WIPpet Wednesday: Ready for Something New?

WIPpet good!

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’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

This week, I’ve got something brand-new – as in, less than a day old. It’s the beginning of my April CampNaNo Novella #1 (I hope to do two this month, assuming I can get the second one plotted!).

So what is this project? Well, last year, for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge, I wrote 26 stories set at the Kifo Island Hospice Resort, which is a bit like Fantasy Island for the dying and their families.

During the course of writing the stories, I realized that what I had could be the basis for a series of novellas.

Transitions is Volume One in the Kifo Island Chronicles series. For now, let’s say that it’s a love triangle, with unexpected angles. It’s a contemporary fantasy/romance, or at least that’s what I think it is now, at the beginning of things…

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 1, 2015 – no kidding!
  • You get 1 sentence today -the first one. Try not to spend it all in one place, OK? =)

Hey, Corinne – you ready in there?”

Yup, that’s it. Who’s Corinne? Well, you can find her original A-Z story here. Who’s talking to her? Not going to tell you. What’s she need to be ready for? Nope, not telling you that, either. If you’re curious, though, you can pop over for my #8Sunday post, where I’ll share a snippet 8 times as long as this one. =)

Hopefully, by next Wednesday, I’ll need to be more selective about what I share…because I’m well into the novella.

If you’d like to read a longer WIPpet Snippet, hop on over to some other WIPpeteers – you can even join in!

 

Alligators and Agave: #atozchallenge, Day 1

When we lived and worked a winter in the Everglades, alligators were a part of daily life. We learned the basics- alligators can run about 30 mph in sprints, and are far safer if their mouths are closed, since they need a tremendous amount of energy to lift their upper jaws.

Oh, and the small fact that, in a national park alligators go where they want, when they want, and it’s the guests and employees who need to pay attention to their whereabouts.

One day, as I was biking to the restaurant where I worked, I encountered a six-foot long gator by the bike path bridge – the separation between the brackish mangrove swamps and the ocean saltwaters of Florida Bay.

Oh, and its mouth was wide open, only inches from the path…

Wide open, and ready to snap closed – maybe even on my leg…

I was only a minute or so from work, but I turned around, and went the long way, over the tourist roads. Yes, I was late – but no one complained. In Everglades National Park, apparently, ‘alligator on the bike path’ is a perfectly acceptable excuse for tardiness!

American Alligator. Public domain image, courtesy EvergladesNPS, via Flickr.

**

I have another alligator story, this one about a water encounter. My Accomplice and I had taken a canoe out onto Nine Mile Pond (more about the pond, when we get to N!). We’d paddled there once before, so we were somewhat familiar with the terrain.

I was in the front of the canoe, approaching a large driftwood log, when I realized that I hadn’t seen any driftwood there the last time we’d canoed the pond. Just at that moment, my Accomplice said something I won’t repeat because these are family posts, but it ended in “—that’s an alligator!”

In one of those moments of synchronicity, that was the exact moment when my paddle clunked into the ‘driftwood’, which stared at me out of a yellow eye, then submerged, to surface some distance away, with a hissing roar.

We laughed every few minutes the rest of the time we were paddling! Of course, it was funny mostly because we didn’t actually have to contend with the jaws of that particular piece of driftwood, which would have been an entirely different type of story…

Plateau Agave, courtesy of Grand Canyon, NPS via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

And now, as promised, an agave tale…

My Accomplice and I had an argument while hiking the Grand Canyon’s Grandview Trail. In those days, I had a tendency to stalk off when I was mad. This time, I was stomping alone down the trail, when I came around a switchback, and there was an agave plant –

Let me interrupt myself here to tell you a little about agave, in case you’re from a place where you don’t know about them. Agaves are a succulent plant, sometimes also called a century plant, because they blossom just once, and then die. Like many desert plants, they’re also equipped with extremely sharp spines.

Okay, back to the story. I came around the switchback, telling myself what a horrible person my Accomplice was, and I walked right into one of those spiny-tipped leaves. It wedged in under my kneecap, even though I was wearing sturdy jeans.

