Upgraded Abodes, Dedicated Reading

For once, this is not about my new house. I mentioned a couple weeks ago amidst discussion of turtle eggs, that I bought upgrades for my gerbils’ tanks. I’d kept gerbils in 10 gallon aquariums for years–since 2002, when we got our first pair, and even back in the 70s and 80s when I had them as a kid. Even back in the early 2000s, it was the standard–10 gallons per pair.                 

Digger shredding a TP tube – his second favorite thing to do (his name is the first)

Recently, I joined a huge Facebook group, and found that that’s no longer the case; in fact, in some European countries, it’s illegal to house a pair of gerbils in anything smaller than a 20 gallon tank, which is now the minimum standard.

The toppers allow deeper bedding for burrowing, an activity Valkyrie also enjoys

My gerbils are both single–not that that’s good either, but Digger’s brother passed away back in November, and Digger’s over three years old. You can’t just put two gerbils together who don’t know each other, as they’ll fight. They have to be introduced in a split tank, and Digger’s old enough that it doesn’t make sense to go to this much effort when three years is the typical life span. My other gerbil was a rescue who came to me alone, and with all that’s gone on over the past year, I haven’t had the chance to look into getting her a buddy. “Her” being the key word as to why I can’t put her in with Digger, either–I don’t want to wind up with twenty in a couple months!

Digger hoping I’ll give him a treat – yes, our pets are spoiled

So they would probably be OK in their separate, 10-gallon tanks. But I wanted something more, so I got tank toppers. They’ve gone from living in studio apartments to townhouses! Digger has already figured out to go to the top level to beg me for treats (sunflower and pumpkin seeds).  Valkyrie enjoys her “upstairs” too.

What I’ve Been Reading

The Amortals, by T.S. Hottle. I downloaded this science fiction book from my friend T.S. Hottle’s newsletter. It’s one of the offshoot novellas in his Compact Universe space opera series that I was looking forward to reading.

It did not disappoint. This main character was last featured in The Marilynists, about a crazy religion devoted to the late Earth actress Marilyn Monroe. Tom pulls a lot of humor from this, which makes for a very entertaining read! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys science fiction with a good bit of humor, but read The Marilynists first for the best experience.

But what really blew my mind–and I’ll admit, might make me a bit biased–was when I saw the title page:

I have never had a book dedicated to me – wow, what an honor! So cool!

What I’ve Been Writing

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Unfortunately, this was one of those “not much” weeks. I only wrote three days this week, and added about 600 words. The wordcount is no big deal since that’s not my goal, but I need to spend more time on it. I’m not quite stuck, but not sure where I’m going is where I need to go. Or maybe I’m just bored because I’m redrafting a scene (the same one still–ugh) from another character’s point-of-view–it’s better, but not vastly different. I’m almost done with it, so if I can just get there, things should pick up again. So that’s what I’ll shoot for again this week–five days, for at least a half-hour per day.

I did meet my learning goal of finishing a week’s worth of my online workshop, so there’s that. I’ll do another week’s worth this week.

What about you–do you have pets, and if so, how do you spoil them? Have you read any good books lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d 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.

What the Heck is a Hackberry?

Apparently, it’s a tree that really likes our land, as we have quite a few of them. They’re not unusual, and they grow all over the eastern U.S. However, I’d never heard of them–either they’re not common in the suburbs of Ohio where we used to live, or I just never noticed them.

I’d been wondering what the trees on our land were with the spearhead-shaped leaves, but wasn’t able to find anything conclusive in a search with that generic description. Then DH and I were walking one day last week and noticed one of these trees was full of berries. That gave me something else to go on, and I quickly found the Hackberry–and more specifically for us. the Sugarberry.

The wildlife is eatin’ good in our neighborhood!

The Sugarberry is a species of Hackberry specific to the south, and is mostly differentiated by its leaves being narrower, with less serrated edges. And yes, the berries are edible and sweet, though they’re barely larger than peas and contain a good-sized pit so most people don’t bother with them these days, though the native peoples did eat them. Deer and turkeys love them, so they’re welcome here, even though some people consider them a trashy tree. The berries don’t get ripe until fall, so we’ll see then if I decide to try them myself!

The tree in our fairy circle is a Sugarberry

Other than that, this has been one of those weeks where not much has happened. Which is fine, because it was also one of those weeks where I didn’t feel like I got a lot of writing done, but when I looked over my wordcount, I actually did!

