Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Moving Forward


*Knock, knock*

Since when does my Muse knock? Eh, whatever. I adjust my position against the smooth hide of my Night Fury conscience and go back to staring at the lake stretching out before me.


“Go away.”

Grass whispers as he makes his way to my perch on the shore of the lake outside my writing office. “Looks like someone turned the color off.”

I suppose one could say that. Today the sky is filled with clouds in that dull, depressing gray so common in autumn after the trees lose their leaves. It’s the color that often heralds an icy rain. He’s right, everything seems to have lost any luster. The grass is muted. The lake reflects the grumbling sky. Even the white bark of the birches looks covered in smoky haze.

“Leave me alone. I’m wallowing.”

My conscience shifts, stretches a wing, then curls back into a ball. I lean against it, enjoying its warmth at my back.

“Can’t let you do that, love.”

“You do know what happened this week, right?” I try not to think about the consequences of having a narcissistic, misogynistic, thin-skinned, tantrum-throwing bully running my country. So, I turn my thoughts to the loss of my favorite uncle, the one who was a composer, musician, and who showed me the wonderful old part of Salzburg.

“Yes. And you’ve had days to grieve. Now it’s time to get back to work. You spent the 14-hour drive time to Ohio and back reviewing your manuscript. Good job. Now you need to make those revisions.”

“I know. It’s on my list for this weekend and next week. The agent doesn’t want me to send her anything until the week of Thanksgiving, anyway.”

He sits beside me, legs crossed, and leans against my conscience’s haunch. “You can’t let yourself be dragged down, love. It slows everything down.”

Thunder rumbles across the sky. A breeze with an icy edge mars the smooth lake surface. “I can take a day to mope.”

“You’ve already done that. Now, get off your ass and get those revisions done.”

“I don’t even need to send the manuscript until the week of Thanksgiving. She doesn’t want it before then.”

My Muse sighs. “That’s no reason to slack off, love. She also said to take your time.”

I have to stand. I have to find a way to shake the malaise.

The cloudy sky clears. Brilliant blue glows, lending its color to the lake, which swells into an ocean expanse to the horizon. White-barked birches morph into brown-skinned tropical trees complete with palm fronds, papayas, and coconuts. The chilly breeze warms.


Honestly, yes. But I don’t want to let him know that. “I’m not done wallowing.”

He stands and lays a hand on my shoulder. “You are now. Let’s get this done.”

Deep breath.

Okay. Time to move forward. The tough thing sometimes is to let go of what is out of your control. Kinda like wanting to control what a teenager does when she’s not at home, between school’s end and the time they get home. Is she really doing her homework?

Anyway, looking forward to a quiet weekend to work on my WIP. For those NaNo-ers out there, you should be a 25,000 words by the end of the weekend (see, I pay attention even if I’m not playing this year).

Enjoy your weekend! 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.

18 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. A number of people (including myself) have compared Trump to P.T. Barnum, but with The Donald acting (for the most part) like Mr. Nice Guy since the election, I’m beginning to see the man more in terms of Jekyll & Hyde. But in any case, life goes on, and you seem to have a most happy one, with a “wonderful hubby” and family to share it with.

    P.S. I’m one writer who doesn’t have a cat, but my close (in both senses of the word) neighbor has two that I take care of when they’re gone on vacation, so cat-egorically speaking, count me in — at least on occasion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, I like the Jekyll/Hyde comparison. I just hope our “public servants” in charge do their job for the good of all the public, not just for their own pocketbooks and the pocketbooks of their buddies.

      Babysitting cats is almost better than having your own–you don’t have to clean the litterbox all the time 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we all have days when we need to mope, and it sounds like you’ve had some rough moments. Ultimately though, we refocus and recharge and that palm tree scenery sounds like its a great start to doing just that. Your muse obviously has your best interests at heart. What a charmer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been moping and wallowing a lot too, Julie, and it’s been hard to feel motivated to do anything with the uncertainty on the horizon. But we can’t let the election steal our joy too. Get busy on your edits. Keep standing up for your values and spreading the love. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow. He really kicks you in the butt, doesn’t he? I could probably use one of those. But if I had to choose, I’d take the dragon to lean against instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I posted this on FB last week, and since I just noticed it again, it made me think of you: A little tip for those mourning the election results. #14 from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: “Be grateful for the good things in your life. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself at all costs. Self-pity is deadly because it drains the joy out of your life.” Don’t know if that will help you, but hey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure I’m done wallowing either… I seem to come out of it now and then… but it’s not over.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a friend, now deceased, who used to tease with this saying, :Cheer up. Things could be worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” Just a laugh to keep the “wallow” away, and the good stuff going. Best wishes, Frances

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie, a few days of ‘me’ time and ‘chilling out’ is definitely allowed but a muse like yours is a welcome reality call! Moving forward is the order of the day, the week…too late for regrets and time to get on with our own lives and see what transpires. Blimey, half-way there for the Nano-ers – I’m in awe! Know a few bloggers on this venture and keeping fingers crossed they’re doing okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, Annika! Yep, gotta keep on keepin’ on. Started my edits, and I’m feeling good about where my WIP is now. The future is murky, but with a bit of optimism, hopefully we can keep it brighter. Have a great week!


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