Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere



Yep. The barren white page stares at me, daring me to deface it with words. Hell, with anything resembling a scene in my story.

Stuck. I’m not sure if it’s the transition scene or if I’m trying too hard to cover bases my editor pointed out in my manuscript, but something is blocking me.

Coincidentally (or maybe fortuitously), I’ve read a few articles about overcoming “stuck”, including an older one about breaking through writer’s block, and another about what to do when you stall out. BTW, if you aren’t familiar with Janice Hardy’s blog, you are missing out!

I’m trying to figure out just what I’m getting hung up on. I know my characters. I know the backstory. I know the plot. And I know I’m getting distracted by real life stuff. For instance, my daughter had orientation this week at college. She’s been terribly anxious about it because she doesn’t know what she wants to do (undecided). The college has a wonderful program to help undecided students explore their options. And the people are soooo nice (which my daughter commented on more than once).

We spent all day at the school. And by the end of the day, my daughter was feeling much better about going off to school (yay!). My plan was to get home and finally give my garden some attention since, well, it hadn’t rained for a few days (but it was hella hot and humid). That is, until it started raining as we got home.

So, I should spend the time writing, right? I pulled out my computer, and stared at the screen, and the dozen words I managed the day before. Added about a hundred words.


I’ve got the brainstorming wall out, and my bucket of ideas, but the spatters and splotches aren’t making any sense yet. And my Muse happened to “leave” his fedora on the corner of my desk. A hint, I suppose.

And of course, he’s somewhere but not here, probably on a pub crawl. Maybe I need a pub crawl. I wonder if I could find him–I could crash his crawl.

Damn, that sounds like fun πŸ˜€

This weekend I have got to get into the garden, or I’m going to need a machete to find my way. I’ll try to take pics and post them next week–if I’m brave. And writing, damn it. Maybe I’ll get things moving by scribbling for a bit with pencil and paper. That seems to help, even if it’s just “thinking out loud but on paper”.

I’m counting down to our annual Writing Sister reunion–yippee! I’m also counting down to my first meeting with a blogging buddy. I always wonder what it would be like to meet the cool blogging writers I know in person. I get to find out next week!

Anywho. Hope your creativity is moving along better than mine πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend (and may the weeds fail to choke out your veggies πŸ˜€ )


P.S.: Hey, S, my Muse left a note to ask you if your “package” arrived. If you want to return it, let him know. He might have another that might work out. πŸ˜‰

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.

21 thoughts on “Blank

  1. Well, I’m very glad your daughter feels better about starting school. That’s a big relief! As for being stuck? That’s happened to me, too, and it’s usually a sign that I need to do something else – something creative that’s not writing. That break in routine sometimes jolts me back in touch with the story I’m trying to write, for what it’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great idea, Margot to do something else creative. Might be time to pull out some colored pencils. Sometimes getting out in the garden works, too. And I’m relieved my daughter is feeling better about school. If she’s comfortable with the whole what-classes-am-I-taking-because-I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do thing, I think she’ll be able to enjoy her time there more.

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear your daughter’s outlook has improved. I know how much we stress when our kids are out of sorts.

    I’m surprised your muse has left you hanging.I thought he was more … insistent. Sorry you’re struggling. Have you tried wine? If nothing else, you can cut into your muse’s fun time, maybe drag him home.

    I heard a commotion outside and sent the dogs after it. They scared it away. Now I’m sad; it must have been my surprise. (Although, if he’s scared away by two rambunctious Labs, I don’t know if he was the one for me.) Do you mind requesting a re-send? Now that I know he’ll be arriving with fanfare, I won’t sic the dogs on him. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I think he left to take a break from my pacing the office and pummeling the brainstorming wall. Oh, I haven’t tried wine yet, but I’m definitely adding it to my list. Right after weeding the garden (oddly, time in the garden is almost like meditation). Maybe before and after πŸ˜€

      Or, maybe he went to console the muse. You’re right, though. Probably not the best one for you if he can’t handle a couple labs. I’ll let him know he should send a more dog-friendly one πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie, after ready your last few posts, it looks as if you’ve been traveling 90 miles an hour in too many directions. You’re not β€œStuck.”’Your brain’s at a REST STOP. Glad to hear your daughter is settling in at college. As soon as she finds like friends, everything will be better. As far as your missing hunk of a man Muse goes? Well? His pub hopping break’s sort of like a rest stop. Happy Weekend! Have some FUN! πŸ“š Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right, Christine. I was just telling my husband how I feel like I’ve got a million things bouncing around in my head and I can’t focus. And I think my Muse needed a break from me as well πŸ˜€ I’m going to weed the garden later, I think, to quiet the ol’ brain for a bit. I looked at it earlier. Yikes!

