Multi-Tasking vs. Multi-Focusing—Be Fruitful Not Busy

shanjeniah:

As another round of ROW80, and another NaNoWriMo approach, a timely (and really funny!) post about fruitfulness….and there are Bonus Felines, too!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 10.33.50 AM

I know people are being polite when they begin messages/conversations with, “Kristen, I know you have been busy but…” Lord, I work hard not to be busy. I don’t believe humans are called to be busy, rather we’re called to be fruitful. 

Now, I’ll warn you. The world will relentlessly preach the opposite—namely because the world has something to sell to make us “more productive”…and then, when we have a nervous breakdown from doing a thousand things at one time, there are meds, vacations and Snuggies for sale.

The Hard “Science”

Laundry multiplies when left alone too long. My inside sources (The Dust Bunnies) tell me the dirty laundry, when left too long to their own devices start forming cults, particularly “The Whites.” According to The Bunnies, laundry apparently must sacrifice a sock to their god—Dry-Ur—every load so Dry-Ur will not smite them.

Um what else did you think…

View original 1,098 more words

Coffee and Conversation: Lower Education Cover Reveal!

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while. It’s time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

Soooo…read any good books lately? I tend to do most of my book reading in the late fall through early spring months, which means I’m currently gearing up for a surge of word-bliss. And, in that vein, today I’m turning this space over to my fellow WIPpeteer, A.M. Leibowitz, to share her coming attraction with us.

It’s lovely to see you here, A.M.! I’ve saved you the best seat in the midst of my lovely chaos; and I see you’ve got your cuppa in hand, so I’ll sit back and read along.

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Lower Education
By A. M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Publication date: November 1, 2014

Cover:

Lower Education Cover

Synopsis:

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.

That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.

Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

 

Phin got out of the car...

Excerpt 1:

Alex spun around and threw his hands in the air. “Why are you still here? Go find someone else to bother.”

“What if I think the information you have is more valuable?” Phin crossed his arms and tilted his head, jutting out his chin.

“And what if I think you’re wasting your time? I have nothing here that would be of interest to you.”

The corner of Phin’s mouth curled upward. “I would say you’re mistaken. There’s plenty here for me to take interest in.” His gaze traveled downward slowly, making Alex feel exposed. Heat spread across his face, followed by a surge of anger. Placing his hands on the table and leaning toward Phin, Alex replied, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but it won’t work on me. Is this how you’ve handled your other clients?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, you do.”

“All right, you got me.” Phin chuckled softly. He moved in closer and lowered his voice. “I once signed an entire multi-year textbook contract on my appeal alone.” His smile faltered, and he looked away briefly. He snapped his attention back to Alex and narrowed his eyes. “You’re not the most difficult client I’ve ever worked with, though it’s close.”

“I’m not your client. There’s no reason for your behavior.”

Phin licked his lips. “I didn’t make a mistake in the bar the other night.”

Get in a fight with a feather duster?

Excerpt 2:

He pulled out his phone and glanced at it. “Listen, I need to go. Dani, what time do you want me to come over to help Jake draw his display board?”

“Is nine okay? We need to be at the school by eleven to set up, and the fair starts at noon.”

“Sure thing.” He grinned at the group. “Good night, ladies. Alex.” Once again, his face colored just a little when his eyes flicked to Alex. With that, he was off.

Dani watched him go, shaking her head. “Pied piper,” she muttered.

“What?” Eunice asked.

“You know—the pied piper. He got everyone to follow after him, thinking he was solving the town’s rat problem, only then he stole the children.” She laughed. “I’m just being paranoid. Where are the kids? We should get going—long day tomorrow.”

Elegant and sensual dance

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

 

Phin closed the gap and kissed him

Find me on the Internet:

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

Make US feel good steamy

Well, that was quite delicious, A.M – and my coffee’s still steaming! I’m delighted that you stopped by to share, and now I’m even more excited to read the book! =D

Second-Serving Sunday: Betwixt and Between Edition

 

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead, in my little corner of the blogosphere

I’ve been – busy.  No, that’s not the perfect word, but it’ll do.  Inspiration has led to action, and more inspiration, and more action, and…

I’m engaged in many things, and, maybe predictably, I don’t have a lot else to say…So, on to the good stuff! =D

 

Recently at shanjeniah:

Second-Serving Sunday: Inspiration Edition!

  • It was an inspiring week filled with ideas, explorations, and wonder…click on the links to take a peek into the past!

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • First Things First? A prompt to use an ordinal number leads me on a ramble about prioritizing when all parts seem equal, birth order, and the changing season.

