Writing

Hump Day: Stumped…

Stumped.

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Stumped, I tell you.

It’s Hump Day, and I have nothing to say.

Nothing.

Nuthin’.

Ever happened to you?

What do you do?

Do you just barrel through like I’m doing right now?

Do you call it a day?

Throw in the towel?

Hang up your hat?

Add your euphemism here.

Quit?

Quit is just harsh.

Quite.

We had a little cold snap overnight, and I think it snapped my brain. We’re back in sweats and windbreakers and hoodies. Eating grilled cheese sandwiches and thinking about roasts of beef.

The seedlings are shivering.

The Canada Geese are honking.

The birds are turning tail.

The chipmunks went down under.

Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to sit and stare at this…

purple_and_white_elengrey_2013 (956x1280)

…vacantly, until I have an attitude adjustment.

Here be Hump Day.

Let’s just stare right over it.

Elen

Hump Day and the Last, Last, Last A to Z…

White Rabbit Syndrome

I’m late.

I’m late.

For a very important date.

A to Z Challenge Reflections

In no particular order, because what I really want to be doing is standing on my patio with my arms up to my elbows in potting soil and fertilizer, and by that I mean working on my current story.

I’m a writer conflicted.

And I’m a gardener conflicted.

In no particular order.

Novice.

This was my first A to Z Challenge, and I made the decision to get on board with it about two weeks before A to Z actually began. I was under the influence of one Diana Beebe, writer and experienced A to Z challenger. She hangs out at Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

So.

The only theme I went with was alphabet play, with a side of humor. It was a race to the finish, and sometimes I wanted to pull my hair, or the G-Man’s hair, or the G-Pup’s hair. My only goal was to mix it up with length of posts, always try to have something of visual interest, try not to bore you to death, and not lose my blogging mind keep calm and A to Z on.

It was the same for you, right?

The Good

It was a blast! I had the best cheering section ever. I met new bloggers/writers. The number of visitors went up. The number of page views went up, up. The number of blog followers went up, up, up, as did the number of commenters. And that’s how we do stats over here, because we hates ’em. Not as much as radishes, but…

I read a lot of interesting blogs on a variety of topics, and found new bloggers to follow. I managed to respond to every comment left.

Boom!

The Bad

My level of frustration. It was a tight schedule. Very tight. Only on occasion did I have time to pound out two blogs on a given day. Mostly, I was flying by the seat of my pants. A pantser in writing terms. I tried to visit ten A to Z challengers a day. Most of the time, I met that goal. But that really falls short of the some 1700 participants. Commenting was challenging. I tried to comment on each blog post I read, but that became impossible, mostly because the mechanics of leaving a comment at some blogs was difficult. I admit that I am spoiled by WordPress and their easy commenting ways, and their Like button. Commenting and following needs to be as easy as possible. Just sayin’.

The Ugly

There really was no ugly except that there are a bunch of new blog followers that I haven’t gotten around to visiting yet. That’s pretty ugly. If you’re one of them — Thank You So Much — my sincere apologies, and I will be around to visit you very soon.

Next Year

If a challenger in 2016, I would…

Establish a theme within the theme. Mebbe.

Write A to Z in advance of the challenge, so that I could spend the month visiting as many challengers as possible.

Get back to all new blog followers posthaste.

Thank You…

To the A to Z Challenge Organizers and Captains of Industry who organized and visited and encouraged challengers right to the finish line and beyond. You kept me going.

To all my fellow challengers who visited and commented and followed. You kept me going.

To the cheering section — you rocked it! And kept me going.

To my regular readers, thanks for supporting this pause in my regularly scheduled program. Such good sports are you!

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - Lg

The end.

Here be Hump Day.

Let’s just spotlight dance right over it with The Reflections.

(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet. 1964

Elen

Note: An A to Z Challenge category has been created in the menu bar just below the header. All A to Z posts can be easily found there. Cheers!

L is for… ?

L

?

L L L L L L L L L…

I was sure when I got to the Letter L that I didn’t want to use  L O V E .

Not even  L U R V E .

Nor  L U V .

So I did what I usually do when I haven’t been able to decide what I want to do for any particular letter during the A to Z Challenge.

I made a  L I S T .

It went like this. Yes. This is my process sometimes.

Deal.

On the paper list ~

lapsed – Lilliputian – love songs – Love Potion No. 9 – Lynyrd Skynyrd – Led Zeppelin

I discounted those last two by the way, not wanting to be tripped up on spelling every other minute.

On the smartphone list ~

lilacs – lavender – languish – Led Zeppelin – loser

Led Zeppelin? Back to him, again?

I discounted that last one by the way, not wanting to feel like a loser because I couldn’t come up with a little L-word for this post. And because it was just negative. We don’t need no stinkin’ negativity. Isn’t that like a double negative or something?

Elen does grammar.

You might not want to linger on those lists too long. They are lacking, sorely lacking in any writerly creativity at all.

La-la-la-la-LAH!

