Oops – Missed This Week’s #WriteTuesday

Oops, I was busy with some training for work over the last few days; I thought I had posted yesterday, but it looks like I forgot!  Sorry! 😦

Last week I made my first Friday post on Sustainably North!  I chose to post a quote from David Suzuki and Ian Hanington’s book Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do About It. I had a bit of a hard choosing a background for the quote.  I originally wanted to use a picture I have of skunk cabbage, because looking for skunk cabbage is such a spring activity.  But the background was too busy to put text in front of it, and I ended up going with this lake scenic instead.  I was originally going to change the background picture up monthly, but now I think I’ll probably use that background for the remainder of the spring, then maybe choose something else for the summer.  I’m not quite sure if I should write more of a post accompanying the quote (like explaining why I chose the quote), or just kind of leave them like this – what do you think (or what do you do if you post quotes on your blog)?

After that, I got a few more posts for Sustainably North finished/polished/scheduled, including Monday’s post on Thunder Bay’s bike lanes.  Once that was done, I went through Sustainably North’s categories and fixed them up.  When I first started the blog, I made categories all willy-nilly; now that the blog is a year old, I have a better idea of the kinds of categories I want it to have.  I paired them down to ten, leaving a few as-is and combining a few others.  I’m hoping the categories I chose are more relevant than the ones I had before.  I’m planning on reevaluating them in the future to see if they’re working or not.

Reorganizing Sustainably North’s blog categories also made me think about maybe doing the same for An Acquaintance with Letters.  I have so many categories here and a lot of them probably don’t need to exist (like all the sub-categories for different writing and game projects).

Since this weekend is a long weekend, I’m actually planning on working on the story for the Make Your Way Anthology!  I’m rather excited to take a break from Sustainably North (with the hope of actually finishing a first draft!)  I’ll let you know how that goes next week. What are your plans for the coming week?  Also, I hope you have a Happy Easter! 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – April Off to a Great Start!

I didn’t do much (other than work my day job) for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  But wow, this weekend was really great!

On Saturday, I worked on drafts for some upcoming Sustainably North blog posts.  One of them is pretty much ready to go; I want to read it over one more time before scheduling it for next Monday.  The other one is mostly written but still needs a conclusion (hence why it’s going to be posted in two Mondays instead).

Then on Sunday, I got yesterday’s Sustainably North intro post written and scheduled.  I didn’t want to do that until I knew for sure what the other posts for the week would be.  Since Sustainably North is now one year old, I decided to go with the topic of “celebrations” for the rest of April.  I’m currently calling these intro posts “editorials” on Sustainably North, but I might change that to something like “notes” or “editor’s notes.” Any suggestions for what else might work?

Then yesterday, I got a good draft of next month’s bUneke column written.  The magazine requests all articles in by the 10th of the month.  Normally I have mine ready to go a week or two before that but I really struggled with this one.  The topic they chose was “clean water initiatives” and I had no idea what to write about.  Part of the problem was that they ask for pictures to go with the articles, and we still had a ton of snow here!  So even though I had ideas for the column (rain gardens, plastic pollution in our lakes and rivers, or rain barrels), I couldn’t get a good picture of anything (no one is going to care about seeing a picture of a rain garden under a few feet of snow).  I ended up going with rain barrels because that seemed to be the easiest for pictures.

frozen rain barrel

It’s not perfect, but at least you can kind of tell this IS a rain barrel.

After this experience, I’m thinking I’m going to go around this summer and take a whole bunch of pictures of things like the rain garden, just so I have them on hand should I ever need them.  I’m thinking I might post them on Pixabay since that’s where I’ve gotten a bunch of pictures for Sustainably North from – it’ll be good to give back to that community. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  It’s feeling really good to be kind of on top of these things right now.  This week I really need to get reading the book I want to review on Sustainably North, plus I want to post some pictures and/or quotes there on Fridays; I need to figure out what that’s going to look like (at least for this Friday).   I’d also like to fix up the Sustainably North blog categories (some of them are fine, but others are more appropriate as a tag), but that’s something that can wait until these other priorities are done.

How about you?  What have you been up to?  What are your plans for the week?

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Interview #66!

The sixty-sixth author interview on TBPL Off the Shelf went live today.  This time I interviewed Armand Garnet Ruffo about his love of form and genre, writing creative biographies, and his new book Treaty#.  You can find the interview here!

 

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#WriteTuesday – Blog Planning!

I know I cut it a bit close, but over the weekend (the last weekend of March), I actually did sit down and make a plan for Sustainably North for the next few months.  I used the blog planner I picked up from Tickled Think last week as a starting point for my blog plan.  I’m keeping the basic plan I came up with earlier in March, at least for the next few months (I can reassess at that time and see if it’s working).  I’m going to start posting a smaller post on Fridays, too; that’s going to be more fun things like quotes or pictures (plus I can write the monthly post about bUneke for a Friday, too).  I’ve got an idea of topics for the next three months, and I’ve decided on the actual Monday essay posts for the rest of April (as well as a book to review).  So now I have to get going and actually write/read everything!

