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Not only has this week been full of time-intensive work, it has also been full of time on the road. I went across the state of North Carolina this week, then to each corner of our Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle in one day, then finally a full uninterrupted day working entirely at home. Where have I been? What have I done? What am I writing?

grandfather mountain hike

From our hike last summer. Ramsay might not be well enough to hike again. 😦

First, to catch you up to speed: Long-time blog readers will know my dog has a chronic skin allergy. I give him medicated baths 2-3 times per week and injections as part of immunotherapy. He’s high maintenance and worth it! Unfortunately, he tore his ACL earlier this month and is now on highly restricted activity. No off-leash time, no walks, no stairs, no running, nothing. Ramsay is high energy and this is a huge lifestyle change for him. For me, I miss our daily walks and his ‘crazy’ play time when my love gets home from work. We won’t know for a very long time if he’ll ever be able to hike with us again.

In other animal-related news: One of the baby chicks died not long after I introduced our first flock. Since then we acquired two more chicks. The brood is too big for their brooding box and our chicken coop is not complete. All ‘spare time’ has been devoted to finishing the coop.

backyard chickens

Our current flock with the new chicks.

chicken coop

Our chicken coop. No name yet. Cluckingham Palace?

My love is doing a fantastic job–it’s designed with a similar style as our house. Still–these chicks need more space and I’ve been giving them free reign of our porch on warm afternoons–and they make plenty of mess our powerwasher fortunately cleans very well!

Aside from those extra domestic responsibilities…

Just as I was about to leave for Asheville earlier this week (I was literally pulling out of my driveway when I got the email) someone contacted me about writing their resume. I emailed back quickly. Then I got another email from a client who had been quiet for a while and he needs 4 articles written in under a week. I write back quickly confirming all will be done. Then I finally roll along and out to the highway…

…I arrived in Asheville four minutes before my meeting with a local writer. She doesn’t have the time to query markets and is interested in having me pitch on her behalf for the articles she will write. Sounds good to me! We met at one of my favorite Asheville spots Creperie Bouchon.

I got a fast one-hour ‘break’ at the hotel to field emails before heading back to downtown Asheville to host a write-in. I had a waiting list for this Asheville Writers event and everyone came except for two people. I wrote a very rough draft of a new short story for a contest. A small group of us went to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge afterwards. I love how everyone is from all over the country–and most Ashevilleans are recent transplants. One member moved to the area only 2 weeks ago! I stayed up a bit late afterwards writing pieces for clients…

chocolate lounge

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is good before writing. After writing. Eh–just enjoy!

…then I woke up extra early to chip away at the work I missed doing during my drive. From 6AM-9AM I wrote and had a call with a client. I missed my workout the day before, so from 9AM-10AM I did barre YouTube videos using the hotel room chair as my barre. (This was a challenge–it had wheels!)

Showered and packed 10AM-11AM, then quickly drove across the street for Asheville Business Connections, which met at 11:15. This was my first time attending and it was great–really looking forward to going again. I met a few writers, a new author (her book literally came out that day) who has already pitched (and I accepted!) a guest post for later this year on Write Naked, and a former Long Islander who had lived just 15 minutes from where I grew up.

I cruise controlled the drive home without one stop. Spent a few hours on emails, wrote a post on digital parenting for a client while my love hammered away on the chicken coop, and then we went out to a late dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Apex since there has been no time for groceries!

welding

My love doing a welding fix for a friend.

Once per month–as long as I’m in town–I attend a great networking group in Pittsboro called Wake Up Wednesday. I love learning about what everyone does in town and how they came into their professions. I’ve met Traci through the group–and we are collaborating on a creative writing workshop this fall. Aside from that–she also has a lawn ornament that recently broke – and I brought it home for my love to weld back together!

After our meeting I had a quick lunch and then attended a fantastic teleseminar through the American Society of Journalists and Authors on earning income through creating online classes. Then I wrote another piece on summer fashion for a client, and two on malpractice law for a another client. There was no time to grocery shop–or even do my online shopping to pick up at the store!–so I worked late again while my love coop hammered, then it was dinner at a contemporary-casual spot in town The Mod.

Thursday’s early start was not entirely by choice. I woke up around 4AM and couldn’t sleep. I got up around 6AM and worked out for an hour, then I wrote a piece on gun law for a client, edited a newsletter, and threw in a load of laundry. Then I made us breakfast before my love left for work, gave the pup a bath, and then finally got showered myself. I had the call with the resume client and added him to my calendar. This is the day I was all over the Triangle:

smoothie

Yes, I Write Naked and drink Naked.

Left Pittsboro and got to my Durham meeting via Chapel Hill. Met with a writer in Durham around lunch time reviewing her social media and WordPress site. I treated myself to a late lunch afterwards at one of my favorite places–Neomonde. I checked my mailbox in Cary and picked up the latest ASJA Magazine and my prize for Honorable Mention in the Carolina Woman Writing Contest. I went straight to Raleigh where I worked out of Cameron Village Library for what remained of my afternoon (an hour and a half). I received a very happy email from a local writer who took my Writing for Magazines class earlier this year. I critiqued her query letter and she just got the article accepted – the editor is paying her a very attractive fee! I had no time for dinner. (I had flashbacks to my 9-to-5 days when I would be running off to a writing meeting after work!) I picked up a Naked smoothie at Fresh Market and headed to Mary Phillips High School where I needed to be by 5:30PM. For what?

I was invited to judge the Wake County Public Schools Poetry Slam Competition! When I arrived the staff initially thought I was a contestant. Haha! The true contestants were phenomenal and several gave me goosebumps. Seeing up-and-coming poets is so refreshing!

poetry slam competition

In addition to juggling 6 article deadlines on Friday, I needed to deliver Traci’s lawn ornament. Since my love refuses to accept money for welding–he instead accepted a box of his favorite doughnuts from our town’s Phoenix Bakery. I think I earned one or two for getting him the gig and shuttling the peacock around. Finder’s fee, yo!