ROW80, A Completed Project, and The Enchanted April

ere's another knitting project I've completed!

Besides the one or two projects that have sat on needles for too long now, and have no hope of ever being completed, this means I haven't any knitting in progress at the moment. I'd like to knit some mittens for winter, and start a great big ambitious Fairisle project, but we shall see.

(Thank you to Magali for the drop cap!)

Besides, that wasn't part of my original ROW80 goals! Here's sort of how I phrased my September goals on thelitforum:

Things I think about:

Knitting -- I have ideas for two new projects, and one project that's almost completed. No pressure on this goal [g]
Editing -- two novels (The Handful of Time, Captive of the Sea) still need to be worked on. Plus there's that short story anthology idea... Not a priority right now!
Writing -- I should still be plotting Amelie's story in preparation for NaNoWriMo, but all I'm really doing is writing the new novella, tentatively entitled Summer …

ROW80 and Insecure Writer's Support Group Day: Traditional Publishing





as things have suddenly gotten extra busy...

Thanks again to illustrator Magali Studer for the drop cap!

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

The optional question for this month is: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

I've always considered traditional publishing, because I grew up in the era when self-publishing meant a fanzine photocopied at your parent's office or a book you'd had printed through an author-gouging vanity publisher.

The landscape has changed enormously since then! I think self-publishing is an amazing option nowadays, for those who wish to control the entire process, and are able to employ the right editors, designers, copy editors, and so on that can help them get the book finalized. Self-published or traditionally published, there's nothing like the formal editing process for making a manuscript shine.

I've been thinking all year of self-publishing a mini anthology of five of my…

ROW80, Handywoman by Kate Davies, A New Film, and Kill Your Darlings

am experimenting with a new drop cap today, from a gorgeous alphabet by a Swiss designer!

I've got three recommendations to share, of a book, a film, and a blog post on how to kill your darlings (a phrase from Stephen King).

The book is Handywoman by Kate Davies

"Paralysed by a stroke at the age of 36, Kate Davies' world turned upside-down. Forced to change direction, Kate took a radical new creative path. Handywoman tells this story.

This is not a book about Kate's triumph over adversity. Rather, it is her account of the ordinary activities and everyday objects that stroke and disability made her see differently. From braiding hair for the first time to learning how to knit again; from the lessons of a working-class creative childhood to the support of the contemporary knitting community; from the transformative effects of good design to developing a new identity as a disabled walker; in this engaging series of essays, Kate describes how the experience of brain inju…

ROW80 Update and the Mediterranean Monk Seal

uick post!

And quick ROW80 update, too.

Mainly because I've dropped most everything else and am forging ahead on the short story/novella I started a couple of weeks ago (original 900+ word version is in my previous post below).

Here are a few of the inspirational images I've collated on Pinterest:

And here's a brief snip, added to the story since my last post:

A hand reached down to take the snorkel, leaving me free to swing onto the ladder and climb up. It was Justin. He stood off to the side as I clambered onto the deck. I wrapped a towel around myself, debating. But there was nothing for it; I wanted to show off my photos and he was the only one not dozing in the sun or splashing around in the water on the other side of the boat. I could smell sizzling grilled meat and peppers, and one of the crew was laying a table for lunch.

“I saw a seal,” I said casually.

“Are you sure?”

His question caught me off guard, and I paused in the act of swinging the camera cord from around my…

WEP: My First Flash Fiction for WEP!


I haven't been quite working on my ROW80 goals, as it's very hot around here at the moment, but I have been writing, so not entirely prostrate and lazy with the heat.

I've just written a short story that evolved from the August Writer's Exercise on the Forum, and it happens to fit the parameters of this month's Write...Edit...Publish challenge!

Here are the details of both:

Forum exercise:
This month "we will write a travel-account, either based on a diary, an essay, a travel journal or a letter or a series of postcards. This is meant to be a fun exercise, so there are two options to choose from.

A fictional type of travel-writing.
Here I will give those who choose this option the name of a character. You'll take this character, imagine who he/she is and what they are like, and then you will send them on holiday.
You can pick any style of travel writing you like: letters, essay, postcards, a literary account of the travel.
It can be factual, fun…

On Vacation

n vacation.

I'm not, really. But work is very busy and it's very hot out.

I'm not quite meeting my ROW80 goals, but I've just written a new short story! I'm busy editing it, and hope to share a form of it next week, as part of the August Write...Edit...Publish challenge!

Here's a wee teaser:

When Amelie asked if I wanted to join her and a bunch of her friends on holiday in Turkey, I was all for it.

The starting year of uni was tough. I was proud to be the first in my family to go to university, and really proud that I'd got into Oxford. But the work was hard, my English wasn't always good enough, and the Portuguese-speaking community was small. And there was no one else from Brazil in my year.

Then I met Amelie at a salsa class, and things got better. She was friends with everyone! And the Turkey trip was going to be excellent.

Then I found out that her boyfriend was coming along.
What do you think will happen next?

Swiss National Day!

wiss National Day today!

There's a long festival going on in Geneva, and lots of fireworks, so for today I've compiled nearly all of my Geneva posts into one:

Our arrival!

