Striding Forward: Ready. Set. Write! June 15, 2015 (Week 2)

Wow, can you believe how fast this last week went by –  

or was that just my life?

It’s already time for my Week Two Ready. Set. Write! update.

Short description:

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’ll check in at one of the host blogs, visit other participants, and spread some summer sunshine to them, too!

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:

Kifo Island Chronicles Series:

  • Generations (KIC #2): Complete through Scene 15. 12 /24 scenes complete. Scene 13/24 in early progress. Progress, but not quite to target.
  • Sea Changes (KIC#3): Set plot/pinch points for all characters; organize scene by scene outline. 24/24 scenes complete.

The IDIC Romance: 

  • Write one sentence ideas for A-Z C-M 2016 potential topics. Letters done; 13/26.

Trueborn Weft Series:

Editing:

  • “Slow Jazz Awakening”: Scenes 6 – 12: Reread scenes/in-line comments; create detailed revision notes. . Scene 9/16 complete. Scene 10 in early progress.

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts, on time. 7/9 completed on time. 2/9 completed a few hours late.
  • Create blog page for IDIC stories. List links to 2015 Story A Day May posts, and the prompts that inspired each. Page created, with story links. Prompt links and descriptions in progress.
  • Write #StaD wrapup post. Done.
  • Blog sidebar. Play with one new widget. Yes! Yes! Yes! See that cool Community widget, just below my Follow button? I did that!

Homeschool Paperwork:

  • Finish administering Annalise’s state-mandated standardized test. 2/3 sections and final placement test complete. Not quite done; but good progress.
  • Complete third quarter reports for both children and submit to school district. Reports complete; and submitted.

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal three times. 4 entries each, for the journals; 3 for meditation.
Thought I’d share a bit of our not-so-distant past!

My goals for this week:

Writing:

Editing:

  • “Slow Jazz Awakening” Scenes 10 – 16: Reread scenes/in-line comments; create detailed revision notes.

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts, on time.

  • Add #StaD prompts to IDIC Romance blog page.

  • Play with two new sidebar widgets.

Homeschool Paperwork:

  • Finish administering Annalise’s PASS test – Language Usage -and submit.

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal three times; meditate three times.
  • Prepare for and enjoy trip with kids to visit out of state friends.

Snowy Bliss!

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

(Okay, it’s more a snippet than a line, but it’s a taste that helps to explain another heading, as well).

“And now, liebchen, it’s time you run on. Too beautiful an afternoon for you to be inside.”

“But that is where you will be, until your chores are done.” Howard had a way of sneaking up unnoticed, until he was ready to make his presence known. Now, as Airisu stood there, halfway across the floor to Gladys, with nowhere to hide, frozen as surely by her fears as Gladys could be by Parkinson’s, he smiled his cunning smile, and she knew he planned something, something he didn’t want anyone else to see, some way of tormenting the child because she existed, and was happy.

Howard didn’t want others to be happy, unless there was something he could gain from it.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

(ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc):

  • Howard (the character written about above). He’s nasty, and, the more I write, the deeper and more complex the nastiness gets. I understand he has reasons, but they don’t and can’t excuse his behavior. Writing his scenes is uncomfortable, at best.

Something I love about my WIP:

  • It explores the difficult and personally relevant topic of social and familial dysfunction across generations, with what will, eventually, be a positive message.

Delight!

Okay, that’s it for today. Since we will be traveling, things may not move as fast as I hope, but I’ll be moving forward as I can. Come back Monday, June 22, to see how I got along, and hop on the linky list to join in or cheer us on! There’ll be Twitter parties (using the hashtag #RSW2015), giveaways and fun (I like fun!). And writing. Lots of that!

Let this be your gateway!

The Sowing Seeds Edition: Second Serving Sunday

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

It’s been an interesting week,for me, in ways that might seem commonplace, on the surface, but which are filled with depth and breadth and possibilities.

Maybe I should try to explain?

Last week, my daughter, who is almost eleven, was having a Very Hard Time with this whole Growing Up Thing. Hormones were surging in whole new ways she’s not yet used to, and she grew significantly, and everything seemed Not Right. At All!

