Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

This is a wrap up for week #5. The workshop is starting week #6.

I have, just 5 minutes ago, sent off the finished manuscript to editor. My brain is ruined. I am a little dismayed by how exhausted I am right before I start the work week.

I wish I were more excited about it. At the very end I was still messing around with things and my computer froze during a save so I lost a little bit. I think I’m too tired to be a good judge of what I did. It’s done. Mission accomplished.

This week I will work on the blurb and otherwise give myself a break before I hammer on the promotion stuff. I might try to finalize the prequel story as well.

I made another fail loaf. I had the same problem last week and figured the sourdough was weak. Now I think the kitchen is much warmer than when I usually bake and I’m letting it sit too long. Haven’t had time to research properly. Homemade fail loaf is still better than store bought bread.

(Nice arty reflection shot) Also, RIP Black and Decker toaster. My parents gave this to me when I moved into my Lake Oswego apartment in 1992. I’ve been with this toaster oven longer than I’ve been married. We’re guessing the heat shield failed because Bob put in some bread to toast and minutes later black smoke and a smell like Satan’s butthole came pouring out of it. It’s in the backyard. We’re afraid to stand too close to it.

Last I checked the write-a-thon raised over $13,000. It’s not too late to donate. Even a few bucks is appreciated. You can sponsor any of these wonderful writers:

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira
Tracy
Douglas
Me

And huge thanks to everyone who’s participated.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5

Clarion West is starting week 5 today. I am reporting on my write-a-thon progress from Week #4.

I did all the things I said I’d do. A draft of the blurb/bleargh exists and I am finalizing the manuscript like a champ. I’m sending it off one week from today and I need every minute to work on it.

This week is a quick garden report:

Remember this? This is one of the tomato plants about a week after I planted it Memorial Day weekend. I wish I had a photo from when I first put them in the ground because they were about as big as my thumb.

There will be an update at the end of this post.

This was the first dahlia this yard. I have a yellow one and a few red and a couple of big pink ones out front. There are more on the way.

Check out that franken flower in the middle. It’s a head taller than the others. What’s up with that? And yes, I realize I have way too many for that tiny patch. They volunteer and I yank tons of them out but I always underestimate them. There’s one little tomato planted back there that is overrun with sunflowers and pumpkin leaves.

This is a backyard tomato that I grew from a seed. I think it’s a Stupice which is an early tomato. Probably helps if you plant it earlier which I did not.

Backyard pumpkin. In the early days the best pumpkins grew out front. This year the backyard is where the cool squash are hanging out.

Here they are – the huge tomatoes out front and growing like crazy.

Thanks again to everyone contributing to the write-a-thon. The last report said $9631 raised so far (not me, for the whole thing). Small donations are welcome. If you’re still considering a donation, please sponsor one of my great Clarion West classmates:

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira
Tracy
Douglas
Me

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Klamath River upriver from Orleans, July 2017

So to clarify, I am updating my progress for week #3. We are starting week #4 today.

My work flow was out of whack due to a my trip to California. But I did the following:

1. I finished the teaser story for the romance series. It’s shorter than expected but a clean draft so shouldn’t be too much work to get it ready for distribution.

2. I worked on polish and fixing on the romance manuscript. I also figured out a fix to some of the things that were bothering me about the ending.

3. I didn’t do the blurb. I can’t help it, I keep avoiding the blurb. I did epic administrivia and worked in the yard during the hottest part of the day. I found all sorts of things to do instead of work on the blurb. I’ve got 2 more weeks.

I am going to abandon the idea of revisions to the spec fic short story that I have been submitting. I only have 2 more weekends to get the manuscript finished so all my attention will be devoted to that.

Same general area. Klamath River upriver from Orleans, March 2017

The rental house next door is empty again. I am assuming it will be rented again. That will make the 9th tenants in 15 years. We’ve been lucky the last couple of times. We’ll see how our luck holds out.

We also had baby raccoons in the yard this morning. It was daylight so I was a little worried about them. We have a big hedge and no one is next door so I hope they found a safe place to hide. They make a cute chittery sound, like Tribbles.