The Geneva International Book Fair
with Irvine Welsh
and Joel Dicker




Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, and Villa Diodati

United Nations
and Ariana Park

Jet d'Eau

Where the Rhone meets the Arve

Museums and an unidentified object

St Pierre Cathedral


Botanical gardens

Plane trees

Lakefront and zombies

...everything else!

Today is also Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

If anyone needs a break from writing, editing, research, etc., or needs a space to daydream about a story, here's a coffee break in Geneva post I once wrote, back in our first winter in Geneva!:

f we were having coffee...

This is a blog idea from Conny at Study Read Write. I'm going to borrow it for today!

If we were having coffee together this week, we'd be in Geneva, which means we'll likely ha…

New Books!

ew books!

Some ideal summertime reads from among the books I've read in the past month:

Can't Stand the Rain, the latest in the Wishing for a Hero romantic suspense series, by Kait Nolan

"Delaney Newell knows what it means to be powerless. Against the family who wouldn’t support her. Against the man she loved who betrayed her. Against the gossips who won’t let her forget it. But after years of struggling, she’s finally getting her life together.
Sean Murphy has spent years fighting forest fires. The former hotshot turned forester knows the growth that can sprout from unfathomable destruction. That’s what he sees in Delaney—someone who got leveled by life but didn’t stop growing. He's spent the past several months watching the shy red-head blossom, and he really likes what he sees.
When Delaney is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, everyone is willing to believe the worst of her. Everyone except Sean. The woman he knows couldn’t possibly be behind the rash of fires …

TL Watson Book Sale!

hree of Tara's books are on sale at the moment!

Snap them up while you can!

Last Call, on sale here

"Newly-single attorney Gwen Cooper’s list of things that make her happy is pretty simple:
1. her teenage sons
2. her stilettos
3. finally taking control of her own life

While texting the first on the list to warn them she’s missed her flight home, she plows into a hot-shot movie star, has a lukewarm latte dumped down her blouse, and snaps a heel off item number two. When the actor shows up at the hotel bearing an apology of replacement Louboutins, she should be wondering how he got her room number. Instead, she’s simmering over his well-tailored suit and conjuring more sinful ways for him to make things up to her. And why not? The notorious bachelor is the perfect guy to kick off her post-divorce fantasies of no strings attached. Ever again.

Blake Donovan claimed Hollywood’s top spot by playing the self-centered bad boy his manager and publicist created. Lonely as it is, he’s lo…

For My ROW80 Check In, A Scene With A Twist

quick check in for ROW80, especially as I didn't actually provide an update last week!

I've reprinted The Handful of Time to edit it all over again, but found myself at loose ends in general day-to-day editing tasks, so I've -- possibly foolishly -- sent out a few more queries for two of the other novels.

And I went back to Larksong for the month, in order to participate in the latest exercise on The Lit Forum, which might be called the flip...

"When we write, we paint a scene with our words. Some writers provide a sparse scene with their words, leaving it to the reader to fill the blanks with their own imagination while others add so many visuals aids (colours, smell, touch, etc) the reader can use those to make this more than just a scene, it become alive in a way.

However detailed, the end result is always that the reader has built up a mental picture of the scene, the surroundings, the character, and the reader is relying on this image to follow the story and t…

Some of My Favourite Ending Lines from Novels, and Belated IWSG Day

avourite ending lines from novels!

Here are some of mine, inspired by Malcolm Campbell's recent post, Some of my favorite ending lines from novels. I like especially his choice of Orwell, Milne, and Mitchell.

Joyce's Ulysses was also one of the first to leap to my mind (impossible to quote the whole sentence, of course):

"...and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

I also thought of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and the line, "'God's in His heaven, all's right wi…

New Goals for ROW80, and Open for Guest Posts!

ew round of A Round of Words in 80 Days starts on 2 July!

"What Is ROW80?A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. We are all different and we all have different demands on our time.  Why should we all have the same goal?  The simple answer is that we shouldn’t.  If you want to be a writer, then you have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to your changing circumstances.  If that means changing your goals when your life blows up, so be it.  ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life. For more on why I started it, see this post.
So here’s the skinny:We have 4 rounds a year, each running 80 days.  Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is measurable (e.g. number of words/pages, specified amount of time to spend on writing per day/week, number of pages edited, etc.–for more on what makes a measurable goal, see this post).Once you have settled on a goal, you write it up on your blog (yes,…

ROW80 End of Round Wrap Up, and Visits to Yvoire (France) and Gruyeres, plus Photos from Vaud (Switzerland)

nd of another ROW80 round! I'm not ready!

My goals and progress seems to have gotten a bit scattered since the last round. The full set of goals and their various stages of completion look like this:

enter handwritten edits to The Handful of Time (working title) and reread: still trying to finish this

query Druid's Moon: haven't done this yet

query The Charm of Time: I did! No bites...

keep editing Mystery at Bertram's Hotel (working title) on paper: I finished this!

enter handwritten edits to Mystery at Bertram's Hotel: not started yet because --

enter handwritten edits to Captive of the Sea: a new goal, because Harlequin have put out a call for medieval romances

do required research for stories and come up with proper titles

back to school!: this is what took up most of my time. But I'm all done my first year!

think about short story anthology: I did a cover mock up. It needs work

I'm also really far behind in updating my list of books read (see below)...