The pain was intense, and it bled more than I would have thought a simple puncture could – my sock filled up with blood, for Pete’s sake. For the next three weeks, I had a swollen, painful little lump where I got stuck.

Which goes to show that a hike really isn’t the best place for spousal disagreements…more on that, later, too.

So, if you go hiking in the desert, beware the agave! And if you want to play in the River of Grass, keep an eye out for open-mouthed alligators or suspicious yellow-eyed driftwood! This post is part of my #atozchallenge. Click the link to explore other “A” posts! 

Do you have any humorous stories about odd plant or animal encounters? I’d love to hear them!  And speaking of hearing, I fell in love with this song years before I lived in  the ‘Glades…

Round One Goal Update: Life in Revision

ROW paused; time to assess.

Hi there! This new year of ours is nearly a quarter gone, now. How are you feeling about things? Has life offered you lemonade, or moldering, fermented lemons? Has it been rolling by, more or less while you watch it like a passing train, or have you been the conductor, orchestrating symphonies of beautiful memory-melodies?

It’s been a bit of both, for me, thus far. Our family vacation cross-country to Oregon brought me treasured recollections and new stories…and, more, a new direction for our lives – we’re now a family hoping to relocate on the other side of the country two years from now – a monumental and dizzying prospect, at present, but, little by little, we’re putting together our ideas of what we’ll need to do to accomplish it…

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s time, now, to look not forward, but back – back to the beginning of the year, and the goals I set for ROW80 Round One, when, perhaps fittingly, my theme was Revisioning…here’s what I said, at the onset of the round.

I’ll expand my comfort zone by stretching past it, to make expeditions out into the world and into my soul. I will experiment and interact with the world around me, from the microcosm of my personal and family spaces, to as far into imaginary and real space as I can manage. I will play, and learn, and love, and grow, and share…

These ROW80 Round One goals, are exploratory steps along a path – part of the trail I’m blazing in this discovery quest. I’m Re-Visioning, this round, making it my purpose to see things differently, and improve them where I see a need and a means. Simple things, and more complicated ones…

Writing:

Write1Sub1: Draft at least one story and submit at least one story each month.

  • Written: A total of 11; 4 character building stories for KIC – “Transitions”; 6IDIC Romance stories; 1 The Earth Doth Move - based flash story – Spock as a toddler.

  • Submitted: 1 of 2;“Monday Morning Coffee”; potentially the opening of a novella.Slow Jazz Awakening” in revision for pending fan fiction submission.

Kifo Island Chronicles Plot 3 novellas, using Cathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Plot.

  • Characters chosen for the three novellas; plan created for plotting both April CampNaNo novels. First novella planning commenced; in early stages.

Star Trek Chronology Project:  Rewatch Star Trek: Enterprise; take notes and develop list of stories to write; update/complete background materials.

  • Through “Civilization” with notes taken.
  • Through “Fusion” without.
  • Background materials read. Revised versions in progress.
  • List of 2015 stories with brief sketches completed.

The IDIC Romance: Choose a fan fiction site; submit the story compiled from “Breaking Protocol”, “Mystery Woman”, and “Magical Possibilities”.

  • Compilation Draft 1.5 completed; reverse engineering revision plan progressing.

A-Z travel posts: Complete rough drafts of all.

  • List of post topics created; intro post published; notetaking for posts commenced.

Trueborn Warp/Weft series: Sketch notes for next volume in each series.

Write 750 words daily: at 750words.com.

  • No 750 words post-vacation; experimenting with FocusWriter.

Editing:

Chameleon’s Dish:  Revise all plot and pinch points, prologue and epilogue (13 scenes).

  • No forward momentum; other projects took over.

The IDIC Romance: Revise stories through “Tigress T’Pol”. (3 stories).

  • Slow Jazz Awakening” revisions progressing.

Write1Sub1: Revise “Morning Coffee” and “Peach Liqueur Love”, using Sarah Selecky’s Deep Revision process; choose three more short stories to revise in 2015.

  • Monday Morning Coffee” completed.
  • 2/3 new stories selected: The Venom Club” and “Answering Machine Flash”.

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • A bobble or two; otherwise good.

Build blog queues: 3 each WIPpet and C and C posts.

