Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Is it here to stay?


Spring? Are you gonna stay this time? It’s been two weeks since the (in)famous April blizzard of 2018, and get this–no snow in the forecast. Well, okay, no snow where I’m at. They did have snow on the North Shore yesterday. That’s way up north by Duluth and Two Harbors, on the north shore of Lake Superior (get it? North Shore πŸ˜€ )

I would add a picture of some spring plants, but there aren’t any yet, at least not here. I don’t have any tulips or daffodils or crocus, but we do have dandelions. They’re not up yet either, but if it stays warm, I’m sure we’ll see them soon. Heck, the trees are juuusst starting to leaf out. Barely.

So, in place of real spring flowers, I’ll regale you with pictures of my very own jungle, er, jungle-ish. Well, okay, not jungle. But they’re green. And plants.


Peppers and tomatoes (and one lonely onion)

The peppers seem to grow more slowly than the tomatoes, so I haven’t transplanted them yet, but that’s on my agenda for this weekend during my breaks from editing.



The onions look like they are almost ready to go into the garden. It’ll be a few more weeks, yet, though. The soil is still cold; even though onions can probably tolerate the cool soil, they won’t grow until things warm up, so there’s no point in making them suffer. They enjoy the climate control in the house!


Kale! Tomatoes! Oh my!

My kale is looking super! And the tomatoes are itching to get some space, as usual by about this time of year. The biggest ones are about 6-8 inches tall. I can only raise my light so far, then I’ll have to rearrange things so the tomatoes can go on a lower shelf while still getting light.

And I’ve got to start my Brussels sprouts. I’m going to put them in the garden a little later, so hopefully the sprouts will be nice by the time we start getting light frosts in the fall.

I’m getting a slow start on my edits. I’m adjusting the story a touch, not too much, but it should make my main character stronger. I use Scrivener, but when I submitted to my editor, of course I saved my work as a Word document.

Word has a nice Track Changes feature that my editor used to add inline notes to my manuscript. Which is fine. Except when I send my revisions back, she wants her original file with her notes, the file with her notes and my revisions, and a clean file. Notice the lack of Scrivener in this process.

Ugh. Hmm. So I do my edits in Word, duplicate them in Scrivener so I can compile a clean copy, and before I send them back, I need to let them sit for a bit, then go though them again.

And as with any edits, some are those head-slapping ‘duh’ things. You know, like those pesky adverbs that slip through, or the day’s ‘favorite’ word.

Then there are those things that make you think before deciding how to revise them. That’s the time-consuming part. And the part that can demand a delicate balance when negotiating edits.


This month feels like I’ve had a serious lack of time to get stuff done. It must’ve been the blizzard… Yep, I’ll blame the blizzard.

And one more pic, just because:


I think she’s offering to help me with my edits. Or she just wants her lap back…

Have a great weekend, and may Spring set up shop in your area. Write on!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

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

29 thoughts on “Is it here to stay?

  1. Spring seemed to have arrived here in central Indiana. A few tulips have opened, the gooseberries are blooming, the peas are emerging….and tonight it’s going to be 29 degrees! Ugh! Get that editing done so you can enjoy your garden….although I truly found that time in my garden cleared my mind and the editing went much faster….Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gooseberries already? Wow. We’re still at the ‘might get below freezing at night’ stage as well. I did go out and check my aparagus patch. I can’t wait! And you’re right, a little garden time is great for clearing the mind (as long as the weeds stay somewhat under control πŸ˜€ )


  2. Those are lovely pictures – thanks for sharing. And I know all about those head-slapping edits. I cringe at some of the ones I’ve had to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Margot! I know, right? There are a few that I’ve had to wonder how I could miss them. Now that spring appears to be in charge for a while, I can’t wait to get the garden ready. There’s something about getting one’s hands in the dirt…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Julie for sharing your ‘jungle’, it is so strong and healthy looking. I am impressed and can imagine how wonderful all will taste and look. You have quite some planting days to come.
    Not to forget, feeling of pleasure and satisfaction when you prepare a meal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am definitely behind in starting my own jungle this year. I will be trying kale and to get more than a mini pumpkin:) It’s a matter of walking all the way out to the new green house and getting started. Your pictures have me inspired today! Pretty kitty. They are always helpful with editing with lap duty. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some years I start my plants, and the weather warms up early but my plants aren’t ready to go out to the garden, and some years, like this year, I wonder how big the plants will get before the garden is ready for them πŸ˜€ My goal this year is a smaller garden. It remains to be seen if I manage that πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh your veggies grow well! And that is a TON of onions! Can you eat all those? We had one onion plant, but like Charlotte of the famous web, it died, though not without leaving tons of little baby onions. Not sure what we’ll do with them all!

