Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere



An empty writing office. Computer is on, but no one’s home. My writer’s gone AWOL.



The back door is open to the lake–big surprise. I expect to see Julie sulking in one of the Andirondack chairs. Instead, I see a sofa-sized book smack dab in the middle of a metallic green bulk.



Bloody hell.

By the time I reach the shoreline, the scaly bulk shifts. A wedge-shaped head at the end of serpentine neck lifts and pegs me with red eyes that remind me of that robot movie starring the Austrian bodybuilder. Great action, so-so acting.

The dragon huffs at me.

“What?” Figures this thing would be a smart ass just like her conscience.

My writer peeks around the beast’s shoulder. “Go away.” She disappears behind it. A loud ploop, and ripples roll across the smooth surface of the lake.

“What the hell are you doing, love?” That damn dragon watches me like I might be a nice snack. I’d like to see it try. Wouldn’t be the first one. I think my writer’s Night Fury conscience has learned its lesson. There’s a reason I’m a Muse with a capital M. “You’re supposed to be in the office. Writing.”


I make my way around the dragon, not bothering to stay out of reach. If it wants a fight, I’ll give it a fight. Julie is sitting on the ground, leaning between the beast’s shoulder and the book in its middle. Looks uncomfortable to me. “Why aren’t you writing?”


Uh-huh. Excuses. “Get up.”

She rolls her eyes in my direction. “Go away.”

“That’s not going to happen, love. You know, I could find a subcontractor for this gig who’s a helluva lot meaner than I am.”

“Yeah, right.”

“I talked to D’s muse. Even got the number for the agency. Maybe I should call in a Conan-the-Barbarian muse for a few weeks.” I wouldn’t. No way. But she doesn’t know that. I’ve had thirty years to figure her out. That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it more than a few times.

Another stone drops into the lake. “Why don’t you go on a pub crawl with Mr. E or something?”

“Because Mr. E is busy. You know Mae’s got a new series she’s working on against a deadline. At least his writer is doing her job. What the hell is wrong with you? Your son is off at college, your daughter is gone on that tennis trip until tonight, and it’s supposed to be rainy all day, so no garden stuff. You need to get your ass in that chair and write.”

“I know.”

“So why are you out here instead of in there?”

“I’m going to do a NaNo month in September, so get off my case.” The next rock splashes. “Besides, there is such a thing as real life, you know. This week’s been a pisser, to use one of your terms.”

“That’s a British term, not Australian.” I know she’s been skirting darkness this past week, so this—whatever she’s got going on–isn’t unexpected. I’m surprised she’s not out here with her Night Fury conscience instead of this big green … book dragon? “You know, you probably feel like shit because you haven’t been writing.” I reach a hand to her. “C’mon, let’s go.”

She doesn’t even look at me. “Go away. Come back later.” The dragon snorts at me.

I meet its red gaze with my own, adding a little Muse power to it. “Go take a break, buddy.”

It bares dagger-like teeth.

I add a bit more Muse juice. “She’s not writing a fantasy. Go on before you piss me off.”

It stares at me, probably wondering just how much damage I could do. Wouldn’t be pretty, that’s for sure. It finally gets to its feet and pushes off, big gold-edged wings causing a down-draft that kicks up a sand cloud as it gains altitude and heads out over the lake.

Julie glares at me. “You work for me. I said–”

I grab her arm, hoist her to her feet, and shove her toward the writing office. “You’re right, and I’m doing my fecking job, love. I’m even writing your blog post for you so you can get your shit together.”

She turns, fire in her eyes. She opens her mouth for an outburst.

I raise a finger in warning. “Don’t.” Gawd, I don’t get paid enough for this.

I’ll let her write the post for next week. Maybe. If she gets her writing done.


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.

9 thoughts on “Mired

  1. I hate to admit it, but Mr E is off somewhere and he better get his act in gear by this afternoon because I intend to knock out a few K. Here I am at a coffee shop, a writer’s dream oasis, and what am I doing—playing online? Okay, maybe that’s not E’s fault. Sssh, don’t snitch on me, Julie’s muse. πŸ™‚

    Nice you’re not calling in the rent-a-thug from Diana. Wow, I saw that guy and her muse really went the heavy-guns route. You lot are so demanding!

    *Sigh* I need to go write too. Enough playing. I know you’ll inspire Julie as well. Just don’t be too rough on the dragon. It was doing it’s job too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fecking dragon. Sometimes I wonder if Julie’s trying to tell me something. That and all the dragon shifter fantasy novels out there these days. Maybe I’ll try to find her a fire lizard or something; seemed to work for Anne MacCaffrey. Good luck on your new project. From what Mr. E’s told me, it sounds like a great story. And Julie says ‘Hi’ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Phew…I wonder if your muse was changing and affected by Diana’s, not so and he’s got your interest at heart. Hey, a blog post even! πŸ˜€ The dragon is one powerful creature and its presence lurks all over this…maybe you can sneak some fantasy in somewhere?! Sorry it’s been a rough week, Julie, hope everything is better at the weekend. Yikes, not many days until your NaNoMo – have a fabulous crazy September – I’ll be on the sidelines cheering for you!! πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I have to be quick, or my Muse will know I’m not working on my WIP. Today’s rainy, so I’ve got a good excuse to stay in and write. Now if I could just get my head in the game, I’d be doing good. Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear. The muses seem to be getting their dander up and their collusion is concerning! They’re so bossy. Is it something in the water? Or ale? There seems to be a concern that we won’t get into writing gear this fall. We will, of course. And thanks for the mention – my stand-in hulking muse is willing to put in some OT as back up muscle, so beware. You can send the dragon this way anytime. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I was afraid your muscle-bound muse would be open to OT. I just hope they don’t decide to unionize πŸ™‚ You’re welcome to borrow my book dragon anytime! I’ve been in a mental mire lately, so I decided to do the NaNo to force myself to get my stuff together, sit down, and write. Seems like that’s the best way for me to get a draft done. Have a great rest of your weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So very clever. And what a relief you have your dragon to defend you from your muse when need be. Nice of him to write your posts for you from time to time though. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • He’s good about that, but it’s usually when I’m supposed to be working on my WIP–one less excuse for me. Secretly, though, I think he kinda likes writing posts. πŸ™‚ I don’t think he likes my dragon muse, though. Stepping on his territory πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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