Tag Archives: #RSWrite

Creating a Space


This will be a bit of a combo post for the ROW80 (the new round just started as of today; Monday was goal-setting) and the RSWrite challenge (which I missed a week of posting/commenting on).

I’ve taken a bit of a step back from my online life to re-immerse myself into things that really matter.  Not that all of you don’t matter, but the people here in my home now, family coming into town for the holidays…  they aren’t here forever, my son grows and changes daily…  I needed to be here with them for a while, even more than normal.  They’re gone now, and the Boodle wants to work on his own things (no one in this family can deal with large numbers of people for too long without needing to retreat for days after); now I have some space to create and think… and write again.

Which means it’s time for new….


I’m totally bypassing the overview of my last RSWrite goals except to say things are progressing.  I’m still in love with the historical aspects of my story, but I’m also finding a lot of things about my MCs that I hadn’t expected…  things that make them so real.

Here’s a(n unedited) line I wrote last night at our local NaNoWriMo group that fits most of what I’m been writing lately:

How many of the gifts he’d received over the years had been bought by his father’s guard and had not been personal touches of paternal love and affection, he wondered.

It’s a new Round of Words in 80 Days and new goals are the words of the day.  And simplicity seems to be the important thing to focus on now.  I’m finding that I haven’t really settled back into writing as a daily commitment after my long departure from last summer.

More than anything, I want to work on that.  I want to recreate that space I had where I had to write daily—had to because the characters wouldn’t let me ignore them for longer than a few hours at a time, had to because the stories needed to find a way out of my head and onto the page.

I’m starting to get back to that.  I’ve stayed away from my computer more and have returned to carrying notebooks with me everywhere.  In the past week, I’ve increased my writing daily in spurts and dribbles on the page.

The physical act of writing makes me want to write.  (It seems to work the same for my son as well, as we’ve found with some of his writing projects he’s been doing lately.)  There is a magic to pen and paper.

So my goals for both this upcoming week (and throughout the ROWnd) are:

  • bring a notebook
  • allow myself a space to just relax and look around and observe
  • write observations down
  • a minimum of fifteen minutes of physical exercise daily (on days I exercise I get much more, but then I flump on other days…  consistency is key).
  • make a space to write with pen and paper at home again

That’s it.

I do have one short term goal I should add, since the RSWrite goals are weekly and this needs to be done by Monday:

  • write my ROW80 sponsor post


Altered Designs

RSW8ROW80LogocopyI forgot a few things…  or I just didn’t take them into account when I made my weekly plans for Ready. Set. Write! and the ROW80.  I honestly don’t remember which I did now.  All that really matters is that plans ended up being toast.

That said, how did I actually do:

  • How I did on last week’s goal(s)
    • Transition scenes:  I finished one of the new scenes I’d discovered a week before, and none of the original two.  I really feel stumped with one.  Possibly because it’s a long scene and stuff has to happen, but none of it is very exciting  Work on transitions continues.
    • Rereading for continuity: continuing process!  It was kind of fun.  I put my story into Kindle format and have read it on my iPhone for style as well as continuity.  Learned a lot about the difference between printed page and ebook “feel” when it comes to Text Appeal.
    • Mapmaking: Not the map I was planning on sharing, but a version of the original “world” map for my stories.  The map I need to work on will be a detail of the seaport area of the Lanii lands to the north, and I’m still working out details there.


  • My goal(s) for this week
    • Shift focus from transitions to the main climax of CTSS.  Yes, I still need to work on the transitions, but I’m hoping that by adding in some more exciting writing (and researching) I can do one transition scene a week (or two) without fighting myself so much
    • Finish assessing student projects and homeschooling paperwork for son
    • Relax and read a for-fun-only book
  • A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

An avalanche in a canyon…  well, there was a canyon, but the avalanche didn’t happen; it was held up in mid air and the people walked under it.  Ain’t magic grand?  Now the fun part is figuring out who is going to pay for all that effort…

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)

Last week was the last week of school.  Not just the end of classes for my son,  but my last week of teaching and that meant final papers and reports… stories from my many awesome students* and a few end of the year class events to deal with, that I didn’t take into account when I set my writing goals.

I also didn’t take into account that Father’s Day and our wedding anniversary were this weekend…  and my husband and I had plans, which I’d forgotten in the blur of closing out the school year and converting to summer mode.  Of course, I dropped most of my writing goals this weekend.

  • Something I love about my WIP 

History…  I love history in that it’s the study of people and the choices they made (or the choices historians believe they made).   I like trying to guess why people do the things they do.  And I love looking at old things, like stone walls, old factories, pieces of old lace and jewelry and wondering about the people who created these things.  In the Swan Song Series, each book deals with something from the past ‘made new’ again.  It’s like creating the history of history.

