ROW80 – “Commencing Countdown……”

Round of Words 80 Goals – Round 1, 2012:

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

  • I completed Chapter Twenty-Two!
  • I now have  11,037 words in Chapter Twenty-Three, “Life,Mirrored”.
  • Things are moving more quickly toward the resolution now –  the key has been found, but the puzzle still needs some uraveling, and there are still several new and old conflicts to complicate the resolution.
  • It still seems that it will be  twenty-five chapters with an epilogue.
  • The words seem to be flowing – a little haltingly and in unexpected ways.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s next! =)

I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.

  • I submitted my poem, La Reve des Etoiles (The Dream of Stars) to Black Heart Magazine.
  • Response time for this submission is about three months, so I will not be likely to know for certain until Round 2.
  • With the poetry submission, this goal has been attained!

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

  • I have been keeping up with my Writer Page.
  • I have edited several posts on this blog.
  • I have not posted or edited at The Unfettered Life.  I am not currently able to answer comments there, so I am holding off posting to that blog until the problem is resolved –  and that will be waiting till after the challenge ends.
  • My posting here will likely be status updates and revisions, and not much else, until after this round ends, so that I can focus on my remaining goals.

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

  • I have written as much of a rough draft as I care to.
  • I will let is rest a while, then sift through.
  •  I am thinking of keeping the letter short and assertive, rather than long and defensive.

I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.

  • I have edited several more posts over the days since the last check-in.  This included editing, adding images and links, tagging and categorizing, and editing and responding to comments.
  • The posts are revised, chronologically, through February 16.
  • I will continue on with the edits over the coming days.
  • I am confident I can finish these before the end of the round..

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

  • I have been debating, for the last several weeks, whether to move the clipping goal to the second round.
  • I have decided to do this.
  • There may be time to do this before the end of the round, but I would have to rush the process, and I don’t want to be rushed and pressured.
  • I have transcribed the 141 page notebook, and this goal is now attained.
 

So, at the close of this second to last update, I find myself with two goals left to accomplish:

  • I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.
  • I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.

So these are the things I will be finishing this week……Talk to you all again….after the round!


ROW80 Goals Update – “Entering the Final Rapids”

 

Things are speeding up…..

Jim is mostly up and about.  He’s got another three weeks before he is OK to go back to work, and he can’t drive until he can make a fist with his broken right hand.  He can’t close it fully yet, but he’s exercising it, now, which he couldn’t do with the splint on.

We’re getting out and about more, and making plans for our travel season.

I’m beginning to rediscover my energy, and the house is slowly getting tidier….

And I am in a concentrated quest for the rapids, in this last week of ROWing……

Round of Words 80 Goals – Round 1, 2012:

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

  • I am 15,956 words into Chapter 22, “The Play’s the Thing”  Yes, I know that’s a lot of words for one chapter……I’m thinking it’s two chapters, or maybe even three.
  • I now have a fairly good idea about where things go from here to the conclusion.
  • It still looks like about 25 chapters with an epilogue.
  • These characters continue to astonish me with the things they do, and the story still seems to be flowing smoothly from wherever it is inside me….

I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.

  • I have reread and resumed writing the piece originally begun for Morgan Dragonwillow‘s  Teen Fantasy  Fiction Contest.
  • I currently have 916 words in the rough draft.
  • I will be researching the flash fiction markets list I found last week, and submitting either “Twice-Coupled” or my erotic flash poem, hopefully before Sunday.
  • That will complete this goal.
  • In other news, my Tiny Buddha submission  was ACCEPTED!!!!   It will be about two months before it appears on the site, but that is perfectly all right with me! =)

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

  • I have continued to post to my page, in the form of links, updates, and comments.
  • I have 49 fans for the page, and I am planning a surprise for when I reach 50.
  • I have not posted to The Unfettered Lifea little behind with it, at the moment.
  • I have not posted here since Sunday’s update.
  • I have edited and improved several posts on this blog; there will be more details later in this post.

