Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ROW80: Weds check-in -- At Last!

Cut to the chase. Accomplishments since my last check-in?

--Survived the Quilt Show (500 quilts. It was fabulous).
--Survived dear hubby's second surgery for basal cell sarcoma; so far, so good.
--Worked on author interview questions for Spokane Authors.
--Finished and sent in an article for ROW80.
--Tried to set up GoodReads giveaway (not successful . .  yet).
--Began a new quilt for a friend with cancer.
--Wrote every day, some poetry, some research.

But the real breakthrough came this morning when I read Joe Bunting's article for The Write Practice on writer's block.

And I am finally, finally writing again.

Kait Nolan's spread sheet helps me see what I am writing every day. Joe Bunting's article gives me permission to accept that what I write will not be perfect, not even after extensive editing. So I can write the story I love, or as he puts it:

“Instead of trying to be perfect, strive for the opposite of perfection: vulnerability, the courage to tell your story with your whole heart.” 

For the coming week, I will continue to try to write a poem a day, but my main focus will be to write first! 

Instead of tackling this draft from the beginning (and getting sidetracked into editing rather than filling plot holes and writing new scenes), I will work on Section 04, that romantic and impossibly challenging journey across Canada in the 1840s --  by canoe, York boat, horseback, and by foot. 

In Section 04, Cat, my heroine, still disguised as a boy, travels west with the fur brigade and artist Paul Kane. For WIPpet Wednesday, here is a snippet of 11 lines (21 days - 10 for the month of October = 11 lines) from today's writing for Rivers of Stone.
You know," said Pierre. "If I didn't know different, I'd think you was a girl."

Cat stilled, bent over the pot simmering on last night’s fire, the stirring spoon in her hand. She faced Pierre and held the spoon as if it were a knife. "And if I was, would you treat me any different? I carry my own weight."

Pierre smirked. "Funny you always wind up doing women's work. Guess it's not bad for an apprentice on yer first trip west. We'll see how 'tis when we get to the mountains."

Matisa walked between them, head down, carrying a heavy water pot, her heavy blanket slipping from her shoulders.

Why not jump over to the LINKY to find out what others have written for ROW80 and check out the writers posting today for WIPpet Wednesday. Make it a good week! 

"Voyageurs at Dawn" by Francis Hopkins
1871  (Wikipedia


  1. So glad to hear you're writing again. Giving oneself permission not to be perfect doesn't sound that hard, but it can be surprisingly difficult. I hope you find renewed enjoyment in your writing.

    1. Thank you, Marina. My storyboard (a big corkboard) is now empty and I'm ready to get to work. It feels so good. Today that is after the dentist and a meeting with quilters, and taking care of hubby. But I'm truly not complaining. All is well.

  2. Trying not to perfect can certainly be difficult. Looks like you're making some progress on your goals though

  3. This is great! I'm still trying to internalize giving myself permission to not be perfect. I tell others over and over that "first draft" is spelled "C R A P P Y", but I tend to forget that for myself. It's a life-long task, fighting fear and allowing imperfection to rear its head in our work. It's fantastic that you're working on that yourself, too! 8-D

    Best of luck with all of your goals!

  4. Oh no! I hope Cat can avoid revealing her gender. Good for her for reacting the way she did. The pause (hopefully) will be taken as her convincing herself not to throw the pot at Pierre.

  5. Happy things are looking up for your beloved, Beth....and 500 quilts! *Swoons like a girl!*

    If I remember correctly, Cat may have a tricky time with concealing her identity long-term...but, for the moment, her secret(s?) seem safe enough.

    And I love the quote on imperfection. I'm all about the vulnerabilities of deep to untangle the reasons why I find revision so daunting...

  6. I like this. It's very well written, Beth!! I can picture this scene in my head as I read it.

    Glad to hear you are having a great and productive week. Loving your poems too!! See you over at OctPoWriMo.


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