Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Almost there …



So many things to think about, get prepped, and design. And time seems to slip away. Maybe I need to take a sabbatical. Or maybe just a weekend with nothing else going on. No kids home from college, which always throws extra energy into the routine, and usually means I don’t get a whole lot done.

I do have an excuse to hunker down for the next week: it’s going to be freaking cold. I mean, below zero cold. For the high. We’ve been so spoiled this winter, and now when the hard stuff gets here, it’s almost nostalgic. You know, the ol’ “I remember when we had -40 windchills. For days.” Yep. This is nothin’ when you think about it.

It’s Minnesota, after all.

“I thought you were going to do a cover reveal, love.” My Muse settles a hip on my desk beside me. “You have the image.” He’s doing the flannel thing, with an appropriate thermal shirt underneath his black- and red-checked flannel, sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms. Worn jeans and hiking boots complete the lumberjack flair. “So share it. Everyone’s waiting.”

I lean back in my chair. “Except when I share it, everyone is going to want to see the listing. And the listing isn’t complete.” I just sent an email to my publisher asking them to please complete the listing. A half-finished listing is not professional. I think I would be disappointed if I went to look up an author’s book and the listing didn’t even have the cover the author just revealed.

“The ebook isn’t even on the listing yet.” And we’re in the red zone in terms of book release. I mean, seriously. I’m trying to be patient. I really am. It’s just frustrating. My agent suspects it’s fallout from the merger. She’s probably right, but that doesn’t make things any easier.

My Muse sighs. “Everyone knows a cover reveal is just that. The cover. No one expects the listings to be complete.

“Yes, they do. I mean, how many times have I gone and put in a pre-order after the author has done a cover reveal?”

“How many?”

Of course he would have to ask. “Okay, I don’t know exactly, but it’s a lot. And I have to figure out my author website, and my newsletter.” Which I have been working on.

“The site will go through changes, love. Everyone’s site gets refined over time.”

“Thanks, but that doesn’t do much to reassure me. My publisher doesn’t even have my book listed on their ‘Coming Soon’ page yet.”

“It’ll work out, love.””

“Nice thought. I’m just not seeing it yet.” On the bright side, if I don’t have my author page finished this weekend, it’ll give my publisher more time to get the listing fixed before people see the not-quite-done one.

“Hey.” My Muse slips off my desk, takes hold of my arm, and lifts me from my chair. He turns me to face him, blue eyes full of reassurance. “You keep doing your thing. Do what you can do and don’t fret over what you can’t control.”

“Fret? Really?” No one says “fret” anymore.

A crooked grin stretches across his face. “Yes, really. Look it up.”

Sigh. Okay, here’s something to tide you over:


Oh, and can’t forget Zoey:


She sure looks regal here. Yep, just like a cat to think she’s in charge. πŸ˜€

O-kay. Stay tuned …


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.

27 thoughts on “Almost there …

  1. I love your cat.😻😻😻 I have an orange boy, who believes he owns the world….😹😻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I like that teaser! It’s very appealing!! And that conversation between you and your Muse highlights such an important dilemma. When do you do things like cover reveals and so on? The timing’s got to work well. Still, I think your Muse is right. We want to see the cover, and we don’t expect everything to be ready yet…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh. Are you trying to get me to put my cover up? I was planning to do so, but I just have an uneasy feeling about doing it before the listing is all there. It’s so frustrating! I might have to do a mid-week post, just for fun πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Margot! And stay warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ack. Waiting for the cover is right! Ha ha. But I get it – get the ducks lined up. πŸ™‚ I didn’t realize that cover reveals should be linked to preorders. Duh. Makes sense so why didn’t I think of that? Because I’m always in a rush to reveal and get things out there. So you’re right, Julie. Patience. You’re getting close! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Julie! I am looking for a new read–love your poster about Murder in Plane Sight. But, can’t find it on Amazon. I must be doing something wrong! Can you give me the link?


  5. I can feel your frustration, Julie. It seems your progress is frozen in below zero temps at the moment. But your hot muse offers reassurance at just the right moment reminding you to let go of what you can’t control. Zoe the cat reinforces his β€˜no fretting’ advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that white tip on Zoey’s tail. And that expression! So very… very… cat-like, okay? Apparently my creativity is tapped out. Oh, wait. There were words in this post too, weren’t there? πŸ˜‰
    SO glad you finally have a cover! About darn time! But now the listing has to be completed… Sigh! It will all come together eventually. I made the mistake of sharing my first endorsement on FB and a couple people asked where to order it. Oops. Right. Um, where to order it. I, uh, yeah. Working on that. πŸ™‚ So excited for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whew! I keep second-guessing myself about not posting the cover until the listing is done. Good to know waiting is better. Still … Crossing my fingers my publisher will get things straightened out this week. If not, not sure what I’ll do.

      Soooo coooold. And the furnace is acting up. Today = warm blankets and hot cocoa. Enjoy your CA weather (which I trust is far above zero degrees!)!


  7. That teaser has me hooked:) Anything below 0 is beyond cold to me! We’re going in the opposite direction here heading in the 60s. I’m hoping winter makes a quick come back here and that you stay warm and get some relief from the cold! Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Everyone wants to see that cover, but don’t rush it before you’re ready. The teaser was a nice treat for us (and a Zoey pic is always a pleasure). Like your muse said…things will come together. Work on what you can, and worry about the rest when the time comes. Yeah, I know….easier said than done, LOL.
    Which reminds me—I still have a website to build!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! I know it’s a bit of first-time jitters, but I still feel unsettled that things haven’t quite come together yet, and we’re closing in on six weeks out. And website! Yes, that’s what I’m distracting myself with these days. Working on getting one of those popup subscription things on my home page. Soo many options, and not sure which is better. Poking around and trying things out.

      Have a great week and stay warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie, I love the little hint of your book here … brilliant! Now to the cover! First of all, I was wondering what you meant about listings, but of course you want everything up and ready first! Thank you for sharing your learning experiences and I’m noting all these down! Lots for you to prepare ..just take a moment now and then to relax like Zoey – the picture of serenity! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, lots going on that I had hoped (planned??) to get done by now. Alas, during Christmas break I didn’t get much accomplished with the kids at home. Now that the semester is going again, I’m really trying to get things put together.

      And Zoey. The little sneak. She loves to curl up on our bed while it’s still warm (we don’t allow her to sleep on the bed–ever, but you know cats), so we shoo her off and out of the bedroom before turning in for the night. So I get up in the middle of the night to hit the bathroom, and she darts into the bedroom! Needless to say, I sternly reminded her that behavior was not acceptable.

      Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your muse is right. A cover reveal is just a cover reveal. It’s a way to whet your readers’ appetites. Then you post again when you have the blurb. Again when you have links. It’s just a way to get in front of your readers several times, and with fresh information every time. That way, by the time the book is live, you have fans dying to see what’s inside. It’s from the marketing playbook.

    I LOVE the teaser. (Another great enticement to get readers interested.) I can’t wait until you’re ready to share more. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have the best advice when it comes to marketing! I take notes–just sayin’ πŸ˜€ I’ll have to trickle more tidbits in the coming weeks. Although I sincerely hope my publisher will get things figured out and fixed by the end of the week; we’re coming up on six weeks out. It’s out of my control, but still…

      Enjoy your week, Staci!


  11. Hope you’re surviving the cold with warm toes and getting lots done. Good luck with the final touches!


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