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.