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

  • I am in the process of fleshing out the bulleted points I wrote out last week.
  • Once that is done, I will be using the fleshed out list as the framework for the letter.
  • I’m feeling the urge to be done with this, so I believe I’ll be wanting  to spend more  time on this as I wrap up other goals.

I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.

I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.
  • I am on page 106 of 141.
  • I’m still learning a great deal about myself and my history from this reading.
  • I’m still finding things of value.
  • A novel idea (not anything I’m ready to articulate, but the seeds of a story) has sprung from these.
  • I still hope to clip these passages, but may not get to that until Round 2.
So that’s what I’ve done, and a bit of what I’m planning for the next few days.  I feel I am close to meeting most of my goals, and all of them are within reach.I’m in a forward-momentum plunge, now –  plying the rapids, rather than gliding across deep and reflecting pools.

There will be time for reflecting once I have completed these goals……till then, I might not be around much….

Please give some encouragement to the other ROWers who are also entering their final rapids……..

Second Challenge – Platform Building Campaign….

Second Campaigner Challenge

Do one or more of the following:

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

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

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

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

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

For added difficulty/challenge:

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

Write in a genre that is not your own

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

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

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



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

No Ordinary Magic  (96 Words)

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

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

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

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

Facets (191 words)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time grows short.  Enchantment, wisdom  – life…

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

Enchanted Vision (  119 words)

Park bench, late afternoon.

Crisp September light.

 Little boy bouncing ball on wide stone bridge.

 Soft scraping of feet,

 Quick, laughing breath.

 Young woman with laptop and cell phone.

 Conjured waterfruit and dancing lines.

 Wonder and beauty on her screen.

 Rapid-tense texts; frustration-sharp sighs.

 Three shirtless children squat studying patch of dirt.

 Motionless, silent, intent on this instant.

 Attending the gift of the earth and life.

 Under the bridge, a pair of young lovers.

 Scratch-broken leg, wet hair clings to scalp

 He scoops the pond, lifts the prize,

 Adorns her finger…..

They melt together as air finally ends

 No one notices my soundless pleading.

 I know the magic of life at last

 In the instant I die.

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

Instants in Time 

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

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

Fruit of Life (145 words)

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

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

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

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

Follow the other Platform Building Campaigners!


ROW80 Goals Update #13 – “Pondering Balance”

Carousel Peace....

It’s been an eventful few days, here.  On Friday, we again had the pleasure of Cameron’s company.  Cam is my 11 year old nephew, and brings a different energy to our lives whenever he’s here.

Cameron time is a busy time, for us.  There are places we go regularly, that he doesn’t usually go,  except with us.  And he is funny and physical, and just enough older than Miah to have that “big brother” feeling, and, since he has an almost-six-year-old sister at home, he is patient and gentle and fun with Annalise, too.

So, on Friday, before we came home, we stopped at a McDonald’s that had a PlayPlace, and the kids enjoyed some play while I used my laptop.  Eventually, though, another child started punching people, and they mutually decided that they no longer wanted to be there.  So, off we headed to the YMCA, for about two hours of swimming (OK, I only made it for about an hour and a quarter!) , and then a few laps on the track.

We were all up very late – actually, Jeremiah never slept, and then out early on Saturday, to give Jim a ride to work, since there was a chance of slushy snow that would make riding his motorcycle unsafe.  He works in a neighboring small town, and the New York State Museum, which we headed to afterwe dropped him off is another 40 minutes away, which made for quite a bit of driving for me.

