Friday, December 2, 2022

The Pond - Part 16



Izolda stood in the witch’s cave, her cave, for the very last time. She glanced around, making sure she was not leaving behind anything important. In the pack at her feet was the book of spells and recipes that had once belonged to Varnya. As well, there were several sealed glass bottles of potions, and several bundles of dried herbs that she might have difficulty finding in the new world.

On the shelf by the bed was the journal she no longer had any use for, as well as the tinctures she didn’t require for the journey. They’d be easy enough to recreate at a later time. The bed was made, the cave was clean – she shouldered the pack and left without a backward glance. At the mouth of the cave she paused and set the ward. It would only allow a woman to pass, and only one with power.

She moved through the woods silently. This was the only thing she was going to miss. The forest had been her sanctuary, a source for herbs for her potions. While she was sure the new world would have forests as well, it would not be the same.

Back at the village, she slipped into the house unseen. A large wooden trunk rested on the hearth. It was only half full, but Izolda didn’t have all that much of her own. She wrapped the spell book in a spare skirt, as much to protect it as to hide it, and then fitted the bottles into a case she’d had made by her brother Dimitri, who had a fine hand for woodworking.

Hearing the approach of someone, she quickly buried the case in the center of the trunk. Though the bottles could be mistaken for bottles of scent or skin creams, she didn’t want to take the chance of anyone recognizing them for what they really were.

Izolda’s aunts Anya and Polina entered, both carrying bundles of cloth.

“Izolda!” Polina said. “We were hoping to find you here. Come, come, see what we have brought you.”

They set their bundles on the table.

“What is all this,” Izolda asked, mystified.

“We know there is not a husband waiting for you, as there is for Katrinka,” Anya said. “But there is a good chance you will find one, and quickly too, a pretty girl like you.”

“You have spent so much time helping Katrinka with her trousseau, you’ve had no time for your own,” Polina added. “So we have taken it upon ourselves to help you out. See, here are towels and bed linens.” She held out a towel for her inspection.

“And here is a quilt, made by us all,” Anya said, resting her hand on the folded fabric.

“Oh, how wonderful,” Izolda said, playing the part of being genuinely touched. “I cannot believe you did this for me.”

“We could not let our sister’s daughter go off to start her new life unprepared,” Polina said gruffly.

“Thank you, both of you.” Steeling herself, Izolda, who rarely touched another person, hugged them both. She placed the linens in the trunk. “It was just what was needed,” she told them.

“I will miss you sorely,” she said, closing the trunk.

“You will not have time to miss us,” Anya assured her. “First there will be Katrinka’s wedding, then no doubt you’ll be planning one of your own.”

“No doubt.”

The next morning her trunk was loaded onto the bed of the wagon alongside Katrinka’s larger, heavier one. It was a day’s journey to the seaport where the ship was waiting to take them away, so the girls said their goodbyes at the village.

At last they were on their way, Katrinka’s father driving the wagon. Katrinka kept turning and waving, tears streaming down her face. But Izolda as dry-eyed as she faced forward into her future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Poetry Form of Trolaan



Trolaan is an interesting form created by Valerie Peterson Brown. It consists of four quatrains (a stanza of four lines), each line having a similar number of syllables. Each line of the quatrain begins with the same letter and the rhyme scheme is abab.

Starting with the second stanza you use the second letter of the first line of the first stanza to start each line of the second stanza.

On the third stanza you will use the second letter on the first line of the second stanza to begin each line of the third stanza.

On the fourth stanza you will use the second letter on the first line of the third stanza to begin each line of the fourth stanza.

I tried to do a schematic, but it’s pretty much impossible without the first word of each stanza. Hopefully you can follow along with my example – it’s not really as bad as it looks!

My example turned out a little darker than I’d intended, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.


Fallen Angel

Cold wind snaking through the night
Cutting the air with a wicked knife;
Capering snowflakes, like a blight
Cover a world devoid of life.

Obsequious spirits dance and sway,
Oft cast shadows looming near,
Ousting warmth they seek to stay,
Oblivious to the dangers here.

