Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Of gardening and marketing #gardening #minnesota #author #mystery


Summer should be relaxing, shouldn’t it? I mean, it’s when most people go on vacation, right? Summer tourist season starts on Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend, at least here in MN.

So why do I feel like I’m struggling to keep up? Is it really that whole getting older thing? The “time flies faster the older you get” thing? It sure feels like it.

Or is it all the extra “stuff” I get to do? You know, like mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. Or maybe it’s because this year in particular I really do have a lot of stuff going on, like author panels, book signings, and homework.

The past couple of weeks have been busy, with an author event the day before I went to my brother’s house to visit, a couple days with family, a trip out to the South Dakota border–well, 7 miles short of the border–for an author panel. I was a last-minute sub for another author, but it was a fun day. Various appointments, and this weekend is another author event at a bookstore close to where I grew up. I’m hoping some of my old friends will be able to come; it’ll be nice to see them.

And the garden! I added mulch earlier this week, so the space between the rows is starting to get smaller, or is it the amount of space covered by mulch is bigger? I am eagerly awaiting my first two ripe tomatoes!

In the meantime, I picked enough green beans for a couple servings, and picked the first kohlrabi to reach the size of a baseball. I even picked some kale. Anyway, here it is.

Oh, and our latest chickens came out for a photo. Right now we have seven: two left from the original batch where the other 4 died during a major storm/gnat invasion, and 5 from a lady who thought her kids would be more interested in taking care of them.

Five of the seven.

I wish I had some writing wisdom to share, but right now I’m working on critiquing pages from my Writing Sisters and doing homework, but not at the same time πŸ™‚

Speaking of, next weekend is our reunion, so be on the lookout for wisdom or wisecracking from my Muse (hey, he’s been enjoying himself, I think I should get my turn). I am so looking forward to our retreat! We’re staying at the same B&B we did the past two years. It’s a really nice place, and the proprietors are great people. And can’t beat the Crystal River just out the back door.

Anyway, I have to get back to pages. Enjoy your weekend! Stay cool, stay dry, and Keep Writing!

She is WAAY too comfortable in 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.

28 thoughts on “Of gardening and marketing #gardening #minnesota #author #mystery

  1. You are having a busy summer, Julie. How wonderful to be doing so many author events, along with the other summer activities. The pages of the calendar start to turn so fast during the summer they become a blur. I can’t believe July is almost over. It’s my favorite month of the year and has been glorious this year. Your garden looks fantastic and I love the chickens. If I wasn’t too lazy to take care of them, I’d raise some of these beauties. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know; I can’t believe in a week it’ll be August already! Summer is going way too fast! The garden is looking good, but I still have to pick cabbage worms from the brussels sprouts (of course, if I actually got around to covering them with netting when I plant them, I wouldn’t have that problem πŸ™‚ ) My hubs does most of the chicken stuff, and when my son lived at home he was in charge of them. They actually redid the pen this summer to keep the varmits out. Not to mention the 25 chipmunks we evicted; those little pests would go into the chicken coop and eat their food!

      Have a great writing weekend, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is interesting, isn’t it, Julie, how busy we get during what’s supposed to be a slower, more relaxed time of year. I’ve had the same thing happen with all sorts of little things going on this summer, along with finishing the book I”m writing at the moment. It never quite ends, does it? I think that’s why it’s so important to make time for writing – set it aside and guard it jealously. Otherwise, it ends up being sacrificed. But there are payoffs to ‘busy,’ too. Your garden looks fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! That’s been my downfall this year–not guarding my writing time well enough. You are so right! This spring I debated about the garden, because of the time and energy, but there is nothing quite like the payoff of fresh garden veggies, especially tomatoes!

      Have a wonderful writing weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like the cat exhausted herself helping you. A well-deserved sleep maybe!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s hard to believe how fast the summer is rushing by. Soon we’ll hunkered down with our hot cocoa and fuzzy throws. The garden is looking fantastic, Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden is looking great! And those chickens–minus one of the black and white ones, and you have the same exact chickens we have. I love having them so much. Great for the kids, and of course the eggs are nice. So happy for you that you get to go on your writing retreat to that same fabulous place! Ah, sounds so lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are awesome when it comes to getting eggs! We know we have a coyote in the area; we’ve heard it, and the dogs have been keeping it at bay, so hoping it doesn’t get into the chicken coop. We think it got in and killed our previous chickens by digging under the pen. This time, hubs and son redid the pen so the chicken wire is bent along the ground to discourage digging.

      We had been going to different places for our reunions, and we finally found the place we go to now. It’s beautiful, quiet, and just far enough from town. Love the river in the backyard! And the gazebo. And that we have run of the house when we’re there πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Betsy!


  6. I nearly forgot to say meow meow purr purr meorwll to Zoey. That might make her blush. Teehee.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Julie, what a sweet cat you have …. seems to have shared your activity-filled week! Stay richly blessed ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie, you do indeed sound like a busy lady. If you thrive on it then just go on … and laugh.
    It sounds like a very relaxed weekend is in order though. πŸ€— . Go steady girl.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Miriam, a relaxed weekend is in order. I’m looking forward to a slower pace this coming weekend when I head to the writing retreat with my Writing Sisters. The place where we stay is peaceful, with an abundance of green space.

      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Summer is always so busy and not relaxing like I think its going to be. Lots more to do and so many people to visit and catch up on besides attempting the writing side. Whew! Worth it but I’m always ready for fall. The garden looks great and love the chickens! I have to get out there and pick my kale, lettuce, and strawberries. Enjoy your week Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least I’m not the only one, Denise πŸ˜€ And yes, so many things to catch up on. And yikes, August will be here in days! I love fall as well, but I hate that winter isn’t far behind. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to enjoying the garden veggies–the first tomatoes are always a treat!

      Enljoy your week!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey, the garden is looking really good!
    I honestly don’t know where summer went. There’s still the whole month of August and part of September to enjoy but it feels like it blew by in a blur. I’m already mourning the loss.
    Wishing you an amazing time on your writing retreat, Raven sends hugs to Zoey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! The weeds are encroaching again, but it rained today, so gee, bummer, I’ll have to wait a day for the garden to dry out before I week. Shucks! And blur is right! August means the kids go back to school and give us our empty nest back. Less of the extra energy means more focus, or at least that’s the intent πŸ˜€

      Zoey says Hi back to Raven!


  11. I don’t know if it’s age or an increase in the schedule, but I feel like I have less time, too. The good news is your garden is lovely. And your cat seems content. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. this is great, thanks for sharing.
    if you get a chance, please check out the music/ art blog.


    Liked by 1 person

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