Category Archives: Writing

Weekly writing check-in: taking walks, making friends

The friend you didn’t know you needed

I made it past 10,000 words this week (with plenty of words to spare.

My ankle is (almost) healed. I think. I don’t want to jinx it or anything.

But I’ve been taking long walks in the morning and making new friends!

Someone has painted little bug rock friends and left them scattered about along the walking trails around here.

Someone (perhaps the same someone, perhaps not) moves them about from time to time, so you have to search out your friends to find their new homes. It’s an exercise that never fails to make me smile.

I don’t know who’s doing this, but they’re clearly performing a public service here.

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Weekly writing check-in: even more writing and walking

Sunrise on my walk

Even more walking this week. I’m surprised and pleased with how quickly my ankle is healing.

I get around pretty well as long as I have shoes on and the surface is relatively even. I’m grateful for that because I really love walking and working out, and I don’t feel quite right when I can’t do either.

And even more writing this week. Not so much during the week, but I got some words in over the long weekend. I’m in spitting distance of 10,000 words on the first episode of Coffee and Ghosts, Season Four, tentatively titled The Ghosts You Left Behind.

Perhaps the very best part of all of this? I’m having so much fun with the story.

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Weekly writing check-in: writing and walking

View from my morning walk

Yes, I am walking! My ankle still hurts, although it doesn’t actually hurt when I walk (which sounds weird, but it’s true).

And … I’m writing, too. Not as much as I want to during the week, but I got some words in this weekend. I’m having fun with the story, and new notions for what happens next keep popping up. It feels good to be back at it.

Plus, I signed a contract this week for my story Simon the Cold.

The Centropic Oracle will produce the story in audio. I have two other stories with them: Keeping Time and Straying from the Path.

I love audio, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they do with this story.

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Weekly writing check-in: Morning rainbow

A little more progress this week on Coffee and Ghosts, not to mention this rainbow out the back deck this morning.

My ankle is so much better, too, surprisingly so. I’m hobbling around the house and garden reasonably well. Our eggplants and cucumbers are flowering, and we have tiny peppers and tomatoes.

Right now, I’m looking at ways I can get more writing done during the week. Oddly, working from home doesn’t translate into more time for writing.

When I went into the office, I wrote during my lunch hour, away from my desk. That was my mental trigger for: now it’s time to write.

I don’t have anything like that these days, and it shows.

This week’s goal: figure out a new writing trigger/ritual.

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Weekly writing check-in: Lemons into Kona blend

So, just when you think it’s safe to step outside and maybe walk the dogs … you take a tumble and end up hurting your ankle.

When the doctor first saw it, she gave me a 50/50 chance of it being broken. Fortunately, it’s not. Just a bad sprain.

My urgent care experience was excellent. Yes, there were the COVID precautions, which I appreciate, but it didn’t take too long, and everyone was so nice (and apologizing for the wait–truly, it was fine).

My ankle is still swollen and has entered that truly ugly phase of all the bruising coming to the surface in all its purple and greenish glory.

So what to do when life gives you lemons? Make lemonade, or in my case, some Kona blend.

I opened the outline to season four of Coffee and Ghosts, made a few notes, and then this morning, wrote the first scene.

So that? That was good. I’ll take it and hope to post more progress next week.

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Weekly writing check-in: Victory garden

Fight Nazis. Plant a victory garden

Look! We have a garden. Maybe it’s not the prettiest garden out there, but it’s ours.

And soon, we’ll have peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant (along with the mint, basil, parsley, and dill).

I found this article in The Atlantic, and this particular paragraph sums up most of May for me:

Others are likely having problems with their sympathetic nervous system, which controls unconscious processes like heartbeats and breathing: They’ll be out of breath even when their oxygen level is normal, or experience what feel like heart attacks even though EKG readings and chest X-rays are clear.

So, not so much writing lately. I did work on a few edits of stories. Because the brain fog part of this whole deal is also a thing.

So I leave you with a picture of our garden.

 

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Weekly writing check-in: writing in the time of COVID

As I mentioned, way back in the dark ages of April, I came down with all the symptoms of the coronavirus. I got better, got a bit of my writing mojo back, and all seemed well.

You know where this is going.

A couple of weeks ago, I started getting shortness of breath, tightness in my chest along with some pain. At first, I thought I had some allergy-induced asthma since we went from cold and rainy to BOOM! sunshine and blooms.

But no. To make a long story short, this week, I got confirmation. Yes, I absolutely had COVID back in April, and what I’m experiencing now is that second round some people are getting.

But no worries. My lungs are clear (chest x-ray), a blood test for clotting (just fine), and an EKG (also fine). I have a stress echocardiogram scheduled for Thursday just to make certain all is well with my heart.

Still. I cannot imagine what some people are going through with this virus. My lungs are clear, and it still hurts, I’m still short of breath. Often it’s weird and random. I can feel absolutely fine and begin to chide myself for overreacting, and then twenty minutes later, I’ll wonder if today’s the day I might be visiting the ER.

I made dinner last night since I was feeling like a sloth for not doing much all day (and by dinner, I mean that I put some pasta on to boil and dumped salad into a bowl–this was not a strenuous activity). After? I had to go lie down.

In actual writing news, I did get everything scheduled for the 2020 story project through July (whew!). I did take notes on the new project, and I think I found a plotline for a Coffee and Ghosts short story.

All things considered?

Not bad.

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Weekly writing check-in: outlining in the rain

Actually, the rain is outside, so I wasn’t outlining in the rain. However, I did finish an outline for what I think will be my next book (novella or novel, not quite sure at this point).

At least, I hope it will be my next book. I don’t want to jinx it or anything.

In the meantime, I need to go research a few things, like haunted engagement rings, wedding magazines, and ghost puns.

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Weekly writing check-in: murderbot and story planning

I’m really enjoying Network Effect, the fifth book in The Murderbot Diaries series. I’m glad I reread the first four books before diving in. I’m not 100% sure the fifth in the series stands alone. It could, but I think it’s far better to read the entire series in order.

This week, I finished scheduling stories for May and came up with a plan for posting stories for June and July. It involves a serial story for July, which was not my original intent.

But you know what? I did not expect a pandemic and murder hornets and all the rest. As we used to say in the Army: Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

So I think that’s what I’ll go do on this cold, rainy Mother’s Day.

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Weekly writing check-in: pollen and murderbot

So much pollen. But a little writing as well. And a lot of reading.

This week, I’m re-reading The Murderbot Diaries in anticipation of the release of book #5 on Tuesday. The first in the series is on sale at the moment if you want to give it a try. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about the series is the novella-length of each title. We’ll see how I feel about the standalone novel-length entry (maybe by next week–I’ll let you know).

And now I’m going to try to do something despite the pollen.

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