You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached

Ever feel like that? I feel like that… um, on a regular basis. Pretty much every day.

Do you ever feel like this?

Do you ever feel like this?

There is so much minutiae in our lives (don’t you love that word “minutiae?”) that it’s sometimes overwhelming. Actually, it’s often overwhelming. There are groceries to get–or in my case, since my DH does the shopping (bless him!), groceries to remember to put on the store list, or he won’t get them. This is why, as I write this, we are collecting kitchen trash in one of those little grocery store plastic bags. No one remembered to put “trash bags” on the list.

There are appointments to remember–dentists, doctors, the tax accountant. My husband’s in the process of doing some work on the garage, so there are things to remember related to that. There are school projects for our daughter, and programs we want to attend for her. There are things to do related to those appointments–medical info to collect, tax info to collect (and with three businesses, there’s a lot of that), lists of things that need to be done to the garage by the construction guy. Oh, and we’re almost out of turtle food. And will you pick up this prescription on the way home?

And that’s not even counting my to-do list relating to my books and being an author–a to-do list that’s even larger when you’re also your own publisher. I thought I had a lot to remember before I published. I’d always heard that it got worse after you published, but that’s one of those things, like having a kid, that you know mentally before, but have no idea until you have one, how much more there is to do. (And like kids, it’s very worthwhile, so I’m not complaining, just explaining.)

Add in the holidays, and there are presents to buy, parties to attend (or host, with all the additional things to remember for that), kids’ programs to see, wrapping to do, cards to buy, sign, seal and send….

Just typing that is making me stressed, and it’s over until December comes back around!

How do you manage it all?

I used to write notes. But there were problems with that. One, there ended up being notes lying all over the place. My husband still does this, and our daughter and I are constantly clearing the clutter, tiny slips of paper, used envelopes, sticky notes with a phone number or a cryptic few words scrawled on it. When I ask him if he still needs them, he almost never does, but invariably, if one gets tossed without us checking first, that’s one he still needs. As for me, when this was my MO, the biggest problem with the notes wasn’t even the clutter, but I’d lose the note.

One year my company bought me a big, thick day planner, but it was so big and thick (and heavy), it never left my desk. It did help me with stuff I had to do there, but did little that a to-do list I’d scribble on a piece of paper didn’t.

Cozi Planner screenshot

My Cozi to-do list: It’s frightening

Now we have Cozi Organizer to help, but even that’s imperfect. First, we have to remember to put something on it to begin with (trash bags?). Then, if it’s an appointment, we can put in a reminder that will ring an alert on our phone or email us at the specified amount of time before it, but that only helps when I’m actually sitting next to my phone and hear the notification when it goes off. My daughter got a tablet computer for Christmas, and one of the first apps she downloaded was Cozi. She’d used it on her computer before, but that only helped if she was actually sitting at her computer when she thought of something to add to it, or if she had her phone in hand when a text notification came in. The tablet is in her hands enough that this will help, one hopes. :D

What do you do to rein in all the minutiae of day-to-day life? Do you take it in stride, or are you constantly in danger of forgetting something, like I am? What tools do you use to help, and how do you get the most out of them? Please tell me I’m not alone in feeling like the person in the photo!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

 

Changing the calendar, or something more?

Today is New Year’s Eve. Historically, this (and the real holiday, tomorrow) used to be my least-favorite holiday.

CalendarNew Year’s Day was just like any Sunday in the winter when I was a kid, except that you couldn’t go anywhere because everything was closed. It was boring, because it was nothing but the parents sitting around watching football, which I was never into. Then the retailers started wising up, and realized not everyone was into football and there was money to be made from those of us who weren’t. Now everything’s open, so there’s shopping to do if you need or want something, and it’s less boring. Football is spread out for several days both before and after New Year’s Day, so that’s less of a Big Deal too.

But for many, the real holiday comes the night before, when we gather with family or friends to cheer the clock striking midnight.