But, after the storms, come the rainbows, or at least a time of quiet…

It’s still not easy for her, this Growing Up Thing. But, while helping her learn to navigate her emotional rapids, seeds of connection and deeper bonding have taken root. We’ve been going for walks, and chatting, late at night when we two are the only ones awake. The content of our conversations is perhaps less important than the fact of them, even though we’ve covered a lot of ground in them.

More on that in future posts…the point is, it’s been a week of sowing seeds, strengthening roots, new possibilities….

Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: Digging Deep Big Thing and Small Things lead to deepening roots – and interruptions.

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

Last week’s features:

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

  • Growing Pains:  Deep growth is seldom painless or without stresses…and still I write.
  • Quiet Growth:  After the intensity of growth, comes the quiet time…

#8sunday:

  • “What Kind of Home…?”  In the aftermath of global tragedy with personal implications, Trip struggles to find reason – or even a place to belong.

Mindful Monday:

  • The #onegoodcup Project: I undertake a new ‘non’-activity; a cup of coffee without technological distractions, and with presence.

WIPpet Wednesday:

Coffee and Conversation:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Almost Too Much: A little ring, a major digestive issue, and small gestures lead to jealous conclusions…

Story a Day May:

  • Something Completely Different…(as yet untitled and incomplete story for May 22)….coming along slowly, but coming along!
  • Letters Unsent: In the wake of a huge shift in their relationship, Trip and T’Pol are at the center of a communications breakdown.
  • “She’s A Natural”: Trip watches T’Pol with their daughter, and reflects upon her maternal instincts.
  • Born of Us Both:  A private interlude for a new family…shhh, they’re nesting…
  • “A Sweet Wild Dream”: Sometimes, dwelling in illusion trumps an impossible reality.
  • Interspecies Medical Exchange:  Doctor Phlox observes and contemplates interspecies interaction in his Sickbay.
  • Not Jealousy: Confronted with too much evidence of a relationship he doesn’t want to accept, Captain Archer chooses denial…
  • Artistry in the Aftermath: In the wake of tragedy, Trip learns that T’Pol has a previously-undiscovered artistic side.

What’s Next:

May Focuses:

June Focuses:

This week, on the blog:

  • For WIPpet Wednesday: New stuff for April – July. I’ll be sharing whatever I’m writing, when I get to Wednesday. This week….one last snippet from The IDIC Romance.…because I can’t resist!
  • For Mindful Monday: A new feature! This week, we explore parenting with intention .
  • #8sunday: Ten final sentences from my WIPpet Wednesday story, “Pillow Talk? a little further on…
  • ROW80 Updates: My progress on my current and/or long term goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days, posted on or near Sunday and Wednesday. This week, I transition from May to June goals, and update my Round Two progress.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

And that’s my week, in a blogpost. How about yours? Was it full of sunshine, shadows, or a lovely blend? Did you plant any seeds, or spot any sprouts?

Yes, I’m a little nosy. Writer thing. So, if you want to satisfy my perhaps inappropriate curiosity, drop me a line or a few in the box below!

Have I Gotten A Round Tuit Yet?: A Coffee and Conversation Post

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.

Last August, while pondering all the things I keep wanting to do and the way I don’t ever seem to get around to it, I conceived the ideas of 33 Round Tuits. 33 is an arbitrary number I just happen to love, and it seemed like it could give me a lot of variety without being hugely overwhelming.

I didn’t put an timeframe on the list; it’s just meant to be there, in the back of my mind, so that those things don’t just get forgotten. I updated it once, in December…

And today, I want to look again, as spring morphs into summer, and see where I am on the Round Tuit 33…are you ready?

OK, then, off we go!

I “got a round tuit”:

  • Delete files from old computer (Sweet L’il Lenovo), reset to factory default, and give to Declan, a young friend looking for an XP machine for gaming.

  • Write a blogpost about my long-lost friend, Barbara Leonard, whom I would LOVE to reconnect with.

  • Contact Kristen Lamb and collect my WANACon Social Media Prize.

  • Return embarrassingly overdue library books.

  • Buy a new pair of workout sneakers.