To make note of ROW80 goals that weren’t already addressed:

  •  Pushups/general fitness — two karate classes, one weapons/No staff class; a few shortish walks and free weight work—did daily  push-up practice
  • Camera time daily — five days
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — daily lessons/practice
  • MOOCs — none
  • ROW80 Sponsor duties — on track
  • JuNoWriMomaintained minimum sprint hosting time

To see and support more people in these two online writing challenges please click on these links:

* Our of my twelve Mixed Language Arts students, I received five final draft short stories: two in Italian, one in French, one in Irish and one in Chinese (simplified).  I also received four second-draft short stories: two in Japanese, one in English (but researched for British events), and one in Danish.  I also received one first-draft copy of a Japanese story.  These students were doing mentored self-study (ie. working at their own pace with assigned projects and vocabulary/dialogue assistance from me ).   The only two children who didn’t hand in any project were my French students who worked on creating a French tea party with me. 

I’m very proud of all of my students. 

A BCS Maypole

A BCS Maypole

Step by Step

After the last few weeks I should know better than to expect miraculous progress in anything.  I do know better, but…  well, I was really hopeful that I could pull off more now that Life had settled to a dull roar.

RSW8I didn’t make the greatest progress on my goals for either  the ROW80  or the Ready. Set. Write! challenges, but I did make progress.  I count this week as a win, as I discovered things about the way I’d approached both challenges that will help me build to a pace that will allow me to get stuff done and holds leeway for the Real World to have its input too.

My first two ROW80 goals, 1) write every day and 2) spend time in my storyworld daily,  fit perfectly with my three RSW goals for this week:

  • fully draft two main transition scenes in Courting the Swan Song
  • do read for consistency in Book 1 and 3 regarding city description and Alanii’s exposure to Wanderer people
  • add to overall world map drawing; begin map of Darshaila

So…  how’d I do on these….  RSW style:

  • How I did on last week’s goal(s)

I spent a lot more time working on the transition scenes than I wanted to, in part because I discovered that two scenes I was trying to connect had accidentally been happening at the same time and one of them needed a rewrite for continuity’s sake.  Hooray for rereading!

I didn’t get much drawing  done.  What I did do was research development of Iron Age  seaports and how streets were (or rather weren’t) often planned around the various trades and needs of the local citizenry as well as visitors.  The city I need to make is going to be larger than I’d planned.  I promise; I will post a picture of it when I’m done.

  • My goal(s) for this week
    • Transition scenes: I didn’t finish either of the two transition scenes, but have both plotted out and some fleshing done.  I also found five more that need to be written (two are very short).  So work on transitions ensues.
    • Rereading for continuity: continuing process!  It’s already helped a bunch
    • Mapmaking: having identified real-world examples, I’m into the actual drawing phase now.  Kind of embarrassed, as my drawing skills have suffered over time.
  • A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

The Hastor’s eyes were wide, innocent as a thief’s. “I didn’t say anything.”   A broad grin crossed the man’s face as he dipped his head around enough to look at his sister.

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week

Myself,  be it a desire to flump and just de-stress after the  past couple of weeks or my own inherit lack of organization… I was my own worst enemy.

I was also my own best friend however, because I did keep urging myself back on track.  Slow progress, but real progress.  I’ll take it.  😀

  • Something I love about my WIP

The Swan Song Series allows for several books, each of which deal with a particular event or person in the world’s existence, and the more I explore the lives of my characters, more rich and real the world becomes.  Though I wouldn’t be opposed to selling the series, I’m writing it for me, writing a set of stories I love, and I can sense this in the text, this passion.  I reread sections I wrote months ago and instantly find myself immersed.  It’s a happy feeling.

ROW80LogocopyTo make note of ROW80 goals that weren’t already addressed:

  •  Pushups/general fitness — one karate class, mostly flumpy, no push-ups
  • Camera time daily — missed most days
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — daily lessons/practice
  • MOOCs — none
  • ROW80 Sponsor duties — on track
  • JuNoWriMo hosted scheduled sprints plus an extra three hours of unscheduled hosting

Thanks to everyone who visited last week and welcomed me into the RSW. I’ve had fun visiting your pages, seeing all the projects you’ re doing, and the cool ways you’ve chosen to inspire yourselves. You’ve already taught me a ton about myself and my approach to writing.

For people interested in the RSW: sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs (Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Erin L. Funk) each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

For people interested in the ROW80: check out our main blog at A Round of Words in 80 Days and visit our members via this Monday’s linky here.