Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ROW80 and Weds WIPpet: Reality Check

Between jet lag and a switch to Daylight Savings, I'm still climbing back into a daily routine that leads to balance, a sense of order, and that wild card, writing.

ROW80 check-in today will be short as we move to the end of Round 1 (March 26). This round's goals and progress.

1. Writing: Finish first revision of Section 01, Rivers of Stone, and begin revising Section 02. First section done (14 chapters), but I will return again, second section well begun (on Chapter 8). Read one book on writing craft? How about half of two writing craft books? Still have 2-1/2 weeks left, right? 

2. Community. Social media daily x1. Blog 3x each week. Yes to both of these goals. Meet commitments as ROW80 sponsor and participate in WIPpet Weds. Not able to read all posts but met goals of 6x/week. Critique or write reviews for 4 other indie writers. Done x9. Also attended a quite useful writing conference, the first in several years.

3. Marketing. Draft 2015 marketing plan. Schedule one more workshop. Done. 

What have I learned from Round 1 of ROW80 so far? That of these three categories, marketing remains the  most challenging. Participating in BookBub led to many new readers, and I'm still amazed and so appreciative of every reader, especially those who review, comment, and write me! My progress is still slow, with at least another year before Rivers of Stone is ready for publication. 

Participating in online writing communities has been so helpful. I highly recommend A Round of Words in 80 Days (to set goals and measure progress), NOVELS-L of The Internet Writing Workshop (to exchange critiques at the chapter level), and WIPpet Wednesday (to simply share work in progress).

Now for that snippet of Rivers of Stone for K. L. Schwengel's Wednesday WIPpet. Inspired by the date of March 11, that's 5 paragraphs, plus 1 for luck. Cat, still disguised as a boy, works as a clerk at York Factory in 1842. November temperatures average 4 F in Upper Manitoba. A Swampy Cree named Muchk has befriended her.

You fall asleep out here, you die.” Muchk tapped her on the shoulder. “You don’t know who come up behind you.”
Cat shook herself and laughed. “All I do is fall asleep.”
“Not good to sleep inside or outside. Help me get some shot and powder.”
As Cat measured out Muchk’s order, a wave of smells from bodies pressed close to the counter made her dizzy, and the powder spilled out on the counter.
“There’s a mess,” said Murray. “Did ye have no breakfast? Better get over to the cook’s and see if he needs any help. For sure you aren’t worth much today.”
Cat hunched over to walk across the parade grounds, her feet crunching through the snow, her hands pulled inside her jacket. Damn cold, she thought and then laughed at herself. Mam would never approve my swearing, but it's cold, bloody cold enough to freeze my nose. The dizziness had cleared once she was outside. Cat glanced at the Hayes River covered with ice and remembered what Muchk had told her about the polar bears, how they hid their black noses so they would be invisible when they hunted seal on the ice pack. The story didn’t seem so funny this morning.  

Alex Burger, Polar Bear at Churchill (Flickr)

Cheer on other ROW80 writers as they work hard to achieve their goals -- or visit WIPpet Wednesday to read other snippets from works in progress. 


  1. Oh, I can so relate to the cold!! I just hope it's finally gone for the year. And I didn't know that bit about Polar Bears. How intelligent of them. Nice snippet again. Cat has quite the challenges to deal with.

  2. Yeeeeaaaaah. Polar bears only look cute. They don't act so cute.

    So, it may be just because of something I've been writing, but I'm very curious about this dizziness. JUST unwashed body smell? Or something else... ?

  3. I'm voting something else - a problem that a boy would NOT have to deal with. Cat may need to be very, very careful - or she might need to fess up...

    Polar bears - and bears in general - are pretty awesome creatures. I can say this todaywhile comfortably settled in my study. I said it a lot more warily when I lived close to grizzlies in Yellowstone.

    And I so hear you about the jet lag and the time change. For me, these were seasoned by Leonard Nimoy's death, a head cold that went through the family, and laptop issues...

    It's good to be finding an even keel again - or even something approaching it.

  4. You're doing great. I'm looking forward to the Write Canada conference in June. This will be the first year I will be faculty. I am co-teaching a Creative Nonfiction Intensive. As far as skills development books, this is my topic of choice. (I guess I should know what I'm talking about, huh? :D) All the best for the remainder of Round 1. TTFN

  5. Totally feeling her on the cold thing. >.< I'm also a bit curious about the dizzy thing, though I suppose I do get dizzy myself from the scent of strong perfume, so maybe I shouldn't read into it too much....?

  6. I hear ya, Beth. Been coming out of my cocoon and wrapping up The Mousetrap. This is the last weekend, so I have actually gotten some stuff done since tech week began. And now the weather is melting the snow, I can see my driveway again! YAY!!

    Have a fantastic weekend!! :-)

  7. Definitely feel Cat's pain with the cold, we've had so much lately - although we're having a beautiful day today so I've been enjoying it.

  8. That must have been some odour coming off those men, but after your last snippet I can just imagine how bad several of them packed together must smell. I'm not surprised Cat became woozy, I'm just surprised she's remained upright! The polar bears sound cute and smart from the safety of the UK, but it would be terrifying in person...!


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