Penultimate, Already?! : Ready. Set. Write! August 17- 24, 2015 (Week 11 Update)


Ready. Set. WRITE!, is a summer writing intensive that provides an opportunity to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing. We set goals, write like crazy, and keep one another accountable.

On Mondays, we check in at the linky, or one of the host blogs. Come join in, or cheer us on!

My Week Ten update: New Moon Creative

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

How I Did On Last Week’s Goals:

  • A heat wave, activities planned and otherwise, and my eighteenth wedding anniversary were all part of this brimming-over week. Rather than being distractions, though, each event seemed to feed my creativity, and I was able to cross several things off my grand to-do list.
  • It was a week where I seemed to thrive on focusing on one or two things at a time, and finishing them. Some things got lots of attention, and others none or almost none – and I’m fine with that, because it was a Good Week, all in all.


  • Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: Draft to 90,000 words. Current total: 85,600/ 90,000. 4,400 words to goal. Scene 29/50 in progress. Other things took precedence this week.


  • Slow Jazz Awakening”: Break out highlighted notes by scene and topic; add to Cheat Sheets to form rough revision plan. 16/16 Scenes completed! =D
  • Complete “Peach Liqueur Love” Deep Revision, Exercises 2 and 3.  Resumed working on the “lose your first draft” rewrite: 8 points completed. Slow, but I love what’s emerging from this exercise.


  • The IDIC Romance: Draft exploratory summary paragraphs for Enterprise A-Z 2016 stories – letters A-E (16 paragraphs). Complete; 16/16 paragraphs. =D


  • Publish 9 regular features posts; schedule ahead if possible; post authorized reblog. 9/9 published; plus 2 reblogs! =D
  • Catch up all July and August blog comments and visits. August comments caught up. Working backwards through July – I’ve reached the 10th almost there!


  • Homeschool Administration: Proof quarterly reports; prepare end of year materials and submit to school district. Annalise’s ELA proofed. Glad I did; it needed sprucing up! Though I wanted to have these done this week, they’re not due till 9/15, so I still have some time.
  • Clean/tidy study. Project table cleaned; sewing machine set up.
  • Clear round table; add tablecloth. Didn’t even come close to happening. I was defeated by a mountain range of laundry, a heat wave, activities away from home, and – yeah, I’ll say it – a near-total lack of interest in actually doing it!


  • Set up tentative plans for August/September outings and events. Take into account each child’s need for social time and hibernation. Broached topic with both; chatted about ideas…getting a better sense of what the fall may hold. Also made tentative plans with my Accomplice for a t’ai chi/lunch date. Annalise and I had a Girls’ Day – a juried art show, the gardens at Yaddo, and ice cream!


  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal six times. Meditate seven times. Do one eating meditation. 7/6 for journals; 8/7 meditation; mandalas , t’ai chi, and eating meditation. =D
  • T’ai chi practice: at home five times; class twice. At home: 5/5; Class 2/ 2. =D
  • Visit the #RSWrite hashtag twice! This didn’t happen. I kept meaning to, but….

Annalise at the Yaddo garden gate, looking more than a little like Alice entering Wonderland…

My goals for this week:


  • Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: Draft to 95,000 words. Current total: 85,600/ 90,000. 9,400 words to goal.


  • The IDIC Romance: Draft exploratory summary paragraphs for Enterprise A-Z 2016 stories – letters F-O (33 paragraphs).


  • Slow Jazz Awakening”: Using compiled notes, draft rough revision plan for 16 scenes.


  • Publish 9 regular features posts; schedule ahead if possible; post authorized reblog.
  • Catch up all June and July blog comments and visits.


  • Homeschool Administration: Proof quarterly reports; prepare end of year materials and submit to school district.
  • Clean/tidy study; focusing on hoosier cabinet this week.
  • Clear round table; add tablecloth: Take TWO!


  • Continue planning/ attending August/September outings and events. Take into account each child’s need for social time and hibernation – and the all-important budget. Make birthday plans with the boyo.


