Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ROW80 #15: Happy Thanksgiving!

I've dropped out the last two weeks. Despite thinking about all of you, working away on your writing and checking in on your progress as part of A Round of Words in 80 Days, I just couldn't join you.

Two major projects kept me busy.

If you know what 'doesn't fit trim size' means, then you know where I've been. Just before dawn this morning, CreateSpace accepted my files for Rivers of Stone. The proof will be here in another week (already found 2-3 spacing errors to correct). And then I will finally (after three years of work) hit that magic button to complete the paperback version. The Kindle version of Rivers of Stone is already live.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Over the last two weeks, I also worked intensely with a team to publish Spokane Authors & Self-Publishers' first anthology, called Celebrating Spokane Authors. Some 19 poets, authors, and essayists contributed work to this anthology. Our launch party for the anthology is December 2 (Saturday), and I'm scrounging for reviewers. If you are interested, please let me know.

This is Round 4, Check-in 15, and I'm still not ready. My fingers are in that frozen keyboard state. But, a little later tonight, I'll be making a mincemeat-apple pie. Tomorrow, we'll be gathering around the turkey with family, grateful for every moment.

The next challenge? Back to work on setting goals, deadlines, and evaluating progress.  And work on marketing, which always makes me vaguely guilty. We CAN do this!  Wishing you all the very best of times as we approach the end of the year.

Thankfulness from Thanksgiving Quotes










Sunday, November 12, 2017

ROW80 check-in: Happy Veteran's Day.


When I first met my husband some 43 years ago, I didn't know he was a Vietnam vet. He was just the most wonderful and intriguing person I'd ever met -- a writer, a dreamer, a poet, and a traveler.

Two years ago, for his 70th birthday, his novel Reaching, based on his experiences as a draftee serving in Vietnam, was published. Life is sometimes complicated, but my gentle husband hasn't changed that much.

Yesterday, we celebrated Veteran's Day quietly with milkshakes from McDonald's and lots of football. I try to take good care of him because I want him to stick around, but we're at that age when saying goodbye is too close to reality. I'm not ready.

ROW80 Round 4: Check-in 12:

WRITING by Sunday 11/12: Use 750 words to write a minimum of 250 words a day on Island Wife. Make final revisions/formatting for Rivers of Stone a top priority. Completed afterword for Rivers of Stone. Now working on final formatting for Kindle. Wrote 400 words this week on memoir. Wrote 3,167 words for Island Wife. Taught workshop on “Deep Revision” on Wednesday (more about this on writing blog).

BLOGGING by Sunday 11/12: Post on Writing Blog. Report in for ROW80 Weds and Sunday. Posted Thursday and Sunday. Posted Part 1 of ‘Deep Revision’ on Writing Blog. Read posts by other ROW80 writers x6 for the week. Read x4 this week so far.

MARKETING by Sunday, 11/12: Work on marketing/timeline for Rivers of Stone release by December 15. Finalize cover back. Send queries re blog hop/early reviews for Rivers of Stone release. Send November newsletter. Send query re early reviewers. Set up pre-orders. Sent request for permissions x3 for quotes in Rivers of Stone (luckily one person quoted is long dead). No progress otherwise. Other: Draft PR for SASP Anthology release party and send queries to reviewers. Worked up timeline, designed promo, contacted 3 potential reviewers.
In an effort to keep life relatively simple, here are my GOALS FOR Week of 11/13-11/19.
  1. WRITING by Sunday 11/19: Write 750 words/day for Island Wife. Continue 1 hour/day formatting Rivers of Stone. Write 500 words/memoir.
  2. BLOGGING by Sunday 11/19: Post ROW80x2 (Weds/Sun). Post Part 2 “Deep Revision” on Writing Blog. Enter Carnival of Indies by 11/15. Read posts by other ROW80 writers x6/this week.
  3. MARKETING by Sunday 11/19: Work on marketing/timeline for Rivers of Stone release (December 15). Finalize cover back. Send queries re blog hop/early reviews for Rivers of Stone release. Send November newsletter. Send query re early reviewers. Set up pre-orders. Re SASP Anthology: Write press releases & send to local newspapers and post event online. Send promo for launch party to contributors, requesting they forward to their social network. Contact 4 more potential reviewers. Coordinate report for SASP board.
Those beautiful red and gold fall leaves are mostly gone. We're at that stage where we scan the coming week's weather forecast for snow and sigh happily when none is predicted. Isn't it a perfect time for making progress on all goals as the temperatures dip, right?

