Read a Little…Rockin’ Revelations: ROW80 Update, June 16, 2013

Curious? Click here!

Along with writing, I  took the kids to the playground, at Annalise’s request  on our one sunny day.

Jeremiah and I watched this TEDMed Talk together,  inspiring  deep conversation (and an interest in watching more of this type of programming), and lots of hugs.

I had insights into his mind, and,  I was struck by the way he thinks, expresses himself, and looks to the future.  He’s growing up, and it’s fascinating to be a part of.

I also read two books on my KindleCathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Plot and Rock Your Revisions. These seem  just-right  for the way that I write, and I will  use them experimentally for my July Camp NaNoWriMo efforts, and for the August and September revisions of Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell.

As we close in on the last days of the round, I am seeing the next steps, while also deeply enjoying where I am now.

Here’s  a peek at my recent doings:

Noveling:

Complete Blood and Breath by June 15. - Target attained June 16!

  • Chapter 19; Scenes 2 -4 and Epilogue completed.
  • It took five years, but i have a completed rough draft!
  • WIP Total: Completed at 103, 825 of ~100,000 words.

Complete To Be or Not to Be (double volume) by October 31. -On target.

  • (Will net two complete WIPs, once sorted).
  • Write 25,000 words /non-NaNo month, till complete.
  • Chapters Thirty - Thirty-Two completed.
  • Chapter Thirty – Three planned.
  • Monthly total: 10,236 of 25,000 words.
  • WIP total: 122,985 of ~ 200,000 words.

A to Z post stories -Complete by June 30.

Plan WIPS.

Trueborn Weft (no title yet): -On Target.

  • Completed Niaan’s story arc –14 of 14 stories completed.
  • Added arc and planning notes to Scrivener files.
  • Deciding the beginning point and  general flow.
  • Rock Your Plot I read and highlighted this book during this session.
  • I have done the exercises for part one.
  • I’ll continue on, hoping to finish all of them, for this WIP, by July 1, in time for CampNaNo.
  • I will then  have a flexible, very useful plot in place before beginning, for the first time ever!

Trueborn Warp (Working title: Perchance to Dream): – This will be  carried to Round 3, I think.

  • Began Spock‘s story arc – 1 of 13 stories completed.
  • Created planning notes folder, file, and began notes of early impressions.
  • Read Rock Your Plot.

Blogging:

Continue throughout round:

Sharing posts from all blogs. – Target attained!

  • I did better than last session, even getting a bit adventurous with my hashtags! =)

Commenting according to my posted schedules. - On target. 

  • I am getting more comments, and may need to evaluate my schedule and reply process – I began answering comments as part of my cycle on Thursday, throughout the day Friday, and on into Saturday, then Sunday. Hmmmmmn…..

Completed by May 15:

Create resource lists for all features, and add to them in an organic and ongoing way. Very late, but on target for end of round.

  • Nothing yet.  Next session.

Completed by end of round:

Build and maintain scheduled posts two weeks ahead for each feature.  Moving this goal to Round 3. – pending.

By End of Round:

Draft plan for website hosting expenses (where will money come from?). On target.

  • I will be saving most of my spending money. Currently: $240 of $350 saved.
  • No new money this session, thus far.Only $110 to go!

Networking:

Continue throughout round:

ROW80 updates and sponsor visits: Target attained!

  • Visited a few extras this session, to make up for so many late visits the last few days.

Comment on posts and share as inspired. Target attained!

  • Yes, and yes.

Use in features where appropriate. Target attained!

  • Yes, one.

Create discussions around new thoughts. Target attained!

  • Yes.

Facebook and Facebook Groups : On target.

I fell away from my groups over the last months. Reconnect, participate, share.

  • I poked my nose in here and there, and not much else. Busy writing and blogging.

Twitter:

Visit on Tuesdays and Fridays; read, share, tweet, comment. Target attained!

  • Wednesday -extra happy day on TweetDeck.
  • Also Wednesday, I downloaded Tweetcaster for my Kindle, but haven’t played with it yet.
  • Remembered my Friday, and spent most of the day in #wordmongering sessions….to the benefit of my word counts! Yeah, two stones with one bird! =)

Real-life:

Continue participating in activities and connecting with friends. This tends to slide during busy writing times; take advantage of natural lulls to feed my social spirit. On target.

  • Get-togethers seem iffy, at the moment.
  • Plans for taking the kids to a movie cementing.
  • We will host my nephew, age 13, July5-8 (Annalise’s birthday)
  • The kids and I will be gathering with many unschooling friends for early July camping.
  • Hoping to get together with a childhood friend who was Lise’s Parelli horsemanship instructor a few years back.

And how about you? Are you happy with what you’ve created, lately?

My most recent fortnightly (or so) long term goals evaluation.

Progress on my Blogging Action Plan

Progress on my Noveling Action Plan

It’s a BLOG HOP!

 

Wait a While, While I Wrap Up:ROW80 Update, June 11,2013

Curious? Click here!

So, we’re almost to the end of Round 2, and my plate is arranged. I am settled in for the feasting – the focused, end-of-round wrapup and evaluation.

The surreal space of my last update has given way to…

Words.

Words.

Words.

(And Enterprise!).

I am writing! Thousands of words, between Monday and Tuesday, and more today.

The ideas are flowing, the conflict is escalating, and I am beginning to see the climax of Blood and Breath.

In seemingly unrelated but deeply interconnected news, I cleaned and reorganized the kitchen counter, and some surfaces in my bedroom. I called the vet and made an appointment to get Achoo spayed.

Yup, wrapup is a productive time…

And now, a peek at my recent doings:

Noveling:

Complete Blood and Breath by June 15. - On target.

  • Chapter 19; Scene 1 completed.
  • Chapter 19; Scene 2 planned.
  • WIP Total: 97,687 words.

Complete To Be or Not to Be (double volume) by October 31. -On target.

  • (Will net two complete WIPs, once sorted).
  • Write 25,000 words /non-NaNo month, till complete.
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine completed.
  • Chapter Thirty planned.
  • Monthly total: 2,668 of 25,000 words.
  • WIP total: 115,272 words

A to Z post stories -Complete by June 30.

Plan WIPS.

Trueborn Weft (no title yet): -On Target.

  • Continued creating Niaan’s story arc8 of 14 stories completed.
  • Added to Scrivener files for arc and planning notes.
  • New insights will affect general flow of WIP!

Trueborn Warp (Working title: Perchance to Dream): -Pending.

  • Will begin after completing Niaan’s story -perhaps not until Round 3

Blogging:

Continue throughout round:

Sharing posts from all blogs. – Pending.

  • In the paraphrased words of Sergeant Schultz, “I shared nothing…..NOTHING!”
  • It wasn’t intentional – I was simply too busy writing!

Commenting according to my posted schedules. - Maybe.

  • Monday – I honestly can’t remember. I have been writing, and blogging, a LOT!

Completed by May 15:

Create resource lists for all features, and add to them in an organic and ongoing way. Very late, but on target for end of round.

  • Only the Coffee and Conversation feature is without, at this point.
  • I will create that with my next post.

Completed by end of round:

Build and maintain scheduled posts two weeks ahead for each feature. Moving this goal to Round 3. – pending.

  • I have 3 WIPpet Wednesday posts and two Friday Frolics pending in drafts.
  • I am contemplating a change in how I post to features. More on this in round 3.
  • Pending.

By End of Round:

Draft plan for website hosting expenses (where will money come from?). On target.

  • I will be saving most of my spending money. Currently: $240 of $350 saved.
  • Only $110 to go!

Networking:

Continue throughout round:

ROW80 updates and sponsor visits: Target attained!

  • I caught up!
  • Here is the full list!

Comment on posts and share as inspired. -Pending.

  • Yes, and no.

Use in features where appropriate. Pending.

  • None this session.

Create discussions around new thoughts. Target attained!

  • Yes.

Facebook and Facebook Groups : On target.

I fell away from my groups over the last months. Reconnect, participate, share.

  • I poked my nose in here and there, and not much else. Busy writing and blogging.

Twitter:

Visit on Tuesdays and Fridays; read, share, tweet, comment. Target attained, with adaptations!

  • I meant to open Tweetdeck on Tuesday, but never did.
  • I did open it today (Wednesday).
  • I participated in several #wordmongering sprints. Big fun, and I got my writing in for the day in a more social way.

Real-life:

Continue participating in activities and connecting with friends. This tends to slide during busy writing times; take advantage of natural lulls to feed my social spirit. Target attained!

  • Working on two get-togethers that may or may not pan out this week.

And how about you? Are you wrapping things up? Resetting? Gearing up for Round 3? Feeling the rush, or deep in panic….?

My most recent fortnightly (or so) long term goals evaluation.

Progress on my Blogging Action Plan

Progress on my Noveling Action Plan

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Noveling Action Plan, Revised May 20,2013

April Camp NaNo -

Novels awaiting completion:

  • Sima Garo Provides -Rough draft completed at ~110,000 words. Target attained!
  • Blood and Breath – WIP Rough draft – 86,072 of ~100,000 words. Complete by June 1. On target.
  • To Be or Not to Be – WIP Rough draft – 110,019 of ~200,000 words (double novel). Complete by June 30. On Target.

Here’s what will happen.

In May:

Read through A to Z stories. On target.

  • I have read the first four stories, in alphabetical order.
  • Once all stories are properly filed, I will read the Spock and Niaan arcs separately. 

Move to Scrivener and revise. On target.

  • I have highlighted each story for later revision as I move them to their Scrivener files.
  • 4 of 26 stories in Scrivener.

Create rough plans for the rest of Spock and Niaan’s Trueborn Warp and Weft Genesis novels. Pending.

  • …these should carry both through the moment of truth when they choose their own destiny, by means of an act that cannot be revoked….killing Kaitiiraan, and accepting appointment to Starfleet Academy.

