Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Call it Progress


I’m back at my dad’s place over this extended holiday weekend. I’m also extending my weekend from work in my effort to get my edits done. I even warned my boss I might have to take another day beyond what I’ve already asked for. He’s fine with it. (I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of cool bosses)

I’ve been pounding the keyboard, and I’m at about the last quarter of the story, although I skipped a spot I need to rewrite. I figured I would be able to concentrate better here rather than at home.

The screen door to the deck out back squeaks, then bangs shut. Gee, wonder who that could be?

“I can always count on you for a dose of sarcasm. You ready to get back to work yet, love?” My Muse adjusts the bean bag-type chair he left here last week. It looks kind of comfy, like one of those wicker papasan chairs, but squishier. This time he has a footstool to go with it.

He settles in, fingers laced and hands behind his head. “You could start with the scene you need to change. I think you’ve got a good idea for that.”

I can’t help but stare at his black cotton lounge pants adorned with Pac-Man and colored ghosts, which clashes nicely with his Bob Ross t-shirt. “You don’t actually wear that in public, do you?”

He looks down at his shirt. “Why not? You loved watching Bob Ross when you were a kid.”

“It’s not Bob Ross. It’s the whole ensemble. Seriously. Pac-Man and Bob Ross?”

“Who are you, the fashion police?”

Not by a long shot, as I look at my own red plaid lounge pants and Star Wars t-shirt. “Anyway. I’m doing the blog post, then I’ll dig into that scene.”

He stares at me in silence.

“What? Stop doing that.”

“Have I told you how proud I am of you for working as much as you have the past few weeks, love?”

“No, but apparently it hasn’t been enough because I’m not done yet.”

A bottle of Moon Man appears on the table beside my chair. “A reward. I’ll add chocolate when you finish this round.”

The man knows how to bribe–not. “Better be the good Mozart chocolate with the blue wrapper from Salzburg.” They don’t even ship it outside Europe. I had it when I went to Austria with my aunt and uncle.

He rolls his eyes. “Finish your edits and I’ll see what I can do.”

Hmm. I wonder what he’d get as a substitute. Godiva?

Okay, I’ve gotta tell you this. When I write my posts, I like to get them done the night before and schedule them to post. Well, I started this post last night, then figured I’d finish this morning.

Last night I was going to add some pictures of my dad’s lilacs (since the rabbits girdled mine and almost killed it. We’ve had that lilac for over ten years and they haven’t munched on it until this last winter. Effing rabbits!), but it was getting dark, so I didn’t, but I wandered around the backyard to smell them, because, you know, lilacs.

So, I got up this morning, started the coffee, and looked out over the backyard. My dad has a few flowerbeds in the backyard, and everything is just getting going after the late snow we had.

And thought,”What the hell is that?” From my angle and the angle of the rising sun, “that” was something black and a little white in the dark shadow of a pine tree. I couldn’t make it out, so I went to another window.

I wish I’d thought to get a picture.

It was . . . A cow. Seriously. A Holstein cow lying in one of the flowerbeds, minding her own business, chewing her cud.


pic from the patio. It was darker when the cow was there. See the cow prints in the dirt by the tree?

Damn, I wish I’d thought to take a pic right away. Instead, I started looking for the neighbor’s phone number to tell them one of their cows was out. Of course, after I figured out Dad didn’t have a phone book handy and the neighbor’s number wasn’t easily accessible, I looked back out in the backyard, and the bovine was gone. She noticed when I turned the light on in the house, so I suppose she figured her quiet morning was over.

You know you live in a small rural community when you wake up to find a cow lounging in your backyard. I really wish I’d gotten a picture. It was bizarre.

Just to give you an idea of how close the pasture is, it’s not more than 30′ from my dad’s property.


So starts my day. I can see this making its way into one of my rural mysteries 🙂 I’ll be focusing on edits all weekend, and I’m already behind visiting blogs, so I apologize ahead of time.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

irises hostas

irises and hostas in one of my dad’s flowerbeds


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.

