Sunday, December 30, 2018

ROW80: Say Farewell to 2018!

A light snow fell last night, giving this morning a feeling of impermanence and impending change. Probably quite appropriate in these last days of 2018, but I begin with a sense of joy and enthusiasm because . . . I'm not sick anymore!

GOALS have already been readjusted. Unwieldy goals have been dropped and a new goal added. Here are my goals for 2019, as measurable as I can make them, with progress from last week.
  1. Finish drafting The Seventh Tapestry by July, 2019. Min 1K week. PROGRESS: +984 words. 😇
  2. Family history, convert papers and photos to story form (1K week). No progress. 😞
  3. NEW GOAL: Study Spanish daily. This week x4. 😇
  4. NEW GOAL: Recruit ACX voice actor for Years of Stone, Rivers of Stone (Mar 2019).
  5. Participate in online writing communities: ROW80: Post weekly on Sunday 😇. Minimum read x4/week. x2 😞 NOVELS_L: Sub 1x/month. 😇 Minimum 1 crit/week. This week: x1 😇
  6. BLOG x4 monthly. 😇 Send newsletter quarterly, starting in JANUARY. 
  7. Set goals for marketing. Not yet . . . 😞
  8. Type Allen’s St. Remy. 1 chapter/week. More measurable 3-5 pages week. This week? One page. 😞
  9. Quilting: Complete x1 comfort quilt/month. This month: x3 😇
For the first time in nearly two months, I have both energy and focus! What an amazing feeling. So cheers to the start of a new year. My goals are set, my office is organized. Anything pending? Yes! 

I'm about 40K into The Seventh Tapestry and just decided the story would be better told from first person. I've begun rewriting scenes and am feeling closer to the protag, but plan to read more about point of view as I move ahead. Have you ever waffled about point of view? Changed it mid-story? 

Car Is Enjoying the Snow (MemeGuy)

And that's it for this week. I hope to see you online, busy with writing projects, and happily ready for the start of a new year. May 2019 be very good to you.

Click to visit ROW80 HERE on our blog or over on Facebook to catch up on what others are doing. May you have a very productive week!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

ROW80 Sunday check-in on a snowy morning

Sunday is that time of week we ROW80 writers check in and report on our progress for the week. I'd like to say this has been an outstanding week, but, in reality, bumps and lumps have come my way. But I will persevere. This week's report on progress (organized by goal). Progress pretty good. No progress. 
  • Finish drafting The Seventh Tapestry by July, 2019. Work on characters. Structure for series and draft scaffolding for prequel, Books 2 and 3. (Minimum 1K week). UPDATE: Worked on revision and wrote 737 words.
  • Work on family history, converting papers and photos to story form (1K week). UPDATE: No progress.
  • Revise Mothers Don’t Die (34 chapters, 62,500 words). (1 chapter/week). UPDATE: This goal deleted as just too much to do.
  • Study Spanish for February trip (3 hours/week). No progress.
  • Participate in writing associations: Meet with writing buddy weekly. Join Sisters in Crime (January). PNWA. Historical Novel Society. Maybe attend Las Vegas writing conference, November, 2019 (20 Books to 50K). No progress.
  • Participate in online writing communities: NOVELS_L (Minimum 1 crit/week). Track weekly progress for ROW80 (check-in 1x/week). UPDATE: Critiqued two submissions. Read 1 post.
  • BLOG x4 monthly. Send newsletter quarterly, starting January. UPDATE: Blogged 3x this month, so far.
  • Type Allen’s St. Remy (1 chapter/week). No progress this week.
  • Complete 1 comfort quilt/month. Binding done on 2 quilts. 3rd quilt 85% done. Oops! Almost forgot. Exercised 3x this week, for the first time since that nasty cold.
Do I have excuses? Yep. Will next week be better? I certainly hope so! Meanwhile, it's the time for family gatherings, celebrations, and that awareness as one year ends, another begins. May you cherish each day!



Click to visit ROW80 HERE on our blog or over on Facebook to catch up on what others are doing. May you have a very productive week!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

ROW80: 2019, Here I come!

On November 2, we moved into our new apartment. First floor. Similar layout. Maybe a little more storage. I'm still getting used to 'where things are.' As we slide into the end of the year, though, I'm ready to hop back on goal settings and reporting progress -- at least once each week for the Round that begins January, 2019. I've tried harder to make the goals achievable and measurable.

My Goals for 2019:
  • Finish drafting  The Seventh Tapestry by July, 2019. Work on characters. Structure for series and draft scaffolding for prequel, Books 2 and 3. (Minimum 1K week).
  • Work on family history, converting papers and photos to story form (1K week).
  • Revise Mothers Don’t Die (34 chapters, 62,500 words). (1 chapter/week). 
  • Study Spanish for February trip (3 hours/week).
  • Participate in writing associations:  Meet with writing buddy weekly. Join Sisters in Crime (January). PNWA. Historical Novel Society. Maybe attend Las Vegas writing conference, November, 2019 (20 Books to 50K).
  • Participate in online writing communities: NOVELS_L (Minimum 1 crit/week). Track weekly progress for ROW80 (check-in 1x/week). 
  • BLOG x4 monthly. Send newsletter quarterly, starting January. 
  • Type Allen’s St. Remy (1 chapter/week).
  • Complete 1 comfort quilt/month.
So, 2018 is nearly behind us. Thank you, all you writing friends and readers who encourage, write, revise, tell jokes, hug, and make each day possible. May we all have the very best of all possible worlds ahead in 2019.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

ROW80 Sunday and a quilty check-in

I'm looking at another intense week ahead. Beautiful sunny fall days. Temperatures in the 60's during the day, down to the 30's at night. No rain until Thursday (useful as we're packing). Not as much time for writing as I would like. I keep getting distracted by those rooms that yet need to be put into a box before we move on November 1. 

Today I worked our annual quilt show here in Spokane (over 400 quilts) and was inspired by some amazing quilts (see below). I also have a few new ideas for comfort quilts. 

Have you ever eaten an 'island burger'? Just add a thick slice of pineapple to your favorite hamburger. Because this coming week will be full of packing, I'm thinking crock pot.

Here's my progress for last week: 
Completed! 
Making progress. 
No progress . . . yet!

WRITING for this week: Seventh Tapestry. 993/1,000 words. Family History 0/500 words. OctPoWriMo: 0/5 poems. Blogging: 2/3 posts. Subbed first chapter to NOVELS-L. Completed  2 crits. 

COMMUNITY. Read & comment on blogs ROW80, IWSG, WIPpet: 5/8 posts

MARKETING: Organize marketing binder. Schedule 1 Book Club/reading. Develop wrap around for Book Bub promotion. 

