Coffee and Conversation: Comment Capers!

 

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..

So, what’s up with that title, anyway?”

I’m so glad you asked I’m pretending you asked, and that I didn’t type that myself, just to introduce this post

Have you ever been so moved by something you read on social media that you were inspired to respond, at length?

Me, too. I love to read things that spark a deeper conversation. And, well, I’m a writer – and writers are pretty “What if?” people, and we’re comfortable with words. My comments can get pretty involved. And sometimes, in the middle of making one, something in my head pings “what if?”, and I just know…

I’ve got an idea for a blogpost!

I used to just tell myself: “Remember to write about that.” But life goes on; other ideas are born, and, well, most of the time I didn’t remember, or get to it, and the idea got lost.

Then I tried drafting a post in the moment; but that didn’t work much better; I need time for my ideas to build and coalesce, and the rushed efforts never seemed to capture the lightning in the bottle…

A while back, I got the brilliant and belated idea to copy and paste these comments in a file, along with the link of the blogpost that inspired them. I began building the habit of clipping them every time I get that pinging feeling, and adding to the file, where they can grow into something more.

These bits and pieces are on themes I want to explore. They’re a diverse and changing collection of what has piqued my interest, and inspired me.

From time to time, I’ll take one of these comments, link back to the post that inspired it, and play. There might be other links, ideas, images, impressions – not so much “This is what I believe” as “What if?”

And then, I’m inviting you to chime in, with anything you’re moved to say or share. I want to know what you think and feel and believe and sense. I want to eat your brains peek inside your mind- by playing a weird type of word and idea association with you!

So, are you ready to play? All right! Away we go….!

 

 

From September, 2014 on Julie Glover:

Blogging: What’s Your Point?with my comment in toto:

I started blogging to deal with the raw grief I was processing after the death of our second baby, and came back to that blog six years later, as we were starting to get the hang of radical unschooling.

My first blog posts were mostly ignored, but I wrote them for myself, and didn’t really want interaction, at that point. The unschooling posts sparked some comments and interest, mostly from other unschoolers I knew online. Posts were shared a time or two, and there were a sprinkling of comments from people I didn’t know – that was cool, and made me feel a little like a writer – and also paralyzed me with fear.

My words, and my thoughts, were out in the world, and people were responding to them. It made me self-conscious and unsure, and I found myself trying to maintain a certain ‘image’ with my blogging – and that was exhausting.

I’ve relaxed since then. I’ve diversified, and now I look at this blog as what the tagline says – “Lovely Chaos”.

It’s my farmers’ market in the virtual world, filled with things that interest me, things I’m passionate about. It’s where I share bits of my fiction and poetry, and other things I discover along the way. There’s parenting, memories, social issues, unschooling and Star Trek. I like sharing pictures and stories from my life, and my adventures striving for my goals…

I’m after a conversation, and a peek into other’s lives, because that’s always mattered to me. I want connection, expansion, and understanding. I want to keep challenging myself to offer things that inspire, stir the pot for others, entertain, and maybe even enlighten…

And I want to do all that while having fun, and in a positive, respectful way.

By carrying my blog over into all the things that matter to me, I’m offering something that goes beyond writing for other writers, or even those who might call themselves readers. I have things for unschoolers, parents, and Trekkies. I have local attractions, and deep feelings…I have the things that, when woven together, make my life.

I don’t know if that’s exactly a ‘social platform’. I do know that I love what I’ve created on my blog, that I’m having fun, and that I’m connecting with amazing people – and that that’s what I want to do! So, whatever else it is, it’s a success, to me.

What about you? Do you blog? Keep a journal? Create art? Share your words or images online? Why do you, and what do you feel, when you do it? What have you gained from it?

I’ll pour the beverages; why not show us what you’ve got to share?

Images and ideas…won’t you share yours?

 

Coffee and Conversation: Who, Me? Inspiring…?

 

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..

Who, Me? Inspiring?

Yes, apparently so! Some weeks ago, I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blog Award. This means a good deal to me – a quick look at my Prime Directives might help explain why.

More than that, I was nominated by a blogger I deeply respect, and who regularly inspires me…but I’m getting a wee bit ahead of myself in my enthusiasm. Let’s slow down, just a bit.