From Drop Box

The museum, as always, delighted us all.  In a two hour whirlwind, we visited favorite spots and explored some new ones:

  • New York State logging exhibit
  • the antique, working carouse
  •  skulls and recreated faces found at a locally excavated historic  gravesite
  •  native rocks and minerals
  • animal bones, pelts, and specimens
  • mastodont exhibit
  • Adirondack wildlife exhibit
  •  NY Harbor and Metropolis exhibits;
  • the A train
  • the 9/11 Family Trailer (memorabilia of those lost in the attacks)
  •  the gift shop

    Bubbly travertine makes me Yellowstone homesick

On our way out, Cam and Annalise scaled a rock wall, and there was time to explore some shale that had broken off the wall.

By the time I reached home, all three kids had fallen asleep.

Lise and an old friend of mine I met at her age....

Their Saturday night was comprised of napping, eating, and Netflix.  Mine was tidying and writing, and going out to the store after Jim got home, to purchase a gift for my older nephew and his fiancee’s baby shower, today.Their Saturday night was comprised of napping, eating, and Netflix.  Mine was tidying and writing, and going out to the store after Jim got home, to purchase a gift for my older nephew and his fiancee’s baby shower, today.

Cam examines some minerals.....

Then some time with Jim, watching How It’s Made and Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Datalore” .

After he fell asleep, I wrote some more…..and now, it’s Sunday again, and I am getting these few paragraphs started before we leave to take Cam home and attend the baby  shower.

So, in short, busyness has abounded, and with an extra person in the

house.  I am very attuned to the energyaround me; an extra person always shifts the dynamic, often in unexpected and unforeseeable ways.   Even though I do what I can to prepare myself for this, it can still be a chaotic and trying experience.

With that in mind, I address the matter of my progress toward my writing goals:

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

 I will write at least 10 essays and/ or photo essays, and post them publicly. 

  • This goal has been attained, and then some, as I just seem to keep on writing essays.
  • I’m not sure I realized before just how much I adore personal essays, and how much I love adding photos to them.
  • Now that I do, I see no reason whatever to stop just because I’ve met the current goal!

Annalise loves exploring wildlife - and habitats and specimens, too.......

I will complete all necessary homeschool reporting (2010-2011 end-of-year assessments; fourth request for approval of 2011-2012 IHIPs, and Second Quarter Reports-  all items for both children).  These will be completed and submitted as follows:

  •  2010-2011 EOY Assessments  –  January 31, 2012
  •  This goal has also been attained!
  • 2011-2012 IHIP Approval Request – February 15, 2012
  • This goal has been attained.
  • 2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012
  • Jeremiah’s report is approximately two-thirds of the way through link adding and editing (complete through sciences).
  • I remain ahead of schedule for completing this goal, and will likely have it completed and sent before the winter break ends in just over a week.

Starfish, Lovely...

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

  • The Sunday Surf post has been completed and posted at my unschooling blog, The Unfettered Life.
  • The Tiny Buddha piece, “Your Way or Mine –  Or Another, Altogether?” has one remaining rough spot to be polished.
  • Next, I will be editing, formatting properly, adding photos, and submitting it (although I will perhaps need to wait until March, if February submissions have already closed when I finish it).

"Mommy! I lost a tooth! A MASTODON tooth!"

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

  • I have completed Chapter 18, “Never Doubt I Love” , with a double cliffhanger of an ending that totally surprised me –  never saw it coming!
  • I have 1035 words in Chapter 19, “To Be or Not To Be?”.  This will be a tense, life-or-death chapter, and we may not know how it turns out for another few, after this…..perhaps, nor until very near the climax….
  • I feel that, if I’m not at the beginning of the end, I will be by the end of this chapter…..it feels, right now, like there might be about 25 chapters, with a prologue and epilogue.

Deer skull girl.....

