Glad to be Here

Yes, I’m glad to be participating in Round 4. But that’s not the only “here” I’m referring to. Yesterday, traveling at 100 km/hr (60 mph) on the on-ramp to the highway, my tire blew. At first I thought I’d hit the corner too fast, but when I couldn’t regain control, I knew it was something more. For some, “thank God” is nothing more than an expression. However, such is not the case with me. I have much to be thankful for. I could have been traveling 110 km/hr in the flow of traffic. There could have been someone right behind me on the ramp. I could have flipped over into the ditch, but instead stopped right beside it pointed back up the ramp. My friend could have panicked, but instead remained calm and quiet until we came to a stop, and then simply uttered a quiet prayer of thanks. I was able to get turned around and pulled off to the side. So, you see, I’m glad I’m here, as in in front of my computer, no worse for wear, except maybe with a slight reluctance to drive on the highway for a while.

And now to the check-in…

I haven’t been listening to “Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World” every day, but most. Today I’m going to choose a new song to listen to each day this week.

I’m on track to have the two manuscripts edited. I’ve scheduled several hours this coming week for their completion. Therefore, next week I should have lots of time freed up for other projects.

I’ve rewritten my schedule and believe it will be easier to commit more time to working on the memoir I’m co-authoring. I’ll let you know next Sunday. (I won’t likely have much to report by Wednesday.)

Working on my essay for my doula certification is also on the new schedule, as is continued reading.

Regular exercise is on the schedule. I’ll keep you posted.

The blogging is going well plus I have a couple of opportunities to submit posts as a guest blogger. I’ll see if I can find the time. Guest blogging is always an honour.

Hooray, I’m doing well with my scheduled reading INCLUDING reading for skills development. Thank you again to whomever suggested this. What a great idea!

I’m enjoying popping by some of your posts and seeing how you’re doing. I’ve paired up with a couple of fellow ROWers for weekly check-ins — or is that “checks-in”…

Redundant, yes? But I want to thank Sharon Howard for starting the Facebook page. Seems lots of people are popping by. Plus I want to thank Kait Nolan for starting this challenge. It’s nice to belong to an online community of writers.

Those tentative goals regarding writing for children are actually on the new schedule. I’ll let you know how that goes too.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can find me at @NickelStephanie. If you let me know you’re a fellow ROWer, I’ll be sure to follow you back. I’m not on all that often, but I’ll likely check in a couple of times a day.

So, until Wednesday, happy writing, happy emailing, happy facebooking, happy tweeting…


Breaking News

This is Part 2 of today’s check-in. I’ve been doing fairly well on the other elements – at least the ones that need immediate attention. In the area of reading skills development books, magazine articles, blogs, etc., I haven’t been doing as well. However…

I just read a chapter in June Casagrande’s It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences. It’s a fun back-to-basics book. I posted a challenge over at the ROW80 Facebook page. Check it out, and let’s have some fun with those pesky modifiers.

Wordy Wednesday

A few months back I started choosing a song of the week. Sadly, the habit soon petered out. I think I’ll go back to it, beginning again with what I’d like to consider my theme song, “Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World” by Johnny Reid. Whether you’re a fan or not, listen to the words. I love them.


So, I guess I’ve added another goal: Choose a song to listen to each day for a week. Then choose a new one.

I’ve done well with the two manuscripts I’m editing, but I still need to get busy with the memoir I’m co-authoring and the essay and research paper for my doula certification, not to mention regular exercise.

I’m pretty much on target with my blogs, but will have to finish today’s (Tuesday’s) posts when I get home from my writers group.

I’m on track with my scheduled reading – except for skills development. I still need to get at that.

I’m enjoying popping by some of your posts and seeing how you’re doing. I’ve paired up with a fellow ROWer for weekly check-ins.

I think it was a great idea to start a Facebook page where we can chat. Thanks, Sharon.

Those tentative goals are simmering in my brain, but I haven’t done anything about them yet. Hopefully, like the turkey soup I made today, simmering will make them better.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I signed up for Twitter. If you want to follow, you can find me at @NickelStephanie

Until next time…


First Sunday Check-in

It’s only 9:51 EST and people are already checking in. Way to go, ROWers!

I must, must, must get to work on the memoir I’m co-authoring. It really won’t take all that much time to complete the edited first draft, but that’s probably why I keep putting it off.

I completed the first edit of one of the two manuscripts I’m working on and only have 10 or so pages to go with the other. On track here…Now just to reread and tweak both manuscripts over the next couple of weeks.

I’m keeping up with my blogs over the course of the week. I don’t necessarily post on the originally designated day, but oh, well…(Might as well not reword this. If it ain’t broke…)

I have been keeping up with my reading for my doula course. However, the essay and research paper keep getting bumped. Gotta get on that. (As I was saying with regard to the previous goal…)

Reading for skills development…Writer’s Digest mag came this week. I pulled out my unread issues and have started to work my way through them.

Must check in on my “3s” today…and maybe even a few others.

