Tag Archive: #writemotivation


The sun rose this morning at 3:22, and it will set tomorrow morning at 12:19 for 20 hours 57 minutes of daylight. The rest is twilight, but a fairly bright twilight with sunset/rise colors never fading (if the clouds break up a little.) Noon solar altitude is now 47.7°, and the day length is still increasing by about 6 minutes a day.

Raised beds

3/4 of the vegetable garden as of May 1. The “empty” holes are seeded.

Weather has been showery but relatively warm; enough rain to make long trike rides problematic; not enough total rain to help much with the plants. Of course every time I water, it does rain!

The vegetable garden is ahead of where it’s ever been before by the end of May. All raised beds are planted, and all but one row of the holes along the edge. I think I’ll use the remaining holes for a second seeding of lettuce. (I’ve had good luck seeding beets in the holes, and most of the “empty” holes in the photos are in fact seeded.) I transplanted the lettuce plants into the holes along the outside of the squash bed, planning to harvest them before the squash leaves shade them out.

Dwarf Coumbines.

Dwarf columbines, June 1. They not only are hardy and bloom early, they self-seed with abandon.

The dwarf columbine, strawberries and white violets are in full bloom, as is the spirea. So is the white iris nearest the house, and I spotted the first wild rose last night. I planted most of the flower boxes, tubs and hanging baskets last weekend.

#WriteMotivation final check in:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, I’ll try to get the beans started indoors by April 25 and the squash by April 30; plant outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

I didn’t quite get it all in before Memorial Day, but I did get the raised beds dug and the vegetable transplants in Memorial Day weekend. Just about everything else is now taken care of — far earlier than usual.

spirea in bloom

Spirea, photographed from my emergency exit 6/3/12.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my sf novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday Sunday.

Done.

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

Done.

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecoming/109303925759274

Alaska sunset

11:15 last night. The colors intensified later, though the sun had still not set at midnight.

Done.

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

Done.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible.

I’d still like a second beta reader, but otherwise done.

Hail on the ground

5:20 pm, 6/4/12

P.S. it hailed about 5 this afternoon. Most unusual for Alaska–we just don’t have the kind of storms here that I grew up with in Kansas.

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Transplanats, hardened off

Ready for the garden.

The sun rose this morning at 3:43, and it will set at 11:57 this evening for 20 hours 14 minutes of theoretical sunshine, 6 and a half minutes more than yesterday. Tomorrow we start sunsets early in the morning of the following day. It’s all very theoretical; the last few days have been mostly rain and clouds, leading to flood advisories on local rivers, and the forecast shows more of the same this week. Good for the garden and for fire season; not so good for the rivers and actually working in the garden. At least the overnight lows are staying in the 40’s, though the highs are forecast to be in the 60’s.

Dwarf columbines

Some of the perennials are showing color already

The perennials are growing fast, and some are even showing bud color. I have a table full of transplants ready to go into the garden, and I’ve planted a few seeds in the holes of the cement blocks, but I’m hung up waiting for the rototiller. I hand dug and ro-hoed the pea bed, and may do the same for the beans and squash if the tiller doesn’t show up today. I wanted to beat Memorial Day this year!

#WriteMotivation check-in:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, I’ll try to get the beans started indoors by April 25 and the squash by April 30; plant outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

Delphinium, columbine and daylillies

Perennial bed

I’m ready and the transplants are ready, but everything’s waiting on the rototilling which should have been done last week. I did say “if possible,” and I’ve done everything I can.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my sf novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday Sunday.

The only blog of the month not written and preloaded is that for May 31, which I plan to do about the dog show this weekend. (Yes, including this morning. I got some pictures yesterday, but hope to get more.)

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

Done so far

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecoming/109303925759274

Up to date.

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

The weather has not been cooperating lately, but between the Farmers’ Market, the garden, and the dog show I’ve been outdoors quite a bit.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible.

I’d still like a second beta reader. I’m going to put that request on Six Sentence Sunday next week. Yesterday was the first time I posted a bit from the third book.

P.S. 8:40 am. The sun is shining! Maybe I can get some plants in after I get back from the dog show.

Tiny birch leaves

Sign of Spring!

The sun rose this morning at 4:29 am, and will set at 11:08 for 18 hours 39 minutes of daylight – that is, with the sun above the horizon. In fact it doesn’t really get dark this time of year, and in two more days it’ll be civil twilight all “night,” with the sun never getting more than 6° below the horizon. The problem with astronomy up here is that when it gets dark enough to see the stars, it’s too cold to say outdoors very long.

The birch pollen count was high last week, and official greenup was May 10. Official? It’s based on when Chena Ridge, west of town, starts looking green instead of brown, and the day is identified by a local weather forecaster – but it’s a pretty obvious change, if you can see the ridge. I can’t, but midweek the birch leaves were showing in my yard, and today there’s a definite green mist to them. What’s more, the ground was thawed enough to till – I was able to get a spading fork in to full depth by Wednesday night.

