Tag Archive: writing

In Camp NaNoWriMo

Did I tell you I am taking a complete leap of faith?

This summer I jumped on the Camp NaNoWriMo band wagon. It is the write-a-novel-in-a-month online community that normally runs in November. For the months of April and July it runs in a ‘less’ structured format so that what people are working on include poetry, screenplays, dissertations, or anything they want at the word count best suits their project.

For the next 29 day, I am writing 1600 or more words a day in order to complete my second novel. While the first one is done and in need of some heavy duty editing, I really needed a break from it. It is time to put that work aside and get deep into a different story.

2014-Participant-Facebook-Cover 2

For now, I am living with Fiona who has issues. Like none of the rest of us do. But she has them and needs to work some things out. Every time I write another chapter, I find out a little bit more about this art professor/potter.

It also means I have a stack of art books to look through so I can understand her world just a little bit more. I am having fun with this and so far, I am keeping up. I hope by the end of the month I can say I have written a book and need to find a literary agent.

What leaps are you taking this summer?




Dear Family, Friends, and Readers,


You may have noticed that I have been AWOL for some time. You might have seen that I have not posted for a while.

It is not because I am bored or lost my column or having a bout of depression. But I have been busy. Busy with kids, busy with extra work hours, busy with the novel. I took on some extra roles that require more time than I originally thought. I have a novel that is near completion. I have piles of sewing  and craft projects as well as some cleaning projects that require my attention.

Image by Patuska

Image by Patuska

So something needs to give and that something is this blog. Oh, I will start posting my column on a regular basis once more. But sadly, I am not visiting your blogs or replying to your comments as I should. My focus will be on finishing that novel, taking care of the craft and sewing pile, cleaning up some of the piles that have built up around my house.

My plan is to return on the new year and get back to regular posts and visiting of all of you who have supported this blog for so long. There have been many new visitors and, believe me, I plan to visit you as well.

Please wave if you see me speed by. Soon, very soon, I will have time to visit once more.



Are You a Writer?

Recently, I decided that my writing skills needed an upgrade.

Image by Cohdra

I do work for one of those writing mills, and wanted to pump up my scores. So I found a website that would grade my ‘active verb’ usage. Then I learned how to better utilize my favorite search engine.

Instead of getting better, my scores went down. So much so that I am on ‘probation’ right now. Yes, it is a blow to my ego. And, yes, I am doubting everything that I write. Everything.

Here is the problem. Despite making improvements, I never saw this coming.

My scores were all over the place.  An article with many corrections would be rated highly, an article with few changes brought down my average. I guessed the rating by how my average went up and down. I never saw the actual rating for each story although I did read the track changes so I would know what was and was not changed.

I saw many commas added and realized that is where I failed consistently. And that is where I worked to make improvements.

Image by Alvimann

Strangely enough, I recently found a writer’s group that really gets wonky about grammar and punctuation. I love it because it will only help me improve.

I love knowing I am expected to go over a story with a red pen and make lots of marks. Heck, if I want to throw in comments about content that is welcomed as well. I love it!

There is something exhilarating about reading other people’s work. You see how other people tackle their topics and bring about memories/feelings. Suddenly, you are inspired to write something because of a great line or paragraph in that work.

For now, I am limbo with the story mill. I have to write three stories and if they make the grade, I get all of my privileges back. Yipee?!?

I also know I am not the only one. Judging by the comments on the board at that website and other sites, there are a lot of people getting the same e-mail as myself. Some of their reported ratings are much higher than mine and it makes me wonder just who is being targeted.

It’s obvious to me this action by the story mill will weed out writers who no longer want to write these 400-500 word articles on some pretty ridiculous titles or cannot improve their skills.

If that pushes you to look elsewhere for writing jobs, that is the upside.

How are you upgrading your writing skills and career?

Scratching My Head

I always wonder if fellow bloggers look at their stats and wonder why people read the postings they read.

I know I do.

Picture by Wcizmowski

I started writing more gardening posts because I noticed that people liked these and tended to comment on them. I posted once about the antics performed by my dog and notice that people had something to say so I do those on a somewhat regular basis.

For those regular visitors, you might see that months and months ago I wrote on pie. I used a quote from the movie Michael starring John Travolta, Andie McDowell and William Hurt. People look up pictures of cherries, cherry pie and “Pie, Pie, Me oh my, I love Pie” that helps them find this blog. It is one of two of the most popular posts on this blog.

The other is the post I did on Elephant Ears vs. Funnel Cakes. I tried to decide which one is better and I still have not decided. The article and the two pictures of the aforementioned food has been viewed many times over. And yet…

And yet no one has ever commented. I thought carnival food would be a slam dunk for comments. Everyone has a favorite food that comes from county fairs, carnivals and festivals. Surely someone would talk about how they love deep fried twinkies or pretzels or funnel cakes.

Funnel Cake, picture by Bandini

The same about my pie posting. No one wanted to discuss that they preferred blueberry or French silk or rum raisin. No one comments on how much they like or hate John Travolta. And that cute little song? Not a peep on how much enjoyment this movie has given over the years.

Just  yesterday I read a post  by a young man who is sick of “dating stories” blogs that tell details of dates that went wrong. Or at least wrong in the eye of the writer. He questioned if those blogs were just using a life experience for self-aggrandizing? Well, yes they are. But isn’t that what we all do with any of our blogs?

I write up the funny stories of my dog and post pictures of my garden to share my life. I share my opinion of serious issues and total silliness.

Other people share pictures of their travels, their crafts and home improvement. I have read blogs on parents dealing with their child who has autism, the writer’s life, fabulous cooking and getting out of debt without asking for money. I have read blogs from people living in Norway, India, Haiti and Russia.

What we are all searching for is a witness to our life (line stolen from Shall We Dance). We are searching for like-minded people to affirm the paths we have chosen to follow or to help us find a different and better path. And when people stop by and say what they like, it is a wonderful feeling.

It’s that “You  like me. You really like me” moment that you do not have to share with Sally Field. You can do it in your yoga pants or pj’s or naked.

We all have our reasons for writing and sharing. Some of us hope to bring understanding of our life to the masses. Some of us want to share some of the cool things we have seen in our world. I am willing to guess most want desperately to be freshly pressed or, if not, appreciate when it happens but understands that life keeps going on.

In the meantime, I will keep looking forward to seeing what people are reading but not commenting about every week.

And wishing that they would comment.