Question of the week (yes, I'd really like to know):  As an indie author, did you use pre-orders? How did that work out for your book? Would you do this again? Also, do you think it's better to release your book at the very end of the year (December) or wait for 2018? 

Now, what's happening on our FACEBOOK group or on our WEBSITE.

Manito Park October 2017





Thursday, November 9, 2017

ROW80: If It's not snow, it's rain . . .

Here's my Round 4, Check-in 11:  
WRITING GOALS by Sunday 11/12: Use 750 words to write a minimum of 250 words a day on Island Wife. Make final revisions/formatting for Rivers of Stone a top priority. Completed revision on Rivers of Stone. Now working on final formatting for Kindle. Wrote 800 words this week on memoir. No progress on Island Wife. Taught workshop on “Deep Revision” on Wednesday (more about this on writing blog).

BLOGGING by Sunday 11/12: Post on Writing Blog. Report in for ROW80 Weds and Sunday. Posted Thursday. Plan to post re writing workshop on Writing blog. Read posts by other ROW80 writers x6 for the week. Read x1 this week so far.

MARKETING by Sunday, 11/12: Work on marketing/timeline for Rivers of Stone release. Finalize cover back. Send queries re blog hop/early reviews for Rivers of Stone release. Send November newsletter. Send query re early reviewers. Set up pre-orders. Sent request for permissions x2 for quotes in Rivers of Stone. Other: Draft PR for SASP Anthology release party and send queries to reviewers.

You might have noticed I'm changing up the reporting to make deadlines more visible. And hopefully more efficient.

Like any other week, this week has begun with a pretty full schedule. Most of my 'free' time went to prepping to teach yesterday's workshop on "Deep Revision" over in Coeur d'Alene, which was a blast. Personally, I think I wandered a bit, especially in the intro, but the writing activities were fun, people were active participants, and I learned some new ideas along the way. Plus, the topic will show up in this week's Writing blog post!

With story revisions finally complete for Rivers of Stone, and the workshop behind me, I can now switch my writing attention for the rest of November to NaNoWriMo. Yippee!

One tip I found in researching that workshop was a reminder to think about one of your writing goals just before going to sleep. This way, the unconscious part of your mind works away while you sleep. I've done this off and on and often have been surprised in a pleasing way. So, this morning's insight was about how to write memoir.  I've struggled with how to talk about events and issues I'd rather not share. The 'suggestion' from my unconscious this morning was to write a letter to my daughter. Sounds flaky. But this little tip changed both content and tone -- and the words flowed! 

Me, Allen, and Rachel . . . Back in the day (1980s)
What's the bottom line? The snow melted. It's raining. We're one week closer to Thanksgiving. As we set goals for the rest of this month (and December on its way), I'm thankful for A Round of Words in 80 Days and wish you all a very productive and happy month!

Why not check out what's happening on the FACEBOOK group or on our WEBSITE




Sunday, November 5, 2017

ROW80: Snow already?

Another intense week of writing and revision. Here is one of my favorite picture from last week's visit to Manito Park at the height of Fall colors. But it started to snow yesterday and hasn't stopped, making me very grateful for those few perfect days playing with the leaves.

