ROW80 Check Ins

Night of the Living ROW

Final ROW80 Check in for Round 2, 2012

yawning kitty cat
Having reached the end of another ROW80, Mortimer decides to take a well-deserved nap.

We’ve reached the end of another round of ROW80. This round, I haven’t been as attentive as I would have liked. Of course, lots of life intervened. But all we can do is all we can do.

My plans for this round:

  • Update ROW80 page, for last round and this one: I updated the page at the beginning of the round but it needs another update.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes minimum 4 days a week on new novella. I’m working on expanding Postcards from Hell and its sequel, Ants in the Mailbox into a novella. My MIP is on hold for now: For the last month, I’ve tried to catch up with work projects and a big move. I put a hold on writing work until I get settled. Continue reading “Night of the Living ROW”
Life List Club

What Do We Do When We Miss the Mark?

Sherry Isaac is over at the Life List Club talking about what happens when we miss our goals. Head on over and check it out!

1999. The year the artist formerly known as Prince asked that we party like.

That summer, chauffeur to soccer games, school dances and babysitting jobs, a familiar beat reverberated in this mother’s minivan. ‘Steal My Sunshine’, a one-hit wonder released by Toronto-based band, Len.

Click here to read more.

Also be sure to check out Jess Witkins’s post on fast drafting and Lara Schiffbauer’s post on not wasting energy on negativity (I know I need to be reminded of that over and over again).

Stay tuned. The Life List Club Milestone Party is coming up in two weeks! And it’s gonna be a whopper because the Life List Club is turning one year old.

Parallel Tuesdays

Ray Bradbury Lives On

Last week, I was in the throes of the move (the last one for the next 20 years, at least, if I have anything to say about it) and bereft of Internet. Since I rarely bother to turn on the TV (unless it’s to watch Netflix or something from the DVR) and even more rarely bother to pick up a newspaper, I did not hear about the passing of the great Ray Bradbury until last Sunday.

I wonder what Mr. Bradbury would say about our reliance on the digital word. E-books. Blogs. Google News. Yahoo! News. Search engines. Chat boards. Wikipedia. Facebook. Twitter. Books can be burned at the digital word can be altered. While I delight in the digital, I wonder… Continue reading “Ray Bradbury Lives On”

Life List Club

How Does Creativity Really Work?

Gary Gauthier is at the Life List Club today talking about creativity

All you need for an excellent exercise that stimulates a young child’s imagination is a blank sheet of paper and a few crayons of different colors. A creative spirit and busy little hands will do the rest. It’s not so easy for us adults! While creativity can be as easy as child’s play, for an artist or a craftsman, creativity can mean painstaking work.

Read more here.

Head on over and join the conversation.

Parallel Tuesdays

There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr

*Looking for the Summer (June – August) Writing Challenge – Every Picture Has a Story? See below for details.*

Flickr is my favorite site to scout for images to use on my blog. There’s a wealth of Creative Commons licensed images and it’s easy to search for them. The images vary widely in quality and artistic value but I’ve rarely failed to find just the right one for a post.

And, of course, it’s all free…which might be the most important factor to a blogger who isn’t making money off her blog.

My Favorites stream over there is already jammed with more images than I can use in a couple of years but I just keep adding more. So many of the images I’ve encountered have captured my imagination, inspiring blog posts, stories and stories-to-be. Here are some that have really stuck with me even though they have no story…yet: Continue reading “There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr”

Tuesday Toss-Up

The Get Tossed Mashup, Volume 1

As I sit here on this fine Tuesday, I realize it’s high time for another Tuesday Toss-Up Blog Mashup. However, since that’s a lot of “ups” in one title, I decree that the mashup will henceforth be called the Get Tossed Mashup.

So there.

Welcome to the first Get Tossed Mashup. I hope you’ll enjoy the following selections as much as I did…

Sometimes it’s “out of sight, out of mind” and sometimes it’s “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But which is it when it’s your writing project that you’ve been away from? Natasha McNeely asks, “How Do You Return to a Project After a Break?

Writing an ensemble can sometimes feel like a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Jen J. Danna takes a lesson from Joss Whedon and explains How to Write an Ensemble.

The world seems to move faster everyday…maybe too fast. In another Avengers-inspired piece, Marcy Kennedy asks us “Do We Need to be a Little More Old-Fashioned?”

