Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

The waiting game


I add the last entry to the list on the white board in my writing office and fail to suppress the urge to squeal like a teenager. I won’t admit to the happy dance, though.

Another step closer.

My Muse appears bearing gifts: a bag of tasty Ghirardelli chocolates and a six-pack of Moon Man beer. The best part: he’s wearing that burgundy henley. A worthy distraction.

“Congrats, love.” He sets the beer and chocolate on my desk and gestures at the board. “How many?”

“Thirteen.” It’s still sinking in. My agent got my manuscript into the hands of editors at thirteen publishers. And she said so far she’s gotten positive responses. That is, they’re looking forward to reading it.

He scans the list. “Looks like a nice selection.”

“Are you kidding? These are great.” It’s still sinking in. The whole “I really have an agent” to “Oh. My. Gawd. My manuscript is actually on an editor’s desk at that publisher.”

He loops an arm around my shoulders. “You’re doing great, love. Now, why haven’t you finished the outline for the next book?”

He smells like spring, that fresh, green scent of promise and sunshine and rain, that scent that makes you want to breathe it all in that first day the grass turns bright green and the sun glows against a brilliant blue sky. “Can’t focus.”

“Bullshit. You’re not trying hard enough, love, and you know it.”

Silence. I’m not even trying to think of a response because I know he’s right. I’m at the brainstorming stage of my next book. I sort of know what the story will be, but free-writing through the outline a few times will help me cement the major plot points.

“I’ll get it done. I have to have it done by the end of the month so I can do a self-imposed NaNoWriMo in March.” Besides, the weather for the next week or so is supposed to be spring-like, as in March temps in February here in MN. Lots of opportunity to go for walks to help me think through the plot lines.

“I’m going to hold you to that.” His Indiana Jones fedora appears on his head. “You need to get to work.”

So now it’s a waiting game. My agent will keep me updated on responses, but I know it’s just like when an agent asks for a full when you’re querying agents. It takes a little while for that person to get to your manuscript’s spot in their TBR queue. I expect it’ll be a few weeks before we hear back from any of them.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on the outline for the next book, and planning my garden. I’ll have to start seeds in a few weeks. This year will be a canning tomato year, and hopefully my peppers will do better than they did last year (last year was a bad year for my peppers). Maybe I’ll do garbanzo beans this year. I always like to plant something new or something I haven’t planted for a while.

Here’s your awwww to start off the weekend:


Socks and Zoey napping

Pulled from the archives. Even though Zoey would chase Socks and (since she was bigger) often wrestle with her, sometimes they’d cuddle.

Have a great weekend, all! Get 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.

17 thoughts on “The waiting game

  1. First, YIPPEEE…can you hear my happy for you squeal!! Wowee…that is one impressive agent who has managed to have thirteen editors look at your book. Now I can’t wait to hear the feedback and fingers crossed. As for the photo, you’re right with the awwww…it looks like a happy wrestle! Wishing you a great weekend (there already??) and best of luck with the brain-storming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww, that pic is a lovely start. My inner cat person is happy πŸ™‚

    And wow, THIRTEEN publishers?!? Your agent is doing a fantastic job. Congrats on the next step in the journey. This is exciting indeed. Cheering you on and fingers crossed that great news is just around the corner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! She’s great, even if we haven’t worked together all that long yet. I got that feedback from one of her current authors, too. Now the waiting begins, but we all know this industry moves just a little slower than NASCAR πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OOoooo. So exciting. That’s amazing, Julie, and how wonderful that your agent is getting some results! Bask in the glory a bit and then get writing. And it IS time to start planning the garden. Yay. The first indication that spring is on its way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the garden! The thought of browsing through seed catalogs is much more appealing right now than working on my outline πŸ™‚ Today, tomorrow, most of next week is supposed to be in the upper 30s to mid-40s. Spring is in the air! (except that it’s still Feb and we know we have six more weeks of winter… πŸ˜› )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, 13 publishers already! That didn’t seem to take long! How very exciting. It’s good that you have something else to work on while you wait. I told you about the R and R request from an agent. I asked a couple of clarifying questions and am hoping I didn’t tick her off. Waiting somewhat in agony for a response. They’re like superheros to us mere mortals, and I’m not sure how to treat them. Yeah, I know they’re human, but they must see a lot of junk from aspiring writers. I hope I didn’t annoy her in any way. If she would respond I’d know for sure! And it takes a while. Ah, the waiting.
    Speaking of Ah, the close cousin of Awwwww, that is exactly the sound I made!! I can’t help but wonder how the bottom cat can be comfortable! But I love their love! I’ll bet the orange one was sad when the other one was gone. Sorry, I can’t remember which name goes with which cat. Shame on me. I should be daydreaming that they’re my own cats, dressing them up in tiny human clothes and making them wear hats and do dances like a true crazy cat lady, eh? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think you should worry about your R and R questions ticking her off. Based on my experience, I think the fact you asked her to clarify some things makes you appear more serious and professional from her perspective (remember, this is only me talking πŸ˜‰ ) And it might be she won’t respond until Monday. I know I don’t usually hear from my agent over the weekend. I suspect some take a break from emails during the weekend, otherwise they’d never get a moment’s peace from emails πŸ™‚

      LOL! It was always fun to watch the two of them. Zoey (the orange one) would even clean Socks’ face like a mother cat when they snuggled. But sometimes it was wrestling and Zoey would just be mean. Oh, so you’re one of those, huh? Dressing cats up. Reminds me of all the pictures of dressed up cats I’ve seen–they always seem to look angry πŸ™‚

      Good luck with the R&R!


      • Thank you. I was hoping you would give me some reassurance about the agent, and you did. I don’t expect an email over the weekend, but I hope it comes sometime this week. I figure, as busy as they are, it might not, and that would be a bummer.
        And for the record, I have never dressed up a cat. And, yea, I’ve never seem a happy dressed cat, either. Cute dressed cat, well, yes, obviously!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie, Congratulations on getting your book to the publishers. Good luck! Frances

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow — 13! That’s amazing — Congratulations!! I hope you hear something soon! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How exciting! You’re agent sounds like they are doing an amazing job and your work must be wonderful. Wishing you great success. πŸ™‚


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