Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

A little potpourri #amrevising #amgardening #amreading


Dontcha hate it when all those pesky real-life responsibilities get in the way of your writing? Cleaning, paying bills, full-time job, cleaning, paying taxes, migraines, COVID vax, updating my resume (yep, I’ve fallen victim to the acquisition company’s line: “I’m sorry, but your position will be eliminated as of the middle of summer), socializing with the fam. You know, the stuff you have to do because you’re a grown-up (at least in age). Hang on, I have to go open the chicken coop so the girls can get out and stretch their legs.

Okay, I’m back. We lost a chicken a few weeks ago to some unknown predator. Could have been a raccoon (though why a bandit would bother trying to kill a chicken is beyond me; I don’t think they’re that ambitious), or a hawk (except hawks don’t usually eat the head right away), or a skunk (again, would they go through the effort), or more likely the tomcat we’ve seen roaming around (and that treed Zoey last week). Hey, as long as the remaining four do their jobs and lay eggs …

Speaking of outdoors, hubs tilled the garden. Since last year, he’s tilled two spots: my usual garden, and what he calls “his” garden, where he plants potatoes and the sweet corn I swore I would never plant again. This year I asked him to save a spot for the pumpkins he asked me to get for him (Pepitas variety, in case you’re wondering. Hull-less seeds so he can roast them in the fall). Besides, my SIL asked me to grow some pumpkins for her. The two varieties need some space so they don’t cross-pollinate. Hubs planted some potatoes already, with more in line to plant.

Me? Nothing in the garden yet. In MN we know we can have frosts as late as the week before Memorial Day. In fact, we’ve had frost warnings the past few days. Which doesn’t bother cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach, cabbage and relatives, and a few others, but in my world I’d rather plant once instead of plant some, then later plant or re-plant the tender stuff. Besides, I have a revision to finish.

The seedlings are looking really good. I’ve started hardening them off, which is a fancy way of saying putting them outside for a while so they get used to cooler temps and wind. I figure I’ll stick with my usual timetable of Memorial Day weekend for planting.

Things are looking up for in-person events this summer–YAY!! I’m mostly excited about the probability of seeing my Writing Sisters in person at our reunion this year. Okay, I’m excited to see my fam (sibs and such) at our summer gathering, too. Last time I saw my sibs was during our Christmas Zoom. My dad made a surprise visit a couple weekends ago, because he wanted to get out.

Now, my dad has this wonderful (not) habit of calling just before he leaves home (instead of, like, the day before) to see if we’re going to be around for a visit. Luckily, he’s about an hour and a half away, so that gives us some time to quick-clean (trust me, it’s not nearly enough time, because all that cleaning gets in the way of writing πŸ™‚ ). He didn’t used to call ahead; my mom would. In fact, I got a call from my mom one day (years ago!). She asked if Dad had talked to me about the piano.

Me: Um, no.

She then gave me a heads up: Dad’s on his way with a piano (from my aunt and uncle).

Me (and hubs): What?!

We managed to find a place for it before he arrived. After that, I think my mom explained to him that the appropriate thing to do (especially when moving an upright piano) is call ahead. (A little backstory so you don’t think my dad is crazy-spontaneous: we had talked about getting the piano (which my aunt and uncle (Dad’s brother) wanted to get rid of), but moving an upright piano isn’t exactly an easy task. Calling moving companies was on the to-do list. I think my uncle complained (?) to Dad about what to do, and Dad took it upon himself to move it for us).

BTW, I’ve tried to pawn that same piano off on my brother (since we rarely use it anymore), but he got an electronic keyboard for the girls instead. Good plan. Way easier to move a keyboard than a whole piano.

Well, better get back to revising. And of course, I’m only halfway through thanks to real-life responsibilities, so yet another week before I turn it in. I promise. πŸ˜€

Write on!

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, four 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.

20 thoughts on “A little potpourri #amrevising #amgardening #amreading

  1. I know exactly what you mean about life getting in the way of…well…life, Julie. No matter what you plan, or how good you are at planning, things come along that change everything, don’t they? Still, that’s the stuff of life, too, and those small things – like watching the garden take shape – can be enriching, too. I wish you well looking for a new position!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Margot! Some days I just want to put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign for real life and spend a day or week (or longer πŸ˜€ ) in my WIP. Been spending more time than I should at this point looking for jobs (my term date is the end of July), but I can’t help mysefl πŸ™‚ )

