Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

The timing of the Muse #amwriting #amrevising #amreading


Image by Valiphotos from Pixabay

I kick back in a recliner in my writing office and scroll through Facebook to see all the awesome autumn pictures. I am really missing the trees on my commute; friends have been posting pictures of their trees. Gorgeous! Ours turn yellow, and not even that pretty yellow like the birches. More like a tired yellow. Besides, with all the other ugly news everywhere, I find solace in landscape photos.

“What are you doing, love?” My Muse looms over me, hands on hips. “We agreed, no Facebook during writing time.” He rolls up the sleeves of his red and black flannel shirt, a white T-shirt underneath. His worn-well jeans carry the outdoor rogue image down to his hiking boots. He even has some scruff.

Whoa. There’s more than one reason autumn is my favorite season. Flannel and denim are made for the woods in the fall. I should probably not page through the men’s section of the next LL Bean catalog I get. Definitely getting warm in here. “Little distracting there, aren’t you?”

Facebook is distracting. Hell, the entire internet is distracting for you. Turn it off.”

I close Facebook, the time-suck of all time-sucks, which leaves me plenty of time to enjoy the local scenery instead of writing. Focus. “You need to go rake some leaves or something. Chop some wood.”

He raises an eyebrow. “Seriously, love? I am not leaving you unsupervised. You have a revision to work on, and an empty nest for the whole weekend.”

Which reminds me. I was walking down the driveway the other day and a story light bulb went off in my head. Actually, more like a flash bulb (not to be confused with a flash mob). “What’s with the brainstorm the other day? Why didn’t you suggest that two months ago? I could have added that during my first round of revision.”

“You weren’t ready for it two months ago.” He heads to my wall-sized white board and picks up a marker. “You have three weeks to work this revision, love. Then NaNo.” He makes a list, which I can’t read because he’s in the way. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

“That’s the plan.”

He turns, narrows his eyes. “Here’s a thought. Try sticking to the plan this time.”

“What makes you think I won’t stick to the plan? I always stick to my NaNo plan.”

“I’m not talking about NaNo. You have some pretty optimistic plans for the rest of the year after NaNo.”

“I’ll be working from home until who knows when. It’s not like I have to drive to work and back, and hello, winter in Minne-snow-ta.”

“Uh huh.” He doesn’t sound convinced. “How’s that been working for you?”

“Hey, all I need to do is tweak the timeline in that book.” And up the threat to the MC, and write a few more vignettes, and run through another round of revision. It’s my police procedural, which I thought was finished, until I reread it after a year. Uff-da.

“You have a deadline for Book 2.”

Um, sort of. Actually, yeah. Remember that writing certificate I’m working on? My writing teacher suggested the end of March for a deadline. Doable. Definitely doable. Except–

“You are going to have to choose between Book 2 and the procedural, love.”

“I know, I know.” I suggested to my agent that I would be ready to submit the procedural by the end of the year. I think I forgot NaNo in that timeline. “Book 2.”

He lines something out on the board and adds to the list before he returns the marker to the little shelf. “Good. Let’s get to work.”

And bonus: my son just texted me and said he’s thinking about coming home this weekend with the kitties. Yay! I mean, I love seeing my son, and the kitties are a nice bonus.

Oh, hell, who am I kidding? I want to see the kitties πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Get out there and enjoy the colors before everything turns that boring shade of brown that lasts until spring. 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.

16 thoughts on “The timing of the Muse #amwriting #amrevising #amreading

  1. “Minne-snow-ta,” heehee! Have fun playing with the kitties!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love that word Minne-snow-ta, Julie! It’s brilliant! Your Muse has a point about keeping the focus, kittens or no kittens (OK, kittens! πŸ™‚ ) It’s something I struggle with, too – how to keep my focus, even with everything else begging to pull me away from my story. I wish you well finding that balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh, we Minnesotans like to take pride in our winters, despite their gradual moderation due to climate change. And my Muse is so right about focus, and I’ve been trying to find that balance. Then someone brings kitties! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ ❀

      Have a great weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you might have some kitty-fun in Minne-snow-ta (I also love that). Happy Writing, Julie. Stay off facebook! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad to hear your muse is keeping your nose to the grindstone, Julie. You need to take advantage of that empty home, it won’t last long.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are just starting to get some red leaves at my house. I love fall even though that means high fire danger as well these last few years. I hope you get lots of productive work done but have a wonderful son visit. I love when our son brings his cat along too, I have plenty of treats. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have fun with the kitties. I know it will be good to see your son, too.
    I love fall colors and they are really setting in right now.

    So you’re going to do NaNo this year? I am too. I’m going to try to knock out the remainder of my WIP during November. Fingers crossed for both of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was an awfully beautiful fall photo you kindly shared. Sorry you miss the leaves without your commute! (Not sorry you don’t have the commute, however.) And hooray for kitties! I got another blog friend to end a post with a pic of his kitty. Heehee. Taking over the internet with cats, one blog at a time. Wait… cats already rule the internet. What am I thinking?

    So, I tried to watch your online conference. I got the link sent to me. I was a teensy bit late to your panel and it told me the link had expired. ?? I tried several times to no avail. 😦 😦 😦 So sorry to have missed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The kitties are getting big! I tried to take some pictures, but they don’t stand still long enough to actually get good ones. As for the conference, you can go to the website and use the links to the videos, which are on YouTube. Or you can search for Deep Valley Book Festival on YouTube.

      It’s getting cool enough that now when Zoey comes in from outside and I’m sitting in my chair, she jumps onto my lap (doesn’t matter if I’m doing something). Nice, except she’s not as cuddly as many cats are, more like: I’m sitting on your lap, see, and don’t pet me. I’m just here.

      Have a great rest of your week, Betsy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, good to know. I’ll have to remember to try to find you on Youtube then. Exciting! I trust it went well?

        Oh, Zoey. I’d still take a non-pettable cat to no cat. Nice she shares her warmth and actually likes you. πŸ™‚

        Kitties getting big. Such a shame. But as they get older they’ll be slower for picture taking. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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