Complete Blood and Breath. On target- see above.

Continue To Be or Not to Be. On target -see above.

In June:

Reread and create To-Do lists for:

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

Once the lists are complete for these three, begin prioritizing the lists, so that August and September can be used for mass editing runs….with lots of focus available.

Finish/polish plans for Trueborn Genesis novels.

  • Complete by June 30, for July Camp NaNo.

In July:

Sign up for Camp NaNo,

Write Trueborn Genesis novels.

  • Goal- 100,000 words during the month (remembering that things may slow down during Rock the Campground).

In August and September:

Edit using To Do lists – in this priority:

  • Chameleon’s Dish 
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

In October:

Create a timeline if not already done, and note gaps for late 2013 and 2014 work.

  • Virtual and physical timelines for entire scope of both series.

Also create a plan (idea to plan) for King of Shreds and Patches (the ST:TMP to STII:TWOK Spock storyline which partners with Sima Garo Provides).

  • Prepare this for NaNo.

Sign up for NaNo, and, if time permits, explore the gaps, and consider further the Kirana/Andrew and Tisira/Henry storylines….

In November:

  • COMPLETE a draft of King of Shreds and Patches….remember that it must fit around and through Sima Garo Provides. Goal: 100,000 words.

In December:

Wrap up editing runs (To-Do lists) for:

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell 

Begin canvassing for beta readers for these.

  • Try to place each with five beta readers by March 31, 2014
  • Possibly rejoin Critters (a good place for Chameleon?)

Sketch out plans for first half of 2014, which will include:

Beta readings of:

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

Editing To Do Lists for:

  • Sima Garo Provides
  • King of Shreds and Patches
  • Blood and Breath – plan for partner novel. 
  • To Be or Not to Be – split into Spock/Niaan volumes.
  • Trueborn Genesis -Niaan
  • Trueborn Genesis-Spock

Flesh out explorations/ play with flash fiction for remaining “gap” novels.

  • Begin shaping into plans for 2014 NaNo drafts.

Rough schedule for the rest of 2014.

  • Note NaNo months, and be prepared with planned novels.

Noveling Action Plan – 2013

April Camp NaNo – (April 1-30)

 

Novels pending completion (75,000 word goal exceeded) :

 

  • Sima Garo Provides – Complete!

 

  • Blood and Breath – Pending.

 

  • To Be or Not to Be – Pending.

 

In May:

 

Read through A to Z stories.

 

Revise, and create rough plans and story arcs the rest of Spock and Niaan’s Trueborn Warp and Weft stories….

 

  • These should carry both through the moment of truth when they choose their own destiny, by means of an act that cannot be revoked….namely, killing Kaitiiraan, and accepting appointment to Starfleet Academy.

 

Complete Sima Garo Provides, with a May 5 target date.

 

  • Completed!

 

Complete Blood and Breath, with a June 1 target date.

 

  • 86,072 of 100,00 words on May 15.

 

Continue To Be or Not to Be, with a June 30 target date.

 

  • 110,019 of 200,000 words on May 15.

 

In June:

 

Complete To Be or Not to Be rough draft.

 

Flesh out plans for the Trueborn stories (pending working titles); prepare for July drafting.

  • Spock’s story
  • Niaan’s story

 

Reread and create To-Do lists for:

 

  • Chameleon’s Dish

 

  • Bounded by a Nutshell

 

 

Once the lists are complete for these three, begin prioritizing the lists, so that August and September can be used for mass editing runs….with lots of focus available.

 

In July:

 

Camp NaNo, and plan to FastDraft (take the class before that!) both Trueborn Stories during the month (remembering that things may slow down during Rock the Campground).

 

  • Spock’s story: 50,000 words
  • Niaan’s story: 50,000 words
  • Total target: 100,000 words

 

Finish prioritized editing lists if not previously completed.

 

 

In August and September:

 

First Editing Run using To Do lists:

 

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

     

 

In October:

 

Create a timeline if not already done, and note gaps for late 2013 and 2014 work.

 

  • The timeline should be both virtual and physical.
  • Brainstorm and explore projects that will fill these gaps, so that all portions of the saga will be in progress by the end of 2014.

 

Also create a plan (idea to plan) for King of Shreds and Patches (the ST:TMP to [near] STII:TWOK Spock storyline).

 

  • Collect existing scenes and experimentations, and possibly create new flash fiction for this novel.
  • Use this plan to create an outline.

 

Sign up for NaNo, and, if time permits, consider further the Kirana/Andrew and Tisira/Henry storylines….

  • Just play with these, for now…flash and freewriting.

 

In November:

 

COMPLETE a draft of King of Shreds and Patches….remember that it must ultimately fit around and through Sima Garo Provides.

 

  • I hope to complete what will essentially be a double NaNo…a complete 100 thousand word draft!

 

In December:

 

Wrap up Primary editing runs (To-Do lists) for:

 

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

 

Sketch out plans for first half of 2014, which will include:

 

Beta readings of:

 

  • Chameleon’s Dish
  • Bounded by a Nutshell

 

 

Editing To Do Lists for:

 

  • Sima Garo Provides
  • Blood and Breath
  • To Be or Not to Be

 

Flesh out explorations/ play with flash fiction for remaining “gap” novels.

 

  • Use 750 Words, and a dedicated notebook.

 

Rough schedule for the rest of 2014.

 

  • Assess status of all existing and planned projects, and move forward with plnning.

 

WOW!!!!

 

That was a pretty comprehensive and exciting list! And now, I feel I have a direction to move in, and a focus.

 

Also, with the techniques I have learned, am learning, and will be learning, I believe this list is not only possible, but attainable with sanity…..and while blogging, working on Queen of My Infinite Spaces, and writing flash fiction and essays…..and while learning more about the business side of writing….and while continuing to be an active participant in the groups and communities that fit me, and while pursuing my other writing goals….

 

Life, Death, and Gratitude -ROW Update #6

If you enjoy this post, and are so inclined, please leave something you are grateful for in the comments…I love knowing the little things that delight others.

Excerpt from July 25, 2012 75 Words entry…

I have been gearing up to write the flash fiction versions of the points for my Blood and Breath story arc. These will, I hope, form the basis for each chapter, with a built in sense of urgency due to their beginnings.

But today is July 25, and July 25 marks the end of Elijah’s Days.…the 12 days that encompassed the entire lifetime of our second child.

I have been living twice, at once, today. I am in the here and now – and I have sunk simultaneously nine years back in time, to the day in 2003 when our baby boy died….peacefully, without fanfare, simply slipping away forever beyond our reach….where we knew his soul had already gone….

A Pegacorn curled in her egg….

Today, here, live a girl who just turned 8 (a mere five days before Elijah’s Days commenced), a man who nearly died on the eve of his last birthday when a deer collided with his motorcycle, a boy who will be 11 in a bit more that five weeks, who was only 22 months old when his brother came and left so quickly, and who still carries his own memories of that time.

And me. In four days, I will be 43 years old.

My own day of birth is so close to my son’s day of death, that the two are inextricably linked in my soul; just as Annalise’s birthday, five days short of a year after that of the brother she never met, will always be inextricably bound up with his birth, and death….

If Elijah had lived, there would be no Annalise.

It’s been 8 years since she got here – and she is hugely here. She is a robust girl, interested in nature and genetics and anatomy and storytelling and fashion and horses and art…and a great many other things, as well…..

She is so very here, it’s hard to imagine a world or a life without her.

We would not be who we are, as a family.

I would not be who I am, as a parent….

Or as a woman.

There is a part of me that needed a daughter. Maybe always, maybe only after the traumatic experience of loving and letting go….of a newborn.

There is something in me that only awoke after I was the mother of a daughter….a part of me neither Jeremiah nor Jim have ever needed.

I think it’s the root of my femaleness, and hers; a way of embracing it, championing it, protecting it – without acting as though femaleness is superior to maleness.

Because, of course, it isn’t.

But neither is it worse…..

I have learned to let go of many many things since Elijah died, and I had little choice but to let him go, to let go too of the fantasy of a perfect and complete family…

As we were, three years ago….

We are a complete family, and yet we are not.

There is this fracture…..like the eight ribs that Jim fractured when he collided with the hard surface of the road, 100 feet from where he had been…

We’ve healed….we are healing, over and over, and yet that break remains.

A life was severed from us, and all the possibilities that life held.

Elijah lived only 12 days. The entirety of that life was spent in St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY. Most of that time was spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

There aren’t many memories to console ourselves with, to hang tightly to and treasure….

And maybe that’s a blessing. Maybe, in some sense, it is what forced us not to remain there, remembering and grieving, but to reach into our future, to remake our family, to remake our lives…

I have said, but seldom had it understood, that Elijah is the impetus behind our unschooling, although it was another five years before we even began to move in this direction.

Sadly, and perhaps unavoidably, considering where we began, we needed to live through several more years of controlling and forcing and punishing…..and those too-frequent outbursts of rage, directed at my children, that were the inheritance of my own childhood, by nurture and nature….

But, where I had accepted, before Elijah, that I needed to be in control in order to be a good parent, his death plunged me into a deeper place. I began to wonder why so much of mainstream parenting was about manipulating children to suit the adults “in charge”, and to wonder how this might tie in to people who see nothing wrong, as adults, in doing to their children the same things they KNEW were unfair, when they themselves were children.

Tiny Tiger, age 8 days.

I began to question…how does love laced with pain affect people? Are the people we call adults infallible? Are they always grown? Is surviving childhood enough? If my remaining children died tomorrow, what regrets would I have?

And those questions began to lead to a new and gentler way of being…..I am still learning, and growing….

And so, in some odd sense, so is Elijah….

 And now, for my ROW80 goals….

