Saturday, July 30, 2011

Startin' off August with a Paranormal BANG!

You came back! Thank you! But why, praytell, didja bring the wretched dewpoint with you? Never mind all the global-warming boo-hooing over here, I Have News!

You hardy souls, longtime readers since, er, November, and all my recent lovely guests-who-drop-by have no doubt picked up that writing is quite important at the Orchid House. So important, that I've even gone out of my way to achieve one dream and befriend a few writers. One new friend is a talented writer in various genre, quite capably selling stories that are, er, straight-up Romance, naughty paranormal, erotica with a twist, and, lately, she's turning her skills to horror. Even more impressively, she's a dedicated mom of three. And volunteers for her church. If she wasn't so damned nice, my inferiority complex would have done me in by now.

How nice is she? Well, for one, she publishes FREE short stories - paranormal with a side of naughty - at her website AND Facebook page. Yes indeed, these are the Freak Sorority stories, bandied about during "Freak Week", at  And her name is, in fact, Stephanie Beck. And, to celebrate her Third Annual Freak Week, she is doing bloggy scavenger hunts, posting her stories, having contests and fun, and posting excerpts from her Freak Sorority offshoot novels as well. All the joy starts Monday, August 1, and ends August 6. And if you do enjoy reading about werewolves, succubi, angels, or demon hunters, this might be the place for you.

Happy reading!!

(ps, get a load of the cool banner I got to post! Having a  Blog is Fun!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

much mayhem, no writing

ack. seriously. I need to get past my son's birthday party and everything will be better.

The heat does not help. presses against you like an unwanted lover and it's just as hard to shake off.

watching 3 neighborhood kids so their mom can work a pt. job - she's sending the money to her diabetic mom in mexico, so I can feel like today is useful for a few things anyway. The Wip's taking it's turn on vacation, i guess :-)

Off to it -  it's a busy day. really need to hop around for inspiration so I hope I can check in a bit later from the ROW-ers :-)

Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm a bit low on my daily irony, but the Democrats have stepped up to the plate!

Alrighty. The state of MN managed to get it's act together by cobbling together a plan for the budget that both sides hate. This is the textbook definition of 'compromise' (at least, in my snark-ass textbooks.)

As a quasi-diligent member of the Democratic party, I went online, bitched them out, offered them a pair of big-boy pants to help solve the impasse (only after they started spending big $ on pre-emptive name-calling), and fool that I am, left them with my email address.

Now, they are shilling me. They can't get the budget balanced - they are the LAST people who should be hitting me up for cash. Oh, hell, look for yourself.

Shari --

Did you get a chance to see this?

As the finance director for the DFL, it's my job to make sure we are on target to meet our fundraising goal by Wednesday’s deadline. We are counting on Minnesota DFLers like you to provide the resources we need to throw these extreme Republicans out of office.

Ken was just asking whether we were going to make our goal – can I tell him you're helping us reach our goal of 500 online donors?

Click here to contribute $5 or more today and help us reach our goal of 500 online donors by Wednesday, July 27.

Like Ken said, the shutdown was just the beginning. From insisting on putting millionaires and corporations before our children and hardworking families, to holding our country hostage with the debt ceiling – we've seen that Republicans in Minnesota and nationally are going to the extreme.

We only need six seats in the House and four seats in the Senate to take back our State Legislature, and we need to start right now if we are going to do it.

There are just hours to the deadline. Become one of our 500 online donors and help us beat these extreme Republicans at the ballot box.

Thanks for your support.

Berrett Gall
Finance Director

My response:

Hello Mr. Gall -

(By the Way, do you realize the irony inherent in your last name?)

I am not sure you are all getting the point.  The Republican party and the Democratic party both seem to have the same bad idea - not spending within our means. You seem to have two different bad ideas about how to spend outside of our means. MN taxpayers pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and after blowing money on anti-republican adds - which, I should point out, does Not Smack of Bipartisan Effort - the Democratic party is asking me for money?