Here’s all my classmates again if you’ve considered donating but haven’t gotten around to it yet:

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira
Tracy
Douglas
Me

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #3

The sleepless trend continues although now I’m sleepless in Orleans. We don’t have a schedule here so I can stay in bed as long as I want if I fall asleep again. But still, by afternoon I have a fuzzy head.

At the last minute I decided to go to California for Fourth of July since it’s my Dad’s birthday and we wanted some family time. My sister is here, too. Here’s Summer. I was trying to get her to do her silly face.

I think I’m numbering these posts goofy because today is starting week #3 but I’m reporting on week #2.

I worked on the story, the blurb and the draft but made little meaningful progress. I don’t get a lot done on the weekdays anyway and then Friday I was in the car all day driving here. I listened to S-Town Podcast on the way which was fantastic for a long drive with heavy traffic. Yesterday I read some commentary on it — this could be a whole other post but I’m not up for it right now — let’s just say I had similarly complex reactions about the story.

Highly recommend.

Back to my write-a-thon progress. I have plenty of time in Orleans but I’m not always inclined to work. I like to be outside and listen to the river and relax.

Here’s the view:

My goal for week #3 is to keep on doing what I’m doing but more. I have a couple of days when I get back home when I can be productive.

If you’re thinking about donating but haven’t yet, I strongly recommend sponsoring Raj because he is giving away prizes. Here’s his post with all the details.

Here’s the list of my classmates who are participating. Go hug a writer.

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira
Tracy
Douglas
Me

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2

You know what loves this hot weather we’re having? The garden. This morning I wandered through and you could practically measure how much taller the tomatoes are today. Things are blossoming. It’s nice out there if you don’t mind the heat.

My writing goals do not slot easily into 6 week bits but this week I accomplished the following:

–> In early drafts I tend to use repetitive phrases and words. When I put together the early reader draft, I made a list of items to go back and look for. I did that and while doing that identified some others to work on this week.
–> I worked on the blurb. It’s not done but I have a start to work with.
–> I worked on the prequel story which I am spending way too much time on but I love these characters. I wrote about 700 words.

The plan is to continue on this course except maybe more faster on the prequel story.

As of this minute – these are my classmates who are doing the write-a-thon. The folks not listed are surprisingly strong at resisting my powers of persuasion. I think this is it. Fourteen out of eighteen is still pretty good. If you are inclined to donate, please pick any one of them. They would all love it.

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira
Tracy
Douglas
Me

This is the main garden and looks like a mess because, as always, I didn’t pull enough of the sunflowers out. Colleague gave me some heirloom seeds that they handed out at a national tribal event, I can’t remember which one, and I have a couple of stalks of corn in there, too.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon 2017 Week 1

Try to tell from looking at this photo, which two married couples came out of this group. Extra credit: can you find Neile?

Howdy Friends!

It’s that time again. Somewhere in Seattle a new group is getting started on their 6 week writing workshop. Sadly, the rest of us are not and we get to hang out and write at home.

These are my posts from the workshop: Overview, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 part 1, Week 4 part 2, Week 5 and Week 6.

I have been harassing all my classmates to sign up for the write-a-thon this year and here’s where we’re at so far. Consider sponsoring some of these incredible human beings who are all terrific writers and wonderful friends. They would love it and all donations are appreciated.

Christopher
Owen
Eden
Carol
Shane
Maggie
Raj
An
Theresa
Pritpaul
Kira

My sponsor page is here. This year I’m mainly working on activities related to getting pen name’s next romance novel finished and all the promotions set up.

I do have one spec fiction story that was out on submission and I’m going to make a few revisions and resubmit during the write-a-thon.

Updates every week.

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Things Never Change

Portland food trucks. I am a big fan of Caspian Kabob which colleague and I refer to as Narnia.

Today is the last day that I gave myself to be 100% no worries about the book. Yesterday I felt under the weather and spent the entire day in bed reading or in front of the TV. I’m not sure if I was really fighting off something or my body was like: enough already. We’re taking a day off.

Today I started by trying a new exercise program that was super fun and upon completion I lost 90% of the feeling and strength in my arms. I spent the rest of the day trying to get caught up on 1000 things like defrosting the chest freezer (done!) and flipping my closet so the winter stuff is put away and warm weather stuff is up front. I’m still woefully behind on administrivia.

