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#WriteTuesday – What I Did on My Vacation

Apologies everyone – I was a little bit confused as to what day it was and wasn’t thinking about posting on here.  Luckily it’s still Tuesday (just a little later than I was planning on posting!)

So last week, when I was taking some me time, I was also on vacation from my day job. 🙂  The week off was fantastic – I made as little plans as possible because, as I said last week, I wanted to slow life down a bit and get caught up on some things I’ve been putting off.

Last Tuesday was #GivingTuesday. I wasn’t expecting it, but bUneke Magazine asked for all their volunteers to post on Instagram their #givingstory.  So I shared this picture to Instagram, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page (although the latter two weren’t flipped like Instagram’s was).  Once I was finished with that, I decided to keep working on some Sustainably North stuff.  For yesterday’s Sustainably North post, I wanted to recreate the paper wreath that I put up on my door this year (I included a picture of it with my November column in bUneke Magazine).  So I made a brand new wreath last Tuesday, and took a lot of pictures of all the steps for making it.  Then for next Monday I wanted to talk about the banana bread I also pictured in that column (it’s my grandmother’s recipe).  So on Wednesday I installed WP Ultimate Recipe to Sustainably North. I did a bit of research because I knew I wanted a professional looking recipe post on the blog – Shivar Web recommended WP Ultimate Recipe.  I installed it and tried it out; it seemed to work fine so I stuck with it.  I then baked some banana bread to take pictures of the entire process (although I barely used any pictures for the actual post, which will be on Sustainably North on the 10th), and later wrote and scheduled the post.

While taking the pictures of the banana bread, I was having a bit of trouble with my flash because I was getting a shadow from my camera.  I ended up trying out a flash diffuser my dad gave me some time ago and it worked like a charm! 🙂

freezer drawer full of bananas

This was my freezer door last Wednesday night!

Oh, and I also need to give a shout out to my friend who provided the walnuts for Wednesday’s banana bread baking!  I always forget that the recipe calls for walnuts (and is way better with walnuts) and I never seem to have any on hand (although I have a freezer door full of bananas).  When I texted her to ask if it was okay that the banana bread wasn’t going to have any (she was waiting to help me eat it), she said she had some “nut pieces,” which turned out to be walnuts!  🙂

After that, I started working on a draft of a book review to post on Sustainably North on December 17th.  Once that’s done, I’m going to talk about the article I wrote for the December issue of bUneke Magazine (I feel that it’s a perfect topic for Christmas Eve), then do another Article Roundup for December 31st.  And that will get me through until the new year!

I’ve been pushing to get all of these posts written for Sustainably North because I really want to reassess what my plan is for the next while.  Back in June I made a plan for the rest of 2018 on Sustainably North.  And then I proceeded to completely ignore that plan and kind of wing it.  I know that things did change a bit because I wasn’t expecting to be writing a monthly column in bUneke Magazine.  But now that I’m feeling rather on top of things again I think it’s time to stop running by the seat of my pants.

Wednesday was also when I started reading Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob.  While writing the banana bread recipe I realized that I had no idea how recipe writing was actually done….so I read a whole book on food writing.  Most of the book wasn’t very relevant to my needs, but I found it pretty interesting to read all the same.  Once I finished it on Saturday, I went back and edited the recipe on Sustainably North; I feel a lot more confident about how the post and recipe look now. 🙂

Saturday ended up a rather productive day because I also edited and scheduled the book review for December 17th for Sustainably North.  That means I’ve just got two posts left to write and schedule for 2018!

The new issue of bUneke Magazine came out on Saturday, so over the last few days I’ve been reading it over and scheduling Tweets about it for @SustaintheNorth as I do every month.  Once that is done, I’m going to take a break from Sustainably North to actually think through that City of the Dead worldbuilding stuff and hopefully get on with that story for the Make Your Way anthology.

Oh, and I almost forgot – I had a book review published in the Chronicle Journal on Sunday (republished on TBPL Off the Shelf yesterday) about Patricia Briggs‘ Cry Wolf.  I actually read Cry Wolf last year and have been hanging onto this book review as a spare.  Over the last few months I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction books that the library didn’t have, so I felt now was a good time to use this review.  Also regarding TBPL Off the Shelf, this month’s author interview is going to be a bit later than planned (thanks to me being off last week) – I’m hoping to get it posted tomorrow night, but it may have to wait until a bit later in the week.

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Overwhelmed!!!!

