Coffee and Conversation: Of glassmaking and fairy tales and the beginning of story

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..and today, that means welcoming author Ruth Nestvold, who is going to share how her Venice vacation with her daughter led to a novella…let’s all settle in and give Ruth our attention, while she spins us a tale…

Today I’m going to reveal a little bit about how my upcoming YA fantasy novella, Island of Glass, started to come together in my writer brain. I first began to conceive of the idea for Island of Glass on a trip to Venice with my daughter. We stayed on Murano and visited the Museum of Glass there, and I learned about how the glassmakers were forbidden to leave the islands for fear that they would reveal trade secrets.

Glass Museum on Murano Being a writer, that immediately struck me as a perfect setting for a story. I didn’t start it right away, though — I jotted it down in one of the spiral notebooks I use for collecting ideas. My physical notebooks are like a storage space for my subconscious. The ideas get noted there and stashed away where they can ferment for a while. Often when I pull them out again, my brain has made connections with some of the other ideas I’ve stashed away. And then something that almost feels like magic starts happening: ideas fall into place, plot threads start to take shape, characters start coming to life.

For the story set on Murano among glassmakers, it was the glass itself that provided the connection to the fairy tale. As I played with ideas, writing down everything that occurred to me, one of the ideas that went into my notebook was “glass slippers.”

Now this definitely had potential. Since I already knew my protagonist would be a young woman who’d had to fight convention to become a master glassmaker, glass slippers could take on a completely new meaning in my story. What if the glassmaker had to create glass slippers for a prince for some reason? In bygone eras, men wore some pretty fancy shoes:

Then I just had to figure out why she would be making shoes of glass for a prince. Of course, it would have to have something to do with the prohibition against glass makers leaving the islands of Venice! She would be attempting appease the prince in favor of a family member or loved one.

A young glassmaker, glass evening slippers for a prince and motifs from Cinderella provided me with most of what I needed to dive into the story. The final thing was the magic system and the rules of the world. For that, I borrowed from myself. Before starting the first incarnation of Island of Glass, I had written a short story set in a world in which magic had been “set free” — alchemists had discovered the principle of transmutation and could turn lead to gold. (That story, “To Act the Witch,” is available in my short story collection Dragon Time.) It occurred to me that such a world would make a great setting for a story revolving around glass, since if gold was no longer as valuable, glass would be even more so. It’s a kind of fantasy alternate history in which alchemy triumphed instead of chemistry, leading to the Age of Magic instead of the Age of Reason.

Thus, the “historical” background is the 17th Century - but of course it is a 17th Century that never existed, except in my imagination. Nonetheless, I have included a number of details from the historic Venice of the time in my world building. The background of the glassmakers on Murano and the Jewish Ghetto in Cannaregio are all based on history, as is the Council of Ten and other details and places. Venice was never officially an empire, however; it was always a republic. That and the power of the princes who no longer elect Doges are part of my fictional world building.

I also did a lot of research on the history of glass and glassmaking techniques, and it became increasingly obvious to me that glass was not only my subject, it was a wonderful for magic and alchemy and the power of transformation, since glassmakers are capable of turning rocks into works of art. While working on Island of Glass, I collected a number of links regarding the history of Venice and glassmaking on a Pinterest page. If you’re interested in investigating the background, you can visit the page here.

http://www.pinterest.com/ruthnestvold/island-of-glass/

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Glass-Glassmakers-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00NVGGSL0/ Island of Glass (Book I of The Glassmakers Trilogy)

Seventeen-year-old Chiara Dragoni is a master glassmaker of Venice, a position that is both a privilege and a trap. For the glassmakers of Murano are forbidden to ever leave the islands of the Venetian lagoon.

When Chiara’s uncle is caught on the mainland and thrown into the dungeon of the Doge’s Palace, she must use all her talents, including magic, to help free him. But the gift she creates for the prince of Venice has unintended consequences, and now Chiara must decide whether to give up everything - and everyone - she knows and loves in order to save her dream.

Island of Glass will be published on Oct. 28. Now available for pre-order at a special introductory price of only 99c!

Find Ruth Nestvold on the Internet:

Blog: https://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com

Web site: http://www.ruthnestvold.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ruth.Nestvold.Author

Twitter: @Ruth_Nestvold

Ruth, that was lovely! Here, have a cuppa and a treat, and rest a bit. Here’s a fun coincidence – while we were working out the final details of this post, PBS aired an episode of their series How We Got to Now that recounted the history and scientific significance of glass, and Murano was featured. You – and everybody else – can find it here.

