Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Rural Retreat


Raucous laughter echoes off the high ceilings in the room we’re gathered in, my writing sisters and I. We’re staying in an old farmhouse that’s been transformed into a B&B. The house is over a hundred years old, and housed four generations of family farmers. There are barns, sheds, a river, and a prairie labyrinth, which we explored before heading into town for a magnificent meal at a local inn.

My Muse appears in a doorway behind our meeting area, wearing a faded t-shirt, worn jeans with a tear above a knee, and a green baseball cap with a yellow leaping deer silhouette. With a fishing pole in one hand and a cooler in the other, he tips his head, a silent request for a quick word.

“Excuse me, gals, but I’ve got to get more water.” I sidle out of my corner seat past a couple of my sisters and head toward the room where our hosts have put a pitcher of ice water, brushing past my Muse.

He follows me. Once we’re out of sight and earshot, I turn to him. “What’s up? We’re talking about writing. You can sit with us in here.”

“I know, love.” He gestures at the view of the river out the wide picture window. “I’m going to hang out there for a while. Might catch something.”


I indicate the cooler. “Like what? A six-pack?”

He gives me his lopsided grin, the one that makes it feel like the room temperature rose just a bit. “Maybe. Or maybe I’ll catch one of those wide-mouthed bass the innkeeper talked about.”

“And then what? Fry it up for supper?”


I fill my water glass. “And you felt it necessary to tell me this why?” As if I wouldn’t be able to find him when I need him. He never strays very far when we have a reunion; too much creative energy invoked, and the other muses are around. Besides, I was in the middle of a great discussion with my sisters.

“Well,” he says as he points his rod toward the river and the fallen tree conveniently located for hanging out, “there’s enough room for two on that tree. You know, in case you want to bounce ideas around.”


The tree is inviting, especially the way it hangs over the river. It has a thick coat of moss that looks more comfortable than sitting on bark. There’s a gazebo on the shore as well, though I imagine the mosquitoes have set up a base camp there. “I think I’ll check the tree out later, after it warms up. We’ll probably sit out in the gazebo for a bit, but there’s only six chairs–we’ll have to bring another one out.”


He nods. “I’ll be there.”

We’ve had the fortune of staying at some wonderful places over the past few years, each with its own charm. Last year our stay at a mansion was wonderful due to a comfortable area to gather, a location within walking distance of downtown, and a patio overlooking a neat yard. This year, our B&B is on a former farm, complete with restored prairie and a river lending its name to the location. The tiny village of Rural, where our B&B is located, is tucked into a wooded area that feels more park than town.

The weekend, as usual, is proving to be a great meeting of creative minds. We’ll work all day today, with breaks to enjoy the locale–and we’re looking forward to testing out the gazebo. Not keen on the mosquito squadrons, but maybe we’ll get lucky and there won’t be many (pfft, yeah, right).

Tomorrow is our final day, when we’ll wrap up the weekend and bid each other “write-well”. Even if we don’t get any actual writing done. we’ll discuss our projects, work through ideas, offer suggestions, and just enjoy being a group of writers “talking shop”.

Enjoy your weekend–I know I will!


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.

15 thoughts on “Rural Retreat

  1. It sounds so lovely! I hope you brought bug spray for those mosquitoes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful place to breathe in creativity! The photos are gorgeous. I’m going to have to chat to Mr.Evening about checking it out.
    Happy writing and brainstorming!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m super sad I didn’t get to meet your muse this weekend, now that I see he came along. Where did he sleep? I’m pretty sure the Inn was full. Next year I demand a proper introduction. And if you’re not going to sit on that branch with him, I will! Until next year-good luck on your projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I threatened to introduce him to all of my WS, and he decided he needed to take a long walk along the river. πŸ˜€ Maybe next year. Good luck on all your projects–waiting for CTL to come out next week! Until next year (or maybe Writers’ Institute?) πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I imagine you are back now, Julie. I hope it was fabulous. What a great spot (except for the squadrons of mosquitos). Happy Writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How about one of those anti-mosquito coils to burn that ward off the mossies! That way you can all enjoy the gazebo in peace! πŸ˜€β€οΈ This trip sounds fantastic and inspiring- I’m impressed you can all concentrate with such beauty around. What a heavenly location and so aptly named! I’m imagining all the muses having their own creative get-together, working away with a party to finish. Oh, I love the photos of the moss covered tree across the stream, it just beckons to be climbed! I came across a large stripped tree trunk across a small ravine (well, hollow my son would no doubt say!), which I just had to walk across! Childish silly fun! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wonderful weekend πŸ˜€ I never did get a chance to sit on that tree (my Muse, on the other hand, caught a couple nice bass), but we enjoyed the atmosphere. We’ve already made reservations for next year! And you’ve got to take advantage of childish silly fun, because it’s FUN! Have a great rest of your week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A lovely read, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Rural Retreat – For the LOVE of Writing

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