Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG: Making Headway

The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage all writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips and more.


Co-hosts today are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia! 

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The climate here is still quite hot but I'm adjusting to the heat. Hubby and I have been hanging out at the community pool in late afternoons. The pool is brand new, gorgeous, with lap lanes for the adults and play areas for the kids. It's been too hot for golf, although many get up early when the air is cooler to play. My preference is in the evening when we can also bike. 


View from new home. Umtanum ridge on left.
Funny thing about the sun, and I've never experienced this anywhere else. When it goes behind the clouds, you'd swear the temperature has dropped a full ten degrees. It comes out again and you retreat to the shade in the oven-like air. I read that the UV rays are high all over the Pacific Northwest right now, so best to avoid the rays. I'm not sure if this is unique to our high temperatures (high 90s, low 100s) or simply a weather phenomenon this year. Many of us find it odd that we are all so low in vitamin D too. A doctor told a friend that no amount of sun exposure would be enough. We're all taking high doses and hoping the medical community knows what they're talking about.

We are not officially a desert (our winters are cold). Farmers grow grapes, apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, corn, potatoes, wheat and more here. Give the land water and fertilizer, and you can grow just about anything in sandy loam (some areas are almost pure sand, but compost does wonders). 
 
I have one beautiful rose bush.

The truth of the matter is we get on average six to ten inches of rain a year. Fortunately, water is cheap. We live on an old river bed with an underground aquifer and a river lake just minutes away.

It's been an interesting year adjusting though. Major services are an hour away. We have basic health care, one main restaurant and grocery store, one hardware store, pizza, some fast food, three gas stations, and smaller related businesses that include a cool tortilla factory (fresh off the grill), but that's it. 

Given the vast number of fruit orchards, we also have a thriving Mexican migrant community. Many workers and their families have stayed and made their home here. I wish I spoke Spanish. Someone at church mentioned taking a Spanish immersion class, and I almost raised my hand

I'm not a city gal, but I find myself missing the cute college towns we left behind, with their tree lined Main streets and coffee hangouts. I miss walking through the malls, too, going to movies, and checking out the latest restaurant. I'm glad we are an hour from another college town, where we can take in a movie and dinner when we feel like it. We plan to see the new Jurassic Park movie later this week.

There is always pro and con to moving, which was almost one year ago to the day, and in that regard, you might say this has been an insecure year for me. It was a tough move saying goodbye. You really do gain some and lose some, but I don't think it helps to dwell on the negatives or the past. We should learn from the past of course and stay in touch with old friends, but embrace the new and move on. I'm treating our new home as an adventure, and slowly but surely we are putting down roots again. Landscaping over a half acre will be the dominant thrust for awhile and for sure my writing.

On that front, I successfully downsized my YA novel to below 80k, and finally....FINALLY, I'm satisfied with the ending. I'm currently using SmartEdit as one last check. SmartEdit can be downloaded for free for a ten day trial, or purchased outright. The software is awesome. For instance, it pointed out I had used "he said/she said" 109 times, which of course was excessive. But see for yourself. It's free to check out! 

As to the race, my husband and I are still competing to make the finish line first. Our self imposed motivation effort appears to be working. We both have made headway! Vince reached the halfway mark on painting his plane last week, and I'm running out of things to tweak in my novel. [Scroll down for a photo of the plane]. 


Something to inspire (remember 
the little train that could?) 

"The Ladder of Achievement" (Anonymous)
 (The Treasure Chest, 1965)
                                                                                                                                                                                 100%--I did.          
                                                                     90%--I will.
                                                              80%--I can.
                                                       70%--I think I can.
                                                60%--I might.
                                          50%--I think I might.
                                   40%--What is it?
                             30%--I wish I could.
                      20% --I don't know how.
               10%--I can't.
         0%--I won't.

 

22 comments:

  1. Moving is never easy. Certainly, it's not something I'd want to undertake after living in this house for 30 years. I don't think I'd be up for it. That you're adjusting and looking forward is a good thing.

    Bish, who is visiting has a co-host #128 on the Alex Scale.

