Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Paper chain countdown


Okay, not really a paper chain, but I’ve been looking at the calendar every day for the past week or so in anticipation. Despite Winter’s stubborn hold on the weather–last Monday we got 4 inches of snow (give or take), and this Sunday we’re supposed to get yet another snowstorm–I’ve been waiting for this week to arrive.

In less than 5 days I’ll get to see my Writing Sisters! All of them! One of us lives in California, so she doesn’t always make it to the reunions, but next week we’ll all be in Madison, WI for the Writers’ Institute. You should join us; we’re even going to be on a panel discussing our sisterhood.

If you’ve never been to a writing conference, you’re missing out. Seriously. There’s nothing quite like the energy created when so many writers gather. Yes, I know most of us are introverts, but everyone there is enthusiastic about the same thing: writing.

I’m looking forward to tapping the group for help with my current projects. I got my editor’s notes back, and need to do some brainstorming both for my revisions and for Book 2. I’ll bring the brainstorming wall and chocolate ๐Ÿ˜€

Just an FYI, after you’ve revised your project to within an inch of its life (yes, we all think we do), and get that contract … yeah, it ain’t over. I’ve got some changes to make, some of which I know will strengthen the main character. Some changes I’ll have to consider. That’s another bonus of going to the conference and meeting up with my writing sisters. Though most of them have never read the whole story, they can often see things from a different angle, and can suggest options I never thought of.

“Does this mean you’ll finally get your shit together, love?”

Where the hell did he come from? I look up, and there he is, my Muse, standing like a drill sergeant in front of my desk, arms crossed on his chest. The sleeves of his burgundy Henley shirt are shoved to his elbows, exposing the lean muscles of his forearms. His jeans are at that well-worn stage between brand-new indigo and faded white.

“What are you doing here?”

“Really, love? Just how much have you written in the past week?”

“Hey, I was in Dallas last weekend for my niece’s wedding. Give me a break. Not to mention I’ve been reading through my editor’s notes.”

He rests a hip on the corner of my desk. “I don’t see you working on them. In fact, I haven’t seen you work on anything for a disturbingly long time.” Before I can answer, he lifts a finger at me. “I don’t want to hear it. I want to see you write. And I don’t think you want me to take it to the next level.”

I open my mouth to respond, but nothing comes out. I try again. “Next level?”

A slow grin stretches across his face, his brilliant blue eyes holding something less like amusement, more like … er, like he’s got something up his sleeve that I have a feeling I’m not going to like. “You remember the urban fantasy, love?”

A shiver skitters down my spine. “Don’t you dare. I’ve got to work on my manuscript, my editor’s notes. Don’t distract me.”

His chuckle seems a bit, ah, malicious. “Apparently, you have no problem getting distracted. It’s the focusing part you have trouble with. And if I have to hit you with undiluted Muse energy again, I will. Trust me.”

Gulp. “Look, I’ve got the Writers’ Institute next week. My Sisters will be there. I’ve already set aside some time with my writing mentor and my agent to discuss things. I’ll be focused. You can hang out with the rest of the muses.”

One of his eyebrows arches. “And I’m supposed to trust you, love?”

“I’ll be thinking about writing the whole time.”

“Thinking? Is that all?”

“I’ll write. I’ll have to write with all that creative energy. And all those muses.”

He narrows his eyes. “I’m not sure I believe you. Or trust you.”

“You’ll be there. You can babysit me all you want.”

“You bet your ass I will.”


It’ll be prep time for the next few days. Oh, and of course there’s a boatload of stuff going on in the everyday department, too, including Winter’s stubborn hold–we’re due to get snow AGAIN tomorrow, prom dress shopping, college open house for my daughter. That’s just through the end of the month. Ugh.

It’s been colder than normal for April even here in MN. Good thing I have my handy-dandy lap warmer:


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, three 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.

20 thoughts on “Paper chain countdown

  1. Julie, first I want to wish you an wonderful time with your writing sisters. I think your laughs will be heard across the Atlantic.
    I also enjoyed the conversation with your hunk of a muse
    Have a great weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you have a fabulous time with your writing sisters! And you’re right: the process of storytelling is never really over, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have a wonderful time with the group. And write like crazy, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great photo of your leg warmers, Julie, and too bad about the snow…snow! Isn’t it spring? Have fun at the conference. It sounds wonderful being around all those writers and muses. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cat pic is hilarious. She looks so wide! And of course, fluffy as all get out! Ooo-shee-booo!
    Have a great time at the conference! Knock ’em dead with your talk!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great handy dandy lap warmer. She looks very comfy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Were still getting all that late snow too. Just got bypassed (Yay!) by another storm today. Enjoy your conference and have fun with all that muse energy pinging around. Mr. E. has been keeping me busy, knocking out scenes. I’m only a few from finishing. I can’t wait until I can breathe again, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She always gets nice and comfy–and wouldn’t you know it, I have to get up and go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Then she meows at me like “c’mon, I just got settled”.

      Hoping we get bypassed today, but the way things have been going, probably won’t escape. SOOO tired of this. On the bright side, it doesn’t look like we’ll see any snow during the conference in Madison. Looking forward to getting reenergized–I need it these past few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week, Mae!


  7. Hoping you have a great time at the conference. (I’m sure you will; can’t wait to hear all about it.)

    I love your lap-warmer. Mine are a bit bigger (two Labs, 100+ pounds and 90+ pounds, respectively), but they try to snuggle on me, too. Honestly, though, with your muse in the room, I’m surprised you need the extra heat!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How fantastic to be counting down the days until you see your writing sisters. The only downer is the slave driving from you-know-who. Writing conferences are the best. Iโ€™ve been to two of them and working on getting to a third one this year. It snowed here Friday and April has been abundant with โ€˜below average temps.โ€™ There is a patch of green grass next to our bulk head and I can park a lawn chair there, don my parka, and watch the snow melt. Itโ€™s happening. I can feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how energizing writing conferences are. It’s actually snowing here right now–the predicted snow. And my hopes it would miss us have been dashed. Our April has been colder than average as well, but they are predicting up to 50F this week. The best part about April snow (I guess) is knowing it won’t stick around!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have one of those lap warmers here too:) Have an amazing trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julie, Iโ€™m not sure how well your lap-warmer will travel!! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ I reckon youโ€™re now with your Writing Sisters and the conference and wish you the BEST TIME!! ๐ŸŒปโค๏ธ Have a fantastic wonderful time chatting about life in general, interspersed with lots of laughter and then enjoy the all important writing element … bet youโ€™ll come back buzzing! Canโ€™t wait to hear all about it. Hugs xx


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