Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Now for something different



Hiya, gang! I’ve been meaning to do this post for-ev-er, since Annika Perry over at her writing blog nominated me for a Liebster Award–um, wow, last year. *bows head in shame* I think the universe is trying to tell me something, because Mae Clair over at her site also nominated me.

Okay, okay, I’m listening. πŸ˜€ Thank you both for the nominations–sorry it took me so long, Annika.

Annika is across the pond, and has a wonderful site where she shares not only writing tidbits, but pictures of her travels. She just shared her walk-through of the Beth Chatto Gardens. Beautiful!

Mae also has a great site where she shares advice, writing news, and some of the research for her books (Mothman, anyone?) She’s also one of the authors over at Story Empire, where the authors post articles all about writing; lately they’ve had some great information about promotional stuff like media kits and newsletters.

For the Liebster Award, the rules are:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs.
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Since both Annika and Mae nominated me, it’s only fair I answer questions from them both. So, onward!

Questions from Annika Perry:

Why did you start your blog?
Honestly, I started my blog because that’s one of the pieces of a writer’s platform. It took me a few months to really settle into it. Now I’m thinking of ways to refine it into more of an author’s website.

How do you deal with a setback at work/rejection letter etc?
I remind myself persistence is the key. I also remind myself that writing is subjective, just like any other art form. What one (or many) agents don’t like, there will be one that will love it. The trick is sticking with it long enough to find that one.

How do you celebrate a success?
Happy dance! Whoop it up! graphics-snoopy-360370 And have some really good chocolate and wine.

What’s the one crazy activity/thing you wish you’d tried but never dared?
Hang gliding. I’ve always wanted to feel what it’s like to soar like birds do. Maybe some day!

Which of your posts has got the most views? Can you post a link to it
My post on rough drafts got the most views (besides my boring About page).

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Hmm. There’s a lot of places I’d like to go: Ireland and the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Scandinavia, Vancouver, I could go on πŸ˜€ I’d love to go back to Salzburg for the chocolate and Bavaria for the Alps!

What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself to write more, and take more writing classes sooner. And invest in Microsoft and Apple. I remember all the stock splits in the 80s and 90s; I’d be sitting pretty good by now!

What is one of your most embarrassing moment?
My best friend and I were taking a turn as DJs at a high school dance, announcing the songs as we played them (this was back before CDs and MP3s), and I mispronounced INXS (in-excess, not I-N-X-S). Over a loud speaker. I was promptly corrected by everyone on the dance floor.

What’s your favourite drink? (Alcoholic or non-alcoholic) Craft beer, especially from New Glarus Brewery in Wisconsin. Moon Man and Spotted Cow.

If you could travel into the past, which era would you go to and why?
I think it’d be interesting to go back to talk to Leonardo da Vinci. Not that those days in Europe were all that spectacular, but he’d be a cool person to talk to.

What is your most favourite (clean) joke?
You’re assuming I can remember any jokes I’ve been told! Oh, wait, here’s one: What did one cannibal say to the other cannibal after they ate a clown? Did that taste funny to you? (See what I mean? I can’t remember the good ones πŸ˜€ )

Questions from Mae Clair:

You’ve been given a working time machine. What era of history would you visit?
See my answer to Annika’s almost very same question πŸ˜‰

What is your totem animal? (Inspired by a post I recently saw on Jan Sikes’ blog).
I like to think my totem animal would be a cougar: solitary, mysterious, and hangs out in the woods. Observes quietly. And it’s a cat. I’m a cat person πŸ™‚

What was the first story you wrote?
Hmm. The first one I really remember writing was for an English class. We had to write a story where you wake up one morning and look in the mirror. What do you see? I was deep into Anne McCaffery’s Pern books (and my English teacher liked her as well), so even though the assignment was for a 2-3 page story, I wrote what would now be considered a “fanfic”: I woke up as a Pernese dragon. Ten pages later, my teacher told me it was enough, I could stop.

Beach or mountains?
Oh boy. I have to choose? Tropical tourist-free, sugar-sand beach. Or log cabin in the heavily-wooded mountains near a lake. (can you tell I’ve thought about these for a while? πŸ˜€ )

What is your favorite time of year?
Fall, because of the wonderful colors. Spring because winter is over and everything is turning green again.

Name someone from history you find intriguing.
Leonardo da Vinci. Nikola Tesla. Ben Franklin.

What is your favorite fairy tale?
The Bremen Town Musicians.

When was the last time you played a game of chess?
Back when the kids were younger. I think my son was in 5th or 6th grade. He’ll be a sophomore in college this fall.

