The Omega and the Alpha 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: On the Road Again.

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!
  • Yes, I will be attempting to complete a story a day, using prompts, all month long. The first two days have brought mixed results, but stories with potential emerged despite the missteps. I’m willing to accept that stumbles are a part of life; and there are always things to learn…
  • My April goals are also blossoming and changing with the new month.
  • We’re home from our trip, and I’ve spent some time yardtending and just hanging out in the yard with the kids – delightful, after a long and determined winter!

Last week’s features:

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

  • Travels and Tribulations: The kids and I take a much-anticipated road trip, and I find embarking on a new writing project deeply unsettling.
  • Gearing Up for a Lane Shift: As April winds down and May waits in the wings, I prepare for new challenges and new growth, and reflect on what sprouted in April.

Eight Sentence Sunday:

  • “Too Fast”: Sometimes, things happen too swiftly to stop, and have powerful impact. So it is with Gladys, Iris, and Howard.

Coffee and Conversation:

  • Returning from April hiatus. Look for something new this week!

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

A-Z Challenge: Traveling my Way Through the Alphabet in April!

  • ZZZZZZZZ…..: Sleeping, and other shenanigans, under the stars – and farewell to A-Z 2015!

Story a Day May:

  • Into the Sunset…:  A horseback ride with T’Pol might be fun – but it’s certainly not like any Western Trip’s ever seen!

Variety’s Spice (something extra!):

April Focuses:

  • Setting ROW80 goals for Round Two, which starts on April 6.
  • Completing 60,000 words for CampNaNo.
  • Draft two Kifo Island Chronicles novellas: Transitions and Generations (I won’t finish this one until June, but this month I make a start).
  • Complete the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge.
  • Planning and plotting for Story A Day May,  when I will explore more stories for The IDIC Romance.

May Focuses:

  • 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….
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS):A post based on the weekly prompt, TBA Friday. Might be fiction, or not, but it’s always surprising!
  • Eight Sentence Sunday: Eight final sentences from Generations, at least for the next month.
  • 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, beginning April 5, with my Round Two goals post.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

And, just because I can…!

“As Much of a Friend”: #WeWriWa – #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

It’s a chance to share a small snippet -exactly eight sentences – of my current writing. I’m sharing one last excerpt from my April CampNaNoWriMo project, Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles, #2. The Kifo Island series takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island.

Disclaimer for possible triggers…I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of abuse and its impacts. This scene involves a child who knows more than most about the workings of the adult world, and may not be suitable for all audiences…there is also language that might offend some…please be warned.

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

This snippet immediately follows last week’s WIPpet Wednesday post, Never Give Yourself Away . Iris is a child who has seen and heard too much; who has lived her life in hiding. Now, can she reveal herself enough to save the only woman who is kind to her?

This passage is NaNo -rough, and unedited except for typos.

Never let the johns know you are here. Never ever let your life become what mine is.”

But Grandermother needed her, now. Iris knew that for truth; she’d researched, and learned, once she heard the john talking on the telephone about a disease called ‘Parkinson’s’.

Iris slipped off the chair, wanting to stare at the door; but afraid to be caught doing something that would show how deeply she loved the old woman, who didn’t have to care for the ‘little no-good bastard child of a whore mother’. But Grandermother had been only kind – not just to her, but, when Hahaoya was alive, to her, too.

That made her as much of a friend, maybe, as Iris had ever really had.

Because of the chair given to her, because of the quilt that let her pretend she was still under Hahaoya’s bed, unseen and hidden in her nest as the johns came and went above her – because of teapots and baskets of books and the voice that had stopped the striking hand, Iris would risk herself…

What will come of Iris’s sacrifice? Can she help Gladys? Will Howard find her out of the chair, and what will happen if he does?

I’ll have to write more before I know, myself, so I can’t tell you. Sorry…but you might find some answers at one of the other #8Sunday posts,

Gearing Up for a Lane Shift: April 29, 2015

ROWin’ on toward those promised May flowers!

