#ROW80: End of Round 2 and Round 3 objectives

So, as the second Round of Words in Eighty Days for 2013 comes to a close (tomorrow), I can say that I’m pretty satisfied. I set a couple of goals at the beginning of the round, and while I fell considerably short on the reading and social media ones I did better than I thought I would on the writing goal.

Let’s summarize:

  • Writing: I am now writing at least an hour a day, and I seem to have found a character, Blake, that has inspired a number of story ideas. Since he’s only fourteen, he’s dragging me down the path of writing Young Adult stories. Whether they’re romances or mysteries or comedies, I couldn’t say, but the more I think about it, why limit the stories to just one genre? I might find the answer to that as I go along, but for right now, I’m having fun with it.
  • Reading: I started the last round having regained control of my Kindle, only to have it retaken by the voracious reader in the house. I have the Kindle app on both my desktop and my netbook (as well as my phone) and may need to use it to finish reading the books that I started during the round. Not the best solution, because I tend to want to type when sitting at the computer, but I’ll manage somehow to finish them. There will be much rejoicing when I do, I’m certain.
  • Social Media: We had some pretty rough weather come through our area last week (tornadoes popped up not far from our house) and I used Twitter more then than I had most of the round. And I’m fine with that. As for responding to blogs, I’ve tried going with the Linky list and replying to those blogs ahead of me. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the ROW80 update in the ROW80 update posts. But at the very least I’m “liking” the updates when I read them, if there’s an option for that.

So I give myself a C for this past round.

I’m setting one objective for this coming round: To write four pages a day. That’s roughly a thousand words. I don’t plan on participating in any challenges or contests this time around. Just writing a lot.

See you next round!

#ROW80: Almost forgot!

Holiday weekends always manage to throw me off for a couple of weeks. For some reason I thought it was Thursday. I just realized that it was Wednesday and that I hadn’t done my summary for the past week. Oh well, better late than never.

I’ve been writing all the time lately, at least an hour a day. It might seem like a lot, but since I only have one usable hand that I can type with, I think I only get half as much accomplished. I have had this one theme going through my head for a couple of years now, and just recently came to the conclusion that it would make a good story. Problem is that it’s too big an idea to be a short story, but not big enough to be a full-length novel, so it’s looking like a collection of short stories. But, for purposes of this exercise, it’s gotten me writing and interested enough in the project to keep me writing.

As a result, nearly everything else has fallen by the wayside. I’m way backed up on the blogs that I read; I think I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number, and know that I need to cut back on them. There are about thirty that I read more or less religiously, and about a hundred fifty that I haev no idea why I’m following them. Feedly is wonderful: it lets the blog posts accumulate until I get around to reading them. Twitter is telling me on a regular basis that people are following me, and they’re not seeing much other than the messages that I have another blog post. I’m about halfway through a dozen or so books, which I’ll get back to once Mary gives me back my Kindle.

But for right now, the writing is keeping me going. My Round 3 goals are all going to be writing ones.

I hope to get around to some of your blogs and offer encouragement. Thanks for being an encouragement to me.

#ROW80: First summer check-in

I’m a bad boy. I’ve been putting things off until the last minute. Yesterday’s Two for Tuesday was almost Two for Wednesday. But, it’s been for a good cause, at least I think it has been: I’ve been busy writing. I landed on this one idea that I’ve been playing with in my head for a couple of years now, and decided that yes, it would make a pretty good story. I won’t jinx it by talking about it, other than to say that yes, I got one.

On to the update:

  • Writing: I completed the May Story A Day challenge, but then, the requirements were not all that stringent. Nevertheless, I have yet more fragments of stories, and when I’m off my latest project, I’ll get back to them. The good news is that I’m writing every day.
  • Reading and Tweeting: Nope. I also didn’t get around to other ROW80ers’ blogs to offer courage, sympathy, etc. Mea maxima culpa. On that score, I promise to do better this week.

So there you have it. Have a good week.

#ROW80: Holiday edition

I had a good holiday weekend. Mary and I had been talking about upgrading the computer, and we had an opportunity to do that. It’s another Mac Mini, but with four times the memory and twice the hard drive (as if that’s ever been a problem), and I can run 64-bit applications on it. At the same time, there are applications that will no longer work on it, most notably the version of Microsoft Office that I had been using. Faced with the prospect of dropping another couple hundred on it, I downloaded OpenOffice.org, which can create documents compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and it’s free. Take that, Bill Gates.

On to the update:

  • Writing: Slacked off a little and didn’t write every day, but that’s all right: I got more writing in than I would have if I sat in front of the TV doing nothing at all. I’m learning to live with the days that I don’t feel like writing.
  • Reading and Tweeting: Not much of either. Next time through, I don’t think I’ll set either as a goal.

See you next week.

#ROW80: Oh, yeah, it’s Wednesday….

I knew that I was forgetting something!

This has not been a particularly good week. I spent the latter half of last week dealing with computer issues. We had been having sporadic issues where our wireless network at home would be fine for a while, then all of a sudden decide to go out to lunch and leave us sitting there watching the wheel spin around. Resetting the router would help for a while, then it would start again. Using a wired connection, with my netbook connected directly to the router, was the same way: it would work fine for thirty minutes, then hang for ten.

Finally I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new wireless router, since the old one had been in service since before the stroke. I received the new one on Friday (Amazon is wonderful), plugged it in, configured it, and everything worked fine.

For about an hour.

Then the same thing happened with the new router.

I Googled “wireless router hangs” and read several of the top articles, all of which suggested that I look for a source of electromagnetic interference. I thought it might be the shredder, the printer, the television, even the cable modem (which I couldn’t really unplug, but I could move it farther from the router), and none of those seemed to be the issue. I was ready to turn my attention to the six-outlet power source that sits on the computer table, and stopped…

About two weeks ago, Mary got a new cellphone. I charged it for her by plugging the charger into the aforementioned power source (it’s nice because it sits on the table so that I don’t have to get on the floor to plug things in). When her phone was charged, I unplugged it from the charger and left the charger plugged in (I know, I’m not supposed to do that, sue me). I realized that it had been since I had plugged it in that we started experiencing problems….

So, I unplugged it, and we haven’t had the problem since.

CONELRAD: CONtrol of ELectromagnetic RADiation. Something I should have known to do...
CONELRAD: CONtrol of ELectromagnetic RADiation. Something I should have known to do.

Anyway, on to the update:

  • Writing: I’ve figured out a way to get this done early in the day: Write the stories into 750Words.com. The stories are lousy first drafts, anyway, might as well write them while I’m throwing words on the screen first thing in the morning. I started doing this yesterday morning. So I wrote a story four days out of seven.
  • Reading: Focused on short stories from the collection Best Short Stories From The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2013. This gives me some idea what people are writing as well as giving me examples of what award-winning short fiction looks like. It’s fun reading, and I’m learning a lot. I read the first five stories in the book over the last seven days.
  • Tweeting: Not as much Twitter this week as I have been doing. I’m not losing sleep over it.

So, that’s the news from this end. Hope your week is going well.