Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Revise or redraft?


I’ve been struggling with my WIP revisions. Granted, this would technically be called the second draft, but dammit, I’m just not feeling it.

Then I read Janice Hardy’s post on shifting between drafting and editing. (BTW, if you haven’t spent any time on Janice’s blog, head on over. She’s got an awesome site for writers.)

Aha. Maybe I’m going about this all wrong. Maybe I need to start over, do another self-imposed NaNoWriMo.

“Maybe you just need to sit your ass down and write, love.”

I turn. Gulp. My Muse is in full ass-kicking mode, complete with Indiana Jones fedora and bullwhip, arms crossed on his chest, his blue eyes cutting into mine like lasers. “Ahh, hi there.”

“Sit.” No room for argument.

I sink into my writing chair. I’ve been staring at the screen for the past, well, I’m not sure. I made an inline note in the scene I was having trouble with (a new scene, too!) and moved on to the scene I realized I needed. I thought I had it figured out.

Turns out I thought wrong. “You know, you could break out a new bucket of ideas to throw at the brainstorming wall instead of channeling Harrison Ford. You’re my Muse, so do your muse thing.”

He rests a hip on the corner of my desk, bullwhip curled in one hand. “I have been doing my muse thing, as you call it. Hell, I’ve be trying to shove as much creative fecking energy into you as I can, and what have you been doing? Playing in the dirt.”

“Hey, I’ve got to keep on top of the weeds or I won’t be able to find my vegetables in a couple weeks. They’re way easier to get rid of when they’re two inches high instead of six. Besides, I had to rabbit-proof my garden. Did you see that rabbit waltz right in? Through the fence? I think they chewed that hole. It was like the damn thing thought it lived there.”

“So don’t use a plastic fence.”

“It worked fine last year. And the year before. What happened, did the rabbits have a confab to Ocean’s Eleven my garden? They still got to two of my pepper plants. I think I need a BB gun instead of my slingshot. The damn things don’t even spook when I hit them with a rock.”

“So you got over-confident rabbits.”

“I’ve got oversized, fuzzy, cotton-tailed rodents. And no dog or cat that bothers to chase them. I think we need to get a terrier. They were bred to hunt rabbits.”

“No, they were bred to chase prey into burrows. Rats, not rabbits.”

“How do you know?”

He gives me his crooked smile, and I fight to hold back a swoon, because that would just encourage him (not that it’s a bad thing; I could use a little eye candy about now). “I’m a Muse. Google has nothing on us.”

I almost sprain my eyes from the roll. “Humble much?”

He leans over, inches from me. “You don’t have anything going on tomorrow, and you won’t want to go outside in the tropical heat, so I expect you to get through at least two scenes. Complete scenes, love. I will be right here, so I can keep an eye on you.”

Before I can respond, he waved a finger. “Ah ah. If you behave, I might even dig up some Schell’s Firebrick lager.”

Not as good as Moon Man, but hey, it’s incentive. “You know, you sure can be annoying.”

“You should know all about annoying.”

Ugh. And of course he’s right. I’ve been having a tough time focusing, and tomorrow will give me a good excuse to stay in the house (yep, 96 degrees with a 72 degree dewpoint. Ick.). I went out to the garden tonight, and wouldn’t you know it, a rabbit was sitting near the garden. I tried to spook it, but it pretty much ignored me until I started chasing it. Then it ran right into my garden. Through the fence.

Seriously. WTF? So I spent an hour adding chicken wire to the side of the fence that had the most rabbit-sized holes. *grumble* Oh, I suppose you’d like to see how things are coming.

The potatoes and tomatoes are looking good, and the onions are starting to take off. Most of the peppers are still intact, thanks, I’m sure, to the tomato rounds I added to protect them. The Brussels sprouts are doing okay, but I found cabbage worms on one tonight. I’ll have to start patrolling. Or cover them, but the trick there is anchoring the netting. Might have to try that this year.

I also promised to show you what asparagus looks like once it grows out. Here ya go:

mature asparagus

It has feathery fronds and tiny yellow flowers. Later in the season those flowers develop into little berries that start green and eventually turn bright red.

And as I was weeding tonight, I ran across a couple fat toads. I love seeing toads in the garden.

toad patrol

The chickens are still in the “nursery” pen, but we need to move them into the bigger enclosure, hopefully this weekend, then I’ll try to get some pics.

Instead, I’ll close with Zoey chillin’ outside.

Zoey chillin’

Enjoy your weekend, and get writing–I know I will 😀

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.

