ROW 80 check in # 7

Never miss a check in:  7 for 7!  I rock!

Write 500 words per day: Not there yet, but writing daily.  Baby steps.

WWBC:  Turned in my redux evo and waiting for feedback from the most awesome crit group on the planet.  Seriously, how did I get so lucky?

Non fiction:  Still doing the walk of shame.  But the interesting thing with these bi-weekly checkins is, that it’s keeping the project on the table instead of being shoved behind the dustbunnies of my mind like it would have been otherwise.

Blogging:  Interested in what happend with the goats?  Tune in tomorrow.

Taking care of myself:  Threw the damn scale out.  Bought some produce on the way home from work.  Hope no one was injured by the flying scale because I LAUNCHED that bad boy.  I’m eating TWO apples tomorrow! (Inside joke!)

Self Study: Big problem with Red by Kait Nolan.  Oh, hell no, not with the story.  I bought the Kindle edition.  Problem?  I don’t own a Kindle.  I have the app for my laptop, but completely underestimated the effort and frustration of reading a full length novel on my freaking laptop.  I can get by with curling up with a paperback and my booklight in bed, but hubby is understandably miffed at having to sleep with a computer.  ( I only hit him with it once accidentally, I swear!) I thought I would be able to just read it here and there when the moment arose, but I also underestimated how I would be hooked by the story.  Lish, this is one you need to read.

My egg money is SO getting saved for a Kindle when those $79 babies become available.

Accountability Partner:  Barbara!  Glad you are having a better week!

I’ve met some great new folks through this challenge.  You guys rock!  How are you all doing this week?


Book Review of “Living Write” by Kelly L. Stone

Kelly L. Stone is a licensced counselor as well as a writer, which gives her a unique perspective into what goes on in a writers head.

“Living Write” is the third of Kelly’s books on developing a good mindset for being a writer.  “Time to Write”, the first of the three, helped me realize that I had exactly all the time I was ever going to have, and the excersizes helped me figure out where there were tons of little pockets of time I could use that were just going to waste.  And that I was allowing other “priorities” that really weren’t to interfere.  Unfortunately it didn’t give me more time, but at least I quit whining about  not having enough of it.  “Thinking Write” talks about developing techniques to connect with your subconscious.  I need to re-read that one, at the time I originally read it I didn’t have a WIP, so I’m interested to see if I get a new perspecitve from the book this time.

But “Living Write” has been a great new addition to my writer’s bookshelf.  In “Living Write”, Stone discusses developing a writer’s mindset, including spending some time developing a vision for success, goals that are realistic, challenging, but fluid.  Stone is also a huge advocate of writing daily, even if it’s is just a little bit, a few words, anything, to keep you connected to your muse and your craft.

Kelly also talks about self-image, and finding ways to rewire the negative script running through each and every one of our minds that tells us we aren’t talented enough, hardworking enough or just plain deserving of having success as a writer.

One thing that I’ve noticed lately as I’ve connected with other writers, is that as a whole, we are the nicest, kindest, most supportive people on the planet to each other, but we are mean as sh** to ourselves!  Not a single writer I know would ever say the things to another human being that we tell ourselves.  Somebody would get arrested!

The techniques in Kelly’s book will help you become aware of the negative self talk we engage in, and find ways to build ourselves up instead of tearing ourselves down. Stone uses quotes and interviews with dozens of established writers to back up her points and give insight into what has helped make them successful.

When reading craft books I’ve begun putting little post it notes as markers in passages that had an impact on my thinking, and that I want to be able to flip back to for a quick refresher.  Judging from the plethora of tabs and colors, “Living Write” will be a book I refer to frequently.

For more information on Kelly and her books, visit her website here.

I would recommend them for any serious writer who is struggling with time or self-doubt issues.

ROW 80 round 6

Never miss a check in:  6 for 6

Write 500 words per day: Nope.  Didn’t happen.  Poor planning on my part.

WWBC:  I’m loving the energy in the group now, and things are progressing so darned well,  I’m not even unhappy about missing my 500 word goal.  The words will come with the structure.

Non fiction:  Is there a walk of shame for this category?  ;o)

Blogging:  Got a list of some ideas for topics. Note to self: Blog posts have word counts too!

Taking care of myself:  Got on the scale.  One word:  Yikes! I remember why I hated that damned thing in the first place.

Self Study: Getting ready to start reading Red by Kait Nolan.

Accountability Partner:  Waves at Barbara!  Yo, RowSista!


How is everyone else doing?  That old quote, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans” was pretty true for me this week. But it’s a new week, and a new chance to hit it hard!

Take care, everyone!

Row 80 check in # 5

Never miss a check in:  5 for 5!

