Showing posts from September, 2021

Wandering writer update

I've been doing a lot of wandering, and not much writing. The usual problems maintain: both the time and energy shortage while traveling and the struggle to do anything while the latest MS is steeping. In the last couple of weeks I've traveled some 2300 miles in the car (sharing driving with Second Son) and done a number of great hikes. Spent one weekend with friends around the campfire and another with my family/Mom. So I'm not really beating myself up that all I've done as a writer is maintain my travel notes and write a few paragraphs of world-building for the short story I'm working on. But I am getting itchy to work again, before I head off to Nepal (!) and cease to be a writer or a blogger for a while month! So even though I won't be home for another week, I'm trying to get back onto a proper work schedule. Before that happens, I would really like to finish the story--and the blog transformation! Watch this space, because there should be a shift to my

Now on Pre-Release: Snowflakes and Shivers, by Jemima Pett

My fellow IWSG writer (not to mention long-time beta-read partner) has a new collection of flash fiction on presale! It's a fantastic collection of winter/holiday themed stories, with appearances from old favorites of her blog followers, Carruthers the unfortunate "archaeologist" and the time-traveling Sir Woebegone.  I have read and enjoyed all the tales, and can recommend the book!     The Pre-Sale is only available at Smashwords, here: . It ends on 7th October, when the book goes live everywhere else. If you just want to pre-order it, you can find it at all these other places. Buy Snowflakes and Shivers ebook: Amazon ~~~ Apple iBooks ~~~ B&N (Nook) ~~~ Kobo ~~~ Scribd ~~~ Smashwords  

Gone Hiking

  I'm off again, visiting family & friends, and enjoying a few days in Utah's canyon country. Regular (irregular) posts will resume in a week or so.

Audiobook review: All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

Title: All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation Author: Rebecca Traister Publication Info: 2016, Simon and Schuster Audio. 11.5 hours. Hardcover, 2016, Simon and Schuster, 339 pages. Source: Library digital services   Publisher’s Blurb: In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: The phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyon

Photo Friday: More Lakes and a Tableland

Continuing the tale of how I spent my August...  Still in training for carrying serious packs with several days' gear and food, we took ourselves to the Bishop Creek area, found a campsite (sadly, this one had mosquitoes. Even in August of a dry year, a wet grassy meadow by a stream has mosquitoes), and did a couple more good hikes. Our first expedition was to the Tyee Lakes, located on the ridge between South Lake and Sabrina Lake. It was new to all of us, but the series of four lakes was touted as being worth the climb. The trail started right up.  More old trees The first lake, as we were warned in the guidebook, was pretty enough, but nothing really special. The best part for a photographer may have been the grasses at one end.     I loved the silvery lines of the grass reflecting the sun. Also as advertised, the fourth lake was the best.  While we sat on the shores of the fourth and highest Tyee Lake, I started studying the map--and found that I could make the hike into a one-

Writer's Wednesday: When you come to the end of a draft

This question recently came up on the IWSG Facebook page: how do you keep momentum when you finish a project? Do you move right on to the next? Take a break? For how long? Since I just finished the draft of my new story it felt like a good time to consider the question, as I, um, flail around trying to figure out what I'm doing. The fact that I mentioned this last week and am still working on it is probably all you need to know! Drafting a novel is a pretty intense exercise for me. I write every day, aiming for anywhere from 1000 to 3000 words, and spend a lot of my time thinking about the story, what I've missed, what comes next, trying to live inside the heads of my characters. So no big surprise that finishing always leaves me feeling... flat. This time, it seems to have also left me with a lot of thoughts about everything that's wrong with the story. The first thing I did when I finished was take a day off. Instead of writing, I took care of business, even cleaned the h

Middle Grade Monday: Two Roads, by Joseph Bruchac

Title: Two Roads Author: Joseph Bruchac Publication Info: 2018 Dial Books. 320 pages  Source: Library digital resources   Publisher’s Blurb: It's 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Cal likes being a knight of the road with Pop, even if they're broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC--some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due--and Cal can't go with him. So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School. At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people's history and he

Photo Friday: Old trees. Really old trees.

This week's photos aren't really a story--just a few that I liked of old trees both in the Sierra and across the Owens Valley among the bristlecone pines of the White Mountains. Maybe a big old Jeffrey pine? Bristlecone They do get struck by lightning and scorched, but I think in this case the black is from bacteria and/or fungi. Experts at clinging on in unlikely places. Much younger trees, but still probably older than they look, silhouetted in the smoky sunrise. Like bristlecones, Jeffrey pines and foxtail pines in the Sierra can remain standing long after they die, and the wood decays slowly in the dry environment. Given the ideal growing conditions, this big pine is probably about the youngest I've posted here. White bark pine This clump of short but old kumholtz won't get any bigger, though it may spread wider. The same winds that led me to tuck my tent in next to it will see to that, in this harsh alpine environment.     ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021  As always, ple

Writer's Update

Oops--I missed Monday's post! I'd like to claim it's because I was honoring the holiday, but the truth is, I'm out of the habit of writing regular posts. Given my schedule for the next few months, I may stay that way. My big writer news for the week: the draft of Seffi's story (title still in the works) is um, complete? It never feels like the glorious moment of triumph that it sounds--my first drafts tend to kind of drift off to the ending, maybe without even attempting the final resolution. I'm still not sure I've even got the right solution to the murder.  So yeah, the draft is done. I'll be back at it in December. In the mean time, I'm doing a beta read or two, applying to artist's residencies, trying to write some blog posts ahead, and ready to once again get serious about the shift to my new blog/author page. That's almost ready and waiting, I think? Oh, and when I finish all that, plus editing all those photos from the last trip, I can

Photo Friday! Sierra Lakes

After three weeks of teasers, it's time I got started on the real photo posts. Since those three weeks were absolutely jammed with hikes, I have about... 2500 images to sort and edit (the goal is to delete 1/3 to 1/2. A real photographer would make that about 3/4, but I'm not that tough-minded). Then I pick a few from each hike to share with you. For that reason, this is just the first couple of hikes. Our first effort at hiking was a quickly-aborted outing from Wright's Lake, across the mountains from Tahoe (this was before the current fire threatening South Lake Tahoe; there was another fire just south of the lake, as well as the Dixie fire to the north). There was a pretty bridge with reflection near the start of the hike. Within a mile, we could see that this was a bad idea. We had intended to spend several days in that area, where we could hike at moderate elevations, but instead, we moved on to the eastern Sierra, driving south until we got to some clear air. That put

#IWSG: Success! Success?

  It's time once again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly post!    The IWSG is a fantastic group of writers and bloggers who share posts the first Wednesday of each  month. Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass (me!), T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman,   Natalie Aguirre,   Karen Lynn,  and  C. Lee McKenzie! Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.  Remember, the question is optional!