Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thinking of 2017

Just a few days left in 2016, but today, in my small writer's group, we set goals for 2017. Here are mine for the coming year:
  1. Finish writing/editing and publish Rivers of Stone.
  2. Edit Mothers Don't Die to final copy.
  3. Make progress on memoir.
I looked back to last January to find no goals reported online at all, just happy progress with editing, a little poetry writing, and all the rest that makes for a busy life. So perhaps this year, setting goals will sharpen my focus. Two added suggestions from VR Barkowski: Make a plan and build in accountability. 

Hmmm. Sounds just like A Round of Words in 80 Days (now a FaceBook group). So here we go!

Time out! I doublechecked my Daily Work file for January 2016 to find quite a bit of work on goal-setting. A postscript: Each day I write up progress, questions, and track words by the month. So here are my 2016 Goals reported last January. 

What did I learn from looking again at 2016 goals? That Priority 2 goals fell by the wayside. That the audio book for Standing Stones really did get finished (masterfully narrated by Darryl Kurylo) and is available on Amazon. I did add just over 30,000 words this year to Rivers of Stone, and the story finally has a cohesive structure -- with characters that seem very real to me. I want to finish telling their story and have enjoyed 'living' the fur trade history through their exploits.

Are my new goals so very different from those set in 2016? Nope! And I'm making progress. So here is my continuing mantra, summarized from an article by Kristen Schuder on Wikihow, "How to Set Goals and Achieve Them."

Questions to help me achieve my goals for 2017:

CONTROLLING QUESTIONS: Am I setting aside enough time for writing? 
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 
Are my goals visible? Can I see them? Do I need a ‘vision’ board? 
Have I broken that gigantic goal into smaller steps? 
Prioritize. Consider breaking into first, second, and third priority. 
Are my goals well matched to what I can achieve? 
What rewards? (intrinsic/extrinsic motivation) 
What obstacles? 
Do I talk about my goals? 

GET STARTED ON THOSE BABY STEPS. Review progress daily. 

Keep in mind the journey!

ROW80 folks: May you achieve your own goals.
Make 2017 a good year.

PS: Just found a post about free writing meters to track writing progress, 
including the one that Fallon Brown uses. 
Check it out at Tracy Lucas' blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Writing just one word at a time . . .

Yippee! I'm checking into ROW80 relatively on time, so here's this week's progress report, keeping in mind my goals were very simple.
  1. Write every day and track words completed, despite the fact that I'm deleting as much as I'm writing. PROGRESS: Wrote 5 out of 8 days.
  2. Complete editing 15 chapters by January 15. PROGRESS: Maybe OK. I'm re-sequencing chapters, so I'm somewhere between Chapters 5-9.
My favorite way to track progress each week is by word count. But, alas. I'm at that point in editing when it's more important to take words out, to check words haven't been doubled, and to tighten the logical structure. Micro and macro. Word count doesn't build up very fast just now. Last week, only 838 words were added. Many more were taken out.

What was most fun? Editing to clarify the oarsmen were traveling against the current when they went through the rapids. My writing group (which meets twice a month) is fabulous!
  1. Done: Post an update here on my ROW80 blog once a week and report in to FB.
  2. Check out what 3 others are doing each week. OK, read 2 others. Will do better next week.
Other goals this week?
  1. Exercise? Nada. Snow and ice a good excuse.
  2. Blogging? Yes! Finally! A post about my current research reading on the writing blog. Did not include a snippet. Maybe next time.
  3. Quilting? Finished a comfort quilt top from donated blocks. Played around with design. Had a hard time figuring out a good color for the border. Would love to finish another one before January 10.
  4. Reading? More books in than books read. Still distracted enough by 'real life' to read lots of genre fiction late at night. Currently enjoying Footsteps in the Snow: The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott, Rupert's Land, 1815 by Carol Matas.
As the end of the year winds closer, may your writing go well. See you next week!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December Musings and a Snippet

Since the inspirational and quite structured online A Round of Words in 80 Days went over to Facebook, I've been missing. The election results hit me with a mighty thump, and I stopped writing. When I began writing again, that was all I could do.

The purpose of this blog and ROW80 is to connect with other writers and to set weekly and monthly goals for 80 days, with 4 rounds of 80 days throughout the year. I used ROW80 to motivate myself by being accountable for how much I'm able to complete in the last week -- and how much I wish to stretch in the coming week.

I missed the familiarity of reporting in to ROW80 twice a week, each Wednesday and Sunday. I missed hearing what other writers were doing as I struggled with my own unwieldy draft.

But I'm back. I can't promise I'll report in twice a week -- yet. My goals for participating in ROW80 as this last round of 2016 ends December 22 are to:

1. Post an update here on my ROW80 blog once a week and report in to FB.
2. Check out what 3 others are doing each week.

My writing goals are also simple. I'm tracking progress daily in a sort of chart. My clunky 4th draft of Rivers of Stone is at the 'divide and conquer' stage. So I will continue reading and editing Section 03 (37 chapters and 27K words), adding those missing scenes and transitions, hoping to tighten the story and let my characters breathe.

1. Write every day and track words completed, despite the fact that I'm deleting as much as I'm writing.
2. Complete editing 15 chapters by January 15.

Because it's Wednesday, here's a snippet from Rivers of Stone. Cat, still disguised as a boy, makes her way down the Hayes River late in the summer of 1843, hopeful of finding a way west to Fort Vancouver. She's an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, and they're traveling the famous fur trade route.
     The next morning began the same, with the brigade leaving before dawn. The sun was just coming up, a faint glow of white behind lowering white clouds, when Pierre directed the brigade to the banks. “Take a pipe,” he called out. “This is White Falls.”
     The men groaned.
     “Most of you know what’s ahead,” said Pierre as everyone gathered on the bank, boats and canoes pulled ashore. “We have to lighten up. Some of you will carry packs to the camp ahead.” He pointed to the path that edged the steep gorge. “Might as well begin unloading the boats. Helmsmen, follow me.”
     Cat followed Thurston to climb to the top of the rocky hill. They joined the group of voyageurs overlooking the narrow channel their boats would navigate. The fast-moving current pounded the rocks below them.
     Pierre pointed at a sucking whirlpool and raised his voice over the roar of the river. "We have to avoid that. You get pulled down in that whirlpool, your bones won't come up until spring."
     The voyageurs shrugged.
     Pierre scowled. "Each of you has to know this. Making it past White Falls is the last bad run before Norway House. But we'll hit white water maybe a hundred times before we reach Fort Vancouver. And we'll portage when we have to. You'll get wet, you'll shiver, and you'll go hungry, but when I tell you to row, by God, you better row. Let's get through this one."
     Sobered, the men clambered down from the overlook. They were truly in the middle of nowhere, desolate, unending forests, and the river before them roiling with white water, despite it being late summer. "Somebody say a prayer," said one of the men. Pierre hit the man’s arm. "We don't need a prayer. Just stay clear of that whirlpool."
"The weather outside is frightful" [just now, a crusty 2 degrees F), but "inside it's so delightful" (hunched over my computer, happy to be connecting again to ROW80).