Write 500 words per day:  Didn’t make the goal because I didn’t allow for my trip to NY this week, but I’m back on track.

WWBC:  Well, it’s been an interesting week.  ‘Nuff said.

Non fiction:  Not where I need to be but still progressing.

Blogging:  Actually wrote an actual post that had nothing to do with R0w 80!

Taking care of myself:  I get derailed too easily.  Have to figure out some way to make a checklist of things that are good for me that I can put as much priority on as the other tasks.

Self Study: Finished my book and will write a review by the next check in.

Accountability Partner:  Waves at Barbara!  Yo, RowSista!

Haven’t made nearly as much progress with reaching out to others due to the Crazy Train (sing it Ozzy!) I’ve been on, but I’m still committed to trying.

Writers are the most awesome people on the planet!

Take care and hugs, everyone!

So there were these goats, you see…

And they were in New York.  Which is not a problem, except I needed them to be in Kansas.  And Dorothy and Toto were not around with a handy spot tornado.  What to do.

Let me back up a minute.

I work as a zookeeper, literally.  I am employed by a large zoo in Kansas which does not like to be discussed outside of the proper PR loop, so I will not name names.  ( any third grader with basic google skills can figure it out, but at least I did not violate the policy. Nyeah!)

One of the first questions anyone asks me when they find out I work in a zoo is:  What animals do you work with?

And they are invariably disappointed to find out:

Cows.  Sheep.  Horses. Donkeys.  Goats. Chickens.

Domestic animals.  In a zoo.

Yep.  Damn straight, baby!

And you may be surprised to find out that some of the breeds of domestic livestock I work with are so rare and endangered that they make lions and tigers and rhinos oh my look plentiful and superfluous.

Livestock?  Endangered?  Nah!


While I’m the first person to agree that you can’t swing a cat in Kansas without hitting a cow, those cows don’t represent the total picture of the diversity contained in the bovine species.

For a quick tutorial on breed vs. species written by the super cool Callene Rapp,  visit here.

Still with me? Awesome.

So, while you can swing the same cat in Kansas and hit any number of goats, you will likely never hit an Arapawa Island Goat.    (If you do, please get me the contact info for the goat.   We need to talk. )

The aforementioned unnamed zoo has one of the few herds of Arapawa Island Goats in the US.  And those goats were starting to swim in a shallow gene pool if you get my drift.

We needed new blood, but all the other herds of goats are waaayy on the other side of the Mississippi.   I had a good friend in NY who was willing to sell me some nice goats, but they were in New. York.

And a road trip to NY was out of the question.  Mostly because my roids wouldn’t take it.

Now, my greatest skill in life is to be able to fall into a steaming pile of crap and come out smelling like roses.  I just happened to make a random contact with a transporter who was making a trip within 20 miles of my goats, and offered to bring them back to their place for free.  Yep, free.  No strings attached, except for an elephant meet and greet when they are in the area.  Yeah, even livestock people think elephants are cool.  Whatever.

But their place was in southern Missouri.

And we had to get them from point A to point B.

And therein lies the real adventure!

Stay tuned…. ;o)

ROW 80 check in # 4

Made 4 for 4 in check ins, but that is the only progress since wednesday.  I was travelling and completly underestimated the time I would have to work on anything.

And, thanks to Air Tran’s recycled airplane air, I caught a nasty cold and the lack of oxygen is severely hampering my ability to do anything but whine.

So, I’m taking a shot of NyQuil followed by a shot of bourbon, and heading for bed.

In the meantime, you may notice I changed my blog theme.  Thumbs up?  Thumbs down?   Love to hear from you all.

Have a good start to your week, and I’ll see you all on Wednesday.


Row 80 Check in 3

Three for three!  Woot!

500 words:  Not quite there, but still on target for 3500 and definitely better than last week!

WWBC:  Just turned in my evo.  My muse showed back up last night, doing the walk of shame, racoon faced and high heels clutched in her hand.  Didn’t ask where she’d been, not sure I want to know.  But after a good nights sleep and some coffee, she actually showed up for work this morning and contributed some decent stuff.

Non Fiction:  Will work on that now that the evo is done.

Blogging:  As God is my witness, I will have something other than a check in before the next check in!

Taking care of myself:  I made a conscious decision to skip the treadmill this morning in order to get reaquainted with the muse.  Funny, since it was a conscious decision, I’m not beating myself up about not hitting the treadmill, and I know I can jog up and down the stairs at work a half dozen times over lunch and have a win-win. 

Self Study:  Still hanging in there.

Barbara!  How’s it going, girlfriend?

That’s it for now, kids.  See you Sunday, if not sooner!