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Archive for the ‘Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour’ Category

It was a busy year.

Grandbaby in February. New kitchen floor, gas range, washer and dryer in May. We bought a canoe, used it, and went on wilderness camping trip. And as usual there was golf league and art class.

Lots of walking, though no hiking this year. The focus was on learning to canoe so I’d be ready for the week-long wilderness trip.

Shoveled lots of snow. LOTS of snow.

Besides the trip to California for the grandbaby in February, David visited in June and the whole family including grandbaby was here in August. I visited my family in Montana in September and we took a major cruise in October.

My only goal for the writing this year was to keep working, and I succeeded in that. I had about 125K in new words and lots of revising, worldbuilding, and notes. Specifically:

* Revised outline for the first Sal and Troy book, and started the revised draft.
* Revised outline for Darien and started the revised draft, which stands at about 30K now.

* Revised the genie story, decided the short version wasn’t working, and expanded it to novel length for NaNoWriMo.

* Worked on PattiSue (new adult vampires and werewolves. Oh, the shame…)

* Story a Day yielded 11 ideas, 8 of which became partial drafts. Haven’t looked at them since though.

So it was a pretty good year. Except that for the second year in a row, I didn’t finish anything. And there were a lot of smaller things, like posting here, that I let slide. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Isn’t it nice to know I have things to work on next year?

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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One of the January goals I’m doing the worst on is keeping up with my blog posts :p But I haven’t been great with many of the others. Not terrible, either, for the most part.

I’ve kept up with the physical stuff and will be going on a week-long canoe trip in Canada soon, so that’s good. But I haven’t been very good about keeping to a healthy eating plan and my weight is only down slightly. And as for getting to bed at a regular time and getting enough sleep–well, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, right?

Family stuff is good. New grandbaby and all that good stuff. He’s coming to visit in August and bringing his family with him. Looks like everybody will be here for one weekend so that will be great fun. I seriously underestimated the amount of time and emotional energy I’d be giving to that.

I’ve had spurts of productivity despite that. Eleven new short stories in May for Story A Day, another 50K words on Darien’s story in April for the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo. But no luck on secondary goals. It appears that at this point in my life, though I’m as distractable as ever, I can only focus on one thing at a time.

With that in mind, and with my schedule showing large chunks of time dedicated to family and other activities over the next few months (long cruise! kids!) I decided not to try to work at times when I’m not going to get any work done anyway. I just make myself feel bad.

So the rest of the year looks like this:

July: Camp NaNoWriMo to work on the second draft of the first Sal and Troy novel.

August: family and fun

September: writing and/or editing binge. Ideally I’d like to get Sal and Troy out to market.

October: cruise!

November: NaNoWriMo, project TBD

December: family, mostly

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine 🙂

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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Better late than never? Here’s my Merry-Go-Round blog post for January 🙂

I’ve been struggling all month to write this post, not because the post itself is so difficult but because the goals I wanted to write about refused to stay put. I knew I was going to need to be flexible what with the first grandbaby arriving in February and the usual family obligations and impromptu weekends in the mountains, but the lists I came up with were more than flexible. It didn’t seem to matter what order I put things in, or whether I changed one project for another. They were all equally arbitrary and equally impossible to believe in.

The truth is, writing isn’t my only priority right now. I’m still recovering from losing my father and now worrying about my mother, I’m about to be a grandmother for the first time, I’m making progress in my painting, and it’s all contributing to huge changes inside, changes I’m only beginning to recognize. It’s like sitting on a volcano waiting for it to erupt.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when it does. Maybe nothing. Maybe just renewed energy to the things I’ve always loved. Or maybe I’m getting ready to head in an exciting new direction. But until I figure it out, I need to just keep on keeping on, while being aware that I might need to change directions.

So for the first part of the year, I’ll be working on background research for the steampunk series I started last November, mostly studying US history, especially the history of slavery. I’ll also be finishing the genie novella and possibly working on the next pass of Crows. Target date for the genie story is before grandbaby. I don’t expect to get anything done while we’re visiting; when we come back, I’ll pick up Crows.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “New Beginnings” in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour–an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the group site at the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour there. Read and enjoy!