New Year's EveThe allure of this, too, escaped me for many years. Of course, the big attraction for many is drinking. I was a boring, rule-abiding teen and didn’t drink. In fact, I was usually babysitting for people with glamorous parties to attend. I didn’t even get dressed up, and I drank Coke. TV was usually boring–I never liked any of the entertainment on those New Year’s Eve shows (still don’t). New Year’s Eve got better when I met my husband, and actually had someone special to kiss at the strike of midnight, but it was still just another night at the bar. When we owned the bar for over ten years, it also meant I saw little of my husband, as he was always working, and I needed to help distribute the champagne. This was okay in and of itself, but there were always the one or two PITA patrons who either tried to scam us out of an extra bottle, or who bitched because we hadn’t gotten around to them yet (everyone always got their champagne before midnight). The best part of New Year’s Eve was having my best friend from college over–there is no such thing as a dull moment with her around, especially with alcohol! :D But that stopped when she found a significant other of her own, and they stayed closer to home.

At any rate, all the New Year’s Eve stuff seemed a big, freakin’ deal to make over what, IMO, amounted to nothing more than swapping out the calendar.

It got better after we sold the bar. All of a sudden, my husband didn’t have to work!

We got together with friends, and went bowling a few years there. I suck at bowling, but it’s still fun. The past few years, we’ve gotten together with neighbors, either at our house or theirs. We aren’t friends with them any more (long, stupid story), so I’m not sure what we’ll do this year. I’ll leave that up to my More Sociable Half to determine.

But it doesn’t matter. Because somewhere along the way, New Year’s Day became more than getting out a new calendar, more than a day to put away Christmas stuff while my husband went somewhere to watch football.

It became a new start, a time to set goals (never resolutions for me!), a time to evaluate last year’s goals and accomplishments. I’ve revised one long-ass book and published it, written and published a short story, written another short book (and won NaNoWriMo!), and designed covers for/formatted two anthologies, plus my Saturn Society Boxed Set, and revised a third novel, which is currently with my editor. It didn’t feel like I’ve done that much, but when I list it out like that… yeah!

I’m in the process of that evaluating of goals now, and it’s exciting to see not only what I’ve done, but what’s to come. I think 2013 will be a good year.

What do you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day? Is it something special to you, or just time to change the calendar? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

Cruising through the Holidays

Planning ahead makes all the difference! That’s what I say when people ask me if I’m stressed this holiday season. No, I don’t have all my shopping done, but I feel good about where I am with it – and everything else.

I decorated two weeks ago. The main reason that’s done is because I kept it simple: Christmas tree, mantel decorations, nativity scene. My family doesn’t care about elaborate decorations, as long as we have the basics!

As far as keeping up with writing goes, I managed that by setting smaller goals. This is an area where I’m not always successful–I’m hopeful that means I’ve learned from those times I wasn’t!

Here’s what I accomplished this week:

  • Hangar 18 - write up front and back matter
  • Hangar 18 - create full cover for paperback
  • Physical activity 5x this week – partial – got it in 4x

I’ve already met my ROW80 goals for the overall quarter. In addition to Hangar 18: Legacy, which is now with my editor, I’d like to release Times Two, the ebook-only boxed set of my Saturn Society novels. Since they are all already written and edited, and I already have a cover design, that leaves formatting. It would be great to get this out before Christmas. The ROW is over on Thursday, and check-in day is on Wednesday, so before then, I’d like to accomplish:

  • Times Two - assemble boxed set and format for Smashwords
  • Physical activity 5x this week (2-3x by Thursday)

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? Are you ready for the ROW to be over–and are you ready for the holidays??

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

Just Say No… to Stress, and ROW80

Last year around this time, I put up a post on ways I’ve found to deal with all the extra stuff we have to do around the holidays, that can add greatly to our stress level if we aren’t careful. One of those was evaluating which holiday events we really need to attend… and which we can gracefully decline.

My primary decision-making process for this is quite simple: just ask yourself these questions:

  • If I don’t go, will someone be disappointed or hurt?
  • Are there people there I care about, who won’t understand why I can’t make it?
  • If I don’t go, will it adversely impact me (for example, career or business issues)?
  • Are these people who don’t live nearby, and whom I don’t see at other times of the year?
  • Do I really want to go? (<- This one is the most important!)
I had to make one of those decisions yesterday… then woke up not feeling well, so that pretty much made the decision for me. I felt well enough to sit at my computer and play games, and the party I had to skip was one where my friends understood.