Balefire moon shines high o’er head
Bewitching in its awesome light.
Beguiling ice is swiftly spread
Banishing dreams in a blaze of white.

Abandoned hopes lay scattered ‘round
Adorning landscapes bleak and sere;
Angel lost and gone to ground
Alone, betrayed by life and fear.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Writersfest Wrap-up, and Ow!



My curse upon thy venom'd stang,
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang;
And thro' my lugs gies mony a twang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance;
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
Like racking engines!

— Robert Burns, "Address to the Tooth-ache," 1789

Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you.
— Soupy Sales

"I think," said the dentist, stepping outside again, "I'd better give you gas." Then he moved aside and hummed an air from a light opera, while he mixed up cement.
I sat up in my shroud. "Gas!" I said. "Yes," he repeated, "gas or else ether or a sulphuric anæsthetic or else beat you into insensibility with a club or give you three thousand volts of electricity."
These may not have been his exact words. But they convey the feeling of them very nicely.

— Stephen Leacock

I guess since it’s the reason I’ve been gone so long, we’ll start with the ‘ow!’ Not ‘owe’, although I definitely owe on my credit card, but ‘ow’, as in the pain in my jaw.

The dentist had booked a consultation with a dental surgeon and I was told that with any luck he’d be able to pull the offending tooth at the same time. Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t have that kind of luck.

Apparently the root had grown into the jaw bone, plus it was sandwiched in between two nerves, plus it was a very brittle tooth so there was no way he’d be able to extract it with just a local anesthetic. His next available appointment for the extraction was January 7.

I may have freaked out a bit at that point. :-)

Fortunately, there was another dental surgeon at that office who could take me the following weekend. It meant another week of escalating pain, but it was better than January 7.

Anyway, the tooth is gone and they sent me home antibiotics and two different pain killers that are great for the pain but make me super sleepy. It’s a trade off, but I’ll take it.

The bottom line is, I’m not allowed to spit or drink out of a straw, and it hurts to open my mouth too wide or to chew, and my lower jaw and neck are still swollen, but I’m getting better. And at least I know this pain is eventually going to go away.

As for Writersfest . . . Stuart Ross (from the last post) was pretty much the highlight. The next day was Sunday, and there were two masterclasses, both at the hotel I was staying at, which made it very convenient.

The first was How to Get Published, which was presented by Scott Fraser from Dundurn Press. Needless to say, this was a standing room only event. Scott was accompanied by a couple of authors who’ve been published by Dundurn Press who shared their publishing experience with us.

It was a great talk, and they were all super friendly, and they had a lot of great advice if you’re looking for traditional publishing. However, I didn’t take any notes, mainly because they don’t publish my kind of writing. To be honest, they don’t really publish much of what I like to read, either.

And (to me anyway) that’s the thing, isn’t it? If you’re wanting to go through the traditional channels to publish, you should focus your market research on markets that publish the kinds of things you write. It saves everyone a lot of time (and rejection slips) if you don’t send your historical romance to a publisher who specializes in erotica, or your sci-fi thriller to one who publishes chick lit. Common sense, people.

The final masterclass of the festival was Blogging and Social: Finding Your Focus. This was presented by Tianna Edwards, who runs, Keep Up With Kingston, a blog devoted to promoting the city of Kingston, where to find the best food, things to do . . .

This is another one where I didn’t take any notes. Not that she didn’t offer a lot of great advice for setting up and maintaining a blog, but because she gave us all the information on handouts. Plus, I already have two blogs I’ve been maintaining, so (not to brag or anything) I was already aware of a lot of her advice.

But there was still a couple of things that stuck with me that I’ll try to apply to future posting. Like, for anyone who’s thinking about starting a blog but doesn’t know where to start, you can’t go wrong if you focus on what’s passionate to you. Your passion for the subject – books, clothes, food, whatever – will fire the passion in others.

