Category Archives: Miscellany

Back to Blue Stars

I’m a bit tired today. I did not get much sleep last night. Monday’s interview went well and today I had a skills test that I passed. My next interview is scheduled for this coming Monday. So, there is much more prep and practice to come over the next few days. I really want this job. That is where my focus is right now.

Yesterday, I finally took a day off from writing. It was a little bittersweet to end my streak. I was running errands and by the time I got back, I just didn’t want to write. So, I let it go. It felt good to make the choice though. Today starts a new run. I don’t know if it will last as long as the last one but we’ll see.  For every day that I write, I get a blue star. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing blue stars on my calendar. The blank spot on yesterday’s date looks a little lonely.

Today, I got back to novel analyzing. I started working on Jennifer Estep’s Karma Girl. I just read that book last week I think. So, the scenes are still very fresh in my mind and therefore easier to analyze quickly. I am hoping it doesn’t take very long to get through. I’m actually excited to be working on this goal again.

As for reading, I’m finishing up the last book in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage series today. I really like the series. I am a little sad that I don’t have more of them to read. I did see talk of another one on her website. Fingers crossed. No reading in the craft department. That’s cool for now.

Catch you guys Sunday. Happy ROWing!



One Word 2011 and 2012

This time last year,  I was reading Freshly Pressed or tag surfing. No matter. I stumbled across a post about choosing  a one-word mantra for the year instead of setting resolutions. That resonated with me immediately. I’d stopped setting resolutions years ago. Every year, I’d identify what went well and areas where I wanted to move in a new direction, but never set any concrete to-dos. So, the one word idea really suited me.

Words like perseverance and strength popped into my head. Those are words that were profound for me and comforting. Easy. They just didn’t feel right. I decided to let a word choose me rather than me choosing it. I put it all out of my mind knowing that my word would come to me eventually. And it did.

I was cleaning my room when it hit me. I wrote “open” on a notecard and tacked it to my wall. I stared at it. The word didn’t seem very deep and certainly didn’t make me feel much of anything. I stuck with this one because it presented itself with such clarity that there could be no other.

When I look back over this year, I can truly see how being open has served me.

  • I stopped “shoulding” all over myself. I had to let go of preconceived notions, self-imposed limitations, and just plain old fear.
  • I’ve met lots of new people– online and in person.
  • New experiences galore. I went to a taping of  a tv show. I’ve tried so many new foods and cooked tons of new recipes. I’ve participated in Row 80, other writing challenges and workshops.
  • I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost this year in total, but I know I’ve lost forty pounds since mid June.

Those are just some of the results that have come my way from just being open to new ways of being, doing, and thinking. The one-word mantra worked for me. It is now my tradition. With the new year a few short hours away, my one word for 2012 is already written across my heart. Soon, I’ll write it down on a notecard and tack it  to the wall.

The word of choice–action. It came to me sometime in October in the midst of NaNo mania. I am a thinker and a dreamer. I’m good with ideas. I love to read, write, and converse. I’m not always so good about bringing my ideas to fruition, at least in my personal life anyway. So, I need to focus on doing more, completing more instead of  just starting things. That requires action. There you have it. Bring on 2012! Happy New Year!

Final Check-In 2011

Wow, this feels really bittersweet. I’m excited and sad that this is the final check-in for round four and for the year. A  lot of things are up in the air for me at this point. I have no clue what 2012 will bring, but I do know that I’ll be rocking the row again.

Since last check-in, I’ve written every day. I haven’t touched the novel analyzing. But as I’ve said in my last two check-ins, I’m not really that surprised or disappointed by that. I’m going to enjoy my holidays, and figure out what my goals will be for next round. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this challenge, it’s that all progress counts.

Round four has been a fabulous experience for me. Watching other writers set and pursue goals has given me confidence in my own process. Some weeks are great. I get tons of  work done. Others, I barely pick up a pen  or crack open a book. But it is all to the good as long as I keep at it. And this challenge is a great support for the long haul. It puts the focus on the day to day effort that’s required to make this dream of mine come true. I am truly grateful to have found it.

