Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere



Can you believe it’s almost August? I mean, wasn’t it just Memorial Day? I know time seems to go faster as you get older, but this is kinda ridiculous.

I get to see my writing sisters next week. Woo-hoo! Can’t wait! This year we’re having a plotting party. There’s nothing quite like getting six writers together and brainstorming. All that creative energy unleashed is like the Tasmanian Devil, Wile E Coyote, and Bugs Bunny planning a coup, but in a good way šŸ™‚

So many milestones this year. I now have a 16-year-old with an official driver’s license. Yep, she passed her test the first time. Not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, we don’t have to shuttle her around anymore. On the other hand, there’s an unease that comes with having a 16-year-old daughter who doesn’t need a parent when driving someplace. She had some rough patches a few years ago; maybe that’s why I’m apprehensive. Or maybe it just comes with the whole 16 and a girl thing. I didn’t feel like this when my son got his license.

Speaking of, my son got his wisdom teeth out (all four at once). And his departure for college is coming up fast–three weeks. Wait. Crap. It is only three weeks until move-in day. Gulp. It’s not the letting go part, it’s the look-at-all-the-stuff-we-have-to-cross-off-our-list part. He’s 18, so he’s (supposed to be) doing a lot of it himself. But you know he’ll wait until the very last minute …

“You finished, love?”

I jump. “Shit!”

“Sorry I scared you.” He grins.

Somehow, I’m not convinced he’s sincere. “Sure, you are.” He drops into a canvas chair on the other side of my writing desk and adjusts his LA Dodgers baseball cap. A faded t-shirt and cargo shorts complete the ensemble. “Going to a game?”

“No. Maybe. It’s almost the end of the month, love. You said you’d send out your manuscript by the end of the month. Last month.”

I roll my eyes. Trust me, I know. “I’ve got to cut another 2500 words. I’m working through it.”

“And your query?”

“Dammit, I know.” I’ve been spending as much time as I can on it, at the expense of my garden, my household chores, my family.

“Whatever possessed you to get that part-time gig at the library, anyway?”

I lean back in my chair and rub my eyes. “I’ve always wanted to work at the library. Books. Shelves of them. But I can’t commit to 10 hours a week. I’m only a sub. I wanted to help the librarian out when my daughter starts tennis season.”

“That’s three hours today and four hours every Monday you could be working on your manuscript, love.”

“I know. And if I didn’t keep revising, I’d have sent it out already. The revisions are good, they need to be done. At least I sent it to a beta reader last night. She reads fast.”

“You won’t hear from her soon enough to matter.”

“Not for this round, but I still need her feedback. And Pitch Wars is next week, before my reunion.”

He shakes his head. “How’d you get so far behind? I’ve been here.”

“I had sinus surgery and was out for over two weeks, remember? And I lost last weekend to a family ‘reunion’, and the weekends before to other family gatherings.”

He stands, buries his hands in the deep pockets of his shorts. “You’re losing today, too. Are you going to be able to do this by the first? I can’t do it for you.”

I’ve got a another family gathering this afternoon. “Gee, if I didn’t have to work full-time, maybe I could just hammer on it all day long.” Some days I really envy my retired writing sisters.

“Ah, the travesties of being a writer,” he says. I know he’s patronizing me. “No one said you had to do this whole writing thing. You could do other stuff, like paint or draw.”

“Do you have any idea how many stories are rattling around in my head? I’ve gotta get them out so more can fill in.” Man, I sound like I’m crazy, hearing voices and stuff.

His slow smile reminds me of Han Solo’s lopsided grin. Or Indiana Jones. Oh, hell, make it Harrison Ford and call it good. “Yes, love. I’m your Muse. I know how many stories are in your head.”

“Then you know I have to write.”

“I know you love writing.” He leans on my desk. “You can’t stop. So get your ass moving so the next story gets attention.”

I can’t wait until next week. Writing Sisters or bust! I’m sure our Muses are planning their own party, especially with a new writer in the group. Wonder what they’ll do?

Enjoy your weekend and keep writing!


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.

6 thoughts on “Happenings

  1. Wow, Julie, you really do have a lot on your plate! As for August being right around the corner, it seems like I blinked and summer is half over *pout* Although we went straight from 90+ degree days into sopping high humidity. Ugh! I’d rather have the heat!

    Congrats on the library gig, even if it just here and there. My local library has a “friends of the library group” that do a lot of volunteer work during the day. I keep telling my husband when I retire, I’m going to become a “Friend.” I’ve always wanted to work at a library (or a bookstore) too.

    Finally, on writing, I just wrapped a short story for a Halloween anthology. It feels good to cross something off my list šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on the short story! Crossing stuff off the list feels great. Today is the last full day I have before going back to work, then off to reunite with my writing sisters, so I’m going to hammer on my WIP. Then the task of writing a query. Ugh. I’ve thought about getting more involved with the library for a while, then this opportunity arose. It’s a nice balance between being involved with the library in some capacity and making a few extra bucks I can set aside for other writerly stuff, like conferences or an iPad šŸ™‚

      We’ve had a couple really nice days, but the forecast is tropical again starting tomorrow, with humidity going up. I’m okay with hot (80s) but the humidity just makes it oppressive. Yuck.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know. Can you believe tomorrow is August! You have a super full plate, Julie. I don’t know how you have time to write at all. Have a great time with your writing sisters. Can’t wait to hear about it šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! That’s why I’m so far behind šŸ˜¦ I’d post pics of the garden, but the weeds are taking over. Got my first tomatoes and cucumbers. Mmm! Got one more day before submissions open for Pitch Wars. Crossing fingers! And still need to work on my query. Think my boss will let me leave early? šŸ™‚ Have a great week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fave line: Oh, hell, make it Harrison Ford and call it good.
    Happy plotting! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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