A Sprinkling of Seasonings: The bits of this and that I added to the mix!

ROW80 Updates:

 

What’s Next:

My fiction writing plans for the last days of September, and the beginning of October:

  • Continue revising my time-travel fantasy novel, Chameleon’s Dish (title subject to change), set in the 1612-13 London area.
  • Continue drafting Perchance to Dream, the Star Trek: TOS/ Enterprise fanfiction companion novel to my original fantasy, The Stars are Fire.
  • Complete character sketches and biographies, and begin plotting my NaNoWriMo project, The Earth Doth Move (title changed), another Star Trek: TOS/Enterprise crossover fan fiction which is the companion novel to my existing fantasy WIP, Blood and Breath, which I’m rereading and making pre-revision notations.
  • FutureLearn Shakespeare and His World: This is a free class that begins tomorrow! Bee Halton clued me in, and deserves HUGE thanks! It’ll be fun, and #itswritingresearch! =D
  • OctPoWriMo: 31 poems in 31 days! I’ll be writing a new poem each day, as well as revising the one I wrote on that date 2 years ago. Fun and poetic times await! =D
  • Unknown Worlds Review- Continue revising 3 stories for submission here by October 31.

And on the blog:

  • For Coffee and Conversation, A special treat this week – my friend and fellow WIPpeteer, Amy Leibowitz, is having a Cover Reveal! Come learn more about her upcoming novel, Lower Education. We’ve got the cover, and we get to peek inside!
  • WIPpet Wednesday will host another excerpt from my Story a Day May exploration, The IDIC Romance I’ll be picking up where I left off last week, with Kroykah?, the fourteenth installment of “Tigress T’Pol”. Will Trip‘s efforts to slow down T’Pol’s amorous onslaught save her from her primal instincts, before they reach the point of no return?
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), I’ll be writing a stream-of-consciousness post on the weekly prompt.
  • ROW80 Updates: It’s a break for A Round of Words in 80 Days. I’ll be doing an evaluation of my yearly goals, and then relaxing until Round 4 begins on October 6.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

  • And because I can’t get enough of these two…

Life Stuff:

  • Lots of hometending, yardtending, and getting ready for winter.
  • And relaxing while I wrap up some things and move others forward, during the ROW80 break.
  • Apple picking and enjoying the fall weather.

So, what have you been up to this week? Any exciting fall plans for next week? I’d love to hear about it!

Trip-le Exposure? Me taking a picture of my Kindle, playing the Enterprise, while the sliding door behind me reflects the woods and lakes…neat, huh?!

SoCS : First Things First?

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme.

The idea is simple – post an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt – this week’s is to write a post which uses an ordinal number.

I’m running late to SoCS this week – and, since that’s the topic of my post, I’m going to dispense with introductions, and get right to it.

First Things First…

That’s an old line, and one I heard a lot while I was growing up. It’s intended to help with prioritizing, with working through a list item by item, with the most important steps coming first.

But…

What if it all feels equally important. What if the list holds steps for several projects, and most of the things on it could legitimately come first?

That’s me, with this week’s SoCS post.

I meant to look at the prompt on Friday, early in the day, like I usually do.

But I needed to do something else, first. My house is in a state of flux; we’re moving furniture, repurposing, and getting ready for winter, when we’ll be spending a lot more time home and indoors. We’ve been dragging our feet for months, and, this week, we were suddenly motivated. So now there are several areas of the house with piles of items and half-organized storage furniture, all begging for me to Do. Me. First!

And there was that pile of firewood, and the chaos by the woodstove. We’ll be needing a fire at night within the next few weeks, and I’ve been putting off bringing the firewood in and cleaning out the clutter accumulated in the warmer months. A couple of nights of late-fall chill, before October, told me that I’d better do something about that, first, if I don’t want to be rushing around in another week.

I have a sponsor post to write and submit for a group I belong to. I was later than I wanted to be last round; this time, I want to have it done and submitted before the challenge starts, so I drafted it first.

I promised a writer friend I would read and review her book. I know how things like that can get pushed aside; so I read it first.

I’ve told two other writers I would participate in their book promotions, and both had firm dates for their cover reveals. I needed to track down the information and add it to my calendar app, first, before I forgot and dropped the ball on my promises.

 

I just popped a lens out of my reading glasses while I was writing the last paragraph. I was wondering what would be in this paragraph, but I couldn’t write it. First, I had to go out to the car for my spare reading glasses. They aren’t the same style as the ones I broke; they also have a different magnification. I’d like what I’m typing not to look blurry; first, I’ll need to adjust, I guess.