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you get loads done this weekend! Gardening and writing. Loved the machete part. Glad you’ll get to meet a blogging buddy. I hope she doesn’t turn out to be a psychopath. And hooray for your daughter feeling better about college. I’m sure she’ll figure out what she wants to study in good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m preettty sure she isn’t a psychopath. I mean, she has chickens and stuff, so she can’t be, right? πŸ˜€ Speaking of, you haven’t posted about your chickens yet. How is that going? Oh man, I should invite my blogging buddy to my place to help pull weeds πŸ˜‰ Except I’d have to clean the house. Er, yeah… We’ll have to settle for coffee at the wine bar πŸ˜€


  5. So funny that you should mention me being a chicken person. I was planning on blogging about our visit and saying that I knew you had to be okay because you’re a chicken person. Ha! Yes, I keep forgetting to post more about the chickies! They’re getting so big, too! I’ll get to it eventually. But speaking of them and weeds, how much do I love that the chickens will eat our weeds?! It motivates me to pull weeds because it’s like free food to boot! Woo hoo! I have to get to cleaning the house (although my minions are currently on the task) because people are coming over tonight sort of for Joe’s birthday. Yes, BIRTHday! I still can’t get over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Hey, you can feed the chickens compostable stuff. So weeds and apple cores and watermelon rinds (they LOVE watermelon) and cantaloupe rinds and especially the seeds. For some things, like apple peels, best to chop them small so they can actually eat them. Overripe fruits and veggies, too. No onions, though. Ours won’t touch them πŸ˜‰ OMG, Joe is a year old?! Wow, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Just think, he’s almost to the toddler stage πŸ˜€


      • Yes, we’ve been tossing them our food scraps. Potato peels in addition to what you’ve listed. I noticed that they eat those watermelon down to a paper-thin dark green rind. I keep a can in the kitchen for food scraps. It’s handy. I love not having to waste food this way. Our hamster was decent at this too, but obviously not to the same extent. And thank you for not asking me to help you pull weeds. That was my least favorite chore as a kid. But seeing your garden, your chickens, and, wasn’t there some other animal over there? I forget πŸ˜‰ , would be nice.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad your daughter is feeling more comfortable about school! Writers block can be so daunting. Those are the days i go outside and sit with my journal and hope a poem makes an appearance–or my mind resets. Hope you get past it soon! It was a garden day here…on the hottest day of the year, but at least I got to use my electric trimmers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the idea of sitting outside with a notebook–I always find the outdoors to be a catalyst for creativity. My dad’s backyard is great, with a patio and a number of trees. I need to work on our setup at home πŸ™‚ I’ve been wanting to build a gazebo … πŸ˜€ I spent a few hours in the garden last night. Ugh. Hot. But I did pull most of the weeds. There are always a few that escape πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful weekend, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So glad to hear your daughter is settling in, and hope you have a lot with your blogging buddy. I’ve met a few of my online friends over the years and it’s always a blast.
    I’ve been reworking short stories I wrote decades ago, but I think it might be time to move onto book 3 of the new series. I wish you happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m excited about meeting my blogging buddy, and hope to meet many more πŸ™‚ I’m glad my daughter has gotten more comfortable with the idea of going off to college. She’s even intending to join the college pep band (even though she can’t officially take the class due to her schedule).
      Reworking old projects is on my list. I’ve got so many rough drafts courtesy of years of NaNoWriMo, but I’ve got a book 2 to do. And short stories, and a novella, and … There never seems to be enough time or quiet space. I’m so looking forward to an empty nest–fewer distractions. Now, if I could just get a writing office assembled πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was reading about you meeting a blogging buddy and thought to myself. Hey, Betsy just mentioned the same thing in her blog, and wah-la. What a small world. I wish you much luck in the garden and with the daughter’s adjustment to college, and with the blank page. You’ll get through it. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you’re finally feeling better. Yep, I’ll be meeting with Betsy this coming weekend. Her hubs is from MN, and they’re having a family reunion, so she’ll be in town. Spent hours in the garden the past few days, weeding and raking cut grass for mulch. I always forget how much work it is. Not so bad in the beginning, it seems, but then the weeds go gang-busters about mid- to late-July. And hot. And mosquitoes. And this year lots of pesky gnats. But the fresh veggies are worth it, right? πŸ˜€

      Have a great week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, worth it, for sure. And you’re right, in June the garden seems like it might be manageable, and then come mid-July it’s out of control. My daughter came over to help while I was in bed – she weeded for an hour and gave up. Ha ha.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie, I hope you got a chance to attack those weeds – as for the rain please send some over here! With everything else going on in your life I’m not surprised the blank page is remaining rather word-free. It is a worrying time whilst your daughter settles into her college – I hope she finds a brilliant course to try out! What a great idea letting them experiment with various courses until they find one they enjoy! I think that maybe the suggestions from your editor are partially responsible for the lack of inspiration. Is there any chance you can just put it to one side for now … go off the deep end instead? My writing has been minimal this month as visiting three unis in three weeks – thankfully a break until September. Now trying to get ready for the long summer in Sweden – I can’t wait. Relief from this exhausting heat! Wishing you and your family a lovely week. hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did get to launch an assault on the weeds, even though I know they’ll be back. Likely with reinforcements 😐 I think you’re right about the feedback from my editor affecting my writing now. I need to keep reminding myself it is a rough draft, and anything goes, because I can fix it later. Honestly, I have been thinking about setting book 2 aside and working on one of my other projects, but since I have a contract for it, and I expect my publisher will want to release book 2 a year or so after the first one, I figure I’d better work on it now, rather than run into this mire later. Sigh.

      So glad my daughter has gathered her enthusiasm for college! She took it upon herself to contact the professor in charge of the pep band (for sports rallies) and ask to join since her schedule prevents official registration for it. She’s taking initiative, which is great. Sure beats nagging her to do it, and then finding out a deadline has passed.

      Have a wonderful–and cooler–summer in Sweden!

      Liked by 1 person

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