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    1. You might be surprised at the strength you'd find. The move was all about the plane in the beginning. We have a nice hangar now and in retirement that spelled 'fun' for my husband. But we are hours closer to family members too, which was important to me. Our biggest challenge is developing the land. Thank you for stopping by and for hosting, Bish,

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  2. I actually started writing again yesterday. After the massive goings-on of July, I'd thought I was done forever, but apparently not. Glad you're enjoying Desert Aire. I still miss you guys like crazy. Hope to see you again soon. Mike is finishing the grain harvest today. We hope to fly Anacortes next week and he hopes to do some airplane camping later in the Idaho back country. Harvest has NEVER ended this early, so he is excited about having free time in August. Making lemonade when life hands you a lemon. (Finishing early means the crops were bad. Prices stink too.)

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    1. That's fantastic, Cathy, considering all your family has been through. Sorry the crops were so bad this year. Farmers need prayers everywhere. I heard the same complaints about early harvests here. Love your attitude though. Stay hopeful and keep making that lemonade. Miss you guys so much and looking forward to meeting up soon! Stop by on your way back from Anacortes :)

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  3. Great picture of the both of you in front of the plane. Congrats on almost finishing your book and being able to get through the hot days. Moving is always a challenge and not a fun one overall. It all depends on how we wish to perceive things. We can make something pure hell or not so bad. I'm glad you have the "not so bad" view. Enjoy swimming!

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  4. I lived in Spain and found the heat at first overwhelming but got used to it, only thing I didn't like was the fierce thunder storms......worse than the UK.
    Great post and made interesting reading. Best of luck in your new home.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you. Thunderstorms are scary indeed. I hear you! I've never been to Spain or the UK. What a great experience that would be.

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  5. I have learned exactly that, Birgit. Life is all about how we perceive things,,,,,and too darn short to whine and complain in the trenches. I believe in muscling through if necessary and finding ways to enjoy the journey. Glad you like the photo. It came out bigger than I wanted, but I decided it works, since the airplane has changed our lives so much. Thanks!

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  6. Glad to hear you are settling in. My husband and I have moved a few times, so I know what that is like - although we've been in our current home for nearly 18 years and hope never to move again. Congratulations on whittling down your YA, and thanks for the tip about Smart Edit.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. The longest I've lived in any home was 17 years. Hoping this is it for awhile.

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  7. Moving is such a big deal and it really seams like a bigger deal the older we get. Hopefully you will be feeling at home sooner than later.
    It doesn't sound like your writing has suffered too much.
    I will check out Smart Edit.

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    1. Well, the writing has lagged a lot. I struggle with motivation when I have so much more to do. But I'm working on that. Thanks for visiting, Doreen.

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  8. Every location has its pros and cons, although moving and getting used to a new area can be very stressful. I love your rosebush and hope it (and you) survive the summer heat!

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    1. Thank you! That rosebush was a gift from a new friend here. Crazy weather though. Would you believe it was only 72 degrees this morning? I'm starting to feel like a yo-yo.

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  9. I feel ya on the relocation pains. I've moved 15 times, all over the states, which is a great way to see the country, but not so great for putting down roots:) Happy writing--hope you WIN the race!!
    Uncharted

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    1. Thank you. This is our 18th home! I just want to settle in and get back to my writing, which I've manage to dabble at (but not much more).

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  10. Glad you were able to trim your story and now have a great ending.
    I like the creature comforts of living in a city.

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  11. Thank you. It feels good to finalize things. Those creature comforts are sure nice when you need it! But I like small town living best.

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  12. I know just what you mean about the sun and clouds. I experience that in FL whenever I take a walk. It always feels so much better when the sun goes behind the clouds.

    Good for you on cutting down your YA novel and getting an ending that you love!

    The rose picture is gorgeous! And I love that latter of achievement. :)

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. Glad I'm not the only one experiencing this excessive sun. Yes, having a complete story does feel good.....time to move to the next step, getting it out there for people to read.

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  13. Moving is always a challenge. It's so hard to uproot yourself and your family and pack up your life. We've lived in our current house for 16 years. We've accumulated so much stuff, I can't imagine trying to pack it all up. It's great that you're feeling more settled in and comfortable in your new place. I'm not a fan of big cities, but I do like to be somewhere near the amenities.
    Congrats on your novel progress. Looking forward to seeing your book out there!

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    1. Yes, it does feel good to be more settled. Everyday is another step toward that end. Just yesterday my husband located the mysterious missing sprinkler line. It means we won't have to fork out a ton of money extending the line under our driveway.
      I'm looking forward to sharing my novel soon. Thanks so much!

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(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.

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