Monthly Archives: March 2014

ST4S – Five Years Ago Today

Since I don’t have a ROW80 post to write today, and I’ve somewhat promised myself a break from “trying to write” anything (especially stories, but pretty much anything), here’s a picture from five years ago today.

IMG_3719_webIt’s of a house in the hamlet of Alcove, set against a creek and waterfall.  The owners have taken to building a spiral staircase that opens down by the water’s edge.  The stairs were being made, much the way spiral staircases had been in old European castles and and fortresses, with huge stone slabs carefully balanced against each other.  Every year I like to go and see the progress they’ve made on their work.  Some years, a lot.  Some, not so much, such as the years after the flooding caused by the hurricanes Irene and Katrina.

It’s an amazing process to watch, even as distantly as I have.  To imagine all this having been done for centuries with mostly hand tools and manual labor is incredible.  Even now, here, this is amazing work.  That waterfall flows quite fast and strong for a good portion of the year.

But the view they must have….

The Easy Way Out



Whirl-fire (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

Doing a WIPpet this week almost didn’t happen.  I didn’t realize what was wrong until reading Dawn Montgomery’s ROW80 sponsor post Monday.  In fact, the post resonated so much with me, I reblogged it.

Slogging along editing my work hasn’t been working well.  I want to spend time with the “fun characters”.  While I like Alanii, I feel I know him too well.  I really like ‘Listii , but he gets no face time in Courting.   And even he doesn’t surprise me as much as I feel like I need now.

So, next week, since the ROW80 will be on break, I’m also going to take a week off of the WIPpet to just spend some time having fun without expectations of my characters.  I can’t even promise I’ll write or work on anything writing related…  thus no Work In Progress.

All that doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything since last week.  Here are four small paragraphs from Courting the Swan Song ( 2-6 = 4).

The Semisnii was called to join him in the Laniini’s private study, a fact that Alanii appreciated greatly. It suggested less official sanction of their meeting. Or rather, a more official level to the meeting and a less personal one on his part.

Natural Woman

Natural Woman (Photo credit: patriziasoliani)

Again, when he saw the woman, Alanii was reminded of his first impressions of her. Kiriina was incredibly lovely. It was enough to make him wonder how she’d been ignored for so long by the other houses for their sons. After all, her recent escapades proved her to be as much the proper House Lady as any other woman, and her appearance would have been a boon to nearly any man’s arm.

Even your own.

Alanii was beginning to hate his conscience. Why, he wondered, could he not bring himself to take the easy way out, the way that had been handed to him, the way that stood now before him with false demureness and gorgeous blond curls… Why, when all the world seemed set against his desire to make good on his words to Vissellii Marae, was he so determined to do so?

Tossing confetti (who doesn’t love confetti?) and cheering on our WIPpet Mistress of Ceremonies, KL Schwengel for directing the WIPpet linky each week.  Come on and spend some time with us.  We’re a fun bunch.

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyWelcome to the last check-in for Round 1 of 2014.  Wow…  is it really 2014?  I could have sworn just a few years back we were partying like it was 1699.  😀

Well, let’s spruce things up with more than just check-in notes, but also a note or two on how things have changed since the beginning of the round.  After all, the ROW80 is a challenge.  It may be the “challenge that knows you have a life”, but having a life shouldn’t stop us from trying to improve ourselves as much as we can.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences  sentences written, but lacking the fiction element
  • overall, I kept this goal on track; some weeks I missed a few days here and there, but yeah…  on track
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   slow, slow progress
  • not even close; I’ve been plodding along on with a pace that would make a tortoise giggle, but I did work on it
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) on target
  • this goal came out fine; some ST4S posts ended up being posted on Monday, but otherwise, all good
  • maintain active sponsor participation doing good
  • most sponsor tasks didn’t get done on “the day”, but everything has gotten done
  • energize myself with more physical activity two workouts Monday, slow stretches and movement Tuesday
  • seeing a steady improvement here; joining in the YMCA Fitness Challenge probably has helped
  • reclaim my writing space  haven’t touched
  • very inconsistent progress here, one week on, one week off
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) email sorting, nothing more
  • somewhat the same story, though usually the weeks alternated; clearly more consistency needed here
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  Boodle Time!!!  (now I need Hubby Time)
  • this goal has been a big time win all ROWnd, and life is so much better for it
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) one sprint
  • I added this goal mid-round because I’d noticed a lack of connection with my fellow writers; progress has been inconsistent here, but I’m glad I tried for it

In all, I would call this round more chaotic than consistent (and if you remember my original goal was to build consistency in my writing process.  I don’t call it a loss, but I would like to continue to pursue a trend toward more regular writing (among my other goals).

Veggies, lentil, meat - you could easily pass ...

Veggies, lentil, meat – you could easily pass that off as a balanced meal (Photo credit: sumeet.moghe)

Since this upcoming round will also include JuNoWriMo (which I will definitely be involved in) as well as one of the CampNaNoWriMo (which I may or may not be involved in), I don’t think I want to change the focus too much.  My plate feels full enough for good emotional health.  Better limit the number of snacks…

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Burn Out and Recovery for #ROW80 2014, First Quarter by Dawn Montgomery

Normally I don’t reblog here, BUT this is a great post… and I need the reminder

A Round of Words in 80 Days: The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life

Fifteen months, two weeks, and three days.

That was my longest consecutive burnout period. Creatively and with my everyday work load (I was in the military. Lots of deployment, work pressure, highly technical and competitive field, battle stress, and writing pressure on top of it all). During that time, I started many things and finished nothing. I floundered in confidence and my publishers increased pressure (I had no firm deadlines, but I had a solid readership).

Emails came in from readers asking if I would work on a series or create a follow-up to this or that couple. My family didn’t get it. Writing income slumped and it wasn’t like I wasn’t working. I was crying at the computer. Hands on the keyboard. Typing all the mess they tell you to in order to “get the muse working”. Nothing helped. Why couldn’t I speed write like mad and “get over”…

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