumping in. Have fun! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it! Can’t wait to head out tomorrow after the 5k. Hubby suggested I leave after I plant the garden tomorrow, after I reminded him I’ll be gone this weekend and next. Ha! I told him I’d do it after work last night and tonight. I’m gonna get as much retreat time in as I can.

      Yep, love the beach view. Man, I miss Hawaii! Hubs and I went on vacation there BC (before children). Itching to go back. LOVED Kauai, want to see the Big Island. Oh, hell, I’d just love to walk in the warm ocean again šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Our Muses dating! That explains everything. I’m still on track for my deadlines, despite my wayward Muse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear you’re still on track. I’m going to hit my writing weekends at full speed. Still planning to get the draft to you by the end of the month. I’ll try to keep my Muse on a short rein; can’t have them distracted! šŸ˜‰


  3. Take over an empty house and just write. That sounds better than the tropical beach, Julie. I’m so jealous! Enjoy your mini-retreats!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, wishing you many happy creative hours on your retreat! And hope you and your daughter had a fun time on the 5k! Good excuse after all that exercise and gardening to sit and write! Warmest wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! We did have a nice walk on the 5k (I’d planned to run, but my daughter’s friend ended up riding on the antique fire truck escorting the 5k, so I walked with her) Got the garden in last night, so I’m digging into my WIP. Nice and quiet here; I’ll have to take advantage of the deck and my dad’s flower gardens. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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