A mess and a muddle to sort:)


I have been missing from this weekly check-in for the whole summer at least for which I apologise.  Life has loomed large. Great political upheavals and continuing morality issues around the world have all threatened my new found relief from long term depression. My arthritic wrists have become so painful the amount of work I can manage, involving them, has been reduced dramatically. Unfortunately I am allergic to anti inflammatory drugs and really don’t want to be taking painkillers all and every day.

I have been using my hands in the garden. I began last year to re-jig my outside space to enable me to cope as age continues its inevitable journey, I think, I may, just get it finished in time.

All the beds have been replanted with shrubs, bulbs and hardy perennials. Vegetables , time consuming if delicious, have gone. Fruit bushes and trees relocated to the wild garden; I no longer make jam or chutney – so  am giving up the yearly fight with the birds, I have given them to wildlife complete with no strings attached:)

The wilderness was mostly tamed last summer, this summer has been about a massive pruning programme and also filling the beds with lovely cottage garden and wild flowers. Next year – fingers crossed I get to sit and enjoy:)

Now I am in the process of closing the garden down for the year I will have more time to concentrate on the writing/editing.

Mostly The Children’s Tale was written, but over the course of three or four years of illness and depression, it had been written in many guises; several POVs, several frameworks, started-put aside-started again, time and time again.

It was a mess and it is with that muddle I have been struggling all this summer.
At last it is taking shape – I hope the final shape:)

So what for THIS ROUND  of ROW80

Yes, I’m finally back! Hi there everyone:) I hope nothing goes wrong – the children are growing more insistent their tale is told:)


Editing, editing and yet more editing! I cannot in all honesty say it is my favourite occupation but it is happening. The Children’s Tale marches forward apace and is becoming cleaner every day.  I also have to locate what’s missing and write fillers/connections. The slowness of the whole process this time around is about changing the tense and rewriting some scenes entirely to fit the new structure. Not quite a major overhaul but pretty well near.

Blogs: They have been non existent for months so am hoping to get back into the flow. Not committing as it depends on hands; do have lots of ideas and topics I want to write about. I have posted on albertareads for Musing Monday

Reading: Have read a great deal this summer complete with pillow on my lap so I haven’t had to hold the books. On my Goodread challenge I am up to 100 out of my challenge of 110. About the only aim which has been achieved!

Others: I did start a Pinterest board for The Children’s Tale, an idea I picked up here on ROW80. I will need to create cover and trailer for The Children’s Tale later in the round, have thought about it during the summer and have some ideas – good I hope.

Otherwise life progresses, a little to fast for my liking, but it is still fun. All the best to other ROWers.


machines, orange hair and scary monday



It is interesting when stuff goes wrong on the computer and cyberspace.

This week has been interesting.

Ignore the old curse ‘may you live in interesting times’, nothing major happened. My albertareads blog went haywire. Putting widgets into footer areas which didn’t exist! And leaving a bar advertising the theme across the top of the blog. The first I fixed eventually after applying some diminishing brain cells and logic to the problem. But the theme advert I had no way of working out.

I called the forum.
Please Help me.
They did splendidly.

They were all sure it was wrong code – I never touch the code I told them, I did not know how to check it.

Please Help.
They did.
It was two bits of stray code they put it right.
I am smiling again.

Before that happened my computer presented a totally blank screen. Nothing. Zilch. Switch on /off. Tightened connections. Switched of  at main. Walked away. Left the machine.

Phoned computer people, after many different calls I was told to read out the serial number.
Underneath machine.

Thought I needed to unscrew, searched for screw driver small enough to do, then when actually managed it he told me shouldn’t have done that. So had to screw back in.! Finding battery was easy actually. Thought one of clasps was looser than other – after he had vanished into a broken connection I got to thinking about loose catches. Turned machine on again & voila, working just fine, battery was loose was all.

Not the Internet though, had to wait two more days before that decided to come back to me.

Did I tell you have changed my hair from turquoise and pink to orange and copper!:)

hair2 still remains of blue in there will get brighter.







I have news, big news for me anyway. Tomorrow – Monday 9th I am going to a local reading group to discuss Ellen’s Tale with them.

Scary Monday!

I hate talking in public with the problem I have with getting words in the wrong order, and not being able to elucidate what I am thinking, but they assure me it wont be like a ‘talk’, just sitting around chatting. I think I can manage that- hope anyway. I do know two of them so that will help. Wish me luck please:)


 I wanted to start serious editing this month and it is amazing what can be done if no access to Internet is available:) However the backlog of commenting, emails etc that can accumulate in that short time is amazing.I have been trying to create an order to The Children’s Tale it has been written in bits over three years, through illness and depression, has changed it’s format twice and I have decided to pull it back to the format the others were written in, which will mean changing tenses all the way through!


