An Inspirational Stretch: September 21, 2014

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Do you ever get the feeling your head might explode with the force of all the ideas brewing inside, just waiting to be burst forth and be turned into reality? Like, whatever you do, it comes with three bright shiny new inspirations attached, like colorful leaves whisked along on an autumn gust?

Have I ever mentioned that I love fall?! ;D

It’s been a tumbling of ideas for me, this session. I often have a lull, this close to the end of the round, where I naturally slow down and assess. But this time, the assessing seems to be happening on the fly in a blustery, hurly-burly fashion that feels almost physical, and urges me on. For instance:

  • I had a breakthrough Friday! I discovered the calendar app on my computer, and how to set up a project list. It helped me focus on my targets, and I was more productive, went to sleep knowing what my first projects would be. My dreams were fertile, and I was able to get right into the flow today. I feel like this could be something big in my life…

With only a few days left in Round 3, and a few more before October, how are you feeling?

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3909/15311519021_c3a50c7f50.jpg

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 have two CandC posts drafted (bonus this week!) in my drafts file; and I had an inspiration regarding how to use the Comments Source File I’ve been saving; now 7 pages long. I’m excited to play with the concept, but I’m not quite ready to talk about it yet! =) 0/3 Queued, but that’s about to change!

  • WIPpet: 1/3 in drafts; 3/3 in revision; and posts tentatively mapped out into October. 0/3 Queued; but gaining on it!

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

  • Still moving through, still getting more. Happy times!=)

  • I’m discovering some amazing blogs, and reading them is providing lots of fodder for my own posts. That’s pretty cool!

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 attained!

  • September 17: 761 words.

  • September 18: 850 words.

  • September 19: 885 words.

  • September 20: 793 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60.

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 One and Two read-alouds complete.

  • Chapters Two and Three printed.

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

  • Rock Your Plot goal/motivation/conflict section in progress.

  • 3/3 G/M/Cs complete!

  • Began gathering existing material to use in character sketches/bios. Hope to have all three done by the end of the month, so I can have all of October for plotting.

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.

  • I’ve got inspiration here, too, and I’m really looking forward to revising this scene! =D

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

  • Chapter One: 11/11 pages, and General Chapter Notes. Major revelation regarding theme and subplots

  • Chapter Two: 3/17 pages.

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

  • I found the project notebook for these stories. It’s a start! =D

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. Target attained!

  • A bit more tidying – and magnet rubble eradication.

Clean email files. On target.

  • I remembered that email is simple to go through on my Kindle, and made great strides on this goal.

Continue the family room reset.Target attained!

  • I‘d been stymied on this for a few weeks; but I’ve had an inspiration here, too – and it’s going to solve at least three different clutter issues! Much more to come on this goal! =)

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 think I’m in love! =)

Develop Daily Hometending Frames. On target.

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

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. Target attained!

  • Email clearing; scheduling; reading review book; setting Halloween plans.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. On target.

  • Plans in the works for apple picking and a trip to a local “amusement farm”.

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

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

  • 5/5; 3 smoothies; 2 salads.

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

  • Yogurt: 3/2; nuts 2/2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Cheer the ROWers to the finish line!

Second-Serving Sunday: Inspiration Edition!

 

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

Do you think there’s something magical about the shift from summer into autumn? For me, it’s a time of inspiration that tangles with an urge to do stuff before the long hibernation that is an upstate New York winter.

I have lots of projects going, more in mind, and even more coalescing. I’m taking advantage of this energy, so I’ll keep this intro short and bouncy. Stuff’s happening, I’m inspired, and I hope you are, too! =)

Recently at shanjeniah:

Second-Serving Sunday: I’m Back! Edition”

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Average? Well, Maybe Not! I use the prompt “Average” to compare school’s focus on averages and our not-so-average unschooled life.

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

ROW80 Updates:

What’s Next:

My focus for September is on revising my time-travel fantasy novel, Chameleon’s Dish, set in the 1612-13 London area. I’m also drafting another WIP, Perchance to Dream, a Star Trek: TOS/ Enterprise fanfiction novel, and the second half of a duology. Since homeschool administration is finished for the next couple of months, I’ve ramped up the early stages of planning for my NaNoWriMo project, King of Infinite Space, a Star Trek: TOS/Enterprise crossover fan fiction which is the companion novel for my existing fantasy WIP, Blood and Breath, which I’m rereading and making pre-revision notes on.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Monday Blogfest! Still time to join in!

Life Stuff:

  • Homeschool reports done, hometending, yardtending…and lots of living, writing, and blogging.
  • Halloween plans, and new excitements on the horizon…stay tuned!
  • Oh, and I learned how to make PicMonkey collages! =)

So, what have you been up to lately? Do you have anything exciting fall plans? I’d love to hear about it!

SoCS : Average? Well, Maybe Not…

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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 that uses average as a word, or as a theme.

 

Average.