Happy holidays, happy end of the year, and happy writing to all.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

On the Road Again: Row80 Sunday Check-in

Making the transition from a blog-based check-in for ROW80 to a FaceBook-based check-in has not been easy. Add in the usual distractions, and all I can say is I haven't checked in since September 19. I've missed the community of like-minded writers AND that twice-weekly accountability that keeps me assessing my progress toward very specific goals. 

For the last month or so, I've been distracted more by research and plotting issues than actually writing. We're now on the road for two weeks, and I couldn't bring all my library with (not even research files as I'm testing out a new laptop). Accomplishments so far: Following the old 'divide and conquer' rule, I have divided my story into 4 sections and attacked the weakest section by dividing it into another 3 sections, each with a story outline. Suddenly, I can 'see' those plot holes!

And then I remembered -- an online drafting site that offers a blank page with a word counter. I know this is not so different than a blank page in Word, but by ending each day's writing session with a focus question that relates directly to my story, I found myself really writing for the first time in weeks. As I write the STORY, my characters and their relationships are clearer, and I added 3K this week.

MY GOALS for the coming week are quite simple:
1. Write 750 words a day on Rivers of Stone for a total of 2,500 new words.
2. End each writing session with a focus question to guide the next day's story writing.
3. Market and support Veteran's Day reading November 12.

Well, you'll have to go over to Facebook to read what other ROW80 writers are doing. I'm sending wishes for a good week of writing and whatever other recreation comes your way as we edge closer through the 'October surprise' to Election Day.

Meanwhile, here's one highlight from our trip south, right through Malheur National Wildlife Reserve:

View from Buena Vista, Malheur, Oregon (Oct 2016)

Monday, September 19, 2016

ROW80 Update: Change? Changing?

ROW80 is changing, and I'm not ready. Round 3 ends Sept 22, and I'm really not ready. But Chris started her update with a simple list, and so shall I as the new week begins.


1. Write more on Rivers of Stone.
2. Continue work on marketing in various formats.
3. Support writing and quilting community as best I can.
4. Exercise and quilt and cook.

The results this week?

1. WRITE. Yep. Very, very slow. Discovered my working blurb was not centered around my lead female -- and the entire story is her story. Rewrote that. I've been doing lots of research on the Red River Settlement (today, Winnipeg) in the 19th Century. Still did add maybe 1,000 words this week.

2. MARKETING. Some surprises this week. My article was published in the Spokane paper but not online, so I'm not sure how to share it. I'm still doing a little happy dance. I could scan it and share that way . . . maybe.
--Presentation tomorrow on writing historical fiction at a local senior center. Almost ready.
--Updated this trailer for The Mermaid Quilt book. Slow on writing/designing the next edition which I'd love to do since it involves adding a few quilt patterns.


3. SUPPORT writing & quilting community in various ways. 
--Gave beta feedback at the structural level for a book by an online friend and, in the process, found this wonderful article in THE WRITER (October 2016), "Portrait of a Modern Novelist" by Nicki Porter, featuring an interview of Caroline Leavitt. What I loved about the article is that Leavitt profiles her writing process. Her first step is to identify THE MORAL QUESTION, a simple statement that the book must answer and that shapes the entire story. That helps me rethink the ending to my current wip.
--Working on library readings for Veteran's Day. Good progress. So far have 6 writers lined up. Maybe two locations.
--Making steady progress on Quilt Show program (interior nearly finished; final proof next week).

4. Exercise, quilt and cook? Well, the cold squashed exercise, quilting is handwork and slow (but useful to keep me awake during football games), and I made meatballs.

May your week go well, writing or otherwise. Check out what other ROW80 writers have been up to this last week of the round HERE.

And here's that article that appeared today in the Spokesman-Review (September 19, 2019), page C3, just in case you don't live in Spokane!

Click to see in slightly larger size! 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

ROW80 Slowly, slowly into tomorrow

This weekend was a time of discovery, many distractions, little 'real' work, lots of 'real' life, and some writing. 

I did spend hours working/writing/revising a committee project. Good progress for our team, and we made deadlines. The next real deadline in Sept 19-26, and I'm looking forward to finishing this 40 page program -- and letting go.

Friday morning, hubby took me to a garage sale, an amazing collection of quilt patterns and books to inspire my quilting projects. We then went on to Corbin House to spend an hour or so admiring quilts with matching floral bouquets, an annual celebration of the end of summer. A walk through Manito Park ended our day together. Saturday and Sunday, we played with grandkids, and I helped my daughter make applesauce. I read a little, thought a little, and quilted a little. We walked some more.

Here's the next block for my bear quilt in progress, not quite perfect, but I love how the 'flying geese' are set in four different directions, acknowledging that Native tradition of four sacred directions, and, for me, a life that seems to go in unexpected directions. 

Writing? I'm back on track . . . starting tomorrow!

Check out what others are doing as we head to the end of Round 3 (September 22!) for A Round of Words in 80 Days.

Another block for my bear-quilt-in-progress (2016)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

ROW80: Progress? Surprises? Yep!

After a flurry of intense meetings for other projects, a few days when the writing was more mental than physical, I'm thrilled to report real progress -- and amazing support from a surprising source -- an old friend from far away.