If you could travel to any city or country in the world, where would you go?
See my answer for Annika’s almost-identical question πŸ™‚

Name your favorite cartoon when you were a kid.
Loony Tunes–Bugs Bunny and the gang. I still remember the Barber of Seville routine with Bugs and Elmer Fudd. And I loved the Road Runner. And Taz. Gotta like Taz. And Marvin the Martian. And Foghorn Leghorn. And…

What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?
Dragons. The nice ones, though, not the ones that scorch everything. Nice ones like the Pernese dragons (or firelizards!). Or Toothless. 8-26-2016 10-00-50 AM

Whew! I’m done with the questions. Now for eleven random facts about me:

  1. I love Calvin and Hobbes. Every winter I think about recreating one of his snowman projects.
  2. I’m a cat person. I like dogs, but I’d much rather have a cat curl in my lap than a dog. I secretly want a Maine Coon, because they’re big, and having a bobcat or cougar for a pet is not the right thing to do with a wild animal. But it’d be soooo cool to have a pet cougar! (too big for a lap cat, though)
  3. My favorite flowers are lilacs and irises.
  4. No one will ever call me graceful. Ever. I’m clumsy.
  5. I haven’t worn dresses or skirts since I had kids, except once. My sister made me a bridesmaid in her wedding so I’d have to wear a dress.
  6. When I go for walks, I like to be able to identify plants along the way, especially flowers and weeds. I’ll take pictures of flowers, then look them up.
  7. I have a day job, but I’m also a substitute librarian for our town library.
  8. Favorite ice cream: mint chocolate chip
  9. Favorite TV show: Supernatural. It’s the one show nobody better interrupt while I’m watching, which is why we Tivo it. And Dean.
  10. Least favorite color for rooms: yellow (including orange). Every house hubs and I have ever had came with a yellow kitchen. Ugh!
  11. Caffeine- and alcohol-free cheer-me-up (besides Calvin and Hobbes): Jeff Dunham’s Spark of Insanity. The opening bit, before he pulls out the puppets. And Walter. And Peanut.

Okay, 11 questions for nominees (and I’m taking some from Mae’s and Annika’s nominators):

  1. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it?
  2. Favorite TV show?
  3. What is one of your pet peeves?
  4. Do you have a favorite author? Who and which of their books is your favorite?
  5. Do you read books only once, or more than once?
  6. If you won the lottery, what is the very first thing you would spend money on?
  7. What was the best advice a writing mentor or teacher ever gave you?
  8. Did you play any sports in high school? If so, which ones?
  9. You’re going to a deserted island for a month. What three things will you take?
  10. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
  11. What is the most recent movie you’ve seen?

Okay, now for nominees. I’ll just toss out a few:

Betsy Kerekes at parentingisfunny

Diane at ladieswholunchreviews

Michelle Cook at puttingmyfeetinthedirt

Jacqui Murray at worddreams

Marquessa Matthews at simplymarquessa

There are so many great writer blogs out there, it’s just too hard to make a short list. Get out there. Explore!

Next week I’ll be back to my regularly-scheduled program. Have a great weekend!

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, five 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.

23 thoughts on “Now for something different

  1. This was quite fun, learning all these things about you! I’d never heard of the fairy tale you mentioned and followed the link. What a great tale….I can’t believe I’d never heard of it before. And those cartoons sure brought back a lot of fond memories. They were so much fun πŸ™‚

    You also know I love cats and Toothless. And I had no idea you were a substitute librarian. I’m jealous, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I love the librarian gig. My daughter works at the library (high school kid, 10 hrs a week or so), but can’t do one of her shifts when she has tennis through the summer and fall. The head librarian was having trouble finding more help, so I took the opportunity (I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a job at the library that fit in with my regular day job for years πŸ™‚ ). It’s better than a bookstore–cheaper to bring books home πŸ˜€ ! And the little bit of extra $ isn’t bad: it funded my iPad Air 2 purchase last fall (a reward to myself for getting an agent πŸ˜€ )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds awesome,and what a nice treat for yourself. I have a Surface Pro 3 but and an iPad Mini but I’ve really been considering a MAC Pro. Apple has so many great products. I think it’s time I make the switch πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your love of Calvin and Hobbes. There is a C&H strip for every life situation. And while I’m not really a cat person, I agree that it would be SUPER AWESOME to have a big cat for a pet. I considered working at a zoo when I was younger just so I could hang out with the wolves and the big cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always thought working at a zoo would be awesome! At my day job, one of my colleagues did work at a zoo, as well as big cat refuges. She has some stories that made me glad I didn’t go that direction, but not because of the animals, but because of the people. Ugh. But the cats were always the best part of the job, even when she had to clean cages, etc.

