ROW80 Check-in 2/26: It's not too late.

I learned some sad news over the weekend, the writer William Gay, of Hohenwald, TN, died Thursday at the age of 68. Here are a couple of articles about him and his recent passing:



I read Gay's collection I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down a few years ago and enjoyed the stories very much especially the title story which was made into a movie filmed around here in East Tennessee. That Evening Sun was also Dixie Carter's last film roll, a film she did with her husband Hal Holbrook.

I admired Gay not just because of how well he told a story but also because of his age when he started publishing, which was 55 in 1998. See, the older I get the more I feel that the "right" age for being a published writer is behind me and growing more distant every year. But when I read about, (and read), writers like Gay and Walker Percy and Helen Dewitt and Daniel Orozco, I see that getting older doesn't mean that my time has passed, in fact I see now that I'm at a much better age to really begin my writing career. I'm more mature, I'm more focused, I think I know better the stories I want to tell. In other words, because of writers like Gay, et al, I know that it's not too late to start. I've got a lot of years ahead of me. So, that's what I've been thinking about lately.

As for what I've been up to since Wednesday: I'm still hitting the test mile when I can and when I don't I don't self-flagellate. I'm still working on my protest story, my library book and am finishing up two posts for the blog. Soon, my walking buddy and I are going to start increasing our speed. How's your week starting out?


ROW80 Check-in 2/22

Writing when I can, often at work on lunch break, not kicking myself when I don't. Working on several different things at different times. Will hopefully finish something. That's big on my to do list. I can start lots of things just not very good at finishing them.

Still walking.


ROW80 Check-in 2/15

Well, I'm keepin' on keepin' on and am writing at least 250 wpd, (today's was just over 400 words). Still haven't figured out how many laps I walk; we're too busy yakking at each other to count. Reading more Padgett Powell. How y'all doin'?


ROW80 Check-in 2/13

I was talking to a writer friend of mine today--and might I add that I'm lucky as hell at counting a few professional writers as friends--and the subjects of priorities and goals came up, namely because I brought them up. I was feeling stuck: I had stalled on my new goal--writing 250 words a day--by not writing 250 words a day and in my mind doubling the number I had to write everyday to make up for it. So, in other words, by today I needed to write 1,250 words in order to make up for the days missed. (This, incidentally, is why NaNoWriMo doesn't work for me. Miss one day and boom! you're in the crapper.) I pile this on me until the weight of it makes it impossible to want to write anything, which causes me to get even further behind, ad infinitum. Thus the stuck.

So my friend tells me not to worry about it. Tells me not to fret over missing a day's writing, just do it tomorrow and not exponentially at that, just write tomorrow what you would have written today or something else entirely, be it 250 or 100 words or even a couple of sentences. The point being not to let missing a day or two throw you and your writing, because, as I quoted earlier: "Life is what happens to you/While you're busy making other plans." This is what makes ROW80 so unique, also, it allows you to adjust for that. I feel lucky that this challenge is around, too.

With all that in mind, I wrote 260 words today during lunch. Which doesn't count this post, either. To quote another lyricist: "I got to say it was a good day."

Best of luck to you all!



ROW80 Check-in 2/8

Reporting from the front lines of the war on literacy, I've finished Padgett Powell's latest and a post will be forth coming. I worked some more on The Book, (half a page of ranting that I hope I can turn into something more useful later on). And I've determined that we walk about two and a half miles daily. As Stan Lee says: Excelsior!

I, personally, prefer bubble wrap.

Oh, and per Kait's posts of 1/2 and today's, I'm setting myself a test mile: 250 words, that's a page by most standards and I can do that...I almost said "easy," but I can do that once a day.

Best of luck to my fellow ROWers!


ROW 80 Check-in 2/6

I'm still plugging away at my reading goals, not as much with my writing ones, unfortunately. Now, one thing I've noticed on a lot of people's blogs, and something that seems inherent in ROW80's function, that of having a life outside of writing, is non-writing goals for this 80 day period. Along with the writing, I've seen weight-loss goals, exercise goals, organizational goals, etc. So, I sorta have one of those, too. Though it did not start with this latest round--'bout a week or so later, in fact--it is something I've been able to stick to during this time. And that would be walking for an hour each morning.

I get up at 6 each day and head down to a nearby track and me and a buddy of mine walk and talk and drink our home-brewed coffee for an hour each day. Save for that one week I was sick, we've been doing it now for almost a month.

This is not something I do. Exercise, that is. I, like many of you out there probably, have a treadmill, (you may have a similar exercise-type device in your home), that makes for a terrific coat rack/catch-all. I've used it sparingly over the past dozen years. What I'm trying to say is, I don't exercise with any regularity.

Why now? Because I have someone to do it with. Someone who counts on me to do it as much as I count on him to be there in the morning when I drive up to his door. As Butters Stotch would say: I have an accountabilabuddy. Much like some of you all have one through ROW80 to help cheer you on with your writing goals.

So, why aren't my wife and I doing this? My wife will exercise her way and I'll exercise mine. She's not much of a morning person and I'm becoming more so the more I do this.

Now, as far as writing goes, I'm almost done with Padgett Powell's latest and I'm going to write about it and him very soon. I'm still in the note-taking/research phase of my Waldropian, (I'll talk more about Mr. Waldrop very soon, too), Will Rogers story and I'm starting a story about me as a 20-year-old protester, sorta. Off to the races!