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Our lettuce, spinach, carrots, and minefield of cherry tomatoes that sprang out and had to be transplanted from the old chicken coop (evidently from the fertilizer of the birds), are all doing well. Carrots and potatoes seem to be, too, but a little hard to tell how big they are beneath the dirt. We got a new larger coop, and have seven 2.5 month old hens. (We hope they’re all hens. We’re not as good at telling, but the guy who sold them to us seemed sure.) The biggest chicken is kind of mean to the others, which greatly upsets my youngest daughter. One of the orange ones is missing several feathers as a result. Our last batch of birds were far nicer to one another. :/

    In other news, the agent I sent the third revision of my ms to nearly three weeks ago wrote back with: “Received. Thank you.” Sigh. I was hoping for a different response by now. I think I should probably start querying again instead of waiting and hoping. Boo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is tough to tell how big carrots and potatoes are from the surface. For potatoes, I always wait until the plants die back before picking them, but I have dug some up early. Haven’t grown carrots in forever; they like sandy soil, and ours needs more sand πŸ™‚ And you’re right about the chickens. With ours, there’s one the rest like to pick on, even though they are all the same size.

      Aw, man. That waiting always sucks. Is the agent requiring exclusive submission? If not, I would go ahead and start sending out queries again. No sense in waiting around. If s/he is requiring/requestion exclusive, I would still send out queries and not tell them. I mean, how long do they expect you to wait?

      Have a great weekend, Betsy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooops, nearly forgot! Hello, Zoe-zoe!!
    My little kitten friends were picked up the next day. I thought I’d have them longer, but being woken multiple times during the night wasn’t the most fun thing. So I guess it’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww. My son says his kittens like to chase at night, so they sometimes wake him up. We’ve always trained our cats that they are not allowed on the bed (doesn’t mean Zoey doesn’t nap there anyway when we’re not using it). Then there are the mornings that Zoey wants us to get up and let her outside. She’ll sit in the doorway and meow. When we cat-sit, we keep the bedroom door closed so they can’t wake us up. πŸ™‚

      Hey, maybe you can start a new side business: Kerekes Kat Sitters!


      • Sadly, we have to keep our door open so we can hear Joe. And apparently these kittens were not trained not to hop on the bed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • On the bright side, you got to have kittens for a day!

        Liked by 1 person

      • True. And we’ll likely have them again for longer next month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lying in bed last night, it suddenly occurred to me that you said you were being laid off, and I didn’t comment on that! You tossed it in so casually like it was no biggie, that it almost didn’t register, what with all the plants, and writing, and cat… So sorry, Julie! You seem to be taking it in stride, but that really sucks to be laid off!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It does suck, but after the acquisition, I had been seriously considering getting a new job anyway (besides, my boss retired, and of all the bosses I’ve ever had, he was one of the best). I just have to stick it out until my term date to get my severance, which also means any job I apply for I can’t start until mid-Aug. Sigh. I’m keeping an eye on the market and crossing my fingers my next job will be as good as this one was (until the acquisition). On the bright (?) side, it’s the only job I have ever been terminated from; all the others I left on my own terms.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve certainly had a good run. Here’s hoping the next job is even better! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hubs and I have been slammed with real life issues cropping up left and right, too. I can so relate, Julie!

    I’m sorry to hear about the job situation, but am glad they gave you plenty of notice. Also sorry about the chicken you lost, poor thing.

    I finally got to see my siblings the first of this month. The last time I saw them in person was June of 2020. The fax is definitely making life easier.

    Hang in there, and enjoy the garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the vax is definitely a good thing! Now to convince those who inexplicably don’t think it’s necessary to get a vax (including one of my brothers, who is an engineer. (and our mother was a nurse!)). The whole job thing was one of those “waiting for the shoe to drop” circumstances. Worst part is, if I get a new job before my term date, I forfeit my severance. Sigh. I’m still keeping an eye on the job market, tho’!

      Have a great writing week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aren’t aging parents a wonder? Troublesome for sure, but they can be really funny (and annoying) as they impose on our lives without a second thought. The story of my life these days. Sorry to hear about the job, and I hope that something else comes up that you like even better. These are such hard times. My daughter has been in work limbo for over a year with schools opening and closing and opening for limited days and closing again. Ugh. I can’t wait until this is over. I hope there are brighter days ahead for you. Happy Gardening and keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least your parents are a lot closer now than they used to be πŸ™‚ I’m hoping something good will cross my path. That’s kinda what happened with this one. Lucked out! Ugh. I have a great respect for teachers in general, with all they do for kids and so often lacking the compensation they deserve. I can’t imagine how much more difficult the last year+ has been. I agree, the sooner this is all over, or at least under some semblance of control, the better I’ll feel.

      Have a wonderful rest of your week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

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