Public domain image; courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

I’m “getting a round tuit”:

  • Scan all old photos, organize files, and begin sharing them digitally. I’ve done some scanning, some organizing, some editing that wasn’t part of the goal, and some sharing.
  • Reread and organize all my old story notebooks. I did some organizing and some reading in the winter.
  • Read all nine books currently in my bedroom To Be Read stack. Oops! Shifted stacks, and lost track. Three books in my room, but I’m sure there used to be more.
  • Complete all the items in my Play Jar. Did a couple, then forgot again.
  • Finish resetting the family room, playroom, and kitchen. Progressing, sometimes upstream, and not consistently, but progressing.
  • Rehome wandering game pieces. As I find them, I’m moving them to containment on the games shelves.
  • Update my bio and my blog sidebar – it’s outdated and jumbled. Sllooowwwllyyyy…..
  • Finish organizing my study. Progressing, in fits and starts.
  • Buy a wheeled storage footstool. I looked; but might not choose to do this; I’ve got another idea.
  • Buy a set of Corelle dishes. Not yet. Haven’t seen ones I love.
  • Read all old writing practice notebooks and mine for usable materials. Some; not remotely all.
  • Begin submitting Trek fan fiction to a fan fiction site (this will require a bit of experimentation to find the right “home”. Moving through revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening”, the first story.
  • Complete rough drafts of all novels in the Trueborn series (I think there are between 3-5 waiting to be developed and drafted. Preparing to draft 2 this year, the first in July.
  • Complete the first revision pass of Chameleon’s Dish. A bit stalled, but returning in August.
  • Reclaim the flower beds, and begin growing cutting flowers, herbs and vegetables. In progress, now that spring is well underway.
  • Complete revisions of 3 short stories: “Morning Coffee”, “A Splash of Red”, and “Peach Liqueur Love”; submit to L.S. Englers World Unknown Review. Two completed and submitted, one published! Third currently in revision.
  • Write 31 new poems for OctPoWriMo; revise the ones written in 2012. All new poems written; no real progress on revisions…planning to deal with that in the late summer/early fall.
  • Watch all of Star Trek in chronological order. In Season 2 of Enterprise, the first (and my favorite) series, chronologically speaking.

Fragmentarry Progress….Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

I haven’t “gotten a round tuit” yet:

  • Blog about The Star Trek Chronology Project.
  • Go get a professional massage.
  • Buy an Irish cloak.
  • Learn how to thread my sewing machine.
  • Buy wireless television headphones.
  • Create a visual timeline for my Trueborn series.

Wow. That’s actually more progress than I thought I’d made!

How about you? Are there things you’ve been meaning to do, “when you get a round tuit”, too? Inspired to make a list? What would you put on it?

Join in the conversation, and I’ll get you a fresh beverage while I listen!

And onward we go…Willamette Valley Sunset from Rt. 1-5….Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

“What Kind of Home…?”: The IDIC Romance for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

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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 05/16/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 05/17/15. 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…

Disclaimers:

  • Trip, T’Pol, and Star Trek: Enterprise belong to Paramount, even if Paramount has forgotten all about them.
  • This is an extrapolated “missing scene” story, detailing some of what might have happened during the months’ long and scarcely shown return to Earth in S2E26 “The Expanse”. Spoilers for that episode.

This snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet Wednesday post, Spinning

Trip has gotten some very bad news from back home, and the ship is months away from Earth. Relieved of duty and out of options, he sees only one way to ease the pain – by getting good and drunk, and staying that way. I wrote this story for the Story a Day May Challenge, using the Second-Person POV prompt, which accounts for the unusual phrasing. I actually loved the way this story turned out (the POV was fanastic for a drunk scene!), but, if you  don’t care for second-person, it might not be for you.

I’m offering ten sentences today, because the new rules let me! =D

You roll to your belly. But that only makes you feel sick, and you don’t want to sleep, anyway. “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come?” 

Damned Shakespeare, too…gotta get out of here, get away, get unstuck. It’s the middle of the night; maybe you can slip into Engineering, just for a minute. If you can touch your engines, you’ll feel better. You’ll be home. 

Awww, hell. Home. What kind of home was there now, after -? 

Can Trip get unstuck? Will he make it to Engineering? Will he get sick? Will he dream?