I also got some work done, including my ROW80 goals for the week! Here are the details:

  • Hangar 18 - finish type-in – Done!
  • Hangar 18 - get answers for new/remaining few research questions, and send to editor – Done!
  • Hangar 18 - put together book info sheet – Done!
  • Physical activity 5x this week – Done! (Good thing I did it Monday – Friday!)

I’ve already met my ROW80 goals for the overall quarter. But I’m not going to take the next week and a half off. There’s still much to be done, although with the holidays coming and all the extra to-do that entails, I am going for small goals. So for this week, I’d like to:

  • Hangar 18 - write up front and back matter
  • Hangar 18 - create full cover (for paperback – ebook/front cover already done)
  • Physical activity 5x this week

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? Do you have any tips on beating holiday stress? If so, please share – I’m always looking for more!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

I won! Or did I?

Wednesday night, I hit a milestone: at last, the word count meter in the status bar of WriteWayPro registered 50,123. I was done with my NaNoWriMo novel!

I actually finished the novel a few days earlier, on Sunday night… with a word count of only a little over 46,000. Not enough. But I’d left a bunch of plot holes and dropped subplot threads, which I’d normally tackle in revision. Instead of moving to another project, I decided to tie some of those up, and that got me to 50,123 on Wednesday night.

I was elated! I exported my document to Word, fearing my word count would change, and it did – to 50,006. But that’s still over 50,000, right?

I entered my new wordcount into the NaNoWriMo website, and the “I’m ready to validate my novel” link appeared. I pasted my whole dang book in…

And no winner bar appeared. Instead, the wordcount I’d entered now read 49,926. What???!!

So I went back and added that author’s note, just a short one. Re-exported, and re-entered. This time, I made it over 50,000 words and got my Winner! graphics.

Here’s the details on my ROW80 goals for this past week:

  • Finish NaNoWriMo novel – Done!
  • If NaNo novel is less than 50k, write author’s note and/or nonfiction project to add up to 50k – Done!
  • Physical activity 5x this week – partial – I got it in 4x
  • Hangar 18 - review and markup Chapters 13 & 14 – Done!

Here are my overall goals for this round:

  • Format and release OVRWA holiday story anthology – Done and now available!
  • Revise Hangar 18 - revisions/markup done, corrections typed in through Chapter 10 (of 14)
  • Keep up with my exercise, five times a week – ongoing
  • Win NaNoWriMo -Done!
So that means I’ve already met my revised ROW80 goals, how about that??
But I’m not going to take the next two and a half weeks off. There’s still much to be done, although with the holidays coming and all the extra to-do that entails, I am going for small goals. So for this week, I’d like to:
  • Hangar 18 - finish type-in
  • Hangar 18 - get answers for new/remaining few research questions, and send to editor
  • Hangar 18 - put together book info sheet (blurbs of varying lengths, and other details needed for publishing)
  • Physical activity 5x this week

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, how did you do? And either way, have you ever finished a big task, only to find out that you weren’t finished after all?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

When the Other Half’s Away…

…the writer will play! Or will she??

Not if it’s November, and she’s participating in NaNoWriMo!

Well, okay, maybe a little.

Oh, you want an explanation? Okay. It’s that time of the year that really helps a writer out. No, really.

It’s hunting season (the other helpful time being “football season”). How so? Well, to be specific, this week is gun season for deer in Ohio, which means my more-sociable half is away at deer hunting camp with lots of guys, lots of guns, and lots of beer (for after the guns are put away!). This means there’s lots of quiet in my house. I don’t think the TV has even been on in the past two days. The one in the room where my computer is hasn’t been on since he left the other day.

It’s been weird. And good for the word count – I finished my NaNoWriMo novel on Sunday night.

And as noted in Sunday’s post, fell short of the 50,000 words required to win NaNoWriMo – my book clocked in at only 46,000.

I was going to write an author’s note (wow, that would have to be a long one!) or do some work for a nonfiction technical piece. Then I came to another realization: There were holes in my book. Lots of ‘em – maybe as many of them as there was beer at that deer camp earlier this week. But mostly, I had a fraying book – tons of dropped threads, subplots that were introduced but never tied up. This is something I often do (doesn’t every writer? No?) and then go back and catch these suckers in revision.