What I’ve Been Reading

I’m enjoying a novel that I noticed something very special about, but I’m not yet finished with it, so I’ll share next week.

What I’ve Been Writing

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My goal this week was to spend at least 1/2 hour a day, five days, redrafting a scene. I did not finish the scene yet, but I did spend the time and got six days in–and to my surprise, added 2500 words. I also deleted a lot but that’s OK. So this week, we’ll stick with the same–at least 1/2 hour, five days. I want to finish this scene, then continue on with fixes.

My learning goal was to finish my online workshop on how to study fiction. I did that. So this week I want to start a new one, Emotion in Writing. This is something I’ve studied before, but it’s also one aspect of writing I find the most challenging. I’d like to complete the first week’s videos and assignment.

What about you–have you ever heard of the Sugarberry? Or the Hackberry? Ever have one of those weeks where you didn’t think you got much done, only to find out you had done quite a bit? What’s been keeping you busy lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d 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.

Busy Critters

Me? I’m no more busy than usual (which isn’t trivial, but…). My pets, on the other hand, have been doing all sorts of things this week.

My turtle Sand Dollar has been laying eggs. Sand Dollar is fifteen years old, and has been with us for over ten years. She’s a Red-eared Slider, which typically start laying eggs once they’re about five inches long (shell). She was that big around eight years ago and has been nine inches long for years, but I’ve never seen eggs until this week.

She has exhibited egg-laying behavior plenty of times–basking a lot, digging with her hind legs, and acting like she’s trying to get out of the basking enclosure on top of her tank. I’ve put her in a nest box and taken her outside. I took my laptop and worked on our front porch a couple weeks ago, and Sand Dollar acted like she was laying, but four hours later, no eggs. I guess they could’ve fallen down the snake hole she was sitting over, who knows!

So the other day I was sitting at my desk doing day job work, and glanced over to see Sand Dollar nibbling at something that looked like a small, white hot dog in the bottom of her tank. An egg! Or more like two or three fused together, for it was three inches long! She had dropped four more this morning, this time normal size (slightly larger than robins’ eggs). Oh, and if anyone’s curious, I discarded them, as they wouldn’t be viable even if she hadn’t laid them in water, because Sand Dollar is a single girl. 🙂

Sand Dollar sleeping (and probably dreaming of food)

My gerbils have also been busy. I’ve had gerbils for years, but just recently joined a Facebook group about them. Typically they do best in pairs, but one of my sweet little guys died in November (he was old and had cancer), leaving his brother alone. My other gerbil, a little rescue gir,l has always been by herself. I don’t put them together because I don’t want to wind up with twenty in three or four months (yes, that has happened before). 😀 After lurking in the Facebook group, I realized that my babies sleep a lot because they don’t have enough to do, especially being alone. So I bought tank toppers, and upgraded them from studio apartments to townhouses! This will enable them to collect more bedding below and dig and burrow, which is what gerbils do. Upstairs is for the wheel, eating, and of course, getting treats (which my boy Digger has already figured out). I also got some wooden toys and houses for them, but those haven’t come yet. So, more on the gerbils next week.

As for me and my husband, we did get out yesterday for a nice motorcycle ride. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is still closed… except for Foothills Parkway. Seeing it has been on my bucket list since we started looking at land here almost four years ago, and we finally drove it in the truck a couple weeks ago, just to get out. It was even more fun on a motorcycle, and the views did not disappoint! Yesterday, we talked to a family (from six feet away, of course) who had lived in the area all their lives, and this was the first time they’d seen it. Definitely worthwhile, and something else to share with guests once they can come visit!

One of many fantastic views from a scenic overlook on the Foothills Parkway

What I’ve Been Reading

Finding the Perfect Mate by Stacy McKitrick is the latest in her Bitten by Love vampire romance series. I love this series because her heroes aren’t super dark and broody, but more like regular guys who have some special abilities (and limitations) to contend with–guys you’d like to spend time with. This book is about Perry, who appears in most of the other books as the snarky, irreverent sidekick, and one of the more entertaining characters. Glad he finally got his own story! And now I’m wondering who will be in the next, which I’m definitely looking forward to. Highly recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing

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My goal last week was to spend at least 1/2 hour, five days, working back through the book to work in the changes needed after my outlining and notes. I only hit four days, and only added about 500 words, though that’s partly because I also cut a lot. But the good news is I figured out what the story needs, which just outlining and taking notes didn’t tell me: there are not enough scenes in the main heroine’s point of view. Rewriting one scene should fix that (I hope). So my goal is to do that, and then continue with cycling back to do the changes, spending at least 1/2 hour on it for at least five days.

