Why rush?

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I used to be the kind of person to hurry up and get things done. I’d start projects with the intention of finishing them as quickly as possible, even if that meant ignoring my aching body’s complaints. Some annoying inner voice kept telling me to get it done, get it out of the way and have it completed.

Now, oh my, I just don’t care how long something sits. I’ll get to it when I’m good and ready. I’ll peruse the details, consider the specs of the project and mull over the possibilities before even starting. Once I…

I will do everything I can to avoid digging a single hole

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I’m tired of cutting the grass. There’s just too damn much of it. I have no garage and no concrete driveway, it’s all grass. This makes for a nice large backyard, but also more lawn to cut. My house is on the corner and the city didn’t put a sidewalk down, so there’s lots of grass along the side as well as the front and back.

If I owned the house I would have decreased the lawn years ago, but I rent and my landlord will not put…

How this advice helped me find problems in my work

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Editing is hard for me because I can’t seem to figure out what needs repairing and what is fine. I find things like line edits easy, but knowing where the plot fails or if the character arc is good is hard.

I was struggling with editing when I stumbled on a In the post, Lori says that instead of editing, the author should retype the entire draft. I was skeptical and wasn’t sure I agreed with her statement. Rewriting an entire novel sounded like an exhausting endeavor, but figured I’d try it…

Times are a’changing

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I recently signed up for an online course and introductions were encouraged. I checked what other people wrote because I never know what to say in those things, and one bit stood out. The people who responded included pronouns. As an older person going to class for the first time in thirty-three years, this jarred me a bit. Why? Here’s a little history to chew on.

When I was a preteen back in 1982 my mom and dad told me that women were considered people now. “Of course they are,” I said as indignant as can be…

Upcycling some ugly pits

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The arthritis in my back, knees, and hands makes gardening difficult so I’ve pretty much given up on having beautiful, lush flowerbeds. Weeding is just too hard for my aching body.

I’ve considered planters for flowers but installing in-ground planters is just too much work and the freestanding ones are above my price range. Then one day, two summers ago, my husband mentioned that our rusty fire pit would make a good planter if the bottom wasn’t full of holes.

Normally I’d just squish the pit and take it to the Eco Station nearby, but he…

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I’m not a spring chicken anymore.

Sometimes I forget what my body can and can’t do. In my head I’m still young and limber. Some days, when the arthritis isn’t too bad, I let this illusion take over.

Spoiler alert: this is a bad idea.

I take a walk almost every morning. Usually I prudently stick to sidewalks, but some days I venture off into the nearby ravine.

My city maintains one of the largest sprawling urban forests, and this includes a spread on either side of the river as well as a generous portion near streams. One of these…

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I’m too old to care about it

I’ve become an older woman that doesn’t give a cat’s meow about fashion. If it’s comfortable, it fits and is easily laundered I buy several of it in different colors. But I haven’t always been this way. As a young’un I cared about whether or not my clothes were up-to-date. Well, sort of. Let me explain.

When I was a teen and young adult I was anxious for just about every minute I was awake. Part of that anxiety was about what I wore. Was it in fashion? Did I wear the right…

How I set myself up for success

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I have a bouquet of mental illnesses that provide me with creativity as well as obstacles. Over the years I’ve learned how to work with my neurodiversity rather than fight it. The following steps are integral to my writing process and hopefully someone out there will find them useful too.

Keep a consistent schedule

I only write on weekdays and I always start after my morning shower. This is when my brain is freshest and most accessible to wrangling ideas into words. Any other time of day and I feel like my brain is too full of cotton to be able to write coherently…

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What in the fresh Hell is this?

I’m at the age where my hormones are changing once more. As many people with ovaries can attest, this is a turbulent time. Puberty was bad enough. The shock of having my body morph into a new shape was a tiny bit frightening. The slurry of hormones that accompanied that change was alarming at best. My body expelling tissue from an organ was even worse.

But I got used to it, as most people do. Once a month I’d grumble but also be pleased to know that I might be able to create…

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I’m in the middle of writing a novel and discovered that writing is hard. You know what’s easier? Dispensing advice.

With that in mind, I’d like to advise all writers that: your first draft is for your eyes only.

A beautifully crafted story won’t emerge the first time you sit down to write it, regardless of how well developed it is in your mind. Writing is an art form and like all art, the learning stages can be unsightly.

So let your first draft be a mess.

Go wild with this one. Use purple prose if you want, toss in…

Robin James

When I’m not writing my novel, I’m writing short stories, rants, and whatnot. Figured I might as well post them here.

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