First this week's update:

  • WRITING: Made the decision to not throw Section 03 of the current wip (Rivers of Stone) out the window. I want to tell the whole story, and not worry about deadlines or length. After all, one of the benefits of self-publishing is flexibility. I see a minimum of 3-6 months of work ahead, and that's OK.
  • BLOGGING: Posted this month's article for the Insecure Writer's Support Group on my writing blog. Did not read anybody else between Sunday and now. Blame Labor Day, family commitments, and my own lack of stamina for which I feel sorry, for these ROW80 colleagues are a wonderful part of my writing life.
  • MARKETING: Finally working on that newsletter which now has an official deadline of September 15. Found a wonderful article by Joanna Penn on marketing audio books and feel like I'm finally making some progress here too. Made a meme to help readers 'see' the audio book as an option.
The summer surprise has been Sandy Brown Jensen's post interviewing me in "What Were the Chances?" just yesterday on her blog, A Book is a Dream. Yes, I see a bump in visibility, but most importantly, I'm appreciating all over again the generosity of other writers. Thank you, Sandy, for the photo shoot, the interview, your friendship, encouragement, and sheer creativity. 

Sandy Brown Jensen talking about a painting
by her sister, Cheryl Renee Long

Hop on over to read what other ROW80 writers are doing this midweek -- and write on!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

ROW80: Sunday Night Simplicity.

End of Summer, 
Dishman Hills Park
(Camp 2016)
After yesterday's hour-long hike at Dishman Hills, our feet hurt. Today we just played with the grands. See the video below as a two-year-old encounters salsa for the first time!

As Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days winds down, I'm feeling pretty good about finishing the outlining, but now comes the structural editing, tightening, re-analyzing the character arcs, and deleting those scenes that don't move the underlying story forward. Will I finish this year? Truly, I just don't know. but here are my GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER. 

1. WRITING: Review editing notes for Rivers of Stone at least one hour a day. Analyze character and story arcs. Decide if Section 03 is a part of ROS. Clean up character doubles. Prepare for beta read by September 30. Always ask: Where’s the conflict? What moves the story ahead?

2. BLOG: Write IWSG post due 9/7. Blog 3x week.

3. MARKETING: Develop marketing plan for September. Identify 3 strategies for marketing audio books to pursue. Set dates and decide on ads-for-pay and identify free outlets that work for historical fiction. Request book reviews from historical fiction bloggers. Draft newsletter (short) and make a commitment to send newsletter monthly (Market audio book in newsletter & one ad). Prep September presentation (Corwin).

4. Social media: WEEKLY: Read ROW80 x5, IWSG x4, Tweet 1x & post on author FB 1x.

5. Articles: Write article for SASP newsletter & Boomer U. Submit one flash.

6. WSQ: Work with new team on 2016 program due October.

7. SASP: Coordinate and evaluate October 8 Indie Author’s Day (Sat) and November 11 Veteran’s Day (Friday). PR to support meetings.

8. Reading/Reviews: At least one indie author & one SASP author.

9. Declutter e-mail: Keep inbox down to <125.

10. OTHER: Exercise 5/7 days week. Make two thank you quilts. Make one comfort quilt. Make Ruthie’s birthday quilt (Nov 4).

Probably too many goals and/or projects, but as summer days shorten to colder fall, I'd rather be working inside. Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing HERE. If you are a writer, consider jumping right in!

Highlight of the day? Watching two-year-old Ruthie discover salsa. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ROW80: Weds check-in: September comes far too quickly!!!

Even away for a short vacation of 10 days, the unpacking seems endless, for I question what goes where, what should be kept, and what needs additional washing or sorting. My daughter always tells me that after any long journey, we need a few days for our souls to catch up with what we have discovered. Sometimes the simplest images remain.

Colorful waters near Lake Chelan (August 2016)
Summertime at Picket Range, North Cascades (August 2016)
I found it difficult to write while on the road, rather slow progress. But September beckons, and I'm surprised as I review the goals for August, how much really did get accomplished this month.

So, here is the update. Sunday, you'll find goals for the coming month (and the end of Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days).

1. WRITING: Edit Rivers of Stone at least one hour a day. Finish Section 02. UPDATE: Finished Sections 01-03 and 05. Have 9 chapters left in Section 04. Made notes throughout. Really wanted to finish Section 04 before September. Sigh.

2. BLOG: 3x week. UPDATE: Sadly behind here. Met ROW80 blogging commitments, but only wrote ONCE on my writing blog. Another sigh.

3. Marketing: Send Newsletter by August 15. Prepare September activities. Market audio book in newsletter & one ad. Prep September presentation (Corwin). Visit bookstore Coeur d’Alene. UPDATE: No real progress except, thanks to Sandy Brown Jensen, that marvelous author interview now posted on my Facebook Author page and soon to be posted on the writing blog.

4. Community/Social media: Read ROW80 x5, IWSG x4 each week. Weekly: Tweet 1x & post on author FB 1x. Serve as late-bloomer sponsor for ROW80. UPDATE MIXED: Yep to all except IWSG.

5. Articles: Write article for SASP newsletter (Artisans’ Market & author photo) & Boomer U.  UPDATE: Done.

6. WSQ: Work with new team on 2016 program due October. IN PROGRESS.

7. SASP: Coordinate and evaluate Artisan’s Market. DONE.

8. Reading: At least one indie author & one SASP author. Declutter e-mail (Goal to keep e-mail inbox down to manageable <100). UPDATE: Yes, to review for indie author. Not yet for SASP author. Decluttering E-MAILS coming along just fine: Staying under 125. But still much information to review.

9. Other: UPDATE MIXED:  Exercise 5/7 days week. Work on comfort quilt (string). No progress at all. DONE: Made WSQ Quilt block. Technology fix netbook (limited memory). Solution here was simply to not download any pictures, use iPhone for e-mail, and use lovely but memory challenged HP Netbook for word processing only.

Who said change is constant? A Round of Words in 80 Days will start using Facebook as its check-in point starting with Round 4. So meanwhile, check in HERE to find out what our fearless ROW80 writers are up to -- and embrace change. After all, I learned how to use the GPS on that new iPhone.

Writers write! Make it a great week as the leaves turn yellow and, finally, temperatures turn to the 70s.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

ROW80 Sunday night surprises

Once I'm on the road, the unexpected happens. These last ten days have been filled with lovely unstructured time with dear friends and surprises -- and limited internet. Tonight, just 100 miles from home, we have access to hotel internet. But after a long day of driving, the hot tub may just be a higher priority than checking in . . . Stay tuned for more coherence on Weds!

