Sunday, July 30, 2017

ROW80: Sunday check-in once again

July is very nearly gone. As Denise Young reminds us, only 53 days remain in Round 3.

This last month has been tumultuous with lots of people, commitments, babysitting, and major shifts in writing. I haven't looked at the goals for the round, keeping instead to week-by-week.


1. WRITING: Revise 5 more chapters. DONE: Actually revised 7 chapters and finished Section 01 of Rivers of Stone. Began revising Chapter Summaries as well. So far 12/27 chapters completed. Need these summaries updated to keep track of changed plotting and those pesky characters who keep changing their names. My overall goal is to publish Rivers of Stone by year-end, with Sections 01 and 05 being most challenging.

NEW GOAL? Thought I would start a notebook/folder for the next story, but despite the often seemingly overwhelming task in front of me, I want to keep my focus on Rivers of Stone. This week, I will begin revising Section 02 (12 chapters) and finish those Chapter Summaries for Section 01 (15 chapters).

2. BLOGGING: Post x2/week. Read other posts by 4x.  GOAL? Same for the coming week.

3. MARKETING. Not sure yet. I find it easier to set this aside. I am teaching a writing workshop this Thursday. Does that count for indirect marketing? And I did write an article on dialogue for Spokane Authors' newsletter. GOAL? At least review my notes and pick out ONE ACTION STEP to work on.

3. OTHER. Did resume swimming 2 out of 3x this week. Plan to continue. Dithering a little over which quilting project to do next. 

Here's a picture of the Happy Birthday quilt (African theme to celebrate our trip with friends to Tasmania) now in its new home, and I'm equally excited that secret project number 2 is now at the quilter.

Sometimes I think that quilting is much like writing as a project will (at least for me) emerge in pieces. I'm having fun with Pinterest collecting images of landscape quilts. My first effort is rather small, about 10" x 15" that I made in March of this year. But the block is calling for 'the rest of the story.'

Meanwhile, may your week go well. Check in with other ROW80 writers either on FACEBOOK or the WEBSITE. That's where I'm going next!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

ROW80: Sunday and home again . . .

Sometimes we learn again to be humble. After four days with my two lovely granddaughters (aged 5 and 2.5), I've relearned that my stamina has limits. And yet those kids are a joy, curious, and full of energy and love. Our day began at 7am and ended at 9pm. We were too tired to do much of anything else, BUT somehow, I got three days of writing sandwiched in before wake-up time.

WRITING GOAL FOR LAST WEEK:  Revise 3-4 more chapters. 

Completed Chapters 15-20. 

All other goals got postponed.

Biggest lesson learned? Being responsible for these two energetic children brought out a few symptoms of PTSS. I screeched when the little one ran out into the street and panicked at the noises at Jump and Bounce when the five year old hid for 15 minutes. So we are home now and it's quiet, though I haven't written the last 3 days. Tomorrow's Monday, and I hope for better progress when I report in on Weds.

Inspired by Elizabeth Ann Mitchell, here is my short list of goals for the week:

  1. WRITING: Revise 5 more chapters. Start a notebook/folder for the next story.
  2. Blogging: Post x2.
  3. Marketing: Not sure yet. Thinking about Holly Lisle's class.
  4. Other: Resume exercise x4 times this week. Decide what quilting project is next.

You can still pick up a free copy of  "My Selkie" through July 31 at Smashwords  

This short story led to Standing Stones, my first historical novel set in Scotland in 1840, also available deeply discounted on Smashwords through July 31.

Meanwhile, may your week go well. Check in with other ROW80 writers either on FACEBOOK or the WEBSITE. That's where I'm going next!

Backyard Treat (Summer 2017)

Monday, July 17, 2017

ROW80 Home and not home . . .

Breakfast by the computer. Writing done for the day. Next? Trying to post a late check-in for ROW80 (Welcome home after a week away), and getting ready for immersion babysitting. We leave in 2 hours for a four-day sleepover with those beloved grands -- the five-year-old and the almost three-year-old. Did I say we're not packed, and we're not ready? And feeling somewhat intimidated?

Progress since last check-in and goals for this week:

  1. Writing: Revised Rivers of Stone chapters 9-15. THIS WEEK: Complete 3-4 more chapters.
  2. Blogging: Nada last week. THIS WEEK: Post ROW80 x2 and Writing blog x1. Read x6.
  3. Reading: 3 books. Escapist reading only. THIS WEEK: Most likely escapist reading all week.
  4. Marketing: Gave 2 review copies away. No social media presence. Read 1 article. THIS WEEK: I can only improve. Most likely won't start until Friday. Or Saturday. OK: Do more reading. 
  5. Community: ROW80's post last week about what's ahead reminded me how much I appreciate this online writing community, even as it keeps evolving. So what can I do to support the new changes coming? THIS WEEK: Make a plan.
  6. Other: Made a breakthrough in designing current quilt. Finished the backing. Said 'yes' to teaching a "Let's Write!" workshop at a senior center. Really got excited about writing another article about a wonderful quilter I met at the Sisters' Quilt show for The Country Register. Need to work on both. Exercise? Forget about it! OK, we'll be chasing the grands.
And that's all folks as I try to climb back on a schedule. Check what ROW80 writers are up to on FACEBOOK or the WEBSITE and have a great week writing, enjoying summer, and surviving the current calamity.

Favorite memory of last week: Stopping at Timberline Lodge and admiring Mount Hood while eating a cheesecake slathered with raspberry sauce. Yes, we walked a little at high altitude.

Cheesecake view of Mount Hood

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ROW80 Weds: Round 3 begins . . .

Round 3 begins and I feel a little like Alice, racing down that rabbit hole. We're packing for a week away, our first trip since January and leave tomorrow morning. So I'm not sure about posting goals for Round 3 for A Round of Words in 80 Days, but I can post goals for the coming week (slightly adjusted since we'll be on the road, but, trust me, the writing/laptop is packed)!

ROW80 GOALS Week 1 Round 3: Keeping it simple for the coming week: 
--Writing: Revise 2 more chapters for Rivers of Stone
--Blogging: Post in Writing blog x1 and ROW80 blog Weds/Sun. Read other writers x6.
--Reading: Read 2 books this week. 
--Marketing: Drop off bookmarks wherever possible. Read one marketing book. 
--Other: Draw and journal while on the road.

Last week was pretty amazing with 3 more chapters completed for Rivers of Stone, a comfort quilt completed. Started making doll clothes for the grands. Bought a few doll clothing patterns at an amazing price ($1.99). Who knew these patterns now cost $16-$18/each???? Had an exceptionally useful meeting with my small writing group AND recruited my first 2 early reviewers. Also subbed an article to The Country Register; it was accepted AND they want to review Rivers of Stone (once it's out there).

Biggest challenge this last week? Digging into revision (I wrote about this on my Writing Blog HERE for the July post for The Insecure Writer's Support Group).

Actually worked pretty consistently on marketing this week (MailChimp, Smashwords promotion, website update) AND am offering "My Selkie" (a short story) FREE through July on Smashwords.  One writing guru suggests becoming an 'affiliate' for Amazon and for Smashwords. Has anyone tried this? Results? Did you continue?

Now check out what other ROW80 folks are doing: We're an online group of writers who set goals, work on writing, and encourage each other as we all balance 'real life' with our writing.  We're on FaceBook and have a website HERE

Why not join in? Stay cool. It's only July.  Keep writing and take some time to enjoy summer.