  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal six times. Meditate seven times. Do one eating meditation.
  • T’ai chi practice: at home five times; class twice.
  • Visit the #RSWrite hashtag once daily, because this is my last chance to do it while it’s still happening!

Life Happily Reflected in Art, Saratoga Arts Celebration, August 22.

A favorite passage from my story:

The desire for him became need, and she was filled with it, filled with Huntlust, with the hunger for her prey –

“Forget not the nature of your Hunt, my own…” Only a whisper, and the knowing, in her mind, but given, through the Huntthread, to all those who joined her in the weaving…

Vaara must be stopped.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

  • RSW is almost over! WAAAAA!

Something I love about my WIP:

  • That I’m learning so much about these increasingly complex characters and their realities.

Next Monday, August 31, is the final RSW update – did it just whizz by, or was that just me? I’ll be getting my fingertips prettified by this young manicurist I know…and celebrating a summer of accomplishment with other RSWers at the #manuscriptsandmanicures event!

Sweetest Summertime Photobomb EVER!

Changing My Mind for SoCS

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: the word ‘mind’.Use it any way you think to. Have fun!

I’m a little late to the SoCS party  today, and, at the end of this post, you’ll have a quick peek at why….

Dr. Jillian Taylor: Sure you won’t change your mind?

Spock: Is there something wrong with the one I have?

OK, that’s the absolute first thing that popped into my head when I read this week’s prompt. I love that quote. In an often uproariously funny film (if you’re not a Trek fan, and you don’t believe me, give it a try – it translates well to those beyond Trekdom), this line Gets. Me. Every. Time.


Well, there’s our half-Vulcan friend, freshly reunited with his marbles (long story), but no longer even as familiar with human speech as he once was, because his mind was retrained Vulcan-style, and Vulcans just don’t express themselves the way we do.

So, he’s got this tendency to take things literally that provides ample comic misunderstandings.

This one, though – it goes deeper. It gets personal.

Is there something wrong with the mind I have?

Well, like most members of my species, I’m prone to treating my own perspective as though it’s always right – as though the way I see things is the only valid way to see them, the only way that could be correct…

I have this tendency, if I don’t watch my mind carefully, to believe that it’s infallible – when, of course, it isn’t remotely so.

And yet, I’ve changed my mind vastly, and it’s an ongoing process for me.

I was raised with a mindset that allowed parents to humiliate, hit, knock down, bully, and otherwise abuse their children. The phrase “Children should be afraid of their parents” has been uttered, in my childhood home, more than once.

My children used to be afraid of me. I thought that meant I was a Good Mother.

They aren’t afraid of me today, and not just because the difference in our sizes had shifted significantly over the years, so that I now have a child who stands shoulder-high, and another I have to look up to.

Unscary Mommy – from September 2013, when they were both still shorter than me.

It’s because I changed my mind. I realized that I didn’t want my kids to be afraid of me. I wanted them to trust me. I wanted them to know, that if I tell them I don’t think something’s a good idea, that I will have a reason better than, “Because I said so”, and that I will share the reason. I wanted them to know that my only agenda is their safety, happiness, and readiness to step forward into the wider world, sure of who they are and their ability to claim their own lives.

It’s taken a huge changing of my mind to go from what I was raised to see as normal, and what is normal for my own children.

And I didn’t stop there.

I believe this.

So, I meditate each morning. I practice tai chi. I attempt to live each moment, make each choice, mindfully.

Do I always succeed?

No. I’m still human, and fallible.

But there’s something in the attempt, the intention, that has gradually changed my mind. Because there was something wrong with the one I had, after all….

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing? Come join in – there’s just a few simple rules. Check out the brand-new #SoCS hashtag, or get more SoCS right here!

Now, as promised, a hint about why my post is so late, today….

Life Happily Reflected in Art. Annalise at the Saratoga Arts Celebration, earlier today. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Unschoolers Grow at the Campground: Coffee (Uh, Lemonade?) 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 So settle into a comfy seat, and I’ll pour for you – today, I’m offering virtual lemonade in a glass pitcher glistening with condensation – can you hear the ice cubes clinking?