Update on writing? Some. Not every day. Not exactly measurable, but with only ten chapters left to outline, I'm feeling closer to getting a grasp of the whole story . . . and to thinking about the ending.

Update on marketing? Some. An article was accepted by my local newspaper -- to appear in the next few weeks. I'll include the link here once it goes live. INDIE AUTHOR DAY is October 8, and I'm hoping Spokane Authors can schedule a few readings . . . but one library has already backed out. So I'll be working on this.

But the most surprising and fabulous? Last week at Lake Chelan, I ran into Sandy Jensen, a wonderfully creative video-storyteller, who just happened to be staying at Lake Chelan. I haven't seen her in over a decade, though we've been virtual friends in many venues. She whipped out her video cam and interviewed me. The result -- an unexpected author interview!

Interview with Novelist Beth Camp from Sandy Brown Jensen on Vimeo.

More later. I'm wishing a good week to all. See what other ROW80 writers are doing HERE.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Row80 Sunday Afternoon

The wind has picked up here at Lake Chelan, but it's warm, the netbook has traveled well, and smoke from nearly contained fires in the hills is drifting west and north.

UPDATE for ROW80? Not so much. Packing day. Driving day. Now we are in this comfortable condo for the next five days with friends from long ago. We have the master bedroom with two amazing showers, a king-sized bed so large I feel as if I'm sleeping by myself, while they took the bunk beds in a second bedroom because they wanted us to be comfortable. All I can do is make fish tacos tonight to make up for their hospitality.

WRITING? Yes, this am. Still working on the macro level and outlining. I'm muddling through the latest Writer's Digest WORKBOOK section (in the magazine -- October 2016 and it's not even September!) is on writing conclusions. Gabriela Pereira's article "Crafting a Satisfying Ending" asks us to think of Crisis, Climax, and Closure. Joseph Bates' "Your Plot's Payoff" (also in this section) talks about how to twist the ending and says that "at the beginning of every novel, the author sets the rules for the story and its fictional world."

My ending still feels unfinished. I'm not sure that either one of the two endings I've written -- one happy and one unhappy -- fit those promises to the reader at the beginning. More work needed.

OTHER STUFF DONE? A flurry of articles, public relations work for two different organizations, and social media (yes!) had to be finished before we left. Now for the next 10 days, I'm letting go of all else. Perhaps this little holiday -- at least for those early morning hours when no one else is awake -- can be my writing retreat.

Ruthie: Morning Farewell Breakfast (August 2016)

May the rest of your summer be filled with joy! Check out what others are doing this fair Sunday HERE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ROW80 Weds Check-in: Midweek Mantra

The last of summer beckons. Saturday morning (hopefully early), we'll leave for 10 days, a jaunt to Lake Chelan, then north through Cascades National Park, and west to motor south through Fidalgo and Whidby Island before turning east to Spokane and home. We're taking the tent.

The possibility of many new photographs? A little hiking? Time spent with friends? Yes!

Down time? Research, reading, and writing? Hopefully yes.

View from Fidalgo Island by Walter Siegmund
Weds progress report for A Round of Words in 80 Days:

--Writing: Article for ROW80 completed. 3 out of 7 days revision completed so far on Rivers of Stone. Final report on Spokane Authors' table written. By Sunday: Continue revision on ROS.

--Blogging/Marketing/Reading: Some ideas percolating re book covers, but I'm behind in this category. May catch up by month end. By Sunday: Send that newsletter! Write one blog post.

--Community/Social Media/Other: Used FB and Twitter to promote Artisans' Market. Coordinating program for WSQ. Working on Indie Author Day for Spokane Authors. All good progress. No quilting -- except for starting one block with tiny applique that's due by the end of September. Walking every day (new iPhone tracks steps taken, typically around 5-6K).  By Sunday: Finish Demo section and delegate vendor section to my saintly WSQ committee.  

NEXT: Take stuff with me so I can get some writing/work done! I'm so looking forward to being close to the mountains and walking along the trails, surrounded by tall pines. Book for the road: Stephen E. Ambrose, Lewis & Clark Voyage of Discovery (a few decades earlier than 1840, but so much deep background that it's enticing and hard to put down). And I have to take the heavy laptop because the cute little netbook simply has no memory.

That's my ending question for you. What do you take with you and what do you leave behind when you go away for ten days? Have a great week.

Check out other ROW80 writers HERE.

Monday, August 15, 2016

ROW80 Sunday check-in on Monday!

All day Saturday and Sunday, a team of 17 authors worked hard at the first Spokane Authors' table at a local Artisans' Market. I learned a lot, sold some books, found an audio-book fan, and am thrilled the event is over!

So my update starts with no writing at all since Weds, a real first.

We're half way through this round, so I should be half-way through my goals. Let's see. 

If you are bored, skip this next self-assessment and just glance at the colors: Blue = Completed. Green = Making progress. Red = Woefully behind.

1. WRITING: Edit Rivers of Stone at least one hour a day. Finish Section 02. UPDATE: Completed 40 of 60 single-spaced pages for Sec02. Outline also complete now for Sec01 and 02.

2. BLOG: Posted IWSG 8/1. Weds, Sun ROW80. Fridays: Writing. UPDATE: Reasonable progress but BEHIND on writing blog (2 ideas percolating). Now going for 2x month/writing blog.

3. MARKETING: Send Newsletter by August 15. Prepare September activities. Market audio book in newsletter & one ad. Prep September presentation (Corwin). Visit bookstore Coeur d’Alene. UPDATE: All pending. Don't know how to rank progress because I haven't missed a deadline here . . . yet. But I cleverly did NOT put a deadline . . . except for August 15 which I'm going to miss.

4. Community/Social media: Read ROW80 x5, IWSG x4 each week. Weekly: Tweet 1x & post on author FB 1x. Serve as late-bloomer sponsor for ROW80. UPDATE: OK on reading ROW80 writers. UPDATE: behind on IWSG and tweeting. Haven't written my sponsorship article yet (the shame!).

5. Articles: Write article for SASP newsletter (covers & author photo). Completed 1 article, working on 2nd. PENDING:  Boomer U. (Dating over 50) <-- this as freelance because the article in the paper didn't look at risks.

