Bon Anniversaire a… Moi! July 29, 2015

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

Today’s my birthday, for those who don’t translate French…

It’s also going to be hot enough to melt the icing on any cake in a matter of minutes – I didn’t order that! Fortunately, I’m not a very big fan of cake, so all’s good, even if I could use a day slightly more conducive to packing and loading up for Unschoolers Rock the Campground…

I may be less visible online, for the next few days. I plan on some deep connection with our tribe, and lots of joy – and, when we get home, the same with my Accomplice, who will be keeping the home fires figuratively burning, because it’s too hot for a real fire…

And now, to the matter at hand!

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

Writing:

  • Trueborn Warp/Weft Series: Complete plotting Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2, using The Snowflake Method, and draft. Plotting complete; 75,129/75,000 words drafted: Scene 24/50 complete; at the midpoint. My CampNaNo goal of 75K is complete and validated – happy birthday to me! =D Next up: Finish the draft – this will be a back-burner project for the rest of the month, as I do Other Things.
  • The IDIC Romance: Fit 2015 Story A Day May stories into existing, chronological Scrivener binder; fix continuity errors. Existing stories ordered and 2015 stories slotted in. Next up: Import 2015 story text to appropriate Scrivener files and folders.

Editing:

  • Slow Jazz Awakening”: Highlight detailed notes for plot, dialogue, setting, character, devices, themes, general impressions, and things for later stories in this or other arcs. Nothing new. Next up: Highlight Plot notes for all 16 scenes.
  • Complete “Peach Liqueur Love” Deep Revision, Exercise 2. Nothing new. Next up: Reread what I have written so far, and do Exercise #2.

Social Media:

  • ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date. My sponsor post is in; visits current.
  • Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits. Continue on-time posting; up the ante a bit on commenting and visiting. Making visits, posting, and getting to comments. Not all, or as quickly as I’d like – but that should change in a quieter August. Next up: A bit of a break after today, due to camping and spotty internet access.
  • Share posts – mine, and others': Share generously and variously as inspired! Get out of my comfort zone a bit with this one, and explore some new ideas…Nothing this session. Next up: share! Interesting and inspiring things, funny things, things that make me go hmmmm..but likely not till August.
  • Go on at least one social media adventure each week. I’ve been treating this like a chore – time to have fun with it! 2/1: Tweetdeck, for #RSWrite and Other Things. A wander from the A-Z Road Trip to one blog, then another, then another… Next up: Make this so, again – and again!

Hometending:

  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. I’ve got a flow now; ride the waves, and continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. 3/5.Tis all about getting ready to camp; gathering things, cleaning things, packing things… Next up: CAMPtending! =D
  • Create General Categories List of Things to Attend to Before We Move to Oregon; add specific items as/if they occur to me. Not yet. Next up: make a beginning.
  • Homeschool Administration: Submit Annalise’s test results to school district when received; rough draft IHIPs for 2015-2016 (research requirements for Grade 9), create Jeremiah’s Peer Review Panel Form. Nothing new. Next up: Finish what I’ve started: Need end matter for form; print for campground. Crop Annalise’s test score photos, and submit to district.

Lifetending:

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook and Twitter groups as inspired. Complete one critique. Yes on write-ins, and peeking at the group…critiques? Not yet. Next up: Read short scene critique.
  • Complete the two beta reads I’ve had waaay too long. Nothing new. Next up: Follow up with beta #1.
  • Meditation: Practice four times a week. Experiment with two new techniques. 4/4 for this week; thrice with mandalas; t’ai chi. Continued reading about mandala meditation and practice;1 /2 new techniques. Selected new technique; did very early stage research – more on that when I’m closer to actually starting… Next up: Research technique #2,and begin – likely in August.
  • Starfleet: Fill out application and check on summer USS Albany group meeting schedule. Nothing new. Next up: print application.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, several times each week. Yes, yes, and yes! Next up: More! =D

Selftending:

  • Make time for physical activity every day; use phone app to track three time a week. 3/7 days, 2/3 with phone; Walking, hometending, and t’ai chi. Next up: take the kids camping.
  • Practice: Attend t’ai chi regularly; begin consistent at-home practice. Aim to add second class weekly. At-home practice daily (except Tuesday, when I had class): Reading to increase knowledge base, warm-up, then my combo. It’s becoming habit. Next up: Continue class and at- home practice.

