What Have I Been Doing?

I disappeared off the face of the Earth here for a few weeks. I had one of those not feeling so good episodes with low blood pressure and ended up in the hospital for six days. I have been recovering from that episode for the last few weeks.

However, I have not been lazy. I am currently writing chapter 16 of Grey Dawn of Dharaven-Book 2. This one take the intrepid archaeologist onto the continent of Aven. Lots of things for her to investigate with her larger team. And of course there are some dragons in this book, too.

I have also been using Submittable and its newsletter to submit some poetry and short fiction for contests. So far a few no’s have been flung my way but poetry is a very volatile section of writing to enter contests. Everyone is looking for something different. Just have to find that right fit. Never give up! I see adventure ahead!

The Eyes of the Dragon

A Girl and her Dragon

Grey Dawn of Dharaven- Katz Island was picked up by a publisher. We go into creative editing next month or so. My novel does not have dragons that look like this one, but I like the picture.


I submitted my novel to RhetAskew Publishing on June 13, 2019. I finally titled it Grey Dawn of Dharaven- Katz Island

Now I wait.

I also submitted poetry to:
6/4/2019 Burningword Literary Journal, a quarterly international publisher, is seeking short fiction, short nonfiction, poetry, and photography/digital art. 4 poems submitted 3.00 Turned down

6/4/2019 The Bangalore Review seeks literary fiction, creative nonfiction, reviews, criticism, poetry, and art for online publication. Lost in my thoughts submitted. 3.00

The Writing Continues…

The story I am writing is in its 2nd revision. I have it out to four beta readers. My alpha readers are reading it, too. The story is progressing with each revision. I find new things to look at every time I read it over.

This time when I read it through I noticed almost every chapter ends with my character going to sleep at the end of a long day. I may need to change some of those so the chapters ends somewhere else and the next one picks up later. I also find a lot of words that I write out, such as I am, cannot, when they should be contractions like I’m and can’t. I am finding those all over the story as I reread it for errors. These idiosyncrasies will slowly begin to be weeded out as I am writing more and revise more.

I also need to discover a new title for my story. I could name it after the planet it takes place on, but it is my main character’s story and the world is sort of just a place for it to take place. I am going to research how to come up with a title for a story or book this week.

I have been taking writing and blogging classes online like crazy. You know the free ones where they teach you part of what they know, then want to charge you for the rest of what they know. A couple of them were really good. I am also on a truckload of mailing lists. I also have a lot of PDFs I received for free over the internet on writing, blogs, and business. I am reading these then deciding which ones I want to keep.

There is a certain genius to the way these people work to make money. First they give you something for free: a class, a PDF, a bootcamp for a few days. Then they tell you all about their class that costs money. They wet your whistle for more information then put the hand into the wallet. I can’t figure out how it all gets done legally without the money entanglements. taxes and contracts being done back and forth. No one wants to let that information out without it being paid for.

I see adventure ahead!

A short update on my writing

I am up to 67,000 words or 209 pages or so into what I have a temporary working title of Grey’s Story. I will give a few descriptive words about it at the end of this post. This is the first piece I have ever taken into a book length process. I have a few more chapters to go with a deadline of May 1 to be finished with the first draft. Then it will be sent to my alpha reader to see if it is actually readable, is a good idea, and just could use editing and polishing.

Then it is off to read all about editing a piece of fiction. I have an Udemy course to take on editing. I think I may go to one of the universities in the area to do some library research. I also want to either find a writer’s group or start one so I can have chapters critiqued as I edit.

I wrote a poem the other day. I also have put short story up on
bookborro for a read test starting tomorrow. The title is Vampire Child. It should pop in the browse area on their site. Just testing some of my writing with other writers.

Notes to myself about main project: (You will see my mind at work here.)

Camp scenes may need to be either shortened or edited out completely.

A world view narrator may need to be used to give all of the characters a voice in the story. So far it is written from the main characters POV.

You could take the story and break it into pieces with each character telling their own story and part of the main story. Major rework here. Not sure quite how to do this, but it is an idea.

I noticed when writing dialogue I type a lot of So, and Okays, then notice it and erase them. I also use a lot of ands and thens in sentences. I am also trying not to use helping verbs instead use actual action words as I write.

Research basic archaeology digs, maybe interview an archaeologist or professor at one of the Universities. Maybe have one be a beta reader for me when I need them.

And, so, then, 🙂 That is my update on March 28, 2019.

Oh yes, the descriptive words: archaeology, camp, Expedition

Use your imaginations! I see Adventure ahead!


22,000 words have been written on Grey’s Story.
8,000 on my Banker’s Story.
Banker’s Story is on the back burner.
Grey’s Story comes first.

Update on My Writing

Publishing- I have had another article accepted to RSNhope.org blog today.

Reading- I finished reading Deep Work, by Cal Newport. My opinions and notes in the book will be posted when I finish them.

Writing- I have written 16, 517 words/55 pages in my story- tentatively titles Dharaven: Grey’s Story. This is the first draft of anything I have written that has gone beyond ten pages.

Community- I joined a group called Write Boldly and was just in time to join this week’s Start Writing Your Book Today.

Art journal- Freedom journal page with a poem.

I see adventure ahead!

