All posts filed under: Weekly Progress Updates

A Little Experiment

Last week I began a little experiment that I am going to try and keep doing in the new year — an approach to writing more regularly. For whatever reason, I’ve discovered that if I start a habit just before January rolls around, then my New Years Resolution is that much easier to keep, because I’ve already gotten a couple of days (or in this case, weeks) under my belt. So what is this resolution and how will it help me (and you, quite possibly) write more, you may be wondering. I’ve made a decision to do the following: Do one small thing for your art today. That’s it. However you define “small” — whether it’s woodworking or needlepoint, or textiles, ceramics, visual arts, dance, or writing. Just define what “small” is for you, quantify it (so you can remain accountable) and then do it. How small? As small as a marble, that is, small enough that you can accomplish it without thinking twice about it, small enough that it won’t seem like it’s even worth doing because …

Week 14 In Review

This week I’ve been enjoying a lot of reading! My new Kindle Fire (2015 model) arrived last Saturday– a Black Friday deal I picked up to replace my older model which died a couple of weeks ago. This meant, of course, that I spent the majority of the weekend re-downloading all of my favorite apps, books, and music playlists. And because  my desktop is too old to be compatible with Amazon’s music platform, I manually transferred 888 songs and created 60-some odd playlists. Yes, I like my music! Feeling inspired and looking for some new reads, I picked up Driving Mr. Dead by Molly Harper (2012), an amusing paranormal romance with some nice tension about a road trip gone horribly awry. I also read Borderline by Mischell Baker (2016), a weird trip of a contemporary adult fantasy where faeries live in a parallel world to our own and are the muses behind Hollywood greats, told from the perspective of a protagonist suffering from BPD. If that weren’t enough, I also finished my final novel for review …

Week 12 in Review

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everybody! This season is always a time for gratitude and for me, I am never more grateful than when I am busily humming along through life with an agenda full of writing tasks to accomplish. Give me a step by step and I will chug along that track, even if they’re still laying each railroad tie in front of me as I go, until I hit Promontory Summit. With plans to see the family this year, I spent my free time working on the final productions of the year — the November and December issues of our guild’s magazine, the monthly newsletter, and a handful of reviews quickly approaching their deadlines. I may have to tidy those up next week, actually… Nothing makes the blood race quite like writing and that sense that any journey is doable, if one can only find the path. Losing the vision under the storms of discouragement, rejection and fear is another way of being derailed from your destination. Sometimes, it feels like you’re spinning your wheels, …

Week 11 In Review

It’s been a quiet week here, mainly just reading. I’m writing in an attempt to honor the weekly reviews that I promised. There’s been no progress to speak of on my own writing although I have been slowly working on coordinating the November and December issues of my guild’s literary magazine, and have attended a NaNoWriMo write-in, which was a lot of fun. This coming week’s goal is to finish all outstanding articles for the year and email them to my (co-)editor(s) for the literary magazine, as well as the historical one that I do reviews for, and all before Thanksgiving which means I need to get my ducks in order. Sterling & Stone had a great webcast this week, talking about “The Value of Deep Thinking”. This is something I wish I had more time for… just thinking (not nodding off, which is usually what happens) and brainstorming ideas. Jeff Goins also talks about having time just to create and fill that well so you have something to draw on when you’re ready to write …

Week 10 In Review

Well, it’s been an eventful week full of surprises and you never know how a story will end. Sometimes, all you can do is hope for the best. In terms of writing, I still haven’t sat down yet to begin my reviews. I did volunteer this week at a “Come Write In” hosted by one of the city libraries — to encourage writers to have a safe space to write, away from home for a bit. I’m thrilled to get to be a part of this programming and am looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks’ to help them wrap up the month’s worth of events for writers. I met an editor for a short fiction publisher as well, so, that’s a new market to potentially explore. When I was younger, I remember considering going into publishing and I was always curious about interning as a slush pile reader and it was neat to get that opportunity to speak to someone with that experience in their background. This week was also when I …