Fall moment, Manito Park (November 2017)
ROW80, Round 4, Check-in 10: Goals and Progress:

WRITING: Use 750 words to write a minimum of 250 words a day on Island Wife (NaNo project).  Make final revisions/formatting for Rivers of Stone a top priority. Currently at 70% complete on revisions for ROS, and 1250 new words for Island Wife. GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK: Complete Revisions on Rivers of Stone. Write 1,250 new words for Island Wife.

BLOGGING: Report in for Insecure Writer's Support Group with monthly post. Done. Report in for ROW80 Weds and Sunday. Posted Weds & Sunday. Read posts by other ROW80 writers x6 for the week. Read x7 this week. GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK: Same.

MARKETING: Work on marketing/timeline for Rivers of Stone release. Contacted local book store and scheduled December book signing. Worked with Sue on Anthology launch and marketing plan for Spokane Authors. GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK: Finalize cover back. Send queries re blog hop/early reviews for Rivers of Stone release. Send November newsletter. Draft PR for SASP Anthology release.

Like you, I'm busy. This morning began Daylight Savings and a 5 am run to the airport. This afternoon ends with 4 hours of babysitting. Last night, a reading at the Spokane County Public Library of its anthology celebrating 75 years (they accepted one of my poems). This week (if the snow holds off a little), I'll lead a workshop in Coeur d'Alene on "deep revision." Add in 2 meetings with quilting groups, another babysitting session toward the end of the week, and it looks like a pretty intense week.

I'm also ending this week with a profound sense of gratitude and dismay. No pictures of happy kitties here (though Aaron Rodgers' State Farm commercial with his dog ALWAYS cheers me up).  OK, one picture:
Aaron Rodgers & Rigbee
The gratitude comes from appreciating family, hubby a little better from his bad cold, and simply being home. The dismay comes after visiting a homeless shelter here in Spokane as temperatures dipped below freezing. We should be able to take better care of those who cannot take care of themselves.

Meanwhile, we persevere. Make it a good week. Check out what we're doing on FACEBOOK or the the ROW80 web! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

ROW80: Chocolate Hangover???

I have kept my muse happy. Pulled her right out of a slough of depression by thoroughly revamping my goals. 

So, to share progress for ROW80's Round 4, Check-in 9: here are my new goals (after much hard reflecting).  

WRITING: Use 750 words to write a minimum of 250 words a day on Island Wife.  Make final revisions/formatting for Rivers of Stone a top priority. So far this week, I worked 4 hours on both, 350 words so far on Island Wife (with more tonight).

BLOGGING: Report in for Insecure Writer's Support Group with monthly post. Done. Report in for ROW80 Weds and Sunday. Posted Weds. Read posts by other ROW80 writers x6 for the week. Read x3 so far this week.

MARKETING: Work on my own marketing/timeline for Rivers of Stone release. Contacted local book store and scheduled December book signing. Worked with Sue on Anthology launch and marketing plan for Spokane Authors

And about that chocolate . . .  how about a piece of cake instead?

Red Velvet Halloween Cake
from Sayitwithcake

With all that sugar from Halloween, why not go visit A Round of Words in 80 Days at our blog OR over on FaceBook to see what everyone has done . . . Be well. Write with joy!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Round 4, Check-in 8: Aaaargh!

I wish I could report better progress this last week, our first week home. But I'm beginning to realize the older I get, the more time I need to recover. Still haven't written those blistering letters to all concerned that led to a 3-hour wait while going through customs. Imagine 2,000+ people, most over 70, standing in line for 3 hours with no place to sit or go to the bathroom, some folks with walkers. This was NOT pretty, making me ever grateful we are back home.