And those tentative goals…

I haven’t submitted any picture book ideas yet nor have I worked on my children’s chapter book, but again, we just got started. However, I have been encouraged to sign up for “that other contest.” I don’t think I’ll do so, but I’m going to set myself the goal of being done my first draft of my first children’s chap book by the end of November. (If I took the challenge, I would have to write two books in the series, and I can’t see that happening.)

Although not really one of my goals…

Signed up for Twitter – and figured out how to join the ROW party. Yay, me! If you want to pop by, you’ll find me at @NickelStephanie. Hope to see you there.

OK, so this is really the last thing…Why not pop by and see how your fellow ROWers are doing?

Or, if you’re looking for a writing buddy…

Check-in #1

Round 4 is just getting going, but I love to see that nearly 100 people have jumped on board already. Good stuff!

I met with my co-author for lunch yesterday. I have her bio together for Appendix 1 and plan to work on one or two more of the appendices this week.

I am pretty much on target with my editing goals. I should have both manuscripts edited by the end of next week, but the final read-through for both might take an additional week.

I’m keeping up with my blogs over the course of the week. I don’t necessarily post on the originally designated day, but oh, well…

I have been keeping up with my reading for my doula course. However, the essay and research paper keep getting bumped. Gotta get on that.

Reading for skills development…too busy learning by doing at this point.

I’ve been meeting my goal to  check in with other ROWers. But hey, I’d hope so; we just got started.

And those tentative goals…

I haven’t submitted any picture book ideas yet nor have I worked on my children’s chapter book, but again, we just got started.

One more thing…

I’m officially a twit. I signed up for Twitter so I could participate in today’s ROW party. Now I just have to figure out how to join the fun. If I don’t succeed…have a rocking good time without me.

OK, so this is really the last thing…Why not pop by and see how your fellow ROWers are doing?

Round 4 is Here

Welcome to Round 4 of

These are my goals – subject to change, of course:

1. By the end of this round, I intend to have Living Beyond My Circumstances completed. OK, that’s barring any major rewrites. In keeping with Kait’s advice to make specific goals, that will mean writing two more chapters and the appendices plus editing the intro.

If things go well, Deb (it’s her memoir) and I just may have a publisher before Round 4 is over. Just listen for the hooting and hollering.

2. Within the next two weeks, I should be finished editing the two manuscripts I’m working on.

3. I plan to continue regularly updating my blogs. It’s about time I got serious about SEO as well.

4. By the end of October, I want to have my essay and my research paper written for my labour doula certification course.

5. I don’t remember which fellow Round 3 ROWer included reading for skills development as one of his/her goals, but please consider the goal stolen.

6. And speaking of stolen goals…I want to thank those who faithfully encouraged others, myself included, during the last round. You motivated me to do the same, and then volunteer as a sponsor this time. I hope to get to know a lot of you over the next few months.

Tentative Goals

1. Submit at least three of the picture book ideas I have kicking around.

2. Complete the outline and the first draft of three more chapters in my children’s chapter book.

So, what about you? What do you hope to accomplish between October 3 and December 22?

I’d like to add the ROW blog hop. Why not pop by and see what some of the other ROWers have set as their goals?

Welcome to Round 4

I admire those who say, “I can’t not write.” I’ve often wondered if I was one of them. After a little analysis, I came to some conclusions. I could lay aside my aspirations of becoming a published author (although my co-author wouldn’t take kindly to that), and I could forego becoming widely recognized (again, refer to my co-author’s feelings). However, sharing what’s important to me in written form is just part of who I am.

I remember writing several poems by candlelight when I was a child. Over the years, I’ve written journal entries, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, and a full-length fiction manuscript, not to mention countless notes and letters to friends and family. And then there are my nine blogs. From book reviews to fitness tips. From childbirth information to housekeeping humour. Such is the span of my interests.

Although some would say I’m scattered, I prefer to refer to myself as “eclectically-interested.” I’ve received advice such as “We should do one or two things in life and set aside the rest.” While I have to be careful not to spread myself too thin – or take on every exciting opportunity that comes my way – I must remain true to who I am. I will forever be going in a dozen directions at once.

I’m well aware of the importance of “branding” one’s self. Instead of poetry or science fiction or self-help, my brand could be labeled encouragement. I felt, in a special way, 2011 was to be the Year of Encouragement. Every time someone says, “You’re such an encouragement,” I do a happy dance. (As a writer, I’d encourage you not to use a word – say encouragement, for example – several times in the same paragraph. Just a free tip.)

When one of my favourite authors asked if she could use my book review in its entirety as the foreword for her novel, I was thrilled. Seeing my name on the back of a book I’ve endorsed makes me smile. And, yes, I’m sure when I see my name on the front of a book, I’ll be very happy, but that is not the be all and end all for me.

When Kait called for sponsors for Round 4, I saw it as an opportunity to encourage my fellow ROWers. So, whether you write novels or poems, blog posts or journal entries, set some flexible, achievable goals, and start writing.

For those of you who are new to A Round of Words, I’d like to share what most surprised me about this group. It truly is a community of writers. I was thrilled when fellow ROWers stopped by my blog to cheer me on. I was also grateful to the group member who included encouraging others on her list of goals. It motivated me to do the same. Hopefully, you will find yourself encouraged. And perhaps, you’ll want to do the same for others.