Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Lighten up!


Finishing up week 3 of working from home. And self-isolation. I feel like I should be following starship protocol:

Captain’s log 2020095: Icy drizzle and snow pellets today, like teeny snowballs. Cold. Windy. And still waiting out the statewide stay-at-home order. Supplies are okay; no need to ration yet. The crew is restless, but we have little choice but to resist the desire to wander.

Anyway, one thing people are doing during this whole thing to brighten things is put up Christmas lights. I love the idea; the lights are my favorite part of Christmas.

So, I have two strings up, and it does help with mood.


“Mood, maybe. Writing? Not so much.” My Muse grabs a beer from the mini-fridge and settles back into one of the two recliners in my writing office.

“I’m working on revisions.”

“You are, love. Considering you haven’t had to commute for the past few weeks, I thought you would be further along by now.”

“I finished my class. And taxes. And migraine days.” I grab my own beer from the fridge and drop into the other recliner. “I got some other stuff done.” Not cleaning, though. Actually, that’s on my list for this weekend, but I’m not going to tell him that. Better get it done before the weather gets nice and warm and beckoning.

“Other stuff that doesn’t include writing.”

“Other stuff that includes walks in the nice spring weather and … Hey, at least I’m not totally freaking out because I’m cooped up and distracted.” Just sort of freaking out. A little. Yeah, I’ll go with that.


He doesn’t sound convinced.

“Whatever. I’m working on revisions.” And resisting starting something that keeps poking at me. An urban fantasy. Maybe it’s because I’m waiting anxiously for the next Harry Dresden book–finally!

“You do not need to be distracted, love. You have a space. Use it.”

*Grumble* I do have a space. “My lights are in the common living area. I like my lights.” Especially these days. Maybe I can start working on my real writing office after I’m done cleaning, since my son isn’t here right now.

“Your son isn’t here now, love, but he is graduating in a month. Then what?”

He’s right. It’s not like the job market is screaming for people at this point. “He’ll move back home.” I love my family, but I miss my empty nest. By the time school is out I should be able to get the garden started, so I’ll have … wait. More distractions. Sigh.

“I’ll use my space more.”

“Not just for meditation practice, either.”

I started practicing meditation, but I’ve missed the past few days. “I know, I know. Once I finish going over the hard copy again, I’ll get back into the writing space routine.”

“Good.” He drains his beer and tosses the empty into the recycling bin. “And ignore the urban fantasy.”

“I want to write a story with a dragon.”

He focuses his brilliant blue eyes on me. “No. Fantasy. Finish book 2, your police procedural, and the rural mystery.Β Then think about fantasy.”

Ugh. He’s right. But maybe I can squeeze a short story in somewhere.

Anyway, I thought I’d share something a little different. This is Zoey when she wants to be petted. (If you have your volume up, ignore the banging and TV in the background. Hubs was making lunch.)

Zoey wants petting (Note: it’s on Dropbox, so just ignore the stupid “sign up for Dropbox” popup)

Enjoy! Stay safe and keep writing!



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.

17 thoughts on “Lighten up!

  1. That’s the thing, isn’t it, Julie? There are always distractions. I think even now, when so many of us are at home, we need to jealously guard our writing time. Otherwise, things keep eating away at it. By the way, I like your idea of lights, whether they’re holiday lights or not. I think they cheer things up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Margot! And a great reminder to guard my writing time. My Muse agrees whole-heartedly with you πŸ™‚ I wasn’t going to put the lights up, but the longer this whole thing drags on, the more I wanted something to lighten (heh, pun intended πŸ˜€ ) things up.

      Stay safe and have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christmas lights, cats, and children’s drawings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always love it when you’re chatting with your Muse, in spite of rampant jealousy! πŸ™‚ And I really enjoyed your intro today. Made me go to my replicator (HotShot appliance) and demand “Earl Grey, Hot!” (Okay, I was eventually heading that way, regardless, and in spite of over 20 kinds of tea on my counter, I nearly always order “Earl Grey, Hot. But still. You inspired me to head there sooner.)

