Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Week 6: Spring sticks around


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks of working from home now. Wait. Okay, I can believe it. I believe it so much I’m going to take a mental health day next week, due in large part to unending frustration with our internet provider and slow internet speeds.

On the bright side, we’re one week closer to new service. I just hope the new service is way better than what we have now. We won’t know until we get it.

“You’re looking at it wrong, love.” My Muse closes the back door to my writing office and toes off his sneakers. He’s wearing a purple sweatshirt with the Minnesota Vikings logo on the front, a fitting(?) match to the Packers green sweatpants with the Green Bay logo on a thigh. “If you can’t use the internet, you won’t be so distracted.”

NFL Minnesota Vikings logo Green Bay Packers logo

“You know it’s risky to wear both those colors around here, right?”

“Here?” He waves a hand to include the entire office. “No. A sports bar in either state? Sure, but lucky for me there are no bars open right now.” He snags a beer from the mini-fridge and plops into one of the two recliners. “Besides, we have more important things to do than watch the draft.” He gestures with his beer. “Right?”

Don’t roll eyes. Don’t roll eyes. “Right. And you know that I’ve been working on my revisions.”

“Yes, you have. For the most part.”

“What do you mean, for the most part? I’m halfway through. And I’m going to turn in my next homework assignment this weekend.” Once I decide what scene to use.

“Uh-huh.” He narrows his eyes. “Just how much revision have you done this week?”

Not as much as I should have. Story of my life. “Hey, I did some revision every day until the internet started acting up a few days ago.” I think it’s the combination of week six of stay-at-home and frustration. At least spring seems to have locked in. “Besides, I took walks. Even went for a run the other day. That’s important, too.”

My Muse nods. “Yes, for you it is. However, you need to finish this class, and one more to get your second badge, and you have to finish your manuscript to get the certificate.”

“I know, I know. Which is why I’m using my WIP for homework assignments.” I’m participating in a Fiction Writing certificate program through UW-Madison’s Continuing Studies, and just received my first badge. I like to think of it as genuine “street cred”.

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Writing Fiction I - 2020-04-09

“It’s good incentive, love.” He slides to the front edge of the recliner and plants his elbows on his knees. “Let’s get that next assignment turned in so you can focus on revisions.”

“Wow, you are being exceptionally accommodating.”

“You are being,” he hesitates, “pleasantly diligent. Keep it up.”

I think “pleasantly diligent” means “butt in chair, fingers on keyboard without coersion”. Anyway, even though this stay at home stuff is getting old, especially with the internet issues, I feel I’m making progress. It helps that my daughter is working every day, and my son is still at his apartment (though he’s been home a few times over the past couple weeks). It’s warmer, so hubs is doing more stuff outside (read: the TV is off!), giving me more quiet time to write.

Hope you are all well and safe! Keep on writing!

Zoey the cat chilling on the deck

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.

16 thoughts on “Week 6: Spring sticks around

  1. I dig your street cred.:-) What a regal cat pose!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is really hard to keep the proverbial fire burning when the Internet speed is slow, and when working from home means that you need a new way of looking at scheduling, etc… But I’m glad you’re working through your revisions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I find I do more fuming and tracking internet speed when it’s slow (don’t know why, it’s not like tracking the speed is going to make it go faster πŸ™‚ ) And yes, definitely a new way of scheduling. Then again, I’ve been in the habit of getting up super early, so it’s not too bad. It’s quieter earlier in the morning anyway πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve worked at home for years so internet speed–I’ve always selected the best service just to avoid that annoyance. Having said that, my electricity went out yesterday! Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eek! Electricity out is worse than sucky internet! We’re in a location where the internet options are really limited. At least they were twenty-five years ago. Now we have enough choices at the same price point to get better service for what we’re paying for sucky service.

      Have a great weekend, Jacqui!


  4. Love your Muse, as always. And love your tabby, too. I’ll have to share pics of ours one day. We have four cats of our own, and are still cat-sitting my daughter’s two, until we can fly them out to Denver. Two of ours are yellow tabbies that could be related to yours. One of Erin’s is a yellow tabby, but smaller and more kittenish looking. We also have a black & white tuxedo cat and a calico (ours) and a tortoiseshell. (Erin’s). Six cats is more than I ever want to have in one house again, for sure, but they are all lovely and mostly sweet-natured. I think I’ll do a blog post Monday on our pets. Theirs are the only faces (other than my husband’s) I’ve seen in “person” for nine weeks, now. 😯

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! You have to share pics of all the cats! And I hear you about seeing faces in person. I went to get groceries the other day because I HAD to get out. Ugh. I love my family, but there comes a time…

      Have a wonderful weekend, Marcia!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean, but I’m chicken. I’m 76 and have three health issue strikes against me, and a passionate desire to see my grandkids grow up. I’m not venturing out until it feels much, much safer. And Mark is lucky I don’t have a sheep dip style disinfectant booth set up for him when he comes home from work or the store! 😯 He’s essential and has to go in 3 days a week right now, but luckily, his buildings are closed to the public for the duration, and only a few tenants even have a skeleton crew on hand. Mostly just the bank. Still. He’s “out there,” and “out there” never sounded so scary to me! Good thing I’m mostly a hermit these days, anyway. But I will admit,t his is even too much for me, and I truly miss being able to give my twice monthly (or so) nature presentations. Those audiences were SO good to me, and FOR me. *sigh* With any luck, I’ll still be here when the dust settles, though, and can look forward to those again. YOU keep on staying safe!! And tell your Muse to PUT ON A MASK! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Had to laugh at the mental image of a sheep-dip station big enough for Mark πŸ˜€ I hear you about how scary it is. I worry about my dad, who is diabetic, and seems to have a more cavalier view of this whole thing. Oh, and my brother who went to visit Dad. And yes, that connection with readers or other people who love nature is definitely a loss. I miss the author panels, too. It’s always fun to talk to people who like the same things you do. Hopefully we’ll be able to do more in-person stuff sooner, but I’d rather wait until it’s relatively safe than worry all the time about getting sick.

        Take care of yourself, Marcia! And maybe that sheep-dip station is a good quarantine home project πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on your earned badge, Julie:) Happy to hear spring is in place for you. I’m feeling a bit of spring fever and want to be outside all the time. It’s very distracting but beautiful. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Denise! Hubs tilled the garden tonight. We’ll till it at least once more before I plant. He keeps telling me we need a big garden this year (you know, because of the COVID-19 mess and all). Sigh. He doesn’t weed it. Then again, I think we’re finally running out of pickles, so I might have to plant a few more of those than I planned.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not even going to TELL Paul about your Muse’s fashion faux pas!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pleasantly diligent is good, Julie. It seems like we’d have it easier with all this lockdown, but no such luck. Can’t wait to hear about the “high speed!” Happy Writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! I am managing to get through a chapter or two of revisions most every day, but there have been a lot of days when I didn’t do any because our internet only “works” fast enough to do anything between 7pm and 7am. Not that I need the internet to write, but I find I wait to do a lot of things that aren’t writing related until the internet is usable. And thus I do other stuff, like read (OMG, I actually finished a book today! Yippee!) So anxious for the new service! Crossing my fingers it’ll be as good as I hope πŸ˜€

      Have a great week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

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