Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere



Here I am, ready to start writing my post, and WTF happened to my WordPress editor? Seriously. Did they bother telling anyone they were changing it?

So off to the WP Admin page, then to the Posts page, then the older editor. Whew! This I understand. Don’t get all fancy-schmancy on me. I don’t need pretty, I just need it to work without me getting confused.

Sigh. Okay, now on to the real post…


Ugh. Now I forgot what I wanted to write about. Figures. Oh, wait, I remember πŸ™‚ I was going to write about how cruel Mother Nature is by teasing us–in March, mind you–with temps in the 60s (F). Before St. Patrick’s Day. In Minnesota. Of course, she tempers it with winds kicking at 40 mph. It would’ve been really nice otherwise. Spring is here!

Yeah–no. Yesterday, high in the 20s Today the same. Actually, cold all week, and a snowstorm for tomorrow. Gotta love MN!

Okay, maybe not what I was going to write about, but I need some words. As in, here I am in week 2 of my NaNo and I’m about 3k wordsΒ  behind where I should be. Hell, I should be about a thousand words ahead. Ugh.

And then there’s my Muse, who has been conspicuously absent despite my request he stick around.

*door slams*

Speaking of the devil. Then again… “What the hell happened to you?”

My muse shuffles in front of my writing board. “Still only two crossed off.” He toes his sneakers off and kicks them into a corner.

He’s referring to the list of publishers that have my manuscript in their editor’s hands. “My agent didn’t pass along any news this week. I suppose she reached out to them last week, so next week she’ll check on them again.” He’s wearing a fleece-lined flannel hooded jacket, you know, the ones with the cream-colored sheep’s wool-kinda lining inside. His jeans are faded, with a long black smear on the back of a leg and dried leaves sticking to the flannel.

“Again, what the hell happened to you? Muse football game?”

He brushes the leaves off his jacket, then rubs the black streak. Now I see his jeans are actually wet–damp?–from the knees down. “Wasn’t watching where I was going.”

“So you what, slipped into the creek?”

He turns, hits me with a glare. “Yes, I slipped into the creek. Your point?”

“My point is you are goofing off in the woods when I need you here.”

He plants hands on his hips and snorts. “You need me here, love? Then you bloody well better sit your ass down and write. I’ve been here.”

“Falling into creeks?”

“No. Trying to inspire you to get the story moving. I keep tossing ideas at you.” He crosses his arms on his chest and rocks on his heels. “Somehow, you’re not quite catching them. You walk when you need to think, so do I.” He crossed the office to lean over me and read my laptop screen. “That sucks.”

The latest chapter of my draft is on the screen. “No shit. So, where have you been?”

“Not proof-reading.”

I shove the computer forward. “It’s a first draft. It’s supposed to suck. I haven’t written a first draft for a couple years–I’m trying to keep my inner editor in her cage.” Argh. “I’m finally getting to the next biggish plot point, so hopefully it’ll be easier to keep going now.”

My Muse shakes his head. “It still sucks. Let me change and we’ll try to get this thing going. You feeling it yet?”

Feeling it? Feeling the creative energy fuel my story? “Not so much.”

He frowns. Sighs. “I’ll see what I can come up with. But it’s the weekend, and damn it, you will catch up your word count.”

Yep. That’s the goal. And I need to get my ass in gear; we’re entertaining family for Easter on the weekend before Easter, so I’ve got to start organizing and cleaning. You know, like the annual refrigerator toss-out (toss out anything that looks or smells like a science experiment), and the why-am-I-keeping-this-stuff derby.

And now I can record these words for my count–yippee! I could drone on about something just for more words, but that could get kinda dull and boring and you’ve probably already checked out so I’m not sure why I’m still writing this post but I think I can claim about seven hundred and forty words now. Sweet!

Have a great weekend!


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.

14 thoughts on “Slogging

  1. It’s SO HARD to go back to a first draft when you’ve been working with nice, polished drafts for a while! Keep that inner editor under tight lock and press on. You can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun! and funny. Thanks for making me smile. If you start a “don’t change my WP” movement, I’ll join.

    I don’t have a cat. But I used to. I don’t have a muse, either, at least not one that I can see.

    If a woman writes stuff and there’s no cat and no muse around to read it, is she still a writer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tracy! I just had to say something about the new-again editor. It took me a bit to get oriented. Still, ugh. Great idea to ponder! Now I’ll be thinking about cats and Muses (oh, um, here comes mine; gotta go!) Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find first drafts the hardest, Julie. Sometimes it just comes down to sheer willpower and pulling the words out by the teeth. But that’s why we do multiple drafts, right? Keep writing and tell the muse no more skipping out unless he wants to clean the refrigerator. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep reminding myself that I can’t revise what isn’t written. And I’m trying to muzzle that inner editor because I’ll be revising later. And what a great idea to get my Muse to clean the fridge! I wonder if he’ll go for it… πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you got your word count up! And wet jeans are so uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate first drafts. I’m working on one too and keep going back and editing, instead of just NaNoing it. I need to get into the right mindset.

    Your weather sounds like our rollercoaster. We hit 75 degrees two weeks ago and this Tuesday we’re going to get slammed with a snowstorm that is predicted to dump six inches or more (a lot for us). I can’t wait for Spring!

    I know you and your muse are going to make good progress now that you’ve reconnected. You’ll be kicking that 3K you’re behind to the curb in no time! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya. I have to keep reminding myself to not go back. I think I’ve got more inline notes with this draft than any I’ve done so far.

      Weatherwise, it snowed all day yesterday. They predicted 6+ inches, but I think we escaped with 4ish. Headed to work this morning, got ten miles into my drive, decided to turn around and take advantage of working from home. So nice to have that option!

      I managed to make my word count last night (Yippee!) but I’ve got stuff going on this week, so I’m sure I”ll fall behind again. Sigh.

      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Julie, your posts always have me smiling, especially with your muse and his escapades. He better start knuckling down to some hard graft! πŸ˜€ Grr…how to write freely and turn off the internal editor…I suppose the further you get into the first draft the easier this mode will come but understandably hard to return after so much editing. Thanks for the update (or not) of your agent’s submission…Keep us posted! Until then Happy Writing and Happy Cleaning! I’m off for Easter so the cleaning starts when we get to Sweden and sort the summer houses out after six months all on their own!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh. Cleaning for Easter. Of course, at least it gets me to move it up on the priority list! And my internal editor is a bitch. Really. She keeps getting loose. I think I’ve made more inline notes to myself so far (I’m halfway) than I usually do in an entire first draft. I’ve hit the part I feel a little better about now, so I’m anticipating a little bit easier run.

      Have a great weekend, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

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