For myself, the one piece of advice that stuck with me is, put content that doesn’t belong into another bucket. I try to do that with this blog – stuff I want to talk about that isn’t really writing related (like the kittens, or my houseplants) I put on my other blog, which is more just general interest. The tooth thing is an exception because it did have an impact on my writing. :-)

One more thing she suggested was to consider a newsletter. Maybe. Someday. I think I need to build a following first. And you know, maybe write something newsworthy once in a while. But it’s definitely something to think about in the New Year.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

WORDAGE REPORT

First of all, I need to repeat my big news. Thanks to the diligent efforts of my editor, formator, publisher, and bestie, Magical Mayhem is a go! It is ready to be launched on December 7, just in time for Christmas.

Despite not having to worry about blog posts for the last couple of weeks, writing has been a bit of a struggle. The pain in my face got steadily worse, and was a wee bit distracting. Okay, it was a lot distracting. And the thing about pain killers, even ones like Advil, is that they make you sleepy. So I was spending a lot of time sleeping.

However, the good news is, I have somehow managed to keep up with NaNo and I have every confidence I’ll be reaching my 50,000 words by the end of Wednesday (knock on wood). Go me!

As for this Wordage Report, since I haven’t written anything the last couple of weeks, you’re getting the words from the week of November 6th through 13th – I skipped that Sunday post because of my tooth.

NEW WORDS:
Blog Posts – 2202+749+328+707=3,986
UP 508 words from last week

Goals For Next Week:
Finish NaNo, get blog posts done.

NANO
I gotta tell you, I never really got into the spirit of NaNo this year. I’m still enjoying working on something new though. It’s a nice change from all that editing I was doing. And I’m enjoying the story. It’s taken a few unexpected twists, but it’s NaNo, so that’s to be expected.

If I were to describe the story in one sentence, it would be: Little House on the Prairie in space meets the wolfman. It’s got settlers, albeit on a different planet, and there’s a paranormal element with the shifters I’ve introduced. Now the hero just has to rescue the heroine from the space pirates and we’re done. :-D

I started this NaNo section at the beginning of the month, thinking I’d be able to keep a running tab so you could follow my progress. And lucky for you (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) I keep a spread sheet, so I’m just going to include my progress up until now.

Week One: 1415+2097+1526+1677+1694=8,409
Week Two: 1385+2033+940+1252+1870+1303+175=8,783
Week Three: 1429+1258+3053+953+1034+2088+2064=11,879
Week Four: 3352+2674+2267+1585+2062+890+1226=14,056
Week Five: 1418
Total NaNo words – 44,545
Expected Goal – 45,009

I’m down by 434 words, but I only have 5,455 words to go by the end of Wednesday. Place your bets now as to whether I’ll make it or not. :-D

EDITING:
X pages
Seriously, did you really expect me to do any editing? That’s one of the beauties of NaNo – you just write and you don’t look back. If I changed or rewrote a scene, I just highlighted the old one to be deleted later.

Goal For Next Week:
After Wednesday (when NaNo ends) I will be starting work on An Elemental Spirit.

MARKETING:
On suspension until after Christmas

TECH & TRAINING:
I’d still like to figure out Dropbox. At the very least I want to be able to backup to it automatically like I did before Staples got a hold of my laptop. Man, I’m still mad at Staples. Never again! And for extra back up protection, I’d like to unbox my external hard drive and start backing up to it as well.

Goal For Next Week:
Figure out how to set up the automatic back up for Dropbox. Set up external hard drive.

POETRY WEDNESDAY:
I’d planned on recycling some old forms for the month, but I ended up doing a new form – the Katauta – on November 9th. It was a short, Japanese form with a 5, 7, 7 format.

Goal For Next Week:
Share a new poetry form. Or an old one – we’ll see how NaNo’s going

CRAFTING:
I attended two Guild meetings, and worked on my afghan during both meetings. That’s the beauty about crocheting, I can talk and work at the same time.

It’s that time of year again, time to pull out the Christmas crafts for the granddaughter and I to work on.

Goal For Next Week:
Figure out what Christmas crafts to do this year.

WHAT I’M READING:
I read The Bookshop of Secrets, by Mollie Rushmeyer – what is it with me and books about bookshops lately? And I’m just about finished Angels Fall, by Nora Roberts.

Goal For Next Week:
Dive into my après NaNo book!

GOAL REVIEW:

Well, the goals are a little redundant, considering they were made a couple of weeks ago. But I kept up with my NaNo at least, and surprised myself by not doing more reading.

The files are all ready to go for Magical Mayhem, I just have to get them uploaded to the proper sites. But look for it in your favorite E-store on December 7th!

The kittens have not been helpful during this stressful month. When they get the zoomies, they have no respect for the laptop, so they often race across it causing havoc with whatever I’m working on.

I’m not sure if it was them or something I accidentally pressed, but I couldn’t help but notice that the sidebar on this blog went missing. Turns out it’s not missing, it just ended up below my posts. I checked the settings, I checked the settings against my other blog, and everything looks normal. I’m hoping that when I put this post up everything will return to normal.

The medications I’m on have been making me kind of queasy, and a lot sleepy, so here’s hoping I can pull things together for a productive week.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Blogging Break



Due to the extreme pain from an impacted wisdom tooth that has a cavity in it, I will be taking a blogging break this week. Unless I find something to make the pain less extreme.

The tooth is affecting the whole lower right side of my jaw. Yes, I’ve been to the dentist and the only real solution is to have it removed by a dental surgeon. Unfortunately, I can’t get in to see him until the 19th.

I’ve been taking Advil for the pain, but it’s not doing much. At most I get an hour, maybe two, where its bearable. It was bad enough on Saturday that I went back to the dentist, but I don’t think I impressed upon him how much it hurt, because he told me to keep up the Advil every 6 hours. *sigh*

I’ve pretty much doubled the dose, and it still hurts a lot. Clove oil does not help, nor does Orajel, because the pain is due to the pressure the impacted tooth is putting on the other teeth.

In any case, the pain is a little too distracting to me to focus on getting any writing done. I’m about 3,000 words behind in my NaNo, and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse as the week progresses.

I’m going to phone the dentist’s office tomorrow, and with any luck I can get him to prescribe something. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long week indeed.

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Pond Part 15



As the only daughter of the household, and not one especially well-loved by her father, it would have naturally fallen to Izolda to take up the burden of the cleaning, washing, and cooking. But she had better things to do with her time, and there were several other woman all too willing to help Andrei with his poor, motherless children. To Izolda’s delight, she did not even have to cast a spell to encourage them.

Her desire for Nikolai had in no way abated. She wanted him, and she would have him, it was as simple as that. What was not as simple was how she was going to travel to America, where he now lived.

She was still Katrinka’s friend and confidant, privy to all of her plans. It would take a year, maybe less, for Nikolai to establish himself in the New World. He wanted to build her a proper house, and wasn’t that sweet of him? Izolda vowed that Katrinka would never set foot in that house.

Since Nikolai was no longer a presence, it was unnecessary to keep up the compulsion to keep the pair at odds with one another. Izolda’s new plan depended on Katrinka setting sail to join her lover. But she would not be going alone.

“As much as I am happy for your good fortune, dear Katrinka, I will be sorry to see you go,” Izolda said one day as they sat hemming towels for Katrinka’s trousseau. It gave her no end of satisfaction that her stitches were smaller and neater than the other girl’s. “I will be so lonely without you."

“I, too, do not wish to be parted from my dear friend.” Katrinka put her sewing down. “But I had an idea.”

Izolda stopped sewing as well. “I hope you are not considering staying,” she said quickly, playing her part.

“Of course not, this is even better. I want you to come with me.” She reached over and took one of Izolda’s hands in hers. “Don’t you see? It would be perfect!”

“I—I don’t understand.”

“We could travel together,” Katrinka said eagerly. “There are many young men who went to America with Nikolai, who are working with him. Surely there will be one to catch your eye. We can both be married, build our homes near to each other, raise our families together.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Izolda pretended to consider the offer. “But what about my father? My brothers?”