      Have a great weekend, Em!


  4. You had to do it, didn’t you? Right there on top, no less? I saw it and groaned. And then smiled, of course, because I’m flattered, but then groaned again. haha! I guess it’s easy fodder (ish) for a post, which I kind of need these days, so I ought not complain. But before I got to that somewhat alarming part! my comments were: cabin in the woods, most definitely. I live near the beach and don’t even particularly like going to it. Sorry. Is that sacrilegious? It’s just SUCH a pain carrying all the gear and then cleaning up the kids and the sand that’s everywhere afterward. (The sand, not the kids. I mean, 3 isn’t that many.) Cat person too–duh. πŸ˜‰ and I gave a little shriek when you said mint chocolate chip, like we are SO sympatico, and then I realized, “Chill, lots of people like mint chocolate chip, you goof.” Oh, and Salzburg. Went once. Had the chance to go someplace in Europe again, so went back. I remember monk-brewed beer and just a darling little town with pieces of The Sound of Music filmed in it. Plus, it’s one of the few European cities I sort of know or knew my way around. It’s rare for me to know my way around anywhere. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • *evil laugh* Yep, you were at the top of my list πŸ˜€ Ugh. If I had to bring kids to the beach with me and clean up the sand after, yeah, definitely woods (except for the ticks). Oh, man, you too? When I was in Salzburg, I was traveling with my aunt and uncle and my uncle’s choir (he was a choral director and composer) on the Sound of Music tour. We saw a lot of the places from the movie, including the Mirabell Gardens and the church where they got married. My uncle took me around the old part of Salzburg — so quaint! We toured the castle on the hill overlooking the city, too. Loved it, and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

      It’s sounding more and more like we’ll have to try to meet up for a quick cup of coffee when you’re in MN next year πŸ˜€ !

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG, yes! Mirabell Gardens sounds familiar, as does the castle. Wow! I’d forgotten about that stuff. The church where they got married, too, although I remember being told they actually filmed the wedding at more than one church. Wow, how wild. Yes, either a cup of joe or a cone of mint chocolate chip. And, dang, I forgot about ticks. I never got a tick in Ohio. First and only time I did was in MN! That was a nasty, disturbing thing as I didn’t know what it was at first.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie, I’d forgotten all about this!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒ I’m so glad you hadn’t and I love your answers. The snoopy dance is brilliant and I’m sure mine resembled that a bit when I won the writing magazine competition!! On no, I can just imagine the groan on your INXS mispronunciation. I love your dream of hang-gliding, the silence and sense of freedom must be intense. As for your travels, I think a world tour is in order!! And finally, another Calvin and Hobbs fan!! I have a box of the books and they can’t fail to entertain and make me smile. What do your children think of them? Despite my best efforts my son never became a fan. A great post, Julie and lovely to learn more about you! I’m off to check out your most popular post now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only got 3 of the collections, but those have been read so many times! And yes, my kids like C & H as well; they’ve both borrowed the books. And I’m always on the lookout for the books I don’t have. And I’m up for a tour, though I’d have to do it in bits. I’ve got an opportunity to go to Australia over Christmas; still pondering that one due to funding (or lack of πŸ™‚ ) Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the insight into who you are Julie! And I will take one of your points as a future prompt! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was fun, Julie. Definitely try hang-gliding, even if you only take a couple classes. It is a blast, and you really do feel like a bird adjusting your wings to the wind. They’ll have you run down the side of sand pit. You’ll lift off and fly for a bit, and it’s very safe. Do it!

    And your 10-page write for a 2 page assignment? Yep – you were hooked at a young age! Thanks for the smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Okay, I’ll do it | parentingisfunny

  9. So, unrequested update on my querying life: The most enthusiastic agent who wanted the full after reading the first 50 pages turned it down because she didn’t fall in love with it. Sigh. And I resent to the one who requested the R and R. She said today that she’ll read it quickly. Nerve-wracking! I’ll not get my hopes up. In the meantime, still querying… (Had to share this with a fellow writer who’s been there.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I mean, not for the rejection, because those always suck, but YAY for the agent who asked for the R & R! It is exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. And yes, still query. My writing mentor said the same thing when I told her about my R&R.

      Crossing my fingers for you!

      BTW, I hear ya about the full request then rejection. Had a few of those. Just means you haven’t found the right agent yet πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: All I Ask … #writerwednesday #writing #writerslife | Simply Marquessa

  11. Pingback: My “Pet Peeves” #blogging # writing #writer | Simply Marquessa

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