OTHER: TOP PRIORITY: Move to first floor apartment from third floor apartment approved effective Nov 1, so PACK!!!  Making steady progress. Finished packing books, some 40 boxes.

OTHER: Keep e-mails <100. Read BELL x2 chapters this week. Other reading: 3/3 books (romantic suspense). Wrote 1 review. Finished quilt for family. Made backing. Continue work on next comfort quilt.

Two quilts from the Washington State Quilters annual quilt show that inspired me by their sheer artistry:

This exquisite art quilt by Charlene Lord is called "It's Not the Destination in Life That's Important."


David McLaughlin designed this second quilt. He is colorblind and used the shades to guide him. He calls the pattern a French Braid and used batiks to build his 'braid'. 

May your writing bring beauty and inspiration to yourself and to your readers!

Click over to ROW80 HERE on our blog or on Facebook to catch up on what others are doing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ROW80: Weds on the Move . . .

Still working on ways to simplify reporting in on Weds and Sundays. I think it's going to be a great week. The sun is shining. The house is quiet, and I put cinnamon in my coffee.

Here's the color grid: Completed! Making progress. No progress . . . yet!

WRITING for this week: Seventh Tapestry. 500/1,000 words. Family History 0/500 words. OctPoWriMo: 0/5 poems. Blogging: 2/3 posts. Subbed first chapter to NOVELS-L. Completed 1 crit. Need to crit 2x each week.
COMMUNITY. Read & comment on blogs ROW80, IWSG, WIPpet: 5/8 posts.

MARKETING: Organize marketing binder. Schedule 1 Book Club/reading. Develop wrap around for Book Bub promotion.

OTHER: TOP PRIORITY: Move to first floor apartment from third floor apartment approved effective Nov 1, so PACK!!!  

OTHER: Keep e-mails <100. Read BELL x2 chapters this week. Other reading: 2/3 books (romantic suspense). Wrote 1 review. Finished quilt for family. Make backing. Continue work on next comfort quilt.

OK, here's the top that measures about 80x85. A friend gave me machine applique blocks she had started. I improved my machine applique skills, and then there were all these colorful 2" squares.Very bright. Just right for a family to snuggle under on TV Night! 

Note: Quilting is GREAT for limiting stress!



May your week go well. Why not join in -- or click right over to ROW80 HERE on our blog or on Facebook to catch up on what others are doing.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

ROW80 The morning after the night before . . .

Very early this morning, about 3:30 am, a young man tried to beat his way into the apartment next door to ours. Shouting obscenities and throwing rocks, he came back three times over the next four hours. The last time, he tried to batter the door down with a large rock. Luckily, the door held, and the young woman who lives in the apartment was visiting her parents. No one was home.

I'm left wondering why I didn't call the police. If he had broken in, I would have. If I heard screams, I would have. Could I have talked to him? Absolutely not. His anger was scary. DH slept through the ruckus, thinking it was not happening next to our apartment. He said I should have called the police. If there is a next time, I will.

Otherwise, here's my ROW80 progress report on writing and the rest of real life. I'm trying to keep very simple goals for the coming 80-day-round.

WRITING: Start on Section 02 of The Seventh Tapestry. Yes! Scaffolding the section in more detail and writing/expanding scenes. Met F2F with critique partner x1. Rejoined NOVELS-L of the Internet Writer's Workshop and critiqued x1 (need 2x before I can sub). GOAL for coming week:  Continue work on Section 2. Sub first chapter to NOVELS-L and crit x1 more this week.

COMMUNITY: Mostly active with my quilting friends. Finished another comfort quilt and now working on a complicated machine applique quilt (will post pictures when the top is finished). GOAL for coming week: Confirm date for visit with book club. Draft newsletter and wrap-around for upcoming promo w/BookBub.

Other news: We're moving! From a three-floor walk-up to a first-floor apartment. I won't have to cling to the railing all the way down any more. Talk about 'fear of falling'! We're working on downsizing. Took about 20 bags of books to a local library for their book sale. I'm working my way past the political turmoil and focusing on what I can let go of.  Donate! Recycle! Celebrate each day. May your own progress on writing goals go well.

Yes, it was hard to let go of those books!
Thank YOU, all ROW80 writers, who persevere with goals and progress.

Go to ROW80 HERE on our blog or on Facebook to find out what others are doing.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

ROW80 Looking back, looking forward

I'm looking forward to this ten-day break between the end of Round 3 and the beginning of the last round for 2018. Fall has truly begun here. Earlier this week, we walked in Manito Park's formal rose garden to appreciate the last roses of summer.


And I'm glad we went, for these roses and dahlias, in their blaze of colors, change with the seasons -- as we do. This week, a memorial service will help me say goodbye to a dear friend. As I remember our times quilting together, we'll share stories, hugs, and a few tears, for her life was well lived.

Now thinking about goals for the coming round, yes, I've looked back. The list remains daunting, so I shall, like other ROW80 writers, strive to keep my week's goals simple, measurable, with focus on those steps that will clarify what needs to be done next. 
1. Continue work on The Seventh Tapestry. My goal?
2. Connect with other writers through ROW80, WIPpet Wednesday, IWSG, and the Internet Writer's Workshop.
3. Organize and carry out 1 marketing event each month.
4. Persevere with decluttering, exercise, and mindful living.



May these next ten days bring good writing your way. Go to ROW80  HERE on our blog or on Facebook.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

ROW80: Sunday night check-in.

Dark outside. No moon. No light. I do see a few stars.

Tonight, after a round of telephone calls, I'm grateful for the comforts of home and feeling sad about my friends who are struggling with serious illness. While I didn't get all my goals accomplished this week, I made a little progress with the writing. So, just going to set goals for the coming week and not worry about what I cannot help.

Round 3 ends Weds, Sept 19, so here are my goals by Wednesday:

Continue prepping excerpt & synopsis for writing contest due 9/30.
Write 400 words for The Seventh Tapestry.
Participate in WIPpet Weds.
Continue to read other blog posts (x8).
Finish next comfort quilt.
Begin planning for next round.
Continue downsizing (including books!).


Usually I just end by saying why not see what other ROW80 folks are doing HERE on our blog or on Facebook, but this time, consider reading Denise Young's post, "Finding Simplicity and Slowness Amid Change."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

ROW80 Sunday: Last Day for Freebie!

First off: Today is the last day for a free Kindle copy of my first (and very short) collection of poetry and short stories, The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales. It's free just to say thank you . . .