In a recession?

Please tell me you aren't in charge of Public Relations too.



I shouldn't do this much head-slapping while drinking. Spillin' the wine Any Second Now.


Monday, July 25, 2011

ROW 80 plus Unpacked at the Orchid House

Writing Tip For the Day: If you intend to do any writing on a camping trip, do not hit the ER without your favorite notebook. Your wasted vacation time will be even More wasted. Related: Ensure you collect your brand-new anti-labyrinthism medication.It will help with the following tip -

Kayaking/Scrapbooking Tip For the Day: Always kayak Lake Superior during the late-afternoon on golden, smooth-lake days. Take your camera, not the kayak, for the 10 ft. breaking-swell days. Maximum drama in the scrapbook to assemble the pages facing each other. (The shutterfly online coupons you always delete may come in handy at this point.)

Unpacking Tip For the Day: If you screwed up and left the chocolate covered espresso beans At Home, instead of substituting them for cafe Mocha during your trip, eat them quickly to get through the dishes and laundry. Save the last two handfuls for day two of the Great Unpack.

ROW 80 - Substitute 3 days of research (including Northern MN Emergency Rooms) for missed 30 minute daily writing sessions.

Have a great week! See you Wednesday!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vacation day + ROW 80

Hello Gang!

Off for the remainder of the week to the baseball games, a potential camping trip, and more wallowing in misery
Basking in the Heat. Heat indexes projected from 105-120!! Apparently, Minnesota has turned into the Amazon. Global warming, much?

Our Heritage Writers Group talked World Building, and a few of us made plans to drive to a book signing for our own Stephanie Beck - she'll be signing at Lillian's in downtown Hastings from 6-9 on 7/28 for "David's Angel" and "Poppie's Passions".  I haven't done anything except continuing the great Art Space overhaul - clearing out a corner in the basement where, I'm here to tell you, the 'stack' method hasn't done any good whatsoever. I figured it would take about two weeks to get in order, I'm ahead right now, but if we are able to do a get-away, it won't get finished until Monday or Tuesday. And that's okay, because if I wrap that up, my art/writing time won't be used up with organizing art stuff. And, I'll have a quiet place to type!! All part of the plan.

Hope all goes well for you lot this week, stay cool. I'm off to get ready for a Twins Game. Have a lovely week and Week-end :-)


More Blog Hoppin' below!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

90 F, feels like 105 f. In frickin' Minnesota.....

I really don't have anything to add to it. Minnesota, land of 10,000 natural sauna's  lakes.

How bad is it?

The corners of downtown Lakeville are filled with frogs. Selling themselves.

To Science. Because science classrooms are Air Conditioned.

All you hear is, "this suuuuuuuuuckkkkss. Ribbit"


(Poor b@st@rds)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

ROW 80 + A.M. + exercise Update

Good morning!

If you're thirsty, you may grab a cadillac-sized chunk of the air floating over MN and give it a good squeeze - the air is thick as molasses and heavy as lead. It's 10 am and already with a heat index of 94!! Tomorrow is even better - a heat index of 110!!! Since when are we Woodbridge VA (note to my little sister - take your damned weather back. we don't like it one little bit!!)

It's a good thing I was highly industrious (that's by my standards - the rest of you are probably eye-rolling right now!) last week because this one is gonna be brutal. Here's the re-cap:

Thursday was a busy and strange day and pretty much nothing went right. We got lost, and had our morning eaten up, the afternoon was momming and, well, stuff. So, a goal write-off (sad comparison to Wednesday). Friday had a rough start, but the afternoon had a major writing session: ~45 min, over 700 words, including lots of deleting! I also dug into the basement project - a necessity for me if I EVER want my drafting table to function surface again. This is part of "The Artistic Mother" 12 week workshop - clearly an art project will tank if there is no where to create it!!! I also found my camera (missing for weeks!) finally, also required for the A.M.  Saturday I bought some needed tools (surprise here as well, I thought I had too much of everything!) and we made it to the pool after dinner - exercise! No writing, but more work on the art stuff. At this rate (except for the way too late night!) my table will be set by the end of the week.