Ready to read? I know I am!

Stretching into Revisions: ROW80 Update, August 6, 2014

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

We’re nearly a week into August, now, and I’m finding the new rhythm of revisions. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed my characters from Chameleon’s Dish.

Have you ever had that experience, when you return to a WIP you haven’t spent time with for a while?

I’m also getting a better sense of the shape of my revision effort. It’s part excavation, and part reconstruction. It’s not something I intend to rush through; my goal is less about doing this fast as it is about creating a second draft that is ready for more refined editing.

So, it will take as long as it does. If I need to change my goals to accommodate this project, I will.

In other news, something big is on the horizon. I’ll maybe have more to say about it on the next week.

I’m also percolating. Ideas and scenes are forming; essays and blogposts are formulating.

How about you? Do you have a favorite project right now?

A Tisira’s-eye view….

August Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration

  • Chameleon’s Dish Revision

  • Social Media/Blog Design

2014 Blogging:

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

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue one post for each regular feature. Target attained for posting; nothing queued as yet.

Develop a sharing strategy that feels natural; incorporating input from Kristen. On target for sharing; no input from Kristen as yet.

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my willingness to comment. Target attained!

Inspiration for Chameleon’s Dish.

2014 Writing:

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

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

  • August 3: 759 words.

  • August 4: 871 words.

  • August 5: 778 words.

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish.

Revise all plot points by September 1. On target.

  • Plot points: 1/10.

  • Completed scenes/WIP: 9/60

A taste of Nockatee’s world.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset. On target.

  • I did a little tidying and organizing in the family room.

Clean out email files. On target.

  • Two brief deletion efforts; junk folder emptied.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • The bookcase I am repurposing from the garage is in the house; some cleanup.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

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

  • The frames themselves look a bit different, but fit my current goals well.

Develop Daily Hometending Frames. On target. Some intermittent progress, here.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Make plans to meet with at least 1 person on my get-together list; get in touch with at least 2 more to express my wish to reconnect. Target exceeded!

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

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

  • Several ideas in play.

One workout at the Y each week. On target.

  • Hooray for feeling better! I had a delightfully strenuous workout.

Continue exploring fitness goals – more on this throughout the round. Target attained; specific goals follow.

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program. On target.

  • I walked .5 miles in just under 10 minutes. I didn’t have the stamina for the entire mile, but am within the time frame.

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

  • I biked 6.4 miles in 30 minutes, creating my own resistance intervals.

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

  • 3 each for legs and torso; 4 for arms.

Nutrition goals for July:

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

  • 2/5: One of each.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

  • I’m back on track.

Conflict!

ROW, ROW, ROW… find more ROWing here! =)

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: A Tale of Two Tongues

 

Because we needed a cute little (unrelated) tongue for this post!

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’sStream of Consciousness Saturday meme. For the rules and this week’s prompt, click here!

  This week’ prompt was the word tongue.

The idea is simple – write a stream of consciousness piece that somehow ties into the theme.   Today, rather than a general tap-into-whatever’s-in-my-head mode, I realized that the prompt would translate well to The Stars are Fire, the fantasy novel I am drafting for JuNoWriMo. As it happened, I was in the midst of a scene where my POV character wants to encourage her sister to reveal information. She’s turned this type of thing into an art form, and gives it her full attention…

She took the time it took for Rachyl to turn from the window to remind herself yet again to mind her tongue, to let no word slip from it that was not guarded, measured, intended.   Mayhap that made it the more interesting, the way that Rachyl’s pale pink tongue flicked out to taste her teeth and lips, and perhaps even the air or that boy who seemed to have captured her imaginings.

Ah, a tongue so restless and reckless would like as not be unguarded indeed. And the nursery mouse would be attentive, letting herself crouch into the shadowy place by the hearth as the young Healer was held its captive, giving off the secrets that she had held within her bosom for all the glass between the chance meeting with a boy who spoke with a voice like wild music.

Wild music?   Did that mean, mayhap, that he was a boy of the Tribes?

No not a boy. Rachyl had said ‘young man’….Konii played it back again, in her mind. Yes. She had named him so, and twice. She would have little interest in a boy now that she was a woman grown. Or, certain sure, not the manner of interest that would have her tongue freeing itself so eagerly from her mouth, as though it would taste and savor every mention, every grain of contact, every word that had been spoken or shared between them.

Konii settled with the tea the healer offered, the nursery mouse making of herself a listening ear, as her sister tasted the encounter with her young man of wild music.