So, here we are, already to the end of April…Friday is May Day. That will mean a goals shift for me, as I transition from CampNaNoWriMo  and Blogging from A-Z April Challenge to Story-A-Day May.

I’m slowly shifting from novel drafting to preparing for a month of revisions and short story writing. We’re back from our weekend in New Jersey, so the next two days will be about hometending and writing…reviewing April goal progress, and setting May goals that move me closer to the Round 2 and 2015 goals. 

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.

Writing:

Complete April CampNaNo 60K goal with Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles #1 completed; and Generations: KIC #2 plotted and in progress.

  • Transitions: Complete!; 58,730/~ 55K words.
  • Generations: Scene 2/24 in progress; 3,794/~50Kwords. I’m slowly getting into this story, and past my resistance…
  • Total word count: 62,524/60,000.

Rough plot the 31 Story a Day May  Trip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts.

  • Notes for 6/31 stories transcribed/revised. This will be my primary focus until completed. Next up, notes for the remaining 25 developing story ideas; the list for the undeveloped ideas breeding like tribbles; and beginning to assign prompts/dates to stories.

Editing:

Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit.

  • Reread Rock Your Revisions. Highlighting and comments for Scene 2/16. Next up, complete highlighting and comments for remaining 14 scenes, then create to-do list for next revision pass.

Blogging:

Complete ROW80 Sponsor Post and all sponsor visits on time.

  • Done and done.

Complete the A-Z Challenge with all posts on time.

  • Posted/scheduled through 4/29 (Y); Drafted through 4/30 (Z). Next up, schedule Z. This will be a secondary focus until scheduled – by the end of Wednesday.

Clean up/update blog sidebar.

  • Next up, a more complete overhaul! This will happen in the bits of space between revision and story plotting, once A-Z posts are done.

Hometending:

Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering projects.

  • 2/5 days. Unpacking and a little laundry on Monday. A little laundry on Tuesday.

Lifetending:

Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends.

  • Conversation with son and daughter; couples’ time with my Accomplice; blogs; and now waiting for our final April CampNaNo write-in to commence. Sunday dinner with New Jersey friends.

Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing.

  • T’ai chi, and added a walk; allowed myself a little extra randomness.

Selftending:

Continue increasing physical activity and exercise.

  • T’ai chi with a walk to and from.

Resume either t’ai chi or yoga with at least one class attended.

  • T’ai chi on Tuesday – two weeks in a row! =D

Attend Y or do strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 1 /2; see above.

Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly.

  • 0 /2: Intentions Journal – update.
  • 3 /2: Meditation…t’ai chi; 5 minute pre-travel stress release; 5 minute breathing meditation on Tuesday.

All in all, April flowed fairly smoothly even if I didn’t quite ever get very far ahead of the A-Z posts, and didn’t get as much of the May planning as I had wanted to. I haven’t had a great deal of stress, and some sweet memories were unearthed as I traveled through the alphabet, and the minimal planning for Story A Day May has led me to a shift of ideas that I think might lead to both greater creativity and increased productivity, not to mention a lot more flexibility. More on that, and other May things, on Sunday.

How did April treat you? Did it bring new growth, or settling in? Revelations, or certainty? Something completely different? I’d love to know!

Want to ROW along the ROW80 Blog Hop River or join in? The icon is your portal!

 

 

“Never Give Yourself Away”: WIPpet Wednesday

C’mon….you know you wanna share! =)

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 may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

Today’s WIPpet is brought to you by CampNaNoWriMo

I’m sharing from Generations; the second novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-the-making. The Kifo Island stories takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 29, 2015.
  • I was born on the 29th day of another month, and I’m 45 years old.
  • I subtracted the date from my age, and so we have 16 mostly short sentences today.

Last week, we meet Gladys, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s Disease; Howard, her grandson; and Iris, Howard’s young stepdaughter. Today, we skip forward a scene. Howard has left in a snit, because his grandmother is kind to the child he sees as insolent, leaving Iris alone with the aged woman. Now we begin to see into the silent little girl, as she contemplates what’s next…

Disclaimer for possible triggers…I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of abuse and its impacts. This scene involves a child who knows more than most about the workings of the adult world.   Therefore, it may not be suitable for all audiences…

Siberian Irises. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton, 2013.