I am really hoping to hop around and say hello this week to the ROW-ers - if you have too much time on your hands, you may find a whole mess of inspiration at the below links. And, very likely, a new Favorite writer :-)

Have a wonderful week!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick and Useful link - "The Artistic Mother" by Shona Cole

This is a mild plug - kind of the 'I find this useful and you might too' kind of plug. Shona's book is a practical guide for getting even newbie artistic mothers to use their time better to sneak in the art. Which makes any mommy a better mommy, if she doesn't already do this. I find it no coincidence that my writing pace has picked up while starting her plan (and I'm getting more done in less time!) So, on the off chance that any of my readers may find this useful, check out her blog here.

I should mention that I agree with the reviews her book has on Amazon, I am finding them Right On Target.

I should also mention that Shona Cole probably has no idea I'm plugging her book. Although she'll probably figure out I'm following her blog ;-) Anyway, she's saying something important that lots of mommies need to hear - you'll still be a good mommy if you follow your art. And if you work the kids into it, you might just inspire them as well :-)

Ps, are all y'all drinking your water?



Friday, July 15, 2011

Wherein the game is finally afoot - well, actually, a liver. The foot is actually a let-down....

wth? you say?

Okay, to dispense with the cutesy. Today not one normally scheduled event happened as scheduled. I'll pin some of it on my son being a painfully early (try 4:10 a.m.!) riser, and not able to get back to sleep. There's enough blame for the gully-washer rain showers (All Day Long) to take for us cancelling violin class - my CRV does many things, but converting to a speedboat is not one of them. Everything else falling to the wayside, I thought I'd make it complete by ordering in pizza instead of a home-made 'healthy' meal.

Rain aside, it's nice to report that today was Not a washout in the writing dept. I spent about 45 minutes writing And de-crapifiying the story, via 'delete', and still managed to add a total of 700+ words.

The other total washout is my Left foot (not the movie, mind you.) Seriously. I tried skipping rope a few nights ago and simply cannot push off with my left, or, come to that, my right. Using two feet, I can barely jump a centimeter. Pain or no pain, it's clearly time to get out that ballet video and see if a few tendu's may help!

So, the writing week ended, the art-weekend begins. I'm off to vacuum the basement and begin the serious organization of the art-desk. "Cluttered" would be a kind way of putting it, if one was describing the heinous mess. It won't be completed tonight, but it will be an Awful lot better for tomorrow.

Oh, speaking of Heinous - the liver comment. Well, let's just say that in the story, a body part has literally surfaced, and consequently, the pace is picking up. I'm starting to like this story again!!

Off to it - dust bunnies, here I come!

(happy weekend, everyone. If you Also are in heat-advisory range, may I gently remind you to drink your water!!!)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

it's All About the Bottom (er, in the chair, that is :-) + ROW 80

Or is it? Aren't we (yeppers, the Royal We. I'm Former - ok, 1987 former - Royalty and today I feel like Workin' It!) prone to saying 'get off your bottom and get to work!'?

We have achieved mighty accomplishments in the last 3 weeks with this bottom Solidly planted on the (well, yeah, hardly-well-to-be-honest-entirely-Unroyal) couch.  We have: repaired by hand-sewing our mighty heavy-cotton American flag in four places, in 3 sessions, On the couch (pa-Leeze don't tell me I was supposed to burn it when it got that bad - I LOVE this flag!). We have set a household schedule (that is actually getting a Lot more things done around here!) whilst sitting on the couch. And, We have finally cracked 10K words on the WIP, by virtue of parking the bottom and pecking the keys. WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! (giggling in relief as the ridiculous Royal We is summarily defenestrated.)