My daughter is often upset that she wasn’t born first. That’s a disappointment I can’t take from her. I tell her that both of her parents were thirdborn, as she is – but it doesn’t matter. Her brother, born first, gets to do too many things first, and she knows it’s not fair. Sometimes it makes her angry. Not being first, not even having the possibility of being first, can be a hard type of defeat, when you’re ten and have to ride in the backseat while your brother sits up front, or when you need to stay with a parent at the YMCA, and big brother can go to the pool without an adult. Not being first can suck.

Which came first? The chicken, or the egg? Which should come first? Finishing this writing, or a cup of coffee, or getting the laundry out of the dryer, or something completely different?

What comes first, with you?

Enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Anyone can play, so long as they are willing to follow a few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos in my mind! =)

Join in or read more SoCS posts here!

A Relaxing Stretch: September 24, 2014

Click the badge to join us for Round 4!

Wow – is it really the end of Round 3!?

Well technically, it’s not -tomorrow is. But this is the last linky of the round, so I’ll make my final September goals tally. On Sunday, I’ll update my yearly goals, and then I’ll see you early in October with my Round 4 Goals Post…

I hope my fellow ROWers are stretching and readying themselves for a well-earned restful phase. I hope that all of my readers enjoy the shifting season! I definitely stretched, in many ways – but I’ll talk more about that in a future post…I like a little processing time at the end of the round…

For now, I’ll just trot out those September goals, and account for myself! =D  

How did September treat YOU?

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions Moving along.

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space Moving along.

As always, I list only those goals I moved forward this round.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5555/14945628698_3a3cae6169.jpg

My boy turned 13 early in the month…

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. On target.

  • Second-Serving Sunday: Inspiration Edition!

  • I’ve created a template for a new C and C subfeature (more on this for Round 4). 0/3 Queued, but that will change before Round 4 begins!

  • WIPpet: 2/3 in revision; and posts tentatively mapped out into October. 0/3 Queued; again, will change by Round 4!

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation.Target attained!

  • My comments and interactions have skyrocketed this round. I’m loving it – it’s not so easy keeping up, but I will get to you! =)

  • I’m also making many more visits, and I’ve found some awesome bloggers and new friends this round! =D

Silly boy, new teen!

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily until the draft is completed. Target (mostly) attained!

  • September 21: 773 words.

  • A slower session; I missed Monday due to intense blogging; and Tuesday due to my workout and wanting to spend time with Jim.

  • I pan to make up the deficit by the end of the day on Thursday.

  • Currently pending: Scene 50/60.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Chapter Three read-aloud pending.

Complete pre-planning for King of Infinite Space, through character sketches/bios. On target.

  • Gathered existing material to use in Rock Your Plot character sketches/bios. Hope to have all three done by month‘s end, so I can have all of October for plotting.

A view of the big, big city!

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Scene 13/60 in progress – about 2/3 through Devices revision pass.

  • This will be a focal area through the break.

Throughout read-aloud, make on-page pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath. On target.

  • Chapter Two: 5/17 pages notated.

Revise three short story WIPs for October 31 submission deadline. On target.

  • Reread all material for “A Splash of Red”.

  • Began third exercise in Sarah Selecky‘s Deep Revision series.

Ready to stretch….Photo credit: August McLaughlin

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • I’ve made good progress throughout the round; this will be a focal area for Round 4.

Clean email files. On target.

  • I’m still behind, but not by nearly as much as at the beginning of the round.

Continue the family room reset.Target attained!

  • Big progress! The computer desk has been moved to the living room and repurposed as Annalise’s art studio. The cabinet that will be the pantry has been moved to its new home.

  • I can now move forward with organization, and even get some of Lise’s art supplies out of my study! Double-win! =D

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. Target attained!

  • Yes. Blogging, drafting, and revision were the big winners, this round.

  • Hooray for my calendar app! I’ll be exploring new ways to use it through Round 4.

Develop Daily Hometending Frames. On target.

  • Continuing a loosely structured plan; gathering resources for a more focused surge.

  • More on that in Round 4; when it will be a focus.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. Target attained!

  • I’ll be using the calendar app on my computer to fine-tune this in Round 4.

Happy girl at Tugboat Roundup.

2014 Lifetending:

Continue exploring fitness goals – more on this throughout the round.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

  • Every week this month! =D

Weights: At the Y; minimum 3 machines for arms, legs, and torso weekly. Target exceeded!

  • At least 3 of each; each week. Most weeks, more than that.
  • I increased weights and reps on all machines.

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program. Target attained!

  • I’ll be setting a new goal for Round 4.

Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program. On target -getting closer.