6. WSQ: Work with new team on 2016 program due October. IN PROGRESS.

7. Spokane Authors: Coordinate and evaluate Artisan’s Market. DONE. Now moving on to Indie Author Day.

8. Reading: At least one indie author & one SASP author. Declutter e-mail (Goal to keep e-mail inbox down to manageable <100).

9. Other: Exercise 5/7 days week (mostly walking this week). Quilt WSQ block (Yep!), one comfort 'string' quilt (haven't started). Technology fix netbook (limited memory). At least I discovered both Word and Norton are legit for the netbook. Still haven't solved the problem re limited memory and Microsoft wants to update Windows 10 without enough memory. I need a nerd!

That's it. I'll be back on Weds with better progress (I hope). 

Meanwhile, back at the keyboard, how are you all doing????

Ha! Ha! Just read Eden Mabee's "Save the Trees: A Cautionary Tale." Eden gives us another reason to be a member of ROW80 -- a reality check and call for honesty about the real process of being a writer! Just maybe I won't make 'progress' by Weds.

Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing HERE.

Should be titled:
Writer Struggling with Writer's Block!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ROW80 check-in: For the birds

Wish I were better organized. Spent most of this week since Sunday putting out fires. So here's my very short update.

Writing: Switched from micro editing (something I get pulled into whenever I'm working over my wip) to outlining by section after reading a wonderful article that distinguishes between "reading to assess" and "reading to edit". I can't analyze the story if I'm mired in details, so this read through is truly to find missing chunks and to see if the story adheres. 

While my inbox fills up far too fast, this article by Rebecca Heyman Faith, "Editorial Assessments: Finding Music in the Noise." at was exactly what I needed. PROGRESS since Sunday? 4 hours on revision.

Blogging/Other writing: Posted 2x, no progress on any other articles (several ideas swimming around). One review posted of Kait Nolan's sweet Southern romance, To Get Me To You (currently free). Finished flier (and hopefully the coordinating) for Spokane Authors' table at an Artisan's Market this weekend (18 folks participating). PROGRESS since Sunday: Steady, pretty good.

Other marketing: No progress.

But my bear quilt is taking shape, we're walking every day, and planning a trip south to Lake Chelan before the end of September. I took this wonderful picture of a few birds who visited just for a day or two in someone's front yard. We kept birds like these for so long in our back yard that they turned white and their legs fell off, so they became winter swans. Ah, distractions.

May your writing go well. Visit other ROW80 writers HERE.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

ROW80: Sunday night recap

Feeling pretty good tonight. The heat spell finally snapped so tonight's walk along the wetlands was quite pleasant. 72 degree weather. Allen has a fitbit, and my smart phone (smarter than me) has an ap that measures steps, so we now compare numbers of steps.

This reminds me of my daily commitment to writing, measured sometimes in number of words added/deleted or amount of time spent reviewing, revising, and editing. The editing goes so slowly that I keep guessing how much longer this round of editing will take. Would I feel better about progress if I l just counted pages? Perhaps three more months to finish? I need Catriona's perseverance! My favorite lines from today:

I will go to Fort Vancouver, one way or another. There has to be a way. She fell asleep and dreamed that she was caught in a white out. Her snow shoes caught on the ice, and she was stuck, frozen, lost.

ROW80 Progress since Weds:

Blue = completed. Green = steady progress. Red = Nothing.

  • Writing: Steady daily editing. On page 40 of 60 for Section 02. May finish in another week.
  • Other Writing: 2 of 3 blog posts this week so far.
  • Other: Two big committee meetings this week completed. SASP is hosting its first table at an Artisan's Market with 15 writers participating. I'm hoping those folks who buy paintings and crafts will also buy from local writers! Also met with 3 accomplished graphics/Excel/editing quilters to produce our quilt show program. We're on deadline with both. 
  • Community/social media: Volunteered as late bloomer sponsor for ROW80. Need to have that motivational article in by 8/14. Did read x2 so far this week.
So what's red?
  • Need to work on marketing beyond the Artisan's Market.
  • Need to write reviews/articles.  
  • Need to outline those chapters after the editing is done for the day.
Fields near wetlands (Spokane, August 2016)
Why not visit a few other writers from A Round of Words in 80 Days. The LINKY is HERE.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Row80: August Goals and more

This afternoon's walk, we spotted the first ducks winging south. Perhaps they were just flying to the nearby wetlands for the night, but this week, we have seen the leaves just starting to droop and turn yellow at the tops of trees.

This third round of ROW80 hints at the winter to come, goals realized and goals not met, so here are my goals for August.

1. WRITING: Edit Rivers of Stone at least one hour a day. Finish Section 02.
2. BLOG: Post 12 times this month: ROW80 blog x2/week, Writing blog x1/week.
3. MARKETING: Allen (enter Writers’ Digest contest). Send Newsletter by August 15. Market audio book in newsletter & one ad. Prep September presentation (Corwin). Visit bookstore Coeur d’Alene.
4. COMMUNITY/SOCIAL MEDIA: Weekly, read ROW80 x5, IWSG x4. Also weekly: Tweet 1x & post on author FB 1x. Serve as late-bloomer sponsor for ROW80.
5. Articles: Write article for SASP newsletter & Boomer U.
6. WSQ: Work with new team on 2016 program due October.
7. SASP: Coordinate and evaluate Artisan’s Market & prep August Board meeting Thurs.
8. Reading: At least one indie author & one SASP author. Declutter e-mail (finally down to <30) with monthly purge.
9. Other: Exercise 5/7 days week. Complete one quilt block for WSQ raffle quilt (yellow headed blackbird) and one comfort quilt (string). Technology fix: netbook (limited memory), and learn how to download photos from my new iPhone.

Yellow-headed Blackbird
British Columbia, Canada (Wikipedia)
A whole tribe of yellow-headed blackbirds have settled by the pond in the wetlands near our apartment. They've chased away the red-wings, but I don't care, for these are beautiful birds in spite of their song, which Wikipedia describes as the sound of a rusty hinge. Yet, they sing. 