She would have let herself feel relief that he was gone –

But sometimes johns came back. That was always worse.

And she would not forget – no, not ever! – that that is what he was. Not Howard George, as Grandermother called him. Not Father Howie.

Never that. It was a mantra she sang, in those moments when his cruelty broke over her. Never, never, never.

He was a john.

Well, little one, it’s just us, now. What will we -?”

Iris had been watching the door, in case the john returned, but the broken sentence dangling in the clean air made her look at Grandermother instead –

She was frozen where she stood, her hands gripping the walking frame, her mouth still open on the last word.

Iris looked at the door again – what if he came back now, when Grandermother wasn’t able to protect her? – and took three long soft breaths, the way Hahaoya had shown her, for when she was frightened by what the john was doing.

You must never give yourself away, Airisu.”

Will Iris try to help Grandermother? Will Howard come back? What was this child’s life like, before Howard came into it, and how did that happen?

I’m going to keep you guessing…in part because this is, so far, the most difficult novel I’ve embarked upon. So many triggers…

Also, the kids and I were out of state from Thursday-Sunday, and I used most of the writing time I had to move my A-Z posts along. I’m behind on getting around to visit other WIPpeteers, but hope to remedy that, at least in part, today. If I don’t get to you, I apologize – I expect to do much better at that this week!

Need more WIPpet Snippets? Something a little less angsty, perhaps? Well, hop onto the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, and lengths of WIPpet lily-pads to choose from! =D

 

Travels and Tribulations: April 26, 2015

ROWING to the end of April….and beyond!

Ummmm – wow, is it Sunday already?!

Yes, I can hear you chuckling…but seriously, I’m a bit in a tizzy, because it seems like forever since last Sunday, and yet, at the same time, this week has just seemed to whizz by.

Ever been there?

Part of it is that it’s been a momentous week for me, writing-wise. At Tuesday’s write-in, I achieved my 60K CampNaNoWriMo  goal – and finished Transitions, which means I said farewell-at-least-for-now to Barry, Terrance, and Corinne – and hello to Gladys, Howard, and Iris, the focal characters for Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2.

New characters always take some settling-in, but this story is different. It deals with child abuse, bigotry, and some other things that are likewise unsavory. My friend Sylvia, asked, while I was shedding tears for what I know is coming in this story, whether I ever resist writing what the characters show me.

I answered that I’m resisting this one. I know where the characters want to take me – and some of it is very intimately related to painful personal history. I know why they want to take me there- but it’s not easy, or especially fun, to make this journey…which is, of course, why I know I have to see it through, for myself at least as much as for anyone else…

Know what I mean?

Speaking of Sylvia, the children and I embarked upon a five hour drive on Thursday, to visit with Sylvia and her family here in Central New Jersey, where tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths are blooming in abundance, so that Saturday morning brought me this treat:

She Bloomin’ Loves Me! <3

So, what did I manage to do, writing-wise, with my primary focus on enjoying time with friends we only see a few times a year? Read on…

For clarification, here are my Round Two and overarching 2015 goals .

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.

Writing:

Complete April CampNaNo 60K goal with Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles #1 completed; and Generations: KIC #2 plotted and in progress.

  • TransitionsComplete!; 58,730/~ 55K words.
  • Generations: Scene 1/24 in progress; 2,279/~50Kwords. I’ve been focused elsewhere; this session, and resisting. Dipping my toe in more than immersing myself…
  • Total word count: 61,009/60,000.

Rough plot the 31 Story a Day May  Trip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts. I’m making this a primary focus beginning on Monday. Next up, transcribe handwritten rough notes for 30 stories; list out the ideas T’Pol’s been whispering not-so-subtly in my head, and roughly assign prompts and days to story ideas.

Editing:

Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit.

  • Reread Rock Your Revisions. Highlighting and comments for page 1/28. Next up, complete highlighting and comments, then create to-do list for next pass.

