Write1 Sub1 March Check-in…..

I am getting to this a little late, because I began the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge on April 1, and my second round of ROW80 on April 2.

Today is a catchup and learning day, so I thought it was a good time to roll out this update……

Write 1:

I have written several pieces of flash fiction and poetry this month.
Here’s the rundown.

Submit 1:

I submitted more than one piece, as well, this month.  It was out of my comfort zone, but I did it in small burts, one step at a time.

  • I submitted a flash erotica piece, “Twice-Coupled” to Clean Sheets Magazine.  It was rejected several days later.
  • I submitted a poem, “Le Reve des Etoiles”, to Black Heart Magazine.  I expect to hear in a few weeks.

I also had an essay accepted for publishing on the Tiny Buddha blog.  I know it isn’t fiction, but it’s a big thing for me. and I am excited!  =)

I will have more to report next month! =) 

Second Challenge – Platform Building Campaign….

Second Campaigner Challenge

Do one or more of the following:

Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)

Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts

Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)

Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts

Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

For added difficulty/challenge:

Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)

Write in a genre that is not your own

Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I’ll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.)

I would very much appreciate critiques, please! =)
The Prompts:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.



  • Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words) -

No Ordinary Magic  (96 Words)

 Too often, our modern world of technological marvels seem almost magical. And still we demand more, and more. Are we so jaded and numb that we miss the moments of true and simple magic in our own lives?

Come open your soul as we delve into the rare magic in everyday moments such as kicking a ball across a bridge on a bright cold day; artistic play with water and light; the moment just past striving; or an instant of mutual interest.

To the attentive, all of life is sparkling, extraordinary magic!

  • Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts.

Facets (191 words)

I wait, and watch, as time grows short. Passersby, all in a hurry, seem not to see me at all.

They won’t allow themselves to slow to the pace of breath, of life, of magic.

A small boy bounces, kicks, and chases his ball across the bridge, snuggled in a jacket this crisp, waning afternoon. Skipping, random rhythm; soft scrape of feet on smooth stone…

A young woman in a suit, posture tense, repeatedly plays a video of a pear conjured of prismatic water droplets. Her expression is flat. She checks her phone, then again.

Little knot of children, shirtless and rumpled and dark in the sun. All squat and stare, their intensity clear and unmoving. Fascination for small simple gifts in a patch of earth….

The laptop shifts to dancing line art. Frantic texting. Lovely patterns, lovely autumn park, met by indifference.

A girl sits beneath the crumbling old bridge with a dripping cut on her leg, a boy with wet hair beside her, his arms uplifted, then, sparkling glittering arc down to her finger. Waterdrop rainbows, joyful embrace, impassioned kiss…

Time grows short.  Enchantment, wisdom  – life…

  • Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words).

Enchanted Vision (  119 words)

Park bench, late afternoon.

Crisp September light.

 Little boy bouncing ball on wide stone bridge.

 Soft scraping of feet,

 Quick, laughing breath.

 Young woman with laptop and cell phone.

 Conjured waterfruit and dancing lines.

 Wonder and beauty on her screen.

 Rapid-tense texts; frustration-sharp sighs.

 Three shirtless children squat studying patch of dirt.

 Motionless, silent, intent on this instant.

 Attending the gift of the earth and life.

 Under the bridge, a pair of young lovers.

 Scratch-broken leg, wet hair clings to scalp

 He scoops the pond, lifts the prize,

 Adorns her finger…..

They melt together as air finally ends

 No one notices my soundless pleading.

 I know the magic of life at last

 In the instant I die.

  • Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts.

Instants in Time 

Sunlight, shadow, sea, square tiles, and columned railings become the playground of a small boy in a long red coat, following joy in the form of a bouncing ball. A young, dark-haired woman with a bleeding leg sits under the old concrete bridge; a young man sits beside her, hair and clothes dripping unnoticed as he slips the diamond ring upon her shaking finger. Beside me on the bench, my neighbor’s laptop shows the birth and death of a water pear, again and again, and she ignores it, texting frenetically and breathing in short, sharp sighs. Three little children, shirtless and dark and seemingly not bothered by the cooling breezes, explore the patch of dirt between them with motionless attentiveness. As my last breath ends, the hot dog still lodged in my airway, a lovely digital sculpture shifts gracefully across the screen, and, above the sounds of her texting, I hear the woman complaining that her time is up.

  • Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

Fruit of Life (145 words)

I stare in wonder at the digital legerdemain on the laptop screen. I try to imagine how the conjuring was done; what miracles of science, math, art, and programming were involved in the glorious fruit, seemingly formed of water and delicately, impossibly balanced. Who conceived of such an elegant and lovely mirage, and how? Was it brought to virtual life as an act of personal passion, or with the calculation of a team with a product to hawk?

Then, I am captured by the pure leaping joy of it, the ethereal beauty of the instant when it, as though from nothing, clings to the shape in a shimmering dance of life – life suspended, to end in the next heartbeat, before this breath is expelled….

The form collapsed, in iridescent spray – a wordless lesson in the momentary nature of all life.

***************
I completed the entire challenge, including the increased difficulty option, and, as stated above, I welcome criticism!

Follow the other Platform Building Campaigners!


ROW80 Update – “Words, Words, Words”

English: i think no need words

Image via Wikipedia

This will be a pretty basic post.  We’ve had our fill of excitement, for the moment, and have all been staying very close to home (excepting my trip to the credit union and grocery store on Friday).

We’ve been eating comfort foods.  We had celebratory Chinese.  Jim is eager to make pizza (he may have to wait until the splint comes off his dominant right hand, though).