I did meet my learning goal of completing week 5 of my online workshop. I also did some reading about copyright, but this is getting long, so I’ll summarize what I learned next week.

What about you–do you have any pets? If so, do they make you feel like a slacker, or are they like my dogs, and you’re super productive in comparison? 😀 Have you read any good books lately? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d 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.

Discoveries

There are plenty of them to make in the spring, especially when it’s my first on our rural land. In the suburbs, where we lived before, there is much less diversity among the trees and plants, and few wildflowers in cultivated lawns. On our land here, I discover something new each week. We walk our dogs each morning. I note the leaf shapes and growth pattern on trees, or the color and shape of wildflowers, then look them up in some handy, online field guides when we get back from our walk. This week, I identified some small trees with big, boat-shaped leaves as Shellbark Hickory, and some little, lavender wildflowers that just started blooming as Lyre-leaf Sage.

Lyre-leaf sage is a pretty, native wildflower with medicinal uses.

My husband has also continued work on the house, and finished up the porch posts yesterday.

Now, DH can sit a drink on the little shelf rim while he’s grilling!

What I’ve Been Reading

I am really enjoying the novel I’m currently reading, but I didn’t finish it yet, so I’ll share it next week.

What I’ve Been Writing

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My discovery there was that one of my characters revealed that he’s been previously married. So, as is typical of a romance hero, he’s not looking for another relationship. And as is also typical of a romance hero, he’ll of course find that life has other ideas. 😀

I met my writing goals this week, and spent at least 1/2 hour five days working back through my WIP and making fixes and changes. I added about 1300 words in the process. This has been working well, so I’ll stick with the same goal this week.

I also met my learning goal of finishing one more week in my online workshop. So this week, the goal is to finish Week 5. I also want to spend a little time reading and learning something about copyright.

What about you–have you discovered anything interesting recently? What kinds of trees and flowers do you notice near where you live? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments – I’d 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.

Another Quiet Week

When you can’t go anywhere besides to pick up food, they can’t be much else, huh? Luckily, we have plenty of room to get out on our land. Our daffodil patch started blooming back in February, but never got very many daffodils. I found out why a couple weeks ago: most of them are white daffodils, and they’re blooming now.

The daffodil patch, with a few wild daisies mixed in

This pandemic has really made me appreciate how lucky we are to have this land to enjoy. My husband has kept busy too, adding stone veneer bases to our porch posts. 

My husband made good use of the stone left over from the construction

The columns aren’t quite finished yet; he still needs to add some trim to the top of the stone, and paint it.

I had a good week too, better than I expected. More on that below.

What I’ve Been Reading

I finally finished a novel, The Dragon King by Patty Jansen. I’m not sure why this book took me so long to read, because I really enjoyed it, and I typically read faster when I especially like something. It was a fitting end to the trilogy, while still leaving the opportunity for more books to the series.

What I’ve Been Writing

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This week, my goals was to spend at least a half hour, for at least five days, cycling back and fixing my WIP based on the notes I made earlier this month. I actually worked on the WIP all seven days, most of which was on one scene. It’s not quite done, but I got most of it fixed, and to my surprise, I added nearly 2,000 words. So the WIP is moving right along, finally. I also made my learning goal of completing another week’s worth of lessons and the assignment for my online workshop.

This week, I’m going to stick with the same goals, since they worked well for me: 1/2 hour, for at least five days on the WIP (no wordcount goal because I sometimes wind up deleting a lot), and work through another week of material on my online workshop.

How has your week been? Do you ever surprise yourself by accomplishing more than you thought? How are you doing, with the limitations imposed by the pandemic (or extra work, as may be the case)? Stay healthy and safe–and let me know 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.

Easter Update

Time for a Garden!

Moving along this week, slowly but surely! My husband put in our first garden bed, which is probably all we’ll do this year (keeping it small to start). We have four tomato plants, a cucumber, a zucchini, and a couple of peppers, with room for a couple more. We put in a hillside version of a raised bed, or I guess one could call it “semi-raised.” We have very little flat land here on our mountain, so this is a good way to work with the land, rather than against it. 

The picture from before we added the fence and the plant better shows how it’s built into the hillside.

