Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere


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Spring Distractions

I love spring. I mean, if I had a choice of an extended season, I’d pick spring. Most of the bugs aren’t out in force quite yet, the trees are that bright fresh green color, the grass is bold emerald (and needs to be cut already?!), and this:

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lilac flowers

I wish I could include the smell. I go out to the lilac bush and just inhale the scent. We only have one bush, the common lilac, but my dad has more varieties, including one that’s called a French lilac (I think). They all pretty much smell the same, they’re just different colors, for the most part. I hope they’re still blooming next weekend. My dad’s leaving on his annual Alaskan cruise, so I’m taking the opportunity for a couple weekends of writing bliss at his place. This year my aunt (a misnomer because she’s actually my uncle’s ex-wife, but still part of the family) and her sister are going with my dad and my uncle.

Oh, and this is another favorite part of the season:

asparagus_cr There’s nothing like fresh asparagus from the garden. Sooo yummy!

It’s getting to be about that time again, when the weather stays warm enough for the garden to be planted. Not that a person needs to wait until mid-May to plant (holy sh*t, it’s the middle of May already?! Damn, where did the time go? Wasn’t it just St. Patty’s Day?), but I really don’t want to think about covering anything that might die if we get any frost.

My hubby tilled the garden last night, so I’m planning to plant this weekend. Needless to say, I’m ready to get stuff in the ground; one less thing to think about. Then again, that means I’ll need to start weeding. Ugh. It’s almost depressing to see just how well weeds are growing already:

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creeping Charlie

The infamous creeping Charlie. Luckily, not in my garden area … yet. It’s a member of the mint family, so it spreads, but it should also be edible. I’ll have to dig up (or make up) some recipes. Hey, might as well eat it to beat it, right?

My son is done with his freshman year of college and is now home and enjoying life with no homework. His girlfriend came over yesterday and helped him clean out the chick box and put in new bedding. She loves animals, and enjoyed helping (I think), even if the chicks aren’t all that cute anymore:

chicks 1_crchicks2_cr

It’s almost time to move them outside into a nursery coop, a smaller area than our regular coop to let them acclimate to being outside. Our one remaining hen has been by herself since late last year when a skunk managed to get into the coop area (hence the new chicks). We think she’ll be happy to have some company.

I’ve been procrastinating on writing (in case you couldn’t tell 🙂 ). My agent asked me to make one more small revision, so I’ll do that this weekend and get the manuscript to her next week for the second round of submissions. I’m looking forward to a couple weekends away from distractions at home to work on my WIP.

So there’s the rundown. Light on the writing stuff, heavy on everything else helping me procrastinate. I need to buckle down; I’m getting into that itchy, irritable, agitated state of mind that develops when I don’t write enough. I keep thinking about my writing sisters reunion coming up in August. Ahh, to have a few days to think only about writing. I can’t wait!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Mother’s Day to those who have kids, and to those who don’t, because you probably fill that place in someone’s life, even if they aren’t your own child.

Happy Writing!


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Pen Names and the Visibility of the Internet

As I’m setting up various pieces of my author “platform”, I realize I’ve twisted myself into a bit of a knot. Many writers use their real names when posting or publishing their work, unless, as with a friend of mine, there is already an author out there with the same name.

Some authors also use pen names when writing in different genres, such as Nora Roberts’ alter-ego J.D. Robb.

Then there are those of us who, by virtue of personal experience or by the request of significant people in our lives, use a pen name as a sort of privacy protection. This is my situation. Unfortunately, my pen name and the name I use in the real world have crossed paths as I’ve become more involved in writing groups, writers’ websites, and writing contests.

So, here’s the scoop: My intent is to publish under my pen name of J. M. Goebel, at least at this point to respect the wishes of my other half. It may turn out that a potential publisher will insist I change it to something more visually appealing. So, with that in mind, I’ve set up a Twitter account and writing-centric email address under that name. BUT, my life in the real world doing fun stuff like writing conferences, writing groups, writer friends, etcetera, is done under my real world name: Julie Holmes.

Sorry for the confusion. Please forgive me! I do answer to either name. Really I do.


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Musings of Muses and Inspiration

Welcome to my blog! As a fiction writer, my muse is in my thoughts on a regular basis, along with the everyday chaos I like to call “real life”. If I had a choice, I’d spend more time with my muse!

There’s a ton of sites for writers by writers that run the gamut of, well, anything and everything that has to do with writing. Those blogs look at the how-tos and where-fors of the written word, and a lot of excellent advice for those of us striving to become better at our craft. Hey, we all want to be better writers, right?

And there are blogs out there that include the muse along with the other bits and pieces that make up a writer. But what about that muse? Just what is a muse, anyway? Sure, there’s nine chicks out in the mythological Greek universe that belong to the Muses club, but none of those gals seem to belong to writers per se. There’s the poetry muses (Erato and Calliope), the comedy muse (Thalia), and the muse of tragedy (Melpomene), along with their five other sisters (Greek Mythology), but none that really stand for fiction writers in general.

So I looked up the meaning of the word “muse”, and found my favorite definition in Merriam-Webster’s third listing for the word (Definition of muse): a source of inspiration; especially :  a guiding genius. Oooh, I like that. Guiding genius. Source of inspiration sounds more like what I think a muse truly is to any artist: something that inspires.

Inspiration is the germ of creativity, at least in my mind. I think all artists, whether writers or musicians or painters or what have you, can pinpoint that bit of something that sets off a chain reaction that results in a particular painting, song, or story. A snowfall was my inspiration for a short story that took place in the winter. The memory of a trip to Hawaii sparked the opening scene in one of my novels.

Maybe by stopping for a moment and talking about those little things that can be a “muse” or inspiration, other writers who might be stuck or uninspired at the moment may get a little jog to pop them out of whatever rut they might be in. Sounds like an interesting journey to me. Anyone else in?