Perhaps we writers can take inspiration from the yellow-heads. Check out what other ROW80 writers are up to HERE and leave a comment to encourage us all as we face down the end of the year and work to meet our goals.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

ROW80: End-of-month check-in

The last day of the month brings a sense of closure. Already, before August begins, I'm seeing the tops of trees change color to that harbinger of winter, and we're fast moving to the end of the year. So, for A Round of Words in 80 Days, here's my report for July. 

Blue = completed. Green = In progress. Red = Not yet!

1. Participate in Camp Nanowrimo by editing Rivers of Stone at least one hour a day. Missed 5 days, but only need 1.5 more hours of editing to meet my goal for this month. Will try to squeeze this in later today. Overall, progress is steady but so much slower than what I'd like. What's in the way? That pursuit of perfection, or at least as good as I can make it. Big picture goal? Finish edits by October. 

2. Blog minimum of 3x a week (12 posts) on Writing and ROW blogs. Blogged 11x. Even a weekly post to the Writing blog seems difficult, though I love sharing ideas and updates from my wip. Not sure how best to tackle this one. Read a minimum of 2 other ROW80 writers each week. Need to improve. Some weeks, yes. Can I blame summer heat?

3. Marketing: Work on one event/week & planning. Last month's presentation led to three presentations at local senior centers. Now organizing authors' table at Artisans Fair (August 13-14) and Indie Author Day (October). Newsletter not yet.

4. Create project file on ACX for Years of Stone's audiobook by August 1. Darryl Kurylo, a wonderful voice actor, will be the reader! 

5. Write one article. Wrote an article for SASP's August newsletter, "Trolling the Internet" (vlogs, deep point of view, and Ten Minute Novelists on FB). Got word my article on "Quilting with Compassion" was accepted by The Country Register.

6. Work on quilt show program for WSQ: Cover front finished! Completed interview with featured quilter. Outstanding vendor identified. Now to keep writing sections and format. Will receive exhibitor info late September. Have 3 new volunteers to train for next year.

7. Reading: At least one indie author & one SASP author. No progress on reading Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini, Antonio’s Will. Finished beta read of Nancy Hartley’s Justice. Still want to read one more SASP author by August 4 meeting.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm slowing down because I'm getting older or if summer heat affects my stamina. I'd rather blame the heat. 

Still much work to do. Which project brings passion and excitement? The editing -- and a new quilt block just at the planning stage. This week we'll take a short, 2-day trip north, our first road trip for many months, to explore the country around Colville, Washington, once a key stop for voyageurs, now under a man-made lake. But the mountains remain.

May you have a good week with writing goals for August set to motivate you! Check out what other ROW80 writers are up to and cheer us all on. Maybe even volunteer to be a sponsor! Or, if you're not a part of ROW80, why not join us?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday morning: What if?

What if all your e-mails disappeared? Just vanished. An empty inbox. Empty folders. As if you no longer had an online identity?

On a philosophical level, think ahead 100 years, and this will be so for us all. Vanished. Maybe a few artifacts will remain, a family photograph, a treasured painting or book. Chimeras all.

And here I was worried about catching up, decluttering, finishing, staying organized. Feeling guilty because I reported into A Round of Words in 80 Days only once this week.

This morning, all my e-mails did go away to some mystical, nebulous unknown. Yahoo Mail says no one has used up their terrabyte of storage, but I had whittled those 500 e-mails in my inbox down to a mere 250. My contacts are still there, but all those folders are gone. 

Yahoo is working on restoring my e-mail, and I'm in active damage control (who do I absolutely have to contact now?). I could fall down the rat hole of what's to blame (new iPhone, one of several Clouds), but maybe it's OK to just let those e-mails go and start over.

Sunday morning ROW Report for the week:

  • Writing: Wrote/revised 6 out 7 days on Rivers of Stone. Blogged on my writing blog (hooray!) about: "Revision and More Revision: Barn Owls or Cougars." Read another 60 pages on Justice (beta read).
  • Marketing: Actually used social media x2. Handed out bookmarks at random. (I'm not so good at selling. Sometimes I send people to the library or a local bookstore . . . and then I feel guilty because I could have saved them $5.)
  • Community: Finished front cover for that 40-page program due October. Worked on vendor section.
  • Other: Walked/exercise x7 days? Yes. Blood sugar coming down? Yes. Quilting? Fooled around with bear quilt, a design that's emerging as I finish each block, a process of draw, select batik fabrics, moves pieces around, and hand sew into place. Babysat grands so kids could see Star Wars. They came home smiling. Starting to plan our first trip since March -- maybe two weeks up to the Colville wilderness area here in Washington and over to Lake Chelan.
ROW80 Goals for the coming week:
  • Writing? Go for 7 out of 7 on Rivers of Stone. Finish beta comments on Justice by August 1. Set up ACX for Years of Stone by August 1. Blog 3x week (ROW & Writing blog).
  • Marketing: Work on authors' table for Artisans Fair and Folklore Society. Draft summer newsletter.
  • All the rest? Pretty much damage control. Maybe Yahoo will have good news for me.
Bear Quilt in Progress,
Three blocks finished (July 2016)
(click to see detail)
May you have a good week of writing and just enjoying the summer, a perfect time for walking in the late afternoon and noticing those leaves at the very top of the trees are starting to hint at fall.

Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing HERE

Consider joining in. After all, we are a community of writers at every stage who recognize real life does intervene. Thank you, Kait Nolan and those sponsors actively making ROW80 possible for Round 3!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday night: Looking ahead

For those who follow A Round of Words in 80 Days, Sunday brings a bit of time to reflect back over the week -- and to plan ahead. 

Well, the grandchildren came today, the four-year-old and a nearly two-year-old. Both energetic, curious, and adorable. Thankfully, when they tired of quieter games, we could run, the tried and true, "1-2-3: Go!" I was grateful I got my writing done early this morning. 

Looking back over the week, I'm pleased with writing progress (thank you, Summer Camp Nanowrimo) by writing/editing every single day. And I did complete that interview of a local quilter I admire. The rest seems unimportant, but I've made good progress on the program for WSQ (cover done!), some progress on marking up Justice, a very little sewing, read my backlog of writing magazines, and watered my African violets. OK, I also got the filing organized and caught up. Exercising every day? Yep.

So goals for the coming week?