The mighty Bearded One, Chuck Wendig, shares another of his stellar “25 Things” with us in 25 Ways to Earn Your Audience.

Got Dark Tower? Anthony R. Schultz reviews Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.

A great teacher can inspire us to reach for incredible heights. But every once in a (hopefully) rare while, there’s a teacher that makes us want to fake a fever to get out of school. Cynthia Herron shares a difficult experience with a difficult teacher and asks “Can Great Leadership be Faked?

What can humor do for readers? Margie Lawson guest posts at Jenny Hansen’s, telling us how Humor Hits Hook Readers.

Share the love: Do you have any favorite links or blog posts? Share them in the comments.

ROW80 Check Ins

Hi-ROW, Hi-ROW, It’s Off to Work We Go

ROW80 Check In 5/2/12

Lemur BoxingThese last two weeks have been pretty decent. I felt a little lost when I didn’t check in last week but I think I’ll adjust to an every other week check in quickly. In fact, I think the longer-term planning will help me both relax and up my productivity.

Where I’ve been since last check-in:

Tuesday Toss-Up

Thus Spake the Dragon: How Useful is Speech Recognition Software for Writers/Bloggers?

*The awesome Sherry Isaac is at the Life List Club blog, talking about creating goals that really motivate us. Head on over and join in the conversation*
[keyboard cat | ORIGINAL]Some time ago, I heard about using speech recognition software for writing. One author (unfortunately, I can’t remember which one) was able to dictate thousands of words daily in less than half the time it would take to type them and without the associated strain on the hands and wrists. Although it sounded impressive, I was skeptical. The software, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, was not especially cheap and there were no free trial offers (I know, I’m a great big cheapo). There was an app, Dragon Dictation, available for free but I found it difficult and slow to use (or maybe I’m just slow and difficult). So, I shelved the idea for a while.

Fast-forward about a year and I found myself drowning in writing. I was working on my MIP, blogging, commenting and replying to comments on blogs and doing the social media tango. On a day when the words were really flowing or when the blog/social media scene was hopping, I found myself typing out a prodigious number words… and my hands, wrists, neck and back were not thanking me. Continue reading “Thus Spake the Dragon: How Useful is Speech Recognition Software for Writers/Bloggers?”

Life List Club

Life is Too Short

I’m posting at the Life List Blog today, talking about the lessons I’ve learned from my grandmother’s passing. Please drop by and say hello and tell us how you would finish the phrase “Life is too short to…”

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)


LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love the. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for…

Click here to visit the Life List Club blog and read more.

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In other news, I’ll be jumping into ROW80 Round 2 next week. It’s taken me a little while to get settled in this round but it’s gonna be great one.

Check out the April-May writing challenge. It’s all about first impressions and famous last words.

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Lily by ana branca, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday Toss-Up

April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

keyboard blur

Great opening lines draw us in, making it impossible for us to turn away and great last lines linger long, long after we’ve read the end. Two of my favorite first and last lines come from Stephen King’s work.

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”  The Gunslinger (1982). Ooh…I know I want to follow them both. Don’t you?

“lady fingers they taste like lady fingers.” Survivor Type (1982). That one even makes my husband shiver and he’s never read the story.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write either the opening or closing lines of a story. Start us off with a bang or leave us begging for more. As usual, any genre will do and the word count limit is 100.

Here’s how it all works:

  • Prompt: Create the first or last line of a story.
  • Genre: Anything goes. Mystery, Western, romance, historical fiction, alternate history, steam punk, science fiction, horror, fantasy, slip-stream, or whatever.
  • Word count: 100 words.
  • How to share: You can put it up on your blog and link here or (if you don’t have a blog) you can email (sonia DOT m DOT writes AT gmail DOT com) it to me and I’ll put it in a post for you.
  • Time limit: From now until the next challenge is posted in June.
  • Prizes: No…no prizes. Just the reward of a story well written.

There were some fabulous stories for the March Writing Challenge. I’ll be updating this post with links to them all shortly. In the mean time, cruise on over and read them here (in the comments).

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I’ll posting over at the Life List Club tomorrow. Come on by and say hello.

Photo Credit
keyboard ~ blur by hobvias sudonelghm, on Flickr CC BY 2.0