And today might well be the shortest check-in of all time as we thunder towards the end of Round 3 on September 20. After all, I did 4 loads of laundry today, vacuumed, and helped DH cook! Here are my accomplishments for this week . . . so far. (Blue = done, Green = in progress, and Red = no progress or axed.)
  • GOAL: Post Tana Lovett's Guest Blog post, author of As Long As There Is Chocolate, on my writing blog. DONE! 😍
  • GOAL: Minimum 1,000 words on The Seventh Tapestry by Sunday 9/16. In progress: +100 so far (but lots of cutting/revising).😉
  • GOAL: Read other blogs x8. Participate in Weds WIPpet. Also in progress: X4 so far.😉
  • GOAL: Write blog for local writers' group. Nope! 😦
#WIPpet Wednesday. Today is the day we're supposed to post a snippet from our wip, somehow related to the date. So here are the opening 12 sentences (for Sept 12) from The Seventh Tapestry (romantic suspense), but I really think this opening will be revised!

     First days are never easy, thought Sandra. Just go in and get started. She stared up at the massive stone exterior of the Museum of Medieval Art. A green and gold banner hung over the entrance, “Welcome to Edinburgh’s Medieval Underground.” My new world. She adjusted her briefcase over her shoulder, wondered again if her resume needed additional tweaking, and smiled at the receptionist as she asked the way to the Director’s office.
     After Sandra rode up two floors in a tiny elevator with intricate black iron grill work, a compact woman wearing a gray suit ushered Sandra into a formal office, complete with a devastatingly large antique desk and a view of the gardens below. 
     Stuart Hadley stood and reached out his hand. “Welcome, Miss Robertson. We’re quite excited you are finally here.”

Go here to read what others Weds WIPpet writers are up to!


Find out what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook. And, write on!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

ROW80: About Mermaids and Goals

Today and through Sept 12, here's my THANK YOU to everyone who loves myths from other cultures and short stories: My book, The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales is absolutely FREE on Amazon (Kindle format). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090VHKBC  So, go get it! Send the link to a friend. Celebrate writing by sharing.

Now back to reality. As we move ever so fast to the end of Round 3 (ending September 20), how are we all doing with those goals we set so long ago at the beginning of summer? I had far too many BUT have accomplished a few. For now, I'd rather share what's working from this week:

  1. WRITING: Making slow but steady progress on The Seventh Tapestry, but picked up another beta reader (Thank you, Richard). Successfully uploaded updated back matter for all three Stones books (you have no idea how much work that entailed). Now I can move on to just ONE of those other goals that have been in the pending list far too long. Posted on my writing blog for IWSG: What publishing path did I follow and why?
  2. COMMUNITY: Sent newsletter to subscribers!!!! Tied to Mermaid Quilt giveaway. Read other ROW80 posts x6. Attended local RWA chapter meeting.
What's next for my goals for the coming week?
  1. Write Guest Blog post for my writing blog.
  2. Minimum 1,000 words on The Seventh Tapestry.
  3. Read other blogs x8.
  4. Write Guest Blog post for local RWA.
Took a few days off!!! Celebrated Grandparents' Day in style at Silverwood (an annual tradition).

Silverwood 2018
Happy end of the summer. Find out what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook. And, write on!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

ROW80 Weds Week 10: Yep! Catching up.

Round 3 ends on Thursday, Sept 19. Right now, I'm still catching up. My long 'to do' list is updated. Here are this week's accomplishments:

  • WRITING: Finally, after hours of fighting format (felt like a full-time job), Amazon accepted both the final update for Standing Stones AND for Years of Stone. Just have to wait that proverbial 72 hours to doublecheck all was uploaded correctly. Maybe by Sunday. The Seventh Tapestry took a back seat, but a little progress was made here too (see Weds WIPpet below). 
  • COMMUNITY: Really enjoyed meeting with Glen Willow Book Club this week. These lovely 16 women asked questions, and we had the most delicious cheesecake. One woman's face fell when she learned she might have to wait 2 more years for the next book! Another point: Some readers found my books hard to read because the characters suffered. Shaped by history, my books tell how one working class family struggled for survival.  We talked about the differences between happy-ever-after, tragic ending, and happy-for-now. This reminds me of M.K. Tod's survey of readers of historical fiction. Her findings show that women readers want to be immersed in a historical time period. Many readers also want that happy-ever-after ending, for don't we all need hope? 
  • Sent questions for guest post writing blog (Tana Lovett, As Long as There is Chocolate) to support her reading later this month. This sweet story with a touch of chocolate, romance, and ghosts from the past definitely has a happy-ever-after ending. 
  • Set up a 'thank you' for YOU and readers that will run September 8-12: free Kindle downloads of The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales, a collection of short stories and poems. Go for it!
Now for Wednesday's WIPpet, featuring a snippet from a current work in progress, somehow relating to the date. I'm going short this week, just 4 paragraphs (Month of Sept = 9 - 5 for Sept 5 = 4 paragraphs) from The Seventh Tapestry. Sandra, our intrepid heroine concerned about missing artifacts from the museum, meets with her boss, Roger. 

Sandra slipped into Roger’s office, struck again by the two small framed tapestries that decorated his office. “Those are quite lovely. Are they Flemish?”
“You have a good eye,” said Roger. “I’m very proud of them. Actually, though they were woven in Flanders, these two came from Spain.” He touched the frame of the two hangings. “They were a gift from the Giroux family, one of our major donors.”
Sandra wondered if the gift had been approved by the museum. She looked again at the hangings. “Were they part of the collection at the Palace of La Granja just outside Segovia?”
Roger looked at her with surprise. “Yes, I believe they were . . . surplus, or something like that.” He huffed. “I do have appropriate provenance.”

Royal Palace of La Granja de la Ildefonso, 1873
Modeled after Versailles
(Source: Wikipedia)
Ah, but does Roger have provenance?

Hope to see you all again on Sunday. Why not see what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook. Thank you to Emily Wrayburn for continuing to host WIPpet Wednesday. And, most important, have a great week in whatever moves you!



Thursday, August 30, 2018

ROW80: Weds, Week 10: Let It Bee!

I've been wondering how to report my writing progress this week as slow and stubborn -- and one day late. A little discouraged, I wanted to start with something light, something motivational, so I popped over to look at pictures from our trip to the Calvary Zoo to find this ready-made meme, a perfect start to the rest of the week:


Progress Weds, Week 10:

WRITING. Aargh! Only one writing session this week with The Seventh Tapestry (still good feedback from this week's writing group). The rest of this week has been dedicated to formatting Standing Stones. At least, KDP finally accepted the PDF upload (note: not Word), with some nasty error messages: Fix fonts, gutters, and nonprintable markup. I am NOT renumbering the table of contents until the file's accepted. GOAL: Perseverance furthers. I hope to finish this week and have learned much about Word commands, how one little change in the middle of the book's format can change the entire doc.