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I’ll be resuming my participation in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour (http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com/) this month. I stopped writing it while my father was ill a couple of years ago, and it took this long for me to break through enough to resume.

I was supposed to post a couple of days ago, so I’m late (probably not for the last time :p ) but my post will be up soon, I promise.

What is the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, you ask? From the web site:

An on-going blog tour of members of the writing forum Forward Motion Writers.

In most blog tours, a single author appears on a variety of blogs, moving around the Internet and allowing the readers of those blogs get to know the author.

In the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, the authors stay on their blogs and it’s you, the reader, who takes the tour.

Each month, our participating authors from around the world agree to blog on a single topic throughout the month. By following the links in each month’s post, you’ll discover a whole bunch of new authors in a variety of genres, levels of experience, and styles of writing.

We hope you enjoy the trip and come back each month for a new spin around the globe.

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I’ve now got a writing persona, Alice M. Cole, who has her own blog at http://colealicem.com/. She’s also on Google+ and Facebook, so if you recently got a friend request from her, that’s why.

Alice was my grandmother’s name. She was a one of a kind woman, smart and funny and always ready with a helping hand and encouragement. Cole is my mother’s maiden name. M. just seemed to fit.

Most of my posts about my personal and family life, and interests such as hiking and music, will still be here. Posts about the writing life, projects, routines, and all that will be on Alice’s blog. This includes the Merry-Go-Round blog post when I resume, which will probably be later this month.

I’m not going to try to double-post everything.

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This month’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour topic was “Blocks.” My arm was still sore for typing when my day came around, but I had something I wanted to say. So I’m going to go ahead and post my contribution late:

Over the years I think I’ve run into just about every kind of block there is, from the “no time even to breathe” block to the “kids come first” block to the “fear of success” block to the “dammit I’d rather play video games” block. I’ve also had my share of real ones: the ones where your inner muse is trying to tell you there’s something seriously wrong with the story, or something in your life that needs to be addressed first; the mysterious kind that seem to come out of nowhere and settle down over one’s brain and fingers like a shroud; and (toughest of all) the self-inflicted kind.

My most recent block, which is only just fading into the past, was the self-inflicted kind.

I was reading all this “treat your writing like a business” stuff, and “write it and send it out,” and “steady output, butt in chair, plumbers don’t get writer’s block,” and a whole lot of related stuff that works really well for a lot of people. They turn out lots of stories and novels and everything, and get paid for it. Productive and happy, what’s not to like?

And if it didn’t seem to work for me — if I’m the kind of person who wakes up on an unexpectedly sunny morning and says, “Let’s go hiking today. I can write tomorrow when it’s raining,” or has days when the brain just wants to mull things over — well, that just meant I needed to learn more discipline, right?

Wrong, apparently. My productivity dried up. The more discipline I applied, the worse it got. I hated even the thought of sitting down at my desk.

It got to where I even hated to read, because that just reminded me I wasn’t writing.

Last year, as bad as it was on many fronts, did break the block. I was away from my desk and my computer and caught up in family interaction, and writing once again became my solace and necessary friend. I wanted to write again. Circumstances meant I could only write small bits at first, but that was what I needed. Then small bits added to stories I never quite finished. Most recently, a lot of small bits added to a fantasy novella added up to a complete draft submitted to Torrid.

So things are looking up.

Most interestingly, today I was poking through files from two and three years ago, finding files where I had dumped ideas and partial stories while I banged my head against the projects I was “supposed” to be working on. If I had finished even half of them when the idea hit me and was fresh and ready to go, I’d have close to 40 stories.

No wonder my muse quit talking to me. Why should she waste her breath when I wasn’t listening?

So, yeah. Self-inflicted. Hopefully I can avoid making that mistake again!

Today’s post was inspired by the “blocks” prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour! Up next: D Jordan Redhawk.

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