Week 8-9 In Review

A much-belated post covering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. More details to be included in the November 2016 post (coming later today hopefully)… I spent most of the week of 10/24-10/30 (Week 8) on prepping the guild’s newsletter for the beginning of the month push. Part of this also includes putting the final touches on the monthly literary magazine, The Scribe, and publishing the e-book version to Smashwords.com.  Happy belated Halloween everyone. 🙂 The week of 10/31-11/06 (Week 9) was spent on vacation. Every now and then, I try to get away to someplace quiet and just observe the world and it was a much-needed respite. The weekend was concluded with attending a workshop on story prompts and finding inspiration in photography which was fairly interesting. I’ll be writing an article for a future issue of our magazine, covering the details. More to come in the November post. 🙂

Week 7 In Review

All is quiet on the Midwestern front. Birthday parties and weddings and other frivolities and not a stitch of writing done. In fairness, I’ve begun teaching myself how to knit. I’ve successfully learned the long-tail single cast-on, the double cast-on (learnt in error), and the knit stitch. I am at present working on a sample square to practice making something from start to finish, and focusing on learning how to hold the needles, how taut the yarn needs to big, how lax the loops to make the knit stitch easier, etc. Given the results over a few half hour sessions of practice, this will likely never see the light of day: dropped stitches, and a tapered edge as with each row, I seem to be accumulating extra stitches. But who is keeping count? Certainly not me! (Ahem). And I may have acquired a cold. Or really bad allergies. It’s a bad time for allergens around here. 🙂 Best of luck to all of the NaNoWriMo participants. I wish you well!

Week 6 In Review

Lest I break the chain, this weekend is six weeks into my posting a review of any writing-related activities going on. To be completely truthful, it’s been an eventful week, but not exactly writing-related: a wedding, a birthday party, and a wedding shower for another couple. I did attend (briefly) the St. Louis Press Expo that took place downtown on Saturday, and I’ve also been working with staff at SLPL on organizing some NaNoWriMo events for next month — which will be here sooner than I’m comfortable with. I’ve also archived all of the blog entries for this year on Scrivener. Looking ahead to this next week, I’m going to be attending my first satellite event (Fathom) for a quasi-religious event called “Revive Us 2016”, sponsored by Kirk Cameron, which should be interesting, and that is being broadcast live from Chicago. Nature observation: The Hunter Moon was fantastic if you got a chance to see it. Gorgeous sunsets this weekend here in Missouri so feeling extra-blessed. Otherwise, there’s nothing else of note this time around, …

Week 4 In Review

This week I had the opportunity to be ‘watchful’ (like this little guy) as I responded to a jury summons in my local county and got to witness some of the judicial process at work. I also picked up some useful tips that you may find helpful too. Did you know that in some (if not most) courthouses, there are floors between the public floors?  Are these offices? What purpose do they serve? There’s a big difference between walking up two flights of stairs to the third floor, versus four flights with in-between mezzanine levels! I was also reminded how much you can learn simply by embracing silence. Strangers with similar backgrounds or appearances tended to gravitate towards one another (some senior citizens, a trio of preppy-dressed young professionals, a pair of managers in blazers and slacks) and little details indicated socio-economic status (a Kate Spade bag, a few iPhone 7s — the Rose Gold plus version, naturally). I also noticed that the mere presence of a large panel of potential jurors, ready for trial, may …

Week 3 In Review

Thursday, September 22nd, was the autumnal equinox and I like to think that the change of seasons is an opportunity to embrace old favorites, try something new, and refresh our look, just like Mother Nature. This week was a time of R&R for me from my bill pay job so it was an opportunity to spend time with friends and family, dig around in my small patch of earth, and take a long walk enjoying the changing of the seasons. A new season is also a good time to update your portfolio or resume if you haven’t done it in a while, so I invested a few hours this week in updating my LinkedIn profile, and creating a Works page, where you can see all of my published articles and reviews in a tidy list. Several hours this week went into updating MidwestMaven.com (thank you for visiting!) which now has a refreshed look and a (hopefully easier) browsing experience. I value your time and my goal is to make it easier for you to jump in and (re)discover favorites. …