For those who don’t want to wait for the next installment, here’s the current “Stuck in Space” arc:*

  • Sticking Point: Trip, tormented by unanswerable questions and unimaginable loss, just wants to stay drunk. 
  • Pillow Talk?: When the “comforting” veers into uncharted territory, conversation is – challenging, and fascinating.

*There may eventually be more stories in this arc.

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

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Why Do We (To-) Do It?: A Mindful Monday Post for Tuesday!

One Monday in February, this was my to-do list! South Jetty Park, Florence, OR, USA.  Photo Shan Jeniah Burton.

Hi there, and welcome to my very first Mindful Monday Tuesday post! You can learn more about Mindful Monday, and the idea behind it, at Silver Threading!

So often, in our modern world, life seems to become a matter of checking things off to-do lists. There are so many options for planners, organizers, paper and online calendars, and other options intended to help us to get through those lists, while, at the same time, separating us from some of our money.

But why do we do it? How do we decide what goes on that list? What makes the cut, and what doesn’t? What happens if one of our beloveds needs us, and the list sits there, waiting and possibly accusing us with its mere presence? What about if we have a tired day, or an unanticipated opportunity, injury, or occurrence?

A few years back, as I was learning how to incorporate more joy into my family’s life, I realized that I spent a lot of my time doing things just because I thought I “had to”. I hadn’t given any thought to what the benefit was, or whether I actually wanted to do them.

When we get too wrapped up in our own lists and routines, we can forget that every item on the list represents a portion of our lives. If we complete it, we’ve spent that amount of our life in the process. If we don’t, there may be a lingering sense of obligation that saps some of the joy and energy out of all the other things we do instead.

Because, if we get too hung up on those lists, too devoted to them, we can fall into the trap of “If It’s Not On the List, It Doesn’t Count”.

I’m learning to look at my list mindfully, and consider what I’ve included, and why. I try to frame mylist things that will allow me to move toward larger life objectives:

  • I strive for greater peace and clarity in my life, so I have meditation and my intentions journal on my weekly to-do list.
  • I want to be more in touch with my physical self, so there’s a t’ai chi class that challenges and fulfills me, and a goal to do physical things throughout the week.
  • Same thing for time with friends, connection with my beloveds, and various writing, hometending, and yardtending items. Each of these is a step toward a larger goal.

My to-do list is fairly general, and specific, at the same time. I like a broader swath, so that I can have space to adapt to life as it happens.

Items make the list if they’re important to me. Sometimes, that means that something I might prefer not to do makes the list- like, writing homeschool reports, which I suspect will never make the list simply because I want to write them – I don’t. Our real life is far more textured and amazing than a report could capture – I’d rather focus on the living part. But we value our life as it is, and in our current state of residence, complying with the law means writing the reports.

Living the way we do matters, so the reports go on the list when it’s time, and I know the potential cost of not doing them.

Words of Wisdom from my friend August!

For most things on the list, though, the consequences of letting the item slide are negligible on any specific day. I can list the things I did instead, and be happy in the knowledge that I listened to myself and my inner sense of things – my mood or energy level can be different, when it’s time to address the list, than it was when I created it.

An example:

  • Last night, I attended a write-in with my local NaNoWriMo group (we meet year-round, and that’s on my list because I thrive on the combination of writing sprints, food, and writerly chatter with some very cool people).
  • Three of us stayed late, then I went to the store, my head still full of stories, because we needed things like toothpaste and dish soap.
  • I came home, spent some time with my family.
  • I wrote all night and well into the morning.
  • I passed an hour or two connecting with others on Facebook.
  • I collapsed into a fertile dreaming sleep for four hours or so.
  • I woke to coffee and conversation with my Accomplice.
  • I revised what I wrote last night.
  • I puttered with blog visits and comments.
  • I watched some television, mostly as background.
  • I roused myself, and mowed the rest of the front lawn.
  • I planted the last of the pansies I bought a week ago.
  • My Accomplice came home with pizza and groceries as I was finishing, and I made sure my help wasn’t needed with that.
  • I came back to the story of the day, which is now drafted at 4500 words.
  • During the day, there were moments of connection with those I love.
  • I was tired, from not much sleep and an active mind and yesterday.
  • I honored that, in the way I lived.