  1. Write/edit minimum of one hour a day/Rivers of Stone.
  2. Blog minimum of 3 posts, including writing blog.
  3. Set up Years of Stone on ACX for audiobook.
  4. Persevere on Marketing Plan: Complete 2 action steps.
  5. Read 30 more pages to crit Justice.
Which of these goals is most problematic? For now, maybe because it's summer, I'm finding it hard to write on my other blogs. The travel blog is moribund because we're not traveling at all just now, though a trip to Fort Colville may be in order for early August. But since I am writing, something should pique my blogging pen, right?

Actually I have an idea for a post I'll work on later -- Allen talked about his book Reaching to a group of retired (mostly World War II veterans). Check out the link HERE.

May you have a good week! Read what other ROW80 writers are up to HERE. And what do you do when you want to blog, but just don't have the 'right' idea?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ROW80 Weds update: Steady, steady she goes

Halfway through the month and checking in with progress to date.

Goals for July:     
  • Write/Revise Rivers of Stone minimum 1 hour a day, reporting progress at Camp Nanowrimo. Chapters 1-6 done: 12 out of 13 days. 
  • Blogging: Reporting in for ROW80 x2 each week and posting on writing blog on Fridays. ROW80 posts? Done. Friday blog? in process.
  • Marketing: Work on one event/week & planning. Schedule newsletter. Progress: Allen has breakfast reading for Reaching tomorrow morning. Goal by month end? Years of Stone up on ACX for book 2 audio book! The fantastic voice actor Darryl Kurylo has agreed to read. Not active on twitter or FB this week.
  • Articles: Write one article for SASP newsletter (done) & one more. Article on comfort quilts accepted by The Country Register. 
  • WSQ: Prepped program for Tues meeting. Working on vendors section. Sent Robin interview questions for this Friday.
  • Spokane Authors: Sent application in for Artisan’s Market (book fair) before deadline. 
  • Reading: In process: Finish commenting on Nancy's Justice before August 1. In process: 1 of 16 chapters done. Read 3 lighter books. . At least one indie author & one SASP author. Review: Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini, Antonio’s Will. Review Nancy Hartley’s Justice by SASP Aug meeting.
  • Other: Exercise: 4 out of 4 days this week. Nearly finished with binding on wheelchair quilt (I like this one) and started an applique project.
Quilt block in progress
(rough draft stage)

Gleaned from writing this week: I'm planning to read through the rough draft of Rivers of Stone twice; my overall goal is to finish editing this story before year end. Once at micro level (word choice, missing scenes at chapter level, characters' emotional reactions, anything that I can see), and once at macro level (story structure/arcs, and anything I can see).

The opening chapters seemed unsettled to me and have required much rewriting. Once the story takes off, though, I'm happier with the overall flow. So maybe these early chapters are a little like the quilt block above, as I find my way into the story, some parts are unfinished and ideas about characters/plot are yet emerging. Because the entire draft is complete, I can now look more critically at these opening chapters with a sense of the whole story.

If I weren't such a dedicated pantser, this would motivate me to work on planning/outlining, reading research, and drafting more back story before I begin to actually write the story. 

What about you when revising that first draft? How much work do you do BEFORE beginning to write?

Check in with A Round of Words in 80 Days and read Stephanie Nickles helpful article on understanding your brand. Or see what everyone's up to this week over  HERE. And why not join us?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

ROW80: Sunday Night Real Time

We're already looking at the first full week of Round 3. 

All I can report is my goals are set, some progress is being made, and the weather for tonight's walk was gorgeous. Just at dusk, part of the sky was dark with summer storms from the north and part of the sky an intense blue color, with fewer clouds hot pink from the setting sun. 

Here's my update.

  • Writing/Revision: 4 out of 5 days revising Rivers of Stone
  • Blogging: 2 out of 3 posts done.
  • Marketing: Steady progress here as well with 1 new venue identified, Artisans' Fair project on schedule (sending application this week), and follow-up on this week's presentation done.
  • Other projects: worked on WSQ program 5 out of 5 days.
  • Exercise: 4 out of 5 days. Eating mindfully, except for that birthday cake today.

For the coming week, the goals are the same. After tonight's walk, I did a house check for a friend who's rather ill. My message: Cherish each day. Appreciate your health, and give a helping hand when you can. Not a bad way to live. Oh, yes, and I watered my African Violets.

Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing HERE. And thank you, Elizabeth Anne Mitchell, for your encouraging comment which resonated all week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ROW80: first Weds check-in

OK, I'm feeling a little guilty for not volunteering to be a sponsor . . . but still appreciative of those sponsors who waved their virtual hands and said, "Yes!" Thank you!

Here's my progress on this first check-in for Round 3.

WRITING: Revising Rivers of Stone and having fun along the way. Today, my doctor said she loved Books 1 and 2 and asked when Book 3 would be ready. Still so much work to be done. Today I discovered Great Beluga Whales. I didn't know they were white -- perfect for blending in to those ice-crusted waters of Hudson's Bay. Progress: 100% (started revision July 1). See stats here on Pacemaker.

School of Great Beluga whales (Wikipedia)
Taken by Ansgar Walk at Hudson's Bay

I'll check in Sunday to report progress on those other goals -- blogging, reading, reviewing, volunteer work (2 meetings this week, one last night). In summary, so far, so good.

Now to the fun part: ideas about revision. I was reading an engaging story when it hit me that what pulled me into the story was the RELATIONSHIPS between characters -- their feelings, their actions, reactions, and attachments to each other. Since I'm in revision mode, this made my editing pen quiver. 

How do my characters reveal their relationships -- through action or thought? How does the story drill down to their emotions? 

Then I hit one of my chapter openings that seemed flat. I knew it was flat, a real place holder. So I took out one of my favorite books, Ken Follett's Winter of the World, to see how his chapter openings worked.

Surprise! Every single chapter by Follett begins with a focus on the point-of-view character, specific images, and sensory-based description! Here are a few examples at random:

  • "Ursula Dewar had her own small suite of rooms in the old Victorian mansion on Delaware Avenue" (116).
  • "It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in May 1936, and Lloyd Williams was at the end of his second year at Cambridge when Fascism reared its vile head among the white stone cloisters of the ancient university" (149).
  • "Volodya Peshkov bent his head against the driving snow as he walked across the bridge over the Moscow River" (226).

How could a reader not be curious about the lives of these characters? I'm drawn into Ken Follett's story every time. 

