The blog of it all …

The first part of this is a reprint from an earlier post.


Graphic Credit

 How it all started … 

In the Spring of 2009, my daughter decided to drag me into cyber space and created pages for me on Facebook and My Space.

This was for a time, an interesting way for me to become a voyeur, peeking at those cute little graphics, those marvelous family photos and the endless threads of conversation.

Actually, reading the internet on any given day will give one the impression there is not a single soul on planet earth, including our president, who does not wish to render themselves splayed out for public consumption.

It impressed some of the Generation X kids who wandered through our rooms in Washington Heights during the Eighties.

However, when a girl from my kindergarten class requested to be in my network, I realized my daughter had unleashed a beast I was not about to battle.

Who wants to hear from the kid whose braids you stuck in the ink well?



In October, 2009, she put me on yet another path and started my blog.   

I am fOIS In The City … a crazy Italian who had too much time on her hands between writing projects.

One major advantage of a blog is format. There are no rules and you don’t have to go from Chapter One to Chapter Whatever. Mostly because there are no chapters. Feel free to roam around, flip through categories or concentrate on one section or not.

This stuff is mostly fiction, people. So I am allowed to exaggerate, embellish, and wax melodramatic about anything at all.

Moving on …

To get back to the present.

I believe in deadlines. I give them to myself because I know if I do not, I will stumble through the day and into the night with no direction or purpose. I will go from one decoupage project to a book, from a book to decorating a tree, from decorating a tree to finishing the next chapter.

The next chapter did she say? Yes, I am working on another book.

In the time-worn debate … do you ascribe to the plotter or pantster method of writing a book?


Graphic Credit

If I may digress. I was born on the cusp of two astrological signs … Virgo and Libra. Two very good signs I must say … yet they are in most ways like the moon and the sun. They might be part of the same universe, but they will never be at the same place at the same time.

I was born left-handed … to this I owe my natural genius, being able to throw with both hands, and tripping up steps.

For years, I’ve tried to understand the nature of how I do things. I cannot. And my writing is no different.

I am neither a panster nor plotter … I am a pantplotter.

Plain and simple. I go from day one to “the end,” and never look before I dive into the rabbit hole.

When I have eighty thousand plus words, I sit down and read. I reorganize, take out my many and numerous repetitions, rewrite, edit, rewrite, send to my precious readers … stop crying after I read their critiques and rewrite some more.

My deadline to finish this current project is the day after my next birthday at the end of this month.

If you will pardon the pun … I’ll keep you posted.

An executive decision …

Thankfully, the blog-of-it-all does not include learning how to query, or submitting posts to publishers, or handing over posts for pre-publication critiques.

I can do anything I please. Therefore, my executive decision is to continue with my snippets and my one thousand word stories.

It’s okay if you don’t want to send me prompt sentences. I think I’ll pick up random thoughts from one of those web sites that offer daily prompts and from time to time use one of those to wow you with my amazing creative talent.

So as I continue to decorate table top trees and mini bottle brush trees, holiday wreaths, baby cakes and baskets, and every other thing I do on Etsy … I will also continue to edit, perfect my current WIP, and find interesting stuff for you to read.

And it won’t cost you a cent. Just a dime’s worth of your time.

Does anyone care about what happens to Viola and Aunt Lucille?

Will Gail have another disastrous blind date?

Tune in next time for the answers?

What projects occupy your time these days?

And how do you handle deadlines?

fOIS In The City



Filed under Ramblings

23 responses to “The blog of it all …

  1. Good to ‘see’ you again, Florence! Hope you had a productive summer! I’m 90% pantser, 4% plotter. The rest is panic.


  2. I never make my deadlines, lol. Thankfully I’m with a small boutique publisher who understands that I do crazy things like invite 3 extra kids to live with us for the next few months (that’s what’s currently occupying my time)! So glad your daughter started your blog for you … wouldn’t be the same without you ❤


    • Jamie, you give multi-tasking a whole new meaning. I had kids that showed up in the halls of our apartment, but never took any of them in for more than a weekend. Yes, my daughter was more savvy than her mom, so I do have her to thank for getting me started. Thanks and good luck with your deadline 🙂


  3. I am working on a story cycle involving a single event related to a place named Green Town. Year is 2199, but these stories really have almost nothing to do with science fiction.


  4. I’m so excited for you and your commitment to a deadline with your new novel

    Yes. I’ve been MIA. My youngest sister gave The Burns Girls the greatest gift on the world. A reunion of all and our extended families IN PENNSYLVANIA! A month plus there, followed by a Vegas trip with one of sisters and the summer was gone.

    No worries! Time to get back on the horse and ride, right?


    Soon. As soon as I have the energy. Fighting double pneumonia for over a week and I’m SO ready to feel well. BLECH,

    WOOT on your decision to continue posting your stories. Love. Them.