I meant to post a Coffee and Conversation – but I ran out of day before I ran out of things to do. That happens, sometimes, especially when I’m as scattered as I was through the majority of last week, once the exhaustion that resulted from the four wonderful days of Unschoolers Rock the Campground lifted.

Now, though, I’ve gotten some rest, some perspective, and some renewed focus, so it’s time to share what I meant to share last week.

We’ve been attending Unschoolers Rock for several years now, and, the year before we first traveled to Plymouth, the kids and I journeyed from our upstate New York home to the little corner of Pennsylvania known as York, where we camped with other unschoolers in a farm meadow.

So hard to believe that that’s my now-giant boy in the denim jacket!

Exploring a horse skeleton; that’s Annalise all the way on the right, in the pink. She is a lifelong lover of bones.

Annalise and Bethany in their Horse Tree.

Boys (Jeremiah,, Gabriel, and Josh) gaming – and a lot more toys than we camp with today!

There’s something about seeing my children in other settings – especially when the setting is the same, or nearly so, year after year. Watching them in another environment, and away from home, points up the growth and changes that have occurred since our last visit, and reveals skills and abilities I might not notice, in our everyday environment.

Exploring the Mayflower II, in 2010.

Living a life anchored in love and learning, and accompanied by a plush humpback whale….Plymouth, MA, 2010.

Siblings after a day of lake swimming!

Warrior on the Campground!

Gabrielle, Annalise and Alana enjoy their swim – and their friendship.

So here, in images, is a record of growth and change – the just-five and almost eight year olds who are now, after years of annual camping trips, now eleven and nearly fourteen (that’s still a little surreal to me, so excuse me while I gasp a little…

I’m glad I enjoy taking pictures, so that I have this visual record – of their growing up, of our changing reality, of what peaceful, non-coercive parenting can create…


Annalise was in love with this dolphin!


Hot tub construction in progress, 2011!

Independence in the water….

Making a splash!

Miah and friends…this was the summer he really became a strong swimmer.

In a culture where so very many children lead lives as scheduled as their parents – with school, homework, chores, and a plethora of enrichment activities – from athletics to camps to lessons in all manner of things, sometimes not even things chosen by the child themselves, but by parents or educators who believe these activities are more beneficial- I find it refreshing to look back at these images of the children in my life, who choose how to spend their time.

Dead-eye Burton,with his best friend, Harry. Photo by Adam Smith.

Bicycling Boy – the year he became campground-independent! Photo by Adam Smith.

It shows up clearly, in these sequential images, captured in random camping

moments throughout the years…

And, during the times when things get angsty, I hang onto these images, and the memory of the things that were our ‘hot spots’ in each of those seasons, and how most of them have faded into the past, reassuring me that today’s frictions likely will, too.

2014 – the first year she could swim alone to the floating dock – and then – chill!

His face was changing….and has kept right on doing that….

With his best friend Harry.

Enjoying the freedom and bliss of deeper waters!

She seemed suddenly very grown and capable….looking back, she’s much more grown today.

In the last weeks before he became a teen, there’s a clown in this big boy – and the type of soul who’ll let younger friends decorate him!

Yes, teens and preteens are still dealing with the messy process of growing up, even when they aren’t overburdened, and it would be a gross and unfair lie to say that every moment of every day was a thing of joy and wonder. But, as these images show, there’s a lot more good than not-good in our lives, and the growing is happening – naturally, and with beauty.

Gabrielle, Annalise, and Gabriella, this July….#swaggirls smiling, and growing up before our eyes….

Does your family have any treasured, yearly events by which you marked your own or your childrens’ growing up? Feel like sharing? Let me get you a fresh cool glass of lemonade, and you can tell us all about it!

Yes, that’s me in the middle – and that big blonde guy on the end? That’s my now bigger-than-me, looking more like a man every day son, weeks before he turns 14.

Month of Paradox…: My ROW80 July Goals for July 8, 2015

ROWing through the currents of July!