 

Blogging:

Complete ROW80 Sponsor Post and all sponsor visits on time.

  • Done and done.

Complete the A-Z Challenge with all posts on time.

  • Posted/scheduled through 4/25 (V); Drafted through 4/30 (Z). Next up, schedule W-Z. This will be a secondary focus until all posts are scheduled – hopefully, by the end of Tuesday.

Clean up/update blog sidebar.

  • Next up, a more complete overhaul! This will happen in the bits of space between revision and story plotting, once A-Z posts are done.

Hometending:

Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering projects.

  • 3/5 days. Lots of pre-trip laundry on Wednesday. This goal being put on hold for the rest of the week, due to travel.

Lifetending:

Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends.

  • Some of Nature: Animal Homes (puffins!); chatting; art and play with daughter. MLP episodes and conversation with son. Couples’ time with my Accomplice before we left.

Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing.

  • Mostly in ways that are internal and difficult to quantify in words, but no less real. But then, there was also this…my very first time trying something I’ve been interested in exploring for years, now.

My very first Zentangle!

Selftending:

Continue increasing physical activity and exercise.

  • Not so much. Still 1 /2 for the week.

Resume either t’ai chi or yoga with at least one class attended.

  • T’ai chi on Tuesday!

Attend Y or do strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 1 /2; see above.

Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly.

  • 1 /2: Intentions Journal – update.
  • 2 /2: Meditation…t’ai chi; 5 minute pre-travel stress release.

I feel like this was a good session – I accomplished some writing things without sacrificing this time with friends, and there was plenty of conversation over coffee, tea, and a White Russian; a trip to the thrift store with the kids to find some new treasures, time outside, and a lovely visit to Barnes and Noble, just Sylvia and I, because her husband took all four kids to a pizza place that has free vintage arcade games. Most of the time, we visit amidst the lovely chaos of these young people, so a lingering just-us time was a rare treat of a different sort.

We’ll be heading home later today, full of creative cameraderie, laughter, and fun. And I’ll gt back to Gladys, Howard, and Iris…even though their stories are unsettling.

How about you? Have you ever reacted this way to a project, writing or not, that you know is worthwhile, but strikes just a little too close to home? What did you do?

Want to ROW along the ROW80 Blog Hop River or join in? The icon is your portal!

Wishing the novel were this smooth and lovely!

 

“Too Fast”: #WeWriWa – #8sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors Unite!

Weekend Writing Warriors Unite!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

It’s a chance to share a small snippet -exactly eight sentences – of my current writing. I’m sharing the second eight sentences from my April CampNaNoWriMo project, Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2. The Kifo Island  series takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island.

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

This snippet immediately follows last week’s WIPpet Wednesday post,You WILL Answer Me. Gladys is watching from her kitchen window as Howard and Iris approach her home. Howard has demanded that the silent and huddled little girl respond when he talks to her – but Gladys has only heard Iris talk in her sleep.

This passage is NaNo-rough; I’m not wholly in love with it, so input is appreciated!

Disclaimer for language and possible triggers… I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of child abuse and its impacts. If you’re especially sensitive to fictional mistreatment of children, please don’t read this, because someone is not going to be very nice to a child.

The child closed the door softly, and Gladys thought that maybe she saw her mouth move; but it wouldn’t be more than a whisper, if that – and that wouldn’t be enough for Howard.

Howard, who carried a gnawing and unanswered need to be important within him.

Answer me!” The slap came fast – too fast for the girl to duck away from, or even get her hands up to protect her small face. The crack of it made Gladys whimper in sympathy, but Iris only stared, once her head had snapped back and then forward with the momentum of the blow.

HOWARD GEORGE. You will not strike that child again.” She called out the window, thankful that she could get her voice to cooperate so well, and that she kept that kitchen window cracked open year round.

What will happen next? Will Howard follow his grandmother’s prohibition? Will Gladys be able to find other ways to help Iris, and will Iris find her own voice?

