Desk with laptop, lamp, flowers, and stackable trays.
The Nerd Zone

With a full-time job, much of my writing time ends up being on the weekend.  That’s sometimes hard because I also need to have time for myself other than going to work and then writing.  But this is what my day looked like on Saturday.

6 AM – Up, and a sinus zombie this morning.  The weather’s been warming up, so the pollen Death Stars started their attack.  I puttered around until my brain woke up more.

Fun Memory:  This book on The Waltons popped up in my Facebook stream this morning.  I met the writer Charlotte Graham around the time the book came out and she autographed a copy of it for me.

7 AM – The dull and boring stuff.  I did some maintenance work on the website.  With WordPress’s change to blocks, I had to redo all my book pages.  I previously managed to get all the covers up, including some I’d missed (yikes).  But not all of them have links.

  • Checked the Non-Fiction page. Verified the links were all there.  But this is the one page I’ll need to redo, since I was still figuring out the blocks.  I was missing three books off this page!
  • Zap! General Fiction is now completed.
  • Validated the Mysteries page.
  • To the Science Fiction page, I added the cover for X Marks the Spot.  That’s coming out in April.  Zoomed through all the links—Yay! 

For all the pain of me not getting to this because my head imagined it bigger than it was, it only took about fifty minutes.

WordPress block tip: When putting up book covers in a block, only do three covers per block.  If you delete an image, or add one later, the block removes all the book cover links.  If you do only three, it’s a lot less work to fix.

8 AM.  Close all files.  Off to farmer’s market to pick up vegetables.  Hopefully there will be some.

Gorgeous day out.  The trees are covered with fuzz from the buds coming in.  And it’s really windy.  I thought I would stop off at this marshlands park nearby for a walk out in the sun.  Nope, nope, nope.  Way too cold still. 

I did stop off at Roaches Run, which is along the George Washington Parkway.  Gorgeous view of the Potomac River.  If you want to see a picture of it, it’ll be on Tuesday’s newsletter

Saw this on the road:

We fix viruses not coronavirus

Sign on computer store

It was a quick run at the farmer’s market.  Alexandria was setting up for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Streets were already being blocked off.  I lucked out and was able to find parking.

Zoomed n and did a happy dance.  One of the vendors I like is back for the season.  He and his daughter man the tables and they always have lots of good vegetables.  This morning, he said, “Picked at six AM this morning.”  That’s fresh!

Spoils: green leaf lettuce, kale, collard greens, celery, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, avocados, ground beef, and eggs.

9:30 – Back to some more writing maintenance.  This time to Book2Read to make sure all the book links are current.  This site is a link propagator that picks up all the vendors, but with all the changes like new sellers, the links need refreshing periodically.  So I run a rescan.

Then a break for a while.  Closing everything down again.

11 AM – Off to my favorite Thai restaurant for lunch, Kindle in hand.  Sun’s really bright, and it’s still really cold and windy.  When I was coming back, a lady came out of a store with her black dog (lab-sized).  The first thing the dog did was steer over to me.  Yup, he got some petting.

1 PM – Onto some research.  This is for my next book, which may be a 3 or 7 book series.  Haven’t quite made up my mind.  But it’s a superhero story.

I’ve been watching both The Greatest American Hero and Earth: The Final Conflict.  In GAH, aliens come to Earth and give humans a superhero suit.  Motive: Prevent what happened on their world from happening to Earth.

In EFC, aliens come to Earth and give mankind technology and heal people.  Motive: That’s hard to tell in the first season, except that the Taelons appear to have other goals that benefit them and not humanity.  I liked how we were sure if they were good or not, and if the individual Taelons were good or not.

Researching superhero powers.  Who knew there would be lists?  Plus here’s the tropes.  I’m definitely breaking #7.  The parents are in the story.  #12 also: This character does not want to do it.  This is a full list of all the posts with a lot of interesting information.

2 PM – And out to the grocery store (across the street).  The sunlight keeps calling to me even though it’s too cold out!

Afternoon/Evening

Working on character worksheets for the protagonist and antagonist.  I’ve never liked character worksheets. How do you get characterization when the questions are superficial?

But I ran across Deborah Chester’s Fantasy Fiction Formula and that gave me a worksheet that was pretty different.

I also have some black holes in my skills that I’m working at addressing.  I took workshops from Dean Wesley Smith for many years, but it became apparent that I’d gone as far as I could with his workshops. 

Deborah’s idea is simple: Make the story simple and the characters complex.  Characterization is one of my strengths, but now I’m looking at it for improvement.  And I’m ready for it.