Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Virtual Fellowship #amwriting #amediting


My Muse closes the door to my writing office with a quiet snick. Today he looks like a man on a mission–in the Bahamas. Red and white board shorts clash with a bright green T-shirt calling out Adelaide, Australia, with various sea creatures spelling out the name of the city. His flip-flops snap with each step. Nice calves. Nicer chest.

“I see you’re typing up a storm, love,” he says, sarcasm thick.

Yep. Me and my blank screen are going for the record here. “What’s with the T-shirt? Couldn’t find one that said ‘I went surfing back home and all I got was this lousy T-shirt?'”

He grabs a chair and straddles it, arms crossed on the backrest. “Happy day to you, too.”

I focus on my screen. “You know, you could have hung out here during our virtual writing retreat.” I would have liked the company, but I’m not going to tell him that.

“Sure, I could have.”

I feel his brilliant blue gaze drilling into me. I resist the urge to glare back.

“Next year, love.”

I take in a deep breath and let it out slowly. I had a great virtual retreat with my writing sisters. We were able to help each other with plotting, characters, and all those other pesky bits we run into, like inciting incidents and starting points.

Virtual is great, because you can feel like you’re all in a group, but it’s not the same as getting together at the B&B in Wisconsin, where we can really stir up the creative energies. Damn pandemic.

“Hey, if it makes you feel any better, the muses didn’t gather, either.” He rests his chin on his folded arms, looking far more innocent that I know he must be. “We could have, you know.”

“Uh-huh.” That surge of creative energy that buoys me after our reunions was replaced this time by a sort of grief, like I had lost a piece of a beloved collection. “I miss getting together with them. I miss the Inn and the river out back and the labyrinth and meeting at that cafe in Waupaca. Having chocolate and a glass of wine by myself … There was something missing.” Seven other someones, to be exact.

“I know, love. Focus on next year.” He gets up and heads to the wall calendar, where he flips to next August. “Next year’s reunion will be here before you know it.” He drops the pages and returns to the desk. “You guys have a virtual group chat every week, now every other week. It’s not like you don’t see them very often.”

I lean back in my chair. “I know. It’s just … this year has been so crazy.”

He looms over me. “Really, love? You’re just getting that now?” He rests a hip on my desk beside me. “You told your writing sisters what your goal is for next year’s reunion. You will have Book 2 done and either ready to submit or submitted. You’re doing good on the second revision. And you have a good plan for the other project. So get back to that second revision and finish it so you can work on the other project.

“In other words, focus.” He taps my forehead. “Suck it up, and get writing.”

“I have homework.”

“And?” he asks. “It’s writing. That’s what you do. The more you write, the faster the time will go, and pretty soon you’ll be on your way to the inn to meet up with them for your next reunion.”

He’s right, of course. I just need time to collect my scattered focus. Next week I’ll be back in the swing of things.

Man, one month of summer left already. I’ve done one batch of pickles, and I’ll have to do another one tonight, along with some green beans. I knew I’d have a lot of beans, but holy cow! Hubs reminded me that pickled green beans are pretty tasty, so I’ll add that to my pickling session later.

Hope you all are maintaining some semblance of sanity and staying safe.

Happy 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, five 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.

15 thoughts on “Virtual Fellowship #amwriting #amediting

  1. Your Muse is right, Julie. We need to just keep going and focus on next year. For this year, well, it’s a good thing the pandemic hasn’t kept us away from our laptops. It’s very hard for me at times, but I try to be grateful for what I can do…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pickled green beans ARE tasty! Yeah, only one month left of summer. It feels fast and slow at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t done pickled green beans for years. Hoping they turn out as good as I remember! And yes, both fast and slow. I can’t believe it’s August already. Then I think–Oh boy, three months and Winter will be knocking at the door.

      Have a great week, Priscilla!


  3. I’m not sure I’d get along with your muse. I need cozy, warm fuzzies. Does he ever do that?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry you couldn’t go to your retreat, but glad you got to do it virually. I agree with your muse, next summer will be here before we know it. Have a great week, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yesterday I told my husband to get ready for beans for dinner for the next month, with a salad, side of zucchini, and maybe a single tomato! I might actually get a tomato to grow this year. I’m glad you had a virtual retreat, Julie, but you’re right, it’s not the same. Hopefully we’ll discover a sense of normalcy in the new year. We can hope. Happy pickling and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Beans for the next month! At least. And cucumbers. OMG, I knew I’d have cucumbers, but I forgot just how many I can get from one plant. And I have THREE. Uff-da. Really hoping we can do an in-person retreat next year!

      Have a wonderful writing week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I know this summer was entirely different, but next year you have an awesome reunion to look forward to. Here’s wishing you happy writing.
    And that photo of Zoey is a gem 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooooshee–boooboooo!

    Sorry you couldn’t get together in person. Nice that your writing sister still meet up online. Looking forward to next year and having a goal will help pass the time until then, at least!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, crossing my fingers (and toes and eyes 🙂 ) that we’ll be able to gather in person next year. I really miss both seeing them in person and staying at the B&B (i.e. getting out of the house!). And on the kitten front, my son, who just got a new job and moved into a new apartment, decided to adopt not one, but TWO kittens. I haven’t seen them yet (just pics of one), but I’m planning to get on a video chat with him so I can see them 😀 !

      Liked by 1 person

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