I like the stickie notes for the computer desktop and when I have something to deal with later I paste to a sticky note. Right now I have at least 15 stickie notes on the desktop which is too many. I took a screenshot that I was going to post but I think there are passwords and other stuff that you don’t want to just blurt out to the world. I need to reel in the stickie notes.

Also when I’m writing I create tons of files and I have a system(ish) but I’ve completely ignored it lately so I have files all over the place that I need to rename and redate and put in a place where I can find them if I need them.

That sort of stuff.

Tomorrow I’m back at it. I have tidying up on the manuscript that I can do without early reader feedback. And I have to write the blurb and strategize my release. There is no shortage of things to do.

RE: Garden

It’s too chilly for the tomatoes to do anything. The rest of it is raging. I have sunflowers taking over. A lot of my greens have already bolted but they’re so pretty I’ve left them. Looks like surprise(!) potatoes are happening. The pumpkin/squash situation is looking good. The berry patch has been neglected and still is going nuts. I’m hoping to clean up out there tomorrow afternoon.

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Book 3 is Finished(ish)

I went to take pictures of the garden and look: raspberries! I’m going to pick tomorrow.

Book #3 out of all written, or #2 in the series I’m working on, has just gone off to beta readers. Whew!

Estimated release date is first week of September — but we’ll see.

For weeks I have ignored every other aspect of life so I am going to spend a week letting my brain grow back and getting organized and doing some pleasure reading and paying attention to the yard. Then I need to plot for the new release.

These stupid things are eating my dahlias. I have about 30 scraps of paper on my desk of things I need to do and dealing with these monsters is at the top of the list.

More updates soon.

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Super Quick Update

This weekend I completed my fixing the continuity issues pass on my manuscript. Next weekend I have to proofread and clean up for the first readers and then it’s out the door for a month.

I have made a list of about 500 things that I plan to do during that time which is hilarious because I still need to prep for the promotional part and I will never get most of those things done. I should make the list say: read books and sit on couch for a better chance of success.

But, feels good to see forward motion on the manuscript. I have struggled with this one and I’m not super confident but I feel better about it.

These are tomatoes my cousin sent me. They came in a box and I was not sure how this would work but they were well packed and looked fine upon arrival. The directions said if you couldn’t plant immediately then repot and I didn’t have time for either because I was headed out of town but I made time for planting.

It was supposed to be hot over the weekend so I was worried I would return to shriveled bits but they doubled in size. I will shop for tomatoes like this in the future. The plants I put out that I sprouted on my window sill look terrible. I have to keep the windows closed or I can hear them screaming.

Garden is in good shape. I have lots of sunflowers and a few greens, beets, carrots, pumpkins and potatoes out there.

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Current State of The Garden and Reading Report

This the garden at the moment — mostly volunteers and who knows what from when I wildly scattered seeds everywhere.

Today I wanted to write about my Goodreads accounts except I’ve fried up all my time trying to fix a couple of simple things which led to having to update and reset passwords and click and reclick in a circular FAQ where no questions were answered and now I’m tired and cranky and don’t feel very charitable toward Goodreads.

Different part of garden with volunteers and surprise-me-later seed dispersal.

Pen name has a Goodreads here.

I have a profile here.

I periodically check in and add books I’ve read and rate them and try to add books I want to read.

I noticed that I still had Ted Chaing’s Story of Your Life up there. I have no idea what happened to that book. I *might* have left it at my mom’s. But I also remember leaving it at the office because sometimes when I’m by myself I have time to read when I finish eating my lunch. That’s the last place I remember seeing it and it’s not there now.

I would be pleased to learn that it was stolen. I would love to be a part of someone discovering that book, even a book thief.

Meanwhile, I never finished it. The book reading situation is bad, just no time for reading. After three weeks I’m about a fourth of the way through Paladin of Souls – I have relented and read books on my phone now because then I always have them with me. So I might finish it by July.

I am about three weeks out from having to turn the manuscript over to beta readers and it’s still a frustrating mess. All my time and energy is on that right now.

My good news is I have a new spec fiction story coming out in Apex Magazine. I will post details when I have them.

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