20 2020 Questions: this is a test

Ok. The only people I know reading this are my parents, so I really need y’all to comment here and let me know who my audience is.

It’s totally ok if it’s only my parents. But. I’m taking this opportunity to create my very first hashtag #sorrydad for those moments…where I have to be an adult

I’ve given you a list of questions and options to ask me some. Comment with your question and your answer.

Let’s start a conversation.

person pointing at black and gray film camera near macbook pro

Respond to one question. or two. or all 20. As many or as few as you wish. Just please answer at least one.

There’s no grade for this test so don’t let it make you anxious.  There are no right or wrong answers, just opinions. Your answer can be as long or as short as it needs to be.

Consider this one of those bullshit ‘get to know you’ activities, but you get to control your input. You do NOT have to come up with an adjective starting with the same letter as your name (though you special unicorns are welcome to do just that).

  1. Why is 2020 the ‘ideal vision?’ Is there something to that or is it just aesthetics?
  2. Was WW2 worse or better than WW1? Would WW3 end it all? Discuss.
  3. What’s the ideal age to start giving my nephews cash for their birthdays and how much should I give? 
  4. Who’s done a meal delivery service (i.e. blue apron, hello fresh, etc.)? Did you enjoy it? Was it worth the money? Did you actually save time or money?
  5. What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
  6. What’s your favorite kind (genre) of book? Do you read other stuff you don’t consider books (audio, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, apps, etc)?
  7. Do you find studying hard?
  8. Do you believe in routine or do you wing it every day. Explain your position.
  9. Are you offended by a term or phrase (not profanity or racial slurs. I’m thinking like ‘feminist’ or ‘millennial’) that is current as of 2020? What is it and why does it offend you?
  10. How do you define ‘adulting?’
  11. Do you know what a bullet journal is? Are you obsessed with them? Feel free to gush.
  12. Do you know the difference between proofreading and editing? Prove it.
  13. It’s now a criminal offense to mistreat animals. Too harsh? or BoutDamnTime? Discuss.
  14. What’s the coolest modern/current technology? What’s the scariest?
  15. Want to talk about dieting (good or bad), food, fitness, or healthy eating?
  16. Ask me a question about your hair, skin, or nails. (Sure, even the gross ones)
  17. Ask me one of my 20 questions.
  18. Ask me a question of your own devising. You should consider your question ‘public’
  19. Solemnly swear to me you are up to no good. Do it properly.
  20. Batman or Superman? Defend your choice.

That’s all for today! Coming tomorrow: Let’s have a conversation

Featured post

To Whom it MAY Concern:


If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.
Sir Terry Pratchett

I was asked again the purpose of this blog, and while I’d like to redirect anyone with similar questions to ABOUT THIS BLOG, I realize it was written many moons ago and may not be strictly relevant.

So I read it.  It’s probably as good as it needs to be, and I really don’t feel like redoing the thing now, but it made me think about what I am doing going forward.

I started this blog as a challenge from someone else.

Its continuation has been more a challenge to myself.

This blog is about fearlessly writing and publishing in the face of a faceless audience. It’s about putting myself out into the world. It’s about practicing on a weekly basis, having a target, and writing something readable. It’s a benchmark.

What this blog is NOT: It’s not my author platform (that’s coming). It’s not for y’all as much as it is for me (though I love having readers, and nothing gets me more excited than seeing a new comment or follower). I’m not trying to become famous or launch a product (at least not yet).

Mostly I’ve found this blog is about learning how to blog. Learning how to finish a thing and call it good. To do the hard work as well as the dreaming. To win small victories so I can appreciate the big.

It’s tempting to think I haven’t accomplished anything. That this blog does not resemble anything I want it to be and must therefore be a failure. Then I remember I said from the start this blog (and myself) was under construction.

Somehow it keeps happening, and nothing has yet exploded.

I keep cycling through the stages of grief. Memories can lie and time is a thief.
Bobby Keane

I have been using the months as a way to plan content and, though May sneaked up on me and found me planless, she also obliged me by moving fast. This is how I know I have not been a failure no matter how I feel about my content.

Let’s revisit:

February: I planned to post every day.

March: I wrote 4 professional style posts.

April: I wrote about my Camp Nanowrimo progress.

May: I made puns.

