Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday night check-in

Surviving the week seems to be my main priority. Yesterday was a bit of a scare since Allen could not walk at all. Modern medicine to the rescue with a dash to a 24-hour pharmacy. This morning, he's much, much better. All that talk of being prepared for some day when our health is not what it could be seems so much rubbish. I can repeat the mantra: Cherish each day (and do), and work a little each day (I do), but yesterday certainly tested my stamina and hope.

Meanwhile, the end of ROW80's Round 3 rapidly approaches (Sept 25!!). On this morning's short walk, I heard a raven and spotted him at the top of a very tall pine. His calls followed me and then, whoosh, whoosh, he flew nearly overhead, his wings rowing through air, a last bird cry, and then he was gone, headed south on a long journey.

ROW80 update for the week:

Writing: Steady progress on the writing. Didn't make my goal of 1,500 words (no surprise), but I did write 890 words, continued editing and 'fixing' the sequence of scenes which still remain somewhat out of whack. Biggest accomplishment: Getting those darn articles off on deadline. Whew!

Blogging/reading: Inspired by several Row80 writers, I've made a commitment to set up a blog plan and posted my first post on travels in eastern Canada ("North to Cape Breton"), which is directly connected to research for the current wip, Rivers of Stone. So far, I'm pleased with what I'm learning, and have a tentative plan for the writing blog, but here's the sticking point: How do I know that readers will be interested in what I write? That's the self-doubt that a blogging plan should help me overcome, for I shall just follow the plan!

I'm about 60% done reading Grace Lee Nute's The Voyageur and learned many fascinating tidbits, including that voyageurs had bandy, underdeveloped legs with really strong upper bodies from all those hours of rowing canoes. By the 1840s, though, the fur trade business (and jobs for voyageurs) was shrinking (more top hats made of silk, not beaver), so more research lies ahead.

I'm also now wondering how to refer to native peoples as several characters will have an important part in this story. In the 1840s, indigenous peoples were simply called Indians or 'the people'. That doesn't seem quite right, even for historical fiction. I'll start with Cree, Algonquin, and Assiniboine cultures. Suggestions for terms, anyone?

Other: Two days at the hospital pre- and post- Allen's surgery led me to all kinds of unhealthy eating, no walking, and rather high blood sugars. Maybe like Allen, I will improve! For the coming week, I'll work a bit more on marketing, lots more on writing, and keep current with commitments to writing communities (face-to-face and online).

May your week go well.

Favorite picture of the week comes from Jeffrey, my sister's boyfriend, who happens to be a wonderful photographer!


  1. Here's wishing you both improved health. You're so right - we need to seize the day. Sounds like you've made some good progress.

    1. Thank you for visiting, Beverley. May your art challenges go well!

  2. I'm glad Allen is feeling better. I hope he continues to improve, and that you can find your equilibrium again.

    As for knowing what people want to read and see, I've posted things that speak to me. If a feature doesn't seem to generate any traffic or conversation over a period of time, I drop it or change it up. I also fine tune the things I post. In general, I try for a personal take on something more universal.

    I see it as something organic, an ongoing interaction between me and those who come to read.

    That heron is lovely. Jeremiah and I saw a blue heron last week.

    1. Thank you, Shan, for commenting, especially because this morning, the equilibrium is a little lost. He IS better every day, just not sleeping so well. I think the meds gave him really intense dreams, making him a little more restless. But 'tis morning and I am writing. Your words of encouragement mean quite a bit.

  3. Getting any writing done during a stressful week is great! Hope your health and Allen's continues to improve.

    Your research sounds interesting - my WIP is also set on the American frontier, though a bit earlier and farther south (Kentucky/Tennessee). So sometimes my characters refer to the native people as the Cherokee, sometimes "Indians." Whatever makes sense for the point-of-view character works for me - if they know which tribe the individual(s) in question are from, they can refer to them that way, otherwise I'd expect them to say "Indians." Good luck!


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