A Garden of Delights

Something Doing!

Posted on: January 4, 2018

It may be that it’s a new year.  Or it may be just because I’ve been gradually finding my flow back into writing more consistently anyway and now I wish to take a new step forward….  Either way, I’m starting some new things today.

Welcome to my first…

2018 ROW80 Check-in IWSG WWW Wednesday Post


(click below an image to go to the specific section you want if you don’t want to read the whole post)

Since one of my new ROW80 goals was to start blogging more consistently and since I’ve wanted to become more active in the IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group)  and since I have read a lot and wished I had a way to share my recent pleasure…  this seemed like a great place (and great time) to start.

First things last and last things first, let’s go with WWW Wednesday where, according to the rules of the bloghop, I need to answer three main questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently?  I’m reading Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber and enjoying it as a break from my usual.  Also recently started, Guns Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond, but I am finding myself frustrated by his voice and absolutism in the face of research that has come out since the book’s publication.

Recently? I finished Dying to Sing by Margaret Chittenden, Murder on St. Mark’s Place by Victoria Thompson (The Gaslight Mysteries) and Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen (the Molly Murphy Mysteries).  I cannot say enough good things about the second two books (my library has huge orders for the next books in those two series).  The first?  I can’t say I hated it, but I didn’t find myself connecting with Chittenden’s characters in this book quite the way I did with her romance Double Take (read it in November).  And while I have the next book in the series waiting, I’m just not sure I care now.

Next? I’ve got the next Molly Murphy mystery Life of Riley waiting in the wings, Dear Life by Alice Munro (started this then staggered with the holiday chaos), and another eight books waiting for me at the library.  Guess where I’ll be visiting tomorrow if the weather holds out?  😀

Secondly, we have the Insecure Writers Support Group where writers share their doubts and concerns and just express how things may/may not be going in their writing careers.  Optionally, there is a question we can answer, which presently fits a lot of my recent doubts and fears:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Oh, boy…  doubts and fears.  Got plenty of those going these days.  I’d like to say it’s just the post holiday exhaustion, but really, writing has become hard in …  well, not the actual work, but way my head seems to no longer connect with words.  I used to be able to focus.  Lately, unless I’m in that “perfect for me” place, my mind cannot absorb much of anything I write or see on the screen.  A blank page is more than terrifying…  it’s like a slippery snow bank that my eyes just slide right off.

It’s not so much a too much technology thing or even a distraction thing…  oddly enough, writing into my phone (the joys of an S-Pen and a Note5) is much easier these days than on my PC or laptop (a paper notebook itself is still somewhat better).  My best thinking seems to happen in chaotic places like Dave & Busters or lunch time at Panera (it has to be crowded enough [and loud enough]  for me to close inward and focus).

The answers seem simple…  go someplace busy and write.  They are simple really.  Of course, I can’t live in D&B (or afford food there that often) or Panera.  It’s well over a 20 mile drive to either one.  And they don’t keep the hours my (lately) rare bursts of inspiration seem to come by.

So… in answer to the question above, I’m trying other options.  I used to use Coffitivity when I worked the overnight shift as a network admin.  And now there is MyNoise for other styles of background chatter to try.  Music…  always music.  And while I can’t watch a show and write (even if I don’t like it, I find myself unable to stop trying to follow the storyline), having sports on in the background seems to be very cathartic.  An added boon…  my son has recently become quite interested in soccer.

I am still trying to figure out how to be “here” for my family and “here” for my characters at the same time…  my brain never worked well that way, and age seems to be bringing out all of its quirks.  My poor husband mentioned the other day that he’s grown used to my “vanishing” in a second if my attention shifts and focuses on something.

He’s a saint.

And lastly, but not least there is the ROW80 check-in (which has been somewhat answered by the prior two sections).  For those who didn’t see my goals for the upcoming 12-weeks of ROWing, you can see them here.  And you can find our very supportive and helpful group here, if you want to know more about the ROW80 in general.

The biggest “failure” of this check-in is that I missed typing my 750 words on Monday.  Not really a big issue in the grand scheme of things.

Successes?  Pretty much everything else.  I even got in a social media bonus of participating in the RWA Kiss of Death weekly #1lineWed meme (here), posted a WIPpet (here), and researched ways to setup an official website that would combine this blog with my other one.  And I even had the ROW80 blog setup and the linky posted early yesterday (as well as some backdrop maintenance done).

It’s a good start.  I still need to corral the ROW80 sponsor stuff into a neat pile (many thanks to those who ARE sponsoring!).  It’s a process though, and I’m making some steps through the mire.

20 Responses to "Something Doing!"

Wow, eight books waiting for you at the library?! Dang! I hope you find time to enjoy them all. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

Yeah… we live in a pretty rural area, so I order large numbers of books at a time. It’s a lot easier to renew online than to make multiple car rides.

Very good check-in. Sounds like you’re attentive to your writing set-up. I have to be as well. I don’t know how that happens, but writing has been a chore lately. I haven’t tried writing on my phone. Notebooks are always welcome. D&B is an exciting place to write at. I can see the attraction. Field-trips are often rewarding. Great to hear from you!

