Check-Ins

Round 3 Wednesday Check-in 7

Writing… it’s been around a while.

The tools we’ve used to share stories have changed a bit over the course of human existence, but the need for us to share information and inspiration in written form seems to have only increased.  I spent most of the morning today at the Berkshire Museum, enjoying paintings and skeletons, as well as taxidermy and gem displays.  In the (aptly, but oddly named) Curiosity Corner (it wasn’t a corner at all), there was a wonderful segment about language.  It was small, dense even, with examples of ancient and modern writing, maps where various language groups are prevalent, and even an interactive station where someone could touch a location on map-screen and listen to speakers from a region through headphones.

I liked these tablets.  The biggest one is only the size of my palm, and if you click on the image (I uploaded a full copy so you could zoom in if needed), you can see how deliberate and detailed the writing is on it.  To imagine the care needed to effectively engrave one’s thoughts into what was wet clay at the time…  Amazing!

It shows exactly how determined human beings have been to record their thoughts and experiences in a written form.

So we at the ROW80 are carrying a very noble and enduring human experience.  We have so much to share with readers, now and in the future.  It is pretty darned amazing.  At least I think so.  Hope you do too.

Tell us all at the linky or on our FB page

Round 3 Sunday Check-in 6

I feel like I should have something witty and cool to say, or a neat picture to show, but…  I don’t.  There’s an electrical storm going on outside my office window, and between being unsure as to how long my internet will last and wanting to just watch and enjoy, I didn’t gather everything I need to make a detailed post.

Sometime life is like that.  Best thing to do (imho, of course)?  Go with it as much as you can.

Oh, and leave us your update at the linky.  😉

Round 3 Wednesday Check-in 6

Be Prepared In Cases of “Busy”

No matter where you are in your writing (and daily) life, why not take a moment to tell us at the linky:

And then…

Today, I visited the dealership for some regular maintenance on our car.  Being one of the few days this summer I didn’t have to drive my son to an activity or half-way across the state to help family, I decided to take stay safe and ready for what may come.  I depend a lot on this vehicle to get me through the weeks and months… It has been an especially busy summer for me.  A very good summer, but a busy one.

I mention this because…  if you’re at all like me, “busy” takes over, often without my realizing it, and that leads to disasters.

I have managed to keep control of Busy when it comes to our vehicles, ensuring they are safe when I get on the road each day.  I’ve been less careful with my electronic life…  yes, the anti-malware and anti-virus programs remain up to date, and I regularly scan phones and computers for issues.  I’m a bit less careful when it comes to my hardware…  some of which could, in absolute generosity, be called archaic. Old hardware, hardware exposed to dust or frequent electrical “brown-outs”, hardware that has been used well…  These things can break down.

Not that newer (or more expensive) necessarily equates to better!  I’ve seen machines die a day after their warranty expires.  I’ve dealt with cut-rate computers, handed out as Black Friday “door busters”† that have lasted 20 years now.  One of them ran as our household server for over 15 years, and was only turned off because it couldn’t support the newer hard drive types.

To be more specific, that computer was turned off because of Busy.  The machine still ran (and still runs) fine, but Busy had taken charge and we never found time to order a part it needed to run a backup drive.  Eventually, after years of regular writing and reading of files, the hard drive started accumulating what are called read-write (I/O) errors.   Until one day, we lost access to nearly eight years of family pictures, stories, and records.

Hard drive (aka data) recovery is expensive stuff, usually involving laboratory settings like clean-rooms and people in full body suits.  In our case, it involved learning to translate a lot of Polish and Russian manuals‡; having a second, nearly identical hard drive (sequential serial numbers!); and a LOT of luck, panic and desperation.

Once we got what we could back (we did lose stuff)…  we initiated new measures to keep better care of that part of our world, including a shiny, new server with three hard drives that mirror each other daily and regular maintenance checks of our hardware.

What are you doing to protect your electronic treasures?  Your writing, your story bibles, your character-inspiration pictures?  And all those even more personal images and files that make your life?  There are a lot of options, from clouds to flash drives to whole secondary computer systems.  Each works, though not always for all people.  New options are being created regularly.

If you have a favorite, why not share yours for our upcoming “Writers’ Resources” pages.  Let’s help each other keep each other writing safely.  😀

† — those overstock items the stores couldn’t sell all year and used as promotional freebies to get people in the building in hopes they’d spend money on some real merchandise because the freebies were all gone

‡ — a semester of college Russian was not enough prep for this

ROWnd 3 Sunday Check-in 5

Clouds over Shakespeare & Co., Lenox, MA

It was supposed to rain all day today, but…  surprise!  A few shadowy clouds not withstanding, it has been lovely, warm and full of sunshine here in our little neck of the interwebs.  May that be the case with your writing and your words…

Tell us how it goes at the linky:

Round 3 Wednesday Check-in 5

Once again, the weeks keep flying by this round.  It’s an exciting time to be alive and, even moreso, to be a writer.

Hopefully you’re enjoying a rush of creative energy most days, and on those few that feel stalled, hopefully ideas and images are simmering and coalescing into things that delight and intrigue you for further development.

Let us know at the linky:

Round 3 Sunday Check-in 4

Lately, as I’ve plotted and planning some changes to the ROW80 site, I’ve been looking over our large archive of inspirational posts.  A common thread or two has shown up—the need to “just write” even when the words don’t seem to want to come out right (or sometimes at all).  And of course, the “how do we find ideas”, but that’s a topic for another post.

The thing is, we do tend to cripple ourselves from the first with ideas of how we should be instead of how we plan to be.  This may seem like I’m splitting hairs here, but it’s pretty simple really.  If we feel we ‘should’ be able to write great stories, then that crappy first draft will be a heartbreaking experience.  But if we plan to write great stories, we can set goals to get us there, step by step..

And of course, this works for so many things we do, not just writing.

As for the quote…  think of it combined with this one:

I could, of course, add a hundred others, all threading together.  The point is… write, made wonderful-terrible words, then write some more.  And somewhere in there, those great stories will happen.  For you, for someone you care about…  perhaps even for a complete stranger.

BTW here’s your check-in linky for the day: