Second-Serving Sunday: Betwixt and Between Edition

 

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

I’ve been – busy.  No, that’s not the perfect word, but it’ll do.  Inspiration has led to action, and more inspiration, and more action, and…

I’m engaged in many things, and, maybe predictably, I don’t have a lot else to say…So, on to the good stuff! =D

 

Recently at shanjeniah:

Second-Serving Sunday: Inspiration Edition!

  • It was an inspiring week filled with ideas, explorations, and wonder…click on the links to take a peek into the past!

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • First Things First? A prompt to use an ordinal number leads me on a ramble about prioritizing when all parts seem equal, birth order, and the changing season.

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

ROW80 Updates:

 

What’s Next:

My fiction writing plans for the last days of September, and the beginning of October:

  • Continue revising my time-travel fantasy novel, Chameleon’s Dish (title subject to change), set in the 1612-13 London area.
  • Continue drafting Perchance to Dream, the Star Trek: TOS/ Enterprise fanfiction companion novel to my original fantasy, The Stars are Fire.
  • Complete character sketches and biographies, and begin plotting my NaNoWriMo project, The Earth Doth Move (title changed), another Star Trek: TOS/Enterprise crossover fan fiction which is the companion novel to my existing fantasy WIP, Blood and Breath, which I’m rereading and making pre-revision notations.
  • FutureLearn Shakespeare and His World: This is a free class that begins tomorrow! Bee Halton clued me in, and deserves HUGE thanks! It’ll be fun, and #itswritingresearch! =D
  • OctPoWriMo: 31 poems in 31 days! I’ll be writing a new poem each day, as well as revising the one I wrote on that date 2 years ago. Fun and poetic times await! =D
  • Unknown Worlds Review- Continue revising 3 stories for submission here by October 31.

And on the blog:

  • For Coffee and Conversation, A special treat this week – my friend and fellow WIPpeteer, Amy Leibowitz, is having a Cover Reveal! Come learn more about her upcoming novel, Lower Education. We’ve got the cover, and we get to peek inside!
  • WIPpet Wednesday will host another excerpt from my Story a Day May exploration, The IDIC Romance I’ll be picking up where I left off last week, with Kroykah?, the fourteenth installment of “Tigress T’Pol”. Will Trip‘s efforts to slow down T’Pol’s amorous onslaught save her from her primal instincts, before they reach the point of no return?
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), I’ll be writing a stream-of-consciousness post on the weekly prompt.
  • ROW80 Updates: It’s a break for A Round of Words in 80 Days. I’ll be doing an evaluation of my yearly goals, and then relaxing until Round 4 begins on October 6.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

  • And because I can’t get enough of these two…

Life Stuff:

  • Lots of hometending, yardtending, and getting ready for winter.
  • And relaxing while I wrap up some things and move others forward, during the ROW80 break.
  • Apple picking and enjoying the fall weather.

So, what have you been up to this week? Any exciting fall plans for next week? I’d love to hear about it!

Trip-le Exposure? Me taking a picture of my Kindle, playing the Enterprise, while the sliding door behind me reflects the woods and lakes…neat, huh?!

An Inspirational Stretch: September 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

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

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. On target.

  • Second-Serving Sunday: Inspiration Edition!

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily until the draft is completed. Target attained!

  • September 17: 761 words.

  • September 18: 850 words.

  • September 19: 885 words.

  • September 20: 793 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Chapter One and Two read-alouds complete.

  • Chapters Two and Three printed.

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

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

  • 3/3 G/M/Cs complete!

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

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Scene 13/60 in progress.

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

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

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

  • Chapter Two: 3/17 pages.

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

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

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. Target attained!

  • A bit more tidying – and magnet rubble eradication.

Clean email files. On target.

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

Continue the family room reset.Target attained!

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

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. Target attained!

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

  • Hooray for my calendar app! I think I’m in love! =)

Develop Daily Hometending Frames. On target.

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

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. Target attained!

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

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

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

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

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

  • 5/5; 3 smoothies; 2 salads.