WIP Novels:

Trueborn Series

  • Trueborn:
  • Reread current rough drafts from 1998-9ish and 2000.
  • I am currently on Chapter Forty-Nine, page 196 of 240, still jotting notes and impressions as I reread.
  • Triage existing research.
  • I have begun moving the raw research to my work space, which I will be sharing with Jeremiah as he moves through his testing process. We’ll see if that means I wait to sort until later, or if we can work side-by side…
  • Blood and Breath:
  • Create a flash fiction piece for each story arc point.
  • I attempted to write the first flash fiction piece, and had trouble finding my opening point.
  • Instead, I wrote some sketchy backstory and plot elements. A few pieces that had not quite fit fell softly into place, and,when I begin to write again, I think I will find it far easier and truer.
  • Use Scrivener to compile into a pre-rough draft.
  • I am going to change this goal slightly. I like Scrivener, but, on more than one occasion, some of my files (files I know I saved) are not available to me, later.
  • I am therefore going to experiment with another program I have learned of, yWriter. It’s free, so I will explore it for this novel, and keep using Scrivener for Chameleon’s Dish, at least for now.
  • Chameleon’s Dish:
  • Finish inputting into Scrivener ( completed during break).
  • I did finish this – but fifteen chapters seem to have gone missing. I will be reinputting them as I edit them, and, if Scrivener loses them after that, I will stop using it.
  • Complete basic research based upon library books and websites; looking for information to enhance later digging and prevent hugely obvious gaffes).
  • My research reading has been going well.
  • Hamlet and Shakespeare: His Work and His World have been completed.
  • I am on page 120 of 128 in The Colonial Cookbook, and may copy several recipes to try later – tactile research, you might say, or fertile play.
  • I am on page 80 of 252 of Shakespeare’s England. I am reading for impressions rather than note-taking.
  • Experiment with removing Tisira’s story as a YA novel, with a potential optional add-on of the fanfic elements….not sure how this will work, exactly, but I think it might be the best approach to have something marketable without sacrificing my vision.
  • I think I have at least the beginnings of an idea on how to separate the stories, without losing the flavor of either, or of both, together.
  • I have begun, in a tiny way, to explore this, while re-inputting and editing the first scene, which involves only Tisira.

Jeremiah made himself three kinds of eggs!

Homeschool Administration Ad Infinitum….:

  • Standardized Test for Miah (due Sept.1).
  • On Tuesday, Jeremiah and I had a mom/son date, and bought his pencils and an electric pencil sharpener with a cord,
  • When we got home, Jeremiah set up his work area in my office…we will share the space so that he has a dedicated place to do the testing.
  • Wednesday evening, I ordered the PASS test – it is specifically designed for homeschoolers not familiar with taking tests, and will fit into our lives rather than causing stressful disruptions in it.
  • The test should be here by midweek next week. We have four weeks to complete it, so I am thinking we will start slowly, unless Miah wants to dive in.
  • IHIPs for both children (due four weeks after receipt of packet from school district).
  • The rough drafts of both IHIPs are completed.
  • I plan to let them rest while I return to the fourth quarter reports, and return to them when I finish the report drafts or want a break from them.
  • Begin setting up portfolios for both children – invite them to be a part of this process! =)
  • I took a few more photos, and sorted a bit more art for this project.
  • Relax, enjoy, learn, grow, laugh, and … BREATHE!
  • Check. Jeremiah and I enjoyed shopping together, doing a half-mile on the track at the Y (we had been planning on t’ai chi, but he wasn’t up to the newness of it, and I was a bit concerned about my knees. We had lunch at Bruegger’s, and thoroughly enjoyed our time.
  • Meanwhile, Jim took Annalise to my parents’ house, because my mother had stopped on the way home to tell Annalise she had a gift for her. They also enjoyed watching ChoBits together.
  • Both children are growing – physically, mentally, and emotionally. This has created some turbulence and disequilibrium, which seem to have coincided with Elijah’s Days, and the ebb in my energy cycle….
  • We’re all doing what we can to ride the waves with as little soaking as possible, and this does seem to be a less threatening degree of turbulence than we’ve had before…
  • Last week’s creative torrents have slipped into this week’s mellower, more sedentary pastimes…but Miah cleaned the guinea’s cage and learned to use a compass (the kind for making circles; he already knew how to read a compass), while Annalise detangled her own hair, and took a solo road walk. There’s been reading, TV, and gaming – and lots and lots of connection and flowing conversation….and we are finalizing plans for their birthday party! =)

Pegacorn hatching…..

Reading:

  • Continue reading books for Bookmark Break Challenge – aim for 7 in July, 8 in August, and 9 in September, but these targets will be flexible – summer is prime traveling time for the kids and I and we have things planned and others we’re considering.
  • I have decided to let go of the official challenge, but not the reading. I will just set my own parameters, and read what delights me.
  • I am at peace with this decision, and I am grateful the Challenge was there to get me reading.
  • Guerrilla Learning Completed.
  • The Mermaid Chair – Completed.
  • Container Gardening – page 120 of 256.
  • Shakespeare’s England – page 80 of 252.
  • Since I have decided to drop the challenge, I can count The Colonial Cookbook (cookbooks weren’t allowed in the challenge). I am on page 120 of 128.
  • I have completed 3 of 7 books for this month.
  • Read at least one book each month from my Kindle Cloud Reader, as a learning and experimenting process.
  • I am continuing on with The Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging. I have completed 64% of this book.

Other Writing:

  • Play with flash fiction pieces as the mood strikes; aim for two submittable stories each month.
  • I played a bit more with my prologue scene (not sure it hasn’t left flash territory, though), and with the opening point for the Blood and Breath story arc, although I didn’t complete anything.
  • Play with essay ideas as desired; aim for three submittable essays each month.
  • I have written a few things in 750 Words that may eventually become essays.
  • I am still composting ideas, but I feel them bubbling up to the surface; stronger now, almost a boil…and they are winding their way into my fiction planning, too….
  • Use 750 Words for whatever – flash pieces, essays, venting, ranting, reports, book reviews, etc.
  • I played more with my prologue scene.
  • I made two exploratory efforts at Blood and Breath flash fiction.
  • Those attempts led to story stuff; and I have a deeper sense of the story than I did.
  • I wrote the beginning and ending passages for my last update.
  • I wrote a bit of a tribute to Elijah, on the anniversary of his death.

A future short order breakfast cook, perhaps?

  • Organizing/Tootling my Horn…
  • Choose a new notebook; input into Penzu.
  • Jeremiah chose my October/November 1999 Writing Practice Notebook.
  • I am on page 3 of 140.
  • Continue reading marketing and ebook publishing sites and articles.
  • I am in the midst of a marketing ebook (see above).
  • Draft a loose Mission Statement to guide me through the rest of the ROWnd, and carry me forward into the next.
  • More of this is surfacing from my deeps; I think I will be writing soon! =)
  • Set aside time each week to winnow email. Read items being saved for later reading, sort or dispose as indicated.
  • My Inbox is a bit full, right now, as I have been tending to other things and not reading much from there. But it is my intention to keep it under 50 messages, and there are still more businesses and sites I will be unsubscribing from as I fine-tune this tool.
  • Be bold and daring in commenting, sharing, and submitting. Declare myself, learn, grow, and sometimes do things that make me uncomfortable. Open and blossom!
  • Like so many of the other things here….I feel it coming, a grand upswell of daring and adventure. I don’t know yet what forms it will take, but I know that it will come, and I am quietly setting myself to flow into it when it arrives…

Pegacorn, hatched and celebrating life!

Celebrating Life!

  • Add some form of specific motion (t’ai chi, swimming, hiking, biking, skating, dancing, etc) to each week. Keep track of what, where, when, for how long, and how I felt during and after.
  • Monday was shopping with Miah, and walking and a bit of very light jogging on the Y track. It totaled half a mile, and, while my right knee caught several times, it was never the intensely painful locking it has been doing since May. I am looking forward to more time at the Y, hopefully helping the knee to recuperate.
  • I have done hometending and some weeding, and just a tiny bit of dancing.
  • Fill us all up with joy, and continue cultivating family peace.
  • I have been in an ebb phase, more inclined to quietness than exuberance. Still, the kids seem to be in a similar, hibernating place this week, so maybe that is the best energy to be having, right now.
  • The children have discovered that, if neither parent intervenes in their disputes, they can often work them out or just forget them. This has led to somewhat more conflict, but definitely more that they are resolving on their own, There is growth and deeper peace for us all in this, although it may take some time for both to equalize and absorb the new skills they are learning.
  • Spend time cleaning and beautifying my personal internal and external spaces each week.
  • I have worked some in my own room, and a little in my office.
  • I have gone deeper and more quietly into myself over the last days, as new things brew within me…
  • Embrace and be present in all my moments.
  • I am continuing to strive toward this goal, and I am seeing more grace, beauty, and sweetness in life…
  • Allow my emotions to be as they are. Practice expressing them calmly and reflectively.
  • The last few days have been calm and reflective for me in their nature. I am learning.
  • Tend kindly and sweetly to myself and others. =)
  • I have felt very tired, and maybe not as sweet as I might be. I am trying to make up for that when I can, and with the gift of my time and attention.

Annalise, then 5: Cameron, 9, and Jeremiah , 8.

So, it’s the day after the end of Elijah’s Days. The kids are in the midst of a South Park and Ruby Gloom session on Netflix.

I am bouncing between hometending, party organization, and reading, and writing.

The storms that were threatened…serious ones, with chances for tornadoes (not frequent, here, and we do not have a basement), have not yet arrived, although the hour or two before dark became progressively darker.

I am hugely pregnant with ideas and epiphanies, and, soon, I think, they will begin to break over me in crashing waves.

Annalise has an extremely wobbly top front tooth. Her milk teeth do not give up easily. The permanent tooth below is shoving it so far down and forward that we took to calling it Crazy Tooth two weeks ago.