There is always a place for an extra notebook or two. I wouldn’t say D&B is exciting though… mostly I tend to hide amid the din. Whatever way we can make it work. 😀

Hi, Eden! I always enjoy meeting new members of the IWSG! I get that you have to be usually have CNBC on in the background, and I often play a few games of Bejeweled Blitz because the noise and tumbling colors help clear my head. I believe in whatever works.

I enjoyed hearing about what you are reading. I’m currently reading “The Great Halifax Explosion” by John U. Bacon, and I just finished “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins. Next ~ not sure yet.

We all have our challenges and ups and downs with writing. Wishing you all the best with your writing in 2018.

LOL! I don’t know if I’ve ever had CNBC on (we don’t own a TV… usually I go to the local Applebee’s and sit in their bar area where there are games going on all around me). I never thought about using the sounds of the pattern matching games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled along with the gameplay as a way of getting in the mode. Might have to try that.

Glad you enjoyed the book list. The Great Hallifax Explosion is definitely going on my to be read list now. I love books of that type. Thanks!

Best to you on your own ups and downs. 😀

Hi Eden, I agree that it is a struggle being “here” for our family as well as for our characters. But we writers have to find the tricky balance. Visiting as a IWSG co-host.

Rachna Chhabria
Co-host IWSG
Rachna’s Scriptorium

Balance… it’s one of those things I’ve never been good at. But that’s part of the journey… to keep trying. Thanks for visiting Rachna.

Wow! That’s the way to start a year. I was sorely tempted by ROW80, except that I only blog once a week as I’m contributing to three blogs so any more would send me over the edge!

It’s been real interesting seeing you work through the process of where & how to best write. I’ve never considered going anywhere else, although I have told tales and pretended to be at the library so I could turn my phone off. But really I need to manage my boundaries without guilt. As well as starting that new “just sit down and write” practice.

Hope you get it all worked out. I’m looking forward to sharing your journey & mine with you.

Thanks for stopping in, Deb. Hope you find your way through the “setting boundaries” guilt (I have more than my share of at as well).

Don’t let the twice weekly ROW80 check-in schedule deter you from joining f you are interested. We have plenty of people who only post once a week. Some only check-in with a “I’m writing” in the Facebook feed… it’s about be accountable to yourself and letting others help you. 🙂

You’ve got a lot going on in the new year! That’s wonderful!

I love to work at home on my off days, but I tend to focus better if I go somewhere. The background noise of a cafe really helps me. There’s a lot of small cafes where I live but I tend to find myself heading to Barnes and Noble. It’s bigger and I feel more anonymous writing there.

Thanks so much for stopping by for the IWSG. Happy New Year!

I hear you about liking the anonymity of a larger cafe like B & N. Our closest one is a bit more of a jaunt from my house than I’d like, but… yeah, definitely nice to be able to sit back and record the world going by. 😀

LOL, it’s pretty cool that there’s an app for background noise. The most I’ll listen to while writing is the rainymood app, because I need quiet to write.

I wanted to let you know that clicking on your name in the comments on my blog took me to your old blogspot blog so I had to google you to find you.

Good luck with your goals this year, Eden!

Ack! Sorry about the old blogspot thingie. I HAD fixed that once upon a time, but well, things do change and things do get reset. Thanks for letting me know!

That WWW blog hop for reading looks interesting. Not that I need more books. Like many, I have two shelves of to be read, plus many holds at the library. Sound like you are getting a handle on your writing though, as long as you keep finding challenging places to write. If you drive a lot, would some kind of voice to text work?

I’d love to try voice to text, but the few times I have tried it, I have found that it required me to access the internet, which isn’t really possible for most of our commute (a lot of phone dead zones). Also, my son usually rides with me, and he isn’t conducive to writing mind… Love him dearly, but I don’t write when he’s around. :-/

It is a good thing to keep in the back of the mind though. Thank for the visit and the reminder, Mike.

Hi Eden,
I’ve found that I’ve gone back to notebooks too, there just seems more clarity getting things down than straight to screen, then again, maybe it’s just a phase.
Best of luck with finding your writing headpsace 🙂

It may be a phase (I tend to shift between needing my keyboard and needing a pen regularly… it’s nice to know both are still out there!). If it is, hopefully you’ll enjoy it while it’s here and not find the transition to the keyboard too challenging when it comes. If it’s not, then happy penmanship to you! 🙂

I’m very much the writer who needs perfect silence when she writes! Everybody’s different. I do find that silence easy for me to get in my life, and it sounds like you have the kind of supportive husband and son who help you out when you need noise to mentally slip away. Good luck with your goals this new year!

You’re so right that we all need different things. I find my head needs to fill up any empty spaces with clutter, usually not work-related things however (that would actually be helpful). Hopefully you will find those silent places you need (when I do need silence, I find I like to head into churches, especially very old ones, for an hour or two… there is a peace to be found in such places that renews me for those busy moments).

Thank you, and best wishes for you too!

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