A Never Give Up-Never Surrender Attitude

It’s the end of June and time to evaluate progress for the first half of 2021. These have been among the top five most difficult months of my life. I’ve always had a never give up-never surrender attitude. That has kept me moving forward, though at a much slower pace than normal.

Photo of a dart board with darts in the second ring--not one bulls eye but a never give up-never surrender attitude keeps me going.


Instead of goals or resolutions, I use intentions. You can miss a goal. You probably break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life gets in the way of your plan, take care of that event or disturbance intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention.


I started working on the second draft of the last half of the book at the end of January.

As of today, day 188 of the year 2021, I’ve averaged 2.6 house per day for 125 days working on If I Should Die. The number of words produced are slightly less than half the number I produced the first half of last year.

The last half of my first draft is always full of plot holes and snags and snarls. In five months, I’ve rearranged chapters and plugged holes, untangled snarls, and smoothed snags—at least in the outline. Much of that work is behind the scenes, so to speak. The reader will never see it. And that re-visioning always requires adjusting details in many early chapters.

It’s taken half the year and I’ve only gotten a quarter of the way through the second half of the book. Disappointing, but under the circumstances, I’m trying to be satisfied with having any progress at all.


image of a white non-gendered figure juggling bowling pins.

Many my intentions for managing my writing business have fallen undone.

I revised the blurb for My Soul to Keep and sales have slightly improved. Thanks to all you who’ve reviewed the book. And a special thanks to those who help promote it. (I see you!)


My small efforts to market my books have continued. Those efforts have given me information I hope to use to good effect when book two comes out.


colorful image of child-like drawings of houses and trees.

Life happens. That’s why I use intentions rather than goals.

It has been 140 days since my husband died. Forty-five of those days I’ve had vertigo. The symptoms were severe at first and are slowly improving. My physical therapist says I’m one of the “lucky ones” whose case is “stubborn.” I wouldn’t call it lucky. Both those events have affected impacted my concentration and energy levels. SIGH.

Four unexpected problems surfaced this month. Two separate plumbing issues took my time and lots of money. Two separate power outages reduced my computer time.

In an attempt to focus on my writing, the bare minimum has been accomplished in the area of intentions for home. I’m surprisingly okay with that.

My immunity day (the day when my COVID-19 vaccinations were fully effective) was April 14th. I managed to get out a couple of times before the vertigo hit. I hope to do so again soon. But until all COVID variants are gone, I will be using social distancing and masks in crowds or with unvaccinated people.


If you wish to know more about the biggest event during the last six months, read my grievous loss or my first ninety days. You can also read a little about my vertigo.

I did manage to participate in two panels for our local science fiction convention, ConQuest, which was virtual this year.

In the past month, the area gas company replaced the gas line from the main line to inside my house. When they turned the gas back on, my clothes dryer would not work. Since it (and my washer) was about twenty years old, I took the opportunity and bought a new appliances. And now, I can finish laundry in a timely manner.

Last Month & Last Year

Typically, I like to compare my progress to past progress. But the past six months have been unlike any other six months in my life. Therefore, a comparison isn’t helpful.

What I Learned

I’m learning to give myself permission not to do it all—and trying to be okay with that.

Joslyn Chase introduced me to Euphonics for Writers by Rayne Hall. It focuses on choosing words with sounds that support the mood, tension, and or character trait the writer wishes to express.

My friend, Dora Furlong, uses Scrivener in ways that hadn’t occurred to me. I now have a Fellowship Dystopia Series Bible in a Scrivener file and a collection of tips for writing in a Scrivener file. Those two files took time to collate, but have saved me bundles of time since then.

Looking Forward

I will finish If I Should Die. Look for future posts about some of my research and eventually a cover reveal. 

I still have a lot of my husband’s things to sort, store, or sell. Many items will find new homes through the Vietnam Veterans of America organization.

A never give up-never surrender attitude will continue to help me move forward. If you use that phrase and attitude, remember it doesn’t mean ignore yourself. And it doesn’t mean be perfect. Persevere, plod onward, follow your own pace…the journey is as important (more perhaps) than the destination. How has the first half of 2021 been for you?

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