Tag Archives: software

What to ROW About


One word:  SLOTHS!

There are so many things that should be put into the blog today.  I think I’m going to make it bare bones…  It feels more honest.  Not that it’s any more or less truthful to say that things went well and I just don’t feel like trying to describe it all in an essay online.    It’s just how I feel.  I have other directions where I would rather devote my energy.


(Photo credit: iamrandygirl)

Still, I should probably include some of the awesomeness…  If only because the point of these blogs is to actually “connect” with other people, and I am not making as much of an effort to connect via my blog as I probably should.  It’s not because I don’t want to spend time doing things.  It’s because I find the creation and plotting and planning of blogs so mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Blogging feels (to me) like what one might call “risky writing” because of its oh-so personal nature.  I never know when I am writing too much, too little, boring the reader…  And so much of the stuff (like this) is personal.

But because of the ROW80, I do it.

So, first piece of awesomeness…  The car is fixed…mostly.  The work it needs now, while important, is not likely to leave us stranded anywhere.  Just doing that has turned five grey hairs on my head back to brown.

Second piece of awesomeness…  The wheels have begun turning once more on my degree.  I have started the application process to SUNY Albany, and while I’m experiencing a few small snags in dealing with my old schools for records, everything is moving along steadily.

Third piece of awesomeness…  The Boodle has been asked to perform in a recital by his piano teacher.  (Yes, I know this has nothing to do with me personally, but anyone who knows the Boodle and how much he loves to perform will know why I’m so happy for him.  If you don’t know and would like to see some examples, here is a video (on Facebook) of him dancing.)

Fourth piece of awesomeness …  Carmina Burana.

I really shouldn’t have much more to say than that, but I cannot help myself.  I went to see the Albany Symphony Orchestra and Pro Musica  perform it with my friend Barb on Saturday.  Mostly I went because Barb had humored my earlier choices for concerts.  My one experience with Carl Orff’s musical composition was a CD a friend played for me, trying to share what was one of his favorite pieces of music.  I wasn’t impressed, and I normally love classical music.  And I love the stories and songs that Orff used for his creation.

After the concert I thanked Barb profusely for convincing me to join her and explained my prior hesitation.  She  stated that she’s never found a recording of the piece to ever do it justice either.  This (hour-long) version on Youtube by the UC David Orchestra is far better than the CD I heard.  The live performance though?  The buzzing as my blood raced through my body to  feed my thundering heart and the ecstatic vibration that filled me….  neither faded until well into the next day.    I don’t think I’ve EVER felt myself so moved by any piece of music before.  

But don’t take my word for it.  There is a link at the bottom of this page from a review via the local Times Union‘s site.

I saw a rock. Hi!And a fifth (but only last for the sake of posting) piece of awesomeness…  An amazing day off the computer, spending time with my husband and son, talking, relaxing and just “being”.  Different than simply a computer free day, this was also a re-immersion in those this that we treasure so much.  We talked (literally for hours and almost forgot to make lunch), we hugged a lot.  We played games.  We danced around the house…

Really…  these are just highlights of what ended up being an amazing week all around.

My keyboard has a bend in the middle of it.  I swear…  It wouldn’t be that remarkable, except that this is my laptop I am typing on at the moment.  And the very top row of keys is clearly swoopy.

Umm, yes!  I lost track of my thoughts.  The mind is fitting that picture so very well right now…

I’m slowly letting my pierced ears close up.  Or quickly…  Depends on how one looks at it.  I just realized, I don’t feel better when I have to worry about jewelry.  Even the lovely pieces that Michelle from Ivaldis Dream Trove custom made for me.  I love them, but I also have trouble keeping the earrings in the ears.  And finding an earring that I could sleep in…

Bradypus variegatus Deutsch: Braunkehl-Faultie...Eventually my inner sloth (a lot of sloths going about the ROW80 today…  Lauren Garafalo has an extra gorgeous one for her check-in) said…  who wants to fuss with these silly things all the time?  I mean, really!  I haven’t felt comfortable getting my ear lobes nibbled in…

Oh, yeah… hmm…

Time to give that check-in…

My original goals for this ROWnd are here.  So far, I’ve managed to catch up on the my sabbatical day, but I am running a bit behind on the “fresh fiction” I intended to write for the NaNoWriMo stories.  There has been no progress on the timeline, yet again.  But my fingers have been flying across the keyboard for edits and typing.  I’m at least 3 pages ahead on typing, and about a half a chapter ahead on editing.  Small chapter, but still ahead.

I am starting to explore Liquid Story Binder XE to see what I think of it compared to Scrivener, so the new software feature is a “check”.  So far I’m not inspired to move to a different program.  Story Binder is “pretty”, but it’s almost distractingly so.

Oh, yeah…  and exercise.  Some, but not a lot.  Despite all the awesomeness, three days last week got wasted on migraines and nausea.  I’m rather used to it but a bit resentful.  I want to know who’s been partying out there and sending me their psychic hang overs.  I mean, I didn’t get out of any of my own sorority-pledging, frat-party crashing, college idiocy.  I shouldn’t have to do it again.  :-/

Oh, and lastly, some thoughts on e-books via Writer Beware….  So, I’m curious.  I remember my first ebook, but only because so far I’ve read two.  How about you?  How many titles do you remember?

