Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

It doesn’t seem real #mystery #amreading


It does, but it doesn’t. It’s the “is this really happening” feeling that makes you want to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming.

I sent my edits in, looked through the new paperwork my editor sent me, and stared, in dumbfounded silence, at a list of all the things I need to do before the book comes out. Yikes.

And I finally got a release, er, not really date, more like timeframe.

My debut novel, Murder in Plane Sight, is due to be released in March, 2019.


*looks at list of stuff to do before release*

*more silence*

Ho-ly shit. How am I going to do this and work on Book 2?

*reviews mental list of writing friends that do it and shakes head in amazement*

A few days after I sent in the latest revision of my manuscript, I got the first mockup of the cover. Wow. Granted, I had mocked up a dummy cover with my own idea, so what they sent resembled the one I cobbled together, but to actually see it, with my name and the title and everything, makes this whole thing even more real.

A pair of hands weigh my shoulders down. Strong fingers squeeze reassurance. “This is where you wanted to go, love.” My Muse, standing behind me at my writing desk, leans over me and peers at my computer screen. “Remember your ‘100 things to do before I die’ list? Publish a novel is on there. Pretty high up on the list, too, if I recall.”

Going to Hawaii is on there, too, along with Germany. Checked those off a long time ago. “I know. It just … doesn’t feel quite real yet.” I turn in my chair to look up at him. “Where have you been? It’s, like, oh-my-god hot outside. No surfing?”

He leans back on my desk beside me, hands braced on the smooth wooden top. “I thought you said you were starting a NaNo project in July. The what, third or fourth ‘first draft’ of Book 2, right? I figure I’ll get you going on that. Besides, it’s hotter than the Amazon jungle out there.”

He’s right. The humidity index where I’m at in MN right now is higher than in the Amazon. Our local news has delighted in sharing that little tidbit. “I’m still working through the outline. And did you see this list?” I shove the list of tasks at him. “How am I going to do all that?”

A crooked grin eases across his face as he sets the list aside. “You know you already have some of it done.”

“The parts I have done aren’t what worry me. It’s all the other stuff I know I have to do, like a newsletter. And a press release.” It’s a good thing I bookmarked Staci Troilo’s posts about author media kits. “I’ve been paying attention to what the other authors I know are doing. It’s kind of overwhelming to think about it all. I don’t know how they do it.”

“One step at a time, love.”

“All while I’m working on Book 2? Time is the part I’m worried about.” And getting Book 2 written, revised, and polished for publication; I know that will happen sooner than I expect, because stuff like that always does.

“You’ll do fine. I’ll be sticking around; Mr. E is helping Mae with her new series, so he’ll be busy for quite a while yet.”

Not that it ever stopped him before from going on a pub crawl with my Muse. “It just doesn’t seem real. Not yet, anyway.”

“It will soon enough, love.”

Everything is moving forward. The line edit of the manuscript is next on the list, along with finalizing the cover. I’ve got a few suggestions before that happens. Once I have a cover, I’ll feel much more comfortable starting promotional stuff. All while working on Book 2–sheesh. So, I’m thinking a six-month sabbatical in a mountain cabin or on a tropical beach–wait, mountain cabin is probably better. No way to laze about in the sun there πŸ˜€

I also have to work on my website/blog, so at some point things will start to change here. Or get monkeyed up as I try to figure out how to do it. I’ve been paying attention to various posts by my writer friends about websites, and newsletters, and media kits, so I’ll be gleaning information. Thank you ahead of time to all those authors for discovering what works and what doesn’t, and sharing that knowledge with the rest of us.

I was happy to hear the release would be in March–that’s before the Writers’ Institute next year. I’ll be there, and I’ll be able to show off a real book this time. It’s a fantastic writers’ conference; if you’ve wanted to check out a conference but still aren’t sure, you can’t go wrong with the fun in Madison (except blizzards, but on the bright side, the blizzard during this year’s conference was the first one they’d ever had, in 29 years!). Save the dates! (psst, rumor has it they’ll have a super keynote speaker next year, so get on their mailing list for updates πŸ™‚ )

Enjoy your weekend! And if your weekend is extended due to the holiday (in the US), enjoy the extra days. Stay cool and keep Writing!

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.

21 thoughts on “It doesn’t seem real #mystery #amreading

  1. Congrats! Enjoy! And keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very excited for your release date, Julie! That’s fabulous! And your Muse is right. Take it one thing at a time, one day at a time. You’ll get it done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Releases are a lot of hard work, but oh-so-exciting. Congratulations!

    (And many thanks for the shout-out.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on these big steps! I too struggle to write a second book while editing the first. In my case, since I don’t have nagging editors and publishers, I just don’t do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is that about editors and publishers πŸ™‚ I’m going to do a self-imposes NaNo during July to draft Book 2. Here’s hoping I hit 50k words by the end of the month–finishing the draft would be even better! Enjoy your weekend, Jacqui!


  5. Congrats and good luck! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on a release day! Excited for you. How excitimg to see that cover– makes it seem all real. I’ve dreamed of going to a cabin in the mountains and writing too…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Denise! And though the cover needs a little work, it’s still something that proves this whole thing is real πŸ˜€ Wouldn’t that be great? A cabin in the mountains just for writing. I’ll have to settle for a recliner in the living room for awhile, tho’ πŸ˜€ Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have faith that you’ll get this done. Just pace yourself. And so exciting to have a date-ish! Woohoo! I’m looking forward to seeing the final cover and seeing how you prep for this. Perhaps I’ll learn a thing or two too. πŸ™‚ Congrats, Julie. You are so on your way to checking that box. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to finally have a date-ish πŸ™‚ Now at least I can say something besides “sometime next year”. And I’ll be popping over to your site–looks like you have some excitement of your own going on. Have a wonderful weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Congratulations. Julie! What great news. Good luck in getting everything done in the process. Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, what an exciting time!! I know it may seem a wee bit overwhelming when you think of all you need to do, but you’ll be a pro at this stuff in no time. And when you break it down in smaller chunks it really isn’t that bad. I’m definitely going to keep Mr. E. engaged so you and your muse can get to work. I can’t wait to see your cover. Congrats on everything!! *Snoopy dance*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mae! Oh, I hope I can get it all figured out. You and Staci have had some great posts about website stuff, blog tour stuff, and media kit stuff. I will be going back and rereading all those–and taking notes! Psst, I can’t wait to see the final cover either πŸ˜€ Have a great holiday week!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yippee!! πŸ˜€πŸŽ‰ This is real now, Julie!! You’re going to be published … release date and all!! I’m so excited for you. As for the stuff to do, just take one task at a time! You’ll do great and I have a feeling you thrive under a bit of pressure? Just keep thinking about turning up at your wiring conference next year, book in hand and a box of them in the car. Hugs and well done, xx

    Liked by 1 person

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