18 thoughts on “Revise or redraft?

  1. It is hard to be disciplined about writing when the garden calls and the birds are singing, let alone the rabbits threatening to ruin it all. I’ve seen rabbits hop over a 3′ fence!! I’m not even attempting to write until autumn, except for a few blog posts and a monthly newsletter. Letting ideas ruminate, and occasionally jotting some notes….guess my muse is on holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A 3′ fence? Seriously? Normally I’m a “live and let live” kind of person, but when I can get within 10 feet of a wild rabbit, and they act like they own the place, not to mention my poor veggies, the “let live” part gets pretty tough to uphold. I’d like to take a break from writing, but I’ve been slacking for a couple months; my Muse is going to break out the big guns pretty soon 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Carolee!


  2. I’m in the same boat. Revising sucks! Tugging a thread from a story, adjusting a character arc??? Seems impossible right to my tired old brain right now. But then, lol and behold, I read your post and – voila! The difference between editing and revision! Makes so much sense! I need to tug off that editors hat and do some more drafting. Thanks for an awesome post Julie!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Julie, I really love your story of the conversation / battle between you and the ‘confident’ Muse of yours.
    As I playfully see it you have two options. Obey your muse or sit under a tree in the garden and write a
    small novel with the rabbits and the Fedora muse as main charachters.
    P.s. using note pad and pen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Miriam! My Muse has a way of hounding me when I’m not writing, but I think he’d be okay with me sitting under a tree with notepad and pen as long as I’m writing 😀 Someone suggested I write a book about me and my Muse. I keep threatening I’ll do it when he really starts to bug me 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I managed to eke out two scenes the other night, but they were crap and now I’m editing before moving forward. I think I need to do the self-imposed NaNo too to get out of this edit as I write mode.

    I love toads (and frogs). That’s a really pretty one 🙂
    And who can resist Zoey, LOL.

    We’ve got 93 tomorrow and our pool isn’t open yet so I’ll be staying inside too. And concentrating on being prolific 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Julie, I feel for you! 😀A feisty muse on the one hand and stroppy rabbits in the garden! Yikes!! I can’t believe the rabbits are that bold but your muse is right about terriers. I love seeing how your garden is getting on; the fluffy mature asparagus is something I’ve never come across. Quite magical. Good luck with your WIP…thank you for including the link to Janice’s blog, it’s very helpful with great advice and tips. I hope it can lead you to some clarity? Do you just need a few days space from it and come back with fresh eyes? Take a leaf out of Zoey’s book – relaxing but still eyes wide open to the world around!😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stroppy rabbits, indeed! So far the chicken wire has been able to keep them out of the garden, but we don’t have enough to go around the entire perimeter, so I’m hoping they don’t revise their assault plan 🙂 I love Janice’s blog, and have bookmarked a number of her posts.

      I’m still struggling with my WIP, but I’m trying a new approach: free-writing the scene I’m struggling with (with pen and paper). Maybe that’ll kick me out of the slog I’m in. Then again, there’s all kinds of distractions around. My dad’s visiting my sister in Wisconsin this weekend, so I might have to head to his place again to try to focus.

      Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah, Zoe. What a doll. That toad was amazing–as is the asparagus! I had no idea it did that. Fascinating. What a brazen little bunny! Runs INTO the garden. Unbelievable. And you’ve landed a shot with a rock, and still no fear? I hope the added fortifications do the trick. Happy writing on the heatwave day. Since I’m behind I suppose I’ve already missed it. Well, I’ll find out in the next post, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, to be a cat and be able to just lounge around–that’d be the life (for a day, then I’d get bored 😀 ) Yeah, those effing rabbits. I’m thinking hassenpfeffer might be on the menu pretty soon. Still struggling with focus on my scenes, so I’m trying something different to get out of the rut: free-writing the scenes with pen and paper. Maybe that’ll help.

      Have a great week!


  7. Summers are tough on writers, but I don’t blame you for heeding the call of the garden. Shore up the bunny defenses. NW Oregon is still waiting for summer, but the seedlings are happy – no need to water yet with the persistent rain. Good luck with revisions. Would you believe I’m a bit envious? That writing bug is biting again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was out in the garde for a couple hours, and still didn’t get everything weeded. And those rabbits! I’m considering finding a couple farm cats (good mousers) to monitor the defenses. I think we feed our cats too well, but we also tend to get smaller cats for some reason. Zoey isn’t much bigger than the rabbits!

      Still trying to stay motivated on revisions, so I suspect my Muse will be shadowing me for a while 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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