Sunday, June 28, 2015

ROW80: Last post for Round Two

Round 2 for ROW80 has come to an end. A few goals were accomplished:

  • Finished first edit for Mothers Don't Die (65,000 words) and recruited 2 beta readers.
  • Found a narrator for the audio book for Standing Stones through ACX. Now waiting for first 'draft' of recording.
  • Tabled Rivers of Stone (this was a hard decision, but July and August = research trip to support this project). 
  • Wrote a poem a day (April's A-to-Z Blogging Challenge) on my writing blog
  • Experimented with a second promo (discount) for Standing Stones through EReadeerNewsToday.
  • Participated in ROW80 as sponsor and made goal of reading x5 each week. Didn't always post my check-in on time, though.
  • Surprisingly made a start on the memoir project (and taught a workshop).
What I didn't complete makes a longer list. Is it useful to say what I didn't do? I agree with Denise Young that when our writing routine gets knocked to pieces, for whatever reason, we can struggle to return, measuring success sometimes in very little achievements. 

Should I even sign up for Round 3 that begins July 6? We'll be on the road for 6 weeks in Canada (hopefully cooler than the 104 posted today), but I already know that setting goals in the categories of WRITING, COMMUNITY, MARKETING, CRAFT, and OTHER (exercise, quilting), will keep me focused.

And I want those goals in front of me -- that commitment to writing keeps me focused and able to support others.  I'm in. 

How about you?

Detail from fountain, Edinburgh (Camp 2009)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in: Not writing, not yet

My friend's husband, a dear man far too young, died on Saturday.

Tomorrow we go to the funeral parlour and confront the realities of death certificates, cremations, and necessary practicalities. So I'm editing a bit, but not writing just now. Will return when I can and wish you all well in your own writing goals, achievements, and endeavors.

 How does nature nurture us through every day with beauty that somehow is new and renewing?

Visit other ROW80 writers, jump right in and voice your words of encouragement. We persevere!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in . . .

I'm starting to read Natalie Goldberg's, Old Friend From Far Away, (2007)when a sentence from the introduction made me stop. She writes that we are drawn to writing memoir because: "We know the particulars, but what really went on? We want the emotional truths under the surface that drove our life."

That's me in glasses, about 8 years old
Again, I reminded of Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck, that phrase yet resonates because this is what Goldberg wants us to do. Dive into the wreck of our lives, peek underneath the surface, look unflinchingly into the mirror of what makes us. Not the accomplishments. Not necessarily the successes. But that rich emotional life that for so many remains private, sometimes unexpressed.

Typically I back away from conflict, even in fiction. Revelations are sleight of hand. Subtle, if at all. I took one of those find-out-who-you-are tests back in the 1970s. My aunt said the test results were absolutely wrong, but I remember the summary that said I hid behind curtains, that no one knew me, that I may not even know myself. So perhaps that's why I'm drawn to this memoir project. The first step, postponed again and again, to simply begin.

ROW80 Weds check-in. I'm saving the color-coded update for Sundays and will simply report a little progress here.

Writing: No progress at all on Rivers of Stone or Reaching. Edited 3 chapters for Mothers Don't Die. By Sunday: Write 250 words a day on ROS. Edit at least 2 chapters in Reaching, one more for MDD. Prep for Sunday's memoir workshop coming along fine.

Other: That darn heat wave (up to 97 yesterday) led to ice cream, no walks, no swimming, and elevated blood sugars. So, back to SparkPeople on the premise that writing stuff down DOES make a difference -- and a commitment to exercise 2x before Sunday. 

My friend's husband is now in hospice. We're meeting for breakfast in 15 minutes. Last night I watched the basketball playoffs with dear hubby (ever more grateful for each moment together). Cherish the time for writing and for those you love. Make it a good week!

Check in with other ROW80 writers HERE because this online community does make a difference.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

ROW80 Sunday Check-in with color!

This week, inspired by Shanjeniah, I'm switching to color-coding for progress in my daily work file. So here's my progress June 1-6: 

Blue = done!
Green = good progress made.
Red = lamentably, no progress at all.

Did you notice any marketing goals? A writer I know promised to crit my marketing plan . . . but so far, no crit. So that goal remains low on my priority. My friend's husband is now in hospice at home, and I feel sad and helpless at the same time. Is it affecting my writing? Yes. Do I care? No. More walking, more phone calls, more paperwork.

And for the coming week? Renewed commitment to my goals.

I did promise color today. 

Here's a pic of that finished quilt top (wheelchair-sized). I really like working in this size (roughly 40" x 55") as it allows me to experiment with color and design. The backs are always flannel, to be warm and comfy. 

When I'm quilting, I can daydream about the writing. All is good for another week.

Did I say thank you for for the wonderful encouragement last week? Dear ROW80 folks, we keep working away, waving flags, making progress on our varied goals. Those words of encouragement really, really help. Thank YOU! 

Now, go on and check out what other ROW80 writers are doing -- or jump right in. After all, Kait Nolan's challenge/blog hop recognizes that we writers have a life that sometimes trumps our writing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in: Cleanliness is . . .

This may well be the shortest check-in I've written for ROW80, that round of words in 80 days. 

The carpet cleaner came today. Our belongings were heaped in the two bathrooms, the kitchen, and the mini-patio. The bookcases and bed were piled high with those essentials that didn't fit elsewhere. I don't want to open the office closet (sewing goodies from floor to ceiling), and we can't take a bath yet for the carpet is still too wet to start putting things away. I thought we had downsized and were living with less clutter. Hah!

I can only report that I did finally write a review, got some editing done on three pending projects, and have worked on the memoir workshop just two weeks away. Just one more row for the current scrappy charity quilt. I promise a better check-in on Sunday. Maybe.

Visit other ROW80 writers HERE . . . thank you, Kait Nolan!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Row80: Sunday check-in with lightning

I can blame this afternoon's thunderstorms for knocking out internet. True, I was already one day late in posting my Sunday update, but power has been restored, life can resume -- with internet! 

ROW80 this week's priority:--Continue work on revamping structure/characters for Rivers of Stone. I can't measure what I'm doing, but I'm working every day on this. 
--Copyedit 3 chapters a week for Reaching:  On target.
--Edit 3 chapters a week for Mothers Don't Die: On target.
--Final prep for memoir class mid-June. 5 out of 7 days. 

--ROW80: Sub inspirational article (done), post updates Sun/Wed, read at least 8 other ROW80 writers this week. Steady progress.

Also for the coming week: 
--Write review for Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes. 

--Generate ideas for novella.
--Assemble poetry book/memoir.
--Declutter e-mail. Target delete 300.

--Edit memoir for friend: 3 chapters done. Waiting for her next sub.
--Review ACX audio of Standing Stones arriving June 1 (or so). 

Other goals: Continue quilting (office is a mess with 3 quilts in progress, fabrics everywhere, but neat designs emerging).

Check in with other ROW80 folks to cheer us all on HERE.

Picture below (shot out of the front of our car) shows the closest I've ever come to a tornado in Minnesota in 2007. We could feel the car lifting slightly as we drove under this massive cloud. As my mother would say, "Ooofta!"