    • Boy, oh boy, Gloria … you have been sorely missed. I am happy you had such a blast and hooked up with the family. That is very special … and then off to Vegas? Good for you. Not so good you got sick.

      Get back on that horse and feel better real soon. We all need to hear from you … snort … snort 🙂


  5. I do so love your writing and yes, I want to see what happens to Viola and Aunt Lucille and Gail’s reaction to her next blind date – that one’s my favorite. I am a pantser though I make an outline of sorts as to what I want to happen all the way to the end. Otherwise I write from a to z and sometimes go back and edit but mostly don’t until I write “The End”. When I read about how to plot correctly, none of it makes sense to me, hence I don’t do it. They say to take what makes sense to you and ignore the rest. So true.


    • Thanks, Patti … I love writing about my nutty characters.

      Yes, us fly by the seat to get the story down are not able to think unless we go from a-z with no traffic lights between.

      And they are right … do what makes it work for you 🙂


  6. Hi, Florence: my friend coined Plotster=Plot(ter) + (Pant) ster. And that’s moi. I’ve too much on my plate. Launching my romantic comedy mystery, an essay in an anthology and crossing fingers on the Christmas anthology. I guess I had better go work. Thanks for visiting with me on my birthday.


    • Hey, Vicki … I like that word better than mine. Isn’t it grand that you have too much on your plate. Imagine if you had a sudden famine and too much time on your hands? Good about your new launch. I look forward to reading it.

      You are welcome. Hope your B -day was special, as special as you 🙂


  7. christicorbett

    I am on a deadline right now, that I’m not certain I’ll make. But I’m giving it my best shot, and to remind myself to keep on going, even when it’s hard I have this saying on my computer’s desktop to remind me to never give up…

    “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Plato

    I’m very glad your daughter put you into the blogging world!

    Christi Corbett


    • Christi, all I can say is that I am tickled for you. To have a real deadline with your publisher might be hard work, but remember when you worked just as hard and no one to help you? I think Plato was the precursor of the “inch worm” … following the marigold …

      You can do it one inch at a time. I’m glad my daughter put me here too, since that’s how we met 🙂


  8. Okay, backing up a few paragraphs then I’ll come back and answer at least one of your closing questions.

    You stuck a kid’s braids in the ink well???

    And, love Laura Drake’s 6% panic line.

    Currently, I’m revising around hunt-for-a-new-home duty and am fortunate, this side of the publishing contract, not to have any dreaded deadlines. Someday, I’ll have a home, and someday, God willing, I’ll have a contract and with that contract, a deadline. And then I’ll do like Laura Drake and panic precisely 6% of my time.


    • Okay, if you must know, Sherry … maybe I was a bit of a pest, a problem, a perplexity … and of course a major pain. And she was a stuck up so-and-so and deserved it 🙂

      I have missed you and see how life is keeping you tied up with lots of stuff to do. Yes, from your lips to God’s ears … someday you will have that contract deadline and then you can even panic 7% of the time.


  9. Florence – My dear friend, during the month of August, I realized I’m actually supposed to be ‘retired’ but it’s never actually been anything like I thought retirement would be. With the next few months, I’m trying to see how well I can manage to do. I do know that I feel a little lost in the process.


    • Sheri, I don’t think I ever want to “retire” in the sense that I no longer have any work to do. It is that purpose that keeps us young.

      When you get lost, reach out and one of us will lend a hand and guide you back on track 🙂


  10. annerallen

    Oh,, yes, more blind dates for Gail, please! And Viola and Aunt Lucille!

    Back when I started blogging, everybody said fiction on a blog was a no-no. But that was because people were pasting in pieces of their WIP hoping some agent would notice them. It doesn’t happen.

    But short, self-contained fiction is fun to run across when we have a minute. So keep it up!


    • Thanks so much, Anne. I can’t help myself. I keep messing with poor Gail … and Lord knows that Viola and Lucille are a match made in hell.

      I love doing it and that’s the best part. That and having a receptive audience like you guys 🙂


  11. Florence, so great to see you back from your summer hiatus! Thanks for sharing your process. I just picked a deadline, but haven’t committed to it yet. I’m about to email people in the know for accountability because, like you, I’ll be off crafting given half a chance.

    I’m a Plantser — both plotter and pantser, which is nice, considering I”m a Bloomer too. Love the gardening analogies ;). I went to screenwriting school, so I know how to hit the big turning points. I’ll sketch them out, but I let whatever happens in between just happen.

    I’m with Anne. Keep the short fiction coming. I keep speculating on Gail’s love life!


    • Debra, you and me … Anne and a few others … all late boomer bloomers with good stuff to share. Make and keep the deadlines and keep those great posts coming at us. Yeah, the word really is Panster … I think having a screenwriting background helps so much.

      And thanks for the vote of confidence … I’ll continue with my snarky shorts 🙂


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