We’ve been recharging, and more interested in creative pursuits than physical or adventurous ones……

The kids have played in the snow with a neighborhood friend who had a snow day off from school; worked on G-Temple,  their fort in the border of wood behind our house; searched for things they’d like to buy on EBay; begun exploring the 3D Taj Mahal puzzle we’ve had for years; helped with hometending; played with the pets; rollerbladed (Lise) a lot in the house; shoveled snow; and watched a wide variety of things on Netflix.

Round of Words 80 Goals Progress – Round 1, 2012:

 I will submit at least one essay or photo essay apiece to Tiny Buddha and Sunday Surf.

  • My Tiny Buddha essay and bio are written and proofed.
  • Next, I will make sure everything is formatted as required.
  • Submissions reopen on March 10, and I plan to submit just after midnight, so that I don’t miss the open window.
  • At that point, this goal will be attained.

I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.

  • I have completed Chapter Twenty, “Nockatee”.
  • I have  1868 words  written in Chapter Twenty-One, “Words, Words, Words“.
  • I am definitely at the beginning of the end……and excited to see where we will end up….

I will update, keep current on a weekly basis, and add writing samples to my Facebook Writer Page, and I will  update, edit, and post to both of my regular blogs on at least a weekly basis.

I will write at least one book review,  and a rough draft of a letter to my father-in-law.

  • I have finally written the bulleted list of points to address with my father in law.
  • I will let this rest until I’m calmer, then organize and flesh out.
  • I don’t intend to devote a tremendous amount of time or angst to this project.  I just want a basic, “It is not OK for you to treat us this way.  Here’s how you can do better.  Otherwise, we won’t be in touch much, in future.” letter.
I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.
  • I have gotten through the first three posts on this blog.
  • One was deleted; it was empty.
  • I deleted another that held only a link to an article I intended to read later, but which I haven’t yet.  I moved it to the new “Marketing Articles” page. where I will collect such pieces.
  • I added photos and links to the third piece, “A New Version of an Old Endeavor…”

I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.

  • I am on page 54 of 141 in my December 1999 Writing Practice Notebook.
  • I am enjoying reliving history, seeing how I have changed, grown, and remained the same.
  • Still finding nuggets worth clipping when I get to that point.

Jim and I have watched lots of Netflix, figured out ways to be affectionate that don’t hurt him; taken care of some of our backed-up family business (like paying the electric bill and getting groceries) ; engaged in gentle hometending  – things are a fair bit more cluttered here than I prefer, but that is something that will have to wait until there is more energy and focus to tend to it.

We’re very much in recovery mode.  Jim is sore and tired from healing.  I am mentally and physically fatigued, as though I ran a type of emotional  Iron Man race, and now must recuperate and renew.

I’m reading, and writing –  a lot.  Words and ideas and emotions are pouring from me.  After the figurative breath-holding and water-treading, I feel as though I am in the midst of a protracted, floating exhale…….

Slowly, life is settling.  We’re finding hints and bits of the vacation we meant to be in the middle of …..

More ROWing fun…!

Platform Building Campaign – “Belated First Challenge”

Due to Jim’s accident and hospitalization, I’m coming a week late to this challenge.    Still, I thought that I would like to try it, as though the challenge were being held this week and not last.

So, as per this challenge ……here goes. My entry is in the fantasy genre.

“Shadow-Dancing”

Written by Shan Jeniah Burton Copyright 2012

 Shadows crept across the wall; the dancers‘ forms  misshapen by the fitful  orange glow of the arytana-infused flames.  They slunk and stalked, re-enacting the Hunt just past.

Their flowing movements were like the hunting, and yet unlike, false  -

“You are displeased with tonight’s dancing, child?”

The Huntleader crouched too closely beside her, and she knew  that he would gift her again tonight, in hopes that she would at last offer him the pleasure of her furs, after the feasting turned to Matehunt.

“The dancers do not move as hunters do.  They have other instincts…..this is not the hunt I remember.”

He pressed in more closely, and she knew he was sure of her. “Do you not find it rousing, child?”

“I find it beautiful  – and count it utterly unlike the beauty of the Hunting.  Let the dancers dance their own stories, and leave these to those who lived and know them.”

He made a gesture, and the dancers retreated.   “Show us, child, how YOU dance the Hunt!”

She sprang up, circling the fire….then darted out and away, springing to the ledge and through the arched opening…..the Huntlands welcome before her, and behind….everything faded.

There it is.  200 words, exactly, according to Word Count Tool

I think this took me about 45 minutes to complete.

I wonder if I would have written the same story, if I had seen this, a week ago?

Click on the images to go to the source page.

Platform-Building Campaign – “Slow Start”

I signed up for the Platform Building Campaign Challenge a few weeks ago, and was really excited to begin with the first challenge on February 20.

I figured that was a good omen, because that happens to be Jim’s birthday and the fifteenth anniversary of the day we met.

I was prepared to surge to a new understanding of what, exactly, I am hoping to accomplish in my writing life.

And then, on the night of February 19, while riding his  motorcycle homne from work to begin his vacation, Jim collided with a deer, was seriously injured, and medflighted to the area medical center nearly an hour from here.

By the time I remembered the first Challenge and went to check, it was already over.

I have been meaning to check out some other campaigners blogs, and, as yet, haven’t managed that.

I have been invited to join in a campaign game, 11Questions, at least three times, but have not had the focus to respond to them.

The next challenge begins on March 5.

Jim is home, now, and recovering.  Although he’s in pain, the danger has passed, and he is able to do more for himself with each day.

And I can think again, and operate on something more than autopilot.

Before the next challenge starts, I am going to read the first one.

I am going to answer those questions, and read at least one fellow campaigner’s blog each day.

I may be off to a slow start, and I may still be easily carried off by other matters for a while to come, but I am ready to begin.

And that feels natural, and right.

I will be posting updates as I move through this process.

I will start by working through the articles I linked below…..

See you soon!