Round Three is all about reflection, for me: where I am, who I am, where I’d like to be, and who I’d like to be when I get there…

July, though – July is a month of a different character. Maybe the perfect place to begin, or maybe the worst month I could choose. But here it, my daughter is eleven years old. (Actually, tomorrow, but she and I have birthday-ing plans, so I’m prepping this on Tuesday morning).

On Monday, July 13, our second child would be twelve years old, if he hadn’t died at twelve days old, instead – an anniversary that happens to be four days before my forty-sixth birthday…

So much to reflect on, so many emotionally charged moments…there are gifts in grief, even if they’re not as obvious as the gift of joy.

Presents, and Presence….

And life.

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

Floral arrangement by Annalise; image by her loved mother! =)


Force of Nature, at the Oregon sand dunes, Florence, OR, Feb. 2015. Image by Shan Jeniah Burton.


  • “Slow Jazz Awakening”: Highlight detailed notes for plot, dialogue, setting, character, devices, themes, general impressions, and things for later stories in this or other arcs. Tertiary focus for this round; good for the campground or breaks from more intense projects.

A girl with vision! At Aunt Jennifer’s, in Oregon. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Social Media:

  • ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date. I‘ve got a great idea for my sponsor post, but nothing drafted yet.
  • Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule,  attend to comments, and visits. Continue on-time posting; up the ante a bit on commenting and visiting. A secondary goal for July.
  • Share posts – mine, and others’: Share generously and variously as inspired! Get out of my comfort zone a bit with this one, and explore some new ideas… Stay tuned; this is a secondary goal for July.
  • Go on at least one social media adventure each week. I’ve been treating this like a chore – time to have fun with it! I got a little helpful push when Laura Prepon repinned one of my Trip and T’Pol pins (of course I have a TnT board!). Turns out she’s got a really cool and extensive Trek board, which I am now following, and may have immersed myself in, rather than, you know, plotting a novel. Still, I get the goal completed for this week, so it’s all very logical. Really. =D

Nightmare Fairy – oooh, scary! Image by Shan Jeniah Burton.


  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. I’ve got a flow now; ride the waves, and continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. 2/5; Hometending; weeding; planted beans and carrots.
  • Create General Categories List of Things to Attend to Before We Move to Oregon; add specific items as/if they occur to me. This will be a tertiary brainstorming list, for this round.
  • Homeschool Administration: Submit Annalise’s test results to school district when received; rough draft IHIPs for 2015-2016 (research requirements for Grade 9), create Jeremiah’s Peer Review Panel Form. These are good ‘productive fillers’; secondary goal for July. Test has been submitted for scoring.

She likes dem apples! =D Saratoga Apples, Schuylerville, NY, October 2014. Image by Shan Jeniah Burton.


  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook and Twitter groups as inspired. Complete one critique. This is a great group; time to give back! =) Two critique projects already queued and waiting…
  • Complete the two beta reads I’ve had waaay too long. Tertiary goal for July.
  • Meditation: Practice four times a week. Experiment with two new techniques. Increasing the frequency and variety will provide me with more options, and help create a habit. 1/4 for this week.
  • Starfleet: Fill out application and check on summer USS Albany group meeting schedule. A tertiary filler project.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, several times each week. Walks and chats with both kids; chats and couples’ time with my Accomplice.

Rear view stroll along the Erie Canal. Tugboat Roundup, Waterford, NY, September 2014. Image by – well, you know!


  • Make time for physical activity every day; use phone app to track three time a week. 2/7 days, 1/3 with phone (23 minutes, but it was frugal with its measurements!).
  • Practice: Attend t’ai chi regularly; begin consistent at-home practice. Aim to add second class weekly. At home practice will provide even more goodness, between, and count as meditation, besides. Due to travel, car sharing, and nocturnal tendencies; I haven’t been in three weeks.

These goals are a part of Kait Nolan’s  ROW80 Writing Challenge  – It’s also a blog hop – Find more ROWers right here!

Let this be your portal!


How much she’s grown, in just a year! How much sparkle added to our lives! What a lucky mom I am, to have had the chance to have so many amazing moments to capture that I could have put a hundred here, and still had favorites left over!