Right. That's out of the way. Ahem.

Monday: was glued to couch making overdue phone calls, doing paperwork, menu planning, and making appointments. That was in between cleaning spurts and momming. Very little fun was had (by the kids) with me that day, but the rest of the week is consequently Better. Housework was the only exercise - I Think i did some.....Found my camera - a high-priority item for the A.M. workshop! Think I blogged, but  no WIP work. Principally because all that planning cleared the timeslots for Tuesday!

Tuesday: impromptu dentist visit for my daughter, cleaned like a banshee clears souls (but with less wailing) Worked on the WIP for 40+ minutes and cleared That hurdle, blogged about it, did the violin practice with my son and loaded a vid to facebook (he's getting good!) and made an awesome dinner if I Do say so myself (well, yeah, just did!).

Today - I have to drag my lazy ass to the dentist, so I must haul my son outta bed and put some clothes on the poor kid, water my plants, and scurry to the shower. (the excitement overwhelms.....) On that frantic note, I'm Outta here! (where Does the time go?.................:-)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

(Updated) Breaking 10 K....and there was Much Rejoicing! (trucker snippet attached)

Today, I am feeling a Lot happier with my WIP. Yes, indeedy, that is because I actually WROTE NEW STUFF IN IT! The event I have been longing for (which some of my fellow ROW-ers can attain and/or Surpass while sleeping, walking, And chewing gum at the same time!) has come to pass - I've finally typed over 10,000 words :-)

Despite the nastyness of the scene I just finished (the last of the dead trucker do-over), right now it feels shiny, twinkly, and bright.

happy happy joy joy!

ps - Feeling celebratory means sharing the (resurrected) trucker section. What you need to know: #1 - rough first draft snipping, devoid of edits, so there are a few placeholder items that may jump out at you as being stupid. Ideally, you will note those as placeholders and read on.... #2 - likely grammar, structure, spelling errors, and factual flaws. #3 - this section describes how a character in the story (set in a Quite Small Town) goes missing. The barmaid is Not the M.C. :-)

With little ado about not terribly much...... Ivan the terrible trucker snippet (not his real name. And, sadly, partially based on Real People)

Ivan the terrible trucker (guilty of, among other things, disappearing when most needed) was edging toward 50 (and his commensurate midlife crises) at a steady clip, with a complete lack of grace, socially acceptable behavior, and awareness of his own personal repugnance. The love affair with his long-absent 22 year-old self-image was the only one that ever had any traction, and went a long way toward explaining his unwanted, and occasionally violent, interactions with the opposite sex.

When he rolled into town at the beginning of September, he was en route to some of the last turbine-part driving jobs in Ontario. Ivan knew the ‘lay of the land’ (he’d say, jabbing elbows into whomever was unfortunate enough to neighbor him at the bar) here ‘up north’ and was even on nodding turns with some of the middle aged lot-lizards at the truck stops. One of them, a patchy-scalped skinny chick named Patrice – typical liar, said she was 30 - told him she danced each Thursday (alumni) night at a boob-joint called “The Pit”.

Not refined enough to be called a ‘club’, and in many ways, an offhand tribute to the surviving strip-mining operation here, The Pit offered the illusion of camaraderie with a greasy veneer of commerce-cum-romance. Ivan had passed it from time to time, but, dark windows being dark windows, had never gone in. Usually a drinker at Tuna’s (another story altogether) the next town over, he’d just never made it. Despite his avoidance in the past, when he rolled into the driveway, his gruesome history with women was at hand and already waiting behind the bar.