Last weekend was ThunderCon.  It also happened to be a weekend I booked off from work intending to do some writing and other stuff around the house; I booked it off before realizing it was ThunderCon.  It was also the weekend before Halloween, so I went to a few parties over the weekend, too.  By the time Monday rolled around, I was feeling rather overwhelmed by all the things I had intended to do and hadn’t had time for.

So earlier this week, I started trying to tackle what I could so I’d feel a bit less overwhelmed and a bit more in control of everything.  I tackled a whole bunch of emails (I’ll be honest, it was a lot of newsletters that I let pile up, mostly from Pinterest).  Later in the week I sat down and got some Sustainably North stuff organized, which also made me feel a whole lot better.  I edited and posted the blog post for Monday, and I finished editing the column for the December issue of bUneke.  For the bUneke article I had to find some pictures for it, too; I should have everything ready to submit by the end of the weekend.  The editor of bUneke had asked me to send her a few articles based off of Sustainably North blog posts to have as backups; she wants to use one for the January issue, so once I’ve submitted the article for their December issue I can start working on the one for the February issue!  I’m really glad to be a bit ahead on that. 🙂

And now that we’re at the end of the week, I made sure that this weekend is much more low key than last weekend was! Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot more on top of things by Monday! 🙂

Ooh, and I should mention – the new issue of bUneke Magazine is out and it’s got an article I wrote about homemade gifts in it!  I’m hoping to read over the magazine this weekend. 🙂

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#WriteMonday – Mostly Worldbuilding

So this weekend I managed to actually work a bit on the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology.  I had a really hard time sitting down with it for some reason, but last night I finally started thinking through the characters a little bit.  I guess the problem was that I knew I needed to do some worldbuilding in order to properly think through my characters.  But once I started I ended up on a roll!

One oversight that I made with City of the Dead was that I failed to come up with naming conventions for the world.  I’ve got rough naming conventions for pretty much all the other worlds I’ve come up with because I want to make sure characters from different settings don’t have too similar-sounding names.  So last night I sat down and thought through that; from there I moved on to thinking about the individual characters a little more.  Thinking through everything also made me realize that lands and titles in City of the Dead move through matrilinear lines.  This is a little thing, but it is pretty obvious because City of the Dead is ruled primarily by the Queen (she has a King, but he is in charge of security and military matters while she is the one who does the actual ruling).

I came up with my character motivations as well.  I think I’ve figured out how they think (and why things unfold the way they do).  Last night I was thinking they were an aristocratic family, but after sleeping on it I’m thinking they are not.  While I liked the idea of them being aristocrats (especially because it explains where the family’s father is), I’d then have to figure out either why they don’t have servants or why the servants saw and heard nothing.  Plus having servants in the picture may pose a problem for keeping the character count down (which I want to do because this is going to be a short story).  If they aren’t an aristocratic family, and so don’t have servants, all of these problems become nonexistent.

Most of the work I did was yesterday, but I did find names for the characters today.  I’m planning on doing some more work on things tomorrow afternoon, too.  After that I’ll probably have to turn my attention back to Sustainably North and getting a blog post ready for next week.  Thinking of Sustainably North, today I talked about drinking straws, if you’re interested in reading it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a good and productive week.  🙂

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  So sorry that I missed posting anything on Monday.  I had a really busy long weekend: I worked on Saturday, went picture taking and out for lunch with my dad (pictures still forthcoming on Flickr), went to see the Transformers cartoon movie from the 80’s with a friend, then had dinner. How was your weekend?  Were you celebrating Thanksgiving too (or are your celebrations happening in November?)

I know I said I was going to work on the Make Your Way story I started a few weeks ago, but that didn’t happen either.  What did happen was more work on Sustainably North. I finished reading Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, which I’ll be reviewing on there soon.  And I finished working on my four part blog series about Thunder Bay’s Transit (here’s a link to the final part if you’re interested). This week I wrote up a post about bUneke Magazine for Sustainably North but I’m not quite sure when to post it; I’m considering starting to post on every second Friday as well as every Monday, but I’m not quite sure if that’s a good idea or not (what do you think? I’m not sure if I can keep up with two posts on there every week right now or not). So while I consider that, I wrote up an article about plastic drinking straws that is scheduled for Oct 15.