This Easter is going to be… different. I guess that’s the best way to put it. Before we moved, we always had family over for Easter dinner. Now we are in Tennessee, and they are all in Ohio, and no one is getting together. We weren’t planning on doing so even before the Stay Home orders came down, but still it will be strange, the first holiday spent here in Tennessee with just my husband. We’re still doing the traditional dinner, though simplified a bit.

What I’ve Been Reading

I still haven’t finished a book! Maybe this one’s longer than the last few, or maybe I’m spending less time reading, though it doesn’t feel that way. I definitely make time for a little reading every day. Several of my commenters last week remarked that they were having trouble focusing on reading–maybe I am too?

What I’ve Been Writing

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My goal this week was to spend 1/2 hour on my writing six days, collecting my notes, doing some outlining, and getting back to the WIP. I only hit it five days, but otherwise, did everything planned, so I’ll consider it “failing to success.” I also made my learning goal of doing one more week of the “How to Study” WMG Workshop online.

Since I am now going back to already-written parts of my WIP and making changes, it’s hard to quantify with something like word count (which may actually go down some days). So this week, I’ll stick to time-based, but commit to only five days, since I have a lot to do this week. I also want to do another week’s worth of videos and the assignment for my online workshop.

How about you–how is your Easter, if you celebrate? Or if not, how has your week been? Have you been finding it harder to focus on reading or writing, with all that’s going on? How are you doing on whatever goals you have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I love hearing 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.

Second Quarter Goals

Things are getting green again
Things are getting green around here, but not much else has changed – and that’s fine with me!

It’s been another quiet week here, and I made good progress on figuring out my WIP. I don’t have a word count this time, since a lot of what I did included deleting and changing. But that doesn’t really matter since it’s just notes. I have not yet figured out the ending, but that usually comes to me as I get closer to it, so at this point, I should have enough to break into a list of scenes (i.e., outline) and get back to the writing.

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It’s now the start of ROW80 Round 2 and the second quarter, so time to review my goals. Last quarter, my writing goal was to add 16,000 words to the WIP. I ended up with about 13,000, which is a lot more than I thought I did, so I’ll consider that “failing to success.” I also met my learning goal of completing two online workshops. I ran a little behind on my goal of learning something about copyright once a month, but I did that this past week, and summarized what I learned below.

This quarter/Round, I’m going to stick to the same goals:

  • 16,000 words on the WIP
  • Two online workshops
  • Learn about copyright once a month, or three times
  • I also want to choose a theme for my website revamp, which was a bonus goal last quarter (obviously not done)

More on Copyright

Most of this month’s reading on copyright had to do with registering collections of items, such as newspapers or magazines. Items published within a single calendar year can be registered as a group, but how many and how often depends on how often the periodical is published. A daily newspaper should be registered once a month, after the last day’s articles are published. A magazine that only publishes once a month may wait until the year is up, but it’s recommended to register every three months, so that the registration is “timely” and provides all the protections in case of infringement.

The part of this that’s more likely to apply to fiction writers is the fact that we can register multiple short works together–for example, short stories that appeared in different anthologies, magazines, etc., for a single registration fee. Like periodicals themselves, these stories/articles could be copyrighted as a single group that’s been published within a calendar year. And the same caveat applies where the author may want to register few items every three months to ensure that they are all registered in a timely manner to provide maximum protection.

Something else to note about group copyright registration is that the claimant (author or rights-holder) must be the same person(s) or entity.

What I’ve Been Reading

I still haven’t finished the novel I started last week, so nothing to report here.

What I’ve Been Writing

As noted above, more notes. This week, I want to break down my notes into a list of scenes (outline), and start back into writing. For learning, I want to do Week 2 of the WMG Workshop I started last week on studying fiction.

What about you–how are things going where you are? I hope you’re staying healthy! Has the pandemic made it more difficult to work on your goals, or has it given you more time–or like me, not affected things so far? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share 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.

Figuring Things Out

That’s pretty much what everyone is doing right now, with what’s going on in the world. I have been fortunate so far, as I still have a job, and it was already work-from-home, so that part has been figured out for a long time as well. So I’ll leave commentary on that to others. One of my commenters last week noted that she’d spent too much time reading news about the pandemic, and I got caught up in that, too. I dialed it back a little this week, which helped.

Most of my figuring-out had to do with my writing. I already have a good routine for work, and had been settling into one for taking care of the house (a.k.a. cleaning), since we moved away from the friend who cleaned for us. But I never developed a good routine for writing.

