Tag Archives: writing

May 5 is MMIP Awareness Day!

[Well, POOP: As per every single time, I was trying to write a post before dinner. Dinner was ready. Bob was waiting. I hurried to finish this and … Didn’t hit the publish button. Too late now. Story will be available this summer.]

Tomorrow is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day.

Apex Magazine bought a story of mine called “Loss Prevention” that has a MMIP theme. The official publication isn’t until July but they will be running it on their Patreon tomorrow for free.

The story on Patreon on May 5 here.

More info:

Indigenous people, particularly women and young girls, are disproportionately affected by violence. A growing movement led by Native communities and advocates seeks justice for our lost people. May 5 is designated “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day” to memorialize these lost individuals and raise awareness of the tragedy.

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Heartbeat Braves is an Audiobook!!

Pen name was given the opportunity to turn Heartbeat Braves into an audiobook using digital narration.

I understand all the concerns about using digital narrators. I would LOVE to record my books with Indigenous voices but I don’t have the skills or resources to make that happen.

I wrung my hands and thought about it for quite some time but decided to give it a shot.

I keep reading the instructions and I guess it’s only available via the Apple Books app:

Heartbeat Braves.

I am listening to it right now. Madison does a good job but here are a few funny mispronunciations like when Linda tells them to polish their resumes and she says Polish, like of the country Poland. I also hear some typos and awkward sentences.

But I think it came out great. I hope people who prefer to consume their romance via audiobooks will give it a try.

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Little Notebooks

Well, I prepped several posts to make it easier to post in the middle of the week and still I struggle.

This is my little notebook I keep by my bed so if I have any ideas I can jot them down.

I use it for anything I don’t want to forget. Sometimes when something is coming up like a trip, I get anxiety about forgetting something so I write several versions of the same reminder. Whatever it takes to help get to sleep at night.

This little notebook I started almost 6 years ago. As I put my brand new notebook in the drawer I thought, if this one takes 6 years to fill up I will be [gulp] past my 60th birthday and probably close to if not retired by then. Hard to wrap my head around that.

Also — it looks like a fancy photo in my notebook but it’s photoshop to cover up the notes because they were a tiny bit personal. Probably wouldn’t make sense to anyone but I covered it up anyway.

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Clarionwest Beg-A-Thon Week #6 Wrap-Up

The workshop is finished. Everyone goes home today probably heartbroken, happy, and exhausted. I think I slept twelve hours the first two nights I got home. I’d already taken six weeks off work but they let me take Monday, too, because I needed it.

Check out Percy making some figs. Don’t think he has the juice to finish the job this summer but maybe we’ll get a few next summer.

In the interest of complete honesty: I failed at my meager write-a-thon goals. I’m still fiddling with my story idea and thinking I just need one more weekend to get it worked out which looking at history, there’s a good chance this story is doomed. But I can’t bring myself to trunk it yet. I never even looked at the kayak story which needs a little light tweaking and it’s ready to go out the door.

However, I also busted ass to get that last self-published book done in May so I could enjoy summer things and I am doing that. I’ve read almost 20 books since then and I’ve done lots of family things and made lots of pies. I’ve watched shows and a bunch of soccer matches and have a better garden than usual.

After this month I’m going to ramp back up.

A couple of pumpkins out front plus one blue hubbard squash.

If you forgot and think it’s too late. It’s not. You can donate anytime. All donations are welcome.

Donation Links:
Me.
Maggie.
Neile.
Everyone.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks to everyone who supported me and the workshop. We raised over $16K. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2 Report

Our 4th of July was relatively quiet. We had a late lunch/early dinner at the inlaws. I made mac salad, lentil salad, and this glorious jello treat, plus an apple pie. Marilyn made watermelon salad, potato salad, and granny pea salad. Denise made a tri-tip and a platter of corn on the cob. This was for 7 people. No one went home hungry.

Lots of fireworks restrictions now so no mayhem outside our front door. We went to bed early with the windows and shades shut. I heard some racket around 11pm but otherwise it was uneventful.