I hope that you all have brilliant holidays, whatever you may celebrate. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with you in 2012. Until then.

Lazy Row 80 Check-in

Hey guys!

It has been a crazy busy week. So much so that I skipped Wednesday’s check-in. I always feel guilty when I do that. I don’t like it. I’m back today even though I don’t have much to report. I haven’t worked on novel analyzing at all. I’ve missed the last few days of writing. I’m hoping to get some done today.

Other things have been preoccupying my time. I’m rewriting my resume, and working on the job hunt. I’ve been shopping for groceries and Christmas presents. And now, the present wrapping marathon has commenced. I’ve packed up my bags and moved in with family for the next week. I know that I won’t be focused on writing goals  for a while, probably not until the New Year. But I am still moving along .

I did finish A Clash of Kings. The further I get into this series, the more  I love George R. R. Martin. I find myself so invested in his characters and in his world. He gives them hell for sure which makes for great reading. I am number 22 on the list for the next book right now. I’m sure it’ll be next year when I get to it.

This round is winding down so quickly. I hope all is well with you guys. I hope you’re getting more done than me or at least enjoying some down time. Until Wednesday!


Checking In Row 80

I’m not feeling very loquacious today. That’s probably because I am preoccupied. My mind has gone off to Westeros. I dove into the second book of the  A Song of  Ice and Fire series  by George R. R. Martin. A Clash of Kings had been no less addictive than the first book. So, I can honestly say that I haven’t been doing much else.

I’ve gotten my writing in every day. So, I am satisfied with that. I’ve been working on novel analyzing as well. I just haven’t done as much of it as I’d like to, but it is getting done. Between reading and holiday shopping and planning, I feel like things are slowing down a bit. That’s cool for now.  I’m just going to go with it. The new year will be hear soon and I’ll be aiming high again. Back to Westeros I go. I hope things are going well for you all, my lovely Row 80 family. I can’t believe there’s only a few check-ins left for this round. It seems to have gone by so quickly. Anyway, until Wednesday. 😉

Ta Da–Row 80 Check-in

I did it! I went back to the book. The time off did wonders. I still see the writing in the same light, but it’s been easier to get through. Part of that is the break I took. My eyes are fresh and my energy renewed. I actually kind of like analyzing. It’s a totally different way to look at some of my favorite stories.

The best stories, in my mind, are always the ones that leave me in awe of the author. I’m all glowing and satisfied, and asking myself “How did they do that?” Analyzing those same stories gives me answers. It forces me to tinker and take the work apart piece by piece which is turning out to be more fun than I actually thought possible.

The other thing that is working for me is the thirty minute sessions. I try to get as much done as I can in that time period then I move on to something else. So far, so good.

I’ve gotten plenty of writing in over the last few days too. Happy with my progress. Hope things are going well for you all as well. Catch ya Sunday!

What’s That Smell? Row 80 check-in

This week seemed to go by really quickly. I am amazed at how fast the new year is closing in. Excited by that. I had mixed results. I’ve gotten words in every day. Some days have absolutely been more productive than others on that front. I haven’t gotten back into novel analyzing yet. I suspect that I won’t get to it until the middle of the month. Or maybe I’m just stalling because I don’t want to go back to Undead and Unwed. *giggles* Okay, so I know that’s the case. I love/hate that I’m getting better at calling bullshit on myself. My excuses just don’t hold up like they used to. 

Yes, I’m busy, but not so busy that I can’t spend a half hour every other day or so on it. I just don’t relish the idea of sitting down to that book again. I know , however, that if I start on another book, I won’t go back to it at all. It’s too easy to just pick up another one. I did that in October just to hit the goal that I set for myself. I’m only doing one book this month. And that’s the one. Sigh. So, I’ll make sure to have something to report in that area on Wednesday. Maybe going back to it with fresh eyes will make all the difference. Here’s hoping. Until next check-in.

December Goals–Row 80 Check-in

Tomorrow is December 1st, and I need to get my goals for the month together. I’m going back to my study of plot and structure. I am putting novel analyzing back on the agenda. Being pressed for time, I’m only aiming to analyze one novel this month. I had planned to commit to a blogging schedule this month, but a lot has changed. So, I’m holding off on that. I’ll try to add a couple of non-Row 80 posts this month instead. Vague, I know.  Of course, I’ll continue with the goal to write every day.