But usually, I need to cut words. This time, I need to add, so why not add something I’d add anyway, now?

So that’s what I’ve been doing. My NaNo novel is right on schedule for a win tonight or tomorrow, currently sitting at 48,442 words.

I’ll leave the rest of the ROW80 recap for Sunday.

Oh, and my DH is due home today, but he called yesterday with good news: he got one! Looks like there will be some good eating in our house this winter (he’s also a very good cook)!

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on track to win, have you already won, or have you already conceded that you’ll not hit that 50k (which I don’t necessarily consider “losing”)?

I haven’t spotted any new releases from my writer friends the past couple of weeks, so no WANA Wednesday book news this week. I think many of my writing buddies are doing the same thing I am – writing! If you know of any, give me a heads up in the comments, please?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

ROW80: Running out of Story

My NaNoWriMo book has come along quite a ways this week… in fact, I expect to finish it today or tomorrow.

And I don’t expect to hit 50,000 words until Wednesday or Thursday.

In other words, I’m running out of story. And I’m a bit shocked – if anything, my work usually runs long, just ask anyone who’s read Time’s Enemy or especially Time’s Fugitive. Even my short story, “Time’s Holiday,” clocked in at over 7,000 in its first draft, and the Home for the Holidays anthology required it to be 5,000 or under. It turned out I had some repetitious stuff, and stuff that wasn’t absolutely vital to the story that I could cut, and I whittled it down to size while making it a much better book.

The NaNo novel is already lean – there’s almost no description in it. That’s something I usually have to layer in during revision, but it’s even more scant in this book than usual. Then again, I’m just now getting to the big boss battle, and I do write long, so this may take up the words after all.

If I don’t, I have a plan. I can add an author’s note, and see how much that adds. If it’s not enough, I can start in on a little nonfiction project I’ve been meaning to write for a while – an instruction manual, of sorts, for my web design clients.

Here’s the details on my progress for this past week:

  • 12,000 words on NaNoWriMo novel, to a total of 43,000 words or more – Done!
  • Physical activity 5x this week – partial – got 4x in – not bad for having a holiday!
  • Hangar 18 - review and markup Chapters 11-12 – Done!

Here are my overall goals for this round:

  • Format and release OVRWA holiday story anthology – Done and now available!
  • Revise Hangar 18 - revisions/markup done through Chapter 12  (of 14)
  • Keep up with my exercise, five times a week – ongoing
  • Win NaNoWriMo – on track with 43,063 words so far!
For this week, I’d like to:
  • Finish NaNoWriMo novel
  • If NaNo novel is less than 50k, write author’s note and/or nonfiction project to add up to 50k
  • Physical activity 5x this week
  • Hangar 18 - review and markup Chapters 13 & 14

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on track to win, have you already won, or have you already conceded that you’ll not hit that 50k (which I don’t necessarily consider “losing”)?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

WANA Wednesday: An Interview with Prudence MacLeod, plus ROW80 Update

We have a special treat for WANA Wednesday this week! Prudence MacLeod, author of romance, science fiction, and fantasy, agreed to stop by and let me pick her brain. Prudence is one prolific lady, and I wanted some insight into how she does it. Okay, enough from me – here’s Prudence!

JMP: Prudence, how long have you been writing? How many books did you write before publishing?

PM: Thanks for inviting me over for a coffee and chat, Jennette. How long? Off and on for close to fifty years, I guess. Seriously for about seventeen.

JMP: That’s a good while! And I thought I’d been at it a long time. Have you been published by a big publisher? Small press/epub? Independently? Please share your publishing experience.

PM: I had a few articles and short stories published in magazines long ago. As for novels, I acquired a box full of rejections and spent a fortune on postage before the internet changed the publishing world. As soon as the option became feasible, I began self-publishing.

JMP: I don’t blame you! Your books tend to cross genres, and I’ve found self publishing to be a perfect fit for that as well. Now that you’ve tasted the control and flexibility that comes with indie publishing, are you still pursuing a traditional publishing contract, or perhaps an agent?

PM: No, once I decided to go it alone I stopped trying to go traditional. If you’re doing self-pub right you don’t have much time left over for writing a synopsis or sending out query letters. You are spending your time on writing, editing, and social media.