These are the rules.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to their very inspiring site.

  • Well, this one’s not too tricky. My thanks go out to Colleen Cheseboro at Silver Threadings. I love her blog, and her peaceful, upbeat view of life as an older, vital person. It’s the way I want to live my life as I move beyond what can reasonably be called the halfway point of my life…and learn new ways of thriving and truly savoring each moment and experience…gleaning wisdom, and sharing it, along the way. Thanks again, Colline – I feel very honored to be chosen! =)

2. Mention the rules.

  • Maybe this isn’t going to be so hard after all…since I’m using the rules as my headers – sometimes, my efficiency kicks in! Don’t worry; I’ll list them again at the end of the post. Do I get a bonus for listing them twice?

3. Nominate whom you think should receive this lovely award (and let them know on their sites). Disclosure; I fixed a who/whom error in this rule.

  • Well – this one might take me a little longer. I’ve got to consider so many amazing bloggers, each with their own perspective, and their own style. I’ll come back to it – of course, you’ll probably read this in one stretch, even though I’m writing it on the installment plan. I’ve got the fun-but-hard part -choosing just a few wonderful blogs to share with you. You get to scroll down and see the list, right now! I think we’re both pretty lucky!

  • This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time: Poetry, flash fiction, and essays. Often surprising! 

  • Rachel Also Writes: Rachel writes honestly and with great humor about the ups and downs of her University experience, travels, and the rest of life – and shares fiction,too! 

  • Steph Nickel‘s Eclectic Interests: Steph shares faith, housekeeping (or not) poetry, fitness, and more – all with liberal doses of art and humor.

  • The Sound of One Hand Typing: Television, music, math, writing, cats, and more – and often!

  • I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write: I’ve had the distinct pleasure and honor of getting to read Idzie’s words here, and to be her friend in person, too. If you’re curious what life can be like for unschoolers when they grow up, this is an amazing place to hang out!

  • August McLaughlin: After years of chatting with August online, I got to hang out with her in September. She shares her passions for bully breeds, positive body image, sexual health, and reaching for dreams.

4. Tell the blogging world something they don’t know about you.

  • This one stumped me a bit. “The Blogging World” is actually made up of a lot of people – some writing; more reading. I’ve been blogging here and there for over eleven years now; I’ve got about a thousand posts out there…so, unless I want to filter through each one to see what I’ve revealed, there’s a degree of guesswork in this…but I think I’ve got something.

When I was between my junior and senior years of high school, I worked the summer at the Saratoga National Historical Park. One of my morning duties was to clean the displays in the main room of the interpretive visitor’s center, and to test the audio. I learned to recite the lecture on Daniel Morgan...

“…A strange sound echoed through the forest. It was Daniel Morgan’s turkey call, urgently calling his scattered men together…”

It might not be a perfect recitation. I was 17 almost three decades ago, now. But I was able to do it word for word with the audio, before that summer was over. I had the intonations down, too!

One day, I went to clean the glass of a display case. It generally held a soldier’s canteen – which was there. And sitting on it, looking at me, was a mouse. The rangers had to come and dismantle the case to remove him, and find how he’d gotten in there to begin with.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never shared these things before. If I have, well, I’m repeating a pretty good story!

Well, lookee that! I’m out of rules to comply with. Time for me to scoot on to something else – as I’m writing this, it’ll be watching the rest of Castle, and then playing with a flash fiction story I’m revising. When you read it – well, it’ll be something….

May you have a joyful, lovely, inspiring whenever-you-read this! =D

Who or what inspires you? Why not have another cuppa, a tasty tidbit or two, and share with us?

One source of my inspiration….

OctPoWriMo Day 20: Wait With Life

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Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott. 

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt was to write a poem using the theme ‘Rain’. The poetry type was “Blitz”. There was a word list; I used a few, even though  I didn’t really look until after I finished.

I’d never heard of Blitz, and when I first read the description, I was intimidated. Here’s what Shadow Poetry had to say about it…

  • This form of poetry is a stream of short phrases and images with repetition and rapid flow.

