Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Best-made plans, derailed by stairs? #amwriting



I slam the door to my writing office.

“Hey.” My Muse intercepts me on my way to the corner.

I shove around him; I hear a recliner calling my name.

He grabs my arm, pulling me to a stop. “What’s going on, love?”

Something about my Muse in his burgundy henley and worn-well jeans and smelling like the great outdoors in fall cools my frustration. I can’t help the sigh.

“You know, when you have a nice list of stuff to do on an impromptu trip that you didn’t really plan to do on your day off but planned anyway because it made sense, and you think of all the stuff you’ll be able to cross off your to-do list, and you really want to cross all that stuff off because then it’s done?” Yes, I know it’s a run-on sentence, but I don’t care.

He pauses for a moment, probably deciphering my ramble. “Yes.”

“And then Murphy comes along and sticks a finger in it just because he has nothing better to do?”

“I take it you weren’t able to cross much off your list.”

Another sigh. “I know unexpected stuff comes up, and I’m okay with that because that’s life, but I wanted to do some writing after I got home.” Grumble. “Totally trashed that idea.” The day was such a bust I’m having a hard time just settling my frustration, much less writing anything.

He steers me toward a recliner. “Sit.” I comply without protest because that was my plan anyway. He sits on the edge of the other recliner. “Do you need to walk through it?”

Argh. “So, I go down to Mankato to help my daughter get her student loan paperwork done and tuition paid, and she wants to come home this weekend but needs a ride because her last class ends at four and her friends that are coming home this weekend want to leave earlier and my son isn’t coming home so she needs a ride home and since I’m down there I was going to do my errands and probably have a little extra time I could spend working on my stuff.” Deep breath.

“Slow down, love.”

“I took today off so I could do some writing and I needed a break from work but then the whole Mankato thing came up–tuition is due the end of the month but I know that if I don’t push her to do anything she’ll wait until the very last minute and then if she has to do extra stuff in oder to get the loan she won’t be able to pay tuition on time–and I have to get my new glasses reworked again because they still don’t have the progression in the right spot so I wanted to do that and I have a book fair thing all day on Saturday so I won’t get anything done other than what I can do there which might not be much so I only have Sunday to really do stuff, but I’ll need to recover a bit from Saturday …”

“Stop.” He leans over me. “Slow. Down. What happened?”

“So, I get to campus and meet my daughter at eleven–she has a break until her one o’clock class–and we walk over to the cashier’s office and find out she has to accept her loan first and to do that she has to watch some informational video thing …”


“I’m getting to it. So I tell her to do the video thing at home this weekend because it takes a half hour, she shouldn’t do it on her phone, and her brother will be there to help if she needs it. He is coming home anyway this weekend.”

“You still haven’t told me what happened.”

“You know it was hot and sooo humid. And campus is, like, a ten-minute hike from her apartment. I left her on campus to go to her class and walked back to her apartment.Β  I left her apartment and head to the shopping area to start my errands, and I get a call from her while I’m driving–Minnesota is hands-free now so I can’t talk–but she says it’s an emergency.”

“I’m waiting.”

“She fell down a step. She misstepped and basically rolled her foot and fell hard. She had friends with her, but needed me to come and get her and take her to the hospital.”

Another pause. “Don’t they have emergency services on campus?”

“There’s a clinic, but no sort of ER or anything. So right then, my plans go ‘poof’. Luckily one of her friends called the EMT and her other friend is a guy big enough to pick her up and carry her someplace not on the stairs outside in the humid heat because she can’t walk. The EMT thought nothing was broken but he advised getting an X-ray but the clinic doesn’t have anything like that.”

“Finish up, love.”

“So I finally find her–I don’t know where anything is on campus except the dorm she and my son used to live in–and my sense of direction is as good as a rock. She tells me what buildings she’s by, but I don’t know where they are, and she sends me a campus map with her location circled and it still takes me ten freaking minutes to figure out where she is and how to get there then we have to get her stuff from her apartment before driving all the way up to our usual hospital to Urgent Care, because we know that hospital is in our network and she wasn’t bleeding to death or anything. And then we were in Urgent Care for, like, two hours. Two hours! After an hour and a half drive.”

