Sunday, March 26, 2017

ROW80: Happy dance at home!

Today's Sunday and time to check in for A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life. We're supposed to be taking a break between the first round of 80 words and the second, with no more check-ins until April 2, but I'm checking in each Sunday. Because IF I stop, I truly do stop!

I'm doing that happy dance because (ta-da) I'm finally healthy again. After being nasty sick for over 4 weeks, the life force has returned. I leap out of bed and can get stuff DONE. Yippee. OK, ok, so sometimes in the afternoon, there's a little slump. But mostly, I'm back, still sipping hot tea to ease that lingering tickle in the throat.

More good news. I finished revising Section 04 (32K words), and Section 05 of Rivers of Stone, the last section has only 9K words. This means no more (fictional) facing white water or plodding through snow, as my characters come down the Great Columbia River to Fort Vancouver and the end of the story!

First sight of Mount Hood on the Columbia River
(called Mount Timm in 1846)
Painting by James Everett Stuart (Artnet)

Progress this week:

  • Revision: 13 chapters this week; added 1,173 words.
  • Marketing: Updated photo on all platforms. Handed out bookmarks.
  • Other: Finished a scrappy comfort quilt, met with writers' group, walked x3. Almost ready to resume swimming.
Goals for the coming week:
  • Begin last section, Rivers of Stone.
  • Marketing: Persevere with one more step.
  • Other: Work on Leah's recipes, quilting, meet w/writers' group. And swim!
May you ALL have a great week!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ROW80: Sunday check-in at home

Today's Sunday. Time to check-in for ROW80, A Round of Words in 80 Days. 

My sister called this afternoon. It's 92 F in Tucson, quite a lovely comparison to Spokane's 37 F this morning. Guess we got a high of 54 F today. Not too bad for closing in on spring. Here's a pic of the wetlands near our house. Yep, that's snow on the ground, but I did see a few red-winged blackbirds.

We're still exhausted from our trip, still recovering from colds, but I did get a little more done this week (including mopping the kitchen floor). 

  • Wrote 1,600 words this week, revising and writing. Got some research done as well to resolve some dratted questions. It's summer, 1846, and Cat is slogging through mosquito-infested plains, somewhere south of Winnipeg.
  • Reviewed marketing materials and goals: 3 hours.
  • Wanted to resume exercise 3x this week. Walked 30 min/2x.
  • Completed promo for Spokane Authors.
  • Highlight: Met with writing group for the first time for wonderful, critical feedback.
  • Shelved Quilt Fiesta article as it's simply too bland.
For the week ahead, still keeping it simple as I seem to run out of stamina each day, especially in the afternoon, so more writing, more work on marketing, and that's about it!

I hope all you writers are working hard, meeting your goals, and enjoying each day. Thank you, Eden and Shan, for continuing to keep us organized! Check out what we're up to (or join in) on Facebook HERE or at our website LINKY HERE. And have a great week!

Upper Fort Garry on the Red River, now Winnipeg
Catriona arrives here August, 1846
That stone wall is 15' high!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

ROW80: Home, Sweet Home (more or less)

Yes, we drove a thousand miles home, arriving exhausted on Friday, March 3, just a little over a week ago. Nasty colds slowed us down considerably, but finally, I'm picking up the pieces, the car is unpacked, and I've resumed writing.

Though I only wrote a little over 500 words this week, today's big achievement was learning that Gurlay died of measles, not the smallpox. Did you know that one virulent strain of the measles affected the lungs and circulation, turning the victim's fingers and toes blue? But my heroine is finally off the Plains and just about back on the Saskatchewan brigade heading west from Norway House.

Goals for the coming week remain relatively unchanged: Write 1,000 words to finish Section 04. Other goals: Don't quite know if I have the stamina but before next Sunday: 

  • Meet with writing group this Weds.
  • Work on one marketing activity this week.
  • Resume exercise x3/week.
  • Draft promo for Spokane Authors' April meeting.
  • Finish article on Quilt Fiesta.
I'm pretty excited about quilting again and started my first machine applique . . . a Row by Row pattern of Cape Fidalgo and Mount Baker. Here's a snippet.

Quilt in progress March 2017

It's also great to be back in my own kitchen. Made a broccoli quiche last week and will try a mushroom one this week. Have a great week, everyone, and I hope you are grateful for your health, stamina, family, friends, and -- the joy of writing!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ROW80: Weds check-in Somewhere north of Stockton . . .

Maybe life has returned to "normal" as I'm checking in on both Sunday and Wednesday. Thank you, Shan Jeniah, for double-posting the check-in link at the linky AND on FB.

ROW80 Progress/Goals for Week 8:
  1. Wrote 1,009 words since Monday 2/27. Now editing Chapter 5  (Section 4). These revisions are coming too easily, making me doubt myself. Ah well, maybe I could call this a first draft revision and just keep moving forward! 
  2. Plan to write monthly blog post for Insecure Writers Support Group due today. Optional March question: Have you ever pulled out an old story and reworked it? How did that turn out?
  3. Need to finish article for Country Register.
  4. Read at least 6x for ROW80 and IWSG. So far read 2x.
Snippet from today's writing -- just for fun as Cat continues disguised as a boy on her journey from the Plains to Norway House in 1846. Cat, left behind with an ailing guide, Gourley while Canadian artist Paul Kane goes for help, was rescued by two men from the fort.

“Three days,” said Cat. “Somehow I kept Gourlay on the cart, and we headed north. I didn’t know if the wolves or the Sioux were going to get us, and then we got to the Stinking River. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to cross with him in the cart.”

“No river had a better name.”

Cat kept talking, as if she couldn’t believe she was with people again. “Mosquitoes everywhere. All muddy. No place to sleep. Our horse kept getting stuck in the mud.  I’m grateful you kept looking for us.”

The other man, a constable in a gray coat, pointed back at the river. “Kane told us he got lost out here in the mud, almost had to shoot his horse. Lucky for you he found the fort.”

Yeah, lucky for me, thought Cat. I might just shoot him myself.

May the rest of Week 8 go well for all ROW80 writers. We're still driving north, with over 1,000 miles to go. Our mantra, "What else could go wrong?" This morning, I woke with a bad cold.

Passed near Joshua Tree National Park yesterday, through the Tehachapi Mountains at 70+ mph, lots of traffic on the freeways, no one follows the posted speed limit, but we then dropped into the beautiful, rolling hills of the Great California Valley, highlighted by fields of flowering, sweet-smelling almond trees.