We talked about the meanings of “imminent”, and “black market”, and Annalise and I discussed indexes, life in Shakespeare’s time, and colonial cooking.

We’ve discussed, the children and I, their guest list, party activities, and menu. The party will be next weekend, halfway between their birthdays, at an indoor play space they love, but which is a bit pricey to get to often.

When we come home, we will have my 12 year-old nephew, Cameron, who goes to school but wishes he didn’t, and who adds a “big brother figure” to our mix.

Ready for their close-ups!

Cam always wants to go to the state museum, and to the Y to swim. We’ve included him in other trips – to a local haunted house, to the neighborhood Aerosciences Museum, to our unschooling co-op, and to CMOST, which has a digital planetarium he loved.

Life will be swirly and maybe somewhat hectic, but largely in a good way…

So, just now, I am enjoying the lull…the quiet space of days between now and Sunday, when my own birthday will mark the figurative end of our July roller-coaster, and we begin moving outward into the world and bringing the world back in with us.

The lull before what is within me, building and growing, breaks wide open, and there is no cure for it but to write, and learn myself, and become, in the process, deeper and wider, so that there is always more awaiting its time to break loose, and more to be explored.

Hot , rumpled, and happy in Plymouth, MA, 2010

I am wrapped in a quiet type of gratitude -

  • for ebbs and flows,
  • for the taste of frozen grapes,
  • for Jeremiah making three types of eggs (sunny side up, over easy, and scrambled), just because he wanted to.
  • For the Pegafil (that’s a Pegacorn filly, of course – and a Pegacorn is a winged unicorn) who hatched in my backyard and asked me if I would own her.
  • For the many animals Lise sees in the clouds, and the tree that looks like a cascading firework.
  • For the fact that Jim took the car, and will be home before too long.
  • For the messy chaos of our lives, and the sweetness.
  • For all three of my children – the gloriously living, and the long-dead, who still lives on in my soul and makes me better.
  • For a dog who looks at me adoringly, and greets me each morning, shoving his nose up under my hands if I stop scratching his head too soon.
  • For the sound of guinea pigs purring.
  • For the sight of Margot the Manx out hunting at the edge of the brush that borders our yard, and the way she startles into perfect attentiveness when a young and foolish rabbit hops too close – but does not give chase.
  • For how she and the rabbit share a certain quality of shape and movement.
  • For a mind that stretches and a soul that delves, and the time for stretching and delving to unfold as they will.
  • For nights I stay up until past dawn, and mornings I wake to a peaceful and happy family who so often let me sleep.
  • For hot sweet coffee various people in this house are willing to bring me, because, while I love to drink it, I don’t love preparing it.
  • For good books that weave poignant stories, that engage my soul, and leave me weeping at dawn – silently, so I don’t wake the best friend softly snoring beside me….
  • For my chosen family, so far-flung, but so very much a part of my living.
  • For the growth of compassion, and the beginnings of being able to set to words something that I have longed and needed to say, but which must be said well, else not at all…
  • For the understanding that we each bring our own perceptions to the table, even when we don’t know it…
  • And for the much-needed, rejuvenating rain that has lately fallen on our parched little bit of earth….
  • And for all of you, reading this……

The Sweet Life! Annalise, 4, and Jeremiah, 7, after a trip to the New York State Museum.

Just Rowin’ Along – ROW 80 Goals Update #9

Lise sleeping in the front yard….a new hobby.

I don’t have a lot to write tonight, beyond  my update.  No real reason; I’m just in a  quiet space, now, deep in processing mode, because things are happening, thoughts are swirling, and I really don’t want to put into words what isn’t ready yet.

I do, though, have news, and a few tidbits;

  • My poem, 4AM call, is being published in the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.  I will make $3.00 for its publication –  my first paying gig in several years! =)
  • My life has been rich in family over the last days.  The collages here will attest to the mellow, peaceful flow going on here….smooth, rippling waters, with just a few swift currents.
  • With the wide array of goals I’ve set, I’ve been feeling like a few things are slipping away from me each week.  Not in an ignoring them way, more in a tucked into the corner way.
  • Today, I had a sudden idea to  use a tin to hold slips of paper with my goals categories written on them.
  • I experimented with pulling a slip from the jar, and working on that category’s goals.
  • When I have made measurable progress on each goal in the category, I set the slip aside and choose another.
  • I won’t return slips to their tin until all have been selected, which will make me feel a bit better, I think, about how I am balancing them.
  • I may stop using this method as I wrap up a few more of the goals, and feel that I’ve attained some form of equilibrium for those remaining.

Growing things….

Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I read the wonderful A Lucky 7 ROW, and made a long and personal comment (when you’ve known the author since you were both 4, it’s hard NOT to be personal!).
  • I read the inspirational and thought-provoking Fun Ways to Network.  I shared on Facebook and Twitter.
  • I read the celebratory  100,000 , shared on Facebook, and commented.
  • I read the delicious self-affirmation in Happy New May, Dear ROW#80 Friends, and commented.

Jeremiah communes with Elijah’s tree.

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I have added to the scene I have been working on, but think I will set it aside for a while and begin a new one, soon.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I have clipped one entry of about 650 words. and will be posting it both at The Unfettered Life and to in my Sunday update, here…
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I will be posting that piece both at The Unfettered Life and  in my Sunday update, here…
  • Locate, rough edit, and format all chapters of Chameleon’s Dish.  Input into Scrivener. 
  • I have located Chapter 9 (which will eventually be Chapter 2) and created a LibreOffice file for it.  I have also reformatted it for easy transferring to Scrivener.
  • I began to create a Scrivener project for Chameleon’s Dish-  Rough Draft by adding the first scene of Chapter 1, and setting up the basic project structure.
  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
  • I added more notes to this letter draft, and still have about a quarter of the letter as written to mull over and make notes on.
  • Once the notetaking is done and the letter has had a few days to rest, I will begin writing a revised draft.

Jeremiah, Warrior of the Broken Sword

  • Create a “flow chart” for posting to shanjeniah and The Unfettered Life.  Use these, and adapt as necessary, throughout the round (with allowances made in April for the challenge).
  • I am having some trouble getting into the blogging flow… I think I just have too many other projects going on.
  • I am therefore going to use the flow charts only if I am at a loss as to what to write, and want to work on one of my blogs.
  • I will try to do the Monday highlights at The Unfettered Life at least twice a month, because it will make reporting that much better.

Networking:

  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • As mentioned above, I joined the Story a Day May Challenge.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I have commented on and read four posts.

Annalise’s current round of chalk art.

Submitting:
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • As mentioned above, I will be writing a story a day for the month of May.
  • That leaves two to join for May.

Photography:

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I have cleared my recent downloads, and also some redundant and empty files.
  • At this point, the remaining folders have some redundancies, as well as photos that have not yet been uploaded  to my Picasa Web Albums.
  • My focus, going forward from this point, will be to go through those folders, uploading and deleting as appropriate.  Some of these have been waiting for quite some time, and it will be a relief  -  an likely fun, too – to deal with them!
  • Watermark all photos that appear on my blogs, and all those I post going forward; begin watermarking favorites not on blogs.
  • I  added watermarks to all the photos in my Picasa Collages Album, and synced to my Web Albums.
  • Next, I will find the posts which use these collages, and replace with the watermarked versions.

The artist with her creations…..

 Learning:

  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting  Chameleon’s Dish.
  • I have input Chapter One, Scene 2, into the existing novel format.
  • I was apprehensive about adding additional scenes past this point, because the existing format only has two, and I could not easily see how to create them.
  • I toyed with the program a little, and found that by clicking to the place  in the main binder where I want to add a scene or chapter, then clicking “Add Text”, I can add as many scenes and chapters as I need.
  • I added Chapter One, Scene 3 in this manner.
  • From this point, I expect that the adding of scenes and chapters will flow more quickly, naturally, and easily.
  • I will be doing minor reformatting and editing as I go, but anything major will be waiting for next ROWnd’s rewrite.
  • Use Twitter and HootSuite at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I used Twitter  -  just Twitter, without the HootSuite platform for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.
  • I am becoming a little more comfortable with this platform.  I might even feel at home there, someday!
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I have added my big question regarding last night’s domain name SNAFU (I somehow assigned the domain name to my new Story-a-day WordPress.org account, “stealing” it from my writer blog –  gulp!).
  • This issue seems to have ironed itself out! =)
  • I have added ideas to try for two of the other questions I already had on the list.
  • I will experiment, at some point, and see what that yields…..

More Lise and her chalk art – so glad I took the pictures before it rained!

Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I have reread Learning Nothing….the Final Frontier in preparation for editing and updating.
  • Next, I will begin a fairly major edit/reformatting of this piece.
  • Input Chameleon’s Dish to Scrivener; Complete story arc for Blood and Breath.
  • As mentioned above, I have moved both of these goals forward.
Self-care:
  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: Skipped hometending; lazy at-home day; lots of outside Lise time.
  • Tuesday:Attended t’ai chi class and brought Miah. Stopped to see two pairs of Canada geese, one with several little yellow goslings, at the creek on Coon’s Crossing Road.  Snuggles and love with Lise.
  • Wednesday: Outside time with Lise and Miah; photography; being clear about my needs; sleeping in after two poor nights’ sleep; coffee with Jim.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: Mowing, outdoors stuff.
  • Tuesday: T’ai chi class –  a surprisingly thorough workout!
  • Wednesday:A little more mowing; mellow hometending; outdoors activities with both kids.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • Big time self-decorating.  Jim helped me to bleach a section of my hair and add vivid blue dye….
  • It isn’t just how I pictured it, but I’ve learned a bit more about the process, so next time will be better.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Reading, writing, relaxing, and simply BEING.
  • Tuesday: More reading and writing; joined the Story-a-day Challenge; t’ai chi; a couple of hours of solitude; color for my hair; TWO hot showers!
  • Wednesday: Reading and writing; outdoor photography; taking the time to consider a vivid dream.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jeremiah: I invited Miah to join me for t’ai chi.  We had lots of fun and good, private connection time.
  • Jim: Coffee and companionship; help with the lawn (a bit much still for his broken hand); and the suggestion that he should get a new riding jacket to replace the leather one that has now been cut off him twice; and honest and open communication regarding or not-quite-aligning visions of our family’s future plans.
  • Annalise: Lots of snuggles and tickles; attended several animal weddings; toured her most recent chalk art exhibition, commemorated with photos; listened to her reading.

 Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have revised Jeremiah’s Reading section.
  • I have written Jeremiah’s Writing/Spelling section.
  • As we are now officially into our “fourth quarter”; I will be stepping up my focus on getting these reports finished and sent – it felt good to have them completed early, last quarter, and I am looking forward to that feeling –  maybe even sooner, this month!
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • I have deleted over two dozen messages from my Transactions in Progress file (some, almost a year old!), leaving only those I need (hotel and campground confirmations; receipts for services I no longer want; etc.
  • This leaves only a few files with a couple of messages in each; after which I will begin reading and acting on what’s left.
  • I also intend to set aside a bit of time every so often to weed through these folders, so that they won’t get so congested in the  future.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I am now up to page 26 of 120 in notebook #1.
  • Given the time left in the round, this, too, will likely become a greater focus in the coming weeks, especially as I complete other goals.

A girl and her dog…..

At my last post, I skipped  introducing any of my followers, mostly because it was late, and I was very tired.

Tonight, though, I have 5 more  interesting people to recognize: 

I’ll maybe be more talkative, come Sunday…or maybe not.  Quiet times are a part of me.  Good stuff happens in the quiet times….

Some of the other ROWers may be more wordy….why not take a look around?

ROWin’ in the Rain – Goals Update #6

Excerpt from 750words, June 8, 2011 - 

Today is a much, much happier day. I feel like I have struggled my way back to a place of calm and something approaching acceptance of the present moment. And keeping my focus on this moment and no other, the action I can take now, and no other, helps me to feel far less overwhelmed with what, looked at as a whole, complete situation, is utterly and completely overwhelming.

This moment, and no other. This action, and no other. So here I am, writing my 750 words, because that is the action I am taking in this moment. And, after, I will return to some tidying in the house, then maybe try another method of getting the kids’ quarterly reports to the school. Later, when it cools down from the 90 degree temperatures we have right now, I’ll hook up the printer, because submitting the reports in writing may indeed be the route I end up taking, much as I disagree with it.

Deep breaths. Short bursts of activity. Letting things go, or just working on a small part of the whole, in short bursts, helps me to remain calm. Giving myself the time and space to just be, to leave things undone, to decide for myself what is worthy of my time and attention and energy. Understanding that sharing a home with others means there are both others to help me….and others who sometimes do things that trigger unpleasant emotions in me.

Understanding that those emotions might very well be responses to old, entrenched patterns I am not yet even aware of. Learning to slow down, get still inside myself, and attend to the feeling and the associations it brings up. Going into those, until I get deeper than the surface emotion, to the place where I can find what I need in this situation – or if I need anything. Often, all I need is to acknowledge the feeling and its source, and all the perceived wrongness and angst of the moment just fades away.

When there is a need, understanding what it is is hugely helpful, because none of us can fill our own needs if we don’t understand what they are. That’s evident in our society, and very prevalent in my family of origin. Buying things and doing major home additions and renovations, as stand-ins for the need that goes unacknowledged and untended to.

So I am learning to understand my needs, and that it falls to me, and no one else, to tend to them. I an responsible for meeting my own needs.

How I do that depends on the situation and the nature of the need. Sometimes I am at a loss, in the moment, on what to do, except that I need to accept this moment just as it is, and surrender to it rather than fight it. Then, anything I choose to do will be from a place of acceptance, and all my energy can then be channeled to productive measures rather than flailing against life as it is.

This has been particularly difficult for me over the last three or for days. I’m hormonal, and it is very, very hot, and we have been busy, and the kids seem to both be getting ready for pretty major growth spurts.

If I can remember that all of these things tend to lead to a feeling of imbalance for me, separately, I can perhaps be patient with their combined disequilibrium.

If I can remember that it is also disorienting for the children, and that they really need my stability, calm, and patience, perhaps everything else will flow more peacefully through our lives.

Of course, in order to be in a state to provide that calm for them, I do need to nurture myself. There are in fact no housework police arriving on a daily basis to evaluate my daily portion of household chores. The world will not, in fact, come to an end if I choose to skip cleaning sometimes, or do the minimum amount I can live with, if I just am not up for doing more.

There are so many things that are of greater value than housecleaning. Creative expression, hugs and kisses and tickles and cuddles, putting one’s feet up and enjoying a cool day, feeling peaceful and happy to be just where I am, just now. Bliss. Laughter. Joy. Discovery. Time to ponder. Time to wonder. Time to embrace my own passions, and time to help the children embrace theirs, and Jim his. Time to be kind, and courteous, and generous – to myself and to others.


Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
  • I have finished book 4 of 4 for April, Hold On to Your Kids.
  • I have now completed my April book  reading goal!
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I have read Laughter of Children and Clouds, commented,and am sharing here.
  • I have read the deep truth and courage in Words…words,words,words, written by my dear lifelong friend, Eden Mabee.  
  • Because she is my friend – and so much more – I wrote two long comments.
  • Because this post is incredible, I am sharing it to Facebook.
  • I read the poem  Shame, commented, and shared on my Facebook Writer Page.
  • I have completed this goal for this week.
Writing:

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish and Blood and Breath.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I now  have 489 words in the group dialogue scene for Chameleon’s Dish, and a much better sense of where this piece is headed.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I pulled a complete essay, which appears above.
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I have included excerpts from these writings as part of these updates (see intro, above), and they have informed other writing I have done since reading them.
  • I will be focusing more on these as I finish the A to Z posts, then the essays and book reviews that have been queued up behind them.
  • Find all chapters of Blood and Breath.  Input into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
  • I have created a story arc for Chapters 2 and 3, as a preliminary step.
  • Next, I will begin creating flash fiction as the basis for scenes in these chapters.
  • In the meantime, I may shift my inputting focus to Chameleon’s Dish, because I have a completed rough draft of that novel.
  • I will consider my options, and change my goal if indicated.

Blogging:

  • Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
  • I have edited, embellished, and scheduled T is for Toxic People –  Y is for Yelling.
  • I have written Z is for Zoo.
  • I have now completed the writing for this challenge, and have 1 post left to edit, embellish, and schedule.
  • The last post may take a while longer….I found many pictures I want to include, but they will need editing and collaging before posting….and that may take an added hour or three beyond what I usually need for that process.
Networking:

  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I posted to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop, as noted above.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I read this “article” (biased, ill-informed, and rather poorly written) on unschooling.  I commented.
  • I have answered a few comments on this blog.
  • I have shared Freedom, the 2009 post I edited on The Unfettered Life.  I posted it on Facebook.
  • I also shared G is for Growth and H is for Happiness, both from my A to Z posts.
  • I have resumed the process of answering my blog comments –  another ball I released in order to focus on the A to Z challenge.

Submitting:

  •  Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
  • I have reviewed the submission guidelines for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.  I plan on assessing several of my existing flash fiction pieces, in preparation for submitting.
  • I have decided to make “Twice-Coupled” my first submission, and will begin preparing it in the next few days.
  • Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
  • I have reread my Cooperative Catalyst rough draft, which I had not looked at for a month or two. I will let it rest a few more days, then begin polishing it, as I finish the pieces that I intend to link it to.
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • I have submitted to the Storyteller Writing Challenge twice, and once to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop
  •  This goal has been attained for April.

Photography:

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I synced the pictures from last weekend to my Picasa Web Albums, and deleted the file from my hard drive.
  • Learn how to watermark pictures.
  • I did it!  I learned how to watermark, and designed one I can be happy with.  It may change over time, but I like it, for now!
  • This goal has been attained!
Marketing:

  •  Explore marketing articles on my Facebook Writer Page.
  • I explored a free copyrighting service, and have decided not to go that route.
  • I read this interview on publishing and marketing to Kindle.
  • Add useful articles to my shanjeniah 
  • Marketing Articles page.
  • I added the above article to my Marketing Articles page.
  • Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
  • I am beginning to see a shape and scope for my marketing efforts.  Nothing more than a sense of it, yet.  I will keep learning, and pondering…

 Learning:

  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting first an essay, and then Blood and Breath.
  • I have begun the creation of a story arc for the remaining chapters.  I am midway through Chapter Three in this process.
  • Use Twitter and HootSuite  at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I opened  HootSuite on Saturday…and closed Facebook.
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I remembered that I joined a SheWrites group for WordPress Bloggers.  I will be checking it out during the next week or so, to learn more about how to use this blog platform.
  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • I have saved two articles that deal with this topic, and will be researching them through the coming weeks ( they are long; I will read them in sections).

Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I edited and updated the first of my Unfettered Life 2009 posts, Freedom.
  • Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
  • I have moved another entry to my LibreOffice clip files – a stream-of-consciousness essay that wanders interestingly.
  • I have deleted the file from my Penzu journal (as I do with each entry as I mine it for clips, because I am not ready to upgrade to Penzu Pro.  This keeps my single free journal from becoming unwieldly as I add to it.

