Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Clueless, but trying


The back door of my writing office opens, letting in a blast of crisp winter air and a flurry of snowflakes. Despite my sweats over long johns–my winter casual wear in the house–I shiver. “Shut that. It’s cold.”

My Muse closes the door and stomps snowy boots on the doormat. He unwraps a red knit scarf from around his neck and pulls off a matching stocking cap before he tugs off his ski gloves. “Brisk. Actually, love, it’s refreshing.” He starts to cross the office, his boots thudding on the floor.

“Hey, stop. Don’t get snow all over my office. Take your boots off.”

An eyebrow arches high before he complies, leaving his boots on the mat as he peels off his leather bomber jacket. He shoves the gloves in his hat and his hat into a sleeve of the jacket before hanging it and the scarf on the coat tree beside the door.

“Nice of you to come back during the snowstorm.” I lean back in my chair and feast my eyes — er, take inventory of my Muse. A cream-colored fisherman’s sweater–looks toasty warm–and jeans, with thermal socks–wait. “Minions? Where did you find those?”

minion socks He follows my gaze to his feet. “What?”

“Never mind.” I return my attention to my computer.

My Muse drags a chair beside me. “I see you haven’t taken down your Christmas lights.”

The huge whiteboard on the wall is a perfect mount for my lights, which I draped around the perimeter. Another string of lights surrounds the door trim on both doors. “I like Christmas lights. If I wait long enough, I can call them Easter lights.” christmas lights

He groans. “Uh-huh. What are you working on, because I know for a fact that isn’t your WIP.”

I frown at the screen. “Author website. And newsletter. And cover reveal posts, although at this point I’ll just bypass the reveal and plan for the release.” *grumble*

My Muse rests his arm across the back of my chair, which means he’s leaning close. Really close. And that sweater is toasty warm if the heat radiating from him is any indication. “Aaand,” he indicated the screen, “this is which?”


“So what’s the problem? You used to be in IT.”

“But I never built websites. I can do it, it’s just a matter of deciding how to do it. I mean, what it should look like.” Then there’s the time suck of digging around the internet for a free theme that strikes me as the right sort to use.

Ever go on Pintrest? Yep, like that.

“Hey, you’re my Muse, so muse me. C’mon, I’m drawing a blank here. I can’t decide whether to tweak a ready-made template or create a new one. Or what it should look like. I have a landing page that basically says I’m not finished with the site yet, but I don’t know where to go from there.”

His chuckle rolls out from deep in his chest. I know, because at this range, I can feel it. “You’ll figure it out, love. You always do.”

“Fat lot of help you are.”

He looks at me, his blue eyes sparkling–with something like humor, I suspect. “You do realize I am here to help, right? With the whole channeling creative energy thing. Besides, you’re making it too complicated.”

“How so?”

“Focus on the books you know will be coming out first. You can always adjust from there.”

“So, what you’re saying is, leave my police procedural out of the equation for now.” I’m sure he’s right. They are on the back burner right now in favor of my book coming out, Book 2, and another mystery on my list to write. Well, redraft, which seems to be my thing these days.

“What is the saying? Keep it simple? Do that.”

Geez, nothing like being vague. “That’s the plan.”

So that’s my plan over the weekend, the first whole weekend since the kids went back to school. I really should clean. And take down my Christmas lights. And work on the workshop I’m doing in March for our local Sisters in Crime chapter. And I haven’t gone through any seed catalogs yet. And I’m way behind reading blog posts. And …

Anyway. It’s cold and snowy–first real snow of 2019, although I’ve been enjoying our mild winter so far.

Happy Writing!

zoey nap


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.

30 thoughts on “Clueless, but trying

  1. I know the feeling of having a lot of projects going on, Julie! It is a good idea to focus on what’s most immediate, and then you can go from there. And in the meantime, I hope your Muse didn’t leave a whole big slushy puddle by those boots of his.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, a lot of projects. Weird how we don’t realize how many until they all need to be worked on 😮 And yes, he did leave a puddle under his boots. Thankfully I have one of those rubber “keep the water contained” mats beside the main one. I told him next time he has to stomp outside 😀

      Enjoy your weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your Muse! My most frequent one is an eleven-year-old boy. Hmmmm. I might be doing something wrong, here. 😀

    Thanks for bringing a smile here to sunny Florida this morning, where I’m actually wearing a pair of jeans instead of the shorts I had on yesterday. But for a muse like yours, I could weather a bit of snow, I imagine. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, I’m in MN–sunny with a high temp of 5 degrees–and you are in sunny FL where you wore shorts yesterday?? Of course, we were wearing shorts here last week when it got up to 45 😀 It’s been pretty mild here. Back in the old days, 5 degrees was pretty standard for January. Did someone say global warming?