Jeannette Fletcher flashed a quick look at her ‘hit list’ when the slam of an unfamiliar truck door caught her ear. Although she was the early shift barmaid, she’d started developing a nose for trouble in her first six months at the Pit. Trouble wasn’t steady – usually just outsiders up to the Range for one reason or another, and the occasional odd-duck trucker. Not hard, then, to note future headaches for the night shift if a problem came through the door more than once. When she’d agreed to take this job – god damn this economy anyway – it had been with the agreement that she could speeddial the cops at any moment, for any reason. Her ex had given her hair-trigger nerves, among other things – which made her uncannily good at noting when things might go south. The customer about to walk in raised beaucoup flags with her memorized cheat-sheet of known Range troublemakers.

Tommy at the station was # six. She memorized Ivan’s licence plate through the dim glass - a warning in and of itself, since drinking before sunset meant starting at 4:30. Jeanette waved Marcus (at the pull tabs) up to the bar, and stepped into the office when Tommy said hello.

Three hours later, grousing about Patrice’s no-show and the flat impossibility of getting pizza delivery at this shithole bar, Ivan chugged his last amaretto sour as the bouncer gave him a sharp look. In general, Ivan was thick as lead, but he’d been tossed out of enough dives to know go-time from the bouncer’s hands. Rising from his stool in an Aqua Velva cloud, unsatisfied and boozy, he dropped a twenty on the bar and stalked out, straight past the bouncer, eyes glued to the door. This fixed his eyes one hundred-eighty degrees from the back entrance, where Patrice, jaunty pink chiffon scarf hiding her thinning hair, crossed herself quietly, then vigorously flipped him off.


Ivan, too horny and tipsy to focus on anything but digging out his keys, didn’t see the movement in the shadows on the dark side of his truck. Noting natures call, he stumbled toward the shadowy, dusty side of the lot, unzipping with the wrong kind of urgency. Pissing out his frustration in the dark, he tried to spell out “Patreese”. He got as far ‘t’ when he heard a young but low voice say ‘hey. Buddy. You dropped something.” Turning too fast, hot urine splashing him, eyes maladjusted to the streetlights, the glint of light on the crowbar was the last thing to go through his mind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick link - State Shutdown update and yes, by-the-way, 69% of Dems, and 72% of Reps. are still getting paid....

Read it here: here - 7 different offers from Governor Dayton, 7 refusals from the G.O.P. No counter-offers.

Just keeps getting better and better, don't it.

In other news, the Strib also posted a list of legislators Still accepting a paycheck, despite the 22,000 or so State employees who are unemployed due to this impasse. Including your favorite and mine, you guessed it, Matt Dean, (R), Dellwood.

Childish Asshats.

All of 'em.

Good try though, Governor Dayton - and thank you for, at least, not taking a paycheck until this part of your job gets done.

Right, carry on. Let's see if tomorrow holds a breakthrough.

Not that I'm holding my breath.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

80 m.p.h. winds and ROW 80 too!

Hello, gang!

Sirens are a-hooting, winds are a blowin', and I'm trying to wrap up a few more things that are standing between me and bedtime (ideally, not spent in our basement cowering in fear from our weather) this has gotta be fast...

Goals were 5x/week writing, weekends off, start the Artistic Mother 12 week program, exercise a bit more, blog 2x/week, and draw in the family as much as possible during creative or preperatory efforts.

Exercise - not bad. Hiked like mad on Wednesday and went swimming, let feet rest Thursday, walked over 2 miles Friday night, retreated from the heat on Saturday like the big ol' wimp that I am, swam for 30 min. today, and took a 30 minute 'nightwalk' with my son (encountered 3 frogs, one birdnest down from Last night's storm, one golden retriever.)