Over the weekend I sat down with the productivity planner I got from Tickled Think, too.  I was able to come up with goals for roughly the next year.  In terms of Sustainably North, those goals involve growing the blog.  In terms of other projects, those goals involve finishing them.  I don’t have definitive time tables for anything, just roughly what I want to accomplish in the next month, three-six months, and year.  I wasn’t able to come up with any goals at this time beyond the year mark because I want to see where I’m at.

So with that being said, for April I want to get the next 2 months of Sustainably North written and scheduled, as well as get a 1st draft of the Make Your Way story done. I know I’ve been saying that for the last few months, but I want it finished so I can move onto other things.  Beyond that, I need to get my next article written for bUneke Magazine before the 10th, so that’ll be happening too.

Thinking of bUneke, I did manage to get a few more book reviews from Sustainably North cut down to the length they wanted and submitted yesterday.  So that’s pretty exciting.  Unfortunately I’m almost out of books I’ve reviewed on Sustainably North, so I guess I need to get reading, too!

All in all, this was a good week of planning.  And now I’m going to have a busy April.  Wish me luck – I’ll let you know how things are going next week! 🙂

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March 2019 What Are You Reading?

The way the month started out, I wasn’t sure if I’d actually make it through any books!  I started reading Feel the Fear…And Do It Anyway, and sort of had a hard time finishing it.  But I did and was able to get through a few other books, too (I was actually quite proud of myself for reading Larry Bates’ Beat the Bank – I bought it on my Kindle a few months ago with the intention of reading it sooner, but just didn’t get to it until now!)

Nonfiction books:

  • Feel the Fear…And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD
  • Beat the Bank by Larry Bates
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by  Robin Diangelo

Fiction books:

  • None!

Wow, this ended up a heavy month, reading-wise.  After making it through the first two books, I decided to tackle White Fragility.  It’s come up a lot at work lately, so I wanted to know what exactly it entailed.

I don’t feel that it’s fair to say which book was my favourite this month.  The three books I read were all good reads in their own ways.  Feel the Fear…And Do It Anyway got me thinking about how fear might be holding me back on doing things in life.  Beat the Bank was another book on financial planning (I’ve read a few now), which gave me some new insights to consider.  I liked that it was Canadian too.  And White Fragility was, I think, a very important read.  It’s the type of book that pretty much every white person living in a Western country (especially in North America) should read and consider (although it is by no means perfect, as I think this review on Goodreads by Pococurante does a good job pointing out).

So that was my month, reading-wise.  What about you?

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#WriteTuesday – Weekend Recharging

I don’t know what it was, but last week was a good but long week.  So by the time Friday rolled around, I was exhausted.  I decided to take it easy on Saturday, and power through a whole bunch of emails that I had stockpiled (mostly newsletters) while alternately checking on my cat outside (Merlin spent most of the afternoon in the backyard).  So that was a really good day.  And I’m now feeling ready to tackle the new week!

Then a friend of mine contacted me over the weekend asking if I was willing to critique (and possibly edit) a book he is working on.  He asked what my professional rate is.  I’ve never been asked to provide a professional critique before and had no idea what to charge. Thankfully I have a copy of an older Writer’s Market (2015), which has their handy “What Should I Charge” chart.  Using that as a guideline, I was able to come up with a price we both agreed was fair.

Oh, and I also came across some printables from Tickled Think.  I picked up their blog planning one and their dream plan act productivity planner; I’m hoping those will help me out with Sustainably North (and just planning for the future in general; I kind of feel like I’m drifting at the moment without a clear plan).  I’m hoping to work on those this coming week. 🙂

So how’s your week been?  Have you ever struggled with pricing for your writing (and how have you settled on a price)?

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#WriteTuesday

Just a really quick update today.  First, for the exciting stuff: one of the author interviews I did for TBPL Off the Shelf was published in a book!  It was the Interview with Amor Towles – it was published in Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3, which was edited by Harold Bloom.  Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3 is published by Bloom’s Literary Criticism, which is an imprint of Chelsea House Publishers and Infobase Learning.

Now for the less exciting stuff: I heard back from Mythic about “A Friend from the Deep” and they rejected it, too. 😦  Now that it’s been rejected again, I’m going to have to sit down with it and look it over.  I suspect I need to give it a good edit before sending it out once again.

So now that that’s out of the way, I also spent some time over the weekend play testing a friend’s game.  He made it with RPG Maker (and has been working on it a lot over the last while).  The game was super fun, and I got quite into it (and then it ended because it’s only a demo!) 😦  I’m quite excited to see how it develops. 🙂

After playing it though, I wanted to get back into working on some of my RPGs.  So I’m going to try to power through both my Sustainably North planning and the Make Your Way story so I can get back to one of my RPGs soon. 🙂

How’s your week been?  Anything new and exciting? 🙂

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