Time will tell – I’m only a little over 1600 words into this story, at the moment, so a great deal remains to be seen. But, even though there are no easy answers forthcoming here, you might find some at other #8Sunday posts.

The On the Road Again Edition: Second Serving Sunday

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

I’m writing this this post from Hamilton, New Jersey, sitting at a Barnes and Noble cafe table with my dear sisterfriend Sylvia.  The kids and I arrived on Thursday, and will go home Sunday evening (through the magic of print, it’s Saturday evening as I type, no matter when you read it.)

With a road trip taking up the latter half of the week, I needed some ingenuity to keep things humming along, and not be that houseguest who does nothing  but her own stuff.  Fortunately, I tend not to need a great deal of sleep,  so, when others retired, and during pockets throughout the days, I was able to keep on track,  and even pull a little ahead, with my projects.  Not to mention the resurgence of creativity that comes from being with creative and beloved people I haven’t seen for a while-  there’s a synergy that I only find with others who embrace that side of themselves.  I’m brimming with it, and I get to carry it home and back into my everyday life….

Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: Wordy Weekend

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

Last weekend, I targeted some specific goals (blue=done).:

  • Reduce my distance to my CampNaNo word count goal (according to the official site count at 1pm Saturday, 17,114 words away). I’d like to add 10K for the weekend; a doable goal.
  • Complete drafting Transitions (Finished Tuesday night).
  • Complete setup (Cheat Sheets and Scrivener outlines) for Generations (KIC#2) which I will begin drafting later this week. (Finished Sunday evening).
  • Post or schedule all blog posts through Monday.

And now, last week’s features:

 

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

  • The Well Springs Anew: As I wrap up one novel and prepare to start the next, while gearing up for a short-story marathon, new ideas and inspirations abound.
  • The Nine-Ninety-Nine WAHOO Party!: I finish a novel, make my CampNaNo goal, and post my 999th post to shanjeniah’s Lovely Chaos! Yup, time to celebrate – come party with me!

Eight Sentence Sunday:

  • Coat Me in Clay”: Barry surprises Corinne – in several ways, all at once. Final snippet from my Kifo Island Chronicles novel-in-progress, Transitions.

Coffee and Conversation:

  • On April hiatus.

WIPpet Wednesday:

  • You WILL Answer Me: Sometimes, expectations and reality conflict. The first lines of my new WIP, Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2.

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Some Freakish Little Bird”:Iris is perched on a chair while Gladys and Howard argue about what type of treatment she deserves. A story written for Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2.

A-Z Challenge: Traveling my Way Through the Alphabet in April!

  • A Quiet Quarry: We take an impromptu overnight detour, and I contemplate a certain quality of quiet.
  • Robert is Here:  We visit our favorite quirky fruit stand – and leave with more than fruit!
  • Thermal Features and Tourons:  The scariest thing in the park? The people who don’t respect the wild places and wild life they’ve come to see.
  • Umpqua: Find out what place names and a feisty feline have in common!
  • Viewpoints: What we bring to the places we go can influence what we see when we get there…

What’s Next:

April Focuses:

  • Setting ROW80 goals for Round Two, which starts on April 6.
  • Completing 60,000 words for CampNaNo.
  • Draft two Kifo Island Chronicles novellas: Transitions and Generations (I won’t finish this one until June, but this month I make a start).
  • Complete the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge.
  • Planning and plotting for Story A Day May, when I will explore more stories for The IDIC Romance.

This week, on the blog:

  • For Coffee and Conversation: C and C is on April hiatus. There will be an A-Z post each week, so feel free to stop by any Monday, and enjoy!
  • 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 Generations.
  • Eight Sentence Sunday: Eight sentences from…something.  Something with a Vulcan, most likely! =D
  • 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, beginning April 5, with my Round Two goals post.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Well, that’s it for me…it’s early Sunday morning, now, and I’m wrapping up my weekend posts, reading a book on revisions, and planning to shower and sleep soonish, so that I can enjoy these last few hours with usually distant friends…I hope your weekend was/is filled with everything you hope– and more! If you want to tell me all about it, there’s a little box down there – fill ‘er up! =D