Sunday Roundup

100 words/100 days — I’ve managed 46 days. A bunch of it is just noodling, but when I started this on December 1, it was so hard to get those words out. I’d be counting every one, avoid the use of contractions, anything to get to that count. I was so out of practice with writing that it literally hurt to do so. Now, I can spew out 100 words in a few minutes. The next step, obviously, is to turn that spewing into something that’s actually readable for people besides myself.

Knitting — I am finally about to join the sleeves of my jacket to the rest of the body. Woo hoo! I might actually finish and get to wear this thing before spring arrives.

Books — I will admit to not doing as much reading as I had hoped this past week. Do have a book for the TBR Challenge, but need to get moving on some others. Definitely need to finish The Attenbury Emeralds, which is Jill Paton Walsh’s latest continuation of Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter and Harriet Vane.

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Did keep up with the blogs this week, though I didn’t do any responding and found a number of cool links. The one that made me happy today is news ITV is planning a Downton Abbey Christmas Special. If you are not watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theatre, you’re missing a real treat. Austen it ain’t, but it’s marvelously entertaining soap about an Edwardian household shortly before World War I. The series did enormously huge numbers in the UK, so it isn’t really surprising a Christmas special would be in the offing. Christmas specials are big deals in the UK, so much so that ITV and the BBC actually take turns as to where Eastenders and Coronation Street will go on Christmas Day so they don’t conflict — then they play chicken over the slot for Doctor Who and whatever ITV puts up against that. But more Downton! And more Sherlock to come as well, another show you should be watching. (This mention also gives me an excuse to use one of my Sherlock icons.)

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In the arena of “writer beware,” read through this Smart Bitches post on a contest being held by FirstOne, a new digital publisher. Also, scroll through the comments for a number of interesting links. In short FirstOne is holding a contest with a large entry fee (you can buy a Kindle for less) and some rather worrisome fine print down at the bottom of the rules:

All submissions become sole property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. By submitting an entry, all entrants grant Sponsor the absolute and unconditional right and authority to copy, edit, publish, promote, broadcast, or otherwise use, in whole or in part, their entries, in perpetuity, in any manner without further permission, notice or compensation.

Uh, no. I’m not paying someone money and handing them the rights to my work in perpetuity. And, yes, that is the wording on the website as of January 15, 8:38 PM Pacific Time.

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I’m taking a Time Management Class for Writers at the moment that’s being taught by Kitty Bucholtz, so that’s much on my mind. Since it’s the first of the year, time management and goal setting seem to be on a number of folks’ minds. Shonna Slayton is doing a three part series on business plans for writers, while Kelsey Browning is is starting a series on her experience with a life coach. For Beth Ciotta, it was a week to hit a speed bump and realize we can’t do it all. At least, not all the time.

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Finally, something glorious to close with. Nancy Smith, the community liaison for the Office of Letters and Lights (the folks behind NaNoWriMo spent her holiday break in Argentina, where she visited El Ateno, an old theatre that’s been turned into a bookstore. This is truly a treat and a great re-purposing of a building while retaining the original character.