The ROW That Should Have Been

This isn’t quite the end of the ROW, but it seems a good time to reassess this thing I have (as my husband points out) put myself through.  Maybe consider things I have done or need to do.  Not as easy as it feels as if it should be–it’s as if the mind became stopped with all the social media and blogging.

That’s how I feel of late.  I have nightly dreams about blogging and commenting on blogs and nightmares about making a dumb statement because I’m overtired (another thing that seems to have happened since starting this process–I am perpetually tired and dosed up on pain relievers for the tension headaches).  I’m overtired.  I’ve taken to spending far more time at my computer trying to keep up with the blogs and the pages referred to in each blog, plus my research and my ….

It has to stop.

Deutsch: Zentrale Heterochromie: Grüne Iris, u...

Image via Wikipedia

No, not my participation in the ROW80.  If anything, all of this grief has taught me an incredibly useful lesson.  I need to participate, because I need to find my functioning point.  Until this, I hadn’t realized how little I was connecting with people.  Not just online, but in real life.  I was able to write fiction, but it seemed to be the product of me evading the rest of the world unless I wished to “use it” for research or creative fuel of some kind or another.  Or escapism.  Plenty of escapism.

But I also didn’t have to “answer” to anyone; I didn’t have to connect.  If my husband asked how the writing was going, I could ask him to read a section and he would say something along the lines of “Eventually”, (which isn’t as bad as it seems, since he did start reading stuff, though not for long).  The point is, my writing world and my real world lived in two different vacuums and it was nothing to get completely swallowed up in them and have nothing to do with the other.  And the only common ground seemed to be my son and my husband.  They were part and parcel of me…  And I couldn’t escape them in either place.

Not that I wanted to.   Most of the time….

So, let’s look at what my original goals way back at the beginning of January were….  Eek!  Looks like I didn’t get very far with most of them.  If I had to do a line by line: well…

  1.  Review Progress Weekly: I did pretty much review and adjust my goals on a weekly basis.  In fact, I completely rewrote them once.
  2.  Learn New Creativity Tools: Failed on this.  After my failure with Tweetdeck, I stopped.  I never picked up Triberr or the mind-mapping software.  Heck, I never downloaded and setup the memory check disk that I was going to make to find out WHY my desktop machine will sometimes just randomly reboot itself on me or just freeze (no blue screens here).  
  3.  Connect with Fellow ROWers: This I actually glowed at!  If it is possible to be too successful at something, I may have done that here.
  4.  3 Gym Visits a Week: Never renewed my YMCA membership, and am only getting back into exercising now, the old-fashioned way….yardwork!
  5. Fiction for Pleasure:  HAH!  I’ve spent most of my reading time on reading challenges….  And while some of the books were enjoyable, they always had this sense of “duty” to them.  I probably shouldn’t be doing reading challenges any more than I should have tried the 50/50/Me challenge.  But I am doing some, and I think they are worthy endeavors.
  6. Dance: I can’t say I managed every day, but yeah, I managed most days.  At least and 80% or greater success rate on this one.

Fortunately these goals were my “goals for the year” and I still have time to keep working on the,.  What do people say?  That it takes at least 30 days to do something before it becomes a habit?  Well, it’s not a habit yet (heck, with today’s post, I hit 171 days of writing at 750words.com and I still have to force myself to remember to type my words every night).  Maybe I just don’t have the kind of mind that builds habits as easily as some people do.

Critters - Clear It

Critters - Clear It (Photo credit: avlxyz)

No…  that’s certainly not it.  One only needs to look at my tea collection and my special pens and notebooks, or my need to have things in hardcopy to do line edits.  The biggest problem I had as a member of the online critique group Critters (which, BTW, I highly recommend to anyone in the speculative fiction areas.  They deal with short fiction mostly, but they also have a great program for novels) was hard copies.  It got to the point where I had so much paper devoted to these stories by other people–I was literally losing my own stories in the stacks.  And the trees?  They were so piked off they didn’t want any hugs from me.

But my quirks and habits aside, I did have another original set of goals focused solely on writing:

  1. But I never created that timeline.  It may end up being a Round 2 goal of it’s very own.
  2. I reworked the typing down to 5 pages (which I missed this week by one page, but since I had six for last week, it came out even)
  3. I managed about 350 words on my WiPs a day, not 500.
  4. Editing was so inconsistent it’s hard to tell if I kept up with it.  Some days I managed almost 10 pages, others I didn’t edit a word, not if the spellchecker didn’t complain about it…

So…  There we are.  It’s a process.  And despite all the failures, the successes seem to be holding their own.  I never meant it to be a one Round of Words game.  It’s about learning how to become a professional writer and about how to live as one.  Processes take time.  Learning often takes time.  And I have over forty years of relearning to do.

It’s all good.

So…  Here’s the linky tool.  Please check out some other ROWers and give them some love.   That’s part of what this community is about.

Friday Snack Pack 1.5

Short snack tonight, one of those “Open the fridge and peek at a couple of covered dishes that have sat there so long you are no longer sure what they had been, but they don’t smell bad yet” things…  It’s late, the bulb blew a month or two back, and it all looks suspiciously edible, but not.

Served up for the evening, we have:

  1. Dinner (and writing) music
  2. A huge bag of candy, or it it well-done steak (Oh, no!  Spoiler alert!)
  3. Succulent deserts for Zombies….

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