Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ROW80 Weds Check-in: What's cooking?

Life has nearly returned to normal. Lights and power have been restored, though some 20,000 still remain in the dark. When we sit down tomorrow to that annual feast, surrounded by family and friends, I am feeling very grateful for all that we take for granted.

Writing goals and progress hit a big bump last week. So in the spirit of ROW80, I'm recasting my goals through the end of the round. 

Writing Goals by December 26:
--Finish Sec04 on Rivers of Stone. This section's currently at 34,400, but it’s not about word count. It’s about identifying what’s missing, building in those transitions, and deepening the POV.
--Review Standing Stones ACX audio tapes. Darryl has sent me 30 chapters; I’ve completed 1-14. By Sunday 8 more chapters (minimum 2 chapters/day). 

Other goals by December 26:
--Complete at least one read-through/revision notes for Mothers Don’t Die.
--Review at least 2 books written by indie authors (Jensen, Danner, Manion, Drake). Completed 2 indie reviews in November.
--Learn Scrivener. Use for memoir. Downloaded, worked through orientation, set up new file and put 2 hours into writing family history.
--Complete updates for Reaching and enter in Writer’s Digest self-pub contest.
--Write in writing blog at least once a week. Focus: Report on research for Rivers of Stone. Thanks to Fallon Brown, I posted WIPpet Weds' snippet on my writing blog CLICK HERE to read.

--Read Jack Nisbet’s David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work and Nancy Marguerite Anderson's The Pathfinder.
--Declutter e-mail to under 250 and keep deleting! Down to 387 today from 500.
--Other:  Continue organizing fabric and quilt! Reconnect with exercising 3x week.

And that's all, folks!  Zing by other ROW80 writers HERE to give them an encouraging comment. Happy Thanksgiving, and remember, we're in this together. Write on!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

ROW80 and Thanks-giving . . .

Looking back to last week's challenges made me smile, for this week brought a whirlwind . . . not at all related to writing. 

You may have seen highlights on the national news about the windstorm that hit Spokane on Tuesday night with 70-mph winds, knocking down over 400 trees and powerlines and leaving over 180,000 people in the dark. 

We were without light or heat for 24 hours, and our kids just got power back last night (that's four days and nights with temperatures in the 20s last night).  Here's a pic from Flickr that shows just one of those 400 trees that were blown over.

"Fallen" by Frank Knapp (Flickr)
What was most humbling? A quick reality check on how dependent I am on technology. No power meant no computer. Cell phone at one bar. And a reminder about exactly how much energy it takes to chase after a one-year-old and a three-year-old!

If I wrote apocalyptic sci-fic, I'm ready to describe streets no longer passable, giant trees uprooted, crashing down, and a community managing somehow to work through each day, supporting each other as best we can. Did I say we may have snow by Tuesday? And 40,000 people are still without power as of tonight?

I have nothing to report on my goals this week, but I can wish you all a good Thanksgiving, one of thankfulness -- especially this year that we all stay warm, dry, safe, and connected.

May the coming week be a good one for you. Check in on what other ROW80 writers are up to HERE.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

ROW80 Sunday Night Check-in . . .

This last week has been humbling. Yesterday I drove 30 minutes to a meeting that had been cancelled and then drove another 30 minutes home. But that 'wasted' hour was quite useful in thinking about where I was feeling over-extended and why. 

Sometimes if I run too fast to complete a list that's far too long, I forget the simple pleasures of sitting, thinking, remembering, and sharing.

Participating in NaNoWriMo this year has led me to feel inadequate as a writer. So I'm now officially a NaNo rebel, still committed to writing every day, but at a slower pace. My normal daily word count is between 250-400 words, so attempting 750 words a day is still a stretch. And, joy on joy, I am writing real scenes finally.

ROW Goals by November 22:
--Continue commitment to NaNoWriMo by writing a minimum of 750 words every day. Total for last week: 6,269 new words (nearly 900 words a day).

--Continue review of audio tapes for YEARS OF STONE. Last week: Completed Chapters 1-11. Next week: complete Chapters 12-30.

--Read one indie book for review. Continue research reading especially Jack Nisbet's David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work, and Arthur J. Ray's I Have Lived Here Since the World Began (a history of Canada's native peoples), for I feel I romanticize the world of M├ętis and native peoples a little too much.

--Other goals: Work on exercise, decluttering, and a little quilting. Continue to read posts by other ROW80 writers!

I hope to begin a new quilt, inspired by a book I recently discovered called Constantinople Quilts by Tamsin Harvey. She uses Turkish Iznik tiles for both color and design of 8 applique projects.

