So…wondering about the Blog Hop?

For once, failure to meet a deadline is not my fault.  Really, truly, I did what I could.

The two writer friends I tagged (or pre-tagged, since I haven’t yet posted my blog on the topic) are each working at setting up their own blogs or websites.  Things have evidently not been going well in that regard.   What are the odds that it would work out this way?  The Writing Gods intervened to make sure I would not meet my bloggerly obligations…and yeah, I know ‘bloggerly’ is not a word.

Since I have the wisdom to change the things I actually can, I am going to post my Blog Hop Blog a mere month late, and without tagging my two blogging friends.  When they get their blogs rolling, I will update accordingly.

Sincere apologies to the Blog Hop community.  I hope the whole thing didn’t come crashing down because of us.  And if it did, well, in a hundred years, who will care?


I’ve Been Tagged!

Kathi tagged me this morning.  Read her blog and get a preview of my Blog Hop Blog by clicking the blue text.

I’m excited to be part of the Blog Hop and to be working on my novel again. I really am going to finish it this time.  No more excuses.   If nothing else, I will have a completed manuscript safely stored on my iMac for all eternity.

Two fabulous writer friends have graciously agreed to let me tag them when I post my Blog Hop Blog on Friday, March 29.  (Yes, you do need permission to tag someone.  A surprise tagging would not be fair.)    You’ll be able to read their profiles next week.

Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful  morning in my neighborhood.  I normally don’t start writing until mid-morning/early-afternoon, but I could start right now except I have an appointment that I need to get ready for.  As soon as I get back, though, I am pulling out the old, old files that hold bits and pieces of my work-in-progress and getting busy.  I’m looking forward to falling back into it.

The Blog Hop is Coming, The Blog Hop is Coming!

I am part of a “blog hop”.  What is a blog hop?, you wonder.

Well, it’s pretty simple.  A blogger tags two bloggers who tags two bloggers who tag two bloggers…eventually we should reach every novelist/blogger in the world and live in peace and harmony foreverafter.   There’s a theme to the blog hop, and the theme of this one is “My Next Big Thing” aka “What Are You Working On Now?”   Tagged bloggers will blog their answers to a series of questions about their next (or in the case of some of us, first) book.

Here’s a blog, Just Scribbling, by one of our participants.  Julia tagged Kathi Holmes, who will be tagging me this Friday, March 21.  Kathi has a book out, I STAND WITH COURAGE. Her inspiring story details Kathi’s sudden paralysis and how she learned to walk again.  She self-published this, her first book, and now does speaking engagements and book signings to support it.

The book I’m working on is a novel and I feel like I’ve been thinking about it, working on it, or feeling guilty about not working on it for my entire life.  You’ll get more details when my Blog Hop Blog comes out on March 29.  Meanwhile, if you are working on a book project, thinking about a book project, AND you are a blogger, and wish to take part in this fun event, please let me know. I could tag YOU!   My email is

We want to keep the momentum going, so you’d need to commit to your Blog Hop Blog to post no more than a couple of weeks after I tag you.   Other than that, I will make no requirements and you can go on freely with your writing life.

Write the Day Away

Today I am going to engage in shameless self-promotion and tell you about a new page on my website.  But isn’t shameless self-promotion what blogging is all about?

The  new page is called “Write the Day Away” and it’s my writing and editing service.  Click on the tab next to ‘Home’ and ‘About Me’, above the animal photos to get some specifics.

“Write the Day Away” was the name of a blog I wrote for about four months a couple of years ago.  At the time, I was trying to write three blogs.  Ideally, I would post every day on one of them, so a new post would appear every three days. Piece of cake, right?  Not for me.   You’ve undoubtedly noticed the sporadic blogging output on this one single page.  Having three was so distracting that I spent most of the time I could have been blogging thinking about how I had three blogs to fill and not actually blogging whatsoever.  So self-defeating, so easy to do.

I promise if you hire me through my “Write the Day Away” page, I won’t sit staring at the computer screen with idle fingers, fretting that I have too much to do, missing your deadlines, or giving you nothing at all.

Click here if you’d like to go to Write the Day Away, the blog.  Who knows?  I may start blogging there again.

