Round 3 Sunday Check-in 8

Did you hear that?


There it is again…  the sound of Time racing past.  I mean, seriously…  that gal has some serious track shoes on.

Here in the great Northeast as we call it, summer is pretty much done.  Oh, there will be a few small bursts of warm weather as fall coasts in, but the balmy, so-called “lazy days” are over for another year.

Changes in seasons, at least for me, seem to urge personal changes.  I’m starting to look over my recent months and how well I’ve maintained my goals, looking for improvements and places I should consider a new track.  It’s a good time to do so.  We have plenty of time left in this Round of Words to finish with a bang.

So, whether you’re happy with things as they are or ready to make some changes along with the weather, tell us at the linky or on our Facebook page:


Round 3 Wednesday Check-in 8

Salutations and Deferrals!

For the past few months I’ve been working behind the scenes to make some changes in what the ROW80 can provide for its community.  I’ve also been running around a bit cray-cray for my son’s plethora of activities.  No biggie really—it’s summer.  It’s what we do.

That said, the cray-cray has kept my head busy and not always on top of blog updates.  Yeah… the roll out of the Resources pages is taking a lot longer than I hoped.  Part of the delay is the table format I wanted to utilize won’t work with our present page format, and I need to shop around for a new style that ‘feels right’ and functions with the changes.

As much as I’ve taken over the ROW80 blog part, I still feel that it is very much Kait Nolan’s baby.  I’m leery of making too many drastic changes all at once.  Truth is though, once these things go into effect, things are going to look and feel different no matter what.

For my comfort, I need to take longer than originally planned.  I am going to wait longer even than that.

New Year, New Blog…  that’s my new motto.

Hope you all don’t mind the wait.  Even more I hope the changes will be worth it for you.

For the time being though, why not share your progress at the linky:

Round 3 Sunday Check-in 7

Selamat Siang Temanku!  Apa Kabar?

Hi!  Friday, while waiting for my son to finish his time in adventure camp at Bosquet Mt., I decided to try Enso, a local “Asian Bistro” for lunch and to satisfy a bit of a tamago sushi craving (tamago is the sweet egg omelette that is sometimes used in mixed rolls like Futo Maki or sliced into strips and served on its own—very yummy).  I had a very yummy meal, but even more enjoyable was meeting Andy, my waiter.  He comes from Indonesian (I confess, I didn’t get the name of which island down well enough to feel comfortable writing it.

But I did learn a few basic Bahasa Indonesian phrases, including those above which mean “Hello, my friend(s)! How are you?”*

Why do I mention this?  Because chance encounters like these are the backbones of our stories (and for a richer life, imho) one can find.  From Andy’s polite question about whether I was working (sort of, I was taking notes on my phone about James Agee’s book Let Us Praise Famous Men) developed a wonderful discussion about our families (his wife has recently returned to Indonesia because she doesn’t like it in the US, which, when he mentioned this, of course became fodder for a much longer conversation).  Little windows into perspective…

I hope, the next time you head out for lunch, or are stuck waiting for a time, you are blessed as I was.  Good food and good conversation with a stranger.

If you’ve had such an experience, or if you just want to share how your writing has gone, tell us all at the linky:

  • An interesting fact about Indonesian is that it doesn’t seem to have a plural version for most words.  You either double a word or just use it alone and let context take over.   As in the initial phrase, it could also be said as Selamat datang teman-teman saya which would be closer to “Welcome, my friends”. 


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: