Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Getting closer


If you’ve been following this blog, you know I turned my manuscript in to my editor a couple weeks ago. I got her feedback this week.

And breathed a huge sigh of relief!

She liked what I did, and with a few additional tweaks, she said we could move on to the next step, which involves some marketing questions for the book, like series name (haven’t come up with one yet), cover description, author quote for press release (what?? 😮 ), blurbs or past reviews (er, this is a debut, so need a blurb I guess), and a few other things.

Another step toward publication, an exercise in patience. It’s kinda scary in a way, knowing that sometime next year my book will be out, and people will be reading it (I hope!), and I’ll be doing stuff like signings and author panels and trying to fit Book 2 into the mix. That’s a whole lot of activity for someone who is an introvert and a homebody and working a full-time job.

And then the inevitable thought: what the hell was I thinking when I decided I wanted to get published? I never thought past holding my book in my hand and dreaming about seeing it on a bookshelf at the library, in Barnes and Noble, and on the book racks at Target.

There’s a whole lot of stuff that goes into the process beyond writing a good book and finding a publisher who wants to put your book out there (for those who choose to go the traditional route). There’s platform (huh?) and marketing (ugh). There’s creating a website, author pages, social media buzz, blog tours, and on and on.

In fact, a couple of my writing/blogging friends just released their new books this month, and I’ve been following their blog tours (you might remember a post for Jacqui Murray’s new book, Born in a Treacherous Time). In fact, one of them wrote 18 different blog posts for the tour–yes, eight-teen unique posts (plus one more for me, so nineteen)! O. M. G. And there’s the newsletter thing. And email lists. And short stories/novellas to attract followers and newsletter recipients. And through all this, Book 2 needs to get drafted, revised, revised, revised, critiqued, revised some more, and ideally out to readers about a year after Book 1 is out.

Yikes! And then I read about one of my writing/blogging friends who releases a couple books a year!  😮

So now that I’ve gotten this far, I somehow need to keep going, and do it all faster. While still working a full-time job, tending a summer garden, and being a mom to a college freshman who is seriously anxious about going off to school (my other college student is starting his junior year–not worried about him 🙂 )

Hoo-boy. I think I need to find a writing cabin somewhere and stock it with 6 months of food, water, coffee, and chocolate, with some wine (and Moon Man beer for incentive). Or, at the very least, designate an office here at home where I can hunker down and focus on writing.

Speaking of garden, I know I mentioned last week about posting some garden pics, as pathetic as they are. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, and not just gentle soaking rain, either. We had a couple of those summer downpour storms. You know, the ones where it’s like someone took a huge bucket and upended it, and the force of the rain scours any bare ground, turning it into a mobile sheet of mud.

My poor garden. And of course it didn’t dry out enough between storms for me to get in there and do anything like weed. The rain washed out nearly all of my onions, and my beets are struggling to get a foothold. The tomatoes, however, are starting to take off, so I’ll have to tie them up soon. Anyway, here ya go. It doesn’t look like much at this point except a somewhat barren, weedy, and silt-covered piece of ground.


See, it is smaller




My poor, sogged kale


Another angle

The rain left all that lovely silt over everything, including the areas where I just planted dill and cilantro, so I expect I’ll have to replant those. On the bright side, both of my cucumber plants are up and growing (I thought only one would survive) and I have 3 zucchini/summer squash plants (I know, I know, I’ll have enough zucchini to feed half the town).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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??), one dog, five 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.

36 thoughts on “Getting closer

  1. Love the ‘photos – thanks for posting them. And it’s good to hear you’re getting a little closer to your goal. It’s so much work, isn’t it? Just remember, one step at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations Julie! This is a big step and yes, now comes another type of work.
    When it comes to doing the selling I think you have to put that hunk of a muse you
    have floating about to good use.
    Let him organise it all and you swan in and do some signing. 😘 .


    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is daunting, Julie. Start today by creating a list of efriends who want to support you when you publish. Put me at the top!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, so I know it wasn’t supposed to, but this has seriously made me rethink publishing a novel. I mean… yikes. I guess you do things one piece at a time, but wow. I don’t want to have written this book for nothing, but jeepers.
    And somehow I’m sure your garden will still thrive, perhaps better than ever with all that silt. I mean, if it worked for the Nile river valley, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Julie,
    I do understand the apprehension. I released my third book about a month ago and I’m still trying to get all the promotional and marketing accomplished. Writing a manuscript is tough enough, but I think the promotional and marketing is harder. It makes it obvious why the publishing companies charge so much if you use them. I know the excitement of a new release, but believe me we all know the anxiety it creates too. Congratulations and best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Chuck! I agree, the promo and marketing stuff is tougher than writing the manuscript 🙂 I got a list from my editor of all the stuff I’ve got to do/think about/consider for promo and marketing. Uff-da! Good luck to you as well for your recent release 🙂


  6. Julie, you and Jacqui are definitely two of my favorite authors to follow! You both have busy lives, and continue to write & publish books!! I’m encouged to keep writing that first book taking in all that goes along with the process. No excuses! I’m retired, have a writing study, and no family pressures (all live in WA). My new mantra, “You Can Do It.”’ Best Wishes for continued success with your book. 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pre-publishing jitters, huh? It will be an adventure, Julie, and lots of fun (besides all the work). Marketing is a bear, but it’s one step at at a time. I’m so excited for you and your first book. You’re ready. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Julie. You’ve got a lot on your plate, but it seems that you’re up to the task.
    Good luck!

    Neil S.


  9. What a fun time for you! I am always one of those commenters telling my favorite authors to write faster! Love the pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Even with all the rain and silt, I still know you’ll reap a bountiful harvest from your garden, and there is nothing better than fresh veggies! Something has been nibbling on my tomato plants. I think it’s deer, so I have fingers crossed we’ll some will survive.

    I’ve learned that being a writer is not for the faint of heart, LOL. It really is a lot of work between publishing, promo and everything else that goes with it, but it does get easier with time. Or maybe we just learn to adapt to all the hoops we have to jump through! In any event, congrats on getting everything finished. It’s never too early to start planning promo and putting your social media platform together. When it’s time for a blog tour, I am more than happy to host you. Can’t wait to read the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hoo-boy, you are sooo right! Not for the faint of heart or lacking in persistence. I’m paying close attention to you and all my other blogging writer friends and taking notes during your blog tours. Although, I’m thinking 19 unique promo posts might be a little too ambitious for me 😀 And I will certainly put you on my list!

      Bummer about your tomatoes. I see deer tracks on the gravel road I walk on every so often, but I think (hope?) the dogs are interested enough to chase them away. Either that, or they aren’t venturing in our direction. Crossing fingers you’ll get tomatoes! I got into the garden to weed last night. Good thing, too, because it rained again this morning, and the weather geeks are predicting more tonight. Ugh.

      Have a great rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s raining here too, although I did get some pool time in today before it started. Glad you got some weeding time. 🙂

        And I’m not sure I’ll every do that many unique posts again, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on getting published!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is exciting getting a book ready to go and also more work than expected. Very excited for you! I am heading in same direction gearing up have to let a few things go gor a while:) Love your garden area! I need to get out in mine you plant some more! Nothing like a big crop of squash…so much to do with it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely yes on both counts! Exciting and scary. And yes, I’ve had to let things go for a while (probably longer than I should let them go–I think the dust bunnies have been multiplying while I wasn’t looking!) I’ll post pics throughout the summer; hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with it 😀 Have a great week!


  13. Julie, yippee!! 😀 You are doing brilliantly and give yourself credit for all the fantastic writing work you are doing! It’s no mean feat to please an editor and it’s fantastic the manuscript is all ready. Now a whole new world opening up for you and I’ll avidly be following your journey as you head to publication!! I”m so happy for you. As for writing … can I join you in that cabin for six months!! Life’s general distractions are just that but be happy whilst with them, then hunker down when you can – you’ll do great!!

    Oh my, you said rain and the garden sure looks sodden! But incredibly tidy and already so much on the go. In a few weeks you’ll be posting lots of pics of the harvest and over-run garden. Happy writing & living! hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I sent my latest edits to my editor, and much to my surprise, they sent me the preliminary cover yesterday as well 😮 I did send them my idea mocked up as a cover, so they took my idea and “tuned” it. There are some changes (aren’t there always? 🙂 ) I’d like to see, but not too bad for a first go. Even my agent liked it (as a first shot). July’s task will be drafting Book 2 (again!), now that I’ve got some plot stuff figured out.

      We’re having a tropical heat wave (including OMG humidity) over the weekend. I just hope my plants will be okay. The weeds I never worry about 😉

      Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, the weeds seem immune to everything! Heatwave here in the UK as well … I’m watering whilst still allowed but in some areas there is no water at all and they’ve started to distribute bottled water!

        Blimey, that was quick with the cover and good you’re happy with it so far – bet there will be some changes yet! Not much writing this weekend, uni visits but also preparing for talk/interview on Monday – I thought it was for 14 people, just discovered it’s for over 40! Help!

        Liked by 1 person

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