JMP: Boy, isn’t that the truth! And that’s on top of creating, or contracting for cover art, formatting, editing, and more. What do you do (or have you done) for a day job? Has this informed or inspired your writing in any way?

PM: I’ve had a number of day jobs over the years, but I have to say the years I spent as a personal trainer give me the fondest memories. Those years, the people I worked with, and the things learned there are a big influence on my writing. A lot of my characters come from those days.

JMP: I’ll bet you met a lot of interesting people as a personal trainer! Most of us have trouble getting to the writing every now and then, if not every day. What keeps you from writing, and how do you handle it? How do you make time for writing?

PM: Finding the time can be an issue some days and I so admire you folks who manage jobs, children, and still find the time. Me? I just make the time. I learned this in powerlifting. When a lifter wants to enter a contest and lift three hundred pounds, she will set up a chart, probably twelve weeks. She starts with week twelve and marks it at 300. Week eleven is marked at 290, week ten at 280 etc. Each day she enters the gym she knows exactly what she has to do. I do the same now with writing. If I want a first draft of 72,000 words in twelve weeks, then week eleven calls for 66,000, week ten is 60,000 etc.

As you can see I’m constantly setting goals for myself. If I don’t I’ll just drift and get nothing done at all.

JMP: That’s so true, Prudence! I know for me, that’s what NaNoWriMo does – it forces us to set goals and divide up that 50,000 word mountain into chunks we can mark off each day. But wow, you have a lot of books out there now! Tell me, what inspired your latest?

PM: Okay, this was fun, actually. Needing a good kick to get my head back into my writing, I dropped what I was working on and contacted one of my most avid fans. I asked her point blank, “What would you love to see in my next book?” She was pretty clear on what she liked so I set out to write a romance with her in mind as the reader. I sent her a small teaser and she loved it. I’m just getting started on it, but I hope to get it ready in time for Christmas.

JMP: And now for the $64,000 question – CDN or US$, either is fine. :) What are some things you did to build your readership? What’s worked? What didn’t?

PM: Well, pushing in social media doesn’t work, running contests and doing giveaways haven’t worked for me, and offering sales and free books hasn’t worked either. What has worked is personal contact. Any reader who reaches out to me via e-mail or through a comment on my blog gets a personal response; not a come on to buy more books, but a response just to them. This can be a bit time consuming some days, but I will keep it up as long as I am able. I love the one on one with the readers.

JMP: Amen to that! Getting email from readers is the best! What are some things your readers have told you they particularly love about your books?

PM: Most of all it is Hope. I try to offer hope in all my book; they always have an upbeat ending. Folks also tell me they find my books informative; they learn things about all sorts of different people and lifestyles.

JMP: Having read and enjoyed some of your books, I couldn’t agree more! What’s up next for you – and where can readers find more about you and your work?

PM: Oh, gosh, I truly wish I knew. I’m hoping to find more ways to get in touch with the readers in more personal ways. I’m just not good at running big promotions; I’m more comfortable chatting over a coffee.

Here’s where you can find me, folks.

http://www.prudencemacleod.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Prudence-MacLeod/e/B0079XOY8U

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Witchhazel

Jennette, thanks for the coffee and the chat. Let’s do it again soon.

JMP: You bet, Prudence! It’s been fun – thanks again for stopping by!


Quick ROW80 Update: So far so good for NaNoWriMo! I’ve logged another 5,000 words since our last check in, bringing my total to about 36,000. I’m off of work today through Sunday, so I’m hoping to stay on schedule for that. I say stay on track, rather than get ahead, because I’m hosting Thanksgiving! My family’s great – everyone chips in as far as food goes, and it’s always a good time, so it’s ALL good! Hope you’re doing well if you’re participating in ROW80 and/or NaNoWriMo, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

What is WANA? It stands for We Are Not Alone, a guide to blogging, social media and networking for authors by Kristen Lamb. It’s writers helping writers, whether or not we’ve taken the course, and proving that we really are not alone!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

My Town Monday: The Original Pop Top

Note from Jennette: this blog post originally ran on August 15, 2011, and remains one of my most popular posts for people to find via search. Meanwhile, I’m working on my NaNoWriMo novel, and am now over 2/3 of the way to the 50,000-word mark!