One thing I noticed recently is that I tend to put off the writing until the very end of the day, after I’ve done everything else that needed to be done (and taken necessary breaks). I suspect this mostly comes from the fact that writing is fun (or it should be), and like many, I grew up with the mindset to “do your homework first, then you can go play.” The problem was, by the time I got to the writing, I was tired and didn’t feel like it (or care enough to push through). Something needed to change.

My husband wound up going out of town for a job last week, so it was the perfect time to develop a new routine: doing my writing right after dinner, and giving it enough importance to be okay with it. Even if I spent 1/2 hour to an hour on the writing, that would still leave me with time to relax and spend with my husband afterward on most days.

Well, it WORKED! I spent at least 1/2 hour every day on my writing, right after dinner, and also wrote about 3300 words of notes. Even better, my husband was gone for three days, and I kept this up after he got back. I also enjoyed it more, I think because I wasn’t trying to pressure myself into doing “real” writing, but just made notes.

Which is where the other part of “figuring it out” comes in. The act of making notes helped me tons with figuring out what needs to be changed in what I already have, and where my story is going. I haven’t figured it all out, but at the rate I’m going, I should be good to spend another week making notes and doing some rough outlines (with the caveat that it all can change!), then I should be good to get back to the actual writing. And since I’m no longer bored with it, that should be fun as well.

What I’ve Been Reading

I didn’t finish anything this week, but I have been enjoying a novel that I will write about here next week.

What I’ve Been Writing

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A lot of notes! ROW80 ended for the quarter on Thursday, so I guess it’s time for an end-of-ROW wrap-up. I changed my goals midway through when I started bogging down, but that was still not enough. I made my January writing goal, but got next to nothing in February or March. But hey, next week is a new Round, so time to start back in then. I’ll have a better idea of what I can do for Round Two, so I’ll blog about that next week. This week, I want to continue making notes to get the rest of the story figured out, and either start back on the WIP, or be ready to next week.

I am almost done with my learning goal, too. Since I set my goal for three months, and we still have a couple days left, I should be able to finish that online workshop by Tuesday, and meet my goal. I also wanted to learn something about copyright once a month, so I also need to get on that if I want to meet my goal–I sort of forgot about it last week, when it was on my to-do list. So this week for learning, I want to finish the online workshop on Secondary Plotlines, spend a little time reading about copyright, and start another online workshop–still not sure which one.

So that’s a wrap for ROW80, Round One! Tell me, how are things going for you? Have you been affected by the pandemic? I hope you’re staying healthy and employed! How are you doing on your goals, whether writing or something else? Please share 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.

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

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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.

Slow “Vacation” Week

You would think I could have gotten a lot done this past week, given that my husband went to Florida for Bike Week, leaving me here with the critters. This is what my mom refers to as a “vacation.” :D. But no.

He came home Friday night, which was just as well as Bike Week shut down early due to virus fears (and not a bad call either). He and his friend actually didn’t participate in Bike Week at all, as they were staying with his friend’s relative, and wound up just cruising through the center of town where the activities were supposed to be. Attendance was sparse, so they just rode through and didn’t even go into any of the bars or music venues. My husband came down with a sore throat and wasn’t feeling well for the ride home, but he made it safely and was feeling better the next day, leading us to conclude he just had a cold or mild flu. However, he’s staying home, just in case. As for supplies? We’re lucky to have made our regular monthly Costco run a week before the panic struck, so we’re good. And I already work from home, so I’m fortunate there as well.

What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve been reading a couple of nonfiction books, as well as novel that I’m really enjoying, but I didn’t finish anything this week. So this too, will have to wait until next week.

What I’ve Been Writing

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Part of my slow writing week may be that I had some extra bookkeeping to do for our businesses, finishing up things for taxes and such, and updating records since we sold our old house. That was in fact the case–but not all week.

I’m still having trouble keeping going on the WIP without knowing where it’s going. I mean, I have an idea of how it will end, but no idea of how what I’m writing now will lead to that or even tie in.

I got about 700 words written before totally bogging down again. My WIP is boring to me, so what else could it be to readers?

Time to regroup–AGAIN. I need to just spend the week getting a better idea of what will happen, and maybe even do some rudimentary outlining. I never end up following the outline, which is why I quit doing them, but maybe my creative brain needs something to latch onto before it can suggest something better. We’ll see!

On another note, I did get my learning done, and completed another week of my online workshop. I want to do another week of it this week, as well as do some reading on copyright.

How has your week been? Have you been affected by the virus pandemic? I hope you and yours are staying healthy! How are you doing with whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d 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.