My Priority List

Now why would I share my priority list as a new writer? I said I would share my journey in this writer’s world and making certain things priorities is important. Some I will do every day and others every other day.

I put it into categories of a writer’s life: learning and studying, writing, reading, and community. This is an ever changing list so it will be updated often.

Learning and Studying

I am learning how to improve my skills as a writer and author.

I am also taking online blogging and writing courses.

              Blogging Bootcamp

             Online Genius Academy

              Udemy Creative Writing Tips

              Udemy Editing Class


Deep Work

The Elements of Style and its Workbook

Research archaeology.

Read book on a real archaeology expedition.

Read Alfred Hitchcock stories for your story.

Read Like a Writer


My two blogs require something to be written on them every day or every other day.

Facebook sites also need to be written on.

I am currently 10,000 words into a novel I am writing.

Murderous Gloves written in Alfred Hitchcock style.

I also have two more book ideas sitting waiting for me to get to them

Poetry typed and rewritten.

Contest entries through Submittable and other places.


word nerd

 writers helping writers.

I am an administrator on a forum and Facebook website. Forum must be checked daily.

Emails checked for all 3 sites daily.

Facebook pages need to be checked daily, plus posts written.

The Dog Next Door

      The dog next door to our home is lonely.  The poor thing has no company during the day. Her original owner who worked with her has passed away from cancer.  She seems to be tolerated as an outside dog.  I think she has a kennel or the garage to sleep in and to use as a place to get out of the rain. She really is not our next-door neighbor’s dog, but the behind our home dog. Their fence is our fence.  It run along the back of both our back yards.  So yes, I guess we are neighbors in a back fence sort of way. 

Kara is the name of the dog next door.  She is a German Short-haired Pointer purebred, I think. She looks just like the picture I looked up one day. She is the typical breed and she is bored and lonely. She acts just like the description of her breed.  A bored dog will make trouble.  One thing you can say about Kara: She barks.  She barks at everything throughout the day or night.  It is a penetrating noise. She is rhythmic with it, too.  Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, pause, bark, bark, and pause just long enough so you think she is done, then start up again.  I have awakened in the mornings to her barking.  She barks at her owner leaving early for work, the kids walking down the street to school, the van or car that pulled up on the street across from her house, a leaf that falls from a tree,and even at us.  Yes, this dog barks at us, her neighbors.  We were living in this house before she was even brought home to live next door.  But in her world, we might invade her territory, so she barks at us. 

 She did consider us the enemy until the day my husband, being the kind soul, he is, walked out into our backyard with a dog bone.  It was a large size dog bone, meant for a dog her size.  He walked over the fence that separates our two yards showing her the treat in his hand. Kara was so excited to see a treat coming her way, she slobbered and licked the fence.  She stuck her nose into the fence to smell what it was he bringing her.  She danced on her front paws with excitement.  Her entire body wiggled, her stubby little tale bringing up her rear into the all over body wiggle, all the way to her stubby tail.  The bone was pushed through the fence to her. She snatched it out of his hand, carrying her prize away to have it all to herself.

I have no idea what Kara does with the bone.  She might bury it, stockpiling it for a rainy day in a hole in her back yard.  She might bring it to her owner’s porch and leave it there to gain their permission to eat it.  I doubt she does anything but crunch it up between her big teeth and down it before anyone can take it away from her.  (Greedy little thing that she is.)

The first day’s reaction from Kara must have touched my husband’s heart.  The next morning, he carried another bone to the fence.  This time Kara saw him coming and grabbed one of the tin cans that was laying in the yard, over to the fence in her mouth.  She was offering a gift in exchange for the bone.  She had to drop the can out of her mouth to take the bone.  My husband came back into the house laughing a little at her gesture of a gift.  Every time he brought a bone out, she would stand at the fence with either a tin can , an old piece of rope, or an old dolly toy that was hers.  It was comical, yet sad to watch. 

This sharing of a bone every morning has developed a bad habit in our neighbor’s dog Kara.  She used to bark at us as her enemy.  I had taken to telling her “Shut up, we have lived here longer than you have.” Some days she shut up, others she still barked.  She can see us in our kitchen because we have windows on the door to our back room and a window on the backdoor.  The neighbor’s property is higher than ours to help with drainage (not that it helps).  So, Kara has a straight line of sight into our kitchen through a hole in the pool fencing that gives privacy to both yards.  Now, when she sees some one walk into our kitchen in the morning, she starts another rhythmic bark. “Bark, bark, pause, bark, bark, bark.”  I tell my husband that his friend in the back is calling him.  She is telling us she is up, welcoming us to the day in our house, and not to forget that she would like her bone.  I ask my husband in the event of our moving out of this house, if we are going to leave a box of bones for the next owners to give to Kara.  Maybe we will wait to move until she is gone from their backyard.

“Good morning Kara.  Yes, I hear you.  You are just going to have to wait until himself gets up and takes care of you.”  I usually comment to the dog slobbering and barking at our back fence when I am up and in the kitchen first.  I let my husband handle the morning ritual of ‘the giving of the bone.’   Some morning I cannot stand the incessant barking. Just to shut her up, I will walk a bone out to her. I guess the old saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not true.  This gift of the bone started over the past year.  Kara has lived next door for the past seven or eight years from puppyhood. She learned a new trick.  Bark, bark, pause, bark, bark, bark.