Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Painting the Idea Wall


One wall of my writing office is covered with a smooth, glossy surface, currently home to a Rorschach test of various colors. An indigo splotch is running down over a yellow stain to meet a red splat.

I stare at the chaos. There’s an idea I can keep. But that orange one over there is a dead end, I think.

“You know, love, you’d have better luck if you focused more.” My Muse closes the door behind him with a quiet snick.

Of course, he’s right. I drop the powder blue goop in my hand into the bucket of discarded ideas at my feet. It lands with a satisfying bloop. “It’s spring.” ‘Nuff said. The grass is getting green, my tomato plants are outgrowing the nursery “pots” I started them in, and it’s just plain nice outside, at least for the weekend. Sunny and seasonal.

I turn to see my Muse staring at the whiteboard. He’s tucked his hands into the back pockets of his jeans, drawing my attention to his admirable backside. “No news this week?” he asks as he half-turns in my direction. An eyebrow arches. “What?”

Er, ahem. I hope my face isn’t as red as it feels. “Nothing.” I move up beside him. “My agent is on vacation for the next two weeks. Besides, I’m waiting for my readers to send me feedback.”

He crosses his arms on his chest and scans the multi-colored wall. “This looks good.” He points to a somewhat coordinated section of wall. “You can use this.”

“I know. I just need to refine it. I think it’ll jack the danger for my main characters if I go this direction. I just don’t know if I should keep this or not.” The area I indicate is a nice pattern, but I’m not sure if it’ll help the plot.

“It’s only the second draft, love. See how it works.” He settles into one of the recliners facing the wall, examining it like an art appraiser. He scoops a glob from the idea bucket and juggles it in his hand. “What if the drug lord grew up there? What if she knows the chief? Or the victim?” He flings the glob.

It lands with a splat beside the indigo. He picks up another handful. “That way no one would suspect her of doing her illegal business in town.”

Hmm. I draw my finger through the fresh goop and smear it across the indigo. “Maybe. I’ll think about it.”

“You need to do more than just think about it, love.” He chucks a bright fuschia blob. It lands with a squish, then rolls down the wall in a thick, slime-like mass, leaving pink in its wake.  “You need to work through this plot sooner rather than later. The more you can get done sooner, the farther along you’ll be once you need it.”

And he’s right, of course. I drop into the other recliner. It’s coming together. I realized the other day how I can up the tension and conflict. Sort of.

While these ideas ferment, I’ll leave you with a few pics (because I know someone is expecting them–you know who you are 🙂 )

Remember those fuzzy chicks? They’re not so fuzzy anymore. They’ve got real feathers now. And they’re starting to hop-flap, so we need to be careful when we feed them.

chicks 2_cr

And one of my favorite parts of spring is finally here! I can’t wait until they’re big enough to pick. Can you see the asparagus spears just coming up?


And I’d hate to leave you without a cat pic, because, you know. Some days I wish I was a cat. All I’d have to do is sleep all day long 😀


Enjoy your 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.

16 thoughts on “Painting the Idea Wall

  1. I hope you’re not really throwing paint at the wall! Ha ha. Ideas, yes. It looks like things are growing in your neck of the woods, Julie – stories, chicks, asparagus! Don’t forget to enjoy some sunshine when it shows up. Happy Writing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Look at me! Only the second to comment! I am so on the ball this week! Okay, her illegal activities in town sounds most intriguing. Whoever she is. Also, the paint wall–what a fun idea! Both literally and well, haha, literally! Oh my. And the chickipoos!!! So cute with their little speckled wings. Ah, they grow up so fast, don’t they? Loving the fat orange cat, too. The life of a cat, indeed! Thank you for those! 🙂 🙂 Great way to start my week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to get your week off to a good start 😀 The chicks are getting pretty big; soon the box we have them in won’t be big enough. Then we’ll put them out in the yard in a “nursery” coop, where we can keep an eye on them. Once they’re big enough, we’ll put them in with our lone hen (the rest fell victim to animal marauders). Have a great week!


  3. And congrats on the asparagus. I’ve never seen it growing before. I don’t know what I expected it to look like as it grows, but it somehow struck me as funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh…a treat of photos not only the cutest of sleeping cat photo (how I envy their ease to snooze) then the sweet chicks! As for asparagus, well done. Are they easy to grow? I must admit to never having seen any in the ground before. Be positive, even an agent must have a holiday! Good luck with the plotting and wishing you many happy hours writing and gardening! Spring finally seems to have arrived! 😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I often envy the cat’s ability (and many opportunities) to sleep! Asparagus is very easy to grow, in my experience. And it is a perennial vegetable. The key is putting them in a nice, sunny spot where you won’t have to move them (like rhubarb), and keeping them fertilized with compost and watered even during the summer. I would think you’d be able to grow them in the UK. You can start them from seed, but it’ll take about 3 yrs before you can pick it. Usually you buy 1-yr or 2-yr old crowns, bury them about a foot deep in a trench, and keep them watered. I suggest starting with 2-yr old crowns if you can get them, because then you won’t have to wait a year before you can pick them. We’ve been getting early asparagus in the store, but mine is sooo much tastier!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie, wow! Many thanks for your advice here…I will see if I can find 2-yr-old crowns. Asparagus is something we all enjoy but the shop bought one can be rather stringy. When they’re in season a local farm sell them so I’m a regular visitor in season. Oh, isn’t it always so true that homegrown vegetables & fruit taste just the BEST! I’ll let you know how I get on…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad your hot muse is still talking to you. I swear mine is a cranky old woman who headed to Florida for the winter!

    But she’s back and I’m hitting the writing (and blogging again).

    And btw does your muse have a name? Just curious…

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! It’s interesting how different muses are. My writing sisters are surprised that I have the only male Muse in the group. Glad you’re back and blogging–er, rather, your muse is 😀

      He does have a name, but he’s trying to stay under the radar (makes me wonder if he’s an undercover spy), so he told me if I use it on the blog, he’ll quit… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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