100 Words a Day – Now a Facebook Group

pass-it-on

Whether you’re writing a hundred words a day, a thousand or ten thousand, keep yourself accountable. Join the group 100 Words a Day on Facebook.

How to do it?

  1. Go to the 100 Words a Day Facebook Group.
  2. Click “Join”.
  3. Once you’ve been added, post in the Discussion. Copy and paste the *best sentence from your day’s writing. Add the hashtag #100wordsaday.
  4. If you’re feeling brave, add your word count. (I haven’t gotten there yet!)
  5. Repeat. Every day.

Join and share! Let’s grow the Slow Words movement.

*Best doesn’t mean literary genius. It’s just the sentence that works for you or speaks to you that day. No judgement! 100 Words is all about support.

 

 

Taking the Slow Road

childs-pose

My personal mantra for 2017 is “low and slow”.

The ‘s’ word doesn’t have many fans these days.

It’s a fast world.

People want to fast-track their degrees, so they can thrive in the fast-paced environment of their workplaces. Businesses are all about increasing productivity and efficiency, streamlining and enhancing customer turnover – all euphemisms for doing things faster.

Describing yourself as slow in an online dating profile or job application won’t get you many takers.

We’ve all bought into the idea that faster equals better, myself included. Hence my initial aversion to the slow-cooker.

How could anything slow be good? I thought.

Then my mother-in-law gave me one. Naturally, it sat on the shelf for months.

Finally, one cold fall day, more to prove to myself that it was another useless piece of kitchen gadgetry than anything else, I dusted it off and plugged it in. I chucked in a cheap cut of beef with a bit of this and that and ended up with… heaven.

The same top round steak fried in the pan would make shoe-leather look tender. But in the gentle heat of the slow-cooker, the tough connective tissues dissolve, the aromatics seep into the meat and the result is tender, fragrant deliciousness.

It got me thinking. What if I took the slow-cooker approach to the rest of my life, specifically, writing?

This month some of my author friends have been sharing their goals for the year. Some examples?

“Self-publish ten novels” “write a novel a month” “increase my word-count to 3,000 a day”

Translation: write faster.

Kudos to them. I’ve tried the fast thing. I’ve knocked out a novel in 3 weeks, had it edited and published in 6. I’ve pulled all-nighters and ignored my family and neglected my finances and my health. But not this year.

My goal? Write one hundred words a day.

A hundred words a day is slow by any definition. But by this time next year, I will have 36,500 words steeped in a year of research and rumination.

I’m betting on them being delicious.

Slow-Cooker Beef Barbacoa

slow-cooker-beef

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb top round steak

1 large red onion, chopped finely

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

Dash of ancho chili powder

1 tbsp chopped hot green chilies (from a can, if you like)

¼ cup lime juice (bottled is fine)

tortillas and taco fixings of your choice, to serve

Method:

Cut the steak in half and place in the slow cooker, on top of the other ingredients. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Remove meat from cooker and shred. Return to cooker while you prepare taco fixing – I recommend cotija cheese, crema and a slaw of very thinly sliced radishes, carrots, red onion, white cabbage and cilantro dressed with a squeeze of fresh lime juice  and a sprinkle of salt.

First George Michael. Then Carrie Fisher. Now This.

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The email was brief and to the point. After a year in the red, All Romance E-Books is closing its doors. As of December 31st, your go-to shop for digital romance will join David Bowie, Prince and all hope for America’s future (see my post on the US election) in the list of 2016’s casualties.

It’s not like All Romance and I had a long relationship, or that I depended on my royalties from them to pay my rent. In fact, I just discovered them a year or so ago.

Like the election of Trump, it’s what the company’s death represents, or the trend it’s indicative of:

Smaller companies unable to compete against corporate monsters. And perhaps, fewer people spending money on romance novels. Or, at least, spending less on the authors All Romance supported – indie author and authors with small and digital-first publishing companies.

I wish all the best to Lori James and the crew at All Romance. I’m sure their decision to fold was as heart-wrenching as some of the books on their virtual shelves. And I feel for all the authors who sold their hard-crafted works through the website and are facing the thought of not receiving their full royalties.

I will be accepting All Romance’s offer to pay ten percent of the royalties owed to be for Q4, but then, I don’t have a lot to lose. For other authors, it may not be so easy. I get that. But still, I urge compassion.

2016 has been a year of horrible loss. Let’s not make it any worse.