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

  • Yogurt: 3/2; nuts 2/2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Cheer the ROWers to the finish line!

SoCS : Average? Well, Maybe Not…

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This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme.

The idea is simple – post an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt – this week’s is to write a post that uses average as a word, or as a theme.

 

Average.

 

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

Grades on a bell curve. Courtesy eCourses.

But not average. Above.

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

Defying the law of averages since 2001!

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

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

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

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

Average?

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

Just your average love note?

Loving who she is, as she is!

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

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

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

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

Enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Anyone can play, so long as they are willing to follow a few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos in my mind! =)

Join in or read more SoCS posts here!

Stretching into the Fall: September 17, 2014

What’ll happen if you click the badge?

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

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

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

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

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

It’s in each breath, and every heartbeat…

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

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

September fun at the Erie Canal!

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. On target.

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating my study’s magical bits…

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed. Not quite.

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

  • September 14: 516 words.

  • September 15: 827 words.

  • September 16: 864 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Prologue read-aloud complete.

My grandmother’s Hoosier cabinet; my study desk.

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

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

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

  • Prologue: 10/10 pages.

  • General Chapter Notes.

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

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

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

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

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

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

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Homeschool paperwork.

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

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

  • Annalise’s complete, except for attendance.

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

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

  • Annalise’s IHIP complete.

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

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

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

Views of my study shelf….

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

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

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

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

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

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

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

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

  • Arms:4; Legs:3; Core:3.

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

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

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

  • 2/5 so far; 1 smoothie; 1 salad.

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

  • Yogurt: 2/2; nuts 0/2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

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

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

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

 

Who’s ROWing through the last week?

 

A Tangled Stretch: September 14, 2014

Wonder what will happen if you click this badge!

Know that place where progress and problems get all tangled up in each other? Where it seems all your steps amount to a lot of sideways travel?

Well, that’s been this session, for me.

Yes, I’ve made progress on several projects. I’m about to get the homeschooling reporting done, and that will free me up until the next (smaller) batch is due in December. Early planning for my NaNo project is coming along. I feel like I’m finding a more sustainable blogging rhythm that fits in with my life. Revisions are moving slowly, but moving, and the results – well, I’m loving the results, and this is just the beginning of the first pass! Perchance to Dream is inching its way to completed-draft status; that’ll be the last “hanging” WIP, and the last of my hybrid planning projects. I’m doing well with my fitness goals, too.

That all sounds pretty good, right? Well, there’s a flip side…

I’m in the midst of an awakening to deeper aspects of myself. As often happens, my Accomplice in Mischief hasn’t yet gotten the memo, and so there’s a certain dissonance between us. It’ll ease, and it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it adds a certain friction that frays at the edges of life.

It’s the week where the kids and I seem to be on different schedules, and the brief zone where a few days go by without there ever being a time when we’re all asleep.

And my planning and rereading have led me to a tangled place in my Trueborn duology in the making – the timelines do not come close to matching up! I’m going to have to split Blood and Breath into two novels, and I’m not sure where in the novel to do it. I know I’ll need to expand both halves…

Ahh, the tangly, lovely chaos of autumnal transitions!

Silly kids at the Erie Canal!

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

They found this cow creepy…I think it’s cute!

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. Not quite for posting; on target for queuing.

  • All posts on schedule except Second-Serving Sunday, which I missed last Sunday.

  • I’ve got this week’s WIPpet excerpt in drafts; next week’s in prep; and the following week’s in revision. Wahoo! =D

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

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

  • So many comments! So much interaction. I’m making peace with the idea that a backlog is a good thing, because it means that the conversation is ongoing. I’m learning how to pace myself so that there’s still time to write things we can chat about. =D

Walking along the towpath…

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed.Target exceeded!

  • September 10: 798 words.

  • September 11: 996 words.

  • September 12: 814 words.

  • September 13: 761 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60; into the third act we go! =)

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Prologue read-aloud complete.

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

  • Rock Your Plot premise testing exercises complete.