Katrinka waved a hand in dismissal. “Your father will have no trouble finding a new helpmate, and you know it. And your brothers – most of them are old enough to start families of their own. You should not have to spend the rest of your life looking after them all.”

On that, Izolda totally agreed. “I don’t know,” she hedged.

“Oh, please say yes!”

“I would like to,” Izolda said slowly. “But won’t we need permission? And what would I do until I find this imaginary husband? I cannot live off of your charity.”

“Mother said she wished to hire a companion for me, to accompany me on the journey and help me until I settle in. Why could you not take on the role of my companion?”

“I—I would not be opposed to such a position. But would we not have to have permission from your mother, and my father?”

“Leave my mother to me,” Katrinka said firmly. “She has always had a soft spot for you. And once we have her on our side she will help convince your father.”

Izolda merely smiled in agreement. She had already begun to lay her own groundwork in this respect, casting a spell here, a compulsion there. It was no coincidence that Marnya, Katrinka’s mother, had begun to think of Izolda as one of her own. Her father was even easier to manipulate. He had never cared over much for her in the first place.

Yes, things were progressing just as Izolda had hoped. Now it was only a matter of time before she had everything she wanted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Katauta Poetry Form



Don’t you just love the Japanese with their tiny little poems and their combinations of five and seven syllables? I know I do! And it’s because of them you’re getting a new form this week instead of a recycled one. :-)

Today’s form is the Katauta, which dates back to 8th century Japan. It consists of 19 onji, or as we call them, syllables. There is a break after the fifth and twelfth onji, giving us a structure of 5, 7, 7.

The first line is a question, and the following two should reflect back on it with an answer. Traditionally, the Katauta is an emotional statement, usually addressed to a lover. Multiple Katautas act as a question and answer conversation between lovers.

I gotta admit, I found this form a little harder to do than I expected. Short poem, short syllable count – what could be easier, right? I think it was the whole question and answer thing that tripped me up. So I took a look at some other examples of the Katauta, and surprise, surprise. I only found one in a question/answer format, and it was actually just one long question.

If you ignore the content format, the Katauta is as addictive as the Haiku or Senryu. It’s a little more challenging with the question/answer format. And as you’ll see by my examples, the whole emotional statement and/or conversation between lovers didn’t happen. Although I did kind of link a question driven Katauta with a non-question one.


Is winter coming?
Yes, says the shortening days
and the frost crisp morning grass.

Cold and crisply bright
the autumn days turn into
translucent autumnal nights.


Where is the moonlight?
The brightness becomes hidden
under a red shadow haze.

A sliver of light
gives us hope of the return
of the red sun hidden moon.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

There’s More Than One Way to Get Unstuck



The primary relationship between my poetry and fiction is that I wrote both of them. And there have been times when I have published the exact same piece as poetry and as fiction, so there is definitely a blur.
— Stuart Ross

What I want to do in my workshops — and my mentoring — is to expand the possibilities for writers I’m working with: introduce them to new writers and works and ideas and writing strategies, shake them out of their habits and assumptions and complacencies. I want to introduce them to new experiences, help to expand their palettes, dare them to do something in their writing that they are resistant to or uncomfortable with. I like when they write something and say, “Holy shit, did I write that?”
— Stuart Ross

I don’t see my writing as a way to discover myself, but instead as a way to explore my interests, to amuse myself, to connect in some way to people outside of myself (however few those people will be), and hopefully provide some amusement for them, or get them to think in ways they find interesting.
— Stuart Ross

This was the 10th masterclass, and probably my favorite class of all of them. It was run by Stuart Ross, who is a poet and author, and actually lives in my small town. He may have even been part of my poetry group at one time, but that would have been many years ago. Anyway, we did more writing in this masterclass than in any of the other classes, and it was fun!

First, he had us use “I remember” to start writing a list. An author by the name of Joe Brainard wrote an entire book of things he remembered – it’s called, I Remember, and is available in both tree and e formats.

