Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Stalled … or stalling?


Spring. There’s nothing quite like it. I stand outside my writing office on the patio and suck in a deep breath. I smell the green of new grass, of fresh leaves, of promise that winter is behind us.

Yeah. Right. Snow is predicted tomorrow night. Not much, mind you, and a good dose of rain to go with it, but still. It has the effect of dampening the excitement of spring.

“What the bloody hell are you doing, love?”

The edge in my Muse’s voice makes me wince. Consequently, I’m very careful not to turn around.

“Enjoying the fresh air. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. And snow. This week was icky anyway. Figured I needed to absorb the sun while it’s here.”

I sense him behind me. He’s radiating not anger, but something like agitation. “You aren’t writing.”

I know. The grass practically glows emerald in the sunlight. It never seems this green any other time of the year. The leaves on the trees have a lighter tone, like the newborn leaves are acclimating to being out in the open. Their green is light and delicate. Once the trees are fully dressed, the leaves darken just a bit, like they’re hardening for months of exposure.

“Why aren’t you writing?”

“It’s spring. It only happens once a year.” The spring weather here in MN can swing from low seventies to the low thirties, hence the snow we had just a couple days ago. Granted, snow doesn’t stick around long at this point, but after a week of gorgeous weather, it sure puts a damper on things.

“It’ll be spring for a few more weeks. Sit your ass in the chair and get to work.”

He’s standing close enough for me to feel his heat on the back of my neck. I turn. He’s inside my personal space, and doesn’t back up. His fiery blue eyes cut into mine, and a small shiver of fight-or-flight trickles down my spine. “Back. Off.”

“No. You’ve let your WIP sit for a month.” He waves a finger in my face. “You’ve worked the storyline through and made changes–improvements. Now you need to put those changes in place.”

“Look, tomorrow is supposed to be crappy again. I’m taking my daughter shopping this afternoon. I’ll work on it tomorrow.”

His eyes narrow. “Bullshit. You’re going to do what you’ve been doing for the last month. Not writing.”

I have to look away. Naturally the next thing I notice is his Indiana Jones get-up. Brown pants, tan shirt, and a fedora. A bullwhip is coiled on his belt.

And he’s been so nice lately.

“I need to work through the final scenes before I start the second draft. I’ve got good changes figured out. I just need a little more time. Besides, my readers are supposed to get back to me this week. My agent is back on Wednesday, and I told her I’d have the revisions done by next week.”

He crosses his arms on his broad chest. “I’m going to start riding your ass on this. You need to stop procrastinating. You know you need to have at least the third draft done before your writing sisters reunion. You’re not going to make it unless you dig in now.”

Sigh. “I know.”

Before I head back to the grindstone, I figured you guys might want a couple updates. And pics. Okay, they’re one in the same.

First, the asparagus. I think I’ll be picking it later today. It’s been cool, so it doesn’t grow much, but doggone it, I can’t wait.


Then, of course, an update on the chicks. I’m telling you, they’re kinda homely.


They freak out whenever we open the top on the box. And they’re getting to the point where we’ll need to move them outside. Not until after this next cold snap, though. My son’s done with school this coming week, so I think we’ll task him with setting up the nursery coop.

I saw a nice bed of tulips blooming yesterday and realized how much the color does to the landscape after months of brown and gray. I can’t wait until the irises and lilacs bloom.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have 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. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, four 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 “Stalled … or stalling?

  1. Oooh, that asparagus looks good. Hope you can get some good inspiration to move forward. I’ve been doing my own share of procrastination lately… Ah, the life of a writer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Finally gave in and picked some asaparagus last night. So good! Problem is, now I have to wait for the weather to warm up again for it to grow faster. Snow predicted for tonight, and darn it, it’s almost May! Of course, we are in Minnesota, so, you know… 😀 Hope you’re having a great weekend, Em!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder if its the whole publishing process that has you procrastinating. Everything takes so loooonnnnng that it can really take the wind out of the sails. That’s my memory anyway. It used to drive me crazy. You’ve come this far, Julie, I know that you’ll get to work and see it through. In the meantime, enjoy the spring. You’re right, it only comes once a year. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right, Diana. It does take a looonnng time, but I know that. Still, it’s the whole waiting game. And my agent’s been on vacation, so no news about the remaining publishers yet. Sigh. Today our spring will be tempered by rain/snow, so a good day to stay inside and buckle down. After I transfer my baby tomato plants into bigger pots, I think. At least I’ll get to smell some dirt 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah…I feel for you, being drawn to the outdoors, taking the chance to enjoy Spring whilst the weather is good. Is that procrastination or common sense?!😀 We have the coldest Spring for years but I can’t help but go outside and admire the garden, then go for walks in the local wood. I thought it was just the UK that had this spectacular of green in all its hues. I’m so impressed with your asparagus and ahh…the chicks have grown so quickly. Better tell your son his help is needed asap, they’ll soon be ready to move. The lilac trees are in full bloom here and it’s glorious, the scent drifting along on the air, the colours vibrant. Good luck with your writing and have fun in the garden…there’s a balance!😀❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, man, your lilacs are blooming already? I can’t wait until they bloom here; they’re my favorite spring flowers, along with irises. Couldn’t resist picking a few asparagus spears–soooo good! The store-bought stuff doesn’t even compare. Today and tomorrow are still supposed to be lousy weather-wise–cold and wet. By the end of the week, though, they are predicting warm and sunny. Finally! Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I know that “nature’s first green” and take note of it often. I always feel … it’s not quite sad … maybe apprehensive, back to school days? … when the green darkens in August. It has the effect of trying to squeeze my soul through the small end of a funnel.

    And how cleverly ironic that you chose to write about not writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Yes, that end-of-the-summer time frame has the effect of dampening the enthusiasm of summer. I love fall and all the colors, until the leaves turn brown and blow away. I think it’s the knowing that winter is on its way, and the sun will be making shorter visits until spring again.

      Heh. About writing about not writing–it’s me trying to convince myself to get back to work! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dang, the Muse is getting demanding. Go go gadget asparagus! And, okay, you’re right, those are some fugly chicks. Haha. Kidding. Well, sort of. Homely is accurate, but I still appreciate seeing their development. Not sure I’ve ever seen chicks at that stage, so thanks. And speaking of demanding: Where are the pics of the new flowers? Huh?? And I too adore spring! I miss those midwestern flowers popping up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, he’s starting to get on my case about writing, but then again, it’s his job 🙂 Wait, what? Pics of flowers? I figure if I can’t eat it, I’m not gonna weed it, so I don’t plant flowers intentionally except in the garden to use up all those free packets of seeds I’ve accumulated from I don’t know where. But I can get pics of the cute violets in the yard now. I could probably post a few pics of dandelions, too. 😀


      • I meant the tulips you said you saw blooming. I’ll be so jealous, however. Our tulip stems come up and die before they even get a chance to bloom. We’re lousy gardeners, apparently. Or our soil needs a serious overhaul. That’s what we tell ourselves anyway–blame it on the soil. I can pass on the joy of looking at dandelions, but thanks for the generous offer!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Hello, Summer | Facets of a Muse

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