“He is called Alaane.” Her tongue, freed of any constraint she might have held upon it caressed the name in the way Mother sometimes caressed one of the serving-boys. Caressed it, and held it as though a treasure. Her lips softened in a smile.

I hope you enjoyed my first fictional SoCS offering. Remember, 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 inside my head! =)

(Winter Storm) VULCAN Play: ROW80 Update, 3/12/14

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Greetings. Your presence here honors me. Shall we begin?

Late last night, Annalise told me, excitedly, “It’s Winter Storm VULCAN, Mom!” Now, she’s not personally that into Star Trek, but the girl would need to be oblivious, or someone else’s kid, not to know how I feel about my pointy-eared fascination.

For herself, she says she thinks there ought to be a Winter Storm Steve, so I explained to her that they didn’t actually name the storm for the species, but instead for the Roman forge-God (which makes as little sense, maybe, as naming it for a desert-dwelling species whose planet has no snow would, maybe).

And there’s another tiny piece of how unschooling looks, in all its playful action.

I’m thankful for this storm. Jim gets an extra day off work, and we’re snug in a warm house. I have three blogposts to write, a report to finish, two hours of editing to do, and projects to develop. Nova and Nature will be on tonight, and there’ll be time to putter around the house and connect with my beloveds.

I’m tempted to thank the storm, but one does not thank logic.

)

Instead, I’ll just offer this update.

My main focus for the balance of the round :

  • Revising Chameleon’s Dish;

  • Submitting the children’s homeschool reports;

  • Preparing for April and May’s intensive writing projects.

  • Continuing with home embetterment.

  • Continuing with life embiggening.

An achievement! image Courtesy WordPress.

 2014 Blogging:

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

Answer comments regularly, across all blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. On target.

Make at least two return visits every other day, on average.Target attained!

  • Two visits on Sunday; several more early early Tuesday.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue one post for each regular feature.On target.

  • 1/4 weekly posts complete.

  • Ideas are forming; queues will be building!

  • Oh, and there’s this: The above post was my 500th on this blog. Yes, shanjeniah, you really are a writer! =D

2014 Writing:

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May.

Create basic plan for the Last House stories (2014 A to Z April Challenge).On target.

Create Scrivener file; list basic facts for each protagonist (name,age, gender, physical characteristics) by March 10. Target attained on the 11th!

  • Cursory physical characteristics: 26/26 characters.

  • Allowing these to suggest personality traits, and the genesis of their stories.

  • Create premises for all stories; write POV character’s GMCs.

Create timeline, premise, GMC, and character sketches for Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May). by April 1.On target.

  • Storied will be in a roughly chronological order.

  • Watched Fusion – the jazz club flashbacks will be the launch point for my POV characters.

  • Wrote a basic, one-sentence premise as the framework for theses stories.

  • Watched Broken Bow and Strange New World. Ideas forming….

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

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

  • 5/60 scenes complete.

  • Scene 6/60 currently in revision.

Spend at least 60 hours (2hours/day average) on this pass during March. On target.

  • 3/9: 3 hours, 5 minutes.

  • 3/10: 3 hour, 15 minutes.

  • 3/11: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

  • Month to-date: 40 hours, 20 minutes (over the 2/3 goal, for hours).

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset.On target.

  • Continued emptying the cabinet that will become the pantry, once the computer desk is moved.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Complete and submit both children’s reports by March 15. On target.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts,Mathematics,Sciences, and Social Sciences completed: Arts in progress.

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

Choose two playful activities per day; walk at least one mile each week: workout at the Y or with a video at least once a week. Not so much.

  • I was tired after lots of activity last week, followed up by the time change. Did only one on Sunday and Tuesday, and none at all on Monday.

  • Marching in place; skipping rope.

Sponsor Visits:

See what the other ROWers are playing with this round!

And now, I bid you to go forth, live long, and prosper!

)

Coffee and Converation: Hey, Teachers! Leave Their Minecraft Alone!

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – and 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…

Here, each Monday, I strive to reach that understanding by offering ideas and tidbits from my life. Settle in for a while, and maybe share something of yours, too…

Recently, I read this article debating whether Minecraft was brain-rotting kid crack, or whether this open-ended and almost infinitely variable gaming experience might have educational benefits.

Touted in the article, which was mainly positive toward Minecraft, were several programs initiated by teachers who wanted to bring some educational value to the game.

  • Students in one school were given gravity lessons.
  • Students in a (Danish) school were free to play, but only in English.
  • Some schools have instituted assigned quests for kids to work on collaboratively.