I don’t think we were required to write them in a linear format, but mine was, harking back to my childhood. I’m not sharing the whole thing because it’s too long, but I’ll give you the gist of it because it’s pertinent to the next part. I “remembered” when I was little and our cat killed the canary that used to belong to my grandfather. This was back when we had a milkman and a breadman come to our door, and I remembered my mother yelling at one of them for letting the cat out. We never saw the cat again. Then my sister told me my dad had buried Rickie (the canary) in the big communal sandbox and I naturally started digging in it to look for him.

The next thing he had us doing was to take one “I remember” and expand on it, but in the present tense. I don’t care for writing in the present tense so I don’t usually, but I did for this exercise.

You go into the kitchen looking for a snack and see the empty bird cage. The family cat, Fluffy, killed Rickie, the canary that had come from your grandfather’s house. You mope around, trying to figure out where Rickie had gone (you’re only 4). Finally, your sister tells you that he’s dead, and that your father buried him in the sandbox. You get the big spoon from the drawer in the kitchen and go out to the sandbox in the middle of the greenspace and begin to dig.

Now I can’t be 100% sure of the next exercise, because I didn’t jot down, just the results. I think this is one where we wrote a line on a page, then exchanged pages with several different people, and continued writing about someone else’s first line. Mine was in the form of a poem (I don’t know if that’s what we were supposed to do or not).

“When I do grow up”
I’m going to stop being confused
I am going to have all the answers to life’s questions
and I’m going to know what my path is
instead of floundering around
like I’m doing now.
When I do grow up
I’m going to travel
to all the places I dream of.
I’m going to immerse myself in other cultures
and come away stronger
better.
When I do grow up
I’m going to have it all.
Dream big, right?


For the next exercise, he had us listen to a couple of poems he wrote, and while we did so, we were to pluck out any words or phrases that jumped out at us, add some words of our own, and create something of our own.

Paper bags, skating in the wind.
The night sky filled with stars
like flashbulbs popping.
Things are getting out of hand as
a great, horizontal wind
drifted over the horizon,
a flock of balloons
fleeing before it.
The sound of a piano
spirals to the horizon.


And our final exercise was to write down a couple of words, pass the paper to your neighbor and they’d write the next couple, then back to you, etc. This was kind of fun, and made for some hilarious results. Ours wasn’t one of them. LOL

Stuart had a few other suggestions for getting unstuck in your writing. There’s a site called UbuWeb and one called Pennysound where you can apparently go to hear poetry spoken aloud, and try to find inspiration from someone else’s work.

For inspiration, watch experimental films without the sound on. Listen to poetry in foreign languages, it’s all about the rhythm and not the words. Take a story, pick the seventh word, and replace it with a random word and make a new story.

And the two I’m itching to try, take a short story of your own and go to Google translate. Translate it into a different language. Then translate that version into a different language. Do that six times to see what you end up with.

Finally, take two 1-page stories. Print them out. Tear the pages in half vertically and paste the opposite sides of the stories together to make a whole new story (or two).

I really hope Mr. Ross is participating in Writersfest next year – I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

WORDAGE REPORT

I’d say this was a pretty good week, writing wise, especially when you add in my NaNo words, which I am not including in my wordage totals because I feel that it’s not a regular thing, just a one month a year thing, and that’s going to throw my whole word count off.

My best day of writing took place in my office, after I evicted the kittens. This was after I spent two hours moving plants and various other stuff off the window ledge and the bookcase under it, and shelved the books and blank journals that were stacked on my printer. Man, they were being pesky!

Good news! I got the blurb and the tag line done for Magical Mayhem (sort of) and bought the pictures for my cover which my lovely daughter melded together for me. I think she thought I was a little crazy when I told her what I wanted, but if you read the book, you’ll find out just how perfect the cover is.

NEW WORDS:
Blog Posts – 1,805+596+242+813=3,478
DOWN 858 words from last week

Goals For Next Week:
Get my blog posts done on time and stay on track with NaNo.