So now that I’ve got a handle on Sustainably North for the immediate future, I will be working on the Make Your Way story over the next few days.  I hope you have a good weekend. 🙂

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#WriteMonday – First Column in bUneke Magazine!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was approached to write a magazine column about sustainable living in bUneke Magazine.  Well the first one appeared today in their October 2018 issue!  The theme for the month was “variety is the spice of life,” so I wrote about growing fresh herbs.  You can read it here. 🙂

Last week I spent all my writing time on Sustainably North.  I’ve been writing a multi-part series on transit in Thunder Bay (and my ideas to fix our system).  I had a really hard time writing the third part; it got super wordy, mainly from the extra notes I was writing to supplement the main post.  In the end I decided to acknowledge that this post was getting wordy and end it; I’m hoping to finish the series up next week with one last part (and hopefully no added notes!)

So now I need to write the (hopefully) final part of the transit series, as well as some more articles for bUneke (I think I have rough drafts written for both November and December, so hopefully those will just need some editing and pictures).  Then I need to turn back to the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology, which I haven’t touched in a couple of weeks (although my white board is currently living on my kitchen table, so it’s constantly on my mind!)

Oh also, no word from Monstrous Outlines yet about the story I submitted.

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#Write Monday

I was on vacation last week.  I spent a lot of the week getting caught up with some friends.  But I also made sure I had some time for writing!

A huge thing that I worked on was a several part blog post series for Sustainably North on Transit.  I wrote rough drafts of the first two posts on Wednesday afternoon (I’m really impressed with that feat – I didn’t sleep very well the night before and had a hard time concentrating until I forced myself to sit down and start writing). Then I typed them up on Friday. The first post is scheduled for today, and the next one will be appearing next Monday.

Oh, and a really exciting thing happened to me with Sustainably North: I got approached to write a column about living a sustainable life in bUneke Magazine! So I spent some time on Friday signing some papers for that. I’m really excited about this opportunity (and honestly a bit terrified – I hope I do a good job on this column every month!!!!) 🙂

Overall Friday was a really good writing day (it was an actual #WriteFriday like I used to do!) Between stopping to check on my cat outside (he goes out in the yard on a leash, so I need to make sure he isn’t tangled or otherwise getting into trouble), I spent about 3 hours in the afternoon working on Sustainably North and bUneke things. In the evening I went to a friend’s place with the intention of working on more writing (he has a writing project he wanted to work on too so it was perfect); unfortunately that didn’t actually happen because we just talked about stuff instead.

Having lost Friday evening as writing time, I spent a bit of time on Sunday working on some stuff for bUneke Magazine. They asked for a couple of my older blog posts to have ready to go for columns so I spent some time editing a couple down to the magazine’s requested word length. I got two of them edited down during an hour of the afternoon.

One thing I did not work on this week was that short story (that was actually my plan for Friday night – whoops!) I’ll be turning my attention to that later this week (once I’ve got what I need to done for both the blog and the magazine).

So how has your week been? Did you get what you were hoping to accomplish done? 🙂

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#WriteMonday Aug 27th

So today I decided to change #WriteFriday into #WriteMonday.  I think Monday will be a better day for me to consistently write an update post here (especially since that’s the day I’m updating Sustainably North).

Oh, and I also finally figured out how to make this blog a menu link on my Shauna Kosoris website! I’ve been wanting to do that for awhile now but had a hard time figuring it out; I’ve been looking for how to do it in a very complicated manner.  I was reading Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, and it kind of inspired me to stop putting this off and figure it out.  It turned out to be super easy (you just make a custom menu – this WordPress Support article explains how).

I also changed the Samples page on shaunakosoris.com to better split up the sample scenes and character bios.  That was in preparation for adding the sample romantic scene I started working on to the page soon (I was hoping to get it edited and up a few weeks ago, but that failed to happen).  I also wanted to show that the bios that are on the site were for different genres (one set are science fiction, the other fantasy).

In really good news, today I actually did edit the sample romantic scene I wrote and post it on shaunakosoris.com! The scene is a short conversation that takes place in an unnamed restaurant, mainly between the female player character and a love interest. I added in a couple of branches in the dialogue because it’s good practice – writing branches can be a bit tough!  If you’d like to read it the sample, you can find it here. 🙂

In terms of Sustainably North, over the last few weeks I’ve written four posts: my second round up of interesting articles I’ve found on sustainability related topics, a quick post on a visit to a friend’s camp, a post about writing letters to Members of Parliament regarding Canada’s decision to purchase the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, and one that’s still forthcoming on a TED Talk a friend told me to watch (that’ll be up next Monday). The letter writing one was rather interesting to write because I’ve never written letters to politicians before; I had to research what to do (and then I actually wrote the letters).  I’m interested to see what kind of replies I will get (if any).

So how has your week been?

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