#ROW80: End of Round 3, Thoughts on Round 4, and Job Stuff

We’re at the end of another round of ROW80. I made it and I’m glad that most of you all did, too.

Here’s a summary of the round:

  • Write 1000 words every day: For the most part, I did this. It might have been too easy, but it was something that I wanted to do.
  • Learn Scrivener: I added this objective in the middle of the round, after I had been laid off, because I was tired of having the software on my computer and not using it. To the extent that I am now using the software and learning its features, I have had some success with it. I’m maybe using 5% of its features, but I’m using it. I had been listing this objective as “Master Scrivener”; I think I learned that there ain’t no such thing, certainly not after six weeks of playing with it.
  • Learn to write left-handed: Eh, not so well, I’m afraid. I was starting to get the hang of it, then I lost the notebook I had been using and didn’t find it for a couple of weeks, by which time I was using the time to look for a job and brush up on technical skills. This will be a Round 4 objective for certain, along with everything else.
  • Develop an article to sell every week: Nope. This will probably not be an objective until the beginning of next year, and even then, not as ambitious as one a week. Maybe one a month to start, then we’ll see how that goes.

So, I’d say that it was an average quarter, maybe a little better than that. Say a B minus.

Here’s what I’m thinking for next quarter:

  • Successfully complete The Ultimate Blog Challenge in October.
  • Ditto for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • Have myself writing with my left hand by Christmas.
  • Be up to 2000 words a day by the end of November.
  • Get a job.

I’ll have a formal post on this at the beginning of Round 4, whenever that is.

But listen, we made it! Congratulations to everyone! See you next round!

#ROW80: Rassen frassen arr arr arr….

Nothing like going to sleep with the TV on and waking up to the Emergency Alert System singing you the song of its people…


It’s been an “all right” week. Not great, not awful. I continue to look for jobs that would allow me to telecommute 100% of the time, and I’m actually finding some to apply for. No one has wanted to take a chance on me, evidently, but I’m holding onto hope.

ROW80 goals-wise, things are going well. Let’s review:

  • Write 1000 words every day: Been averaging about a thousand a day. Some days I slack off a little, but I’m not consciously saying to myself things like “I only wrote 800 words today, so I have to write 1200 tomorrow.” I’ve started another story, probably as long as a novella, to give me something to do while I wait for November to start.
  • Master Scrivener: Speaking of November, I’ve started outlining that story in Scrivener and it’s going very well, thank you. At 12:01 AM on All Saints’ Day I will ready to start writing my NaNoNovel, with a full outline, character sketches, the whole nine yards, and the whole thing will be done in Scrivener.
  • Write lefty: Have to get back on track. I lost the notebook I was using, then discovered it when I started moving some stuff off of my table.

I’ll probably use a good part of the rest of the month deciding what I’m going to blog about next month for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Maybe even get some of the entries done and out of the way.

So, that’s where I stand as we wind down Round 3 2013. I’ve been dashing about trying to check up on many of you and it seems like you’re all doing all right, so keep up the good work.

#ROW80: That’s right, we bad…

I found this on Facebook and just had to share…

My motto from here on out
My motto from here on out

I had a couple of good experiences today. One was hearing from a local recruiter who said that there are several companies interested in someone with my skills, and when I explained that I’m handicapped and need a situation which is 100% telecommute, she didn’t see that as a problem. I also heard from a company I contacted over the weekend who wants me to complete a coding exam over the next couple of weeks so that they can map me into situations that they need to fill. My objectives over the next several weeks are to refresh myself on the technologies in demand (many of which have changed) and to fill in the gaps in my skill set.

Does this mean that I’m giving up on writing? Hell, no! It makes time management far more critical than it’s been in a few years, and it means that I’ll be spending my nights and weekends writing. But give up? Not a chance. In fact, to make things even more interesting, I’ve signed up for this:


To quote from one of the last century’s greatest philosophers, Woody Woodpecker, “So I’m crazy, what what what can I do? I ask you!” (I tried to find him singing this on YouTube, but failed. Lots of Woody out there, just couldn’t find this.)

Okay, so how did things go this week?