Writing - Wednesday - Big ol' blog post on goals, extra and unintended politics blog post on Thursday ( I am So fed up with my state government right now!!!) which ate the WIP time. Friday-Sunday critically derailed by our small-town holiday week - classic car parade, 2 hr. marching parade, vintage aircraft and military vehicle display and demonstrations at our local airport. Friday was busy (and I had known it would be), and it's the only day I didn't do Any writing. Weekend days are off-duty except the update, so that's allright. I could have done different on Thursday, but cripes, I am too angry to Not say something about those WEENIES (er, for the blissfully unaware, our state government has basically shut down until our governor and legislature can balance our damned state budget.) So, start over pecking at the WIP tomorrow :-)

Art - through half of the prep-week activities to begin the Artistic Mother 12-step program (oh, laugh at me. go ahead. I do it all the time.). This is not by virtue of me nobly plugging away in carefully planned increments, this is by virtue of having a heck of a lot of art supplies around at any given moment. I set aside time to firm up my Artistic vision statement (golly, I really am throwin' it all out there!) and create some concrete goals to achieve the end result of my aspirations. Those need polish and will not land out here in the Orchid House without a damned good reason.

Culture - would like to have some to report on, but I'm fresh out. When I houseclean, I'm re-watching Emma (Paltrow/Collette version) or Next Food Network star. I did plan meals for tomorrow and figured out how to put my Daily Tasks (in Cozi) both in my to-do's AND my calendar. Didn't get to coupon-clipping (only so I can recycle the paper - i'm not extreme about it - i don't have the time!!) so I'll try to do it in the early a.m. If the meals I planned were Exciting, Thrilling, or remotely interesting, I'd post it. No artful food for us tomorrow, Monday is baseball night!  On that note, Michal Cuddyer (sp? don't care, really!!!) made it to the All-Star Game WOOOOO-HOOOOOOO! he is AWESOME.

The storm has passed, and this 'puter will turn into a pumpkin or somesuch in about 2 minutes exactly, so I must flee!! I hope tomorrow finds y'all safe, sound, and sans trees atop your homes or cars. And may They not have floated away.

holy pumpkins, batman, time to scoot!


BUCKETS of ROW-ers below - Look at all that talent! Hop around as you please, the water is Fine :-)

Friday, July 8, 2011

More politics....sorry gang - I'll make this quick!! Curse you Matt Dean!

Ok, sorry, read the damned paper and now here I am - Blogging on a day off.

Rep. Matt Dean (you know, the brilliant politician who started a Twit-storm with Neil Gaiman - my author-crush - over taxpayer money Gaiman worked as contracted for....and then donated to charity) sent an open letter to the Star Tribune.

Apparently, he is telling our Governor Dayton to be a Grown-up and make a few concessions. Dean has apparently signed some silly-ass pledge -  prior to budget discussions - that no siree, he will certainly Not raise taxes. So, he isn't going to concede any of That revenue to his opposition - the Governor. (I'm not defending the governor. I'm choosing to pick on Dean for sounding like a weenie Again, worse yet, a hypocritical weenie to boot!)

There are more than a few words I have for both parties here - and I do happen to be a democrat, for all the good it's doing me right now. For the sake of not boring the Crap out of any readers out there, I'll limit myself.

If, in a negotiation, you and the other party are in a stalemate, with both parties 'sticking to their principals', both parties should consider that if the principals Lead you to a Stalemate - the principals Should be reconsidered. Because, you know, if your principals were unwaveringly - or even mostly - right - both sides should see it, and prevent a costly, painful, damaging impasse. Someplace around 23,000 government employees have been thrown Under the Bus by Both Sides here. These politicians may well find themselves under the same bus come election time. Incumbents, beware.

(Side note - I mentioned at a July 4th celebration that, at this point, Bozo the Clown as a write-in may do better in the elections than Any incumbent. To which one of my quick-witted sister-in-laws responded "Unless the problem is that he may already be in there...")

PS. all snark aside - I regard any efforts that result in prolonging of this stalemate as a serious abuse of power. I really don't have much positive regard left for any of them.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goal-post (suffering succotash it's punny in here!!!)