READING. Still reading and enjoying Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire. Wish I could turn off the editor in me that notices those pesky uses of passive voice. 

OTHER: Today is the first unencumbered day of the week, and it's Thursday. So, I shall begin in peace to 'let it bee'. OTHER GOALS: Catch up on reading others' posts, prep for book club meeting next week (need reader questions), follow up on inviting newbies to ROW on Weds, and quilt a little for sanity.

May you enjoy this last week of Round 3. Check in with other ROW80 writers on the blog or on FaceBook.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

ROW80 Sunday, Week 9: Ooofta!

We came home last Saturday after two weeks on the road. Oofta! Didn't really remember how much time it takes to reconnect! So here's my update, definitely a little different.

WRITING. No writing for the first half of the week to speak of. Even though I wrote every day when we were travelling, the first 3 days home = zip! Feel like I'm working with some kind of heavy duty farm equipment to organize & draft chapters with scenes out of sequence. Pretty good progress overall the last 4 days with tighter scenes (and fun adding suspense and romance), but a drop in word count as I hit that delete button.

EDITING (This section is for self-publishing nerds). Someone suggested that self-publishing writers should routinely update that list of 'other books by' and back matter. I thought that was a good idea for my four books. So, 2 done and 2 to go.

Probably burned a good 10 hours this week on attempting to move my paperback version of Standing Stones from Create Space to Amazon. Moving the updated kindle version worked just fine. Here's an excellent background article from Amy Collins on Joel Friedlander's The Book Designer on why we might do this, although NotJohn strongly recommends staying with CS for paperbacks. So, I'm persevering, though I ran into some formatting issues (translating from Kindle to paperback, retyping toc, getting Amazon's paperback template downloaded and functional [Word kept giving me a permission error so I exported my Word file into PDF format and back]. Content is fine. Now just going chapter by chapter to check layout (I'm at chapter 24 out of 62).  Of course, once I'm done, Amazon says we'll need to wait 72 hours before we know if our upload worked. And, I'm not certain about this, but I think I'll have to order a physical proof for the paperback.

READING. Really enjoying reading Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire; it's pretty dark, but compelling. And for pure escape, Ava Stones, My Favorite Major. Pondering point-of-view still, as IF I write from the female lead for my romantic suspense, how will readers know what my male character is thinking and feeling?

JUST FOR FUN, made a meme.

Lion we saw at Calgary Zoo (August 2018)
OTHER: This afternoon, took a two-hour shopping break with my daughter which turned into a 5-hour marathon involving an exploding toilet, so I'm skipping goal setting for the coming week. Know that I'm going to do the best possible. Writers' group meets Tuesday night, and I'm ready.

Read more about A Round of Words, join in, and/or why not see what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

ROW80 Check-in with Weds Snippet for WIPpet

Weds Round 3, Week 8: Finally settling back at home, despite heat, smoke, and the challenges of getting organized. The writing kind of faltered this week, but thanks to encouraging comments, I do feel better about having so many unfinished goals that I hope to complete . . . someday!

Progress so far this week:

  • Writing: Goal 1,000 new words on 7th Tapestry. So far, only 400. But it's only Weds. NEW: Begin editing changes for Mothers Don't Die.
  • Other Writing: Still to do: Mermaid Quilt to audiobook (post for voice actors on ACX). Paperback & Kindle format for updates still needed for Standing Stones; paperback updates not showing Years of Stone. These were supposed to be simple changes (showing latest books published). Blogging? Not yet on the writing blog.
  • Community/Marketing. Read blogs x6. Completed 3 so far. Sent e-mail to coordinate next writers' group. Pending: newsletter, indie reviews x2. 
  • Other stuff: Reading James Scott Bell's Just Write and enjoying it very much. Working on a new comfort quilt. Really replenished the stash by visiting two Canadian quilt stores. Otherwise, too smoky out for much exercise (cough, cough).

And now, thanks to the work of Emily Wrayburn, here's this week's snippet for WIPpet Wednesday, a blog hop for writers to share an excerpt from their current WIP -- that must somehow relate to today's date! Join in if you like HERE


In this excerpt from my romantic suspense WIP, The Seventh Tapestry (8 paragraphs for the month of August), curator Sandra Robertson visits Adelle Campbell about a potential donation to the Museum of Medieval Art in Edinburgh.

     “I’d like to have you read two letters," said Adelle. "The first one, I’d just like your advice, perhaps your reaction. The second letter is of more interest to the Museum, I think.”
     Sandra relaxed against the settee. “You’ve given me a wonderful tea. Of course, I’m happy to look at whatever you like.”
     “This letter is from a Mr. Cochrane from London,” said Adelle. “He says he used to work for Sotheby's. Apparently, he knows about the Narwhal Cup, but I’m not sure how.” She paused. “He expresses great interest in other artifacts I may be interested in selling, but I don’t know.” She handed the letter to Sandra.
     The first thing Sandra noticed was the very heavy paper and the letterhead at the top of the letter. “The letterhead certainly looks authentic. Cochrane Antiques. Has he been to see you?”
     “Not yet. The letter says he would come up from London, but I just don’t know. What do you think?”
     Sandra skimmed the letter. One sentence stood out to her, almost as if he were hinting that Mrs. Campbell would benefit more from selling to him than making donations to any museum. “He doesn’t mention affiliation with any museum. He may be representing private collectors,” said Sandra.
     “I did call Sotheby's, but they’ve never heard of a Mr. Cochrane. Truly, I’d rather foster local relationships, and I’m so pleased you came over from Edinburgh.” Adelle opened a leather portfolio. “I would like you to read this letter as you asked me about provenance. Please put on these plastic gloves. Call me when you have finished.” She left the room quietly.
     Sandra sat at the antique desk and stared at the letter. Written on yellowed vellum, the letter purported to be from the court of Francis I.

And that's it for Wednesday. Have a great week. See you all again on Sunday. 
Why not see what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook.

View from Sandra's 5th floor apartment
in Edinburgh, overlooking the Writer's Museum
in Lady Stair's Close


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Round 3, Week 7: Catch-up!

Round 3, Week 7 of A Round of Words in 80 Days, with only 31 days left in this round. We're just home from a two-week jaunt to Canada, visiting familiar and new places. Lots of pictures, learned our limits on hiking and touring (need those rest days).

The real question: Did I get any writing done? I pretty much set everything else aside and did manage to write every day on The Seventh Tapestry, with Section 01 coming into focus (more romance) and a few scenes for Section 02 (a fire and a death). Stats: 4,800 words over 14 days = a little over 300 words a day with notes on what comes next and what needs more research.

