Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Of Night Furies and Doubt


I sit at my desk in my writing office, fighting to keep my eyes open. Ever have those days, the ones when you can’t keep your eyes open for some reason? I lean my head back and stare at the ceiling. As I watch, the boring suspended ceiling tiles turn into a mosaic that reminds me of looking through tree leaves to the sky.

nightfury1A growl outside the office, then a high-pitched whine and sharp BOOM! Then an angry voice touched with an Australian accent. The door to my office opens, and I catch the tail end of the rant. “… I don’t fecking care if you can take down a bewilderbeast. I will kick your sorry ass to World’s End and back.” My Muse closes the door behind him and brushes at a charred hole on the shoulder of his rugby jersey.

“Bloody fecking dragon. This is one of my favorite shirts.” He glares at me. “Why the hell is your conscience a Night Fury? What’s wrong with a cricket?”

“Did you see my writer’s doubt out there?”


“That’s why.” Besides, I love dragons. Always have, especially Anne McCaffery’s Pernese ones. And Temeraire (Naomi Novak). And …

“Judging by the amount of writing you’ve gotten done, I say it’s not doing a very good job keeping Doubt away.” He heads toward a small chest of drawers in a corner of theΒ  office, pulls out a purple jersey with an NFL tag on it, then peels off his rugby shirt.

Oh. My. Sigh. I drink in the view of well-toned masculine scenery before he pulls the Vikings jersey on. He meets my eyes with his. “Not that I mind your appreciation, but you need to focus, love.” He tosses the rugby shirt into the trash can beside my desk.

“I’ve gotten the first chapter revised.”

He crosses his arms on his fine chest. “It’s been a week. You haven’t been outside in the garden because of the mosquito swarms, you’ve been home every night, so why have you only done one chapter? You should be through the first quarter of the book by now.”

Something dark flits past.

My Muse snaps his hand out like a snake striking.

An unearthly screech is choked out by his fist around something that reminds me of a Dementor without the whole Edvard Munch Scream thing going on. He shakes it. “This is the deal, Doubt. You leave my writer alone, or I’ll lock you up with her conscience in a tiny, blast-proof room. Then we’ll see how long you last. Got it?”

The thing sticks out its tongue and makes a raspberry sound, then dissipates into a vapor trail that exits through the window.

“It’ll be back.” I lean back to stare at my leafy canopy mosaic.

“Not for a while, love.” His face appears in my field of view. The lines on his forehead and his frown don’t bode well for me. “Get to work.”

I want to. I’m stuck in the rut Doubt dug. I did, however, have a break-through with my first chapter revision. “I’m letting my revision rest.”

He sits on the corner of my desk. “You are procrastinating and you know it. Send the revision to your mentor and let her review it. You need to dig into the rest. Start from the end and work forward. Start from the beginning and work back. Hell, start from the middle and work one direction, I don’t care. You’ve got a pitch party coming up next week.”

“My son’s home this weekend.”

“Your point? He’s only an hour away, and only been at school for a couple weeks. It’s a holiday weekend; you have an extra day to write. Use it.” A fedora appears on his head along with a curled bullwhip in his hand. I can almost hear the theme from Indiana Jones playing in the background. “I’m canceling my pub crawl with Mr. E this weekend so I can stay on your ass.”


Okay, time to buckle down. On the great news front, one of my writing sisters just got a contract for her third MG book, my blogging friend’s latest is selling well, and to top it off, my writing mentor and her writing partner are now listed in the IMDb. Their script is in pre-production. Lots of great stuff happening.

I’ll get there. I know I will. Patience, persistence, and continuing to hone this craft will get me there.

And chocolate.

And craft beer.

And dragons. πŸ˜€



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 “Of Night Furies and Doubt

  1. I have no idea why Doubt is even sniffing around when you write such entertaining posts. This has to be one of my favorites. Give Doubt a kick in the butt (or like your muse said, lock it up with your Night Fury conscience). It’s a good thing the guys cancelled the pub crawl, because Mr. E needs to provide some motivation for me today. As soon as I’m through catching up with blog sand email, I’m diving into my own WIP.

    Thanks so much for the shout-out on Yesteryear. It’s been a great few days. And–wow!–that’s really something about your mentor and her writing partner in IMDb. Amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! Thanks for the props, Mae! Once I broke through on my first chapter, I felt a lot better. You know, when you struggle with a scene because it isn’t working, and then you figure it out? Yeah, like that. Still waiting for the next PP to come out. And I have to wait until Dec. Boo.

      I’m home alone for the next little bit, so I’d better get working. Enjoy your weekend, and yes, get working on that WIP!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Headed there now. Here’s to both of us making great progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep plugging, Julie. You’ll get there. You seek a lot of feedback on your writing, and if anything, that should reduce the dragon of Doubt to a little lizard – and we all have those. Let me know when you’re ready for a beta reader πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, with your Muse and your spirit doubt has no chance! You’re on top form here again. Yeah to patience and persistence – and the ever present chocolate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha. Why can’t he be a cricket. Funny! Awesome that your writer friends are really taking off! Sigh, some day that will include me. πŸ™‚ (Okay, well, in the fiction realm. I’ve got the non-fiction down, but where’s the challenge in that? There are no fecking dragons!)

    Liked by 1 person

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