A green mist is showing on the birches.

The weather forecasts for the rest of the week suggest nightly frosts are still possible, so I won’t even consider planting anything yet. The flats of plants are still going out as soon as the temperature is above 35°F and coming in before I go to bed. I’m certainly going to try to get someone to do the rototilling soon, though.

#WriteMotivation check in:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, I’ll try to get the beans started indoors by April 25 and the squash by April 30; plant outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

On schedule, but waiting for rototilling.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my sf novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday Sunday.

Fine so far.

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

Also up to date.

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecoming/109303925759274

Barely made it Sunday, but no problem the rest of the week.

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

The weather is intermittent showers—not heavy, but I’ve been chased in several times from the garden, and I don’t want to risk getting wet miles from home—it’s still too cold! I’d say I’ve made it given that I specified “when the weather cooperates.”.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible.

Done, but I still would like to find a beta reader. Any volunteers?

The sun rose this morning at 4:54, and it won’t set until 10:44 this evening for 17 hours 50 minutes of daylight. We’re still gaining about 7 minutes a day. The real daylight, if you include civil twilight, is even longer – civil twilight ends after midnight, at 12:07 in the morning, and begins again at 3:27. Yes, that means it’s still pretty light at bedtime. Even at solar midnight the sky is dark blue rather than black, and the super moon Saturday night never rose above the trees to the south.

Seedlings May 6

Beans and herbs hardening off.

It’s warming fast, though nighttime frosts are still more likely than not. The beans have not only sprouted, they are growing so fast I’ve started putting them outdoors during the daytime. We’ve even had our first thunder of the season — earliest in 27 years.

#Writemotivation Check in:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, I’ll try to get the beans started indoors by April 25 and the squash by April 30; plant outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

Far too early to plant anything (it’s still freezing at night) but the beans are up and hardening, the squash is beginning to sprout, and I made the hoops yesterday.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my sf novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday Sunday. https://homecomingbook.wordpress.com/

So far so good.

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

So far so good, also.

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page

Almost didn’t make it yesterday, but so far I’ve kept up.

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

This past week the weather hasn’t cooperated much, but I’ve done at least an hour a day (usually two) on the stationary bike and/or rowing machine.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible.

I’ve read through it once; still need a beta reader. Any takers?

The sun rose this morning at 5:19, and will not set until 10:20 this evening. We’re on daylight time, but I’m not really sure why – we certainly have no shortage of daylight! 17 hours today, and we’re gaining about 7 minutes a day. Solar altitude at noon has crossed the 40° mark, most of the snow has melted, and I’m putting the mints out to harden in the daytime. But at the darkest time of night the sun is only a little more than 10° below the horizon.

Violets and delphinium are popping up next to the south wall of the house.

The forecast is for quite a bit cooler this week, with rain and snow possible. I hope the snow doesn’t stick! I’ll probably get out the hose today, but I certainly won’t leave it hooked up at night.

I’m doing the #writemotivation check-in again this month, with a longer list of goals now OLLI is over until fall. My goals aren’t all writing this time either. Specifically:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, the beans have started to sprout (indoors) and I’ll try to get the squash planted today if I can find pots; plant both outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

The chives in the holes in the cement blocks making up the raised beds have reached eating height already, though we're still having hard freezes at night.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my science fiction novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday on Sunday. https://homecomingbook.wordpress.com/

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecoming/109303925759274

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible. Anyone interested?

The sun will rise at 8:18 (thanks to daylight savings) but it will not set until 7:41 this evening. Thanks, Alaska legislature, for putting us closer to the East coast, time-wise, while totally ignoring our true longitude. (Nome has times when the sun doesn’t rise until afternoon, and even we in Fairbanks have sunsets the next day in midsummer.) Anyway we’re up to 11 hours 26 minutes of daylight, and still gaining about 6 min 44 seconds a day. Temperatures are well blow 0 at night, 5 to 20 above in the daytime. Perfect for the ice carvings.

We’re suddenly getting the snow we missed earlier this year. My snow stake says almost 30” now, and I may have to get the driveway plowed again. My all-wheel drive can get in and out, but just barely. Earlier it was easy to keep the snow rolled down, and the main reason for plowing a couple of weeks ago was to get rid of the packed snow before breakup.

WriteMotivation check in:

1. Learn to use at least one legal method of getting images other than photos I’ve taken on my blog. (I’d love to have some shots of Africa on Jarn’s Journal, for instance.) Done, I hope. At least I got a shot of Victoria Falls up this week, and changed the header on JarnianConfederation.wordpress.com.

2. Continue to blog at least 5 days a week. (I’m doing 7 now, but I’ve signed up for a number of adult classes in March.)  On track; I’ve blogged every day so far this month.

3. Edit Chs 2 and 9 of my WIP to give more showing, less telling. (Ch 2 has been on Six Sentence Sunday; Ch 9 is the next section from Tod’s POV.)  Still need to get to Ch 9.

