Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Six months and counting…



What do you mean this is your chair?

The world of traditional publishing moves s-l-o-w-l-y. And then really fast, like “write up back cover copy, fill out this three-page form with promo stuff, and get it back to me in a week” fast. And then, hurry up and wait. Again.

I’m at the “hurry up and wait” stage. There are a bunch of things I can do now to prepare for my novel’s release in March, including promo stuff that I don’t need a cover for. I happen to be a part of a super-wonderful group of bloggers who have had eureka moments and fine-tuned their promotional stuff, and have graciously shared their experiences on their own blogs or blogs they contribute to.

Which means I have a handy dandy list of stuff to do before March.

I feel like I did when I was trying to write back copy. Or a query. Or a logline. Namely, how the hell do I start?

Well, this Saturday (today!) I’ll be spending all day at the Deep Valley Book Festival manning the Sisters in Crime table, selling anthologies and taking memberships. And observing the process. I imagine I’ll have some time to work on my promo stuff; I’m going to prepare to take advantage of the time, anyway. And I’ll have the opportunity to see how other authors do things.

So, a short post today. Still plugging away on Book 2. And NaNo is approaching. One of my co-workers asked me if I was going to NaNo this year. I’d love to do NaNo, but the only way I’ll be able to is if I can finish the rough draft of Book 2. I’m 35k words in. If I can hit 50k (and/or finish the draft) by November 1, I’ll take on NaNo. I need to get back into the habit of writing 2k words every day, so I’m thinking NaNo would be a good idea.

And for those of you who popped in just because of the cat pics (yes, I know you, B πŸ˜€ !), here’s a couple more. It’s been unusually cool for us this time of year, so Zoey took advantage of my fuzzy lap blanket (which I use mostly for my feet). Or should I say furry lap blanket?

It’s her go-to spot when I’m working on my laptop (and my computer is taking up my lap). Then she gets upset when I have to get up to go to the bathroom. On the bright side, she is nice and warm πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend!


See? My chair.


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, four 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.

35 thoughts on “Six months and counting…

  1. Those really are adorable ‘photos. And I know just what you mean about ‘hurry up and wait.’ As you say, there are always things that you can be doing to get ready for your launch, whether it’s online interviews, website promo, or something else. And that will make the actual launch much easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right, Margot! And I’ve been studying up πŸ™‚ I find it’s just like writing a query, though. Where/how do I start? So, I’ll do what I did when I started querying: toss ideas out and see what clicks. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie, your cat really look absolutely right in your chair. So now, where are you going to sit? 😘.
    Good luck with all the hard work, it will be worth it in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It always has amazed me how a cat can grow during the night and take up my side of the bed. He is all sprawled out sound asleep and I have to curl up in a ball. What’s wrong with this picture? Good luck on the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You caught me–the cat pictures pulled me in but your experiences kept me there. Great to read how things are going.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish I could have a cat, Julie, and your photos reinforce my desire. I am allergic so cannot indulge. Cats really show us how to relax, don’t they? But you are not doing much relaxing with your upcoming book release! I so envy your group of local writers you hang out with. What a terrific support that must be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bummer that you are allergic! I’m a cat person, and I grew up with cats. The upcoming release looms on the horizon, a combination of excitement and dread. I know the more I do ahead of time, the easier it’ll be later. Now it’s like homework—gotta resist putting it off until the last minute, right? πŸ˜€ Even knowing that MN has a huge writing community, I’m seeing more of it now that I’ve been more active in our Sisters in Crime chapter. It’s very encouraging to have that pool of knowledge and experience to tap into.

      Enjoy your weekend, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s nice to have beautiful legs warmers. Mine get upset if I go to the bathroom too. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zoey is a star. She looks like a cuddle bug. Raven snuggles mostly at night but is a constant presence in the room during the day wherever I happen to be.

    You are on countdown!. It’s amazing how quickly time passes when you’re waiting for a book pub.

    I’m currently at 25K on Hode’s Hill book 3. I would love to do NaNo but I know it isn’t going to happen. I’d love to finish this series and focus on something new. Somehow it never happens when November rolls around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoey is a great cuddler–when it suits her πŸ˜€ And I have a feeling the next 6 months are going to fly by! Still struggling with my draft, but I think my Muse is trying to help by stirring up ideas to mitigate some of the things I’m struggling with–but of course, that means revamping the earlier parts of the plot. I might have to utilize NaNo to rewrite the draft yet again.

      Oooh, HH3! Can’t wait for HH2 to be released πŸ˜€

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the cat pics, Julie. I’m severely allergic, so I’ll never have the pleasure. (Honestly, I’m allergic to my dogs and have been suffering for years, but I’ll never get rid of them and the allergy to them isn’t as bad as my reaction to cats.)

    But I digress.

    Glad you’ve got a plan for March and hoping you get your WIP finished soon. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. those promo stuff are so much harder than writing, Julie. Frustrating too. but i’d say that first step will be the worse. good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read this on Saturday but am only now getting back to comment. Sigh. I wanted to say that you know I LOVE my own personal shout out. It makes me feel special. But also, I read every word of this post! I didn’t just come for the cat pics. That’s merely the furry orange icing on the cake. So excited for your book in 6 months! (And my parenting bk is one month after.)
    And now to Zoe, please just let her see the screen. Don’t read it. It’s personal: “Meow. Purrrrr. Mew. Mew. Purr. Rawl. Slurp!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I always think of you when I post cat pics, and I always wonder when you will finally get a cat. Because chickens just aren’t as cuddly. Are yours laying eggs yet? Ours stopped now, not sure if for the season or for good, so now we’re back to buying substandard grocery store eggs. Sigh.