These goals are a part of Kait Nolan’s ROW80 Writing Challenge  – It’s also a blog hop – Find more ROWers right here!  I’ll be back, either on Sunday or Monday, to wrap up my July goals, and share new ones for August!

All Perfectly Normal: An IDIC Gift for my WIPpet Wednesday Birthday!

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She‘s our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway

Well, hello, July 29! Fancy meeting you here, as my life clicks over on another year filled with lovely chaos…

Riiiggghhhtttt…happens every year, at this time. And, since I’m not one for birthday parties or fussing (too close to July 25, which is important to me for very different reasons); and since I might not get to many WIPpets till after the weekend, because Camping (Yay, CAMPING!!!!), aI thought I’d give you all a gift, instead of the other way round…

Here you go!

Yup, I DID draft over 75K in 17 days….*pinches self; then looks at word counts again, to be sure* More than that; there are more than a few good words and meaty parts to develop – and I’ve still got a ways to go…

But I’m taking it easy, for the rest of the month, to play with other things, like:

  • Water,
  • my kids,
  • our friends,
  • revisions,
  • plotting,
  • prepping,
  • critiquing….

Oh, and did I forget?

THESE TWO!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 29, 2015.
  • I was born at 6:59am, July 29, 1969. Obviously, I have an affinity for the number 9….
  • Which also happens to be 3 squared – and three is my favorite number. =D
  • So, by the power invested in my by WIPpet math and being the Birthday Girl, I add 9+3 to give you a dozen sentences.

Before you read on, a disclaimer:

I don’t own Star Trek (I’m really not sure anyone truly can, at this point, despite what legal documents may say), and I have no intention to attempt to make any money off my favorite Vulcan and the brave human who dares to love her. It’s just that they keep dragging me into their lives, and they’re both rather intransigent about it…

For those keeping track, this story comes from my discards from last year; in its original form, it was backstory and development for this poem. I brought it out of the trash bin a few weeks back, and you can find the other installments of this story, which I’m revising piecemeal as I go, by following these links:

 

For those too busy to click those links, here’s the deal –

Captain Jonathan Archer approaches the Situation Room, and hears Trip and T’Pol having a standoff about sitting. Jon intentionally ‘doesn’t notice’ all the little intimacies between his second and third in command, but he does notice that T’Pol seems exhausted – too exhausted even to butt heads with her favorite human sparring partner. Trip’s giving her some kind of massage, and, very unexpectedly, T’Pol seems to find comfort and solace in the contact, even in public, and on duty.

We pick up from these lines:

Vulcans weren’t humans; T’Pol was entitled to her own brand of grief. And all the better, if she’d let Trip support her even a little – helping people was just his nature, and had been as long as Jon had known him


All Perfectly Normal

Jon decided to let well enough be well enough, and not notice the way Trip put one leg out behind him, using his foot to hook the chair. Or T’Pol’s uncharacteristic relaxation; she clearly found whatever the engineer was doing ‘agreeable’. Was this that neuropressure they’d started, back in the Expanse, when Trip couldn’t sleep?

He wanted to ask, but he remembered in time that the Vulcan discipline was considered intimate. If T’Pol needed it enough to accept it here, in the Situation Room, it would be foolish and maybe even unkind to point out to her that he knew it.

Instead, he acted like all this was perfectly normal. “All right then – what have we got for today?”

“Plomeek broth,” Trip said, as Hoshi came around the corner with a steaming cup presumably filled with the traditional Vulcan breakfast. “And the chair – didn’t think I forgot about that, did you?” He wrapped his arms gently around the First Officer; now both Jon and Hoshi were working hard at not noticing, so they looked at each other, darting glances to the other two as Trip maneuvered T’Pol into the chair. “There, now, that feels better,” he told her, as though he knew it was true. “Now, with the Cap’n’s permission, you’re going to have some breakfast before you fade away into nothing.”

Will T’Pol stay in the chair?

Will the Captain OK her impromptu meal?
Will T’Pol eat, even if he does?

Is Trip going to be sorry for being so presumptuous?

I’ll be posting the next few lines from this scene for #8sunday,  if you’d like to learn more…

Looking for WIPpet Snippets where people notice things, and no one’s making anyone sit or having a birthday or plying them with Vulcan soup? You can find those, or add your own date-related excerpt, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet!

An In Tents Pause: Ready. Set. Write! July 20- 27, 2015 (Week 7 Update)

346d0-rsw2

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

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

 

Portable home….Unschoolers Rock the Campground, 2014. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

And now, without further fuss and bother, my update!

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

How I Did On Last Week’s Goals:

Writing:

  • Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: draft to 70K as my July CampNaNoWriMo  novel. Current total: 66,256. Words to goal: 3,744. I didn’t quite get there, but I made very good progress, and the story’s still taking off at the midpoint, so I’m calling this almost a win.

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts, 8/9; another almost win. The last one will be up by the time you read this post. I ran out of week just a little too soon!
  • Catch up all blog comments and visits. This will stay until I get there – your comments are important to me! Fine-tune the flowand get to at least a few of the ‘pending’ comments, too! Dealt with more pending comments…and I’m catching most or all of the new ones quickly. I’ve upped my visiting this week, as well. Another almost.

Homeschool Paperwork:

  • Create Jeremiah’s Homeschool Peer Reveiw Panel Assessment Form for 2014-2015; submit Annalise’s PASS test scores to school district. Peer Review complete sans final paragraph/statement, and signature lines. Not a win; getting closer, though

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal six times. Meditate four times. 7/6 journals;8 /4 meditation (mandala x4; t’ai chi.). This one is a GREAT BIG WIN! And I mean that in more than a goal attained sense, I mean it in a peace and self-awareness sense, too!
  • Actually visit the #RSW2015 hashtag! =) I did -and found out it’s actually #RSWrite! Good to know – and now I’ve got a column on my Tweetdeck, and I’ll be back again! Another HUGE WIN!

My goals for this week:

Wednesday’s my birthday, and Thursday, my kids and I leave for our annual unschoolers’ camping gathering. My goals are shifting to accommodate fun, swimming, community, and lotsa joy!

Writing:

  • Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: Draft to 75K as my July CampNaNoWriMo  novel, and validate by midnight on Wednesday, July 29, which also happens to be my birthday. Current total: 66,256. Words to goal: 8,744. I can do this! I will do this! I AM doing this! =D

Editing:

  • Slow Jazz Awakening”: Highlight detailed notes for plot and dialogue. There are 16 scenes‘ worth of notes to go through, but I won’t need internet or vast swaths of time, so that makes it perfect for a camping weekend.
  • Complete “Peach Liqueur Love” Deep Revision, Exercise 2. Reread what I have written so far, and do Exercise #2. Another project that can be easily done offline – and it’s been waiting a loong time!

Plotting:

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Finish plotting Sea Changes (KIC#3), using Rock Your Plot. I’ve got the book downloaded on my Kindle, and I can do this in small scraps of time, a little at a time. Perfect for camping!
  • The IDIC Romance: Import 2015 Story A Day May stories into existing, chronological Scrivener binder.I‘ve already created the files for these; this week, I’ll move the text into them, which will make planning and drafting next year’s Enterprise: A-Z stories a far simpler matter.

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts; schedule ahead if possible, With camping, I may not get to all of them – other priorities, and spotty Internet. I’ll do my best.
  • Catch up all blog comments and visits. This will stay until I get there – your comments are important to me! This might be back-burnered for most of this week, due to spotty internet.

Lifetending:

  • Prepare for and attend Unschoolers Rock the Campground with the kids. This is my primary focus for this week -and the highlight of our social calendar. Aim for peaceful preparation, an uneventful drive to and from, and All the Joy!