One of the fun things about writing (and reading) time travel stories is the whole fish-out-of-water aspect, especially when someone goes into the future. There is one scene in Time’s Enemy, my newly-released time-travel novel, where a character from the 1930s comes forward to modern times. When she asks for a drink and is handed a can of Mountain Dew, she’s understandably perplexed at what to do with it (and initially thinks it’s moonshine, LOL).

Anyone remember drinking beer or pop (“soda” for you non-Midwesterners) from a can like this? Younger folks might not, but in the sixties, seventies, and into the early eighties, this is what you got if you bought beer in a can, or got a Coke, Pepsi, etc. from a machine. Of course, I also remember pop in glass bottles – you know, where you bought a six pack at Kroger and paid a deposit of $.05 – .10 per bottle, which they returned when you took the bottles back to the store.

But back to the cans – before they were like this, they required a can opener, like is still used today to open larger cans of juice, although those are now mostly replaced by bottles. The can opener had a sharp point on it, and poked a triangle hole in the edge of the can. A second hole was needed to admit air.

Dayton inventor Ermal Fraze

The pull tab shown on the can to the right came about in the early sixties, after Dayton tool-and-die maker Ermal Fraze went on a picnic, and forgot to bring a can opener for the drinks. According to the stories, he ended up prying cans open on a car bumper (???), then went home and devised a can with a built-in opener – the pull tab.

The pull tab was eventually superceded by the now-familiar push-in top in the eighties, but it was the pull tab that helped push cans to edge out glass bottles in popularity as a beverage container. Fraze’s legacy lives on today in the form of full-top pull tabs that are still commonly used in canned snacks like peanuts. Dayton Reliable Tool (now DRT Mfg.), the machine shop he formed in the 1940s, is also still in business in Dayton today.

Do you know of any cool little details that we take for granted today, that originated in your hometown? Please share!

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage_can
http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/fraze.html
http://www.heartlandscience.org/manuf/poptop.htm

Photo of beer can via Wikipedia, public domain | Photo of Ermal Fraze via Heartlandscience.org

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

ROW80: NaNoWriMo, Day 18

My lack of planning is making my NaNoWriMo book a challenge. As a recap, I set my daily writing goals a little differently than the standard 1,667 words/day – instead, I write 1,500 words four weeknights, and 3,000 words on both Saturday and Sunday to meet my overall goal. But I didn’t get my 3k in yesterday until 10:30 PM – and I didn’t do much of anything else all day.

I have to outline, and I did outline this book, too. However, many of my scenes were just a few words of what would happen. And I’m finding that that’s not always enough. I need to know what’s the conflict, and who or  what the antagonist is in any given scene, and many of my notes did not have this. I also got hung up on details, and spent a lot of time thinking how something specific would happen, which is something we need to ditch in order to meet the high word count goals of NaNoWriMo. I did manage to get it together just in time, so my progress is still on track, although I did not get as much done on  my revisions for Hangar 18 as I’d have liked, and I had some other things to do yesterday that now will have to be done today. Things like laundry, keeping in touch with family and friends, and some graphic design work I’m doing for my brother, who’s in the process of starting a business. Good thing I have my blogs mostly set up! Oh, and I’m hosting Thanksgiving for my family. I’m taking the day before and the day after off of work – I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get some extra time in there, and keep my wordcount on track.

Here’s my progress for this past week:

  • 12,000 words on NaNoWriMo novel, to a total of 30,000 words or more – Done!
  • Physical activity 5x this week – partial – Done!
  • Hangar 18 - review and markup Chapters 10-11 – Partial – I got Chapter 10 marked up.

Here are my overall goals for this round:

  • Format and release OVRWA holiday story anthology – Done and now available!
  • Revise Hangar 18 - revisions/markup done through Chapter 10
  • Keep up with my exercise, five times a week – ongoing
  • Win NaNoWriMo – on track with 31,178 words so far!
For this week, I’d like to:
  • 12,000 more words on NaNoWriMo novel, bringing its total up to 43,000
  • Physical activity 5x this week
  • Hangar 18 - review and markup Chapters 11 & 12

If you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing so far? If you’re in the U.S., what are your plans for Thanksgiving, and do they affect your goal setting this week, especially if you’re doing NaNoWriMo?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.