    I think the Christmas lights are a brilliant idea. Would do it here, except for a) Mark would have to crawl around in the sweltering attic to find them, and b) it’s already 90 degrees outside most afternoons. Something about that just doesn’t work for me. 😦 But I do think it’s a great way to make the neighborhood feel more cheery, and it makes me smile to picture your street.

    Stay safe, stay well, stay home! And admire the twinkling lights! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! Hubs has been watching the Voyager edition. We used to watch Next Gen years ago.

      Ugh. 90 degrees? Ick. It’s way too early in the year to be that warm, but I suppose you get summer early in FL. There have been a few stories on the news about people putting up their Christmas lights (or turning them on because they haven’t taken them down quite yet). It’s interesting how they lessen the anxiety around these times.

      BTW, my Muse is sending an applicant. Says the guy helped inspire all those Elvis beach movies and surfing movies. Your mileage may vary, but it sounds like he’s looking forward to testing the waves out your way πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Marcia! Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be on the lookout for an aging Surfer Dude. I think I still have my Annette Funicello bikini somewhere, though I seriously doubt wearing that would be a good idea. Not a pretty sight, doncha know. 😯 Yep, summer arrives down here anywhere from late January to mid-February, and leaves … oh, yeah. That’s right. It really doesn’t. (Once in a while, we’ll have an overnight freeze, but within 24 hour or so, the mercury climbs right back up there.) *sigh* Is it any wonder I long to live in the North Carolina mountains? BUT, alas. I must bloom where I’m planted for now, even if it means gallons of extra water and sunburned leaves. Okay, I think I’ve pushed that about as far as I can go. πŸ˜€

        Enjoy those lights! And tell your Muse thanks for sending me an applicant. I promise to treat him well. Mostly. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your log book, Julie. And I can relate to the noisy husband. OMG. My quiet days are gone!
    Writing has been tough, but I’m glad you’re getting a little bit done. It’s hard with all the terrible news and uncertainty. But keep it up.
    Logging out. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep getting phone calls from depressed family members. Mostly, they worry not so much about the illness but the death of our economy. I worry, too, but what can we do? I like the Christmas lights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what my hubs and I worry about as well. I’m fortunate in that I still have a job, even with a temporary salary cut. Still, we’re worried our son won’t be able to find a job for a while after he graduates from college.

      I like the lights; they help brighten my outlook (and walks in the spring sun help, too!)

      Have a great weekend, Jacqui! Stay safe!


  6. I laughed so hard reading your captain’s entry:) Perfect. You would think will all this time home we would get a lot of writing done but I’m finding the opposite. I have been contemplating putting up Christmas lights, too. Maybe do an Easter tree. Dragons have always called to me, but I’ve never written about them. Have a safe and productive week, Julie:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had planned to get more writing done, but man, between distractions and mitigating the inevitable anxiety/worry/depression with walks, I’m finding it hard to focus. I wrote about dragons back when I was in high school, and actually there was a dragon in the very first book I wrote back in jr high, come to think of it. Love reading about them, though. Anne McCaffery is one of my favorite authors, and her Pernese dragon are the standard in my book πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Denise! Stay safe!


  7. Just don’t ask how many times I watched that video.
    A dragon!? Wow. I love and am impressed by how many different ideas you have swimming around in your head! I wish I had that too. Best of luck getting it all down. Escaping from reality with a good story idea is an excellent way to avoid this garbage we’re going through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! You know I recorded that just for you, right? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      It’s the getting it all down part that’s tricky, especially these days. Ugh. I’ve been taking a lot of walks just to get out of the house and absorb the calm of nature. I’m finding it tough to focus, especially since hubs is kind of a news junkie. Maybe I’ll hide the remote for a day or two …

      Have a wonderful weekend, Betsy! Stay safe!


      • Well,… I wasn’t going to assume…. but, yeah. πŸ™‚ I wonder if you can get her to nuzzle the camera so I can put my face up to the screen over here and pretend she’s nuzzling me.

        I may have a problem.

        Sorry about the news junkie. Walks are amazing. We’ve been over the neighborhood so much, however, that it feels like it’s getting stale. Maybe we’ll have to drive a bit and then try again someplace new. The kids haven’t been strapped into a vehicle for weeks! Crazy times. I wonder how many corona books are going to come out of this? You know people are working on them.

        Liked by 1 person

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