  • Not really.

Blogging Action Plan: Review/revise plan; overhaul Lovely Chaos sidebar.

  • Plan reviewed.

Twitter  and Facebook: Visit at least twice weekly.

  • Mostly.

Pinterest, LinkedIn,  WANATribe, ect: Visit at least one weekly.

  • Some.

Share posts – mine, and others': Share at least 5 items a week.

  • Mostly.

Blog views and followers: Increase blog views to 50 at least 10 times per month; followers to 700; WordPress followers to 222.

  • Some views above 50…
  • 733 total followers.
  • 226 WP followers.

Hometending:

Complete resets/reorganizations: Complete family room reset; clean all kitchen counters; organize/remodel island; and rehome pans and serving dishes to pantry.

  • Progress made.

Inhabit my study: Clean and organize floor and project table; replace calendar and candle; use the space at least twice per week.

  • Almost finished with floor and table.

Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and backup Desktop and Writing Bullpen files; sort Leisure Time Reading file; maintain inbox below 100 messages at least twice weekly.

  • A good deal of organizing and purging.

Homeschool Administration: Complete second quarter homeschool reports for both kids, due March 15.

Photo digitalization: Scan Arizona and Oregon travel photos; save in organized files with backup.

ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date

Lifetending:

Oregon vacation: Prepare for and take vacation trip in February.

Kindle ebooks: Read and write reviews for 6 books on my cloud written by writers I know.

  • 2/6 books read; 1/6 review in drafts.

NNWM local group: Continue attending write-ins whenever possible; interact regularly online.

  • Great attendance; fair interaction.

Meditation: Experiment with guided/unguided meditation at least once a week.

  • Some.

TBR Stacks: Read 3 books bedroom TBR pile.

  • 1/3.

Smart Change: Select a goal to focus on, using the methods in this book.

  • Reread Chapter One.

Starfleet: Reconnect/possibly rejoin USS Albany group.

  • Reconnected.

My beloveds: One on one time with each, at least twice per month, doing something of value to us both.

  • Far exceeded. =)

Paying it Forward: Complete at least two beta reads and promotional blog posts for other writers as requested.

  • Beta read 1 /2 stalled.

Fitness and Nutrition:

Workouts: at the Y or a strenuous activity at least weekly; with Wii Fit at least once weekly.

  • Not so much WiiFit.

Walk, dance, swim, or physical play: With children, spouse, and/or dog thrice weekly.

  • Sometimes.

Practice: Resume t’ai chi or yoga classes by end of round.

  • Found class schedules.

Intuitive Eating:

Read and begin considering.

  • 25% read.

Cooking/ Food Preparation: Develop a repertoire of 10 self-made food options that support my nutritional goals.

  • 4/10.

Maintain weekly nutritional quotas; adapt as needed.

Weight: Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

  • Maintained.

These goals were a part of Kait Nolans ROW80 Writing Challenge – Check back on April 5, 2015 for my Round Two goals.

Second Serving Sunday: The Transitional Edition

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

Life Stuff:

My last Second Serving Sunday post: The “It’s Spring, Sir!” Edition

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

I’ve made great prepping strides this week – I’m still behind where I’d like to be with my April and yearly challenges, and I haven’t yet gotten past thinking about May, June, and July in the barest sense, but I’m finally feeling like there’s a good chance I can wake up on April 1 with my ducks in a row for at least the first few days.

  • My biggest accomplishment is that I’ve plotted the first of my two CampNaNoWriMo  Kifo Island Chronicles  series novellas. These are based on my A-Z Challenge  posts from last year. I’ve got a last bit of sweeping up of files for the Scrivener setup, and I still need to plot the second – but this one, at least, will be ready to write at midnight on April 1.
  • I’ve also finished reverse-engineeering my revision plan, and rewritten two scenes of my Trip and T’Pol story, “Slow Jazz Awakening”. There’s still a chance I can submit this by the end of the month, to satisfy my March Write1Sub1, but I may submit it to my writing group for critiquing, first. The next fourteen scenes should go fairly quickly, now that Novella One is plotted.
  • Lastly, I’ve finished the notes for my A-Z posts, and will get started on those later today. I hope to have at least the first four posts (for the first week), scheduled by April 1 – I can continue on from there with a little less stress. I’m doing well enough with my general blogging, although I’m not quite up to date with visits, and have some odds and ends I want to tend to before I dive into challenge-land…

And now, last week’s features:

ROW80: The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life.