      Have a wonderful weekend, Marcia!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there IS a reason I’m in sunny FL and not snowy, frigid, arctic MN–shorts pretty much all year long. 😀 Truthfully, I’d prefer some place a wee bit cooler, like the NC mountains, but my hubby likes it here. And he never even wears shorts! Jeans only. What’s up with that?

        Hope you get some kinder weather soon, even if you have to keep your legs covered a bit longer. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There is always a ‘should’ lurking over your shoulder telling you that whatever you are doing is not the ‘right thing.’ Your hunky muse has come along radiating his wisdom and heat at exactly the right time! We are hunkered down in Maine awaiting a major storm – the first significant snowfall since November. And it is wicked cold. Looking for a fisherman’s sweater…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh, yeah, that winter storm is heading your direction. Stay safe!! We got about three inches of snow yesterday, and it’s about 5 degrees here now (with a windchill of about -11). Not too bad if you bundle up. It’s a great excuse to stay in, curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate or tea, and binge-read 😀 Or look for fisherman’s sweaters …. Preferably worn on a fine-looking hunk 😀

      Enjoy your weekend, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly, I don’t know how you get anything done with him calling you “love” all the time. Good thing he’s there to steer you down the right path. And keep you warm in the process. 😉

    You’ve got a lot on your plate, and I’m excited for all of it for you. (Well, maybe not the cleaning. No one gets excited about that.) When you’re ready, I’m happy to host you.

    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I’m not sure how you get so much done with your muse around. You know, working out in the yard all Italian and bare-chested. And built. And attentive. And …. er, my Muse just came in with a hot toddy (he claims, anyway 😉 )

      I’ll let you know about hosting–THANK YOU! Talked to my publisher this week, and he claims the cover is done, and he would send it soon. Not sure how long “soon” is. Turns out it’s just him and an intern trying to get all the stuff done since the merger. The audio book people are trying to get their stuff done so they can release the audio with the print and ebooks, so this is affecting them as well. I’m really hoping things work out. My agent is on top of it, so that makes me feel better. She is wonderful!

      Have a great weekend, Staci!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh those pesky muses. Love the socks. I’m into nutty socks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s never enough time, is there, Julie? So let the cleaning and lights and catalogs wait. Enjoy a weekend of writing stuff. Your muse is right. Start simple and add. Much easier that way. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re doing a great job helping me with my new year’s resolution, Julie. Keep it up! 😉 Also, nice touch with the socks. Love how you give your muse the ol’ up-down. When I some day get a writing office with a whiteboard (and something concrete and worthy to write on said whiteboard), I’m totally festive-ing it up with some Christmas lights. Writers need that extra boost of happiness when they see their board.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You do have a lot going on! Looking forward to the cover reveal. Those are some socks I wouldn’t mind having…very cute.
    Picking a template is a website is tough. I just choose the simpliest one and planned to go back and look around more, but haven’t. Enjoy your snow and Christmas lights. I still have a couple up. My theory is its okay to do so in the forest, or near trees…really anyway:)
    Have a great weekend Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we all suffer from the same things. Wandering/wondering mind, things we need to do, writing projects, blog, website. The list goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s freaking cold here right now, I don’t know how I’m getting anything done. I want t curl up in a toasty, snug ball like Zoey.

    I can so relate to your website woes. I bought a hosting package months ago, but haven’t even picked out a theme yet because I’ve been too busy with the impending book launch and meeting my deadline for book 3. Fingers crossed for both of us that we get plenty accomplished in the days and weeks ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It warmed up just enough for snow, then back to the deep freeze for the weekend. Ugh.

      With my book coming out soon, I’ve put my WIP on hold, even though it kills me to ignore it for more pressing promo stuff. And the timing issues with my publisher aren’t helping. My agent is on top of things, though, so all I have to worry about (ha!) is website, release prep, etc. Uff-da!

      Liked by 1 person

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