Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Winding up for NaNo



Okay, call me crazy (again). My big plan is to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. Yeah, I know. Nothing like giving myself a week to finish my WIP draft and jump into another completely different story.

“You are having trouble with your WIP as it is, love.” My Muse closes the back door of my writing office, but not before a cool wash of air sneaks in carrying the scent of fallen leaves, that earthy aroma with a spicy edge. His black and red flannel shirt, sleeves rolled to his elbows, is almost too expected, with worn jeans and hiking boots. “And yet you choose to jump into a month-long writing frenzy.” He leans a hip on my desk. “What the hell are you thinking?”

I rock back in my chair. “Obviously, I’m thinking if I have a deadline for my rough draft, I’ll get it done.”

He crosses his arms on his broad chest and sighs. “How’s that working for you?”

Truthfully, not well. “You know the answer to that.”

“I do. Which is why I’m wondering what the hell you’re thinking.”

“Hey, I’ve been working on other stuff I need to do for my book. S had a great list she posted a few weeks back on Story Empire. I’m working through the stuff I can do without a cover, like picking out quotes and excerpts from my book that I can use as teasers for the cover reveal and stuff.”

“You need to finish your WIP, love.” He leans over, bracing hands on my desk and looming over me. “That’s your priority. Do you really think you can finish the draft by November?”

When he makes it sound like that … “Yes. I mean, I’m at the midpoint crisis.”

“Mid. Point. That’s the middle.”

“Or so.”

“You have how many days?” he asks, his blue eyes drilling into mine. Hey, he looks like he hasn’t shaved in a few days. It looks good. Rustic. Like we should be out in the woods somewhere in a log cabin, with a fireplace, and …

*snaps fingers* “Pay attention, love.”

I am. Oh, he means to what he’s saying. “I know, I know.”

He shakes his head in exasperation. I think it’s exasperation. Pretty sure.

“You will finish your WIP before jumping into another project, because you have got to get that draft done, which you well know.” He straightens. “Deal?”


I’ve got a Sisters In Crime panel to go to this afternoon–for moral support ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s only a half-hour away, and it’s another opportunity to see how things work in the world of author panels.

And here’s Zoey, enjoying a warm place to nap, because I know cats make people feel all warm and fuzzy (unless they have allergies, in which case cats make them feel itchy and runny-nosey).


Have a wonderful weekend!


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.

32 thoughts on “Winding up for NaNo

  1. A lot of people find NaNoWriMo a very useful way to focus and get that draft (2nd draft, whatever) done. I give you a lot of credit, and I wish you well finishing your draft.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Margot! I’ve learned that NaNo is a great way for me to get through those rough drafts, which is the first step. And I really need to get my WIP rough draft (well, I think it’s, like, the 6th rough draft ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) So time to buckle down and dig in. Maybe I can convince my Muse to get some Moon Man as a reward ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Julie. I’m sorry. You must be struggling if he’s cracking the metaphorical whip. (At least, I hope it’s metaphorical!) I hope your Sisters in Crime panel inspires you to finish your WIP. I hate to think what he’ll do if you don’t.

    Thanks for the checklist shout-out, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome, Staci! I think your list is great. And I think I saw the whip coiled up in one of the recliners. And the fedora is hanging on the coat tree beside the door, so I think he’s warning me. The panel was inspiring; it seems time with writers stirs up that creative energy; not too much, though, because I could spend that time writing ๐Ÿ˜€

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not introducing our muses. Mine is much nicer to me! Sigh. So it’s still up in the air, hunh, the NaNoWriMo thing? I’ll check back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know. He seems to be nice with other muses. It’s just that he’s kind of a hard-ass when it comes to his writer. But I am determined to do NaNo this year, because I really need to get some drafting done.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Jacqui!


  4. You are ambitious! I signed up for Nano. Ugh. The pressure. I feel it already. Love your muse, Julie. He’s such a hunk. Now get him out the door so you can concentrate! Lol. Happy Writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! Yes, that pressure–good, yet not so much. It seems like I need that pressure to get my sh–er, my stuff done. I think–hope!–he went out to get me some Moon Man as a reward. I’m determined to finish my WIP draft so I can get into my other story for NaNo.

      Enjoy your weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How much would I love that kitty kitty on my lap?!?! Purr…. with a lovely rolling rrrr…. Okay, the writing. Similarly, I suppose, I’m wanting to work on the novel when I’m knee deep in edits for the parenting book. Good thing that will be done soon(ish) so I can be ready for the two advance reads I just bought to go along with the writing conference I just dropped a fat load of cash on! I’m doing it! Finally doing it! Scared to bloody death, but I’ve pulled the trigger. May I not hyperventilate when I walk through the door! If I had your muse walking next to me I might be less scared. Think you can spare him for a weekend in February? He might enjoy a break from the cold, perhaps pull back out a henley I’ve noticed he’s fond of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooh, a writing conference! Good for you! It’ll be fine. Just remember everyone else is a writer, and they are there for the same reason you are. I still think you should take a long weekend for yourself and come to the Writers’ Institute ๐Ÿ˜€ Okay, so April in Wisconsin, but c’mon, lots of writers, and moi ๐Ÿ˜€

      As for borrowing my Muse, I’ll ask him. I think he might be able to spare a weekend for you ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, that henley gets me every time. I asked if he had some other colors. I think he would look soooo yummy in a royal blue–er, I’m not supposed to say that about my Muse, am I? Did I say that out loud?