Self-care:

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Thursday:  Staying home; lawnmowing; reading; writing; working in my room.
  • Friday: More lawnmowing; finished April book reading goal; old blogpost reminiscing; coffee with Jim
  • Saturday: Listening to Jim and the kids assemble and fly a wood glider plane kit; lingering coffee, with Jim and alone; the rain we so needed; saying yes to Lise in the rain and in my library; saying yes to the candlelit invitation….
  • Sunday: Old picture editing; coffee with Jim;  time  with Miah looking over the typical course of study for his “grade level”; time playing and snuggling with Lise;  hometending; warm clothes on a chilly,damp day.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Thursday: Lots of mowing. Hometending.  Yard cleanup.
  • Friday:Lots more mowing (including the steeply pitched hill; a real workout!); Hometending; climbing dome flipping; yard cleanup.
  • Saturday: A bit of mowing (ahead of soaking rain we desperately needed); hometending; other stuff.
  • Sunday: Hometending (too wet to want to be outside).  Played with Corki-dog and Annalise.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • I decorated myself this week with sunkiseed skin, windtossed curls, and many dimply smiles. Oh, and i wore the prettiest color –  blue – every day.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Thursday: Working in my library, home, and yard.  Reading and writing.  family time.
  • Friday: Working in home, yard, and my library.  Reading and writing.  More family time.
  • Saturday: Jim.  Candlelight. All the above stuff,too.
  • Sunday: One-on-one time with each family member.  Hometending. reading and writing.  Listening to the rain and the train whistle.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jeremiah: Grown-up conversations; exploring and learning together in my library; coffee and snuggles together.
  • Annalise: Tablet coed arrived, and I got to watch her begin to claim the tablet for her own.  It was mine, and is loaded with lots of goodies like a 3D Brain, painting and light art programs, YouTube App, and a keyboard….I need to check to see if i left anything important stored on it (she lost the previous cord when I loaned it to her, so I couldn’t do it before I gifted it to her at Christmas.  She is loving it!
  • Jim:  His heart’s desire; a cleaner house; a happily thriving family.
 Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have completed the Reading section of Jeremiah’s third quarter report, to date.
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • I winnowed my Homeschooling items folder from 60+ messages to just 19.
  • I will return at a later date and designate new homes for the remaining messages.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I am up to page11 of 120 in the first notebook.
  • Pay remaining balances for summer trips to Unschoolers
  • Rock the Campground and Northeast Unschooling Conference.
  • I woke in time to call the campground Friday –  but forgot to do it!  I seeem to be going to sleep a little earlier (about 3am; pretty early for me!), and rising earlier.  I plan to get the number and post myself a note so I remember tomorrow…
 Excerpt from this week’s 750 Words ~~
Oh, I liked that post. I don’t like weathermen, though, who tell us “trust me, we’re going to hold off the rain as long as we can.”
Sorry, Jason, you don’t have that ability, so far as I know. Ok, minor rant over. It’s been a slow and rather lazy day of mellow productivity and big heat (recordbreaking over 90 degree April day, but with a breeze that kept it from being as oppressive as it might have been. And since it’s been a dry spring, it wasn’t at all humid.
Which makes it weirder that a meteorologist would offer to attempt to hold off the much-needed rain.
Oh, it looks as though my battery is getting low…..I want to get my 750 words in, so I am writing, writing…. I did do some writing today, and some reading, and some tending in the home and yard.
Ok, I have enough battery to get me through. I am happy with what I’ve written tonight; it does seem that the words are coming slowly. And yet, they are coming. Sometimes that needs to happen, I think – the lull, the refilling, the pause between the inspiration and expiration; the pause in the heartbeat, the instant of held tension just before orgasm breaks over you…. I’m tired, and the images are here. And I have 750 words. =)~~
In other news:

  • I was nominated for my fourth blogging award today.  I will reveal the details when I have a post ready; since I am in the midst of my Z post, this update, and backed-up reading, commenting, and essay-writing, that may take a week or three, but I will get there (this is an award I have quietly coveted  since seeing it on a blog I really enjoy).  This is a new award for me. =)
  • I will be contacting my prospective guest bloggers before month’s end.  If anyone else is interested in guest posting, or hosting me as a guest blogger, feel free to drop me a comment anytime!
  • I will have an announcement of something new coming by the end of May, so stay tuned!
  • I forgot to introduce any of my followers with Wednesday’s check in.  Oops!
    I remembered this time, though, and so…

May I introduce you to….?

And now, for the Link Treats:

 

ROWing Mellowly Down the Stream – ROW Update #5

Miah and Lise enjoy the new coziness of my library. =)

Excerpt from 750Words, June 10, 2012~

Got less than 20 minutes left to get this in under the wire. So, tonight, nothing fancy, no corrections, just typing, to see how fast I can go, and if I come up with anything even remotely worth remembering (or even editing!) LATER!

The “problem”, if it can be called that, is that I finally had a day cool enough to move around the house without dripping sweat, and took full advantage to wring further order out of the chaos of our existence. And, once I had shifted into that that mode, I forgot, over and over again, that I still wanted to get my writing done.

I am not at all upset by it, although I really like doing these words each day, like the challenge of getting to 750 words each day, and find the act cleansing.

Sometimes, our physical space needs some cleansing, too, and sometimes I need to care for my emotional space and our home, and focus most of my energies on moving those things further along……So I got the house into a better shape, culled some of the overflowing abundance of our herd of stuff, and generally took action myself to help us all be able to ,live more easily and comfortably in this space- not to mention moving closer to the goal of thoroughly streamlining each of our possessions, so that the move into a travel trailer, or even preparing for our continuing fair-weather adventures, can be much less stressful as we go along.

Over 200 words now, and about 13 minutes to go. Will she make it,. or will she not? Will any of this be legible or worth the effort, when she’s done….well, I’m her, and I thing the process is definitely worth it, even if I don’t make it or write anything deeper than surface…

It was a physical plane kinda day…maybe there are deep thoughts going on beneath, but mostly, I tried to concern myself with presence or consciousness today. Wow, I an almost half done, with about 10 minutes to go….getting there. I do love the self-imposed pressure of a good challenge every now and then.

Back wall of my library. I like the way it's coming together.

Life is a blend, more and more. It can be hard to remember, in the lulls where things just seem somehow to be difficult and languid, that there will be more up and exuberant times, too, times when my energy and focus allow me to do a lot in a very short period of time, and in a state of flow.

Just as I am learning how my body moves through patterns of hunger, energy, and health, I also go through processes of being best suited, in certain moments, for certain things. I(f I can learn to sense them, know, them, attend to them and honor them, it would seem that my efforts, in each moment, can be more and more directed to those things that really flow easily in that moment.

Maybe that’s the secret that the ad agencies, religious sects, and governments would rather we not learn – that there is no magical political program, no magic product or bill, no technique to be bought that can give what simply attending to what we are ready for in that moment can…

Wow, a bit of shotgun philosophy, wrapped in the typos and missed keys, and Jim’s voice booming loudly beside me as he comments on the Tonight show (Bill Cosby, so we’ll keep it on till TNG comes on. Wow, almost 600 words, but it looks like I am fast running out of time and my not make it after all….but I sure as hell have been giving this my best effort.

Would’ve been better without the technological missteps…erased needed programs on this machine, took too long to find the site on the tablet, and so here I am,. Extremely last minutes, trying to get these words whacked out…

~~

Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
  • I am reading book 4 of 4 for April, Hold On to Your Kids, and am on on page 213 of 280 (Wednesday 10:51pm).  I find this book vexing on several levels, and thus far disrespectful of children and their abilities, so the reading is less than joyful!
  • Read at least 3 articles a week from my To Be Read files on computer, and categorize those I choose to keep or share.
  • I weeded out several articles with broken links, or that I didn’t find useful.
  • I archived two items to explore in greater detail at a later date.
  • I shared this link on my Facebook Writer Page, as a possible submissions market.
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I have read:
  • Disjointed - commented and sharing here.
  • MORE voices in my Head  – commented and sharing here.
Writing:

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I am adding Blood and Breath to this goal, as well, as a way to help reconstruct and/or revision the missing chapters.
  • I have written a flash fiction scene that may be the foundation of the epilogue for Blood and Breath. 
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I pulled the excerpt that appears at the beginning of this blogpost.  I liked what it said about blending and balancing, times of intense writing, and times when other things draw my focus.
Blogging:

  • Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
  • I have written rough drafts of all posts through W is for Wonder.
  • I have edited, embellished, and scheduled posts through Saturday, April 21, S is for Self-Awareness.
  • I am nearing the end of the creative part of the process, and am looking forward to having more time for other projects –  and reading others’ posts, too! =D

My newly organized and relocated bookshelf, in triplicate.


Networking:

  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I have entered  the Storyteller Writing Challenge.  
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I haven’t commented on as many blogs this week, thus far-  I have been called away by nice weather and outdoor occupations; my new room; reading; working toward the end of my A to Z posts;  my flash fiction piece; and the rest of life.
  • I plan to be a very active reader and commenter as soon as I have written my final A to Z post.
Submitting:

  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • I have submitted twice so far this month, leaving one more to post in order to attain the April portion of this goal.
 Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I have changed the layout of the blog, and added a page for Jeremiah, at his request.
  • Next will come adding a page for Annalise, and diving into the editing process.
  • Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
  • I took another rough  essay from the notebook.

My writing area - spacious, embracing, and welcoming - also, close to the doorway and accessible to the common spaces.

Self-care:

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: Relaxing day – home and yardtending; coffee with Jim;  hanging with the family; reading; writing; claiming  my space.
  • Tuesday: Began mowing lawn;  family time; reading; story creating.
  • Wednesday: Home and yardtending; one-on-one time with all family members; reading and writing; reclaiming my space.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: More raking, yard cleanup, hometending.
  • Tuesday: Finished raking front yard; began mowing; hometending.
  • Wednesday:Finished mowing front lawn; cleaned side yard and began to mow;  hometending; claiming my space.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Family time; reading and writing; owning my space.
  • Tuesday:Lots of kissing and Jim time; lots of kid snuggles; reading; story creating.
  • Wednesday: Owning my new space; lots of time with Lise; home and yardtending; pursuing goals; Big Bang Theory.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jim - Coffee, conversation; what he really wanted.
  • Jeremiah - Questions answered; snuggles given; conversation.
  • Annalise - Snuggles; play; talk; being near each other; new cord for her inherited tablet.

Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have written the Reading section of Annalise’s  report.  That was fun – she is developing her independent reading skills quickly and joyfully!
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • Cleaned out, then deleted, CComputer Info, which was a duplicate and unneeded file.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I have input up to page 9 of 120 in the first notebook.
  • Jim has cleared us to pay for the rest of the campground fee.  Now I just need to be up before noon to call the lodge and pay them –  easier said than done!

One of the things that surfaced in my cleaning was an animal drawing book Auntie Mouse (Eden Mabee) gave to Jeremiah several years ago. Annalise enjoyed exploring it - here is her first effort - a duck. Quack!

o, it’s been a mellow few days for me, ROW goals- wise. I’ve been busy with the transitions in my life – creating a writing space, beginning the process of yard care and the outward movement of our lives that is a natural outgrowth of thedoftening of spring; two children learning and growing at a currently frenetic page (game card creating; beading; allosaurus; dog genetics; online tech research; lots of talk and play; animal art – among many other things).

Ans I have been engaged in projects that are a bit longer range – finishing my A to Z blog posts, and my last book of the month. Writing a piece of flash fiction that seemed to have a mind of its own.

Making a neglected and hugely cluttered little cubby into my own personal writing nook, with the full support of my family.

My family…

have loosened up a bit about the state of the house, and have spent some time reframing and redefining what will help me. Then, I simply told everyone what would mean the most to me – one of the things I love is to get up to a shiny kitchen (often, what greets me is diametrically opposed to that).

And, since I shared that little dream, I have woken each day to a cleaner kitchen, courtesy of Jim and Jeremiah.

Annalise helped me with my raking, and with yard cleanup and dog waste removal. Miah took the recycling to the curb, and both children have been making a greater effort to help with indoor tidying.

It’s a bit of a lull, pace-wise. I feel things filling in, and I know that a surge of writing is building.

These peaceful times always seem to be the waiting for the seeds to sprout – and sprout they will.

Let’s check in on the rest of the ROWers!

Grubby shirt; sleepily happy girl who spent a good part of her last week outside.

“Watersdeep’s Edge” – A Storyteller’s Writing Challenge

The Storyteller Writing Challenge

Are you a Storyteller? What inspires you?
What stirs you to pick up your pen, open your word doc. and write?

I offer TWO prompts for you to CHOOSE from:

 An Image prompt and an Other prompt. 

1. THE Image PROMPT:

Source within the picture.
For this weeks image prompt, tell us what is evoked by this image.
Where is it? What story tumbles from your imagination?
What is she doing? Who is she?

You decide.
—————————————–

“Watersdeep’s Edge” - copyright 2012 by Shan Jeniah Burton

The stench of the pyres – for her son, her sire, and so many beloved others, caused her to retch each time she was minded of them, seared her each moment she left herself unguarded.

They twisted into the burning of her chosen Solemate, lost now to her, somewhere in the vastness of Everdeep.

To him, now, she was only madness…

She was stirring the huge stewpot, in Osiraan’s greatroom, bursting with a jumbled mass of Tribed and untribed, – so many faces blank, such a stench of burning and pain.

Shinjao took the ladle from her hand, and added stew to the handful of herbs in a wooden bowl. .

“Eat, Huntleader.”

She shook her head, trying to hide the dizziness. “Others have greater need.”

“You are three days past birthing, Huntleader. You ARE Huntleader, and Kai, and needed. If you don’t eat, I will sit on you and force you.”

She offered the bowl, but Jeniah didn’t move.

Shinjao drove her down and away from the cookfire – thick furs beneath her; Shinjao’s weight above. The spoon forced past her lips,and she spluttered, then swallowed.

The stew was laced with arytana nectar, and piqued her hunger. She allowed Shinjao to feed her, taking the spoon greedily, and the other woman chuckled. “You are a fine Huntress. There is more than enough. Of stew, time, support, and sleep….”

The words were like new fog. “Sleep?” She recognized the subtler taste of nightbalm, and knew she had been fooled….”No – the fires….”

“Will be there until you find healing. Sleep, dream – and begin to heal.”

~~She was standing on a rocky promontory, waves reaching almost to her shod toes. The seabirds cried raucously, tossed and wheeling in the stiff wind.

 

The reeky,  fertile scent of Watersdeep filled her nostrils, scrubbing away the char of death…

 

She was in garb more useless than any Mother would have demanded she wear, even when she most wanted to impress her Court. One of those new contrivances meant to keep rain off was in her right hand….and, in her left, the cast iron keys to the Kai’s Courtyard- Hallii’s killing grounds.

 

Grief constricted her soul; tighter than the laces that entrapped breath. She was apart from all of life, bereft. Liacivaar dead; Tacivaar – so many others.

 

All pointless… the damage Kaitiiraan and Tacivaar had birthed.

 

What profit had it been? Mother had poisoned her, and lost her throat…. Jeniah could still taste her blood, curdling, and she retched, gasping for what air she could draw into her compressed lungs.

 

Her breasts throbbed, and her milk let down suddenly, soaking the bodice of the dress, meant for the child who would never suckle. Her womb clenched, its emptiness tearing into her soul.

 

Tacivaar  had asked, cajoled, manipulated, and finally forced her to conceive his Truestborn.

 

It had taken longer for the old Huntleader’s machinations to kill him, but they had, as surely as Mother’s.

 

And my child, too – “Liacivaar,” she cried, to Everdeep, to Watersdeep…..

 

She yearned for her child, for her Chosen.

 

The wind whipped the long, spray-damped skirts; hobbled her legs.

 

All gone – freedom, Huntleader, child, sire, lover – all gone with nothing left but duty she hadn’t chosen, and did not want.

 

She felt something welling up from her depths, and she did nothing to stop its coming. “Sima garo provides…”

 

The screaming arched her back, drew her tight against the bones and lacings. She set her legs wide despite the layers of sodden cloth and ill-suited shoes. The seabirds cried answer.

 

Huntlust broke loose, and her arms swung out. The keys vanished beneath the breaking waves; the umbrella bobbed wildly, attracting the birds.

 

She clawed and tore away the clothing, until she stood naked on the wet rock, at last only herself, and nothing other.

 

And then she dove, sobbing, into the sea, letting the salty waters close over her.~~

“You will be fine, now, sisterkin,” Shinjao whispered, as she crawled into the furs to stroke Niah’s quaking back. “You have found your tears, and can cleanse now for healing.”

OR

2.THE Other PROMPT

TIMED WORD ASSOCIATION: Heat, Car, Longing.
Write whatever springs to mind from these three words, in 3 minutes:
No cheating or editing! Lets see what happens.
—————————————–

We are parked at the drive-in, a movie neither of us wanted to see, at least not really, blurred through the heat-fogged car windows.

Heedless of nothing but longing, not even the treacherous gear-shift, we do not realize we’ve dislodged the  shifter –  until we hit the police car parked behind us…..and we’re still tangled in our clothes as he approaches, his light a neon sign of our shame –  and then my elbow hits the car alarm button on my keys, as though to seal the legendary nature of our dalliance.

“Life Blooms; I ROW” – Goals Update #4

A busy day today. Up after not really as much sleep as I wanted, to get ready for co-op. Jim got a ride to work, so the kids and I headed to Hannaford and bought the supplies for the flarp we planned to make.

We got to co-op early, and there was a group of church children doing an activity in the room our tweens usually play in. So it was an unusual day, at least for a while.

The project went well…..a bit of chaos, and a bit of panic because the food coloring stained the counters of the church kitchen (thankfully, a good scrub with a little bit of borax on a scrubby sponge fixed that problem.

Making flarp with our Live and Learn Co-op gang!

It was a pretty day, a little unsettled, but the filtered light was good for making the colors of the flowers really pop, and so I got pictures of those.

I had a walk with Jeremiah (a tradition of ours), and another with Annalise and her friend Gabrielle (who was wearing roller skates). The kids had Shield Battles, Simon Says, and a girls vs. boys romp through the church and grounds.

Annalise and friends Gabrielle, Aleia, and Alana create flarp art.

There was ball play, and flirting, and then we came home, and both kids fell almost instantly asleep,. until I needed to wake them to go get Jim, because, at the moment, we are car-sharing, and we were his ride home. ~excerpt from Thursday’s 750words post ~

 Oh, and an invitation to Gabrielle’s seventh birthday party on Saturday…

Flarp fun with Jeremiah, Logan, Nolan, and John!

Where there was a bounce house, marshmallow shooters to make, necklaces and bracelets to bead, delicious foods to sample (Miah loved the veggie sticks, I loved the rice noodle dish, and Lise was crazy over the watermelon).There was a tire swing and a gazebo “shrine”, and the company of good friends, a house filled with interesting things,  and cake and ice cream and presents and love and laughter, and hiding out together, and snuggling, and many varieties of play, and computers and Netflixfor those who wanted them…

Springtime tulips....A welcome splash of color on a cloudy day.

And mostly lovely weather that had only a little, much needed rain…

A busy second half of the week, and, fitting into the spaces around those hours were other parts of living –  home and yardtending; snuggles, hugs, and play; lots of conversation; some stress and conflict and hurt feelings; tending to myself and my family; and shifting to the rhythms of a busier season.

More lovelies!

And there was reading, and writing, and claiming my dreams.

Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least 3 articles a week from my To Be Read files on computer, and categorize those I choose to keep or share.
  • Completed for 4/11.
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • Completed for 4/11.
  • I read K is for Transplant, and was deeply moved to comment.

M'boy!

