Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Finally, a break?


I’m going to call it a break, anyway. The past few weeks–actually, since the beginning of May, I think–I’ve had stuff going on every weekend (including my mini-writing retreats at my dad’s). Last weekend was my daughter’s grad party. It feels official now. Next on the docket will be orientation for college, but that’ll be in a month or so.

“You’ve got a month, love. Does that mean you’re going to get your butt in gear?” My Muse closes the back door of my writing office, shoves his Ray-Bans up onto his head, and plants hands on his hips. His blond hair is sun-bleached, a perfect complement to his faded muscle shirt and cut-off shorts. Even his flip-flops enhance the beach bum effect. A scent of coconut and ocean hangs around him.

“Where the hell have you been?”

A tall glass with a paper umbrella materializes on the small table between the two recliners in a corner of my office as he drops into one of the chairs. “On walkabout after those mini-retreats at your dad’s. You did good, you know. Got the manuscript off by deadline.” He leans back, sips his drink. Sweat coats the outside of the glass, the inside filled with something orangy. He smacks his lips. “You done with the outline yet? You better get that done if you want to do a self-imposed NaNo in July.”

“I’m working on it. Comfy?”

He stretches, hands behind his head, footrest extended. He slides his sunglasses back into place “Yep. Too hot outside this weekend, anyway. You might as well work on the outline.”

“That’s the plan. Are you sticking around to help? Or are you waiting for Mr. E to go on some surfer’s bar hop?”

He takes another sip of whatever tropical drink he’s got. “He got sunburned and went home. He can’t surf, anyway. Oh, which reminds me–be careful with my board. I just waxed it.”

I’m working on my outline for Book 2 and he’s surfing? “You know Book 2 is not set at any sort of beach, right?”

“Sure it is. Isn’t there a family cabin at a lake involved with this?”

“But the story isn’t set there. That’s reserved for the novella.” I lean back against my desk. “You’re sticking around to help me this weekend, right?”

“Of course, love. I might have to pop out for a few wave-catching breaks. You got a board?” He lifts his glasses and peers at me. “You’re more ‘wade in the surf’, aren’t you? You’re missing out.”

Somehow, I don’t feel I’m missing much. Hell, my swimsuit’s been packed away for, er… Anyway, this weekend the tropics are settling in Minnesota, with record-threatening heat indexes. In June. Ugh. So we’ll crank the A/C and stay in. We’ll have some summer storms to go along with the heat. I’m good with that, as long as we don’t get too much at once. Maybe I’ll post pics of the garden next week–you’ll be happy to know that yes, it is truly smaller this year (YAY!).

Stay cool this weekend! 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.

23 thoughts on “Finally, a break?

  1. I think it’s great that you’re doing your own NaNo in July. I like the idea of setting goals like that. And, yes, when it’s that hot, the best thing to do is stay in, crank up the AC, and write…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I”ve learned I get a draft done a whole lot faster when I go through a NaNo exercise. And writing every day like that gets me back into the habit of doing it, and somehow cranks up my creative energies as well. Stay cool this weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Julie, great idea, the July NaNo. I managed two weeks writing everyday and it felt good. Think I’ll start another mini NaNo in July. I’m in the OMG middle part of the book, beginning and end done. I need to chat more with my Muses! Love the dialigue with your Man-Muse! 📚Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Write on, Julie. You got through the gauntlet of commitments! It’s so nice to have a weekend at home to focus. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. He does have a way of steering you in different directions, doesn’t he? lol

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your muse is so handy. My daughter’s swimsuit is too tight, so I let her try on mine. She says it fits perfectly, so guess who now gets to go swimsuit shopping? I think I’m going to use the baby as an excuse to simply not get in the pool with the kids. Yay, garden!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As pale as Mr.E is, he is not meant for the beach, Lol.
    Your muse always knows precisely when to show up and stir the writing cauldron.
    I did zilch this weekend on writing, but I did finish reading one book and started another. The temperatures finally warmed up to pool temperatures and I spent the weekend floating around on a raft with my Kindle.
    A self imposed NaNo in July sounds good. I’m almost tempted to join you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heh, I’m not sure why my Muse thought taking Mr E surfing was a good idea in any universe 😉 I’ve been working on my outline, but even though I have the backstory figured out (that won’t go into the book per se, but as my reference), I’m struggling with the rest.

      It just warmed up out there? We’ve been steaming away like Miami in July here. Hot and humid. It’s like breathing soup. Ick. I’ll take a pool–even better to just float around with a good book! 😀

      Have a great week, Mae! PS: feel free to join me for a July NaNo writing marathon 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Sometimes we need that extra push and doing your own NaNo project is a great idea. Hope you get a moment to relax…my mind keeps wandering back to the umbrella drink for some reason:)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Julie, good luck with your July of writing … and with such temperatures outside it’s a good reason to stay in the cool and work! Your Muse always has me laughing and today I’m just picturing the dude – I was also wondering can I pinch his drink umbrella, I just adore those! I’ve got a month of weekends away as we are on the tour of universities, gearing myself up mentally, emotionally and practically! Yeah, can’t wait to see your garden photos! Have a lovely rest of the week and ‘free’ weeeknd. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I know, those little paper umbrellas are so cool! I remember acquiring one somewhere when I was a kid–thought it was one of the greatest things 🙂 Enjoy your university tours! I’m more worried about my daughter’s anxiety about going to college than my own at this point. 😦 It’s been raining almost every day this week; my garden is looking okay, but so are the weeds! Have a great rest of your week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie, I am so sorry to read about your daughter’s anxiety. It is heartbreaking as a parent to see them suffer like this and also to feel helpless. My son has struggled a lot with this over the years, winning battles each year, then some steps back, before moving forwards. Music has been his savour, school has been good, particularly during the two months of exams when they were superb. I wish your daughter all the best … it really does get better. I hope she finds techniques to help her. My son has just started using Headspace mediation app (much to my surprise). He was in total panic before each driving lesson and the app has helped so much, a new person almost. Hugs to you both and hope she has a fantastic time in college. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, Annika! I’ll suggest it on the off chance she’ll choose to listen (yes, she’s at that “won’t listen to anything helpful from parents” stage.) Good luck to you and your son on finding a university that suits him!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah those wonderful muses. I too need an uncomplicated schedule to really get into the story. Otherwise, I forget what happened in earlier scenes, have characters in the wrong clothing or wrong frame of mind. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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