The Sorta Spring Edition: Second Serving Sunday

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead, from my little corner of the blogosphere…are you ready?

The weather is still a little – strange – but, this week, we’ve had some definite spring…a sunshower or two, with a rainbow; a nighttime thunderstorm with rolling sound and soaking rains; warm days, chill nights; fireflies and nesting birds and little sproutlets raising up their heads, unfurling from the seeds I sowed last week…

It’s also been a time of connection and introspection. My daughter and I have been taking night walks, and chatting in the wee hours, when the male human members of the family are asleep. She’s got lots she’s thinking about, right now, as she hovers on the cusp of growing up, and isn’t quite sure of her balance. She’s reaching a new level of awareness, and she can’t so easily reside in the magical thinking that’s been such a part of her childhood…

She’s unfurling, too, from seeds sown today, last week, last year, when she was a baby…

It’s miraculous and messy to watch. She’s a revelation, again and again, in this time of swift change…

And in her I see my successes and my failures, as a mother.

In her, I see hints of myself, as a coming-of-age girl who lived a very different reality.

In her, I see glimmers and whispers of the woman she will become – sooner than it seems possible, the same way she’s become almost-eleven while I was right here with her, every moment…

The hours are long, but the years are short. It’s dizzying, that she’s so grown…

And then, in a blink, she’s her smaller self again, not quite ready yet to commit to the leap across that threshold…

I see my role as being there for her in both places, neither pushing her forward nor tugging her back, attempting to be like the water to her roots- nourishing whether she’s pushing up with new growth, or resting, and gathering herself for the next surge…


Amid all of this attention to here-and-now,

some writerish things happened…


Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: Sowing Seeds

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

Last Week’s Features:

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

Eight Sentence Sunday:

Mindful Monday:

WIPpet Wednesday:

  • “So Sorry”:Trip wakes up and feels the need to make a sudden – and rather profane – apology…

Coffee and Conversation:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Need to Know: Sometimes information is what we really need…and thereon hangs a saucy tale…

Story a Day May: The final two installments of the challenge…

  • “A Watched Kettle”: T’Pol’s got a secret mission from the Vulcan High Command, and only Trip can see how ‘agitated’ it’s making her….
  • Promises and Choices: An unseen witness to a private interlude contemplates its impact upon four lives.

What’s Next:

May Focuses:

June Focuses:

This week, on the blog:

  • For WIPpet Wednesday:  New stuff for April – July. I’ll be sharing whatever I’m writing, when I get to Wednesday. This week….a snippet from Generations….the darkest novel I’ve written to date.
  • For Mindful Monday: We explore Parenting with Intention, Reassessing Paradigms.
  • For #8sunday: Ten new sentences from my Kifo Island Chronicles novel, Generations
  • For 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.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

So, what’s up with you,  this week?  Are your seeds sprouting? Do they look like you thought they would?  Yes, I’m a little nosy. Writer thing. So, if you want to satisfy my perhaps inappropriate curiosity, drop me a line or a few in the box below!

Something Needs to Change: Parenting With Intention for Mindful Monday, Part One

Hi there, and welcome to Mindful Monday! You can learn more about this weekly exploration of personal mindfulness, and access more mindful posts, at Silver Threading.

Some of the wisest pieces of parenting advice my Accomplice and I received, when we were expecting our first child fourteen years ago, came from our midwife, Stacey Haugland.

No matter how well you think you know who your baby will be, you can’t,” she told us. And this gem, as my pregnancy went day after day past my due date, in a sweltering, high-altitude Montana summer, “This is the easy part. Once that baby comes out of there, that’s when the real work gets started.”

A smart woman, Stacey.

Motherhood, the first days. Photo by James B. Burton.

I didn’t get nearly as many things right as I’d thought I would, back during his first years. I got swept away by mainstream parenting advice, the patterns and attitudes of my family of origin, my own ingrained or stubbornly held beliefs of what it meant to be a Good Mother.

And I patted myself on the back that my kids weren’t brats (Annalise joined our family when Jeremiah was not quite three years old), that I was firmly in control, that I knew how to Raise Good People.

