Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Treat and Retreat


Laptop computer? Check.

Notebooks? Check.

Notes from writing sisters? Check.

Assorted craft beer? Check.

Chocolate? Hell, yes, check.




Anyway, I’m off for my long-ish writing retreat. My mini-retreat last weekend went well, but two days is just long enough to really get going before having to leave.

I ended up spending about half a day dealing with ghosts from the past. The 11th anniversary of my mother’s death was earlier this week. Last weekend at the empty house where we grew up, along with pictures of her and all the memories, brought out emotions I haven’t indulged for a long time.

Once I worked through that, I was able to settle down and work on my WIP. I’m taking advantage of the extended holiday weekend to finish off this revision, then start in again from the beginning, working through all the great feedback I’ve been getting from my writing sisters.

Some writers can work when there’s activity around, like at home, or in Starbucks, or even the library. I can, to a point, but when I’m trying to revise, the fewer distractions I have, the less I procrastinate.

Some writers are able to head to a hotel for a writing weekend, but I find it hard to write at a hotel; the desks and chairs they have never seem comfortable enough. My dream retreat would be a cabin in the woods with indoor plumbing, a nice screened porch with comfy chairs, a walking path for when I need to take a break, and Internet access (I back my writing up to a cloud drive (and yes, I also back up to an external hard drive, but the online drive is more up to date)).

Or, there’s always a little beach getaway. Or a mountain hideaway. What’s your dream writing retreat?

“You ready to head out, love?” My Muse’s overstuffed backpack hits the floor with a thud. He’s got a folding chair (you know, like the ones that come in those bags) slung over one shoulder and a shade umbrella under an arm.

“Really? You don’t need the chair or umbrella; my dad’s got chairs and an umbrella that goes with the picnic table on the deck. Besides, it’s supposed to be rainy most of the weekend.”

He lets the chair slip to the floor. “Fine. Give me a few minutes, then let’s go.”

Sigh. Looking forward to days of writing. Am I going to miss out on any Memorial Day fun? Nope. Not even driving in all the traffic that will be heading to any of Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes. Like anyone considers that fun. I’ll also take part of a day to check on (read: go for a walk with and take out to lunch) my grandmother, and try to catch a quick visit with my BFF from high school.

For my American friends, have a safe weekend, and take some time out to write. For my outside-of-America friends, enjoy your weekend.

Write well! 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.

9 thoughts on “Treat and Retreat

  1. Sounds wonderfully peaceful, Julie. My condolences about your mom eleven years later. Grief happens for a long time and comes in waves. I’m glad you took the time to feel it. I hope the writing goal is achieved as well as the walks and visits. Have a lovely productive weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Diana. I’m going to walk out to the cemetery on one of my breaks to see her grave. Today’s supposed to be a toss-up between rainy and not so rainy, so part of me hopes the whole day is rainy so I have an excuse to stay in 🙂 (not that I don’t already have an excuse, it’d just be less guilt). Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and don’t forget to write a little 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your mother eleven years ago. Returning to your family home any time I am sure is hard, filled with memories and this being an anniversary of her passing even harder. You did right to stop and be in the moment and give time to your pain. I wish you lots of writing success with your writing – your muse I’m sure will ‘help’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! My Muse is kicking back right now, dozing on the couch. I’m thinking about chucking a pillow his way–I’m struggling with a transition right now, and he’s not helping. I’m meeting with my BFF from high school later, which will be a nice break. If it stops raining, I’ll walk over to the cemetery and visit Mom’s grave. Trying to get through the last few chapters in this revision round so I can start again tomorrow. Have a great rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emotional anniversaries are always difficult. So sorry you had to go through that about your mom, but sometimes we just need to remember and give free rein to our bottled emotions. I also think it’s wonderful you’ll have time to right. It’s been stifling where I’m at and we managed to open our pool today. I have done no writing at all this weekend, but I’ve been doing a lot of mental plotting on my latest. Your cabin in the woods sounds divine. I could be happy writing there. I think I’d also love a cottage on a lakeside or coast overlooking the ocean, with a footpath that leads to a tiny coastal town. Heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, hot is not my thing. One reason I love spring and fall: it’s comfy temp-wise. Today is nice, a bit breezy, but mid-70s is almost perfect! My dad also has a nice patio in the backyard, along with flowers and bushes. The Japanese lilac is still blooming, and I just saw a couple swallowtail butterflies flitting around it. The bridal wreath bushes are also blooming. Not too bad for a writing retreat!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry about your mom…she’s always with you, though. I hope you enjoyed your writing retreat!


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