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal six times. Meditate four times. Keeping the same numbers, due to travel and camping, and the difference in flow they’ll bring.
  • T’ai chi practice four times. For something new…I’ve been working on making a habit of this, so here it is; and, best yet, I can do it in just a few minutes, in very little space
  • Visit the #RSWrite hashtag twice! Upping the ante on this one.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

“We know, and we will tend to it as best as we are able – but that is not by Running to the Pridekeep, to put ourselves once again within reach of his barbs, his talons, and his fangs. It be his blood that runs in our veins, but that makes us not his tool, nor his plaything – nor, ever, his Solemate!”

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

  • Saturday was the twelfth anniversary of the death of our secondborn, Elijah, who lived only twelve days. I don’t know if July 25 will ever NOT be an emotionallly challenging day, for me…

Something I love about my WIP:

  • That it’s so much better than what I plotted (which was pretty good!).

That’s it for me. Come back next Monday, August 3, to see how I’m doing. Join in or cheer us on! There’ll be Twitter parties (using the hashtag #RSWrite), giveaways and fun (I like fun!). And writing. Lots of that!

Learning (Anything But) Nothing: July 27, 2015

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

Yesterday was Learn Nothing Day.

Once again, I failed….spectacularly.

(Actually, it was July 24, which I learned while getting the link…so, I failed by learning different stuff than what’s listed below, but I still failed!)

It started just after midnight, when I took a walk with my daughter, and learned that, although we couldn’t see the moon, it was still fairly bright out.  

It just went on from there.  I learned about:

  •  freelance writing,
  • t’ai chi,
  • Windows 10.
  • that my writing group is filled with amazing, awesome and compassionate women.  
  • what was going on in my husband’s, daughter’s, and son’s heads.
  • about a very cool postcard poetry challenge.
  • a new-to-me way to learn languages and more..
  • new things about my characters and their stories.

And I learned that 2015 was not the year I was going to learn nothing on Learn Nothing Day.   Maybe 2016?

At any rate, it’s time for my belated-by-a-day update…

Annalise, on Learn Nothing Day, 2009. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

No learnin’ to see here, folks! Jeremiah, Learn Nothing Day 2009. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Writing:

  • The IDIC Romance: Fit 2015 Story A Day May stories into existing, chronological Scrivener binder; fix continuity errors. Existing stories ordered and 2015 stories slotted in. Next up: Import 2015 story text to appropriate Scrivener files and folders.

Editing:

  • “Slow Jazz Awakening”: Highlight detailed notes for plot, dialogue, setting, character, devices, themes, general impressions, and things for later stories in this or other arcs. Nothing new. Next up: Highlight Plot notes for all 16 scenes.
  • Complete “Peach Liqueur Love” Deep Revision, Exercise 2. . Nothing new. Next up: Reread what I have written so far, and do Exercise #2.

Something we learned on Learn Nothing Day 2009 – oops! Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Social Media:

  • ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date. My sponsor post is in; visits current.
  • Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits. Continue on-time posting; up the ante a bit on commenting and visiting. Doing better. I’ve found it’s somewhat easier to tackle a few at a time, when I need time to percolate ideas, watch Enterprise, wait for that molar to fall out of the girl’s mouth…Next up: make some visits and respond to more comments, including pending ones.
  • Share posts – mine, and others': Share generously and variously as inspired! Get out of my comfort zone a bit with this one, and explore some new ideas…Nothing this session. Next up: share! Interesting and inspiring things, funny things, things that make me go hmmmm…
  • Go on at least one social media adventure each week. I’ve been treating this like a chore – time to have fun with it! 2/1: Spent some time on Facebook, and updated my Pinterest feed. Next up: Make this so, again – and again!