 

That’s a huge word, in the school world. Grades are based on averages. Each student (no, they’re not simply referred to as people, but students, which relegates them, in some sense, to a product to be acted upon and packaged, rather than a distinct, unique human being with a full set of thoughts, emotions, preferences, aversions, quirks, and memories) is plotted out on a bell curve, and the goal, of course, is to be there, near the middle, near the average -

Grades on a bell curve. Courtesy eCourses.

But not average. Above.

Does that even make sense? Is it fair or kind to the people involved?

Because, if someone is above average – well, it’s a bell curve. Someone ELSE has to be below average.

Maybe that wouldn’t be a problem – except that schools tend to define anything below average as a failure. A C grade is -at least marginally – acceptable. But get a D – well, it’s school. You don’t want to get a D. You certainly don’t want anyone ELSE to know you got one.

But the truth is, in the school world, you might not want to get an A, either.

Other kids taunt those who are too far off the fat center of that bell curve. Yes, “average” is the target, whatever the propaganda might say. The kid who gets a D will be labeled stupid, and the one who gets an A will be labeled a teacher’s pet…

Why?

Because the entire nature of the public education system is based upon those grades, and that bell curve, and the law of averages.

I was one of the “smart” kids – but that’s really not fair. What it meant, really, is that my particular brain and personality fit well with the model schools like – I have a word-hungry brain, love reading and writing and engaging with new ideas, and tend to remember things I hear or read pretty near whole.

I didn’t put a lot of effort into schoolwork – instead, I put a tremendous amount into things I was passionate about. School was a game, and a requirement, and I played that game well – as far as the grades went. Socially – well, that’s another story. I was way too far to the right of the fat part of that bell curve, way too often – and, having grown up in a volatile and dysfunctional family, I didn’t possess the skills that could make me likable despite that fact. As one former classmate observed, I “made it easy” for others to pick on me, because I had no idea how to tone down who I was – and no desire to, either…

Defying the law of averages since 2001!

My own children lead a very different life. Averages aren’t how they are defined; they aren’t points plotted out on a bell curve. They don’t strive to get As, not get Ds, or be in the middle of the curve, with a mass of others, safe in the relative anonymity of a crowd.

It’s just after noon on Friday, as I write this. All over the country, kids are watching the classroom clock, wishing the day would end, maybe anticipating weekend plans.

Here, my son is just wrapping up his “day” – he was up all night, playing games, reading fan fiction, and playing a prank on his sleeping sister. He’ll be asleep, now, till well after dark. My daughter is just waking up from a few hours’ sleep – she was up until after 5am, so she might or might not sleep more later, – and she’s negotiating with her father on the timing of acquiring a new cat, and the specifics of her Halloween plans…she’s got a budget, but I’m really not sure she can execute her grand plans on it.

Are they average kids? Well, while I tend to think they aren’t, in many ways; in others, they likely are. They love Minecraft, their trampoline, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and many other things that are popular with other kids their ages. They love their parents, their lives, and each other. They smile and laugh every day. They learn every day.

Average?

Does it matter, against the reality of these real people, vibrant with their own individual lives?

Just your average love note?

Loving who she is, as she is!

Not to me. They aren’t part of a bell curve – they’re children, growing into adults, each in their own way and in their own time, and that’s all I need them to be.

I’m guessing that might make me something other than average, but I don’t care.

I’ve been off to the side of that curve most of my life, after all! =)

Where do you stand, on averages? Do you find yourself wanting to measure up, or would you rather stand out? Do you find the average appealing, or bland? I’d love to hear from you, no matter where you are on any bell curve! =D

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!

Lemurs, Suspended Animation, and My Dad: No, I’m Not Making This Up

shanjeniah:

Discoveries come in many forms – on grand and personal levels. This post explores a man’s research into lemur hibernation, and his daughter’s realization that her dad’s career is something of a sleeper…

Originally posted on Wing's World:

When the fat-tailed lemur becomes the most famous animal in the world, you can say you read about it here first. Unless you read it in Slate.

I got an email from my dad the other day, which turned out to be forwarded from some random person who had sent him a link to something else random. He does that a lot, so I almost deleted it. Then I saw the word “Slate” and “lemur.”

Slate? As in the online magazine? Hip and savvy and mainstream? I clicked. The title said:

Do Lemurs Hold the Secret to Suspended Animation?

What we might be able to learn from our closest hibernating cousins.

Sure enough, Slate had run an article on my dad’s research.

Why should you care? I’ll let David Casarett of Slate tell you:

You know all about suspended animation because it makes an appearance in virtually every science-fiction movie that’s…

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Stretching into the Fall: September 17, 2014

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Is it me, or does autumn carry a certain level of transformative energy that summer, for all its warmth and sunshine, doesn’t have?

I’m seeing lots of new possibilities, in so many places. It’s in the air, the cries of the geese as they wing by overhead, hurrying away from the approaching chill…

It’s in my various sprucing and beautifying efforts, inside and out. It’s in the roughness of my hands, from weeding and toting firewood and cleaning surfaces.