Here’s a sneak peek for June:

I’m working on my second novel draft (gulp), and I am going to blog through the (my) process of drafting (putting together) a novel.

I’m using the blog to measure my progress week to week and also as an accountability tool for getting the stuff done.

So that was a long way of saying the blog began as an outlet for my thoughts and has become a way to keep myself accountable in publishing weekly. If you like what I got, stick around.



MAY the Force be with You

It’s as good a greeting as any, especially for this nerd. I tried for another pun on May, but this is what I got.  There’s a lot going on, but not much to write about.

Last week’s theme was starting over, and I do feel I have been. I’ve been trying to get used to a new schedule, one that has me waking earlier and hitting the sack earlier too. I’m trying to accommodate other people’s schedules into my own, and it is not easy.

I’m reminded why most people go to a place for a certain amount of time to do their work, then come home. It is a full time job trying to keep up with other people.

So why the Force? The Force is a living thing that flows through universe. It requires balance and attention. Why wouldn’t you want that on your side? I need all the help I can get with this new lifestyle.

Also it has been a little like forcing myself to work on some of these projects. To get up early. To remain consistent in my timing and my communications. It needs a lot more work, but this is where I’m starting:


4 to 6 AM WORK




9 to 11 AM WORK


1 to 2PM WRITE

2 to 4PM EDIT





We shall see how well it actually works. Let me know about some of the ways you’re starting over, or what you have been doing that’s working for you these days. Until next time.


MAYFLOWERS: Starting Over

Remember the old saying?

April showers bring May flowers

It’s been on my mind lately.

What do May flowers bring?




sunset ship boat sea
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re welcome.


The saying has been on my mind because we’ve had a rough month.


It’s as though it’s been raining for six to eight weeks, though the weather here has been glorious.


For the first time, I’ve noticed spring on a daily basis. I’m appreciating the difference, however short, in the seasons where I live. I’m also more aware of what people are doing, or not doing, and interested in people’s lives like I’ve never been before.


Could it be the rain has brought something beautiful out of a yucky situation?


Look around. What do you see that has improved during the past month. What are the benefits of what you have sown before the rain?


MAY DAY: Final Camp Update

Sorry about the late post.

200+ Free May Day & May Images - Pixabay

Well that didn’t go at all as planned.

Final count was just over 30k words, which would have been a more reasonable goal for the month, but oh well. For Camp, you’re even allowed to change your goal, but I feel it’s cheating to change it on the last day.

So I lost…

Events | The Uncommon Geek

…but I was only competing with myself.

I had a lot going on in April.

I tried really hard, and I got a lot of words in spite of not reaching my goal.


I’m told I’m being gracious to myself. I don’t feel that way, but I hope it’s true.

Free Printable May Day Baskets | Skip To My Lou

Also it’s May Day and we’re supposed to be flying streamers and dancing around maypoles. I doubt many people feel like doing that this year, but it’s a good reminder that life moves on with or without us.

I’m celebrating anyway. If nothing else that I’m done with Camp 🙂

I have a couple of thoughts, but I’m not sure what my May goal should be for the blog. Any ideas?




April CAMP NANO Update Weeks 2 & 3: Wait, What?

These past two weeks haven’t gone at all as planned. I’ve had a bunch of things going on and the writing has suffered, but I still have more words than I had at the beginning of the month, even if it’s a complicated setup.


I’ve been writing all over the place instead of being able to focus on a single thing. My novel has suffered since almost none of the words I’ve added have to do with the actual work in progress.

The same things happens every time I write, and every time I write, I have to remember it, but somehow it’s still surprising every time.

I tried to figure out a simple way to do a tedious thing…and thinking I should be able to travel as the crow flies…I had to accept the hard way for whatever reason. It sucked, but I finally did it and it wasn’t so bad.

Having a thing finished is also an accomplishment.

A week of good news and many wins, so it’s all right that life got in the way a bit. Camp Nanowrimo is only one of the important things in my life right now.

I’m going to have to find a new normal, like the rest of us. My routine is about to change  again in the next week or two so you can look forward to hearing about that.

That’s really all I got this week. More of an update than an actual post, but I’m doing my best over here.

Hope you are all safe and well



April CAMP NANO Update 1: All’s Well

I don’t know how many of you needed to see this again, but I certainly did.

It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in days.

