Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts, photo by Denise D. Young
Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I spent last week in New England, visiting family in New Hampshire and spending a day in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. I’m back home this week, biting my nails as my kitty undergoes surgery. (So far, the vet says he’s doing well. We bring him home later today.)

It was wonderful to take a break and explore another part of the country. I’ve been to New Hampshire twice and loved it both times. There are so many bookstores—and there was a Starbucks right next to my hotel, so my days were filled with books and lattes. We spent time with my brother and his wife, dipped our toes into the ocean, and even visited Hammond Castle in Massachusetts, a replica of a medieval castle. All of it provided great inspiration for writing, doing what I call filling the well. I returned home rejuvenated and ready to write.

While there, we had a wonderful moment of serendipity when we wandered into RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Amber Benson, a writer/actress/director most well-known for her role as Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was doing a reading, book signing, and Q&A. When asked what advice she’d give to aspiring authors, Benson remarked that the most important thing was to get out and meet people—attend conferences, find critique partners—to do more than hide away in a room and write (which many of us are tempted to do).

Meeting fellow writers and others in the business, whether in person or online, helps us grow as writers and helps us move closer to our goals. It was good to hear from a published author that I’m moving in the right direction.

And now, a midweek ROW80 check-in:


  • Finish a second draft of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.” Wrote a new scene to help add tension to the middle of the story. Every day, the story gets a little better, and that’s what counts.
  • Read a minimum of four books on the business or craft of writing. On book one of four. Continued reading “Conflict and Suspense” by James Scott Bell.

Social media:

  • Check in on Twitter daily. Met for Monday and Wednesday, not for Tuesday.
  • Blog two times per week. So far, on track.
  • Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Not met.

What about you? Have you experienced any moments of serendipity lately? How are your goals, writing or otherwise, coming along?

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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