Eden's note for today's check-in suggests now is the time (she's right) to focus on what we can accomplish (and want to complete) before Round 3 ends. My working list is too long, so basically, here are my goals:

  • WRITING: How about 9,000 new words before September 31 on Tapestry
  • Other writing: Work on moving The Mermaid Quilt to audio-book. Really would like to update Years of Stone format for paperback. The Kindle version shows updates beautifully, but I can't get the paperback format updated. Yet. Also have updates pending for Standing Stones for paperback and Kindle. Neither have updated . . . yet.
  • COMMUNITY/MARKETING. Confirm book club visits x2, both in September. Read more blogs consistently (minimum 8 per week). Set up some kind of  'thank you' and send newsletter for end-of-summer (which is ending far too fast and far too smoky for most of us). Continue reviews x2 for indie writers each month. Meet with writers' group x2/month.
  • OTHER: Finish maybe 2 comfort quilts in September. Keep working that weight goal for July. So far, so good. Exercise: 3x/week swimming. That vacation was a learning experience (stamina) and new adventures. Here's my favorite picture of Allen at the Alberta Wild Bird Preserve.

OTHER UNFINISHED GOALS (and not in any particular order):

  • Wanted to collect my poems into a chapbook. Not sure this will happen this year. Will participate in OctPoWriMo, a poem a day for the month of October.
  • Wanted to work on family history. Again, found some fascinating stuff, including one hardy ancestor who used to walk his bear (yes, black and furry) right down the street in Sweden back in the 1820's. 
  • Would love to blog on my writing blog more than 2x a month. Maybe? This goes back to the newsletter -- connecting with my readers. 
  • Would love to finish (and publish) Mothers Don't Die (kind of a dark, serial killer mystery) this year. Got some amazingly helpful feedback from judges after entering PNWA's writing competition this year. Green light go?
  • Would love to create a boxed set for my historical fiction trilogy, but can't do this until Amazon accepts my updates! Darn!
Ah, the list is too long. Which one would you choose??? Some days now, I need to put my feet up and rest. 

May your goal-setting go smoothly with just a month to go. Let's be thankful for the coming month and see what other ROW80 writers are up to on the blog or on FaceBook.

Oh, and the elevators in our Calgary hotel had the funniest pictures (here's just one, a rare selfie), making me laugh and want to write more memes! Or, like Rui Chan, maybe a haiku with pictures!

Selfie: The left of the sign shows hot sauce bottles!



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Row80 Weds Week 5: Suspense!

Oscar Wilde once said, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last."

That's about how I feel as I set up goals and peer into the coming month. We leave Sunday morning for a trip that has no destination or end point. We may be gone up to a month (or back within a week). I think we start by heading north.

Here's my progress for A Round of Words in 80 Days since Sunday:

WRITING: Draft 1,000 words/week for The Seventh Tapestry. Progress so far: 1,170 new words. This new genre of romantic suspense is challenging me! I can't quite believe this new story already has 24K words.

RESEARCH: Continue digging into research that supports The Seventh Tapestry. Study craft of writing. Progress so far: Set up binder for travel with major revamp and drafting of entire book. Taking James Scott Bell's Just Write with me as well as research files.

MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week. GOAL: To send newsletter and set up audio-recording before we leave on Sunday.

BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week. Update: Not sure about this one. We'll have sketchy internet so I may only post short updates on our trip and writing on FaceBook. But today, I'm posting here AND on my writing blog.

COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week. Update: Again, this goal may be on hold.

HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play. Update: Met weight loss goals for July. Today is our anniversary (43 years!).

You may not know this about me, but I am a shy person. I hate conflict and subscribe to that Victorian theory that sex scenes should occur off stage. So, my new story is romantic suspense. Ooops! Actually, it's kind of fun to work on writing more 'romance' and 'suspense' into my story. 

This week's WIPpet. As part of Wednesday's snippet from a work-in-progress (WIP), coordinated by Emily Wrayburn, here are 8 sentences (for the month of August) from The Seventh Tapestry. Poor Sandra, new at her job at the Museum of Medieval Art, is already facing some problems.

     A door snapped shut at the end of the hall. That’s strange, thought Sandra. I thought I was alone. She stopped at the employee lounge to grab a coffee and entered her office, automatically checking that her office files were as she left them, a single sheet placed cross-wise on the top file.
     They weren’t. 
     Someone’s been in my office, and I’ll bet it wasn’t maintenance. A shiver went down her spine. Only Mr. Hadley knew about her work on the missing artifacts.

WRITING TIP that inspired me this week? Someone nameless, maybe in the latest Writer's Digest, suggested IF you are on vacation, plan to write 30 minutes a day -- preferably before everyone else gets up. Works for me!

Why not check out what ROW80 writers are doing on the blog or on FaceBook OR read some snippets from other WIPpet writers here OR on Facebook. You know you can! And enjoy the summer. Play in the water. Sit on the patio and watch the sun set. Let those words flow. And just maybe leave a review for a writer you like. 




Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ROW80 Weds Week 4: Conflict?

Summer is heating up and August promises more of the same, but we won't be home. We're hitting the road on August 3, just after our 41st anniversary with no destination in mind, except north. Despite global warming, I'm hoping it's cooler in that direction. We may be gone a week or a month. All I know is laptop, get ready!

ROW80, Week 4: Weds Update.
--Writing: Wrote 2 out of 3 days so far (posting ROW80 before today's writing). Goal +1,000 new words this week (+400 so far, lots of deletes).
--Research: 4 hours. Actually working on writing strategies rather than story-related research this week. 
--Marketing: Nothing planned except: Track how long it takes Amazon to upload my edited versions.  Maybe I'd do better with this category if it were renamed 'connect with readers'.
--Blogging/Community: Goal: read x6 other writer's blogs. Have read x5 so far.  Goal: Post x9 for ROW80 Blog (x8 so far), and post x4 for Writing Blog (x2 so far). Writer's group meets this Sunday (Yippee!) and Quilter's group meets Friday.
--Exercise. Goal 3x swimming. So far x2. Finished the latest comfort quilt in my favorite color -- blue. Next: work on binding.

Healing Blue Comfort Quilt (July 2018)
Overall assessment: Struggled a bit to stay current with lots of babysitting last week, but summer camp and a changed schedule mean less time with those little ones this week. I miss them, but I'm catching up again.  Writing Section 01 has taken a turn deeper. Romantic suspense is a new genre for me -- so I'm working on conflict. More about that in this week's writing blog post. And that's all, folks, for this week so far.