4. Participate in at least one Platform-building challenge — I hesitate to commit for more without knowing what they are. Participated in both (Give Us This Day and Dreams) and advanced to the second stage in both.

Oh, and in case anyone missed it, I found out Wednesday that my second novel with iUniverse, Tourist Trap, won Best Fiction Book of 2011 as well as first place in science fiction in the Reader Views literary awards! I’ve been busy modifying all of my web presences to reflect this, which has taken up a lot of my writing and promoting time the last week.

Ice bird carving in front of the hospital lab.

The sun rose at 7:43 this morning and will set at 6:22 for 10 hours 39 minutes of daylight. Spring may not be here officially, but sun on snow was almost too bright to look at Sunday. My snow stake agrees with the official snow depth: 20”. That’s actually not too bad for this time of year; not so much that it will take forever to melt, but enough to insulate the ground from getting any colder. Regretfully, I’ll be back to “sun will rise” next week—this post goes live at 8 am my time, and daylight savings will once again put sunrise before I get up. Only for the one week, though. We’re gaining 6 min 45 sec a day, and by March 19 I’ll again be getting up after sunrise.

It’s been on the cold side—temperatures above zero in the middle of the day but well below zero at night. No sign of melting yet, and I’m going to try to photograph the ice sculptures before they start thawing this year. (Watch for tomorrow’s post.) They are, however, beginning to accumulate snow. Never very much at a time, but we seem to get a fraction of an inch a day rather often this year.

The commonest real birds this time of year.

I ordered my bean and squash seeds yesterday. Rocdor (yellow) and Gina (Italian type), both of which I know do well up here, and are actually earlier than the regular green beans, are my bean varieties of choice; Gold Rush and Contender for zucchini. I enjoy visiting the local greenhouses too much to order seeds for herbs and flowers I know will be available as starts locally. Besides, I try to avoid pesticides indoors, and my seedlings almost always get bugs if I try to grow too many.

WriteMotivation:

My goals for March were:

1. Learn to use at least one legal method of getting images other than photos I’ve taken on my blog. (I’d love to have some shots of Africa on Jarn’s Journal, for instance.) Progress? Mostly looking up creative commons on Google, and finding a few pictures I’d like to use. I’ve also talked to a friend about using some of his African photos.

2. Continue to blog at least 5 days a week. (I’m doing 7 now, but I’ve signed up for a number of adult classes in March.) Progress? So far I’ve blogged every day and have posts lined up for 10 of the remaining 26 days.

3. Edit Chs 2 and 9 of my WIP to give more showing, less telling. Progress? I think I have Ch 2 done.

4. Participate in at least one Platform-building challenge–hesitate to commit for more without knowing what they are. Progress? I accepted the first Campaign Challenge and posted the result. Not sure if achieving this goal in February counts, though.

And I received notice that my second novel, Tourist Trap, is a finalist in the Reader Views Literary Awards contest! So I’m on track, at least.

The sun will rise today at 8:33 and set at 5:37, for 8 hours 47 minutes of daylight. We’re gaining 6 minutes 49 seconds a day now, and the run rises over 14° above the horizon. On clear days like yesterday the sun is blindingly bright on the snow, and tracks are easy to see. Temperatures are actually a little warm for this time of year – lows around 5 to 10 below, highs in the teens and 20’s. Actually much better than a thaw that won’t last.

The hole in the snow festoon is unchanged. I have a feeling that most of the gradual movement of the snow occurs when the temperature is relatively warm. That’s certainly true of glacier ice, and it seems reasonable to expect it of the ice bridges holding the flakes together.

Yesterday morning I saw some quite unexpected tracks. A moose had wandered into the yard and perambulated around it. The end of one raised bed was pretty well cleared off – do moose like lavender and rosemary? I didn’t actually pull either last fall.

It’s not weather, but I’ll be adding to the weather reports for the next month. I’ve signed up for WriteMotivation for March. The Challenges are:

1. Make a list of realistic goals for the month – and achieve them.

2. Make a Blog Post every week (preferably Monday, but if you don’t post on Mondays just add it to the next day you would normally post ). This is to help us keep tabs on our own progress, and for others to cheer us on if it’s a difficult week. Please link to the post in the #writemotivation hashtag

3. Visit your #writemotivation team mates blogs, and participate in the #writemotivation hashtag to cheer people on

My goals?

1. Learn to use at least one legal method of getting images other than photos I’ve taken on my blog. (I’d love to have some shots of Africa on Jarn’s Journal, for instance.)

2. Continue to blog at least 5 days a week. (I’m doing 7 now, but I’ve signed up for a number of adult classes in March.)

3. Edit Chs 2 and 9 of my WIP to give more showing, less telling. (Ch 2 has been on Six Sentence Sunday; Ch 9 is the next section from Tod’s POV.)

4. Participate in at least one Platform-building challenge — I hesitate to commit for more without knowing what they are. The first one’s out today. Wish me luck!