Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Oh, the weather outside …


is frightful. It is. Really. Woke up to another few inches of snow, and it’s still going.

img_0007_cr The weather people predicted another four to eight inches by the time the whole thing is done. At least done snowing. After the snow, the wind is supposed to kick up, and by tomorrow our high daytime temp–not including the wind chill–is supposed to be -5 F. Add the windchill in for a grand low more than -20 F.


Not. It usually doesn’t get this (effing) cold until January.

I don’t have to go anywhere, and the furnace is working. I can write all weekend!!

Except this is the last weekend before Christmas, so I need to get going on my cookie baking and jelly making. With the sheer volume of raspberries this fall from my ragtag patch, I should be able to make a couple batches of jelly. And cookies. I can’t start making them too early or they end up getting eaten. At least this year I can use Nature’s freezer. The last couple years it’s been too warm outside (Shock, right? Minnesota in December above freezing? It’s getting more usual. Global warming and all that.) Try fitting a dozen cookie dozens in the freezer along with the usual freezer stuff. Not easy, which means I had to do all the baking in the couple days before Christmas.

So, I’ll dedicate a few hours to staring at my computer screen and trying to work through the first few scenes in my latest WIP, then I’ll peg some time for jelly-making (it makes great gifts) and cookie-baking. I got a new KitchenAid mixer during Black Friday I’m itching to try out. Should be fun!

Do you have your holiday preparations finished? Presents wrapped? My kids are old enough now that if I don’t get the gifts wrapped, they’re okay with it. Cookies baked? I’ve got four or five (depending on how ambitious I feel and if I have the ingredients) different cookie varieties I make every year, one of which is my dad’s favorite cookie of all time: chocolate chip. I love making them, but he’s diabetic, so I always worry about leaving extra cookies with him. I toss them in the freezer so they’ll maybe last an extra day or two.

Hey, if you don’t get any writing done over the next week or so, don’t sweat it (Pretty hard to sweat when it’s double-digits below zero). If you get a free half-hour, jot down a few story ideas. Work through a scene. Send out a couple queries. Put together a character sketch.

Don’t. Stop. Writing. Give yourself permission to do smaller bits. The best part about family gatherings? Lots of fodder for future stories! Remember that when your sister’s bratty son throws a tantrum when his cousin gets the present he wanted, or when Grandpa’s dentures fall into the figgy pudding.

Not sure if I’ll get a post done next weekend, so if I miss it:

Happy Holidays!


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.

12 thoughts on “Oh, the weather outside …

  1. Nice snow, Julie. I miss that from my old New England days. We got 2 inches on Thursday (a record) and Portland, Oregon was in an all out panic, everyone sliding into each other on the roads, cars abandoned in the middle of the highways, kids stuck at school until 8 PM. OMG. Ha ha. I haven’t started getting ready for Christmas. I’ll do it Monday. Yikes. I admire your jelly and cookie-making. And you’ve probably got a tree up and gifts purchased, too. Amazing! Have a great holiday and enjoy those snips of writing time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, a whole two inches?! I think we ended up with close to 5 or 6. Now the wind is making nice drifts everywhere. Gee, can’t wait until the record-breaking cold sets in tomorrow (heavy sarcasm there😀 ) I’ll have to try and get a pic of all my handiwork to post–if I can stop procrastinating😀 I did get the raspberries out of the freezer, though, so that’s something. Have a great weekend and in case I don’t touch base with you before next weekend, have a safe and Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We got our first real snow this morning. Only about 3 inches… and then it got warmer. Tomorrow it’s going to shoot up to 55! And then… it’ll go right back down to the 20s. I never know what to wear… it’s all over the place here (New England). Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The 20s? ABOVE zero? 🙂 Lucky you! Temps around here right now are at a grand total of -28 with a wind chill of -38. My son (19) had to leave already to head to the stadium where he’s doing some sort of “volunteering” (he gets money for college in exchange for his time) to work during the Vikings game today. I get to be the mom who warns him about black ice, makes him take extra clothing and water, and wonders if she should be so worried about an adult child.

      At least tomorrow’s high is supposed to be double-digits above zero!

      Happy Holidays!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our weather is ridiculous — it really is 55 today! I dropped my husband and son off at the movies (near a mall… so they wouldn’t have to park…) and I only wore a hoodie…!
        Hope it warms up a bit! But it is a good excuse to stay in…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that is snow! And a lot of it…yep a great chance to write but not so good when you need to go out and sort things. Do they plough the streets well? Happy cookie baking…we are making Swedish pepparkakor today, so delicious just warm from the oven and just in time to celebrate 4th Advent. Thank you also for inspiring us to take some time out to write – I’ll definitely try. Just a few presents to finish wrapping…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Nature’s freezer”–I love it. Way to make some good out of the bad. That jelly sounds so yum! I wish I was on your Christmas list. And, hey, all the baking will keep your house warm. You’re so lucky you can get away w/o wrapping gifts. I never look fwd to that part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, it’s great, especially when one runs out of refrigerator space at family gatherings. Just put stuff outside and it’ll stay cold (or freeze). For the past couple years it hasn’t been as cold, so I couldn’t “store” my cookies outside–they wouldn’t freeze. Yep, I never looked forward to wrapping, either–I suck at it. Thank goodness for gift bags–until I learned there is a technique to those, too. Sigh.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. -20 with the windchill?!?!? And my husband and I were grumbling about low 20’s on the PLUS side, LOL!

    I hope you had fun with the cookie baking and jelly making (I’m late chiming in). I always love cooking (not so much baking, just because I suck at it) when it’s cold and frigid outside. It’s extra nice when it’s snowing…as long as I don’t have to go out in it.

    I spent the weekend house cleaning and finishing up my Christmas shopping (8 stores on Sunday!). No writing for me, other than a blog post for my publisher, but I have been plotting and making notes on my next story. I’m really looking forward to diving into a new project with the new year. Winter is always a productive time writing-wise.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It actually turned out to be -28 in the morning with the windchill at -38. Today we’re excited because the high is supposed to be in the low 20s! Tomorrow the high might even be above freezing (33).

      Got a batch of jelly done last night. Need to make another tonight. Ugh. It’s such a messy process with raspberries, but oh, so yummy😀 Then diving into cookies. I did make my hubby’s fave cookies this weekend, but there won’t be any left to bring to family gatherings🙂

      Struggling with my latest WIP, the re-re-revision. Having a tough time getting “into” it. Debating about shelving it and writing another adventure with the characters from the manuscript I submitted. Maybe I’ll ask my Muse for his opinion😉

      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

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