Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

A-Muse-ing check-in #amrevising #amwriting

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A cool breeze drops the temperature in my writing office, bringing with it the sweet-edged scent of fallen leaves.

“Shut the door, you’re letting the warm air out.”

A thud answers.

The past few weeks it’s been almost 80 degrees here, rare from mid-September through now in MN. Heck, last night was the first night this season we had a frost advisory, when we usually get them the end of September. It’s been great for the plants; my peppers are still going strong and I’m still picking tomatoes. Fewer now that the temps feel more like autumn than summer. The kale loves it.

My Muse appears at the divider wall, the only thing protecting the alcove from the cold air coming in from the back door of my writing office. Whoa. Fisherman’s sweater, worn-well jeans, and a touch of stubble. Flannel would be more appropo, but the sweater works for him. Mm-hmm.

“I see you’re trying to work, love.” He grabs a bottle of water from the fridge and settles into the other recliner. He smells like the outdoors in fall, a sweet spicyness that begs to be joined by mulled cider and the sound of crunching leaves.

“Yes, and you are distracting me.”

He chuckles, the rich baritone settling in my gut. “I don’t buy it. You get distracted by things without my help. I’ve been watching you do it for years, despite my efforts.” He points to my laptop. “I hope that’s your revision.”

“It’s my blog post, which you are perfectly aware of. After this, I need to check that email account I’ve been avoiding. I’ve probably got two thousand new emails by now.”

He twists the top off the bottle and takes a swallow. “Ever thought of using an aggregator so you can check all your accounts at once?”

“Yes, but there’s a reason I have separate accounts. One is for junk email; it’s the one I use whenever I know a website is just going to spam me with ads. One is the account I’ve had since, hell, forever. One is my author account, that I use with my agent and editor and book festivals and conferences, and so on. The other is the account I’ve been using to subscribe to blogs and newsletters. I’m so far behind reading those. Oh, my gawd. I bet I’m a year behind.” Especially with my new job now. I’m using my company laptop, and they have it pretty locked down. Needless to say, I don’t check any personal email on it. I wait until my midday break to check my primary account. The others? Maybe a quck look every day. Maybe.

Except for that one account. Good stuff, I know, like the post notifications from Story Empire and Janice Hardy, but damn, it’ll take me a week to catch up on that stuff, even after deleting all the stuff I don’t read.

“An aggregator would just pile all that stuff into one spot. I already have that in my house.” Despite me badgering my daughter to get rid of the stuff she doesn’t need. I had no idea how many clothes that girl has. I mean, just how many clothes can you wear in a week anyway if you work as an assembler at night and sleep during the day?

“You could check one account instead of what, four?”

“Five if you count my school account.”

He shakes his head. “I don’t get you sometimes.”

“Part of me wants to take pride in that.”

He sighs. “Anyway, have you decided what you are doing for NaNo this year? You have two weeks to go.”

“I think so.” For years NaNo has been my reason to relearn the habit of writing every day. It works, too, for a while.

“New stuff?”

“Yes. I have a couple novellas in mind.”

He studies me, narrows his blue eyes. “You need to work on your focus, love. You have two other projects to work on.”

“Hello — NaNo. Why do you think I do it every year.”

“And when do you plan to work on those other projects? You know the one is close to being ready. The other is half-finished. Why new stuff? Besides, I thought you were going to take a break from those characters.”

My turn to sigh. “I know. I was. But I’ve got to get my writing shit together. Book 2 is almost ready to send out to betas. I need additional material to keep readers interested.”

“Should have done that last year, love.”

“Shut up. I know. Last year gave a whole new meaning to the phrase ’20/20 hindsight’. Hell, I had enough trouble keeping my blog going. Some authors reveled in all that lockdown time they had and pumped out all kinds of stuff. I wasn’t one of them. And I wasn’t the only one. I’ve talked to at least two other writers who had trouble writing last year.”

“Don’t expect me to give you any slack.”

“Like you ever do.”

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying this wonderful fall (or spring if you are south of the equator). It’s so nice to have fall instead of jumping right from summer to winter.

Happy Writing!

Tibbers and Nyx

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, three 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.

2 thoughts on “A-Muse-ing check-in #amrevising #amwriting

  1. I know what you mean about not getting things done during lockdown the way we’d hoped. I didn’t, either, for a number of reasons. And it is hard to focus and write and really create something excellent with the usual daily distractions out there. Here’s to a successful NaNoWriMo fr you, and I hope you have a productive end-of-2021!

    Liked by 1 person

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