We had Rules, and Logical Consequences, and a Naughty Step

And a LOT of conflict. I was the Enforcer. I watched for infractions, and I, in my own past words, would “come down on them like a ton of bricks” when either child ‘dared’ to commit them.

From the outside, we looked like a happy, loving family, and we were. People commented on how well-behaved the children were, and we laughed a lot –

But I also yelled. A lot. Hit, a lot more than I wanted to. Humiliated, demanded, punished – and congratulated myself that I wasn’t as severe as my own parents were, in raising me.

Parenthood comes with many moving parts….Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

One day, my husband came home, and found both children sitting on the Naughty Step, sobbing, while I screamed and raged at them.

He took one look, and called me a monster.

I was furious- my rage was easily shifted, in those days, and explosive. I turned on him.

But he was right.

The children I was lambasting for making messes and not cleaning them up were 3 and 6 years old, at most.

I wasn’t only being cruel – I was demanding the impossible – a level of attentiveness that neither of these very new humans was remotely able to meet. I was terrorizing them for their perfectly natural inability to comply.

Life in those days was filled with a seething resentment, a feeling of being trapped, of doling out punishments and demanding restitution – even when, more often than not, by the time we got to the end of the punishment, I couldn’t even remember what the punishment was for.

It wasn’t what we signed up for, when we decided to have a family.

I came to know, slowly but certainly, that something had to change.

I had to change.

I had no idea, how, at first- until I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to bring the kids on an outing with a local radical unschooling group. It was strongly suggested that new parents unfamiliar with this way of living read at Joyce Fetterol’s wonderful website, Joyfully Rejoycing, which was a comprehensive introduction to a very different way of parenting.

I remember reading the educational posts, and nodding along. Trust that children will learn, even without lessons, homework, tests, or other forms of educational coercion. We’d never sent the kids to school, and our homeschooling had already been evolving into a far more relaxed form than the lessons at the kitchen table we began with.

I knew kids could learn rampantly, if simply provided with lots of interesting things and experiences, and time and freedom to explore, because we lived it every day.

I was feeling pretty confident and sure of myself….

But then I read the ‘life’ side of Joyce’s page, and my chest got tight and my stomach a little sick. Don’t require chores, set bedtimes, limit foods and technology? Really?! Were these people CRAZY?!?!

Don’t PUNISH???!???!!?!?!

These people HAD to be crazy. Their houses must be an endless free-for-all, with exhausted parents forever cleaning up after and sacrificing themselves for ungrateful, lawless, hedonistic offspring…

No way we were ever going to go THAT far. Because that would be total anarchy, and we were NOT going to raise brats.

Dangerous Delinquents – or Just New People? Photo by Sha Jeniah Burton.

We went on the nature walk, and, during the course of spending the day with some happy families, I met four year old Lily. I’ll have a warm place in my heart for her, because she changed our lives – just in the confident way she spoke to me about her life, her family, and herself.

Lily met my eyes when she chatted with me. She didn’t pause to see if I approved of her or what she was saying. She had things to say, and she said them.

I wasn’t a “mom”, and she wasn’t a “kid”. We were two people interacting.

It was then that I knew that’s what I wanted for my own family, my own children.

But, in order to get it, I was going to have to do something that made me intensely uncomfortable; something that I had no idea how to do.

I was going to have to change.

I was going to have to shift my perspective.

I was going to have to grow…

Next Week, Part Two: Learning How to Change

Potent message, and my ideal….Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Quiet Growth: May 27, 2015

ROWin’ to the end of May, and looking for June!

Sometimes growth is a rampant, busting out at the seams affair – and other times, it slips in quiet and deep and still….

Know what I mean?

After the tumult of last week, when my daughter’s hormones were running wild and sending her into a growing-up tailspin, things have calmed down. It’s gone from being cool to hot again. The kids had a lovely Sunday with their cousins, with lots of swimming. I had my writing group Sunday, and t’ai chi Tuesday…

And some deep thoughts, some deep connection, some deep creativity.