    The little boy down the street stopped by yesterday saying, “Would the girls like to come see our new kittens?” I was like, “Um, can *I* come see them too?” My goodness! Fluff balls of all varieties in the same litter. Amazing! So adorbs! Some are already spoken for, including the orange one (dang!) but maybe, just maybe, we can have one too. Though I did have my heart set on an orange one. My friend’s pregnant cat is orange, and she knows I’ve got dibs. If I can just be a little more patient…

    Hey, you’re the one who posted the cat pic. You were asking for it! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Spring is here in SoCal…what’s a blizzard? I remember now, but, so long ago as kid in Maine! Yep, snow & blizzards were fun, then! Your plants are thriving! Editing for me is slow & go, and many changes. Have rewritten Chapter One so many times, and it’s not β€œhooking” me yet! Happy weekend, Julie. πŸ“š Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your veggies look great. They do love that greenhouse! I think spring has officially kicked off, Julie. No more snow! I planted everything last weekend even though we may still have a frost. Most things should be fine and I can still cover the rest. And good luck with the editing. There’s never enough time this time of year. But enjoy the returning green and warmth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Man, I hope spring is here and NO MORE SNOW (at least until, like, November). I sometimes put the cold-hardy stuff out before the last frost date (usually around Memorial Day), but I stop at covering tender plants in spring. That’s for fall πŸ˜€ I’ll wait an extra week πŸ˜€ Besides, it’ll probably be about Memorial Day by the time we get the garden tilled. And I so love the fresh new leaves on the trees, not to mention the trees that flower before the leaves fill in. Smells divine!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the insight into your editing process, Julie. It sounds laborious, but a labor of love, right? As are your spring plants. We have green grass, the last of the snow is gone, and had spring turkey drama in our back yard yesterday. Three toms with tails fanned competing for two hens. On the other side of the yard in the edge of the woods were four deer munching on young sprouts. I even got to sit outside in a lawn chair absorbing some sun rays. Ahhh! My bones feel better. Happy Spring to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • To you as well, Molly! The grass is starting to turn green, and the leaves are coming in. Oh, man, that would be a neat show to watch. And I love these first days that it’s finally warm enough to sit outside in the sun. Feels sooo good after a long winter, and winter, and another winter … πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Uff-da! It is freaking cold today but we start a warming trend tomorrow. I do have daffodils sprouting, but so many of the trees are late to bud. It’s a sucky start to spring.
    I finished the first round of edits on my latest today and sent them back to my editor. Feeling good about that, almost ahead of schedule.
    Love the kitty pic! She has such an expressive face. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can keep the cold πŸ˜€ We’re supposed to be around 80F today, with rain for part of the day, then the rest of the week is in the 60s/70s. Maybe I’ll convince my hubby to till the garden… Even if he doesn’t get to it this week, I can clean out the asparagus patch and wait impatiently for the first spears to surface πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think she wants the lap back … or food! πŸ˜€ Wow! That is a veritable jungle and I’m in awe of your plants – they’re thriving, fighting for space but the best plan sounds like what you’re doing – let them enjoy the warmth of the greenhouse a bit longer! No tulips, daffodils yet? Blimey … our daffodils have finished flowering and the tulips are not enjoying the rain and cold at all. I love following you and your garden during the year, Julie .. do keep us updated!

    Yep, that is one flaw of Scrivener – and I found the same. Copying back and forth, word being great for interactive changes. It got to the stage where I ended up with my completed ms for my short story collection all on word but am editing my novel on Scrivener. Confused times! Good luck with those ‘favourite’ words!

    Hope the warmth arrives soon … we (ad the garden) are all owed some! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think she wants her lap back. All weekend she would follow me around until I sat down, then jumped on my lap and settled in. Of course, when I had to get up again, she meowed a complaint that I made her move. A cat’s life!

      I love Scrivener, and I have a sort of like/hate relationship with Word. I think if I was doing something shorter, I could stomach using just Word. And favorite words–ugh. Sometimes, ya just gotta use ’em!

      May this week be more springlike for you, Annika! Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Julie, spring is late in the Northeast also. The forsythia have just begun to bloom and finally there are a few daffodils blooming. Hopefully, we’re over the winter hump.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so hope as well! After the shot of summer yesterday (84F!), I think the weather is settling into a nice spring patter of 60s and 70s. The grass is starting to green up, and the leaves are coming out. Can’t wait for the flowers to follow!


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