I’m all for schoolkids – everyone! – learning through play. That’s the purpose of play – to learn, by challenging ourselves.

But reading this made me sad.

My unschooled kids discovered Minecraft late last winter, and, by spring, they were both intensely engaged with the game That passion has not subsided. Minecraft is part of their daily routine.

Some adults might call this level of passion obsessive. They might fear video game addiction, impose limits, or require kids to earn their gaming time. Teachers (if they had them) might complain that Minecrafting was interfering with their studies…

Happy Minecraft moment.

I have a different perspective on my kids’ Minecrafting. I willingly make plenty of room for it, in our home and in our schedule. I listen when they tell me what they’re doing in the worlds they’ve created, and I look when invited. I can sing several Minecraft parody songs creditably well.

I don’t interfere or impose any agenda upon their play, because I believe that what they learn on their own, for their own purposes, by trial and error, experimentation, and imagination, is more valuable than any curriculum could be. I’ve seen it, over and over, in innumerable ways, since I stopped trying to direct what they learned and how they learned it.

Besides, what they come up with is deeper, richer, wider, and more diverse than anything I could have planned. Life is lived in moments and inspiration, here. I want my kids to be free to explore, and to follow their inspirations where they lead.

In the process of creating and playing, they’ve learned and used many skills valued in classrooms, and in life:

  • Geographic features, mapreading, and coordinates
  • Elements, compounds, and their properties
  • Chemical formula and properties of TNT
  • Writing and spelling
  • Coding and programming
  • Architecture and construction with a variety of materials
  • Animal husbandry
  • Collaborative play – creating worlds, working together toward common goals, figuring out how four children can play together using two Kindle Fires and two iPad Touches
  • Mentoring others in aspects of games play
  • Budgeting, purchasing and selling
  • Interior and exterior designs of rooms, buildings, structures, dams, canals, rollercoasters, machines, and other items
  • Reading
  • Research on various aspects of the game, and various notable gamers
  • Music- learning, singing, and composing parody songs
  • Foreign languages- several of the Minecrafters they follow are native speakers of other languages, and so they are exposed to both their spoken and written forms.
  • Social sciences- history, character interaction, sharing game spaces.
  • Games modification using various means.
  • Virtual exploration of assorted ecosystems.
  • Virtual exploration of practical arts – smelting and forging metals, mining, farming, shearing sheep, building a wide variety of items.

This is just a sampling. I don’t analyze their play to look for learning in it. I’m sure they’re learning far more than I know, far more than they can articulate. Minecraft is helping them both to frame their models of the universe, and it empowers them to play with life on a grand and ultimately risk-free scale.

Happy Minecrafters!

And they do – because it’s theirs, and not mine.

That’s the mistake that’s being made, I think, by those well-meaning educators. By imposing their idea of learning, and what should be learned, upon the children in their charge, they take away the children’s ownership of their Minecrafting.

And with that goes the magic.

Children need things of their own, things adults don’t understand. That feeds fashion and lingo and music. It’s why kids a couple of generations ago built clubhouses in the woods.

When adults invade these private spaces, they usurp them. For the kids in these programs, Minecraft is now part of the adult world, something else being used to control them, with artificial conditions imposed by authority figures, for their own purposes.

What makes Minecraft so amazing is that it can be played with any goal, or none at all. Well-meaning adults put kids’ focus where they think it will best serve their ends, and, in so doing, divert the kids from the grand and wild ideas they might have explored, on their own.

If schools would really like to support learning through Minecraft, they would do better to start Minecraft clubs in the school, and the community. Rather than a programmed goal, people could just gather to play as they please. Age would not matter; Minecraft is a great equalizer – every player will have their own approach, interests, and special skills to share. Adults might easily find that there is a great deal more to the game than they thought, and that the little children can lead them to discoveries they might not have made, so long as they wanted only to use the game as a teaching tool.

And that is a different kind of magic.

Are there Minecrafting kids in your life?  How do you feel about it?  I’ll supply an ear, and a fresh round of hot beverages – won’t you join the conversation?

Masters of their own universes!

Of Passion and Calmness – ROW80 Update, 7/4/13

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I’m just a bit late with my midweek ROW80 update, because – well, because I was working on my goals!

What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

July is a life-filled month. The coming week will involve camping, local exploration, birthdays, and the beginning of Elijah’s Days….

There’s going to be a lot of activity, and much of it social, and writing will, often, be taking a backseat.