A Round of Words for 80 Days encourages writers to set goals and check in with progress every Weds and Sunday. This keeps me accountable to myself AND connected to other writers who care about writing. Thank you, Eden Mabee and Shan Jeniah Burton, for keeping us all motivated and posting! Why not join in? Check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page. May your own writing go well.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

ROW80 Week 3: Sunday and Happy I Made It This Far

Same goals for the coming week. Here's my progress:

Updates for ROW80 Sunday, Week 3:
--Writing: Wrote 5 out of 7 days. Met goal of +1,000 new words this week (1,430 this week + deletes). Working that outline for Tapestry, Section 01, consistency, missing scenes, overall story-telling.
--Met goal for research (museum collections, storage, strategic planning, and some on police in Edinburgh). 
--Marketing: If events count, I did participate in a wonderful reading, Poetry Rising, this week. Friends came from near and far. Music and poetry.
--Community:  Have read x6 other writer's blogs. Would like to do better next week.
--Family: Staying afloat with babysitting immersion this week and next.
--Exercise. Not this week. I'm counting running after the 3-year-old and the 6-year-old as exercise! Making some progress on latest comfort quilt, and, for fun and to learn this genre, reading Suzanne Ferrell's, Kidnapped (romantic suspense).

Overall assessment: Taking care of little ones can be challenging for the older than average folks, but we had fun taking them 'swimming' in the 'lazy river' at our local pool with life vests. 

Most interesting writing-related accomplishment? I drew a map of that imaginary Museum in Edinburgh my heroine now works at. This was fun and based somewhat on the old Barnes Museum in Philadelphia before it was moved to a very fancy and starkly modern building downtown.

Only 2 more rows to go for a total of 5 rows!!
I'll post the final . . . maybe next week?
Now A Round of Words for 80 Days encourages writers to set goals and check in with progress every Weds and Sunday. This keeps me accountable to myself AND connected to other writers who care about writing. Thank you, Eden Mabee and Shan Jeniah Burton, for keeping us all motivated and posting! Why  not join in? Check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page. May your own writing go well.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ROW80: Week 3: Wednesday & Spain

I always wonder why I should post on any Wednesday for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). Sometimes I do just skip, because Sunday was just yesterday, wasn't it?

Updates for Midweek, Week 3:
--On track to meet goal of +1,000 new words this week (800 words so far).
--Digging into research on museums collections, robberies, and types of theft.
--Have read x4 other writer's blogs.
--Staying afloat with babysitting immersion this week and next.
--Quilted a little each day. Exercise. Not this week. I'm counting running after the 3-year-old and the 6-year-old as exercise!

Now, about WIPpet and the writing, I do have a chapter outline and a general sense of my characters and what's going to happen next. But each day (and each bit of research) takes me in unexpected directions. Today's surprise was an amazing collection of tapestries -- in Spain!

Here with thanks to Emily Wrayburn for Wednesday's SNIPpet (WIPpet) are 7 short paragraphs (for the month of July) from my current work-in-progress:

-----
     Sandra slipped into Roger’s office, struck again by the two small framed tapestries that decorated his office. “Those are quite lovely. Are they French?”
     “You have a good eye,” said Roger. “I’m very proud of them. Actually, though they were woven in Flanders, these two are from Spain.” He touched the frame of the two hangings. “They were a gift from the Giroux family, one of our major donors.”
     Sandra wondered if the gift had been approved by the museum. She looked again at the hangings. “Were they part of the collection at the Palace of La Granja just outside Segovia?”
     Roger looked at her with surprise. “Yes, I believe they were . . . surplus, or something like that.” He huffed. “I do have appropriate provenance.”
     Sandra shook her head. “I visited Spain a few summers back. What an amazing museum. The palace itself was modeled after Versailles.”
     “I haven’t been. Yet.”
     “I do have good news for you. Mrs. Campbell is going to donate the Narwhal Cup to our Museum.”

-----
Check in with other ROW80 writers on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page!


PS Someone asked me how I come up with names -- Here, the internet is another rich resource. I usually search (as this morning) for 'most common last names in France'. Or, first names. Usually 2-3 resonate, and my character has a name!  Sometimes I find names of places by reading street names as I drive around, as in the Waterford Inn or Sprague's Tavern. If I'm feeling very snarky, I might use the name of someone who was mean for an antagonist. And how do you pick your character names or place names? Have a great week writing!

Monday, July 16, 2018

ROW80: Monday morning . . .

"I'm late. I'm late." So the rabbit sings as he falls down that hole in the ground to a different dimension. My early morning breakfast of cottage cheese, blueberries, and walnuts with a smidge of banana prepares me to catch up, to focus, and to get to work.

WEEK 3 CHECK-IN: I've been a member of A Round of Words in 80 Days since 2013. Our online group is smaller, but I've gained writing friendships and that inexorable desire to set goals by the week, by the month, and by the round. The goals shift and change, but slowly (sometimes with very slow progress), I do make progress.

The challenge always is how to balance my personal goals with other commitments -- and how to say 'no' when that 'to do' list gets too long. And how to check-in to ROW80 without inhibiting that daily goal to write. Simplify!
  • WRITING: Continue studying the craft of writing and drafting The Seventh Tapestry. Goal 1,000 words/week. Last week: 1,461 new words!
  • RESEARCH: Continue digging into research that supports The Seventh Tapestry. Last week: 4 sessions.
  • MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week. Last week: Sent promo for reading this coming week.
  • BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week.  Last week: Posted 2x here and 1x on Writing blog -- "World-building more important than Story?" Note: research this week fed the blog!
  • COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week. Last week: Attended workshop on difference between women's fiction and romantic fiction. Got to meet with writers' group. Posted on FB. Improvement needed!
  • HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play. Last week: Birthday party for son-in-law. Steady progress on diet (lost 1 pound) and swam x3. But, darn, foot still hurts if I do too much, so that link between good progress on diet and exercise more often just isn't working like it did when I was younger.
And there you have it. My week in under 30 minutes.

May your writing go well. 

Why not join us OR check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ROW80: Weds check-in with a snippet

Summer has arrived here with 90F plus predicted for the next two weeks. I'm feeling lucky my writing routine is early in the morning. Our patio gets just a little morning sun, so my one potted plant is still flowering.

Yesterday, I drove DH to his last section of the Centennial Trail, an easy walk of some 4 miles. Just as he was ready to hit the trail, we realized I left my phone at home, making coordination for pick-up nearly impossible. So I drove the 30 minutes home and then back again, recognizing again how quickly we rely on new technology. All ended well. Now, he's looking at new trails to hike. The hardest part is not going with him.

