Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Slow start


If you’re looking for Julie, I sent her on a walkabout. A long one, on the forest trail. With any luck she’ll snag some inspiration. A Muse can only do so much. Lead a horse to water and all that.

I tried to send her on a week-long walkabout, but she won’t listen to me. She’s got this damn fixation on doing a NaNoWriMo this month. There’s even an “official” Camp NaNoWriMo going on. Another first draft, she said. This is her third “first” draft.

Bloody hell.

I know what her problem is. Focus. Per usual. She’s got too many fecking things bouncing around in that head of hers, not the least of which is …


“Are you kidding me? You sent me on a walk so you could do my blog post for me? What the hell?” My writer storms across the office and stops in front of the desk, hands on hips.

“You needed the walk, love. Tell me you didn’t work on the plot during your walk.” I venture one of my charming crooked smiles. “I dare you.”

Heh. I can see it in her eyes. She did, but she doesn’t want to admit it. “I can’t add words to my draft if I’m out walking. I’m behind, which you well know, and I won’t be able to catch up this weekend because I’m going to my dad’s.”

“You know, love, there is such a thing as voice-to-text.”

She rolls her eyes and groans. “Do you know what I do on my walks? Dude, I talk things through. That’s not writing, and if I used speech-to-text, it would be a mess. Seriously. Now get out of my chair and let me finish my post.”

If I could get her to direct that fire into her writing, she’d have no problem making her word quota. Easier said than done, of course. “No.”

Her jaw drops just a little. I love surprising her. She cocks a hip and crosses her arms on her chest. “I thought writing blog posts was outside your job description.”

It is. Sort of. “And here I thought you would appreciate the help since you will be away at your dad’s this weekend. That way you can focus on your first draft. Again.”

She offers a wry smile. “Very funny. You’re the Muse. You’re supposed to help me with this.”

“I’ve been trying, love. You’ve finally gotten the story rolling, haven’t you?”

“Sure. After three false starts. Half my word count is stuff I’m not going to use.”

“It’s a first draft. There’s going to be a whole lot of stuff you won’t use. That’s why it’s a draft.” I get to my feet and round the desk to face her. “I’m here, and I’ll be sticking around.” I lower my face to hers. “Don’t make me dig out my fedora and bullwhip.”

*stare-down silence*

“Fine.” Damn it. I shove around my Muse and drop into my chair, still nice and warm from him.

Anyway. Excuse me just one minute…

“Stop that.”


God, he’s just so … er, aggravating sometimes. Yeah, let’s go with that. “Stop staring at me.”

He gives me that crooked grin of his. Is it warmer in here? “Then get to work, love.”

Arrgh. Okay. Bottom line, I’m behind on my first week word count. Like, way behind. I’m going to bring my computer or my iPad to my dad’s; between helping him sort stuff for the auction and digging through a couple boxes left with my name on them, maybe I’ll get a little time to do some writing.

Enjoy your weekend!

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.

23 thoughts on “Slow start

  1. So the Muse is now taking over your blog, too?! No, that wasn’t in the job description, but he writes a decent post (Don’t tell him – yours are better). And sometimes, it’s good to get out for a walk to get your thoughts together…

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Sometimes he takes it upon himself to write my posts, but I worry that he’s going to get a little out of control πŸ˜‰ And no worries, I won’t tell him–he’ll want to practice, and we can’t have that πŸ˜€ Have a great rest of your weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This tough love is painful. I can’t offer much help either. My muse nagged me for 20 years. I finally gave up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad your muse got you on a walk to think…that sure helps me at times:) And it made for a highly entertaining blog! Good luck on your word count this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been going on a lot of walks lately–to try and work out the story. Now, if I lived closer to a state park with trails, that’d be great πŸ˜€ The gravel road with trucks driving on it isn’t the greatest, but it works. Thanks, Denise! Now back to word count … πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love my muse to take over blogging! Ha ha. Then I could get working on my darn outline which doesn’t want to work. Good luck at your dad’s Julie. It seems as though you get a good bit of work done there. And take walks when the muse says so. It’s good to clear the head. Happy Productive Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! So, I’m not the only one who has outlines that don’t work? Whew! I walked into the living room at my dad’s house, and it’s full of boxes and bins. Got some stuff sorted, but OMG, I knew my mom loved Christmas, but wow, talk about boxes and bins of Christmas decorations! Needless to say, Christmas and I don’t get along well ever since she passed. And I’ve been taking a lot of walks (usually because it’s too hot to run πŸ™‚ ). I’ve been able to work out a few things. Now, if I lived closer to a state park or some other trail, I could probably get the whole story figured out in one go πŸ˜€ Enjoy your weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So funny. Love when he said Bloody Hell. Ah, good stuff.
    P.S. The countdown begins. No, the other countdown. Dun-dun-duhhhhh! I hear “You all ready for this?” playing, followed by that dance music. It’s cooooooming. Or rather, *I’m* coooooming. Mae Clare, eat your heart out. Haha! Kidding!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m late popping in thanks to an extended holiday, but loved getting two views in this post–Mr.E’s muse friend and Julie. Made me grin πŸ™‚

    I’ve got fingers crossed for you on those drafts and also the self-imposed NaNo. I’ve been cleaning up a lot of short fiction this month, but plan to be back to book 3 of Hode’s Hill by the beginning of August.

    Wishing you the best at your dad’s and also hoping you can squeeze some writing time in too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVED this post. Your muse is the best. (I really need to get one of my own.)

    Hope you had a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! But don’t tell him, his ego is a little out of control anyway πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Have a great week, Staci!

      Liked by 1 person

      • He does have an ego issue.

        Hey… weren’t you supposed to ask him to send one of his friends my way? I distinctly remember this discussion after your conference and he had been partying with his colleagues. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, yeah, that’s right! πŸ˜€ *fails attempt at whistle* Hey, did you ever send someone over to Staci?

        My Muse pulls a folded sheaf of paper from his back pocket, unfolds it, and flips through pages. “Oh, yeah. Working on it. I’ve got an Italian bodyguard and a,” he flips the page over and back, “hmm. That’s got to be wrong. A panther? No. Cat. What? Gaucho? Bloody hell. I’ve got to tell the switchboard to clean up their handwriting. Tell her I’ll send someone out. Or something. Maybe Mr. E can read this.”

        Er. Okay. Hey, he said he’s working on it. But on the bright side, he did say an Italian bodyguard is on the list. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s perfect! Definitely on the right track with that one. I’ll keep my eye out…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie, your muse had me laughing as he took over your blog – he seemed to be in his element! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. Focus can be tricky and a reminder here and there doesn’t harm, just as long as he and the guilt doesn’t whip you too hard! I hope you had a good time at your Dad’s – it’s emotional to pack up a life and particularly one entwined directly with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I’ve got to keep an eye on my Muse. One of my writing sisters suggested a book or short story series with him, but that might give him other ideas πŸ˜€ It’s tough to go through all those memories, and know that some day soon the house that you grew up in will belong to someone else. A lot of grieving, especially since that’s where my last memories of my mom before she went into hospice. Dad has to do what is better for him; he can’t keep up with the yard and house so much anymore (there were five of us kids in that house, so it’s big for one person). Enjoy the rest of your week!

      Liked by 1 person

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