Hometending:

  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. I’ve got a flow now; ride the waves, and continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. I honestly can’t say for sure, because Other Things. Stuff was done. Other stuff wasn’t. Next up: Begin shifting back into maintenance mode…and more weeding!
  • Create General Categories List of Things to Attend to Before We Move to Oregon; add specific items as/if they occur to me. Not yet. Next up: make a beginning.
  • Homeschool Administration: Submit Annalise’s test results to school district when received; rough draft IHIPs for 2015-2016 (research requirements for Grade 9), create Jeremiah’s Peer Review Panel Form. Test scores are back; Peer Review Form body completed. Next up: Finish what I’ve started: Need end matter for form; print for campground. Crop Annalise’s test score photos, and submit to district.

Inventing a game, and learning all the while…Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Lifetending:

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook and Twitter groups as inspired. Complete one critique. Yes on write-ins, and peeking at the group…critiques? Not yet. Next up: Read short scene critique.
  • Complete the two beta reads I’ve had waaay too long. Nothing new. Next up: Follow up with beta #1.
  • Meditation: Practice four times a week. Experiment with two new techniques. 8/4 for this week; thrice with mandalas, and once during t’ai chi. Continued reading about mandala meditation and began practice;1 /2 new techniques. Selected new technique; did very early stage research – more on that when I’m closer to actually starting… Next up: Research technique #2,and begin.
  • Starfleet: Fill out application and check on summer USS Albany group meeting schedule. Nothing new. Next up: print application.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, several times each week. Yes, yes, and yes! Next up: More! =D

Selftending:

  • Make time for physical activity every day; use phone app to track three time a week. 6/7 days, 3/3 with phone; Walking, weeding, hometending, and t’ai chi. Next up: take the kids camping.
  • Practice: Attend t’ai chi regularly; begin consistent at-home practice. Aim to add second class weekly. At-home practice daily: Reading to increase knowledge base, brief warm-up, then Ward Off/ Rollback/Press and Push combo. It’s now part of my morning flow, and becoming habit. Next up: Continue class and at- home practice.

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

A close up of the game – and other learning – in progress, 2009. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

The Birthday and Camping Edition: Second Serving Sunday

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

Are you ready for a Second Serving?

Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: Scrambling and Scribbling (Okay, Typing).

  • It’s been another busy week, in Shan-land (it’s possible I just made that up…). Write-ins, drafting, blogging, family connection, and, yesterday, the twelfth anniversary of Elijah’s death, and a daring leap that didn’t go exactly as planned but was lovely just the same.
  • I’ve made considerable forward progress on my Camp NaNoWriMo  drafting; Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn Weft #2)  ended the week at 60,483 words, entering the midpoint. The characters are living and breathing, and routinely doing things that confound me, tangle up my plotting, and generally make the story far better than I could on my own. =)

Above par, at last! =)

Last week’s features:

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

79782-shade

Eight Sentence Sunday: The Blog Hop For Everyone Who Loves to Write!

Ready, Set, WRITE! A Summer Writing Intensive, with Cheering Section!

  • Writing On Amid Entropy: The week that began with a difficult birth anniversary, and ended with – well, lovely chaos….or something like it.

Mindful Monday:  Because Self-Awareness is Vital to a Joyful Life.

  • #onegoodcup After Another: My #onegoodcup journal provides a place to work through even the most intransigent of family-of-birth thorniness…and a reminder of why some relationships are better released.

WIPpet Wednesday: Date-related WIP Snippets!

  • First Ripening: An R rated, adults-only, trigger warning bearing sexual ambush...from the antagonist’s rather warped  point-of-view. Another snippet from FDWR, Draft 1.

Coffee and Conversation: Grab a cuppa, and let’s chat!

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday): A weekly prompt to free the mind, and set loose the words!

  • “Only for a Thirtygrain”:  Vaara discovers that she’s trapped – but not without resources born of her Tribed nature, and her personal history. But will a thirtygrain be enough time to complete her Hunt? A longer passage from FDWR.