It’s nearly 11pm now, and I’m hoping I’ll have this post up by midnight.  almost 3am now, with a much needed rain a counterpoint to my laptop keys as I finish up this post. I’ve passed the whole day without giving serious consideration to my to-do list; but it should be clear that I wasn’t “just doing nothing….”

My life is at its best when there’s a base structure that allows time and space for – well, Other Things. Things I didn’t put on a list, but which make life – more.

Learning that wasn’t on any to-do list, but it’s changed my life!  

Follow the links for more Mindful Monday or August McLaughlin (brand-new Indie Chicks Badass Blog Awards Most Blunt Blog winner!)

Noticing beauty wherever it happens to be is in my indelible soul to-do list. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton, February, 2015.

The Big Stuff Edition: Second Serving Sunday

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead, from my little corner of the blogosphereare you ready?

Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: It’s A Tricky Day.  Mother’s Day isn’t a simple day of celebration, for many.

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

So, it’s been a busy week, but not in a running around sense. As a matter of fact, other than Sunday’s trip out with the kids for tacos, ice cream, and pansies, the one day I did go out, Tuesday, my car started to act funny, and the Check Engine light came on…so I came home, sans t’ai chi and some alone time at Panera.

But being home doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. I did quite a lot of home and yardtending this week. I wrote stories and blog posts, including the one that makes this the week of Big Stuff. I spent lots of time connecting with the three amazing fellow humans I live with.

And some things shifted inside me, in ways I don’t yet have words for…eventually, I will, but not yet. For now, I’ll just say that I’m growing, and leave it at that…

Last week’s features:

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

  • No Golden Ring:  When life is more turbulent than joyous, but the world wants you to celebrate…and some writing, too.
  • Grateful Growth:  Wherein I say thank you, and breathe a little more easily (and offer a Trekkish mini-treat!).

Eight Sentence Sunday:

  • “Tiny Flames”:In the aftermath of grief, in T’Pol’s quarters, Trip has a realization, and knows that the time has come.

WIPpet Wednesday:

  • “She is Fierce”: T’Pol wants to go canoeing, with Trip, and against doctor’s advice, and she’s more than a little fiercely insistent.

Coffee and Conversation:

  • What Am I Hiding? At the intersection of modesty and stinginess, I learn to reveal myself for a greater purpose.

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Sticking to the Plan: Sometimes, the best plan you can come up with is to get drunk and avoid certain triggering words and people…

Story a Day May:

  • Get Out Your White Hat: Trip’s been caught red – uhh – lipped, and the tempting new Vulcan on the ship has clearly gotten the wrong idea, and is not amused.
  • Fierce:  One very determined, and very, well, passionate,Vulcan woman, and the man who loves her enough to paddle her canoe.
  • Telling Stories:Trapped in an Everglades lightning storm with a critically ill wife, Trip tries to tell her a story…
  • Don’t Shave:  A drabble (100 word story) that wraps up the Everglades arc…
  • “Private Intercultural Research”: An old Terran book, a watched door, and a different kind of research project.
  • Watching Him:  In a time of mutual emotional turmoil, T’Pol observes Trip, and offers healing.
  • Sticking Point: Torn by unanswerable questions, a very drunk Trip is offered acceptance and healing from an unexpected source.

What’s Next:

May Focuses: (everything now in progress).

  • Complete the Story A Day May Challenge. 
  • Complete revisions and submit “Slow Jazz Awakening”
  • Resume revisions on “Peach Liqueur Love”
  • Plot Sea Changes: Kifo Island Chronicles #3.
  • Update blog sidebar.

This week, on the blog:

  • For WIPpet Wednesday: New stuff for April – July. I’ll be sharing whatever I’m writing, when I get to Wednesday. This week….another snippet from The IDIC Romance….
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS):A post based on the weekly prompt, TBA Friday. Most likely Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, this month, because Trip and T’Pol!
  • Eight Sentence Sunday: Eight sentences from the same story as my WIPpet Wednesday post, but probably a little further on…
  • ROW80 Updates: My progress on my current and/or long term goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days, posted on or near Sunday and Wednesday.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

And that’s my week, in a nutshell (or a blogpost!). How about you? Did you do anything daring or exciting this week? Challenge yourself? Finish a project that’s been nagging you? Start something new? Just relax?

