Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ROW80: Checking in from Yuma

Life on the road, a writer's dream. We had that romantic vision when we started out. Time to explore new settings and make progress on the current wip while deciding each day where we'd go on this nomadic trip south.

Well, we hit snow on the way south from Washington State. Then a hairy rainstorm down the coast of California. Then came news that Allen's mother died. We left our car in Phoenix and flew to Philadelphia for a family celebration/memorial. Two weeks later, we flew back to Phoenix to pick up the car and ended up driving to Tucson the very next day for a family birthday/reunion.

We said farewell to my sister in Tucson on Saturday and began the 300+ mile drive to Yuma, mostly because we've never been here before. 

So I should have good writing progress to report. I picked up some food poisoning somewhere along the way, and the last three days have been a blur, so much that I haven't opened the laptop for the last three days. Does that sound repetitive? Even yesterday, I was walking around like an old lady. But I am an old lady! It's just I usually have lots of stamina. Slowing down only slightly. A humbling experience, hinting at challenges to come.

Sadly, dear hubby finished off my Dr. Pepper and followed me into that semi-coma state of painful slumber interrupted by frequent bathroom breaks. Yuck! But don't feel too sorry. For we are finally in Yuma at La Fuentes Inn for another four days . . . and this is our view (today's high 73F):

La Fuentes Inn, Yuma, Arizona
So one of our goals has been achieved. We are out of the snow zone for sure, more than a little wobbly, but ready to lie around the pool and stare at those palm trees.

Progress this week. Yes, I cracked my current goal of 1,000 words/week (if I count from before I got sick, this being the first day back), and I'm working on reorganizing Chapters 2-9. Made some breakthroughs on sequencing this section (using scaffolding and freewriting). A little snippet from Cat's bison hunt and how she meets Canadian artist, Paul Kane (1846).
Cat and Jacob made their way up a small rise to watch the buffalo hunters. Just ahead Cat spotted that skinny artist, his rifle at the ready, taking aim at a great beast, the herd thundering around him. Cat and Jacob held their ponies still as Kane took his shot, stunning the buffalo to a standstill. 

Kane leaped off his horse and knelt, with sketchbook propped on his lap. What was he doing on the ground? thought Cat. 

Suddenly, the buffalo roused itself and charged Kane.
For the coming week, I'm not ambitious.

1. Another 1,000 words. Write 5 of 7 days.
2. Post promo for Spokane Authors today.
3. Do a little recreational quilting.

So this week, I'm also thinking about what a reading group said about my stories. They like the stories and the characters very much and want more (not realizing it takes me about 3 years for each book, and it seems a slow journey). But they said my stories have a dark side, and they didn't always like that. I'm not sure what to make of this comment. Most of my stories revolve around the theme of survival under difficult situations -- as we all face. In various forms. I personally don't like conflict at all, but I hope my characters fight back. When needed.

And that's all folks. Have a great week of adventure and writing as we wend our way forward.


  1. Without the shadows, would we so much enjoy the sun? Without conflict, would we have stories worth telling, or reading?

    I don't think so!

    Your bison hunt reminds me of our Yellowstone years, and the little piece of bright-orange paper given to every visitor as they entered the park:


    Bison can sprint at 30 miles an hour, three times faster than you can run. DO NOT APPROACH WILD ANIMALS!"

    Too often ignored...sigh.

    I fear for Mr. Kane. Bison are not remotely placid-tempered animals when threatened!

    I had food poisoning just before my birthday a few years back. Miserable, and I didn't open my laptop, either. I'm glad you're both on the mend, Beth, and that you're doing it somewhere lovely. Also that you're making progress.

    1. Dear Shan, Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate comments. They bolstered me during a weak week! Kane does happily survive; the incident actually happened. This wonderful Canadian artist was eager to sketch his way across Canada 1846-1848. Thank you!


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