Oakie, the Orleans cat, finds the most comfortable seat in the house.

Week two of the workshop has ended.

My main goal for the write-a-thon was to dust off a first draft NDN casino in space story and try to get it ready for submission. I was almost ready to give up last weekend but thought I figured it out and kept working on it.

Then Friday I almost gave up again and then I was sitting quietly trying to solve a completely different problem and I got another idea. I think I have successfully figured out what to do with this thing. I worked on it all morning, way longer than I intended, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through my revision.

This week’s goal is to finish the new draft.

Mom and Aunt Janet in the parade.

Donation Links:
Me.
Maggie.
Neile.
Everyone.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1 Report

Remember when that raccoon attacked the walls of water on my freshly planted baby tomato sproutlet?

The tomato never really recovered. This is a terrible picture. I tried to figure out a clever way to emphasize the tomato but this I best I can do at the moment.

It’s got tomatoes forming but it’s so spindly it can barely stand up under the burden.

For contrast, here’s the other tomato I planted at the same time.

I tried to take a photo of the giant weed farm the next door neighbors are growing in their front yard, but couldn’t get a shot that best showed the waving yellow flowers that will soon turn into white fluff and blow into our yard. I read on nextdoor that you can report your neighbors for neglecting their yard and it’s tempting. The situation over there hasn’t changed much. The noise in the middle of the night is less terrible and tolerable as long as all the windows are shut and the shades drawn. I am still coming to terms with the idea that I will never have my windows open at night as long as they live there.

Look at Percy! Two years old in May.

Write-a-thon Update.

Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago about the workshop and what it meant to me.

The first week of the workshop is finished. This is my week #1 report.

My original goal was to dig up a first draft I wrote years ago and get it ready to submit.

Upon re-reading the draft, I was concerned that it was such a mess. The set-up is fine but the hard part is finding an ending and I fiddled with it on and off all week and the magical portal where story endings fall out did not open for me.

This afternoon while I ate lunch I tried to decide whether to give up or not. I already know I am the kind of person that will flog on an idea long after it’s clear that I can’t figure out what to do with it.

It’s all made up, right? So there has to be a way to make up something that makes the story work. I hate to give up because I always think I *should* be able to come up with something.

While I ate, I wondered what would happen if I swapped the characters around and chose a different character as the main character and that gave me an idea. So I am going to spend one more day fiddling with it and if I have a clear idea what I want to do, I’ll work on it another week.

Otherwise I’m going to quit it and change to the kayak story and finalize.

This is my donor page.
Here is my classmate and TIRELESS beta reader Maggie.
Here is one of our workshop leaders Neile.
Here’s the list of all the writers if you want to browse.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

I just got my donation report and I already have donations! Already the first week we’ve raised almost $6,000. (Not me personally, all the write-a-thoners together.)

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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Clarion West Write-a-Thon Begins NOW!

What’s in the hat box?

Hello friends. It’s that time again. The latest class of the Clarion West writing workshop moved into the house today.

A group of us will be writing at home while they are there and trying to raise money while we do it.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wrote a post about my experience at the workshop last year and the year before. If I can think of anything fresh to say about it, I’ll write another one next week weekend.

My main goal for this write-a-thon was to re-work a short story about an NDN casino in space that I whipped up in a weekend in January 2017. I haven’t looked at the draft since.

I got it out this morning and the first 3/4ths are pretty good. It’s a fun idea with fun characters. The last 1/4th is a complete mess that makes no sense and doesn’t flow logically from the beginning. It’s like I passed out under a bridge and when I woke up I was forced to finish the story or face dire consequences so I wrote the ending of a different story.

It’s actually such a mess, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ll poke around with it a little, at least a week or two, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time if I don’t see a way to fix it.

Then I need ideas for new goals:

1 – Finish the kayak story and submit. Completely doable.
2 – Figure out some system for all my bazillion ideas and scraps and research. If this was doable, I think it would be done by now but let’s put it out there.
3 – Do some idea storming and try to do the first draft of a completely new story. Not hot on this idea. I don’t know if I want to do a lot of short story writing at this point.
4 – Go through partial novel manuscript that I abandoned when I started writing romances and see if I can get a working outline. Possibly doable.
5 – TBD

I will report at the end of each week.