So my first CAMP NANO update is officially:  ONE O’CLOCK AND ALL’S WELL!



Things have been going pretty well, considering. I’ve had some ups and downs this week already…

I thought it had been a long week at 7am on Monday…

but I know everyone is going through their own versions of adjustment to this new world in which we now live.


I’m currently at 15,008 words and going strong. I’ve taken more time off than I anticipated this early in the process, but I also got a good strong start. I think sheltering is helping my writing more than hurting, which I know from Twitter means I’m one of the lucky ones.


man using laptop on table against white background
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I wanted to inject a little levity into our stay-at-home situation. I also wanted to remind everyone that Anxiety and Anticipation are the same emotion.

We’re all dealing with both right now through the virus crisis, but let’s not forget excitement is part of anticipation too. Whether you’re writing a novel or cleaning out your house, your reactions to all this are valid. It’s ok to be having some fun.

Try to look for the silver linings as much as possible.

I’ve made a lot of new friends online since everyone is on social media so much now. I also had to put myself out there to meet them. Don’t forget this can be a great opportunity for connection albeit different from what we’re used to.

Remember we have so many different ways of communicating in this day and age and we can take advantage of them. Facetime your parents. Send that text or email. Check on a coworker or a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Just because we have to be socially distant doesn’t mean we have to be disconnected.

inspirational quotes on a planner
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

CAMP NANO moves into WEEK 2 and I’m ready with bells on. It may not go as I expect, but it will be fine. We all have to remember:

If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it…

Rudyard Kipling


Those are my thoughts for the end of week one. Hope you are all well and safe.


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

April (fool’s) 1st

I thought about doing an April Fool’s post, but I’ve never really been a fan of the ‘holiday.’

apricot april beauty blooming
Photo by mahmoud on Pexels.com

I thought maybe what we need today is a little less foolery and a little more hope.


So. Today as I embark on the first day of CAMP NANOWRIMO full of hope to see a novel through to the end of the month, I’m also celebrating and embracing a challenge:

  • MY DAD is doing Camp with me! He inspired today’s post with his comment yesterday, so this one goes out to him.
  • Today I am posting my hope*writers bio on facebook. This is a huge thing for me because I have largely avoided all social media for the last SEVERAL years, and I’m about to introduce myself to a brand new community of online writers. I feel the love and support, but I also have a bit of stage fright. Wish me luck!

As this post might have my largest audience yet, let me take this opportunity to share a message of hope from me to you:

These LYRICS: are imperfect, but I’ve included my favorites :


Love possesses nothing
Nor would it ever be possessed
Love is love sufficient unto love
And you can figure out the rest

For those of you who have children…

They'll come through your womb but not be coming from you
They will be with you, but they do not belong to you
You can give them your love but not your thoughts
For they'll arrive with their own hearts

and lest we forget…

And think not you can direct the course of
Love itself directs the course of love
Believe not God is in your heart, child
But rather you're in the heart of God

…God is Love

I pray the thought gives you peace for the present and hope for the future.




Pandemic Post

I hope this finds everyone well, staying safe and healthy and busy doing the neglected things. My good wishes go out to you all.

This month has been a lesson in things not going as planned. I don’t think I’m alone there. However, good things have come out of this month too, and I’d like to take a moment to celebrate them.

  • I met my March goal for this blog though, of course, it ended up looking different than I planned.
  • I met most of my quarterly goals, which is more encouraging than I can say.
  • I became 100% self-employed. Scary but exciting.

In the midst of this global crisis, good things are still happening.

I’m still writing. I don’t really know what else to do. Life goes on and these books don’t write themselves.

I have an idea I hope you’ll like for April.

As I said in my previous post about the NaNo Life, I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again this April.


My project is BOOK 3, which is currently about a third written. I began this project back in 2016, plotting it meticulously in PREPTOBER and writing my heart out in that year’s November NaNoWriMo.

The characters, regardless of my efforts, threw out my plan and have insisted on telling their own stories. That is something I didn’t plan and didn’t know how to handle at the time.

Tomorrow I return to writing with abandon…no editing allowed…which is both nightmarish and exhilarating. I never know what’s going to come out when I just sit down to type, and these characters have surprised me more than once.

I think, instead of abandoning the blog this month, I will share some of what I’m doing. Would you like to see fiction samples? See more into the writing process? Something else?