So here's my new opening for a chapter in the first 25% of Rivers of Stone (1840s, historical fiction).

OLD: As the Prince Ruppert sailed north, Cat, Dougal, and Colin saw the first ice since off the coast of Greenland.

NEW: Cat was grateful to be on the deck and out of steerage. After Captain Herd read the gospel on this clear and cold Sunday morning, the crew, passengers, and those in steerage had a few hours of respite. While the passengers strolled along the quarter deck, Cat leaned on the bulwark, next to Dougal and Colin to watch chunks of ice floating atop the waves by the hundreds, each chunk two and three feet across, the first they’d seen since leaving the coast of Greenland.

Have a great week of writing. Check out what others are up to for ROW80 here, and if you haven't jumped in, why not? 

Monday, July 4, 2016

ROW80 Round 3: And we're off . . . and writing!

How the fates conspire. The last two weeks have been a jumble, and I barely made it through the last round of ROW80, but somehow, on July 1st, the calendar itself inspired commitment, due partly to Kait Nolan's promo of Pacemaker. 

What a marriage. Pacemaker, an online-tracking of goals, and A Round of Words in 80 Days, an online community of writers who set goals, work mightily to reach them -- and yet recognize that 'real life' may intercede. 

My goals for Round 03 (July 23-September 22):

WRITING: Work prodigiously on writing/revising Rivers of Stone to final, edited version for a minimum of 1,000 words a day. I hope to not be distracted by other writing projects which do keep popping out of my file cabinet. Tracking? Pacemaker and Camp Nanowrimo.

READING: Read and review at least two books per month. Finish reading Orson Scott Card's Characters & Viewpoint. Stay current with e-mail, keeping the clutter under 200 in my inbox.

BLOGGING: Once a week on my writing blog, and (this is a great waffle), 1-2 times a week for ROW80.

MARKETING: Carry out 2-3 marketing action steps each week. Continue marketing for DH's book, Reaching. He speaks to a veteran's breakfast next week!

OTHER: Continue volunteer work for Spokane Authors, my Cascades quilting group (Because We Care), Washington State Quilters, and exercise a minimum of 3x a week. 

Should it be a goal to continue to seek balance each day, time to nurture self and others? I think so. Each decade brings challenges, some quite unexpected -- even if changes in health and stamina in those we love (and ourselves) are inevitable. 

And so the next round of ROW80 begins! Check out what others have written HERE.

My Sister's Backyard, Tucson (Jeffrey Stemshorn)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

ROW80 Check-in: Just not sure

Most likely the ROW80 linky is closed for this week's check-in. Today is Tuesday, and I'm so far behind. 

OK so I finished that horrible first draft of Rivers of Stone (roughly 95,000 words), and now I'm adrift. Can't write. Can't think. Maybe I'm stuck in that low place where doubt rules. But I bound the sucker. Sent it to my trusted first reader and should hear something within a week or so . . . though just now I can't bear to look at it.

Any writing? I'm back to Granny Vampire for a few words here and there, mostly stuck in character maps and arcs and plotting bits of scenes and stabs at humor. Wondering why I'm even trying to write this particular story, for no matter my interest in writing a cozy mystery with those 'stabs of humor,' I'm always drawn to the underpinning issues we don't want to talk about/think about: elder abuse, aging and the loss of thought and memory, and, of course, death. 

Marketing? Yesterday I met with a small book club at a local assisted living home and was charmed by the ladies. I had been forewarned they might have dementia, so I reviewed some helpful 'how to' tips (mostly, stay calm, talk in nonthreatening ways), changed my bright writer's shirt for something a little calmer, and sallied forth to a pleasant afternoon with mermaid quilts and stories and a poem.

This week outside our apartment window, a young man and his girl were flying kites -- her kite a box of crayons and his, an amazing bird of fire, perhaps a Phoenix bird, rising to challenge the darkness.

Summer flight (Camp 2016)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday check-in: Oh, the inbox!

Those red chokeberries outside my window have popped from early summer heat, so this morning a cheeky robin had breakfast -- just right there, a fingertip away. 

"American Robin," by Steve Shelasky on Flickr

But already, it's Sunday evening, and I'm looking at three stacks of paperwork to sort through, reflect on, organize, and complete. All related to writing in some way, while my 'real' writing languishes. To report on goals for this week:

WRITING: Drafted 500 words for Granny Vampire. Sent first draft Rivers of Stone to 1 pre-beta reader. Sent quilting article on 'comfort quilts' to The Country Register. Sent monthly writing tip to SASP Newsletter. Blogged Mon, Weds & Sunday. Did read 5x for ROW80 this week.

EDITING for JUNE: Read through Mothers Don’t Die (Chapters 1-10). Have not started -- yet. Planned to read through Rivers of Stone (Chapters 1-20). Just decided to give ROS a rest until comments from beta reader about June 30. Read Chapters 1-3 of Justice (beta read), when the writer requested I stop reading and wait for her next revisions. She has a terrific story. 

MARKETING. My marketing presentation to senior center directors on last Thursday went reasonably well. What I'm most excited about are new opportunities to support marketing by writers in our local writers group, which include book club readings and a group table at an artisans' fair (so far). But my two main projects (newsletter and audiobook marketing) languish.

READING: Most useful writing craft article I've read so far this week? Rachel Carrington's A Call to Action in The Writer (July 2016) which in two pages makes it very clear how to cut superfluous action (you know, Margo brushed her teeth, tidied up the bathroom, and wondered if she would ever meet Mr. Right). Head to the library or a book store, as this article's not online.

And I'm loving Orson Scott Card's Characters & Viewpoint (a classic). His comments make me want to dig even deeper into my characters. He says physical description is nice . . . but what connects with the reader most intensely: ". . . what the character does in the story, what his motives are, and what he has done in the past" (13). That last phrase gets me every time. "What he has done in the past."

That other goal, DECLUTTERING. I think my e-mail inbox is stuck at just over 300 to-read. So I shall measure progress by the number of e-mails I delete. So far this week, only 53 gone.

Again, thank you, Fallon Brown, for showing me how to organize my goals by the month. At least the list in my Daily Work file looks manageable! It's my desk that's a wreck.

Check out what other writers in A Round of Words for 80 Days are up to this week HERE. And make it a good week.