As for current goals, I’ve made my daily writing goal. This is the last day on NaNoWriMo. Though I didn’t get a win, I made a lot of progress. I lasted much longer than I did last year. I got more written on my fanfic project than ever thought I would. I participated in word sprints for the first time and I’ve found them very useful. I’ll be incorporating them into my regular writing schedule. Maybe I’ll get a purple bar next year. Who knows?

Congrats to all NaNo participants. I hope you found it worthwhile. And for all you winners… a big hip hip huzzah to you!

I’m glad to be back to the sanity of Row 80 though. Thanks to all you guys for holding down the fort. Catch you Sunday!


Another Row 80 Check-in

November is winding down and I am both happy and sad to see it go. I’m glad because NaNo will be over for the year and I can let go of all drama associated with it. I’m so happy for all you guys who actually did it. And I’m totally wishing I’d gotten my own purple bar this year. It’s just not going to happen.

I’m sad because I feel pressed for time to make some things happen. And I don’t know how they will turn out. I can only focus on what is within my control and trust that the rest will work itself out. Anxious, to say the least.

But on to other things. I just finished reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. It’s a book I had been planning to read for quite some time, but never got around to it. Then the tv show came out and I fell in love. My favorite characters are Tyrion Lannister, a little-loved dwarf with a sharp tongue and intellect, and Arya Stark, a little lady who wants to be anything but.  I read the book afterwards because I wanted to get the experience as the author intended. I have to say that the adaptation was pretty true to the book. I feel another series obsession coming on. I’ve put myself on the reserve list for book two at the library. Can’t wait to get it.

As for my own writing, I am on track. I’ve been writing every day since my Sunday hiccup. It’s been scattered though, not all on the same project. I’m just happy to get words in wherever they may be. Until Wednesday.

I’m grateful–Row 80 check-in

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and while I make it a habit to be grateful, this holiday makes it especially poignant. When things aren’t going quite as you hoped, it is easy to lose sight of what’s going well. Here’s a list of things I’m grateful for today and every day.

The Encouragers- These are the people who support you when things look good and when they don’t. They are the people who help you clean your wounds when you fall on your face. Then they tell you to get your ass back out there. These people focus on your strengths, and handle your weaknesses with firm, but gentle care. They tell you the truth even when it hurts.

The Inspirations- The inspirations are all geniuses in some form or another. They have things that they do so well that you can’t help but take notice. They make you want to do something. They make you want to be better. They make you challenge yourself. I’ve lost a few of my inspirations this year, but I am glad they were here. A moment of silence for my grandfather, David Early,Sr., Steve Jobs, Anne McCaffrey, and Heavy D.

The Laughter- No matter what’s happening, I’ve never gone a day without laughing. It keeps me sane.

The Do-overs, Fresh Starts, and Continuations- Sunday, I forgot to write. I was preoccupied with all the upheaval happening in my life right now and I just forgot. Then, I got mad because my streak was over. There was no check-in either. I was back to writing on Monday, and as you can see, back to checking in today.

My gusto for NaNo has completely died. Not the project itself, just the urge do a writing blitz. I am actually very surprised at how well the actual novel seems to be coming along. It’s just not happening at the pace set by the NaNo gods or the one I set for myself. That’s okay too. Slow pace is better than no pace.

I wonder what’s going to happen next year this time. Right now, I can honestly say I hope to ignore the NaNo glitz and keep to whatever I’m doing. But then, I tend to aim big and fail big. LOL…I’ll probably be set on diving, head first, into the madness again.

The Stretch- There is no real downside to taking risks. Yeah, I know–pain, failure, embarrassment, blah blah blah. All real, but fleeting. Whenever you do something that is beyond your comfort zone, you win regardless of the actual outcome. Even if you fail miserably, you end up in a better position than you were when you started. Yes, it sucks. It may be painful, but you learn. You move forward. You do better next time.

Happy Thanksgiving every one. Until Sunday.