Not only do her photographs and designs remind me of the month we spent in Turkey (primarily Istanbul) and of the rich culture and warmth of the people there, but my DH needs a new quillow.

I don't expect fast progress on this project, for it will take time to find the colors and decide on a design. Here's a picture of Iznik tiles we saw at Topkapi Palace not so long ago:

Detail tiled wall, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul (Camp 2009)
May you have a good week -- with all in balance! Go forth and encourage other ROW80 writers HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

ROW80 Sunday night check-in: Ooops!

Sunday night. I'm sick. My laptop died . . . but I'm making slow progress. Tonight, it's time to check-in for ROW80, A Round of Words for 80 Days.

Goals for November 9-15:
--Continue steady progress on NaNoWriMo. Write every day on Book 3: Rivers of Stone. Total for last week: 10,481 new words.
--Review audio tapes by chapter for the ACX audio version of Years of Stone. So far, 7 out of 62 chapters completed.
--Other goals: Exercise x3, quilt show recap meeting, and celebrate new book by Spokane author Ruth Danner. Maybe a little quilting.

Would you like to download a free copy of Allen's book?  

The Kindle version of Reaching: A Vietnam War Novel will be available for a free download on Amazon, November 10, 11, and 12.

Now I will wish you all lots of good writing as the week kicks off. 

No fingers in the eyes, please! And if you are upgrading to Windows 10, may that go smoothly as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ROW80 Weds Check-in: Winter Giveaway

NaNoWriMo is rolling, and so is my story. That's the good news. It's darn cold out there, already dipping into the 20-degrees F at night this week, but perhaps that means fewer distractions?
Blue = on target and in progress.
Red = not started yet.

Writing goals by Sunday, November 8:
--NaNo write 1,600/day for a total of 9,600 words by Sunday on current wip, Rivers of Stone. Progress: 4,366 for 3 days. So far, so good.

--Review one book for Spokane Authors' writer by Thursday. I'm knee deep in D. Andrew McChesney's Beyond the Ocean's Edge and enjoying the seamanship and sense of early 19th Century life aboard an English frigate. 
--Edit Reaching x10 chapters for minor typos. 
--Write 3 poems to complete OctPoWriMo challenge.

DONE: Sent e-mail alert for Years of Stone and Reaching (both running a GoodReads giveaway starting TODAY, November 4). I'm excited about this one because it's my first newsletter of the year, sent to 50 people who subscribed via MailChimp. You can read it HERE -- and subscribe, if you like.

--Review 10 audio files for Standing Stones, just submitted by ACX voice artist Darryl Hughes Kurylo for the audio book version.
--Write press release for Allen's Reaching: A Vietnam War Novel for KDP's free days honoring Veteran's Day (November 10-11-12).

NOTE: If you are a GoodReads member and want to enter the giveaway, here are the links for Allen's REACHING and for my YEARS OF STONE

View of Alexander Henry Trail by Alberta WOW
Now it's back to drafting scenes for Rivers of Stone. Cat is herself knee-deep in snow, attempting a winter crossing of the Rockies via the Athabasca Pass, which we drove through this summer. To our delight, we caught a summer snowstorm. I can't imagine what traveling by snowshoe with not quite enough food would be like. Wait! That's my job!

May you have a good week of writing, reading, and being an inspired member of ROW80, A Round of Words in 80 Days. Check out what others have written HERE. It's not too late to join in. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

ROW80 Check-in: November already?

NaNoWriMo has begun . . . and I'm going to streamline my ROW80 reporting, adopting a format from other ROW80 writers. If you are in this year's NaNo challenge, search for bluebethley. 

Writing goals for the coming week:
--NaNo write 1,600/day for a total of 9,600 words by Sunday on current wip, Rivers of Stone. Strategy: Focus on Section 04: Cat and Kane traveling with the fur brigade in a late crossing of the Rockies. 
--Edit Reaching x10 chapters for minor typos.
--Review one book for SASP writer by Thursday.
--Write 3 poems to complete OctPoWriMo challenge.
--Send e-mail alert for Years of Stone and Reaching (both running a GoodReads giveaway starting November 4.

Other: Yes, I'm doing daily exercise to ease that strained hamstring AND I'm quilting on several projects simply for the sheer joy of making something with my hands. This evening cheered the Seahawks to a narrow victory over Dallas.  

Just for fun, here's my favorite pic from Halloween, reading to my granddaughter in her bumblebee costume (without wings, but she's an angel).

And that's all, folks! See what other writers participating in A Round of Words for 80 Days are up to in this final round for 2015. If you are a writer, why not join in?