“Was her foot broken?”

“No, and we really didn’t think it was. A ligament on the top of the foot was pulled, so it’s a bad sprain. But all that just torched the whole day. And it was mostly the drive and the two or more hours in Urgent Care–and we were, like, the only people there.”

My Muse nods. “Okay, I get it. Shit happens.”

“I know, I know. But it’s still frustrating.”

My daughter is okay. They gave her a splint so she can’t twist her foot and gave her the whole ibuprofen, ice, rest routine. And I’m off to my book fair all day. At least there will be four other Sisters in Crime members there to hang with. And maybe my sister-in-law, who is a member of the Friends of the Library there.

Have a productive writing 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.

21 thoughts on “Best-made plans, derailed by stairs? #amwriting

  1. Oh, I am sorry to hear about your daughter, Julie! How painful! It’s good to know nothing’s broken, but still… Hopefully she’ll be feeling better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear, this doesn’t sound like much fun at all, Julie. I hope your book fair goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oy vey!

    One good thing: All the craziness resulted in a good essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “β€œAnd then Murphy comes along and sticks a finger in it just because he has nothing better to do?”… “…sense of direction as good as a rock…”–this is why I love your stories, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad your daughter is okay and it wasn’t worse. Hope she heals up fast and got all her loan stuff done. Hopefully your book fair will go smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve had three broken feet in my lifetime and it was a painful inconvenience. I’m happy to hear your daughter is okay. Enjoy the book fair, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three? Ugh, I can’t imagine. My daughter seems to be doing much better. She’s off back to school later, and she seems comfortable with the whole idea of hiking around campus.

      The book fair was a good time, with a lot of traffic and some cool people.

      Have a great week, Jill!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sigh. One of those days and not much to be done about it. I think most of us can relate, Julie. I’m glad it was only a sprain too! Have fun at the fair and enjoy your sisters. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. I hate those days. Thank goodness they are few and far between. Mostly. The book fair was fun, and I met a lot of neat people. The next one is in two weeks, and there will be at least a couple of my fellow Sisters in Crime members there.

      Have a great week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Groan! Please, please tell me that your daughter watched the video thing either in the car or at the ER. Did y’all get the tuition paid? Is all that okay at least? I feel your frustration. I hope Zoey jumped up on your lap while you were in the recliner. I’ve heard good things about something called “kitten therapy” from your crazy blog friend in Ohio. She also mumbled something about Chex Mix, but it was hard to decipher what she said with her mouth full like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She didn’t, of course. She did, however, finally watch it at home. She was working through the whole promissary note thing when their website went down, so she’ll have to finish that and pay tuition this week.

      Hmm, I’ve heard of this crazy blog friend from Ohio you speak of. I hear she stashes Chex Mix–the cheddar kind–in secret hiding places so the kids won’t find it. I’ve also heard she is skilled at disposing of toddler boogies πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Ahh, kitten therapy! One of my fellow members of Sisters in Crime fosters kittens, and she posts short videos of whatever current fosters she has. I want to get a kitten. I really do. Not sure Zoey would appreciated it, though. She kind of enjoys being in charge.

      Have a great week, Betsy!


      • We had a cat growing up who didn’t abide newcomers one bit, so I get it.

        Your blog friend sounds A-Maze-ING! πŸ˜‰

        BTW, got to pick up the little black street kitten whom I’ve named Panther. He started to walk away from me. I said, “Panther, come back.” And he DID! Even let me pick him up for a bit. Heaven. He’s not orange, but he’ll do in a pinch. Oooh, don’t tell Zoey. She’ll always be first in my heart even if, in my weakness, I look at other kitties.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm. Seems to me that little Panther coming when you call is a sign you should adopt the poor thing. I mean, a street kitten? C’mon, street kittens need homes. You know, he would only answer to his name if he wanted you to take him home. πŸ˜€ ❀


      • I use “street kitten” loosely. I’m pretty sure he lives at our neighbor’s house. It’s just nice that he walks the street when we do to get the mail. And, it turns out, little Joe is good at being, well, mostly, gentle with him/her.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 09-26-2019 | The Author Chronicles

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