I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.
  •  I have rewritten my flash fiction erotica piece, “The Coupling”.
  • I want to revise it again – the current vision is much more sensual, but I feel there is more to go.
  • I plan to submit this piece to Clean Sheets.
  • I have rechecked guidelines for Clean Sheets and For the Girls.
  • I am contemplating more stories in this vein.
  • I have an idea for a top-five list for Cracked.com., to be titled, “Top Five Ridiculous Things People Say to Unschoolers.”  I could easily come up with a dozen or two, just from our own personal experiences, and it may help to build a bit of mainstream tolerance so that strangers don’t feel so justified coming up to us in a store and accosting us for our life choices…and so that perhaps certain family-of-origin members would allow us to simply live our lives in learning and peace, without emotional attacks or unfounded calls to CPS.
  • I remain a little behind on this goal, but expect to remedy that in the next week or two.
  • Her favorite since age 2!

I will update, keep current on a weekly basis, and add writing samples to my Facebook Writer Page, and I will  update, edit, and post to both of my regular blogs on at least a weekly basis.
  • I’ve posted some links, samples, and updates to my Writer Page, and it has garnered several new followers over the last several days.  That is really exciting!
  • I am in the midst of an involved and personally important achievement-oriented post at The Unfettered Life.
  • This post is taking longer than anticipated, because there is a lot I want to include, and a lot I am absorbing while composing it.
  • I have at least one more post mind-scheduled there, for after I complete the current one.
  • I have several other less-than-ready to write ideas still simmering.
  • I have posted once on this blog, with this  Trifextra entry, Hamlet: Hawk From a Handsaw.  It is a re-visioning of Hamlet told in exactly 33 words.
  • I have bought the domain name http://www.shanjeniah.com.  Now begins the process of figuring out what I can do with it!
  • I have plans to add more pages to this blog in the coming weeks.

She was particularly interested in the whale's baleen (food strainers in the mouth), on this trip.

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

  • The book review for A Quiet Place is written and waiting in my word-processing program.
  • I will move it here, format, perhaps add pictures, and post within the next day or three.
  • I have given more thought to the bulleted list for my father-in-law, but am not quite ready to write anything out as yet.    Soon, though.

Tradition! Cam always demands a refund from the wax oystereman; the way oysterman always ignores Cam.....a four year trend continues! =)

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

  • I am on page 32 of 141 for this goal.
  • I have found more useful nuggets to delve more deeply, later.

A pretty just for me.

Well, since I did get in some larger chunks of time here or there (and more tonight, as I was writing this goals post), some things did get accomplished

Jeremiah, after being up all night, and busy all day, chillaxes on the A train..

I’ve also, as I mentioned,  been branching out into projects I haven’t “officially” set goals for.  At this point in the process, I plan to save new goals for the next round.  I also don’t plan to put off what I am inspired to write, so some of my work is a bit invisible here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As the non-winter fades away, though, and the air here is softening for an early spring, I can see that balance is going to be integral to the next phase in our very seasonally-oriented lives.   We’re already planning some activities and trips, and there will be more walks, more outdoor play, more swimming, gardening, and just being out-of-doors after the dormant season.
 
 
Balance will apparently be out the window over the next days….
 

The cathredral next door to the museum....

Jim had a motorcycle accident as I was typing the above paragraphs a couple of hours ago.   He was medflighted here to the large medical center almost an hour from our house.
 He is hurt – broken hand and ribs, collapsed lung, and lacerated spleen that is bleeding and may need cauterization….

Unsettled skies; unsettled life......

 

A goofy moment after working through her wall-climbing fears....

 

The next 48 hours of bedrest will be critical.  The trauma surgeon said, “Minimal risk of mortality” and “not out of the woods yet.”

 

Three friends, from behind.

 

We’re waiting anxiously to see him…..everything else has pretty much become inconsequential.

…….for now, here’s the update……..


I love the architecture of this cathedral.

 Please think good thoughts for us, and go do something sweet for someone you love. 

Trifextra Challenge – Hamlet: A Hawk from a Handsaw

Horatio! Has all been seen to?”

“Aye.  What of vengeance?”

“I will die only in Ophelia‘s fair arms.”

“Only after the minister, my lord.”

We three fade like shrouded Blackfriars from doomed Elsinore.