Very briefly, my friends, here is THE list of goals I am accountable for:

#1 - Blogging - 2 days/week minimum - posts to come on Wednesday & Sunday, our ROW 80 check-in days. Posts will include artistic output and effort. And a WIP-ing post, too, of course (ok, even I can't take it anymore - sorry!) And any (even MORE) inane humor that I find along the way. If I am so lucky as to get reading time or an occasional date night, any cultural notes will be included also. My 'artistic mother' workshop efforts will be detailed as well. And, because I still suffer from poor impulse control, kvetching or swooning about various local pro-sports teams may spill out as well. (Did I just lose all 15 followers in one paragraph?! MEGA-Yawn - sorry gang, sometimes the cut-and-dry stuff is really Stinkin dry....)

#2 - WIP work - daily, 5/week. Yes, I know darned well how poorly that went Last time. This time, I have an honest-to-goodness plan on Paper. In Pen. (which means it can be used as ammo when needed against the kids by merely crumpling it up in my hot little hands. Can't do THAT with an iPad.) And I would have started that plan today, day 1 - except I overslept. Because I stayed up too late last night, and didn't have my nightly glass of wine (which, by the way, drops through my sobriety like a lead hammer.) In recognition of this dereliction, I'm starting Early on that wine tonight! Hell, I'm starting right now, back in 5.

Right. (3 sips later...) Glorious pastel sunset in progress against smooth grey clouds, fireworks in our driveway, all is good.

Goals. In answer to those of you who might be inclined to tsk-tsk at me (and Not undeservedly so, mom! ;-) I will say that despite my inability to work the schedule today, I did:
- spend an unholy amount of time cleaning our 3 bathrooms
- make a critical phone call for a neighbor
- enforce violin practice
- keep the kitchen tidy through all three meals and assorted snacks
- unload three large bags from yesterday's hike and swimming effort
- write an Artistic Vision Statement (draft one, but it's a start!)
- water Beaucoup plants
- moderate playtimes
- talk to my mommy 2x
- momming duties from 8 am onward
- hustle the kids to Karate.

Not bad for blowing the schedule to smithereens And starting the day with the egg, as usual, Smack Dab in the Middle of my Face.

A better tomorrow to you all - on schedule, or not :-)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wow - July here already! Independence, fireflies, swimming, ROW-ing....

Here we are again, your faithless blogger getting revved-up to do something concrete to that darn W.I.P. (work-in-progress, if you've missed it :-). Which means, yes indeedy, that I am signing up for the third round of self-flaggelation trudging toward my goal of finishing my no-longer-very-short horror story. My first one EVER.

Round three of "A Round of Words in 80 Days" - a brilliant challenge that assumes you have a LIFE, and that you also have a yen to create with words is up and rolling and that means GOALS. Not always the thrilling ones you get in a Washington Capitals game (MN Wild, you have a LOT to answer for this year!) but....actually, they are kind of thrilling when you merrily type away and realize you've added ten big ol' paragraphs to your WIP. The assumption is that if the goals don't work out - on a steady basis - that you will change them accordingly.

I am (as a mix-up-your-medium artist) beginning a 12 week workshop on creative life as a mother (a totally non-subtle plug for "The Artistic Mother", by Shona Cole - an art plan that recognizes the juggling act typifying motherhood and the artistic urge.) This ain't detracting from ROW 80, it just means that I have thrown the visual arts out the window for so very long that my psyche is stretching thin. Both ROW 80 and Ms. Cole's book assure you that a routine will help your progress mightily. Heck, Flylady says the same thing. So, knowing that I am a Fabulous starter, an okay worker in the middle bits, and a disaster at finishing things, I'm expecting the next 12 weeks to be something of a roller coaster - ups and downs and a predictable end.

But I'll do it anyway.

Adventure calls - we've spent days last week at the pool, at the lake, and spent evenings catching fireflies. Today we will be off to do hiking at Taylor's Falls, so I have to scamper. Goals to be posted tonight ;-) There's a good long car ride, so I have lots of time to work them out.

Happy July to you all!


Fellow ROW 80 Challengers - some mighty fine writers below, feel free to visit them and give 'em some love!