Here's my update for Weds, Week 1, #2:
  1. WRITING: Continue studying the craft of writing and drafting The Seventh Tapestry. Goal 1,000 words/week. Progress: 720 words so far. Still working on my romantic suspense tale, inspired by "Where's the chocolate in your story?" (a writing prompt that led me to focus on taste -- and writing with more attention to the five senses).
  2. RESEARCH: Continue digging into research that supports The Seventh Tapestry. Progress: Specific goal: Read 2 chapters in Houpt's Museum of the Missing. Read one chapter, but information a little too general, sometimes the tone is snarky (class-based), and yet, I'm finding useful nuggets. Not started: Build map of building and images of key collections. What's next? workshop on world building on Saturday.
  3. MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week. Progress: Updated 'back matter' for all my books. In process of uploading/converting from CreateSpace to Amazon (not an easy process). Local library added two more of my books. Now have 2 book club visits pending. Prepping for reading this coming week. 
  4. BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week. Progress: Posted x1.
  5. COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week. Need to clarify action steps more precisely for this category. Read other blogs x8. Progress: Not as much as I'd like. I did read other blogs x4. That's it.
  6. HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play. Progress: Swam x2 this week so far. Birthday party today (goal: small piece of cake). Quilting scraps organized. Books all donated. Did organize notes on Panama trip. Next: Organize notes for last spring's Merida trip. 
Too hot for much else. Question of the day: Which of the five senses do you tend to use most? Why? What does your current story need more of?

And for Weds WIPpet, thanks to facilitator Emily Wrayburn, here are 7 sentences for the month of July -- and one to grow on: 

     The first time Sandra held the Narwhal Cup, she almost dropped it. Mrs. Campbell had unwrapped it from packing materials and placed it on the large oak table in her drawing room. Sandra slipped on her gloves and held it with both hands. 
     The outer face of the carefully carved bone cup was covered with sea-unicorns floating on an ocean of stylized waves. Inside, the cup was lined with bone of a slightly different color. Sandra wasn’t sure how she could authenticate the cup without taking a small scraping. She couldn't help but remember all the stories about how such a cup was supposed to prevent poisoning – except for the Duc du Lac, the Monseigneur Claussier, and how many others? 
     That's when the cup wobbled and threatened to fall right out of her grasp. 

Have a great week ahead. Why not check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page!






Sunday, July 8, 2018

Round 3, Week 1: All by Myself . . .

My F2F writer's group was cancelled this morning, so I'm singing that lovely tune, "All by Myself . . ." today. But I don't feel all by myself. Supported by texts, e-mails, and videos (even music), the writing goes well. So here's my progress this week on Round 3 goals. Of course, a new goal got added.
  1. WRITING: Continue studying the craft of writing and drafting The Seventh Tapestry. Goal 1,000 words/week. Progress: +1,278 words.
  2. New goal added: RESEARCH: Continue digging into research that supports The Seventh Tapestry. Progress: Mostly online. Feeling a bit stymied about my imaginary museum and am looking forward to the workshop on world-building next week. Found lovely checklists for museum security at Collections Trust for the UK. More specific goal: Read 2 chapters in Houpt's Museum of the Missing. Build map of building and images of key collections.
  3. MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week. Progress: Invited to visit another book club (Sept)! Pending: Still working on updating back matter for all three books. I'm feeling a little down on social media, which leaves me wondering how to reach readers.
  4. BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week. Progress: x3 posts, including one on the value of "Waffling and Decluttering" (a focus this week).
  5. COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week. Progress: Visited/commented x6 other blogs. Busy week decluttering brought e-mails from over 300 to about 70! Need to clarify action steps more precisely for this category. 
  6. HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play. Picnic on the 4th, a little quilting. Next week: take that last box of books away! Organize travel notes for Panama.
Had fun exploring the online coffee houses in Edinburgh. Here's my latest find: Deacon's House Cafe, just around the corner from Sandra's mythical bank on the Royal Mile. Who doesn't like a bit of hot coffee?

Deacon's House Cafe (Terry G. on Yelp)

Question for this week: What strategies do you use for world-building? Do you invent names instead of using 'real' names for businesses or institutions. And, how's the writing going?

Check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Row80 #1: Round 3 Begins!

Round 3 begins with the first update after posting goals on Sunday. Isn't it too soon? Looks like I've done really nothing so far.
  1. WRITING: Continue studying the craft of writing and drafting The Seventh Tapestry. Goal 1,000 words/week. THIS WEEK: Deleted more than wrote so far. Now at 14,747 for Section 01. Hope to reach 1,000 by Sunday.
  2. MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week. THIS WEEK: Finally organized marketing research. If I have about 70 pages of single-spaced notes, surely I can set priorities.
  3. BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week. THIS WEEK: Posted monthly post for Insecure Writer's Support Group on writing goals and today for us (and WIPpet Weds).
  4. COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week. THIS WEEK: Joined National RWA; local chapter next (they have great meetings). Read ROW80 x6. Connected with a new book club.
  5. HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play. THIS WEEK: They came first! Movie day on Tuesday, breakfast with my grown-up kid. Family picnic today. Exercise on track. Lost 1 pound. All is good.
Inspiration from Whisper
So, here's what I'm having fun with this week: CONFLICT and CHARACTERS. It's no secret that I hate conflict. I would rather sit down and talk than yell. So the conflict in my stories tends to happen off screen, except for a few gritty scenes. 

My focus this week and last has been exploring how to uptick the tension in ANY scene, and I'm learning more about my characters (their actions, emotions, and motivations).

Here's my snippet for Wednesday's WIPpet, kindly hosted by Emily Wrayburn: 7 sentences for the month of July from The Seventh Tapestry as two main characters get to know each other.

     Sandra dragged Thomas room-by-room, pointing out the tiny kitchen, the warming bars in the bathroom for towels, and, as she brought him back to the airy living room with its cozy navy couch and large, bright, modern paintings, she stopped by the large wooden table now decorated with pink and yellow roses. “This will be my workspace. Do you like the view?”

     He shrugged. “’Tis no' so bad for just off the Royal Mile. But how long will you truly stay.”

     Suddenly sobered, Sandra looked up at Thomas. She was still holding his hand. “I don’t know.”

How's your week going? Too fast? How's the writing? 

Note: You can always check in to see what other ROW80 writers are up to on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Round 3: Goals & Deep Pockets

Did you ever buy a pair of pants with those dainty, shallow pockets your keys and cell phone fall out of? I have a 5-minute fix. Just cut the bottom right out of those pockets and drag out the sewing machine. Cut a 4 x 8" patch of a hardy fabric (cotton works), and sew an extension right on the raw edge of the pockets. Presto! Deep pockets!