You tell me.  

NaNoLife: Scheduling a Writing Year

I wasn’t planning this yet, but the post about ROUTINE and the current global scenario prompted the topic.

I’ve been working on this system a while (at least 2 years) but this is the first year I planned to put it in practice. So far it’s going swimmingly.

COVID19 is not stopping my writing process.

I needed a system flexible enough to roll with the punches of everyday life, but rigid enough to show me what I needed to be doing any given day.

Here’s how this came to be:

I realized, one day in November many moons ago, I had the ability to sit down every day (or nearly every day) for a MONTH and do a thing.  A focused thing. Namely write a story.

I may have mentioned before this is not AT ALL a strength of mine.


I could do it for a month…

and if  I could do it for 1 month out of the year…

what if I could do it for 3?

what if I could do it for 9?

Let me introduce you to NaNoWriMo, also known as


They’ve been changing things around as of 2019, so even if you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo before,  you might be surprised at some of the new features.

I may be the first one to figure this out, but I doubt it:
NaNoWriMo runs on certain months that are for writing. They emphasize editing and rest in other months throughout the year. I decided to take a leaf from their book and plan my writing, editing, and resting schedule around what they are doing on the website.

Let’s start with the WRITING MONTHS:

APRIL and JULY: CAMP NANOWRIMO This is a spin off of the November writing month, which we’ll get to,  and has a little more flexibility in the word counts. You can set your own goal and winning is easy.  You can even adjust your goal halfway through the process and still win. Camp is a great way to jump into NaNo if you’re a newbie, and a great way to dust off an old work if you’re not. 

Here’s some information about camp:

I use the camps in APRIL and JULY to reorganize or restructure projects I have worked on in the past, probably for another NOVEMBER NaNo. For example, I start a new project in NOVEMBER, leave it alone until MARCH, then start prepping it for the APRIL Camp.


If you’re interested at all, shoot me a line. I’m working on my cabin for April 2020 and there’s still PLENTY of time for you to jump in.

NOVEMBER: NAtionalNOvelWRItingMOnth: 50 thousand words in 30 days.

This is the contest I started back in 2013, but I didn’t win until 2015.

Winning is only completing the 50k words.

You get goodies and discounts, but no publication leg ups or anything like that. You don’t store any of your writing on the site, you just update your word count. The site has all kinds of new features now that I’m looking forward to using this year. Features that track your writing time per day, when you usually write and how many words at a time. I’m really excited to learn more about my writing process.

Next come the BREAK months: so far only DECEMBER.

But, I hear you asking, AUGUST and MAY are after Camps! Why don’t they become break months?

The short answer is because I don’t need them to be. I need a break from writing, sure, but I don’t need a break from my whole process. If I need a break I’ll take it, but a break from writing can also mean an editing month.

Here’s a secret: I often write in December.

I believe I’ve mentioned I’m compelled to write. It’s hard, once your story has been on your mind for a month, to stop thinking about it, but it is necessary to take a break from a project for at least a couple months. The exception would be if I did not finish in NOVEMBER, but that is becoming less of a problem the more times I compete in NaNoWriMo.

That brings us to EDITING MONTHS:

This year MAY is an editing month because I want to be done with BOOK 2 draft by JUNE 30. That makes JUNE an editing month this year as well as prep for Camp in JULY.

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY are always touted as NaNoWriMO editing months, but the organization is doing more now to promote that.

AUGUST and SEPTEMBER will also likely be editing months this year as I have two new projects in the works as well as a number of blogs.

PREPTOBER: OCTOBER becomes the month to prep for NaNoWriMo in NOVEMBER. I always start a new project in November, and I always use this month to plan out what I’m going to write about and how to plot it into something resembling a story. I all but write, in other words, flesh out an outline until the day comes…November 1st…


This is by far the most challenging part of my year. Not only do I have Thanksgiving and the holidays to contend with, but I’m starting a new project which is always a challenge. I come up with everything from the very beginning, plot, outline, and development of the characters.

This project really sets the tone for the whole next year.  It’s what I will work on in at least one of the Camps and what will be on my mind for at least the whole year and possibly those that follow.


So, let’s do the year in order:













Thanks for going through this year of planning. Even if writing is not your passion, I hope you’ve found some tips to help your workload, especially working from home.

Blessings and stay safe!


Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