Here are my Round 4 goals with updates:

1. Writing: Complete revisions and write wrap-around materials for Rivers of Stone by year-end. No progress yet. Organizing for NaNoWriMo. Some progress. Write at least 30 poems by end of October. Only 11 poems for the month, so far, with 3 days left. Did transfer poems from journal to Word file.
2. Blogging: Post in Writing blog x1/week (posted 3 poems) and ROW80 blog x2/each week (posted only once -- unless today counts). Read other writers x6 (read x3).
3. Reading: Read 10 books a month. Review 1 book each month. Still reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna (490 pages & about 48% through), but I'm far from other reading and reviewing.4. Marketing: Work on release of Rivers of Stone before the end of 2017. Work on marketing 3 hours each week. Still unpacking and trying to catch up, so no real progress here. I am in the middle of talking to a local book store about a book signing (tied to release).
5. Other: Write 2 articles a month/Wrote 1. Prep for writing workshop early November. Continuing: SASP Publicity (wrote article on NaNoWriMo for the newsletter; proofed new Anthology -- SASP's first!).
6. Personal: Quilt, exercise, maintain healthy balance with family, volunteering, and all else. Resumed exercise (water aerobics). Went to the advanced class by accident and really got a workout. Did buy a box of Trader Joe cookies, but all else OK. Lots of veggies and brown rice. Am appalled this morning by CNN's report of water-spread disease in Puerto Rico.

So, to keep things simple, here are my focus goals for the coming week:

  1. WRITING: Write minimum 250 words a day. Keep writing poems through end of October. Proofread Rivers of Stone for e-pub.
  2. BLOGGING: Same as always: 1x/ROW80, 2x/Writing blog (Include post for Insecure Writer's Support Group).
  3. MARKETING: Work on my own marketing plan.
  4. READING: Continue with Kingsolver. Will be lucky to finish mid-November.
  5. SASP: Develop launch and marketing plan for our new Anthology.
This morning begins with dense fog, making me grateful for yesterday's trip with grandkids to Finch Arboretun for "Leaf Day." Finch staff piled up mounds of fall leaves for the kids to throw at each other and jump around on. 

Let's bring joy (and productivity) to the coming week! Check out what other ROW80 writers are up to on the BLOG or on FACEBOOK. Make it a good storytelling week!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

ROW80, Round 4, Check-in 7: Home

We're baack! Two hour time change notwithstanding, after a 14-day cruise, the suitcases are unpacked, laundry is finally clean, and we've made one food run to the grocery store. I have renewed appreciation for internet, television news, and the daily paper. And privacy.

But the real question is: Did I get any writing done?  The short answer is yes! The longer answer is, as my three-year-old granddaughter would say, "Some." I'm working on Dylan and Moira's story. Have made great progress in organizing, plotting, and drafting a few scenes. Up to about 12,000 words and setting up for NaNoWriMo.

Here are my Round 4 goals:

1. Writing: Complete revisions and write wrap-around materials for Rivers of Stone by year-end. No progress here last 2 weeks. Prioritize writing projects (Prequel + Memoir). Done. Prequel taking front and center. Write at least 30 poems by end of October. Some progress. Wrote 10 poems in 2 weeks.
2. Blogging: Post in Writing blog x1 and ROW80 blog x2/each week. Read other writers x6. On hold last 2 weeks. No Internet.

3. Reading: Read 10 books a month. Review 1 book each month. Ooops. Probably read 6 books during last 2 weeks. Deep in Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna (set partly in Mexico) and loving this rich story that features Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

4. Marketing: Work on release of Rivers of Stone before the end of 2017. Work on marketing 3 hours each week. No progress last two weeks. Did hand out a few bookmarks.
5. Other: Write 2 articles a month. Prep for writing workshop early November. Continuing: SASP Publicity. Quilt, exercise, maintain healthy balance with family, volunteering, and all else. All these on hold until tomorrow!

Too much red above, but tomorrow beckons. What was the most exotic thing we saw during the trip? 

Toucans, parrots, and other mystery birds flying in the wilderness of a tropical forest. 

Orchids growing in a tree in a botanical garden.

The nightly towel-creature awaiting us in our room on the Norwegian Pearl

In Cartagena, flower-filled patios, but humidity and heat so high, we could barely walk.
Now, why not check in with other ROW80 writers to see what's up this week for A Round of Words in 80 Days? Have a great week!