24 thoughts on “Call it Progress

  1. Ha! That cow story is great! And it does sound as though you’ve been getting things done lately, which is always such a good feeling. But someone needs to talk to your Muse about wardrobe… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Thanks, Margot! When I saw the cow I thought (well, after getting over the ‘what the hell is a cow doing in the yard’ thing), “I should shoo it away because it’s crushing the flowers that are coming up.” Then I realized that shooing an animal that weighs over 600 lbs is probably not the best idea 😀

      Heh, yeah, I don’t know if he found a box of clothes headed to the Goodwill or what. Maybe they were shoved in the bottom of a sock drawer or something *snicker* Maybe I’ll suggest something a little more, er, appealing 😉

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I could easily picture having on Bob Ross, Pac Man and Star Wars all together in one of my more nostalgic moods;) I love you waking up to a cow in the backyard. My aunt had cows behind her house and I was always terrified to go out there if the bull was there in case he got out…lol. You sound like you are accomplishing a lot! Have a great weekend:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost bought a Bob Ross t-shirt when I got my Star Wars one 🙂 And the cow–that was just bizarre. I’ll have to ask my dad if she’s a regular 😮 I’m making progress, so that’s a good thing. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A country retreat alone sounds soooooooo nice. Why did you give your muse the address? 😉 Thanks for the link to the chair. I couldn’t quite picture it. That does look comfy. There’s really nothing quite like waking up to a cow in your yard. Love the flower pics. Write well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I think my Muse could probably find me anywhere. I think they hide GPS trackers on their writers 😮 And the cow. Talk about what the heck! I turned on the light in the dining room, and she stopped chewing, turned her head, and looked straight at me. I thought about going out to “encourage” her to leave, but then I figured shooing a 600 lb animal probably wasn’t the best idea. She looked right at home, like it was her ‘kick back and relax’ spot.

      Have a great extended weekend!


  4. Julie, nice to see countryside in your post. It’s been a long time since my small town kid years in Maine. Yep, cows and all. Love the Irises! Happy Editing Memorial Day Weekend. Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Growing up in Maine I am not shocked about the cow, but I do wish you’d gotten a photo. That would have been priceless! But I’m left to picture it in my mind which is good for my imagination, which has been on vacation lately. What a great boss you have to give you an extra day off if you need it. Good luck in your edits. I am way behind with blogs, too. Sometimes you just have to take a time out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I’d thought to get a photo, too, before trying to find the neighbor’s number to let them know about the stray. I’m so fortunate to have a cool boss. The edits are going okay; then I get distracted trying to catch up with blogs, etc 😀 I’ve only got one more day, so I have to get back to it. Enjoy your week, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, how cool! I live in a combination rural and suburban area with farms around me and strip malls down the road. It’s a weird mashup. I have however, never found a cow lounging in my yard, LOL. What a treasure!

    I worked on promo posts the weekend and did a lot of catch up. I’m still not entirely above the waterline, but getting very close.

    And, oh–lilacs! How I love that smell! The photos are awesome. I can smell those fragrant blooms from here! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep kicking myself for not getting a pic, because it just sounds so bizarre. I’ll have to spend a day or two once I’m finished with edits just to catch up on email 😮

      And yes, the lilacs! My dad has a Japanese one that’s just blooming now. I go outside on my breaks just to smell it!

      Have a great week, Mae!


  7. Cow-abunga? Don’t have a cow? My mind is now flooded with cow-related phrases!! Glad things are progressing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I never found a cow in my yard, but I have tried to chase down cows that have escaped from their owners’ properties. (It happens around here more than you’d think.)

    Love the clothing choices, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! My BFF from HS grew up on a dairy farm, and every so often she’d come to school cursing the cows getting out. They had to round them up right away because otherwise they would get into trouble. She’d have corn stalks and weeds snagged in the bottom of her car.

      Heh, I’m not sure where’s he’s finding his loungewear. I suspect there’s such a thing as a Muse Goodwill … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Now you have a funny little cow detail to add to one of your books! Life is helping you out, Julie. It sounds like you’re getting a lot of writing done! Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julie, you know you make your Dad’s house sound like the perfect writing retreat and I fear you may soon be inundated with writers (& their muses!) I’m glad the editing seems to be rolling along well and that there is never a dull moment … the cow story has to make it in to one of your books! It’s precious! Hope you have had a successful week so far and have a lovely short weekend! Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great option; I just have to remember the first weekend is usually dealing with the memories and grieving. I’m not sure what I’ll do next year. Dad will be renting a town house, and though I know he had us move a twin bed there in addition to his bed, I’m not sure that environment will be as conducive to writing as this house. And I think the cow story will definitely make it into one of my rural mysteries 🙂

      Hope you had a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

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