Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Category: My Book (page 1 of 2)

IWSG Writing Update May 2017 – Expanding Your Horizons

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing. A different question is posed each month, as a writing prompt for IWSG members. Answering it is optional. For May, that question is “What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

This amazing, supportive group of writers was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Today, the co-hosts are Michelle Wallace, Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Feather Stone and Liesbet Collaert. That’s me! 🙂 May is a big month for some of the members, namely the twelve finalists of this year’s IWSG anthology contest. The genre was “fantasy” and the published result, Hero Lost – Mysteries of Death and Life, has just been released on May 2nd. It is available in print and e-book. Congratulations to everyone involved!

My favorite subjects to write about are personal experiences and travel stories. I have had plenty of adventures all over the world, so there is no lack of inspiration and content, the words come easy, and little research is required. I don’t like doing research. Although, with the internet at our fingertips, it sure is much easier than when I was working on high school projects in the early 90s. When I write articles for sailing or travel magazines, I sometimes have to double-check locations and facts online, but that can hardly be called weird or cool.

Mount Cook, New Zealand

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IWSG Writing Update – April 2017

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August 2016, the IWSG offers a particular question as a writing prompt for their members. Answering it is optional. This month that question is “Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?”

Talking about a current topic… The A to Z Blogging Challenge takes place every April. Last year, I did participate for the first time and succeeded in the challenge. I even picked a theme: “Thoughts on Being a Nomad”. You can read those posts here. After a month of writing and posting every day, the A-Z Challenge finished with a reflection post. I might have mentioned that I started work on a memoir, but I did not promote anything.

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IWSG Writing Update – March 2017

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August 2016, the IWSG offers a particular question as a writing prompt for their members. Answering it is optional. This month that question is “Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?”

I have about five completed articles in my archives which have not been published. Some of them are a few years old. I’ve sent them to particular magazines (the ones I wrote the stories for) and either got no reply, or once, a rejection.  I have reworked a couple of them and sent them off on different occasions (you are supposed to wait for a rejection before submitting elsewhere, but more often than not, I receive no answer, so after multiple months, I try again with another magazine). The one time I did hear back, it was to tell me that the story was accepted. I’m signing the contract and providing a bio today, actually. Yay! I still have a few articles left that I need and want to re-submit. It is one of the many time-consuming projects on my long to-do list. 🙂

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IWSG Writing Update – February 2017

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August 2016, the IWSG offers a particular question as a writing prompt for their members. Answering it is optional. This month that question is “How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?”

January has been a month with little progress on the book writing front for me. Mark and I wrapped up a three-month pet sit in the Sacramento suburbs mid-month, followed by a week-long house sit in Fairfax, CA. Then, we drove all the way south, past LA, for a two and a half week puppy sit in Costa Mesa. All that moving around and “re-settling”, plus the care for a 7-month pup always looking for trouble, the attraction of sunny weather to be outdoors and my commitment to writing a few articles, leaves little time to concentrate on writing a book. Sure, my memoir is always brewing in the back of my head, but I have not put down any more words, except for trying to understand what thread I should follow. As I mentioned last month, I could use your help. But first, I’ll answer the IWSG question, since it is somewhat related. Continue reading

IWSG Writing Update – January 2017

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August 2016, the IWSG offers a particular question as a writing prompt for their members. Answering it is optional. This month that question is “What writing rule do you wish you never heard?”

December has been an interesting month, what with the “holidays” (do writers – or their heads – ever take holidays?) and our time in Rocklin, California dwindling down. During this recent three-month house sit, Mark and I lived in the suburbs of Sacramento. Due to the “boring” surroundings and less than ideal weather, I happily sat behind my computer every day, all day. I worked a lot on my memoir and think about it constantly when away from my temporary desk. Continue reading

IWSG Writing Update – December 2016

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG likes to see a particular question answered in each blog post of their members. This month that question is “In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?”

Last month, I hinted at maybe trying to add 50,000 words to my memoir in November. That would mean write, write, write, and don’t look back, don’t edit, don’t improve, don’t polish and don’t criticize. While this is a good way to “get it all out there”, it is not really how I have been working recently, so I chose to maintain my current goal of writing one chapter every week. Continue reading

IWSG Writing Update – November 2016

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?”

Exactly one year ago I started writing my memoir, Floating About – A Life Less Ordinary (working title) by following a one month “outline course”, organized by Christine Gilbert. I’d like to say I’ve come a long way since then, but truth is, I have come a very short way. I worked hard that first month, November 2015, creating an initial outline and pumping out 90,000 words getting there. I also started this blog, Roaming About, around then. All that extra time, unlimited internet and “free” electricity after living on a basic sailboat for so long, had to be put to good use! Continue reading

IWSG Monthly Writing Update – A Short One!

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “How do you know your story is ready?”

This IWSG post will be one of the shortest I have ever written, for a very simple reason: I have not worked on my book at all during the month of September. Not a word written, not a page edited, not an exercise practiced. Nada. Nothing! The good thing is that I do not feel bad or guilty about it. Mark and I knew September would be a crazy month, what with moving out of the last house where we took care of Jenny, the dog, and the maple farm for five months, our five-day vacation in Acadia, spending some quality time at our home base in Newburyport seeing friends and family, running errands and going to doctor appointments, and an unexpected week-long house sit on Cape Cod. That concluded September!

Even writing a blog has not always been easy in September!

Even writing a blog has not always been easy in September!

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IWSG Monthly Writing Update – Lots of Time, but Little Progress

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “How do you find the time to write in your busy day?”

When Mark and I were cruising full-time on our sailing catamaran Irie for eight years, there was not much time (or electricity or internet availability) to write. I focused mainly on cranking out a sailing article once in a while, making notes about our travels and experiences, and creating about one blog a week on It’s Irie. One of the main reasons we left that boating lifestyle was to focus on our “careers”. The extra time, comfort and amenities a more settled life offers would certainly help with that. Continue reading

Recap of My Book Writing

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing. Starting this month, they have added a question as a prompt to get the juices flowing: “What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?” It has been a while since my last “book update”, so today is a good day for some insights and an answer to that question.

The Background

As some of you know, my biggest passion is traveling. Since graduating at 22, I have been on the road or on the water full-time for 14 out of the 18 years. I’m not sure whether to count our current lifestyle of house and pet sitting as traveling, since we are semi-settled “abroad” (for me anyway), but still explore different parts of the country while at it.

The other thing I have been doing most of my life is write. I have always enjoyed writing and have been pretty engrossed by it since I started my first diary at the age of 10. Continue reading

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