      OH, man. Nov 6?? Yikes. Let’s see, four kids, homeschooling, chickens, Vikings fan…yep, nope, not gonna make it by Nov 6 unless you give the girls a few days off school.

      And Zoe says: “Purr, purrr, meow, chitter, rawl. Purrrr, mew meow, rawl. Meow, purrrrr.”

      Have a great writing week, Betsy!


      • Thanks, Julie! One hen started laying two weeks ago, another last week, and a third yesterday. The one that started first hasn’t laid the last two days, however, which makes me a bit concerned. Perhaps I ought not be. We know who started first because she was making an awful racket in the roost. Poor, poor thing. That’s gotta be uncomfortable. We caught the second layer in the act, so to speak. But the new egg looks more like one from the 2nd layer, but we got an egg from her already that day. It’s too different from the first layer, so we call it the “mystery egg.” We have yet to figure out which of the remaining two started. Paul made an “egg chart” so we can keep track of who lays when. It’s fun for the kids (and I suspect for him.) He tells me he had a crazy, busy day, yet he managed to type up and print out this chart. Hmmm… πŸ™‚

        In bed last night I got all nervous about having written that stuff about my editor, paranoidly (made up a word) concerned that the publisher will somehow see it. Now that you’ve read it, can you somehow delete that part? Just to be on the safe side? I’d appreciate it.

        Ah, sweet Zoey. She always knows just what to say. Please tell her “Mew purrrrrrr” back from me. She’ll know what that means.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Got it. No worries.

        And just FYI, the first eggs are usually smaller than the regular ones, because the hens are just getting going (at least in our experience). And in the beginning they might not lay every day. Sooo, Paul seems like he’s either really analytical, or … okay, yeah, we’ll go with analytical. πŸ˜€ Typically each hen will lay one egg per day, so if you pick eggs every day, you should know if all or only some of the hens laid an egg that day (not which one, though, unless you have a color difference in the eggs or they have their own egg boxes). So, if you have four hens, you will get two dozen+ eggs every week!

        Enjoy your … er, Paul’s new hobby πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • The girls really want to know which hens are laying which eggs. Okay, we’re all sort of curious. We’re doing our best to decipher. We are officially out of store bought eggs as of Sunday, so these girls better put out! πŸ˜‰ Must be hard to not be getting eggs right now. Going back to store-bought sounds like a bummer. You think it’s the weather? At what age are they too old to keep laying?

        And I’m glad you were able to stick to your guns on the POV in your story. Smart to take a few days to fume before responding. Very smart!

        And thanks about the other thing. Can never be too safe on-line these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It could be the weather–they do slow down when it gets cold outside. And the first year they lay every day pretty reliably. Year two not too bad. I think by the time they’re three they don’t lay much at all. And you know the saying about stewing hens? When the hens stop laying, they were candidates for consumption, but hens are really tough, as in, you need to stew the meat, like, a loooonng time, to make it tender. Trust me. We had a hen that died due to egg-binding (you’ll have to watch yours for that, you can google it), so we thought, what the hell. Yep. I know where the old saying comes from. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, good to know. I’ll have to look up egg binding. It would be tragic if we lost one of our hens to that, esp so soon, and because we’re sort of attached already. Probably shouldn’t have named them. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahh…nothing like a cute cuddly Zoey to warm you up on the cold autumn days … what’s laptop, anyways?! πŸ˜€

    How did it go at the book festival? Learn lots of handy tips? It sounds like a real rollercoaster ride until publication… enjoy the lulls although I have a feeling that they’ll become less frequent. Your NaNoWr sounds like a good idea and hope it works out for you. Happy Writing &Publishing! πŸ˜€ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • The book festival was very enlightening. And bonus, the author sitting next to our table is published by my publisher! We had a good time comparing notes, and she had some suggestions as well.

      And I know the closer to release I get, the more things will need to be done, so if I start now, it should be easier later, right?

      Enjoy the rest of your week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, definitely easier … it all helps and just think, for your second book you’ll be so much more aware of what is happening and needed. I’m having a lovely week, in Sweden for a few days to close up the houses for winter, meeting friends and family! Wonderful and inspirational! Great news about meeting an author from the same publishers! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My experience was hurry up and wait slowness too, Julie. Good luck planning for your release. I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And good luck with Nano. I’m going to do it too (but unofficially). I have to get back into the writing swing of things and what better way. Keep plugging along and Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I know whenever I do NaNo (and win, because otherwise the “write every day” habit isn’t sticking), I feel like I’m a real writer somehow. I think writing around 2k words a day does it πŸ™‚

      Enjoy the rest of your week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah yes, I remember the hurry up and wait stage. But it will all be worthwhile the first time you hold a copy of your brand new book in your hand. I might have actually squealed.

    My Callie Cat is currently worshiping at the altar of the heat god (she’s laying on the furnace vent enjoying the warmth).

    Liked by 1 person

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