  • Penultimate Vision: Tightening my focus as I target the end of the round, and the challenges to come.
  • A Somewhat Surreal Vision: As I dive into various story worlds, and contemplate Round One, life seems a little – perspective-twisting.

Eight Sentence Sunday:

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

  • “Curses Upon  Thou! A grammatically incorrect excerpt from my time-travel fantasy novel-in-progress, Chameleon’s Dish. In the last snippet I’ll be sharing from this WIP for a while, Henry deals with a rabbit-mort, and his own feelings.

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Logic and Discord: In the revised opening scene of “Slow Jazz Awakening”, a young Vulcan woman named T’Pol considers logic, discord, quiet, music, laughter, and the imprecise nature of human communication…while taking a wholly illogical risk for potentially logical reasons.

Variety’s Spice:

What’s Next:

March Focuses:

  • Wrapping up ROW80 Round One – (done!)
  • Completing and submitting homeschool paperwork (done!), and my fan fiction story, “Slow Jazz Awakening”, still in revision.
  • I’ll look at my longer-term goals, during the break.

April Focuses:

  • Setting ROW80 goals for Round Two, which starts on April 6.
  • Completing 60,000 words for CampNaNo (roughly two novellas).
  • Draft two Kifo Island Chronicles novellas: Transitions and Generations.
  • Complete the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge.
  • Planning and plotting for Story A Day May, when I will explore more stories for The IDIC Romance.

This week, on the blog:

  • For Coffee and Conversation: Something made my head spin a few weeks ago, in a good way…and I’m finally ready to talk about it!
  • For WIPpet Wednesday: New stuff for April – July. I’ll be sharing whatever I’m writing, when I get to Wednesday.
  • Eight Sentence Sunday: Eight sentences from one of my Kifo Island Chronicles novellas-in-progress, Transitions and Generations, throughout April.
  • ROW80 Updates: My progress on my current and/or long term goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days, posted on or near Sunday and Wednesday, beginning April 5, with my Round Two goals post.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land: A selection of transitional beauty!

OK…I’ve told you all about my week –  now it’s your turn!  Drop a comment in the box, or, even better, a link back to some or all of your  Second Serving – because leftovers are even better when they’re shared!

“A Simple Equation?”: #WeWriWa – #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday! It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other […]

SoCs: Logic and Discord

Rowing down the Stream of Consciousness. Badge by Doobster at Mindful Digressions.

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: “naught/knot/not. This flash fiction story inspired by Star Trek: Enterprise is also the opening scene of a short story-in-progress, Slow Jazz Awakening, as a young woman considers the nature of logic and humanity on an alien world called Earth.

Disclaimer: T’Pol, Soval, Koss, and the rest of Star Trek are property of CBS/Paramount; no copyright infringement intended, and no money is being made.

T’Pol walked through the muffling fog, her sensitive ears, evolved for the desert, catching up sounds. Staccato footprints, their force and swiftness betraying tension in the legs that made them. Bits of conversation, in several alien languages.

And laughter. Strange expulsions of breath, accompanied with percussive sound that caused sharp pains in her head; kept her always poised, ready to face danger – danger that did not come.

Humans don’t laugh when frightened,” she told herself silently – but, in truth, she did not know if this was so, and there was a certain illogic in making any such assumption.

There was a certain and undeniable illogic in being here at all.

T’Pol thought of her small and comfortable room at the Consulate. It was a Vulcan space, quiet and contemplative. The air, conditioned to Vulcan-normative heat and dryness, carried neither unexpected outbursts of sound, nor the profusion of scent that assailed her senses here, where they lay heavy on San Francisco’s humid ocean breeze. Her meditation candles waited, offering the calm of deep reflection. She would be alone, there, and there would be no need for her current state of alert.