Writing:

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I have had an idea of what may be a far better prologue for my story, and one that will foreshadow some of the important conflicts.
  • I am letting this idea simmer for a while, to dream on and play with, until I can’t wait another moment to write it, and then I will begin!
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I have separated the June 9, 2011 post into one snippet and a complete essay, perhaps needing minimal editing.
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I have reread and done a rough edit of the first original essay pulled from this area.  It seems to need a few additional paragraphs, and some polishing.
  • In the meantime, I will decide whether I want to post it on my blog or look for a market to submit it to.
  • Find all chapters of Blood and Breath.  Input into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
  • I have input Chapter One into Scrivener.
  • Next up is creating a story arc for the rest of the novel, and playing with characters and settings.
  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
  • I am still allowing ideas to surface and be written out via my A to Z posts.
  • There seems to have been a reason I chose some of the topics, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

Gabrielle and Annalise enjoy birthday tire swing fun at Gabrielles's house.

Blogging:

  • Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
  • I have written the rough drafts of my posts up to letter V, leaving 5 to write.
  • I have edited, embellished, and scheduled up to P is for Playfulness, leaving 10 posts to complete before meeting the challenge.
  • Create a “flow chart” for posting to shanjeniah and The Unfettered Life.  Use these, and adapt as necessary, throughout the round (with allowances made in April for the challenge).
  • I have posted both flow charts, and will begin easing into using them as I finish  the A to Z writing.
  • My goal remains to be using both flow charts by May 1.

Naomi and siblings Carson and Olivia model for me.

Networking:

  •  Explore She WritesTwitterStoryDamPinterest;and LinkedIn .  Use, develop, evaluate, adjust.
  • Am beginning to add connections and get braver in posting to LinkedIn, even posting my first link on Thursday.
  • I have pinned a couple of items on Pinterest, to test the Chrome extension I installed last week. Added a new board, Time Images.
  • I joined the Story Dam Facebook Page.  I’ve peeked around a little bit, and will be learning more, and likely interacting more, on future visits.
  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I have looked at Shah Wharton’s latest Storyteller Writing Challenge.
  • I will let the words and image seep into my awareness for a day or three, then write.  I know I only need to do one, but both tempt me.  I’m a glutton for storytelling, I guess! =)

Jeremiah loves exploring the principles of physics - anytime, anywhere.

  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I realized I haven’t been posting my A to Z posts on the Row80 Facebook page, so will be posting 2-3 there each day until I catch up.
  • So far, I have shared posts up to F is for Food there.
  • I am reading ROW80 update blogs and A to Z  blogs, as I can manage them.  There will be considerably more blog reading once I have finished my fourth book (in progress) of the month, and/or I get all of the A to Z posts written (I am up to V, at the moment).
  • I am mustering my bravery to begin posting links to my writing at the Story Dam Facebook Page and She Writes sites.  Soon, I think!

Marshmallow shooter making!

  • Do 3 guest posts and  host 3 guest bloggers this round.
  • I have posted a note to the ROW80 Facebook Page, seeking guest slots and guest bloggers.
  • If that doesn’t pan out in a day or so, I will write a separate blogpost with my request, and widen it to include The Unfettered Lifewhich would be an ideal place for fellow unschoolers to guest post.
  • I now have three guest posters……next up, working out schedules! =)
Submitting:

  •  Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
  • I am currently  pondering which pieces of flash fiction and poetry  I will submit to the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.  They accept previously published work, one piece at a time.
  • Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
  • I am allowing the thoughts to coalesce for my Anything Goes submission on becoming/being a blogger.
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • I have submitted once to The Storyteller’s Writing Challenge.
  • I am contemplating posting there again this week, and also to Chuck Wendig‘s Terrible Minds Flash Fiction Challenge.

Those bouncing young Burtons....

Photography:

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive; move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I deleted all redundant photos in my download file, after assuring I had a copy of them in my Picasa Web Albums.

Marketing:

  • Add useful articles to my shanjeniah Marketing Articles page.
  • I added two links to this page, with brief descriptions of both.  The first was on Book Promotion; and the second on creating a Rough Sketch of a WIP, which I believe will be useful later, when I create pages or blogs for my  WIPs.
  • Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
  • I am letting the ideas from the articles I read seep into my awareness.

Birthday cake!

Learning:

  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting first an essay, and then Blood and Breath.
  • I have input all the available chapters of Blood and Breath into Scrivener, and will next be creating a story arc for mapping out the action in the missing chapters.
  • Use Twitter and Tweetdeck at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I am replacing Tweetdeck with HootSuite, which is much more to my liking.
  • Future goals updates will reflect the change.
  • I am running Hootsuite today (Sunday) -  a very, very quiet day thus far…
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I have created a rough list of questions to start with; next will come the learning the answers part, and, of course, more questions!

Yumminess!

  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • I have begun reading here.  There is a lot to absorb, so I will be reading in stages.
  • Begin research list/research for  Chameleon’s Dish second draft.
  • I now have the beginnings of a research list. Next step is to look through the links I browsed in the rough draft writing more carefully, and gather them in a central and more accessible location.
Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • Both children have been asking for some of my online space to share what they want.  Since The Unfettered Life is intended to be an unschooling/life blog, I am going to begin by creating a page for each of their  creations, and help them to add to them as they wish.
  • This is likely to necessitate a change in layout, which I had been toying with, in any event…
  • Input Blood and Breath and Chameleon’s Dish to Scrivener.
  • The existing chapters of Blood and Breath have been added.
  • Next, I will begin gathering and rereading the chapters of Chameleon’s Dish.  These are all in my possession, but not yet gathered in one place.
  • Clean up computer downloads, documents, photos, and other clutter – move it or lose it!
  • I cleared a number of redundant photos from my Downloads file.

Lovely bits of Gabrielle's home...

Self-care:

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Thursday: Attended Live and Learn Homeschool Co-op.  Organized and orchestrated group Flarp making activity.  Lots of social  connection with like-minded moms and kids.  Photographed children and spring flowers.  A bit of reading and writing. One-on-one time with both children.
  • Friday: Recovery day from Thursday.  Reading, writing, uploading and editing photos.  Coffee in bed with Jim.  One-on-one  time with both kids.  Home and yard tending.  Worked in my new space.
  • Saturday: Very busy day! Friend Gabrielle’s seventh birthday.  Attended her party; lots more unschooly socialization with moms and children we love, and some dads, too.  Watching Lise and Miah enjoy tire swing and bounce house and time with friends.  On-on-one time with both kids.  Beaded a necklace.  Took a lot of pictures. A bit of work in my space.
  • Sunday: Coffee in bed with Jim.

More tire swing fun!

  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Thursday: Shopping.  Lots of movement at co-op.  Walks with both children, orchestrating activity,  and cleanup (we rent space in a local church, and so must tidy and put things to rights before we leave if we want to remain welcome tenants (which we do; the space is perfect for our needs – we even have access to a large kitchen and yard).
  • Friday: Half an hour each raking and working in my new space.  45 minutes of hometending.
  • Saturday: Birthday gift shopping.  Lots of walking, swing-pushing, and similar activity at party.  Helped with cleanup.  Worked a bit in my new space.
  • Sunday: One hour hometending.  35 minutes yardtending – raking (nearly done!); dog waste removal, and yard cleanup.  35 minutes working in my space – it’s coming along, and I plan to post progress pictures on Wednesday.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • I decorated myself with a necklace and headband on Thursday.
  • I wore the necklace I beaded on Saturday until bedtime.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Thursday: Social time with like-minded people of varying ages.  Photography – children and flowers in bloom.   Writing. Planning and orchestrating an activity. Time with both kids.
  • Friday: Home and yardtending. Reading and writing. Working in my space.  Editing photos.  Coffee with Jim. Time with both kids.
  • Saturday: More social time.  Celebrating.  Photographing children and decor.  Beading.   A little working in my space. Time with both kids.
  • Sunday: Yard and hometending.  Working in my space.  Reading and writing.  Editing photos.  Goals update.  Coffee with Jim: snuggles with both kids.

Girl eats Dandelion, #1

  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jim: Coffee and conversation.  Flirting.  Being on time or early when picking him up from work.  Home, yard, and childtending.
  • Annalise: Snuggles.  Sharing in her imaginative play.  Helping her with reading and spelling. Conversation.  Arranging to go to Gabrielle’s party, and giving her the freedom to choose the gift.  New Littlest Pet Shop friends.  Pushing her on the tire swing.  Bringing beading supplies home so she can bead when she wants.
  • Jeremiah: Snuggles.  A soda while out shopping.  Answered his questions about driving.  Conversation.  Hanging with him at the party when he wanted me nearby.  Beading together.  Helped facilitate his cooking.  Honored his sleep patterns, which are currently a bit out of sync with everyone else’s.

Girl decides dandelion is not for her!

I am loving this writing. I am making myself a happy, peaceful place in which to focus my writing energies, and less removed from the life of the rest of the family. I can be nearby, even carry on conversations with the children, but still have a measure of privacy and room to myself.~ Excerpt from Friday’s 750 words~

I am so glad I realized I needed a writing space, and that there was this little tucked-away corner of the house just collecting debris……

had no idea I was going to write a flash fiction piece for this one. I couldn’t find a way to begin an essay on vision; maybe I’m not quite ready for that.

Everything I wrote felt like lecturing.

So I deleted, and it occurred to me that what I was meant to write about was Henry and Nockatee.

And that is what I did.

Every time I write one of these little pieces, I connect more fully with the characters, and in a more visceral sense.

Maybe it’s because so much needs to be accomplished in a very small space. Maybe it’s because I’m not trying to create an entire novel, just to create a vignette.

It occurs to me that doing a slew of these BEFORE starting a novel would give me a much better sense of the characters and their interactions and motivations.

OOOH! I want to do some of these as the basis for each scene in Blood and Breath’s missing chapters…

If each scene is an embellishment of a flash fiction story, there will always be a degree of conflict and resolution, and probably tautness, too!

~excerpt from Sunday’s 750 words~

 And now, for five more fans…please, step forward, and take a bow!