Halloween is Over: On to NaNoWriMo

We survived Halloween.  I did not go into a sugar coma and Luna only had four groups of kids to threaten with her bark.  The ringing doorbell really sets her off.  Dog trainers will tell you there are ways to desensitize your dog to the bell, so she won’t act like a maniac when someone presses the button, but I prefer to have a large, barking dog there when someone comes to the door.  Who am I fooling?  I could barely train her to sit, much less ignore something as annoying as a doorbell rung by a stranger.  But, it suits my purpose to have her there, letting stray visitors know that it’s not worth pushing their way into the house.  Truth be told,  if they did, she would probably just do a lot of jumping and licking, but on the other hand, I am not really sure what she would do if an actual stranger tried to come in the house when I was not here.

November 1st means it’s NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that participating writers will churn out 50,000 unedited words during the month of November.  This is about the number of words in a typical novel.   NaNoWriMo is the clearest illustration I can think of where you succeed by producing quantity rather than quality.  Editing is to be done after November is over.  I suspect that many writers who make the 50,000 word count are so sick of cramming 50K worth of words into 30 days that they celebrate the Day of the Happy Deletion on December 1.  I would.

There are websites where you can post your progress.  You can sign up for daily inspirational emails to keep you going.  OCD writers can keep charts and graphs.  At the end of the month, you have something you can be proud of — or not.

Me, I’m a cheater.  Give me rules to follow and I can’t help myself.  I start thinking of ways to circumvent them.

The way I write is to edit when I need a little break from creating the story, which can be as often as every couple of pages.  I can’t imagine blithely moving along from a really terrible paragraph, spewing out more junk and not going back to fix it.  My other habit, which makes NaNoWriMo an extreme challenge, is that I jump from project to project.  At any given time, I have seven stories going, one near complete and the rest have terrific, really terrific, beginnings.  I lose my focus too easily to stick with one story for a whole month.  I also fear the horrible possibility that I would pick the wrong storyline for NaNoWriMo and be stuck with it.  If I was going to follow the rules, that is.

I have started work on a November novel maybe three or four times in the past ten years.  I’ve never made it past the 10th day.  Last year, I thought maybe I would but Daisy the German shepherd got sick suddenly, had surgery and was diagnosed with hermangiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer.  She didn’t have much time left and I was unable to write, to do anything but worry and be scared, after getting the bad news.

This year, no excuses so far.  I pulled out  the story I started two years ago.  Edited the first two pages, and yes, I counted those as my words for the day.   I told you I cheat!


Today’s Title is “Not About Animals”…

…because my original title, ‘Poetry’, will scare too many people away!

I was never a huge fan of poetry.  Even as, or maybe especially as, a young reader I wanted to devour my reading material, to get through a story as quickly as possible so I could start on the next one.

Having to consider each word was too slow, too time consuming.  I was all about quantity, not quality.  My speed reading habit continued into adulthood. Poems, when read, were like hastily muttered and unconsidered prayers. Words were read but no deeper meaning was attached to them.

It was rather unusual, then, when I submitted a poem for publication and it was actually accepted.  What was most unusual was that I actually wrote a poem and edited it into submittable form.   It was utterly on a whim.  A random, unpremeditated, illogical whim. If I’d thought about it, the idea would have flitted in and out of my consciousness like a butterfly seeking nectar in my garden – now here, now there, now gone.

The Talking Stick is published by the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc; my poem “a glimpse of god in the eastern sky” appeared in their Volume 17.  I assumed that they published anything submitted to them but have since heard that is not the case.

I submitted a poem called “Still” to the next edition and what do you know but that one made the cut, too! I was on a poetry roll but as I do so often when on a roll, I quit.  I didn’t submit the next year, or the year after that.

Why?  No spark of inspiration, no nirvana moment that spilled from my heart into words and onto the page.  A low-level case of depression, more dreary than devastating, first touched me, then surrounded me.  Oh, I was up, dressed and moving about.  I had to be.  The animals wouldn’t let me just sit and stare out the window, but there was no emotional energy in me to write much of anything.  I didn’t even read much for more than a year.

I’m back now and writing every day.  Last week, in preparation for my writers’ group, I tossed off a few lines of mostly non-rhyming poetry so I would have something to contribute.  I trust the ladies in the group so thoroughly that I am comfortable taking fourteen lines of doggerel and reading it to them.  At least they hold their laughter until we part at the end of the evening.

Does that make me a poet? I’ve got two books right here on my desk that say I am one.  I like playing with words and I’m pretty good at cobbling together a few seeds that could grow into full-fledged plants if I gave them a bit of love.  Maybe poetry ain’t so bad, after all.