If you’re inclined to donate, my page is here.

I usually link to my classmates who are also write-a-thoning but as of this moment, none of them are. (FOR SHAME!) I’ve sent them a guilt trip so I may have some to add next week.

One of our workshop leaders is write-a-thoning and you can donate here: Neile.

Micro-donations are welcome. We love your support.

I included a photo of the elders, my mom and auntie – modeling their hats. They were grand marshals in the Orleans Old Timers Parade last weekend.

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Incline

The results of my endoscopy were hiatal hernia. According to my research, something like 60% of the population has HH and many never know unless they find it during an endoscopy. There’s a long list of lifestyle changes and again, according to my research, there is no one size fits all so I’m trying everything, even the woo-woo breathing exercise I found on one website.

One suggestion for heartburn is putting your bed on an incline so your head is higher than your feet. I found some bed risers online and purchased a set. We started with the 3 inch risers which already seemed pretty high. The first couple of nights I woke up further down the bed than the spot I started.

Today we went up another level to the 5 inch riser. It looks ridiculous. They suggest going to 8 inches — we were joking that it would be like training for mountain climbing. I’m going to put a pillow on the floor at the end of the bed. I expect to wake up there tomorrow.

Do I think it helps? I don’t know. Since I made about 20 lifestyle changes at the same time, it’s hard to tell. It could be the woo-woo breathing that’s helping and I could bring back the spicy salsa and French fries. For now, I’m going to keep doing it all.

The annual write-a-thon is almost upon us. Details coming soon. Here’s my donor page if you want to get a head start on your donating.

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Smooth Out Everything

This cart is long gone. I only went to it a couple of times. It was replaced by a cart called Food Koma (I think?) and I went there all the time. They had a delicious bibimbap dish but they called it something else. Every time I have a good bibimbap source, it goes away.

But the real news is that this little cart pod is now a hole in the ground because apparently downtown Portland needs yet another boutique hotel. The big pod across the street is in danger, too. Last I heard the luxury apartment and condo tower was on hold, but who knows.

It’s been awhile since I mentioned the rental house next door. You might have thought our problems were solved. We were cautiously optimistic. It was quiet over there for months. Maybe loud voices in the yard now and then and still a number of different cars, but nothing to legit complain about.

But then it ramped up again. Lots of different cars again. Not like all different cars coming and going. More like 5-6 of the same cars, often parked overnight. On Valentine’s night (or technically early hours of the 15th) there was shouting and swearing out front for over a half hour together with car door slamming.

It’s been quieter this weekend. It feel like it gets bad unless we stay on top of it.

Meanwhile, I have had an epic writing weekend and I am pooped. I got the last big long troublesome section cleaned up. At this point I have to go back clean up some smaller bits, lots of continuity to fix and then smooth out everything.

But other than that, it’s under control.

66688 / 75000 words. 89% done!

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Old Married People Report

One time I found Bob’s bath towel in the laundry. I washed it and hung it on the hook behind the door so he would have it next time he bathed. It sounds thoughtful but it’s also so he won’t get out of the shower dripping wet and wander around leaving puddles everywhere because he forgot about a towel. I can’t imagine getting into a shower and not knowing exactly how I would dry myself but our brains don’t work alike.

Next time I went in the laundry room it was already balled up and back with the dirty clothes.

He thought he forgot to put it in the wash so he threw the clean towel in there.

Now I fold towels and put them in the cupboard when they come out of the dryer.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and Bob was very chatty while he slept. He told someone they were cute. He said he was happy. He was looking forward to having fun. Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun.

I sketched out the milestones I’m aiming for Book 4. Still on track for a spring (late spring!) release. Although I should tack another month on because it seem like it always takes longer than I think when I get to the last stages.

52085 / 75000 words. 69% done!

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