Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Summer’s knocking on the door


Three days until the summer solstice, the opening bell for summer. It’s felt like summer for the past week, from temps in the 90s last week, to tropical humidity, to rumbling thunderstorms. There were even tornadoes in southwest MN last week.

I love spring and fall. Moderate temps and humidity make for comfortable days outside. There’s nothing quite like the smell of spring, that new green scent of fresh leaves and early flowers. Fall has the loamy musk of fallen leaves and a kaleidoscope of colors.

Summer is next in line. I love that I don’t need a jacket, the lakes are warm enough to swim in (Not that I actually swim in them–give me concrete and chlorine any day. No chiggers or weeds or swimmer’s itch.), and so much green. What I don’t like is the hot and humid. Sure, Minnesota is famous for cold winters, but we have summers that can make you think you’re in Florida.

I’ll bet you’re wondering about my garden this year. If you followed me last year, I posted pics of my garden throughout the summer, including monster harvests of softball-sized onions and potatoes. It was awesome.

So. Much. Work.

I swore this year I’d do a smaller garden.

You’re thinking I did what I’ve done for the past x number of years: plant a garden just as effing big as the one the year before.

Ha! I didn’t. Nah nee nah nee boo boo! My hubby tilled an area just as big as the garden last year, but I resisted his prodding and the urge to fill all that bare ground. It’s still 75 feet long (the length of our soaker hoses) but this year it’s only 16 feet wide, not 35 feet like last year.

It still took me almost three hours to weed down one “aisle”. I pull on both sides of the walkway, so I guess that would count as two rows. Two “aisles” down, two more to go. I just hope I can find my vegetables among the ever-growing ranks of weeds.

I’ll post pics once I clean up the weeds. ‘Course, by the time I get done with this round of weeding, I’ll have to start over. I keep reminding myself there’s nothing like fresh vegetables from the garden, especially sweet corn and tomatoes. To get a good crop, you have to wage war on the relentless weeds.

But, time weeding equals time not writing. I’m behind on my WIP revision, so I like to make up excuses not to weed, but if I don’t, well, you know what happens. All those lovely softball-sized onions wind up as sad golf ball-sized onions, if you can find them at all.

So, summer is bittersweet. I love the longer days (until after Monday the 20th, when the longest day is over and the days start getting shorter again), the sun, the loads of green and wildflowers and fishing and fresh veggies. The mosquitoes, tropical heat/humidity, and incessant weeding/mowing, the time taken away from my writing, not so much.

Anyway, enjoy the solstice. Hey, it isn’t an excuse to stop writing. Take advantage of that lazy day on the beach or in the porch swing to write a short story about the old fishing hole or a poem about the butterfly flitting around the petunias.

Go on. Write already!




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.

13 thoughts on “Summer’s knocking on the door

  1. I was wondering about your garden, Julie, and the dearth of garden posts. We’re buried in lettuce and chard, and some little critter is eating my unripe strawberries! You’re right that it takes a lot of time away from writing, but it’s so nice to be outside. We had a few days of 90 but back down to 60’s. I waiting for the heat way. Happy solstice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! I’ve been so busy the past couple weeks, I barely had time to plant, much less weed. Was hoping my spinach would be ready by now, but it seems the weeds have choked it. I found two spinach plants. It’s getting too warm to replant it, so I might have to wait for a couple months before replanting. The green beans look good, though; sometimes they flounder a bit. This weekend’s supposed to be ugh-humid until storms move through on Monday. Back out to weed later today, so I’m going to try to hit the WIP during the hottest part of the day. Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love spring and fall, too. I used to even love winter. (College up north cured me of that!) But summer humidity kills me. It’s not constant, usually, here in New England, but it can get pretty gross. Good luck with your garden!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love spring and fall, but I think summer is my favorite season. I probably wouldn’t enjoy it so much without a pool and the backyard set-up we have. I’m down on bugs and humidity but I can escape both in the pool.

    Your garden sounds like a tremendous effort, but you’re right–there’s nothing like homegrown veggies. I planted some tomatoes this year in pots. That’s the extent of my gardening thumb, LOL.

    I won’t be writing so much today, but I do a lot of plotting, making story notes and reading by the pool. It’s going to hit 90 today and 92 tomorrow. In fact, I’m heading out to the sun and water, now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would probably like summer more if we had a pool or lived next to a lake 😀 I like to plot when I take my walks. I always intend to work through plots and other story problems I run into when I weed, but I find I spend my mental time trying to find actual vegetables among the weeds 🙂 Enjoy the weekend, Mae!


  4. Love the last line! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.


  6. Happy Midsummer to you, Julie! Oh, do post pictures when you can…still a huge patch and sounds like you’ve got your work cut out. Summer here is a mixture of rain (heavy), cloud (heavy), sun (scattered), air (heavy). You see the theme here! Still the garden is lush with fuchsias, marigolds, roses, honeysuckle etc all thriving. For various reasons only got chilli plants and tomatoes on the go…still alive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I did take pics after the last round of weeding, and I’ll post them this week. Still don’t have a fence up to keep the rabbits out (You’d think with two dogs we wouldn’t have a rabbit problem). Been an odd week due to my sinus surgery (deviated septum). Crossing fingers my sinus headaches don’t return!

      Tomatoes and chilis would be my choice, too, if that’s all I could do! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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