It’s not flashy, and not so obvious, by looking at my update…but it’s here, within me. It’ll build into progress, although it may not take a form that I’m expecting right now.

Life and growth are like that.

Like the spontaneous walk I just went on with my daughter (it’s 10:30pm Tuesday as I write this). She told me it was beautiful and calming out, and she was right – moon and clouds and breeze again…and the first fireflies of the season – and a tiny, few-inches long snake that I fortunately stepped over, not on, because I didn’t see it on the road until she pointed it out and we watched it slither away.

Sometimes, a few minutes of living, of opening, can offer up so much beauty and wonder…and connection, her growing hand in mine, her thoughts shared…

Sometimes, the best parts aren’t on any goals list, but held in our souls and our memories.=)

Have you had any of those moments lately?

My most recent Story a Day tales:

  • Something Completely Different…(as yet untitled and incomplete story for May 22)….coming along slowly, but coming along!
  • Letters Unsent:  In the wake of a huge shift in their relationship, Trip and T’Pol are at the center of a communications breakdown.
  • She’s A Natural”: Trip watches T’Pol with their daughter, and reflects upon her maternal instincts.
  • Born of Us Both:  A private interlude for a new family…shhh, they’re nesting…in a blanket fort!

The Big Scoop on what I’ve been up to this week is at Second Serving Sunday! 

The past week was both lovely and chaotic….Zentangle art and photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

My updated Round 2 goals, and 2015 goals. 

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.


Continue Kifo Island Chronicles Series:

  • Sea Changes: (KIC#3): Complete all planning and plotting; ready to go for JuNoWriMo. This is a secondary goal for the rest of the month…not happening yet. New goal: Have it ready by the time I finish Generations (KIC#2). Next up: Complete Rock Your Plot Premise Testing Exercises; set plot/pinch points for all.

Draft 31 Story a Day MayTrip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts.

  • 25/31 stories drafted, and over 79,0000K new words since the beginning of May. Still a little behind, right now – the May 22 story is finally moving (second midpoint pending); May 24th was nearly 6K. 25Th and 26th complete; and 27th percolating. Next up, drafting remaining 6 daily stories; completing notes and transcription/development for remaining 16 ideas.


  • Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit. Rereading scenes and notes, compiling revision planning notes; nothing new this session: 2/16 scenes complete. Organic adaptations to general to-do list for next revision pass. Next up: Continue rereading scenes and notes; create revision pass plan.


  • Complete all sponsor visits on time; visit 3 other blog hop and challenge participants each day, on average. Yes!
  • Clean up/update blog sidebar. Nothing new. Next up: Play with some widgets! =D
  • Beginning May 1, a post for each day’s #StaD story. Post stories,snippets, story sparks; or related essays on progress or process. 25/31. Mostly stories and snippets. Next up: Continue, and develop some update posts…like for Mindful Monday.


  • Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering and yard projects minimum of 3 days. 2/5 days; 1/3 yard/declutter. Mellow to moderate activity level here, indoor stuff. Next up: Continue this trend, paying attention to my own needs for activity and rest.


  • Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends; social media. Blogs and comments; a bit of Facebook; write-in; hangout time with each of my beloveds. Much, much time with a growing-up-is-HARD girl. Next up: More of this and more patience and calmness when I state my needs and feelings. Touched-out is touched-out, but I can be kinder about needing a few minutes’ respite, too, and remember how much I would have loved that, when I was a growing-up girl.
  • Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing. Try two new things each week. Next up….something new (maybe more pansies – thanks, cold nights! =(


  • Continue physical activity and exercise – 3 times/week at minimum. 2/3: Hometending; t’ai chi. Next up: More moving; more tending; more exercise; more t’ai chi.
  • Attend t’ai chi weekly. One at-home practice move per week. This week’s move: Cloud Hands. Next up: Possibly attend Thursday class. Practice. Because practice makes better.
  • Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly. 1 /2: Breathing meditation, t’ai chi with standing meditation; 2 /2: Intentions Journal exploration and writing. Next up: Cementing Intentions journal habit.

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Annalise in February, at the Oregon Coast. She’s grown a lot since then! Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.