Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday: April 28: ROW80 Update

Sunday night. Still light outside at 7 pm. Time for ROW80 check-in. It's too late for coffee but how I wish for a nice cuppa.

WRITING: Did stay current with writing a poem a day this week. As the month winds down, I begin to see that I cannot write fiction AND poetry at the same time. I'm feeling "blue" (today's NaPoWriMo poetry prompt), but I do mean closer to worn down by the press of other deadlines. But I did make progress with Years of Stone this week. Mapped out all key characters/locales for Section 3 (yes, I'm working backwards). REVISED GOAL: Complete same for Section 2 by WEDS.

BLOGGING: Keeping up with posts and reading posts by others (between 5-10 a day). When people comment, I visit their blog and comment there. Sometimes I respond on my blog. I'm not sure which is more appropriate, but I seem to run out of time when I do one or the other. Unless someone subscribes, say, to my blog, how would they ever see my comment? So which is preferred: to comment in response or to visit the person's blog? I'm beginning to realize I can't do both.  My "motivational article" for ROW80 is supposed to go up on April 29. That's tomorrow. Still need to read ROW80 posts tonight.

MARKETING: Holding my first ever Rafflecopter give-away on my writing blog (which ends tonight at midnight). Posted Mermaid Quilt on craigslist. Met with local author to talk about marketing (2 hours over coffee) and got invited to do a guest blog. Actually sold two books at a quilting guild meeting (and 2 more at a local book store this week). Allen says the book is not officially "launched" until Amazon's wider distribution goes into effect (about 4-6 weeks). REVISED GOAL: Post those Book Club questions by Weds.

PUBLISHING: I think I will waffle forever between indie publishing and self-publishing. Identified 3 more potential independent publishers. GOAL: Will sub to one by WEDS.

PUBLIC RELATIONS VOLUNTEER WORK: Finished article on charity quilts by deadline. Waiting for comments. Exhausted after 9 am to 10 pm meeting Thurs this week. Need to rethink my stamina and commitments. GOAL: Send rewrite of quilt show and pics of 'block of the month' to webmaster by WEDS.

PERSONAL: Doing OK with exercise (2x water aerobics, 1 long day hauling books around). Not as well with meditation. Continuing to clean out (let go) of papers in office. Still behind. Got to quilt some on my cowboy charity quilt. This is fun, rather like a story without a plot, where I make blocks but the final pattern is not yet clear. I did make a reading goal at GoodReads, but I find that I read crap when I'm tired. I'm talking about romantic suspense and romantic cosies. Somehow I don't think that should count toward my reading goal. I feel guilty. Then I just don't care. BY WEDS: Make a dent in T. C. Boyle's San Miguel.  Hubby's health somewhat improved.

May your week go well! 

Do you find your goals shifting each week???

Blue = my favorite color
Blue = how I'm feeling just now

Blue Poison Frog, Brazil (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weds April 24: ROW80 Update

We're closing in on the end of April -- and the end of NaPoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge. But, here's some progress this week:

WRITING: Finally got some real writing done. No real numbers, but dug into read-through of Section 3 of Years of Stone, made notes, did some revision. Feel good about progress. Now will do the same for Section 2 by Sunday.

BLOGGING: Doing reasonably well with a poem-a-day. But when people really like a poem, I find it a little intimidating because poetry still is very private for me, a kind of meditation. Still posting a recipe a week on the travel blog (and enjoying that!).

MARKETING: Actually worked on the Book Club questions! GOAL: Finish these and post by Sunday. Used Writer's Market 2013 to revise my current market plan. I found much more specific information on pre-launch of any title.

PUBLISHING: Still working on that list of indie publishers. Went through another 24 potential publishers of historical fiction and identified 3 possible subs. All sound like they have a long (minimum of 4 to 6 month) turn-around.

WASHINGTON STATE QUILTERS. GOAL: Complete article by next Weds for magazine deadline May 1. Finish research on contemporary quilts. Get permissions to use photos.   By Sunday send update on quilt show to webmaster.

PERSONAL: Still no luck on pulling photos from CDs to a flash drive. By next Weds, I hope to have some answer on this. Happily shredded many useless documents. Spring has finally sprouted here in eastern Washington. Made a BIG pot of Maklouba for this week's recipe. That was fun. Hubby better, so all's well in my world.