What’s Next:

  • This week, in addition to wrapping up CampNaNoWriMo and having a birthday, I’ll be camping for real. The kids and I are headed to Plymouth, MA for Unschoolers Rock the Campground, an annual chance to gather with a lovely tribe of peaceful, interesting, and loving folk from around the Northeast. I anticipate lots of time at the lake, a potential girls’ sleepover, lots of connection, and not so much writing – my mind tends to be full of the moments, during that time…

  • So, I’ll be hustling to get packed, to reach my Camp goal – only a bit under 13K to go, now! – and to get as many blog posts as I can manage done and scheduled before we leave, because, in addition to the camping, internet tends to be capricious, there.

  • What I will be able to do, in moments of quiet, will be some of the revision and plotting things on that list down there, which have been waiting very quietly all month for their turn to arrive…and it’s almost here! =)

July Focuses:

  • Birthdays, death anniversaries, and other emotional rollercoaster stuff…
  • More homeschooling paperwork – ’tis the season!
  • Unschoolers Rock the Campground
  • Complete plotting for Sea Changes: Kifo Island Chronicles #3.
  • Complete plotting for Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2 
  • Complete 75,000 words for July CampNaNoWriMo.
  • Update blog sidebar.
  • Complete next revision pass (2.5) for “Slow Jazz Awakening”
  • Resume revisions on “Peach Liqueur Love”

This week, on the blog:

  • Ready, Set, WRITE!: Update #7. As things settle into a more typical rhythm, right before another pattern shift, I assess my progress, and set some bare-bones camping week goals.

  • Mindful Monday: Perception, presumption, and where they can lead…
  • ROW80 Updates: On Wednesday and Sunday, for the duration of the round.
  • WIPpet Wednesday: It’s my birthday, and, hobbit-style, I offer a surprise gift to my readers!
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS):A post based on the weekly prompt, TBA Friday. I’ll go wherever my wandering mind takes me…perhaps to a campground not so far, far away, where my body will be; or maybe somewhere completely different.
  • #8sunday: I extend my “birthday gift” to my readers with a few more sentences of…

Pinewoods Lodge and Campground, July 2014, overlooking the lake.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

That’s what I’ve been up to, and will be getting up to.

What about you?

(Yes, I’m a little nosy. Writer thing.)

If you want to satisfy my perhaps inappropriate curiosity,

drop me a line or a few in the box below!

Into the Maze Once Again: Foul Deeds Will Rise: (Trueborn Weft #2) for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to

Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 07/25/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/26/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

It’s a second chance to share a small snippet of my current writing. Most weeks, I tie them back to my WIPpet Wednesday  post, so reading both can give a deeper peek…

This ten-sentence snippet is a rough draft that follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, First Ripening (for adult readers only; trigger warning)

Before you read on, a disclaimer:

This scene is intended for adults only. It is rated strongly R for sexual content; in addition, it contains potentially triggering material. If these aren’t your cup of tea, this might be a good post to skip – I’ll understand.

Into the Maze Once Again

He was Kaivelt in her mind, and, again and again, he steered her from thoughts of the maze, the Canivaarii, the red blood on the blue stones, and the faces…

He steered her away, until she calmed – but then, when she wasn’t fleeing the danger, reliving the horror of simply having done what was needful to save her own life, she began to focus only on this Matehunt…

He was Kaivelt in her mind, but in truth, he was not. He could be Kaivelt to her only so long as she believed him to be – but she couldn’t believe, if she could see and feel clearly…

So, having led her from the horrors, again and again, he gave her back to them, set a Hunt that led them into the maze once more – and then once more, and once more, and then again, and again…how was he able to give her his seed so many times? Never before had he been able to give so freely and so often of himself, and his seed….his blood, passing through his blood, purified –

He knew she would conceive a child of this day. It would be his Truestborn, twice carrying his blood. She would conceive, because sima garo provided this – this murder of a mother, madness of a mate, even the arytana vines that grew thick and strong enough for this bower, which he had woven when she slept, because she could scream no more. Even then, as she lay below, and he wove their nest here, there were whimpers and little sounds left over, as though she’d scream for all time if only she was able.

What happened in the maze?

Who is ‘she’?
Will she discover what is being done to her?

Why does this character want a Truestborn, to begin with?

