Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Good intentions gone where?


I check the calendar hanging on the wall beside the whiteboard in my writing office. Tomorrow is October.

October? Already? Holy speeding month, Batman!

And how much did I get done writing-wise? Not 50k words, that’s for damn sure. Did I get through my edits? Hell, no. I canned over 50 quarts of tomatoes, and I’ll probably have to do one more batch. I subbed at the library for my daughter twice a week all month. And got her tech registration and Chromebook for school (yeah, almost 3 hrs of standing in line). And procrastinated on my self-imposed NaNo.


A squeak from the desk chair interrupts. I turn. My Muse leans back in my chair, shakes his head. “You’re pathetic, love.”

“Hey, I’ve been busy all freaking month. I’ve got half of my edits done.”

Your edits, which are minimal. You don’t even know what your editor is going to want.” He gets to his feet, the chair squeaking again in protest. I need to find some WD-40 for that.

“I’ve been doing stuff. I’m starting to plan my marketing and promo. I even registered a web domain. Now I just have to figure out how to switch over from my WordPress domain to my registered one. And I’m going to the local Sisters in Crime monthly meeting next week. My sister-in-law said she’d go to Once Upon a Crime with me. John Sandford is going to be there in a few weeks.” I should read a few of his books before then. I mark the dates on the calendar. It’s the tip of the iceberg.

“I can’t do a whole lot yet. I don’t even have the final title. My publisher might want to change it. And I’m so far behind in reading blogs that my blogging friends probably think I ghosted them.”

He leans against my desk, arms crossed on that fine chest of his. “You need to get your shit together and you know it. Marketing stuff, sure, but what were you going to work on this month? Oh, yeah, the second book in the series.”

“It’s drafted,” I protest. “It needs major work, but at least it’s drafted.”

“Uh-huh. And what about your other book, the one your agent said has potential but needs work? You haven’t even gotten through all her comments. When are you going to work on that one? And you’ve got paperwork to fill out for your publisher.”

“That’s more marketing and promo stuff. I need to brainstorm on that. I’ve got other marketing stuff I’m working on, too. There’s been a lot of good blogs posts lately on promo stuff. And networking. I’m going to do a session on writing mysteries at the Writers’ Institute next spring.”

“That’s not until spring.” He straightens, adjusts the fedora that appears out of nowhere, then sets his hands on his hips. I try not to notice the bullwhip now hanging from his belt. “When are you going to write, love?”

It’s the same question I’ve been asking myself. I’ve had something going on after work almost every day this month. There’s been a little time, but I don’t want my family to think I’m totally disconnected. And sure, I have an awesome writing office in my imaginary writing paradise, but in real life, a recliner in the bedroom has lost its appeal. I’ve started planning a takeover of my son’s room. Even though he doesn’t come home all that often while school’s in session, he’s still got a lot of stuff in his room.

“The tomatoes are almost done, so I won’t have to pick and can those. Tennis is almost over, so my daughter will be able to work her shifts at the library again. I’ll have time.”

My Muse approaches, stops inches from me. “You will make time, love. No more muse pub crawls until you get your shit together, so don’t think I’m going to give you any breaks. You are going to write.”

“I’ve got to do promo …”

His finger poking my chest cuts me off. “You’ve got to write. And my job is to make sure you do it. Got it?”

Gulp. “Got it.”

Yeesh. He’s right, though, as usual. I think things will quiet down a bit; they always do about this time of year. So, butt in chair, hands on keyboard. I can do this. I’ve done it before. Deep breath.

You know what I’ll be doing this weekend. Mostly. I’ve got grass to mow around the garden so I don’t need a machete to get to the raspberries.

“I’m still here, love. Why is your butt not in that chair?”

Dammit. Okay, gotta go. Have a great writing weekend!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for 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, seven 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.

13 thoughts on “Good intentions gone where?

  1. Oh yes. It’s only going to get crazier when your book comes out, Julie. That romantic view of writers sipping wine on the veranda while they pen their next best seller is pure hogwash. I know somehow you will manage it all and come through with flying colors and… wonderful books. Have a great weekend and cross a to-do or two off your list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Julie, you certainly have a ‘relationship’ with your muse. Hmm…a bit scary he seems.😊 .
    Have a good weekend in that squeaky chair of yours. 🍷 .
    It will all work out

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny ending. What does it mean to “ghost” other blogs? And you have to have a self-hosted website now? Did the publisher give you a deadline for your second book?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used the term “ghost” like they do nowadays (man, I sound old!) Usually you hear it about dating, when someone never responds to emails/phone calls/texts. It’s like they disappear. And though I have a deadline for my first manuscript, haven’t even pitched the second one yet. I was just looking over my contract, and the final, final draft of the manuscript (after editing, revision, etc) might not even be done until spring. Man, I knew this business moved slow, but woof. So, I’m trying to get a little ahead of the game. I’m not going to self-host, at least not for a while, but I did buy my domain name. I’ve got my domains pointed here, but I’m going to try to change the wordpress.com address (facetsofamuse.wordpress.com) to my domain (facetsofamuse.com or jmholmesauthor.com). Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you’re old regarding usage of the term ghost, then what am I for not even KNOWING the term? 🙂
        Ugh. How frustrating for how slowly it all moves. I hear ya. At least your book is on the conveyor belt, and you’re getting somewhere. So is going self-hosting better because it’s more professional? I’ve wondered about that, but I’m too afraid to do it. People who have have reported it was a major pain. I hope you have a better experience when the time comes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, I hope you got some writing done over the weekend – if nothing else to appease your muse! He’s sure bossy but means well, I know! You can appeal to his logic and say that the gardening season is soon over and therefore much more time for writing…You’re brave in taking over your son’s room!! 😀😃 Does he know or will he now after this post?😀 A change of writing space is good though and I’ve found myself hustling from room to room – which I never used to do! Happy Writing and Editing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I got a tiny bit of writing done, finished some editing, some brainstorming, and dreaming about what to do with my son’s room. He knows I’m planning to do something with it, he just doesn’t know what or when (neither do I 🙂 ) Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish I had someone to take to a writer’s meeting. Your sister is a gem!
    And I’m so jealous John Sanford is going to be there at a future event. I’ve read a lot of his Prey series and the Virgil Flowers series.

    You did a lot of canning, so it’s understandable the writing didn’t happen as planned, but fall and winter are here/coming and those are usually good writing months. You’ll rock it.

    Congrats on having the second book drafted up. I still clueless on my next one, LOL!


    • I haven’t read any of Sandford’s stuff yet, but my SIL raves about them. So, just ordered from the library; I should probably be somewhat familiar with his characters, right? 😉 You know, if you aren’t doing anything the second weekend in April next spring (yeah, right 🙂 ) and want to take a road trip to WI, you could stop by and say Hi at the Writers’ Institute in Madison, WI. I just found out they accepted my proposal to do a workshop there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Woohoo–congrats! And yeah, maybe I can fit in a road trip, LOL.
        You’re going to love Sanford. When I first started reading him I was shocked at how sparse his writing style is, and yet how he conveys so much with so few words.

        Liked by 1 person

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