Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere



My Muse slips into my writing office. I don’t turn, but I hear him close the door with a quiet snick.

“I hope you enjoyed your break, because I’m digging in now.” I reach up and cross a publisher off the list on the whiteboard.

He grunts his opinion but doesn’t offer any snarky remarks.

I cross a second publisher off the list. “Two down, eleven to go.”

“I don’t see your word count thresholds up there, love.”

“I’ve got them on my computer. I’ll put my weekly counts up, just to remind me.” I cap the marker and turn to him. He’s wearing flannel today, a black- and red-checked shirt open over a white tee that has an odd blue stain on it. Looks like a portrait of a Smurf that had an unfortunate run-in with paint thinner. “Er, what’s that?”

He looks down. “Oh. Used to be a hand-drawn picture of the genie from ‘Aladdin.’ I think.”

“Uh-huh.” Ooo-kay. Didn’t know he was a fan. “I’m starting my NaNo for March, so you need to stick around.”

He narrows his eyes. “Oh, really? You wimped out last night.”

“I know, but it’s the weekend. I can catch up.” I head to my desk and open my computer. “Ready to get started?”

He settles into one of the recliners across the room. “Pretty lame blog post today, love.” A cup of fresh coffee appears on my desk, another on the small table beside his chair. An aroma of java, vanilla, and macadamia nut wafts from the mug. “You’d better get going on that draft. It’s going to be a long month otherwise.”

I’m getting a slow start on my self-imposed NaNo for March. I’m working on the next Sierra and Quinn book while waiting for a positive response from one of the publishers my agent submitted to. Two passes so far, but that’s to be expected. I look at it like sending a query to an agent, except all 13 agents asked for the full manuscript. You can’t expect all thirteen to like it because writing is subjective.

In the meantime, I’ve got words to write, a review to write, and another book to finish reading. Luckily today is still supposed to be windy and cold; tomorrow’s forecast is for upper 50s–woo-hoo!

And here you go, because we all like to see furry friends on blog posts 😀


I think she’s telling me to get my ass to work!

Have a great writing weekend, all!



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 “Progress?

  1. Always love your posts, Julie. Your journey to publication is wonderful to witness. A smart editor will snap up that manuscript soon. Don’t we all wonder what’s REALLY in the belly of an airplane??? Readers will love this mystery. Come on, editors, we’re waiting!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hiya, Chris! The really interesting thing is one of the editors who gave a pass loved the character, thought the writing was very good, but didn’t think female readers would want to or be able to relate to the main character being a female aircraft mechanic.

      Oh well. This business is subjective. One or more of the other editors will love it just like my agent loves it!


  2. You ARE making progress. So much of this business is hurry up and wait. I was curious that you give yourself weekly writing goals as I usually have to work off daily goals or forget it. The extra hour I press myself to work daily would be 7 extra hours at the end of the week! I also like your self-imposed Nano. I did that last fall and it worked fairly well without quite the same pressure. Happy Writing, Julie. I hope there’s some good news right around the corner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know I have to write a certain number of words (1,667, but I round up to 2,000) a day to meet the weekly goal. I have to set myself up for a NaNo run because otherwise I find too many reasons to not write, or not write enough. And making myself write every day (or I’ll never make my goal) reinforces the habit to write every day. I’m getting a slow start this month, though. I think it’s because the details about the middle of the story are still kinda fuzzy for me. As long as I keep reminding myself to kick my inner editor into a cage and lock her away, I’ll be okay.

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heehee…. Heeheehee. … Hee… Heehee… Awh. Sigh. Heehee. 🙂 Me gusta gatos.
    And sorry about the two passes, but you’re right. It’s to be expected. Still, bummer. Gosh, this is a tough process, no? Seems like it would be so much easier once you’ve finally got the agent nailed down, but no. Also, can your hubs send mine notes on providing his writer wife with chocolate, beer, and fancy coffee? This isn’t an inherited skill among men, apparently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I figured you’d like the pic. And even with the agent, I know it’ll still be a climb to the next level. Having an agent is like using an escalator instead of the stairs. You can get to the same place a little faster, and by-pass the slush pile.

      As for tips on chocolate, beer, and coffee, I’ll have to let you in on a little secret: my Muse is a whole lot more in tune with my likes than my hubs, but then again, I created him. I’m an all-powerful writer! Mwahahahaha! 😀 Seriously, my hubs does know what I like; he just needs a lot of incentive (read: obvious hints like “can you pick up some chocolate for me”) to get there 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • See what a great writer you are? All this time I thought the Muse and the hubs were one and the same, except for that brief period when your Muse was Toothless. That one didn’t fool me, but close. Does the hubs know you have a fantasy man who occasionally wears a very attractive Henley and brings you goodies?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heh. Nope. 😀 I started writing long before I met my hubs, so I had my Muse first 🙂 He’s just come out into the spotlight since I’ve been writing my blog. Otherwise he has a tendency to lay low and threaten to kick my ass if I don’t write when I need to 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • He has many fine qualities. Oooh, you should write a book about your muse coming to life!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Funny you should mention that–someone else said the same thing! I might just have to do that, or maybe start small, like a blog series.


      • Oooh. Sounds intriguing. Then your hubs might truly be jealous. Unless, of course, it turns out your Muse is trying to kill you and still your story ideas. Or perhaps become you, but then one of you would have to change genders.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m wrapping up my writing day as I type this. Not a lot of great progress in word count, but I’m in research mode right now and it’s taken a huge chunk out of the writing. I should be doing a NaNo too.

    It sounds like you are ready to buckle down and really attack March. I hope you had a productive weekend (and are maybe still going at it). LOVE the kitty picture, but then you knew I would :). And two publishers off of that list is nothing to worry about. I feel like you’re on the verge of amazing news and it’s just waiting to happen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been trying to write on and off all day, but I’m having a slow start. I think my problem is more I didn’t have a solid feel for how the story will go before I started. I figure as I write, though, it’ll come together (I hope!)

      I’m about 1200 words behind where I need to be, so still trying to catch up tonight yet. I’ve got library duty tomorrow, but maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a few words during the slow times. I’m crossing my fingers for at least one (wouldn’t more than one be awesome?!) will be interested. The pondering pace of this business just means longer to wait to find out!

      Happy Writing, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahah! Your muse is back and just in time for your Nano! Good luck with it this month and still early on so lots of writing time to go – enjoy yourself along this creative journey. How exciting about waiting to hear from the publishers, isn’t that a good sign that they asked for a full manuscript. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! A lovely gentle inspiring post and yeah, furry friend giving a bit of a stern look – I better get working too! 😀♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, my Muse is back, but real life is throwing a bunch of obstacles in my way, like tipping over trash cans and apple carts. I wasn’t able to spend a nice chunk of time writing last night, and I’m behind where I should be (I should hit 10k words by tomorrow), so I’m feeling frustrated.

      The beauty of having an agent is I get to bypass the slush pile at the publishers. Two passed, eleven to go. Crossing my fingers at least one of them will like my manuscript enough to get me to the next step: a publishing contract 🙂

      Have a great writing week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Know how you feel – I have double word count to make up for today. Your furry friend is adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

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