Yes, I’m a little nosy. Writer thing. So, if you want to satisfy my perhaps inappropriate curiosity, drop me a line or a few in the box below!

“Traveling Through the Alphabet” Reflections on the Blogging from A-Z Challenge, April 2015

 

So, do you remember what you did in April? Was it a blur of routine, with nothing standing out as special? Did you have a vacation, a birthday, a wedding or a promotion…?

Or did you undertake a personal challenge of some type?

For me, April has come to mean two separate writing challenges: April CampNaNoWriMo, for which I drafted one novel, and began another; and

The Blogging from A-Z April Challenge

This post is my entry into the A-Z Reflections Blog Hop. Admittedly, I’m breathing down the neck of being late – posts are meant to be up no later than today, and, where I am, today’s got less than two hours left…

Maybe that’s fitting…

I seemed to spend most of the month scrambling to keep up.

It wasn’t intentional. I had my idea a year ahead; I meant to set things up well ahead of time…but then life happened…

Along about the fall, my father-in-law invited us to come visit our Oregon family, and we decided to go in mid-February. There was plenty to be done, in addition to life. I had other projects: a poetry challenge in October, NaNoWriMo in November…and then the holidays come and go, and it’s a new year, and details are being set for a mid-February cross-continental journey, and all the preparation that went with it.

  • And I had a January challenge, and a February one – and then we were gone, and every day of our vacation was filled with life – but not so much writing. Internet access was spotty, and my focus was even more so. I got behind on my challenge when I couldn’t post.
  • We had a blistering flight change in Chicago- less than 45 minutes, with no departing gate announced, and, when we learned it, we discovered that we were to descend 3 levels, use the moving staircase to traverse the length of the terminal, then go up three levels…we barely made the flight.
  • On the day we were to head home, sitting in the airport 20 minutes before boarding the plane, I learned that Leonard Nimoy had died that morning. That might not seem like a big deal for many people – but try typing Leonard Nimoy or Spock on the search bar on the right…you’ll get a little idea of my grief.
  • We got home, and there was a round of head colds -and then my laptop power adaptor failed. Since it’s a Lenovo, and was under warranty, a new one could be sent from Texas – where there was bad weather slowing transit.

By the time everything was ready again, I was far behind- in blogging, and in planning the novel I meant to begin on April 1.

Oh, and it was already mid-March.

So I started the month far behind where I hoped to be. I had the first two days’ worth scheduled, when I wanted the whole month stacked up and ready to go…

I spent the month never quite falling behind, but never quite getting ahead, either…

It was more chaotic than I’d hoped – and the kids and I had a four day trip to visit out of state friends near the end of the month, which meant four days of less than normal writing…and two five hour drives for me.

And I was writing novels at the same time.

I didn’t get around to visit nearly as many other A-Zers as I wanted to. I hit a couple of frustrating dead ends, trying to visit people, and found several blogs I would have loved to have visited more often than I managed.

Yes, I got the posts done, and I enjoyed my travel theme, revisiting the early days of marriage, when my Accomplice and I worked in national parks and explored the country in our off time. I allowed myself to delve, to dream, to draw connections, and to share..

I hope I offered something of value; something that made the visit worthwhile.

Sometimes, it felt like climbing Moro Rock again…

Sometimes, though, challenges are more about seeing what we didn’t quite get right, and how we can fix it.

So, for next year’s challenge?

  • I already have my topic (no, I’m not telling -you’ll have to wait for next March to learn that!).
  • I have a list with a few post concepts for letters A-I.
  • I’m adding three letters every day or two.
  • Once I’ve gotten through the alphabet, I’ll start developing my ideas into posts, and choose a finalist for each letter.
  • I plan to be finished with my drafting by the end of the year, and finished with scheduling posts by the end of February.
  • As for visiting, I do plan to visit more A-Z posts during the coming weeks. I might also get brave enough to volunteer as a minion for 2016, to ensure I visit more folks, in a more timely manner, next year.

If you’re an A-Z poster who’d like a visit, drop me a comment with a link, and I’ll drop by! =D

Looking back…and peering ahead….