      Zoey says ‘Hi!’ Or rather, “Mew mroow, purrrr, purr, meow.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • If your Muse reads this, and I suspect he will, just tell him you were drinking when you wrote that–one of those exotic beers he occasionally brings you. Say you stashed it away for safe keeping way back when. ๐Ÿ™‚
        I hope he likes me if he comes! If not him, I’ll take the dragon. Oooh, I’ll sooooo take the dragon!! They like warm weather, right? Although, Berk is cold like MN. Hmmm… That dragon needs a vacay!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can let you borrow the dragon! And next week I’ll have to show off my new, erm, “inspirational” dragon. Or watchdragon. Or something. And check out Mae Clair’s blog–she posted pics of her cat, Raven (maeclair.net).


  6. Julie, good luck with NaNo! I’m using November to see if I can get the last 25,000 words of a book written. It’s the horrid middle section! I applaud writers who do NaNo successfully. I’m a slow writer. Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Raven was being a lap kitty this morning, kneading and making little chirpy sounds. Right now she’s focused on the fact it’s almost dinner time, LOL.

    You paint such a good picture of your muse I can’t wait to see what you do with descriptions in your book! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck with NaNo. I should give it a try. Not to start a new project but to see if I can churn out 50K on my WIP during the month. Considering I’m a little over 30K that would like finish the book for me. Maybe we’ll both have amazing Novembers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *high five* Yes! Let’s finish our WIPs on a high note! I remember the first time I “won” NaNo–what a rush! And every year after that–until last year. Busted it big. I need NaNo to get my mind back into the game.

      And I miss seeing pictures of Raven! Even though pics of a black cat are tough (because, black), you should post some (hint!). We had a black cat years ago. He was such a cool cat!

      Have a wonderful writing weekend, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I admire your drive, Julie. Sometimes added pressure is helpful, and of course, you have the added challenge of proving your muse wrong in his skepticism! Iโ€™m one who loves the photo of the kitty but would be sneezing my head off if she was with me. Which makes me sad because Iโ€™d love to have a cat. What is a Moon Man?

    Liked by 1 person

    • So sorry to hear you’re allergic to cats. Got up this morning to a present left by mine; she caught a mouse overnight and left the icky parts in the middle of the floor. So, maybe a good thing you don’t have a cat?? Moon Man lager is a wonderful craft beer made in New Glarus, WI. I had it for the first time during one of my Writing Sisters reunions, and fell in love with it. It’s only sold in WI, though, so I try to treat myself whenever I cross the border ๐Ÿ™‚

      Enjoy your weekend, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhh, the cat is doing her job. Iโ€™d rather have mouse parts on the floor than a mouse running around! We have to use glue traps. Ewww to that too! I suspected Moon Man might be a craft beer. We have a lot of craft breweries in our area, and have our favorites, too. Hope it expands its territory!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope they do, but it is something to look forward to in WI (besides all the other cool stuff, like the Writers’ Institute and reunions with my Writing Sisters ๐Ÿ˜€ ) And yes, mouse parts rather than a mouse, but I wish she would deposit the leftovers elsewhere ๐Ÿ™‚ This morning I found a mouse head, one leg, and the innards, in three piles, in front of the computer desk. At least I didn’t step on them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yikes! You better be sure you are wearing shoes, Julie. Wisconsin holds many treasures for you.


  9. Best of luck with your WIP. I think it’s a good idea for that extra push to get work done! I’ve never attempted it because November isn’t a month that works for me. Of course I can find a reason for every month, too. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I find I need the whole NaNo thing to get me back on track. It usually helps, but every so often I find it’s a bust. I think it depends on all the other stuff taking up space in my head. I should probably write it all out–that would give me a huge chunk of my 50k words, I’m thinking ๐Ÿ˜€

      Have a wonderful week, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have never successfully completed a work for NANO. In the race of everyday novel writing, I am not a hare, but a tortoise. I can only write 500 words a day and maintain the quality my soul requires.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Julie, good luck with the NaNoWi … Iโ€™m always in awe of everyone who partakes and understand it can be a great way to focus ones work! Donโ€™t let your muse give you a hard time! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ I hope you had a great time with the panel and came back reenergised and inspired! Happy Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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