Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Good intentions gone where? Take 2


In case you were wondering (okay, you weren’t wondering, but I’ll tell you anyway), I’m keeping up with my NaNoWriMo quotas. I’m actually a little ahead, so I’ve got a bit of a cushion.

No thanks to my Muse. Boy, when I see him again …

My writing office door whooshes open, and my Muse makes his entrance complete with Ghirardelli chocolates in one hand and Schell’s Firebrick lager in the other. What? No Moon Man?

He’s wearing the burgundy Henley shirt I so love, sleeves shoved halfway up his forearms. Well-worn jeans–in every sense of the adjective–complete the ensemble. He deposits the treats on my desk and sets a hip on a corner, flashes a lopsided smile. “Before you ask, love, no, I didn’t bring Moon Man. I’m saving that for when you hit fifty thousand words. How’s it going?”

Ahem. “Fine, no thanks to you.”

“Me?” he says, all innocent-like. “You do remember the part where I hit you with a brilliant seed for an urban fantasy, right? Got your creative fires lit.”

I plant fists on my hips, remember the disaster I avoided, and try to stay indignant. “Yeah. You gave me the first five lines. That’s it. And guess what? I managed about 7500 words before I gave up and went back to Book 2.” I’m counting those 7500 words, damn it. “Don’t do that again.”

His eyes widen. “What do you mean?”

I need time to tumble a novel-length idea around in the ol’ noggin. “I told you I hadn’t thought about that story AT ALL. At the very least I need a direction. Hell, I didn’t have a story goal. I didn’t even have a name for my main character when I started. Where was I supposed to take the characters? I had no idea, and day one of NaNo is so not the time to jump into a story like that.”

I’m fired up now. “I tried. For four days I tried to come up with some sort of plot, something besides a character without a name and the first five lines.”

“Yeah, you did. And you wrote scenes for that story for those four days.”

“No. I wrote three versions of the same freaking scene.”

“You wrote five scenes, love. And got some backstory put together.” He waves a finger at me. “You named the main character and her best friend. And you got as far as the mysterious-but-handsome stranger.”

“Not the point.” I have to pace. “I can’t believe I listened to you. I can’t believe you did that to me.”

He stands and blocks my path. “Are you blaming me for getting you fired up to write? What part of Muse with a capital ‘M’ don’t you understand? It’s my job, love.”

“I’ve got two stories to write. One is book 2, the other is my rural mystery.” I shake my head. Frustration tightens my shoulders until the back of my neck aches. “Why couldn’t you hit me with a brainstorm about those stories instead of something completely different? I could’ve spent four more days on the stuff I’ve got some sort of a road map for.”

“Because you were already spinning your wheels on those. I knocked you loose, didn’t I? That’s what you needed.” He rocks on his heels, arms crossed on his oh-so-fine chest. “You’re rolling fine now, aren’t you?”

Grrr. He’s right, but if I tell him, how much worse will he get? I mean, he already thinks pretty highly of himself. Then again, …


“Yes, fine, I’m rolling.” I throw my hands up. “There. Happy?”

His grin brightens. “Yep.”

“Don’t hurt yourself patting your own back. I’m at the end of the section I’ve got laid out, so you’re going to have to stick around to help me. And no urban fantasy stuff.” Although I will keep that story around. I’ll figure out the rest of it. Eventually.

He drops an arm around my shoulders. “You take all the fun out of it, love, but I’ve got you covered.”

Uh-huh. Anyway …

It’s past halfway for NaNo, and I’m doing okay. Planning for progress this weekend, since next week is Thanksgiving already. Man, I cannot believe how time is flying this year! A long weekend next week, so hopefully I can get within spitting distance of 50k. The book won’t be done–it usually takes me six weeks to complete a draft–but 50k is a pretty solid chunk of it. Then set that aside and work on my other story.

Yep, my Muse got the fire going. Man, that creative burn sure feels good!

Have a great weekend, and keep writing!


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? Take 2

  1. Love the dynamics between you two. Great post. And congrats on keeping up with NaNo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’ve been keeping up with NaNo, Julie. And fired up and on a roll is great. The muse is doing his job. I have a feeling that you’ll make the 50K. And, you’re right, where has the year gone??? Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The fire has been lit, and I have no doubt you’re going to “win” NaNo this month. 50K is a sizable chunk of any story. Looks like your muse really came through even if he did it in a sneaky kind of way, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, you don’t half make me laugh with the story of you and the good looking Muse of yours.
    Are you sure they couldn’t be the main charachters of a novel?
    I don’t do na-no thingy; 😊 but I wish you good luck and hope the stress doesn’t harm.
    You go

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You go, girl! And way to go, Muse. I’d better throw that in there lest he get angry with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I should be able to clear 40k words by the end of this weekend–I think. And my daughter is having a friend over, so she did some cleaning (ha! her chores she’s not done for, well, a while) so I’m in the clear for a bit πŸ˜€ Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah!! Julie, you’re doing great and I can feel your energy…and you know, that your muse is right….he got you fired up and creatively writing! Well done and good luck with the rest of NaNo – you can do it!!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Thanks for taking the time out to let us know how you’re doing..yep, the time is flying past and everything seems to be Christmas out in the shops etc!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I’m doing pretty good, and last night I realized I was missing a scene, so I got a decent start on that. And Christmas … yeesh. Some stores here have had the Christmas section set up since before Halloween! It’s just migrated farther and farther into the rest of the store. Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

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