Need structure? Want to find camaraderie? Tired of writing in solitude? Join our virtual office space. At TPR someone is always in the cubicle next to you.

Here's how the practice room works:


At the given date and time (weekly schedule posted below), meet at post 1. It appears 30 minutes in advance of the hour (barring unusual circumstances), giving us a chance to set our goals in the comments. Declare your goal. Work toward furthering your project; word counting, revision, or whatever it needs - you decide.

Post 2: WE ARE UNPLUGGED! announces our hour. During that time, we write! The rules: no procrastinations. Please feel free to make tea or stand on your head as needed.

When the time is up, Post 3 appears with a chat box and we will get a chance to converse, or you can comment old-style to tell us what you got done! We are dying to know!

Read about a typical first time here. I make the schedule every Sunday. It will remain up in the side bar until I post the next week's schedule (feel free to make requests for particular times in the comments - I take them into serious consideration). All additions will be noted in in the side bar. Come back and check it often. (The schedule times are listed in Eastern Time Zone but the blog posts in Central - Tina's time zone. Our visitors are from all over the map.)

Please email me with questions, comments, or just to introduce yourself! tina dot laurel at gmail dot com

Don't forget to sign the guestbook at the bottom of the page!

Aug 3, 2011

Hangout beginning at 2 pm EST

Our TPR writing hangout happened at 2 pm EST in Google+.

Here was the format: I opened the hangout to my TPR circle. Everyone should have been able to see it in their stream. We were to chat the first 15 minutes and at 2:15 EST begin writing and take 45 minutes. At the 3:00 mark chat again. And repeat from there. I tried to post writing and chatting times right on the hangout so that if you needed to join late you knew what was going on. We would wave at joiners and wait to catch up when it was time to chat.

Here is what we found:

The Google+ Hangout was a complete success (with some problems as I will relate below). We met at our news stream, I sent the hangout invite to my TPR circle and people started dropping in. Lynn (first time in TPR), Heather, Dianne, Maria, Jon, Krystey, Amy, myself with Marisa popping in and out because of a dentist appointment. Nine people showed. This number of participants would have taken down Chatroll. One thing that should be noted is I think Hangouts on Google+ only accommodate 10 people.

It was hard for our computers on google+ too. But super fun none-the-less.

I lost my browser window and the dang Hangout wouldn't let me back in because it kept saying I was already hooked up. Other people got kicked off because we found that Hangouts (especially with so many people) use a lot of battery and computer power. And people needed an invite to join back up. There was lots of background noise, but it is easy to mute your own mike when you know you are the problem.

 Heather discovered it is possible to mute someone else's. Totally slick feature! At the top of the screen an announcement is made when someone's mic is muted. Noting who they were muted by. But it is easy enough to unmute yourself as needed. It was also discovered that Word was really slow for writing when the Hangout was up. The Hangout taxed my connection and I was thrown off several times but I had received plenty of invitations from my first browser window snafu, so it was easy for me to get back on. (In the future people should email and/or IM me through Gchat and I will pay attention and hook them back up.

Since the thing is still in beta it will be interesting to see where the Google+ team takes it. And since it is essentially in beta at TPR it will be interesting to see where the TPR team takes it. I will be gone the next few weeks, but Heather has committed to trying at least one other Hangout again I am gone. I would like to have Google+ Hangouts once a week starting in September when I return. And I'm committed to trying other things as well. Maybe the format here needs to be changed up to bring in new energy to the whole unplugging phenomena. Read Amy's post about the Google+ Hangout here. I like her idea of writing and chatting Pomodoro style. Keeping the writing sessions to 25 minutes and the chats shorter and more frequent in between. That will be the next write-in format.

Thanks all who came - it was lovely to see your faces. Anyone else want to join next time? Email or comment below and I will help you get set up with Google+.

Hangouts are reason enough to fuss with the new social media venture.

Post 3: Reconvention!

Don't remember who was here :/.


Unpluggage runs from 8 until 9 am est. Meet at post 3 for the chat.

Post 1: Unpluggage begins at 8 am eastern.

Let me know you will write with me. Leave a comment.