Wish goal setting were as easy. Before Round 3 ends (80 days from now), here are my goals for improving my writing and marketing:
  1. WRITING: Continue studying the craft of writing and drafting The Seventh Tapestry. Goal 1,000 words/week.
  2. MARKETING: Refine overall plan; carry out 2 activities/week.
  3. BLOGGING: Post minimum of 2 posts each week.
  4. COMMUNITY: Improve outreach through active participation in social media, online and F2F writing groups x5 activities/events each week.
  5. HOME-TENDING: Support healthy diet, exercise, and my family, keeping a balance between work/play.
Now that list above is rather short, but it reflects the heart of what I hope to accomplish before Round 3 ends. What's next is hairy, messy, and may well morph into something new. We are truly half-way through the year. Shades of fall and winter beckon before the heat of summer is upon us. And some of us are stubborn! We are going to set goals and make progress.


Why not join us? Or, check in to see what other ROW80 writers have planned on our BLOG or FACEBOOK page.



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

ROW80: Wednesday???

We're near the end of Round 2 for A Round of Words in 80 Days. Well, I'm still trying to fall into the rhythm of reporting in on Sunday AND Wednesday, so I'm not stopping now!

Writing: +350 on Tapestry by Weds (Goal 1,000/this week). May get another session in tonight.

Revision: Yes! Actually revamped the back matter in Standing Stones and uploaded the new version to KDP. Up next? New back matter for Rivers of Stone AND Years of Stone. Apparently, a key marketing spot in your Kindle book is right after 'the end.' That's when we're supposed to ask the reader for a review -- and list our books (cover and blurb and link). Who knew?

Other major challenge for revision? Hubby (who is a brillliant and intrepid critic) is finally reading Rivers of Stone (out since November). Did he spot some areas that need revision? Of course. Am I making a list?

Marketing: One book club is now considering Rivers of Stone for their annual calendar. Two more local book clubs to contact. Musicians found for my July reading (much less stress). Until I get the back matter updated, I can't go ahead to schedule my BookBub ad. 

Other Stuff: Actually read/commented x5 for ROW80 posts. Reactivated my Spark People tracker to help me measure progress w/diet and exercise. Used cell phone waiting area at the airport for the very first time. What a time-saver. Actually made progress on reading: Finished National Geographic issue on race. Finished two books by Sandra Brown, writer of romantic suspense, and reading two others in the genre but with less emphasis on sex. Beginning a pile of research on controlling diabetes through weight loss, diet, and exercise (swimming and yoga).

And that's the rest of the story -- until Sunday. Have a very good week. Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing on the ROW80 BLOG or FACEBOOK page. See you there!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Round 2: Week 11: Busy Week, Happy Sunday

I'm trying to avoid ranting today about national politics, which have been a distraction all week. So, the key question for ROW80 writers is: What have we accomplished this last week?

  • Wrote +1,296 on Tapestry. I'm counting any word count over 1,000 as good. Still reading (2 books by Sandra Brown so far, well written and a little dark) and researching what's involved in 'romantic suspense'. One friend suggested she'd write the sex scenes, and then I found RJ Crayton's definition: "page-turning suspense with a touch of romance." So still researching and reading the genre.
  • Preparing for a major ad with BookBub. I ran across articles on the importance of 'back matter,' the need to update the afterword in your e-book with blurbs and links to other books, among other elements. In the process, I learned how to download the latest content for the e-book from Amazon. When I popped over to my writing blog, my book list there had not been updated with my latest book! Making real progress with updating that back matter for all three books and mapped out what I need to do before setting up the ad. Note: it does take real courage to commit to a BookBub ad, since the price has nearly doubled since 3-1/2 years ago, but the mailing list has also doubled. Wish me luck.
  • Evaluating how I set, track, and evaluate goals for ROW80. I suppose this is ongoing, but with the end of Round 2 looming, I really want to focus on how I keep global, monthly, and weekly goals in sync. It's far too easy to set aside, for example, marketing for writing. At least, for me!
  • Prep for mid-July reading at a local bookstore. Totally in flux as the musician bailed, but I'm working on this.
  • Energized by Jill Dearman's ideas about how to jump-start your writing with B-A-N-G. She says:
    • B = Begin with your strongest idea.
    • A = Arrange your material into a concrete form.
    • N = Nurture your project with love, so that others may love it too.
    • G = Complete your project and let it GO out into the world to live independently.
Other: If I tell you we found a walker in excellent condition for $20 at a garage sale, that will let you know the foot is not doing so well. I did swim x3 this week, but since eating comfort food is my main strategy for stress, I'm gaining weight. Big goal for the coming week and more (once the ice cream is gone): Strategize a way to lose 5 pounds by the end of July. 
PS: We also found this gorgeous oriental lamp that reminds me beautiful objects can bring harmony. Setting clear and accountable goals creates structure. And then, there's that old butt in chair. 

Have a Happy Sunday and a very good week. Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing on the ROW80 BLOG or FACEBOOK page. See you there! 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Round 2, Week 10: Sunday Catch Up!

Wish I could report tremendous progress, but some real work got done despite my lapse in checking in with ROW80.

What happened over the last two weeks?

  • Finally finished a major beta read (and learned much in the process).
  • My dear sister visited from Tucson, and I gained 10 pounds.
  • Wrote 400 words on family history and wrote about 800 words on The Seventh Tapestry.
  • Posted my writing blog for Insecure Writer's Support Group on which is easier -- writing a title or naming characters, and read other's posts x6.
  • Attended RWA-Inland NW workshop on how to use FaceBook ads.
  • Posted a review on Annette Drake's moving and cozy read: Return to Celebration House.
  • Started analyzing novels for romantic suspense elements. Found this lovely quote by Brenda Novak. She says there are two types of tension writers seek to create, "the tension found in an escalating romance, and the danger or ‘ticking time bomb’ found between the covers of a good suspense novel.”
  • Celebrated the 6-year-old granddaughter's birthday with sushi -- her request! And drove dear hubby off to hike the 60-mile Centennial Trail that follows the Spokane River. Here's the view at the end of his first day, some 9 miles later.
Near Bowl & Pitcher, Centennial Trail (2018)
So, what didn't get done? Still behind on reviews and with the writing. Maybe it's OK, and maybe I just need my very own retreat. When I skip writing for a few days, the story and the characters seem to fade. So back to reading James Scott Bell, Just Write and beginning each day with writing!

Round 2 is winding down. We'll take a little break on June 20 for A Round of Words in 80 Days, giving us a little time to assess our goals AND our progress.

You can go to the ROW80 BLOG or FACEBOOK page to see what others are doing. Have a great week!