Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Row80 Round 3: Last check-in

ROW80's Round 3 is officially over tomorrow, that round of 80 days that began three months ago, back in July. So, here's my report card and a very small snippet . . .

Writing: Yes, I've begun researching and drafting Rivers of Stone officially. This is a lovely obsession. Lots of books to read, scenes to write. Yes, that birthday surprise was completed on time -- a review copy of Reaching, my husband's Vietnam era novel. Sadly, I've not done so well with blogging, rather writing in fits and starts instead of a measured progress. And the idea to write a journal/day book about our travels in Scotland simply disappeared.

Reading/Community: Aargh! I'm not tracking what I've read at all, but as stress increases, I read voraciously any escapist story I can find (typically two books a week). No writing craft books. I have critiqued several writers' books, now participate in a face-to-face writing group, and have tried to be supportive to other writers' groups (taught a workshop, attend two different groups once each month).  Although I've been a member of NOVELS-L, the wonderfully helpful online critique group for The Internet Writers Workshop since 2008, I'm thinking of withdrawing for a while. Why? Because I keep falling behind.

Marketing: Yes, I held the coffee launch for Years of Stone and just happily completed this week a well-received reading at Auntie's, an indie bookstore here in Spokane.  And I've been able to schedule a visit to a book club or talk each month through the end of the year through the generosity of some kind readers. But that overall Marketing Plan languishes.

Why this up and down commitment to writing this last month? I don't think I realized the stress I'd feel about my husband's back surgery. His 6" incision down his spine and overnight recovery in the hospital scared me, and the expected, yet very slow recovery reminds me what a gift we have each day with those we love. Someone here on ROW80 mentioned making a commitment to taking at least one day each week off.  I might just need that day.

Meanwhile, we ROW80 aficionados have a break before Round 4, all the way to October 6. I'll be back with new goals, appreciative of what others are dreaming and writing about as we all navigate our way between goals and accomplishments, not regretting the gaps but nurturing our creativity. 

WIPpet Snippet: This round I did do better in posting every Wednesday a snippet from my current work-in-progress -- thanks to Kate Schwengel for hosting and encouraging us. Today, this snippet will be short, being 5 paragraphs for September 23 (2 + 3):

Context:  Catriona has disguised herself as a boy to follow her husband, Dougal, to Upper Canada in the 1840s. Cat, fearful of being discovered and alone now that Dougal has been sent west with the fur brigade, works in a trading post. Here she meets Marie, a country wife.

Marie laughed. "Then where is home? There? Here? Child, you have no home. What if he don't return in the spring? Where will you go then? How will you live?"

Cat was silent for a time. "I don't know. They were going to send me back to the Orkney Islands."

"Maybe you find a man here?"

"I don’t think so,” said Cat. “Show me how you make that rosette." 

Marie pushed the small wooden bowl over and handed a needle to Cat. "String me some red beads. I show you."

Fall at Manito Park, Spokane (Camp 2013)

Enjoy that break. Check in to see how Round 3 has gone for other ROW80 writers HERE

And aren't you curious to see what others have posted for their Weds WIPpet? Go HERE.


  1. So obviously Marie is in on Cat's secret? Cat does have a lot to decide if she winds up alone.

    I think one day off a week is a very good idea. We need time to refresh our souls as well as our bodies. Without that, all areas of our life can suffer and we won't even know why. So do take time to take care of yourself as well as your hubby. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind encouragement. Sometimes I think that Cat's secrecy, her fear of discovery of her 'true nature' is what many women experience who have been conditioned to accept society's expectations. The journey at midpoint, then, turns to Cat discovering who she is through her actions, her friendships, and her thoughts. Re taking that day off, yes. That's needed. We might say in nurturing others, we nurture ourselves, but that's not always true.

  2. I was a little confused...does Marie know Cat's secret? It seems like she would need a few people to know and help her cover it up. I'd like to know more about Marie, in any case.

    1. Ah, the mystery of very short snippets. Sorry about that. Cat has gone south from York Factory to escape being sent back to Scotland. At the Red River settlement, she meets Marie, the country wife of the trader there, who befriends her. What would we be without those friends who guide us and support us? So, I'm learning more about Marie as I research and write. Thank you for reading!

  3. Still an impressive Round even with the craziness. Take it one day at a time and try to not be hurt on yourself. That is what I always remind myself. See you in Round 4, Beth!

    I like the snippet too!! :-)


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