  • Reread goal/motivation/conflict section; set POV characters.

  • Spock’s G/M/C complete; 1/3.

Girl on the towpath.

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Scene 12/60; Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Resolution pass about half finished.

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

  • Prologue: On-page revision notes: 8/10 pages.

Backlit on a barge.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A little magnet sorting; general tidying, bulletin board sprucing, and contemplating what’s next.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

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

  • A surge is taking shape. Lots of writing, and not a little revising- and even more dreaming and scheming, sprinkled with planning.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Mostly homeschool paperwork.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting.

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. On target.

  • Annalise’s complete, except for attendance.

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

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. On target.

  • Annalise’s IHIP complete.

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

Submit Jeremiah’s PASS test results when received. On target.

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

Tugboat lineup!

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

  • 5/5 so far; 3 smoothies; 2 salads.

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

  • Yogurt: 5/2; nuts (walnuts; mixed; slivered almonds): 3/2.
  • It was clearly a Greek yogurt kinda week! =)

 

My friend Yorick!

 

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Draft my Round 4 sponsor post by 9/25 (end of round 3). On target.

  • I have a theme, and an idea or three bouncing around in my head. I’ll be playing with them this week.

 

Come ROWing with us!

Playful sibs!

A Laid-Back Stretch: September 10, 2014

Wonder what’ll happen if you click the badge?!

You know that feeling, after a busy stretch, when life slows down again?  Yup, I’m there…

After all the hustle and bustle and general bigness of last week, this one has begun more quietly. The kids and I took in the closing moments of Tugboat Roundup at the Erie Canal, then stopped at a local ice cream shop, because the summer slipped away without a visit there.

Tuesday, Jeremiah and I went for a workout – his first independent visit to the weight room. While I did my cardio, he went for a swim, then joined me on the recumbent bike for a mile or so…

Writing-wise, things are happening. Nothing major to report, just progress on several fronts.

Tugboat Roundup Shoppers

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

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

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

Sign of the Times…

2014 Blogging:

Focus on layout and design aspects of my Blogging Action Plan.

Get the Kristen Lamb social media wizardry ball rolling. On target.

  • I found a bit of explanation that describes what I want my future website to be. Will share with Kristen this week, and address wider social media, too.

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. Not quite for posting; nothing queued as yet.

  • I missed my Second-Serving Sunday post when Windows swallowed it just before I finished it. I planned to make it up on Tuesday, and then discovered that Annalise’s homeschool paperwork was also gulped up – and that is a priority…

  • I am getting closer to the point where I have ideas ready to develop for my Coffee and Conversation queue; and a more refined topic list for posting.

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

  • This has become standard practice. I’m getting many comments, and interaction has skyrocketed over the course of this round! It may take me a few days to reply, but I LOVE chatting with you all! Happy, happy, happy me! =D

I Love Tiny Tugs!

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed.Target exceeded!

  • August 7: 792 words.

  • August 8: 792 words.

  • August 9: 897 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 48/60; setting up third act.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Printed the Prologue and Chapter One; have read aloud first several pages.

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

  • Began Rock Your Plot premise testing exercises. I now have a premise, and I’m not afraid to use it! =D

Pennants against the sky….

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Still moving through Scene 12/60; Devices pass completed. One more (Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Resolution) to go.

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

  • Prologue: 1/3 complete.

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

  • Moved all existing story files to new folders.

 

Posing with Pikachu!

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A little magnet sorting.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

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

  • Things were a little jumbled by life; but writing happened.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Mostly hometending.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting.

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. On target.

  • I lost all of Annalise’s, but reproduced up to Sciences.

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. On target.

  • Annalise’s IHIP was lost, but recreated through Sciences.

 

Mule Map.

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Select and complete projects from my Play Jar. On target.

  • I took the kids swimming. Slip count tally pending.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. Target attained!

  • The kids and I attended The Tugboat Roundup.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

Last week was a strenuous one; that was reflected in my workout this week.

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

  • I walked .62 miles in about 15 minutes. On target, or nearly so.

Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program. Not quite.

  • 7.17 miles in 30 minutes. Not as fast as my last time; I was fatigued.

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

  • 3 of each.

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

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

  • 2/5 so far; one of each.

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

  • Yogurt: 3/2; nuts (walnuts): 1 /2.

 

I love pistachio ice cream!

 

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Come ROW with us (tugboats not included)!

 

Tugboat Lineup!

Coffee and Conversation: #WSHD: Let’s Talk About Sex!

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while. It’s time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

What reaction did you have when you read the title of this post? Did you think about running away before things get dirty around here? Did you salaciously scan down, hoping for “naughty bits”? Did you think of your own partner, orientation, children, beliefs, fears? Abuse or empowerment? Specific sexual acts you’ve participated in, or wish you could? Fantasy, food, poetry, or literature? Sin, or ecstasy, or some of both?

I hope I didn’t scare you off with the title, and that you’re still here…!

I could go on and on – because sex is as natural for humans as breathing, eating and sleeping – one of the most basic of our drives, inextricably bound up in the fact that we are sexually reproducing animals – yes, beneath all our evolution, we are still animals.

But there’s sex- the simple procreative act between male and female; the base drive to reproduce and perpetuate the species – and then there’s sexuality –

Sexuality is what happens when all those layers of evolution come into play. It’s the human element of sex, and it’s as diverse and complex as humanity itself. It’s as big as the collective human, and as small as a caught breath, a feathered touch, the instant of conception…

Click the icon to learn more!

Last Thursday, I attended the Second Annual World Sexual Health Day Celebration in New York City. The venue was intimate and inspiring, and the event –

The event had my laughing, thinking, soaring, grinning, shaking, savoring, imagining, learning, stretching, growing, crying – and shifting.

To see why, you can watch the entire show, follow the Twitter feed, or join the Facebook page.

I could write thousands and thousands of words on this experience – and I think I will, over the next weeks and months. For today, though, I just want to share one aspect of the evening, and how it clicked with me and my life on a deep level.

During her question and answer session, Dr. Sara NasserZadeh, who is a native Iranian, addressed the topic of the differing views of sex and gender attitudes across the world, and how there is a certain tendency to view our own way as the “right” one, rather than being open to learning more about other ways of sexual being, and what there might be to learn from them.

She cautioned about carrying arrogance into sexual conversations, as in referring to the female circumcision practiced in some areas of the world as genital mutilation. She invited us to consider how that would sound to the women who have experienced this procedure- to call this most intimate part of their bodies ‘mutilated’, and imply that they are lesser in some way because of it.

“We have to meet people where they are,” she said.

That resonated with me. It’s the cornerstone of unschooling- rather than attempting to act upon our children, to focus on bringing them to where we want them to be, we literally or figuratively come to where they are, watch them, learn where it is they want to go, and offer as much or as little support and guidance as they need to get there.

Another version of this is at the heart of mindfulness, yoga, t’ai chi, and other such practices. It’s not necessary to master anything in one try. “Begin where you are.” And, as parents who might be moving into respectful, partnership parenting from a very different paradigm. Such huge changes can’t be accomplished overnight, so the only thing to do is to begin where you are, and go from there.

And so, I’m beginning. From time to time, there will be a sexual topic in this feature. The range will be – well, it will be the scope of my journey….and more.

Because I’m inviting you all to make this journey with me, but in your own way. Because it’s time to talk about sex, and sexuality – not behind our hands or in dark rooms to hide our blushes, but openly and with respect.

Come out from behind that menu and chat with me about sex.

What are you thinking about sexuality now, at the end of this post? Are you seeing it a little differently? Are you thinking about where you are, and if it’s where you want to be? Are you seeing a widening of your sexual awareness? Are you ready to hide? Strut your sexual stuff?

I’ve got a variety of refreshments available, and an intimate virtual space cleared for our private use. Whatever you have to say, I want to meet you where you are, and I promise not to snicker…so, what do you have to say about sex and sexuality?