Hunt down more of the story:

One last thing….if you’re a fan of my favorite Vulcan and the human who loves her, don’t worry. They‘re still trying to get my attention (Trip’s waving his arms, but T’Pol is just giving me ‘the stare’) and slipping bits of this and that into my head, even though they know I’m busy… so, sooner or later, they’re going to demand that I stop everything else and let them at it…or at each other…or at something else…

The point is, they’ll be back…they always are!

Want more #8Sunday? The icon is your portal!

 

(Maybe Not So) Boldly Growing (In the Coffee Shop): 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.

So settle in, and I’ll get you a cuppa something refreshing…

And let’s have a conversation…

Tonight, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.

I’m boldly going to a local coffee shop,

to read a poem at an open mic poetry night.

No, it won’t be the first time I’ve read my poetry aloud to an audience. This isn’t even the first time I’ve read this particular poem for an audience, and the last time, the audience was much larger – on the order of a hundred people!

But there’s a huge difference.

The first time, I read to unschoolers at a talent show that might possibly be the most supportive event I’ve ever been a part of. There was lots of space, and lots of relative anonymity. At the same time, many of the people in that audience knew me, my family, and our story.

This time, I’ll be reading to an indeterminate group of people in an intimate setting – the library of Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary.

I have no idea who will be there, other than me, and most likely my eleven year old daughter.

One of the most daring people I know! Annalise at 10, on the Oregon Coast. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

To make it even more butterfly-inducing, my poem is deeply emotional, deeply intimate –

It’s a poem that commemorates the twelve-day life of our second child, Elijah James. And today is the twelfth anniversary of his death on July 25, 2003.

When I saw the notice for the open-mic night, and when it was, I felt a zinging ‘a-ha!’ feeling. I tried not to feel it – I’m not especially comfortable with groups of strangers watching me; I prefer a higher degree of anonymity in a crowd. To be the focal point, in an emotionally vulnerable moment…and in front of people I don’t know…or, maybe, even some that I do know…

Scary…and potent.

And the type of thing I feel I need to do, for inner reasons that aren’t easily articulated. It’s a threshold I haven’t crossed before, and the timing is right…

I think these moments come to us all, and they’re pivotal. Do we stay where we are, in our comfort zone, playing it safe? Or do we pay attention to that zinging, “This is it” feeling?

August Joy! This lovely lady, August McLaughlin, has inspired me to dare (and dream, and grow) greatly, these last few years. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton. Click to  visit August!

I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve turned away, run off hiding, pretended that I didn’t see the opportunity. But, from time to time, that sense of rightness has compelled me – when I traveled cross-country on a train with fifty dollars to my name, to take a job at the Grand Canyon, where I knew no one. When we decided to shift our parenting model to one that’s peaceful and partnering. When I chose to release relationships that weren’t mutually beneficial.

Something’s changed in me, since I entered my 40s.  I’ve realized that this is my life to live, and, since no one else can live it for me, I’ve got to be the one who decides how to live this, my one and only life (well, I think it is, if you don’t count the fictional worlds I very often inhabit!).

I draw inspiration from people, music, literature – wherever I see daring, and openness, honesty, vulnerability, and the spark of passion. That’s why I’ve included the photos and music in this post – these things remind me off why I’m doing what I’m doing in only a few hours, now…

This night is dedicated in loving tribute to Elijah James Burton, our Tiny Tiger, July 13-25, 2013, and forever beloved of his family. Photo and poem by Shan Jeniah Burton – Mommy.

How about you?

Have you ever done something that was very scary to you, but where you just knew you had to do it to grow? How did you prepare for it? What was it like just before? During? After?

My nerves, and my soul, are a little frazzled, today. I’m just going to sit here quietly and listen. Please, go ahead and talk amongst yourselves; I find it fascinating, inspirational and soothing.

And then I’m off to explore that new world, and dedicate this growth to a soul who didn’t have the chance to stretch in this way…maybe not where no man has gone before, but certainly where no Shan Jeniah  has grown before.