Okay. So I thought I’d give you a list of things that I love.

Yup. The L-word.

1. I love a lazy afternoon in summer, when you can hear the heat and smell the breeze.

2. I love a good spring rain. Not the kind of rain that leaves your roof in your neighbor’s yard and the cat clinging to the toilet bowl embedded in the hood of your car. But the kind of gentle rain that makes you want to puddle-splash like a kid in a pair of shiny new rain boots.

3. Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing (1999-2006). Would you like a cookie?

4. Lilacs and lavender.

IMG_0657_lilac_elengrey_may_2010 (1280x960)

These are my very own lilac blooms. This was supposed to be a dwarf lilac.

May I just say…. LOL + LMAO + ROTFLMAO

5. I love lunch. It’s my favorite meal of the day. And if it’s a perfectly cooked burger with blue cheese and bacon, I love it more.

6. Finally, I love Norah Jones. My love for her does not languish in the month of April. I wrote this post about her exactly one year ago today. Norah’s been on my mind. Sing it, Norah. Play it, J. Walter Hawkes.

I leave you with this ~

This post needed a love song after all.

Just an old-fashioned love song.

Here be Tuesday and the 12th letter of A to Z.

Will I last?

Elen

Single Shot Monday: Stand Out… + A to Z

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It’s Monday. Try to stand out anyway.

This would be even better.

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This is the last Monday in March, and when I post on Wednesday, I’ll be starting the Blogging From A to Z April 2015 Challenge, also known as the A to Z Challenge.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]

In a nutshell, the blogger — Me! — blogs every day in April, excluding Sundays, and blogs thematically from A to Z.

Fun. No?

Now I’ve completed NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month — thrice, in which a blogger posts every day for an entire month… and survived.

Still.

I’ve never written on a theme before. Each post will be related to a letter of the alphabet beginning with A and ending with Z, or Zed as we say in the Great White North. That would be our British heritage.

I’m blogger #1183 of 1496 participants, as of the drafting of this post. In 2010, the first year of this challenge, there were less than 100 participants.

I hope you enjoy my A to Z posts this month. Hop on the Reading with me. Let’s take a ride. I’m going to need a cheering section.

That cheering section needs to be this [          ⇐                 ⇒            ] big.

I have writer Diana Beebe @ Mermaids Don’t Do Windows — who is also participating — to thank for this challenge. This is not her first rodeo either. I’ll be doing my best to keep up. Let the games begin, Diana!

And Monday rolls in on a challenge.

Elen

Single Shot Monday: Graffiti Works…

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Yes. Click it bigger.

As you tour the Evergreen Brick Works, in the building that houses the kilns and Holcim Gallery you’ll find walls of graffiti. It’s on the brick. It’s on the doors. It’s on the ovens. And I have to say it adds quite a visual interest to the brick. This building is where the bricks were fired. Back in the day.

Graffiti fascinates me. What about you?

In the areas of Toronto that I frequent, there is a great deal of mural painting on the exterior of buildings and in underpasses. Mural painting is more structured, but I appreciate them both. And I think it gives a unique character to neighborhoods in the big TO.

You know the drill for Single Shot Monday.

One. Un. Uno.

In other news ~

Last week found me taking not one, but two courses. Gwen Hernandez offers online classes on Scrivener. As the author of Scrivener for Dummies, she certainly has the expertise. I was taking Scrivener I, which is a solid overview, and will most certainly get you comfortable with the Scrivener environment. My brain started to fry on the Compiler overview. That course wraps up midweek. I hope to catch Scrivener II in October, but scheduling may be a problem.

And because the opportunity came at the same time — Isn’t that always the way? — I spent last week in The Art of Building A Blogging Career with Karen Bertelsen from The Art of Doing Stuff. This was five, intense, one-hour, live video sessions. It was the fast and the furious. It was the fun and the hilarious. I can’t stop thinking about Diet Coke.

I’m still processing what I learned there. And what I mean by processing is my eyes aren’t blinking yet, and my hair looks like it’s been knotted into a garlic braid.

And Monday is in the house.

Elen

Balancing Writing & Life—The World Rewards Finishers NOT Perfection

Elen Grey | Deep in B-ville Writing Over the Garage:

I need to be a finisher, not a perfectionist. Do you need to be a finisher, too? Author and Social Media Expert Kristen Lamb has some thoughts on that. Lamb is a blogger to read.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

The world around us is always pushing this notion of “perfection” and, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder what “reality” looks like. All the models are tall and thin and young with poofy lips (and men have their own variety of the super model stereotype). They have fabulous clothes and new cars and go on expensive vacations.

Even our homes! When I look around my house that’s littered with toys, my sink full of dishes and two baskets full of laundry (even though I just DID laundry) I wonder what a real home is supposed to look like? Where do I fit? Sure NOT on Pinterest.

Granted, there are areas I KNOW I am slacking (*cough* Christmas tree is STILL standing) and let’s not talk about the state of my drawers and closets. But, I generally (when the…

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