  • 7.67 miles in 30 minutes, with manual intervals.
  • Getting closer to the goal!

Maintain or reduce August body weight. Not quite.

  • My weight was up 2.5 pounds this month; but I think I know the reason for this, and will adapt.

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. Target attained!

  • Tugboat Roundup this month, and plans for an active weekend.

Continue exploring nutrition goals – more on this throughout the round.

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. Target (mostly) attained!

  • 3/5; 2 smoothies; 1 salad.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. Target (mostly) attained!

  • Yogurt: 2/2; nuts 2/2.

A tiny tug!

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

How’d the ROWing go?

International Septtember evening on the Erie Canal.

WIPpet Wednesday: Fierce Impact

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

Here’s another snippet from The IDIC Romance, my Story A Day May Challenge project. This is a Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, exploring the interspecies relationship of T’Pol and Trip.

A little pre- October treat – a version of Collide that doesn’t have an embed code, but fits my scene perfectly!

For those keeping track:

This is the thirteenth installment of Story #4, “Tigress T’Pol” . The prompt was to write a story of exactly 2000 words. An additional guest prompt from Heidi Durrow invited us to explore passion in this story.

Disclaimer: T’Pol, Trip, and all the rest of Star Trek are property of CBS/Paramount; no copyright infringement intended. I just want to play with them, and I’m careful!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is September 24, 2014.
  • 24 sentences for the day, and 4 more, from the year, for a total of 28.

This story is an add-on scene for the pilot episode: “Broken Bow Part 1”. Ive done my best to extrapolate without violating series canon. 

And a little pre-snippet Collision…

This snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Collision Course. Trip’s pinned beneath a suddenly extremely amorous and insistent T’Pol, who’s got her hand on his zipper…

I managed to catch her hand before she could pull it down – but that only sent that plasma-jolt slamming through us again, and I could feel her- hot and fierce and wanting me in an alien way I didn’t understand. T’Pol made a little cry and started nipping at my lips, moving frantically now, and I groaned as my hips jerked up to meet her downstroke.

But there was something -stunned, almost- way back in her eyes, and dazed fear skittered along the edges of the plasma-fire. Something was wrong; she was resisting, trying to stop herself, and failing…

T’Pol’s shaking fingers traced my ear, my jawline, her nails almost sharp enough to scratch – delicate, and dangerous. And, all the while, her eyes and whatever this energy was said it was all wrong – that she’d been swallowed up by something too big for her to control.

Damn, but I wanted to give in to the force of her sensual onslaught,  and pretend I couldn’t feel how scared she was. But not like this; she wasn’t ready, and I knew it. I managed to get my mouth away from her long enough to gasp, “T’Pol – we gotta stop, while I still can…” And damn sure I wouldn’t be able to, if she kept this up much longer.

Was this what sex was like, for Vulcans – or was it the blow to the head, or the stress of working with humans, or something about me and her? And, how the hell was I supposed to stop her, when she had me pinned down, and my own body was on her side, my hips jerking in rhythm with hers – and she didn’t even respond to what I’d said?

Suddenly, I had a whole new interest in Vulcan mating protocols – and I hoped to hell I could figure it out soon, before –

No. Not gonna let that happen – not like this. You’re an engineer, Trip – work the problem. The curvy, passionate, pointed-eared problem. The sexy-as-hell problem who’s scaring herself silly – ”T’Pol, how do I shut you down, when I can’t out-power you?,” I whispered, and tried to get the thought into her head, through our clasped fingers.

Her answer wasn’t in words – she didn’t seem able to speak, only to nibble at my neck, panting, her body surging into mine, over and over.   But there was something waiting in her eyes and the connection between us; she maybe couldn’t talk or stop herself, but maybe she could listen, and understand. The Vulcan word she’d used before flashed into my mind -the one that meant ‘stop’. I’d have to get my mouth free long enough to say it, though- and for that, I needed a distraction. One of her ears was close enough, and, as I traced it with a finger of my free hand, T’Pol gasped sharply, quivering into the touch, and lost hold of my lips. I willed her to see me, hear me, understand me, and said, as firmly as I could with the constant friction between us, “Mmmn -T’Pol -Kroykaa -”

Dance, spar, collide, spar…REPEAT!

Will T’Pol stop? Can she? How does Trip respond to his crash course in Vulcan mating protocols? What impact will this have on their professional – and personal – relationship?

You guessed it – you can watch the episode, or come back next week for another WIPpet snippet!

These posts are the seeds of a project I’ll be expanding in 2015, so your input is always valuable. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun… for the most part. ;)

A not too spoilery, very cute bit from early in Season 3.