It’s in my writing, my planning, my revising, and my blogging…

It’s in my playing with imagery, memory, color, texture, and language…

It’s in each breath, and every heartbeat…

How about you? Do you live in a place where autumn is in the air, or are you eagerly opening up to signs of the coming spring? What type of energy does the changing season have upon you and your creativity?

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

September fun at the Erie Canal!

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.

  • Next week’s WIPpet is in my WordPress Drafts file; the following week’s in prep; with the next snippet in revision. Wahoo! =D

  • I have several Coffee and Conversation ideas ready for development.

  • Second-Serving Sunday: “I’m Back!” Edition

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

  • Still moving through, still getting more. Happy times!=)

Celebrating my study’s magical bits…

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 through August, or until the draft is completed. Not quite.

  • Sunday was a busy day, with yardtending, andI ran out of day before I ran out of projects…

  • September 14: 516 words.

  • September 15: 827 words.

  • September 16: 864 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60.

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.

  • Prologue read-aloud complete.

My grandmother’s Hoosier cabinet; my study desk.

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 12/60 complete at last! I really like the way it turned out -and now only one resolution scene to go….

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

  • Prologue: 10/10 pages.

  • General Chapter Notes.

Resting places for me, and for my Trueborn duology planning.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A bit more tidying – and I took some pictures of the magical bits, to share in this post.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. On target.

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

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Homeschool paperwork.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting. Target attained!

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. Target attained!

  • Annalise’s complete, except for attendance.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. Target attained!

  • Annalise’s IHIP complete.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Submit Jeremiah’s PASS test results when received. Target attained!

  • Results received. Need to scan or photograph them, and send then with the reports.

Views of my study shelf….

2014 Lifetending:

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

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. On target.

  • Plans in the works for apple picking and a trip to a local “amusement farm”.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

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

  • 1 mile in about 20 minutes; fewer and shorter rest breaks.
  • I’ll be adapting this goal, making it more challenging for Round 4! =)

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

  • 7.54 miles in 30 minutes. My legs are feeling much stronger, and my speed is increasing, even at higher resistances. Getting closer….

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

  • Arms:4; Legs:3; Core:3.

  • I increased weight on all machines, number of reps for several.

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

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. On target.

  • 2/5 so far; 1 smoothie; 1 salad.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. On target.

  • Yogurt: 2/2; nuts 0/2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Draft my Round 4 sponsor post by 9/25 (end of round 3). Target attained!

  • My post draft is written, and resting. =)

  • New Goal: Revise sponsor post by 9/25.

 

Who’s ROWing through the last week?

 

WIPpet Wednesday: Collision Course

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.

For those keeping track:

This is the twelfth 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 17, 2014.
  • 17 sentences. Easy-peasy!

This snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Closing the Gap. Trip’s feeling almost deliriously happy, and T’Pol – well, T’Pol can be rather surprising, not to mention, well, assertive.…to maybe put it mildly.

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

Between breaths, T’Pol clamped her arms around me, and went up on her tiptoes, bringing her face to mine, lips parted and her hot sweet breath making wordless demands. I tried to pretend she hadn’t just shocked the hell out of me, and that my ribs didn’t feel like they were about to crack with the power of her embrace.

Easy,” I whispered into one of those gorgeous ears of hers, and, when she shuddered and gasped, easing up a little on the Vulcan bear-hug, I brushed my mouth tenderly against hers- damn, but her lips were soft and full and moist, and she tasted maybe better than she smelled. I wanted to kiss her long and deep, and never come up for air, even if she squeezed me to death.

But tenderness apparently wasn’t T’Pol’s cup of tea. She grunted and snaked one hand behind my head, her fingers tugging at my hair. My yelp got smothered by her tongue as it thrust into my mouth, claiming me. Her taste and scent filled me up, made me dizzy and lightheaded. Her other hand clawed its way down my back to my hip; she used it for leverage as she moved in an insistent primal dance that needed no translation. Damn – I felt like my jumpsuit was three sizes too small, all of a sudden; she was relentless, nails digging into my backside, keeping me right where she wanted me.

I’d heard the old cliche about getting lost in someone’s eyes a thousand times, maybe more. This was different – T’Pol’s deep hazel eyes were dilated, passion-glazed, and unblinking. They stared into mine as though there was nothing else in the universe. She was pulling me into her – and I wished she’d look at me this way forever.

Suddenly, her leg hooked behind mine. I struggled, trying to avoid falling, but she held onto me, going down on one knee, somehow supporting my weight, then pressing me back against the floor, her mouth never releasing mine, her hand still cradling the back of my head. A hell of a lot faster than I could react, she was straddling me, her breasts crushed against my chest, her eyes holding me captive, telling me that I was hers, all hers – and then, just when my hands found the firm supple curves of her rear as she ground mercilessly against me, she made a grab for the zipper at my throat.

 

Will Trip get to keep his modesty, or will he surrender to the force that is T’Pol, aroused? Is this the best use of a cell, ever? Is anyone ever coming by to spring them? Would they even want them to, at this point?

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. ;)