  • Write 1.000 words a day: Done. I may stay with this for a while, given the amount of “busy” I have to deal with, but this seems to be a good quantity for me.
  • Master Scrivener: I’ve been using it to write a nonfiction piece on, of all things, the Emergency Alert System and its predecessors. Why? Because I want to. It’s been on my mind for some time, and it’s a subject that I like talking about (which should tell you just what kind of a wacko you’re dealing with here). The fiction piece that I’ve been writing, code name Blake (maybe I’ll name it Code Name Blake when all is said and done) will be a project for NaNoWriMo; I’m using Scrivener now to plot it out and write character sketches. I know, I keep saying “I’m not gonna do NaNoWriMo,” and every year I end up doing it anyway. I’m looking at it as a way to take a writing project from concept to completion with Scrivener. When I was playing the guitar I found that it was easier to learn theory (scales and harmony) in the context of playing songs that use the theory, instead of learning the theory first and then the song. That’s the principle I’m applying here.
  • Learn to write left-handed: I need to get back to this. It’s really slipped to the back of the line.

I’ve taken the fourth objective, to write an article to send out every week, off the table for the time being.

That’s it for this week. I really made an effort to check in with other participants this week, and I really learned a lot. Have a good week!

#ROW80: Last update of August

So, how’s my week been?

  • Write 1000 words a day. Done. I’m still playing with the novel idea and will at some point decide if what I’ve written so far will make it into a novel or if it’s just an elaborate back story leading into said novel. I’m also in the midst of writing a non-fiction piece. Not sure where I’m going to try to sell it yet, but I’m getting it written. It’s something that I’ve wanted to write about for some time.
  • Master Scrivener. I’m using it with both projects, as it so happens. It really does help organize my thoughts.
  • Learn to write left-handed. I haven’t been as faithful to this as I should be. Got to get back on the ball.
  • Produce an article for publication every week. Hmmm… I heard from several of you last week that this is easier said than done. While it’s a good long-term goal (and something that I definitely want to do in the future), I need ideas. As I said above, I had one really good idea which I’m developing now. Time to get more ideas.
Success Baby, my new mascot
Success Baby, my new mascot

On the job search front, I completed my first week requirements for unemployment and sent my resume to three companies, two of which are full-time work-at-home jobs, the third a position at the local university. I have faith that I’ll find a job that will allow me to work remotely (i.e. from home) and that won’t involve spending eight hours every day on the phone.

Have a good week, and thank you for your comments and words of encouragement.

#ROW80: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

We never made it to the Georgia Department of Labor last week. Instead, we went first thing this morning… and when I say “first thing,” I mean we left for the place at 6:30 this morning. Mary was worried that she wouldn’t get a handicapped parking spot, and the last time we were there four years ago, it was insane. They’ve rearranged the office, though, and I guess there aren’t as many people applying for unemployment as there were four years ago. That’s not necessarily an indication that things are getting better: it’s possible that people have given up looking for work, or their unemployment benefits have run out. Georgia’s unemployment is at 8.8%, meaning that 8.8% of the population is unemployed and actively looking for work.

Some appropriate music, from BTO:

So, while I comb the job boards and brush up my resume, I continue to write, and ROW80 is a good place to keep track of what I’m doing.

  • Write 1,000 words every day: Going quite well, actually. Still hitting the minimum every day, and in some cases, such as yesterday, exceeding it. I’m playing with the idea I had a couple of months ago, and it’s become nothing short of an obsession with me. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about what to write next, how to adjust the story, what might be a better direction for the story, etc.
  • Learning and using Scrivener: I’ve managed to get the first portion of said story into Scrivener, and had fun yesterday breaking it into scenes. After that, I added another thousand words and another using Scrivener’s text editor. I can see why people like it so much. If there’s a scene I know I need to add somewhere, I can set up a placeholder for it and write it at some other time, or if a scene is out of place I can shuffle it wherever I need it, ot take scenes out and put them back in where they make more sense. In short, I’m having fun.
  • Writing with my left hand: It’s coming along. I am doing all right with the printed capital letters and numbers. They still look like my worst efforts in first grade, and I’m having nightmares about Miss Disselhorst, my first grade teacher. I guess that means that I’ll be having nightmares about Mother Amadeus (second grade, when I learned cursive) and Mother Juanita (third grade, when I used a fountain pen for the first time). Hey! Maybe I should get one of those real thick first-grade pencils. Remember them?


  • Producing an article for publication every week: Eh, not so good. I might need to do more research on that.

So, that’s the scoop here. Hope everyoine has a good week.