Here in the final days before the floodgates of activities open, I am enjoying the calm of home, and banking words, so that I can enjoy the days to come without feeling the pressure of more words to write than time and focus to write them with…

So far, I am delighted with my emerging WIP – the first of two I will be working on, this month. Plotting for both is moving along, and I managed to get my Wednesday posts up.

Exploring historical hats.

In early happy news, I now have 99 blog followers on this blog! I appreciate each and every one of you, whether you read here once in a while, every post, or somewhere in between. 99 is such a fun number – and only 6 away from my “magic number” of 105!

It’s a solid, peaceful beginning, calm, in the service of passion. That’s the theme of this round, for me….delving my own passions, embracing them, delighting in them.

All goals for Round 3 are based on those I created for my WANA113 Big Goals Grokking. There will be additions and deletions as the round goes along, and, for each objective, a weekly goal or goals that will move me closer to that lovely blue Target attained!

Local history.

I move through my action plans for each blog, adapting as necessary, and enjoying the process of creating and connecting. All of my blogposts hit the 800-1000 word range, and my readership has grown by 25% for each.

Week One Goals:

Post individual blogging action plans to shanjeniah, Trueborn Jottings, and The Unfettered Life. Pending.

All my blogposts are within the 800-950 word range. Target attained for this session!

I share each post via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and use hashtags to expand my reach. Target attained for this session!

Historical exploration.

I design a logo or graphic art image that represents me across all social media, and an action plan that guides me as I contemplate the best way to unify my three main blogs – merging into my own website.

Week One Goal:

I create variations on my shanjeniah logline, “Lovely Chaos” for Trueborn Jottings and The Unfettered Life. Target attained!

  • Unfettered Life: Our Lovely, Chaotic Life: Learning, Loving, Laughing, and Living!

  • Trueborn Jottings: The Lovely Chaos of Creation.

A hot historical hobby.

I continue with my plans for the Trueborn double series.

Week One Goals:

I begin July CampNaNo with The Stars are Fire roughly planned for pivotal scenes. Target exceeded!

  • I detailed plans of all pivotal scenes, and began roughing the connective scenes, before the challenge began. Thank you, Cathy Yardley and Rock Your Plot!

  • I am plotting one scene ahead for each POV character (when I finish their scene, I plot their next). This gives each scene room to breathe freely, without much need to adapt the following scenes.

I finish planning pivotal scenes for Perchance to Dream. On target.

  • All pivotal plot points are roughed.

  • I have begun expanding Plot Point #1 for POV characters.

I write a minimum of 3000 words a day. Target exceeded for this session!

  • 15,121 words over four days, so far.

I update my word count after each writing session. Target attained for this session!

I participate in at least 3 #wordmongering sessions. On target.

  • 2 down; 1 to go.

  • I have also participated in #wordsprints and #1K1hr sessions.

Faux-quill guestbook signing.

I breathe deeply as I move into the next phase of my writing career….yes, career! I have a writing career! =D

Week One Goals:

I write my ROW80 Sponsor Post. On target.

  • I have a rough draft I really enjoyed writing, and will revise during the remainder of the week.

I fulfill my sponsor duties. Target exceeded for this session!

Cannon salute.

I check in with Facebook periodically. Target attained for this session!

I check in with Twitter at least twice. Target exceeded!

I check in with Google+. Target attained!

I check in with WANA Blogging for Brand. Pending.

I check in with my CampNaNo cabin (which I may switch). Pending.

  • I did switch. Once I have a cabin I am happy with, I will check in.

I continue to breathe, expand, and believe! Target attained!

So, I’ve made a good and solid beginning, and I am having a lot of fun! I hope this update finds you enjoying your July activities, as well! =D

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!

Unfurled….

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

Curious? Click here!

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s  a peek at my recent doings:

Noveling:

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

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

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

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

A to Z post stories -Complete by June 30.

Plan WIPS.

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

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

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

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

Blogging:

Continue throughout round:

Sharing posts from all blogs. – Target attained!

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

Commenting according to my posted schedules. - On target. 

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

Completed by May 15:

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

  • Nothing yet.  Next session.

Completed by end of round:

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

By End of Round:

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

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

Networking:

Continue throughout round:

ROW80 updates and sponsor visits: Target attained!

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

Comment on posts and share as inspired. Target attained!

  • Yes, and yes.

Use in features where appropriate. Target attained!

  • Yes, one.

Create discussions around new thoughts. Target attained!

  • Yes.

Facebook and Facebook Groups : On target.

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

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

Twitter:

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

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

Real-life:

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

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

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

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

Progress on my Blogging Action Plan

Progress on my Noveling Action Plan

It’s a BLOG HOP!