NANO
Seeing as NaNo didn’t officially start until Tuesday, I’ve only got five days to show for my effort – Tuesday through Saturday. Next week it’ll be Sunday through Saturday.

If you have a NaNo account, you’ll see that I changed the cover of my project. That’s because I went with the SNI (shiny new idea). It’s a strange science fiction/paranormal mash up. But obviously it’s working because I’m right on track with it.

I gotta admit though, I’m not feeling the NaNo buzz this year. I’m getting the words done, but I’m just not feeling that rush of excitement. That being said, I’m enjoying working on something new for a change. It’s been a while since I wrote a whole novel (last year’s NaNo was 30 short stories)

I’m starting with back story. Pages and pages of backstory. At first I figured I was writing it because it was stuff I needed to know, but I probably wasn’t going to keep any of it. However, there’s so much of it that I’ll probably keep at least some of it, albeit in a much abbreviated form.

1415+2097+1526+1677+1694=8,409
Total NaNo words – 8,409

Expected Goal – 8,335

EDITING:
X pages
In going over Magical Mayhem one last time before sending it off for formatting, and aside from finding a few more typos, I found many places where the space between words was missing. I have no idea how this happened. Is it because I saved it to a USB stick? Is it because I was working in two different versions of Word? I have no clue.

I ended up spending a good portion of my Saturday adding the spaces and changing the name of the animals they were riding to something more elvish. For some reason, the “find and replace” didn’t work the way it was supposed to. And also, my even page numbers disappeared. Not the pages, just the numbers.

Goal For Next Week:
No promises on the editing – we’ll see how it goes with NaNo first.

MARKETING:
On suspension until after Christmas

TECH & TRAINING:
I’d still like to figure out Dropbox. At the very least I want to be able to backup to it automatically like I did before Staples got a hold of my laptop. Man, I’m still mad at Staples. Never again! And for extra back up protection, I’d like to unbox my external hard drive and start backing up to it as well.

Goal For Next Week:
Figure out how to set up the automatic back up for Dropbox. Set up external hard drive.

POETRY WEDNESDAY:
I have to confess, I fully intended to just recycle some old poetry posts for this month, but I got the post for the form I shared done on Monday. I did this because I figured I’d be doing well to get my NaNo words in, let alone anything else, so I did it super early.

Goal For Next Week:
Share a new poetry form. Or an old one – we’ll see how NaNo’s going

CRAFTING:
No crafts, not even a thought about crafts, but I have a guild meeting this week so I’ll at least do something there.

Goal For Next Week:
Figure out dragon pillow for granddaughter.

WHAT I’M READING:
I finished reading The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris, by Daisy Wood, and I liked it enough that I bought another book by that author, The Clockmaker’s Wife.

Goal For Next Week:
Spend a little time each day reading.

GOAL REVIEW:

The blog posts were all up, and on time, even my serial installment (which kind of surprised me). And, wonder of wonders, I’m right on track with NaNo. By George, I think she’s finally getting the hang of it!

The extra editing on Magical Mayhem was a little unexpected. I opened it up to make a few extra changes and there were spaces missing between some of the words, which my editor had dinged me on before and I’d already fixed. I have no idea what was going on with that, but it was very frustrating because I had to go over all 300+ pages again.

I really need to get my Dropbox backup set up again, or at the very least the external hard drive. I’m not sure I trust the USB sticks for backup anymore.

I surprised myself by sharing a new form of poetry last week, but I was not surprised to get no crafts done. If I can get myself organized I’d like to get started on some Christmas crafts, but I’ve put the craft room organization on hold for now so who knows.

It seems every year there’s some kind of impediment to my NaNo plans. This year it’s a strike by CUPE, the support staff for the schools. Without them, the schools can’t stay open, which means I get the pleasure of my granddaughter’s company on a (week) daily basis.

Still, that wouldn’t be so bad, except it’s not just a matter of keeping her entertained. The school board has decided to instigate online learning like they did during the pandemic. To make matters worse, she’s in French immersion, so all her instruction is in French. Yikes!

It’s going to be an interesting week ahead!