There is a danger in breaking protocol.” This she couldn’t dispute. She was not intended to be out of the compound alone; Soval considered her still too young and unpracticed in diplomatic matters, and, perhaps more importantly, she was Promised, but not yet bonded. She was still a year from her marriage to Koss, and she risked both the termination of the contract her parents had arranged with the young man’s when they were seven years old, and the loss of her posting here on Terra – a posting that, however illogically, was of far greater importance to her than the bonding that would define the rest of her life, once formalized.

Comfort, safety, and security awaited her at the compound. All were at risk, with her current activity. Logic dictated that she should return immediately to the compound, and her life as it had been.

And yet, she didn’t turn, didn’t return to the safety of her room at the Consulate. As she had once ingested the rarest of Vulcan nectars, knowing the act would change her forever. As she had, as an infant, touched the flame of her mother’s meditation candle, even after the warning that it would bring pain…

Now, she simply kept walking, as though there was no danger, as though her muscles weren’t tightening into what a human might refer to, in the particularly imprecise manner of the prevalent human language, as ‘knotted’ – as though muscles were lengths of rope. She walked as though the sounds didn’t pain her head, as though the odors that overwhelmed her olfactory senses were not also ‘tying her guts up in knots’, as she heard a passing human male say.

An imprecise language, this English, and very different than that taught to her by her first foremother, T’Mir. And yet, very apt. Her digestive tract did indeed feel as though it was twisting and tightening, threatening to expel the plomik broth she had eaten at the evening meal, when she had too agitated by the breach of protocol she had so meticulously planned to consume anything more substantial.

T’Pol stopped walking. Her senses were being assaulted, and she was risking her position, not only in the Ministry of Diplomacy, but also as regarded her marital status, and her duty to Vulcan culture.

Highly illogical. She would return. To the Consulate, and her small, safe life. A progression of increasing age and responsibility that might, in time, allow her the freedom to move amongst the fascinating, chaotic species which named itself ‘homo sapiens’ – ‘rational man’.

She was turning to leave when she heard the strains of Terran music – discordant, and yet stirring something to life within her, something that had stirred when she touched the flame, and drank the tikkin nectars.

In time, she might earn the right to explore Earth and her people. After her marriage, and the traditional year lived with Koss, on Vulcan. If she were not pregnant; she had once postponed the marriage, and Koss might expect her to conceive their offspring at once. It had seemed an acceptable risk at the time, but now, the possibility seemed far too restrictive.

The notes of the chaotic music drifted freely to her, and something within T’Pol was compelled by them. She turned back, tipping her head to better catch its direction, and began to follow…

She reminded herself of logic, and risk, and protocol. “Kroykah,” she told herself, a word learned before all others, a command to desist that must be obeyed, even in plak tow, the blood fever of mating-

And yet, T’Pol walked on, her guts in knots, not heeding logic. The human language English had another term, one she’d always felt was completely illogical, a mathematical impossibility. “All was for naught.”

Now, as the young Vulcan woman commanded herself to return home, and continued to follow the strange human music, she thought perhaps that she was beginning to understand. 

The video below is just a bit spoilery, if you haven’t seen the series, and don’t know T’Pol’s story…

Enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Come play – there’s just a few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos in my mind! =)

Get more SoCS right here!

Spring Flower People for Wednesday Whimsy

shanjeniah:

A beautiful post, especially for those of us still in wintry climes well into the spring!

Originally posted on Veronica Scott:

005Since we’re in Spring now, I’ll share some Victorian trade cards with flower irisaltpeople and people dressed as flowers….iris are my favorite flowers (well, along with roses) and I fell in love with these two Iris Knights to the left. To the right is a photo I took on my morning walk the other day.

I also love pussy willows (or “catkins”), which my mother and I used to gather for bouquets when we lived in upstate New York. Here’s a stanza from a particularly apt poem:

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???????????????????????????????“I sometimes think the Pussy-Willows grey
Are Angel Kittens who have lost their way,
And every Bulrush on the river bank
A Cat-Tail from some lovely Cat astray.”

― Oliver Herford, Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten

???????????????????????????????“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human ???????????????????????????????soul is apt to revive also.” Harriet Ann Jacobs

“In the Spring, I have counted…

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