May your ROW80 goals and writing go well in the coming week.

Spring at Manito Park (Camp 2012)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday April 21: Update

I'm really liking this blog set aside just for ROW80 because I can also set aside my fear of boring someone by nattering on about writing goals. The only folks who visit here will be ROW80 writers (more or less) who are just as passionate about writing as I am. So, without further ado, here's my update:

WRITING: Nothing, nada, zilch, and blank page. Except I'm still writing a poem a day for National Poetry Month and participating with NaPoWriMo and the A-Z Challenge. And I did set up this ROW80 Blog this week.

BLOGGING: On track with posting daily on the writing blog. I'm having a surprising amount of fun on my travel blog. Since we're not traveling anywhere exotic for the short term, you'll find a recipe of the week every Wednesday, inspired by my travels. Last week's readers actually tried the recipe -- and liked it! What could be better than that? Finding an agent or publisher?

MARKETING: Wrote a press release for The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales -- and (wait for it) actually sent it out! Got an immediate positive response and an invitation to raffle off a copy. I'm thrilled as that means a bit more than an announcement. Made a little progress reading and analyzing other Book Club questions to draft my own (also for The Mermaid Quilt). Paid real money to amazon/KDP to expand my distribution (takes 4-6 weeks) because I was told by a B&N spokesperson that I could have a reading at their store once I'm in the 'database'.  Also paid real money for a business-card-sized ad in a quilter's newsletter.

The real challenge in marketing for me is to make a specific plan. I've found so much contrasting information and the whole process seems so complex. I'm repeatedly finding out I should have done more PRE-LAUNCH. But that's what publishing The Mermaid Quilt was about -- a learning experience. Whew!

PUBLISHING: Went through 25 possible publishers of historical fiction recommended by Poets & Writers and by other online sources. So checked checked websites, Absolute Write's water cooler, Preditors & Editors. Eliminated 24.  Found just one possible publisher (closed for reading until June), and they prefer fiction up to the Renaissance. So I'm wondering if I should query or not, since Years of Stone is set in the 1840s. Some of these 'publishers of historical fiction' had 2 or 3 books listed, and one website was so cute and difficult to navigate, I couldn't find the author submission page.

WASHINGTON STATE QUILTERS:  Sent a press release out that resulted in a reporter and photographer interviewing a wonderful quilter who makes quilts for kids with cancer. I'm dancing about that one! Prepping now for articles due May 1.

PERSONAL: Doing OK with family time. Exercise not so much (bad cold now gone, but no walk today; it's pouring). Today I will check out whether I can pull photos from CDs on hubby's computer. And I spent a few hours in the kitchen making a famous Arabic dish for Wednesday's post on the travel blog.

My office still looks like a bomb hit it; haven't caught up with all the mail, but overall, I'm feeling so much better. I hope your week goes well.

And if anyone has suggestions about marketing, please, please comment!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sunday April 14 Update

NOTE: I'm navigating posts to this new blog just for ROW80 so that weekly updates will be easier to find -- and to write. My goals are listed on the side bar or click here.

Sunday, April 14: We've been back just a week, and after a month away, it feels like I'm still digging out. But participating in ROW80 still keeps me focused! Achievements this week: Accepted as local author at 2nd Look Books here in Spokane. Learned how to make a poster. Almost posted a poem a day (I think I'm one poem behind). Commented on 5 submissions to the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association literary contest and learned more about what makes a really good synopsis in the process.

Worked on being a helpful ROW80 sponsor by reading and commenting on about 5 posts a day. So far, so good. Submitted the 'inspirational' article for ROW80 blog by deadline, BUT I'm not sure it was inspirational enough as I ended up trying to figure out what really motivates writers to write and how that affects what we write.

I found a great quote from Ray Bradbury: "You must stay drunk on writing so reality doesn't destroy you." I paraphrased this to: "When reality destroys you, write!"

But the blogger I'm drawn to most these days is K. M. Huber's blog. Her post this week: "Humility: The Art of Being Enough."

May your writing week go well!

Beth's Office (April 2013)