Nothing to See Here

Still haven’t made progress on the WIP this week. Part of that has been because my mind is elsewhere, as I’m sure it is for many right now. The other part is because I’m still stuck on boring. Time to change my approach–more on that below.

As it has everywhere else, things have been quiet here. Except here, that’s pretty normal. I work from home already, so no changes there (and I’m thankful I still have my job). My husband is retired, so he’s mostly been working on the property, though bored on rainy days because there’s not much for him to do inside. We’re very fortunate.

Tennessee has not shut down to the extent others have, especially Ohio, where my family lives and my coworkers work. My husband and I went out to dinner on Thursday for our anniversary (our 26th!). The place was pretty deserted, and the next day, the Mayor of Knoxville ordered restaurants to close except for carryout and delivery. All bars in our county were also ordered to close on Friday, but restaurants were allowed to remain open at reduced capacity. We’ll see what happens this week, but plan to remain hunkered down.

What I’ve Been Reading

Last week, I finished The Bastard Prince by Patty Jansen. This is one of my favorite authors, and I read all of her Ghostspeaker Chronicles, the 6-book series that takes place in the same world. I enjoyed this one every bit as much as the others, though luckily I bought the whole 3-book series, as it ended on a cliffhanger. Normally I hate those, but Jansen tends to write 3-book series that are more like one big book, so I knew to expect it.

What I’ve Been Writing


As mentioned above, not much. I have bogged down in not knowing what happens next, or even what I’m working toward. I didn’t outline my last book, and it worked–I ended up figuring out the end just fine, though I might have run into a few stops along the way. And it was better than I expected, with some cool twists I doubt I would have outlined at all. But this time, it’s time to just sit down and figure out what happens. If the characters wind up with other ideas, I can go with the flow, as I’ve done before and toss the outline–which is the main reason I stopped doing them. But this time it’s not working, so it’s time to outline. That’s what I’ll be doing this week.

I’ll be keeping on learning, too. Last week, I took a break from the Secondary Plotlines workshop and did a short one on Starting or Restarting Your Writing. It helped, and I got some good ideas there I’ll be trying as well. This week, I’ll go back in on the Secondary Plotlines workshop. I’d originally planned to finish it this week, but since I didn’t work on it last week, I’ll shoot for getting week 5 done, with week 6 (finishing) as a bonus.

We’re also coming up on the end of ROW80 Round 1. Obviously, I haven’t met my writing goals at all, though I did well on learning. So this week will also include reevaluating and figuring out what I can do for the next Round.

What’s going on in your part of the world? Are you staying in, or are places still open? If you’re off work, are you getting extra time to work on your goals, or are other things (childcare?) taking over? Please take care of yourself, and drop me a line in the comments–I love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

8 Responses to \

  1. We seem to be pretty much shut down here in PA too. My husband is still working, though(the company he works for produces/ships food products, so I guess that’s considered life-sustaining. other than the kids being home, and me not having any time alone, not much has changed here either.

    I hope you can figure your way out through the block.

  2. I’ve been hunkered down with my husband and dogs for a little more than a week. Restaurants, bars, schools, and events have closed. More stringent closures and “stay home” rules are coming next week. What changed for me was no more weekly visits from my Grandson nor from my son and the rest of the family. My son is in an essential job so he’s continuing to work and is the designated “errand” runner for my family and his.

    As a retired nurse, Corona virus hit pretty close to home because it quickly affected how my friends continue to work. It came closer to home late last week when a friend of one of my friends lost her husband to the virus. Sobering.

    I’ve been able to write some during the past week but my word count is half of what I had hoped to make. Still, I got some done and I’m pretty happy about what I wrote so I’m counting it as a win.

    You’ll figure out your stumbling block. Sometimes they are stubborn, especially when your attention is divided.

  3. I’ll see when I go into work tomorrow how much longer I’ll be working. I could use the time off, but it doesn’t sound like our employer is going to let us collect unemployment. I’ll have to figure it out tomorrow.

    Otherwise, things are quiet here, not only out on the streets of my town, but in my home office, as I am spending way too much time reading about the pandemic. I finally started at least writing about that today, wrote 1100 words in my journal.

    Have a good week, everyone. Stay safe and stay healthy.

  4. Congrats on 26 years!!! I’m glad you got to celebrate it out and about. I hope the writing gets back into gear, but with the way the world is right now I completely understand not having the right headspace for it.

  5. Fallon, thanks!

    Lynette, sorry to hear about your friend’s husband – that’s awful. Glad you are still able to get some writing done, though.

    Chris, here’s hoping your income situation works out for you. I’ve also been reading about the pandemic too much (also too much Facebook), so that’s part of my problems with writing.

    Shannon, thanks!

  6. I am with you on not being able to concentrate. I’m depressed about this whole mess. I don’t see how people can go on like this for months. I really don’t. I’ve been writing a little bit (sometimes just a paragraph of 2) on my WIP and then listening to some podcasts and free webinars. Today I started an on-line class through SavvyAuthors. I’m hoping that’ll get me energized again to finish my darn book. I’m so mad at myself because I have no excuse, but all I can think about is how am I going to avoid bankruptcy.

    But, on to more pleasant things – the weather here is absolutely gorgeous right now so I’ve been walking around the neighborhood at least once every day. The birds are busy building nests and the trees and flowers are budding like crazy. There is beauty everywhere.

    Here’s hoping things return to normal soon.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  7. As a lifelong homeschooling mom who works mostly from home, not much has changed on a practical level, other than doing writing group virtually, and my son taking a job as a grocery stocker, which makes him essential, and means he’s our “Designated Shopper.” We’re in NY, and things are shut down pretty tightly.

    I’m grateful we’re all introverts, so don’t need a lot of company, that we have a decent-sized yard and dogs to walk and cats to purr at us. Lots of streaming services, and lots of books.

    I’m doing more tending things, hoping to come out the other side of this (however long it takes) with a tidier life.I’m also cooking more, something my chef husband used to handle.

    I’m also making more of a point of sharing fanfiction with those I know will enjoy it, and connecting with friends virtually (especially the few extrovert friends I have, who really miss in-person going and doing).

    I’m guessing most of us are somewhat distracted right now, and that seems fitting.