I have been editing and on The Children’s Tale I clocked up just over 8,000 words of 2nd revision stage. So spelling, repeated words, basic punctuation, tenses and order has been established. Needs polishing next time round
On my memoirs (based on blogging) I have done my final edits on one section (approx 13,000) running spell check through again, checking for punctuation and missing words. Needs my friend from forever/editor’s tender touch now:)


Missed out a bit this week as I wasn’t up on cyberspace to post them. I sang from ballroom to choir and quoted Chesterton and Mused on Monday all the others remained in my Scrivener file down here
Researching: Been working hard on A-Z challenge in April and have the theme, plus 37 subjects could use. Now to weed out some and then try and match them to the alphabet.

Networking: managed to catch up on stuff I must do and am beginning to comment where I don’t have too.

Others: Still trying to build up numbers on my new Twitter http://twitter.com @al_berta_ross if any would like to follow me on that one as well would be most grateful:)

Reading: after my readathon last month I took time out to read three urban fantasies for light relief. Had to re-read Ellen’s Tale again for tomorrow.

Life: Haven’t had much time for self this week, but managed another two scrumbles, didn’t really like my last journal page so am practicing re-cycling and painted it all over- very liberating. Got out twice but been too cold for me.

Hope everyone had a trouble free week and all the best for this coming one:)

Help please with Parallelism! Alberta’s check in

I need some advice/help please.  For NaNo this year I had decided to write a creation story.  I have started experimenting on the form it will take, in a workshop, on World Building, I am doing.  Have tried both an old fashioned narrative form and verse form.

Now I don’t write poetry, this isn’t exactly poetry, but it will be sort of based on what I understand is ‘parallelism and repetition’.  Example from a book of Sumerian story of Inana

In the first days, in the very first days,

In the first nights, in the very first nights,

In the first years, in the very first years,

In the first days when everything needed was brought into being,

In the first days when everything needed was properly nourished,

(D.Wolkstein & S N Kramer: Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth)

Do any of you poets out there understand the form, have studied it or can recommend any books/sites on the form that I could research before NaNo. I like both the narrative and the verse and think I could combine the two.  I have many examples of narrative creation storytelling at home here but not of the verse form.  It is an ancient devise I believe, have read that ancient Hebrew and Sumerian texts often used the form, I think it will suit a creation story.  Anyone? Please.

This has been a week of no writing to speak of as we have been having a ‘writers block’ type of week with my sister.  Her training with new guide dog hit a sticky patch and three consecutive ‘bad’ days knocked not only her (bruises to show) but her confidence.  Very down she was and lot of ROW80 encouragement was needed.  The trainer and I spent a lot of time telling her it only needed tweaking- and between the three of us we have taken the red pencil to her old routes, streamlined them to remove as many potential hazards as possible, re- thought the length of time required and chopped the training into smaller chunks.  Reassured her on a couple of concerns causing extra anxietty, and, with Fridays training session being  almost flawless we finished the week exhausted but smiling:)

The problem is, as I have said before, she has no sight at all now (she did have some when she trained previously) but with being deaf as well, her orientation is very shaky – one step off the straight and she has the potential to be lost.  The retired dog of course knew the way and could help but this new one, although he tries so hard, doesn’t yet know the routes.  I knew it would be very hard this time but I’m not sure my sister realised how shaky her sense of location is.

Both of us were brought up understanding we could achieve anything we really wanted to do.  For the most part we have.  There comes a time though when we have to accept that age is robbing us of that ability.  I think my re-organising of life lately to accommodate my wrists has helped my sister to accept she can no longer walk wherever she wants any more.  We both have to come to terms with increasing restrictions. She is rested. Recovered from her bruises and ready to do another week. Fingers crossed for this coming week please.

I have managed to keep up with editing in the evenings – I had got muddled with NaNoEdMo- kept thinking had to edit 50,000 words but of course its edit for 50 hours – easy! Am well up at 30 hours this month so far.  However, while I have been doing so have had a major rethink of Blue Moon.  I have decided not to go for publication this year; I want to make it a denser book, with more character, more thought.  A slower paced story. More layered.  Very pleased with the new direction.  I still need to edit what has already been written, it will form a solid core.

Nothing much else done – been trying to keep up with the networking but apart from a quick rant on word police! and a  review not achieved any blogging.  Ah well there’s always another day:)

I hope everyone has had a good week.