  • Begin with one short phrase, it can be a cliché. Begin the next line with another phrase that begins with the same first word as line 1. The first 48 lines should be short, but at least two words.

  • The third and fourth lines are phrases that begin with the last word of the 2nd phrase, the 5th and 6th lines begin with the last word of the 4th line, and so on, continuing, with each subsequent pair beginning with the last word of the line above them, which establishes a pattern of repetition.

  • Continue for 48 total lines with this pattern, And then the last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47.

  • The title must be only three words, with some sort of preposition or conjunction joining the first word from the third line to the first word from the 47th line, in that order.

  • There should be no punctuation. When reading a BLITZ, it is read very quickly, pausing only to breathe.

I almost didn’t try; my brain was twisted and tangled with these instructions. But, once I got going, using pre-numbered lines to avoid confusion, the poem flowed fairly quickly. Here’s what I came up with.

Wait With Life

Hurry up let’s go

Hurry up and wait

Wait a minute

Wait an hour

Hour after hour

Hours piling into days

Days spent running

Days wasted in rushing

Rushing through rooms

Rushing past life

Life given up

Life of driving

Driving further

Driving faster

Faster faster faster

Faster than breath

Breath in stabbing gasps

Breath never enough

Enough is enough

Enough time

Time enough to breathe

Time enough to be

Be where we are

Be alive right now

Now all there is

Now all we have

Have a seat

Have a cold drink

Drink in life

Drink and savor

Savor each breath

Savor every moment

Moment into moment

Moment melting in a sigh

Sigh and stretch

Sigh and relax

Relax and be

Relax into living

Living and loving

Living and laughing

Laughing at the rush

Laughing at a joke

Joke of false hurry

Joke of cheating death

Death comes for us all

Death to end life

Life too precious to rush

Life meant to be cherished

Cherished

Rush

Take Your Time…the other posts are here!

Welcome to My Sunday Post for June 1, 2014 !

Since my ROW80 updates are getting a little crowded, this seems to be an interesting way to update some things without adding to the clutter. I’m still figuring out what form I’d like this feature to take, so please expect there to be evolution as the weeks pass!

June will be my “test month” for this feature. I’ll be evaluating and adapting, with a bit of a sandbox approach…summer’s a good time for playing in the sand! =D

We’re back to older pictures this week – of my study, and revision in progress. No new images today, sorry!

The view from above, this past winter.

 

Last Week on My Blog:

shanjeniah:

ROW80 Updates:

Story A Day May:

All my Story A Day posts.

Stories Sans Commentary, for the purist.

Tiny treasures in my study…

What’s Next:

This week, after two months of intensive blogging challenges, I settle back into a more sedate pattern for the next three months. Say it with me; you know you wanna! “Ahhhh….!” Big exhale into the wide-open space!

  • For Coffee and Conversation, I’ll be exploring the pitfalls of treating children as projects rather than as people.
  • WIPpet Wednesday will host an excerpt from The IDIC Romance – I’ll be picking up where I left off last week, with a Trip drabble, my very first…
  • For Wordless Wednesday, I’ll share images of….well, it’ll be something. Yes. Something. I know, I said that last week, and something ended up being a lot like, well- nothing!
  • And for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I’ll be doing just what the title suggests – writing a stream-of-consciousness post on the weekly prompt. Last week, my stream of consciousness was on T’Pol and Trip, and I missed posting to this meme.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Cool Stuff I’ve Found along the way…with a lot of remembering, this week.

Life Stuff:

  • I switched from lilacs in my blue-painted pitcher to Siberian iris, in my tall blue-chased glass vase.
  • I wrote powerful things, beautiful things, things that made me angry, and that made me laugh and cry.
  • I read things – see above for descriptions.
  • I watched lots of (but not nearly enough) Enterprise.
  • I hugged and cuddled and laughed with my beloveds.
  • I cleaned stuff – lots of stuff. Not as much as was grubby, but things are more prettified, in places.
  • I existed much of the time in the universe inside my head.
  • The whispering Vulcan and human in my head don’t want to stop, even though their month is up. And, well – they’re both pretty danged stubborn…I may need to give them a day a week for a while, until they settle a bit. If they settle a bit…which isn’t likely, if they have things to say.
  • I’m gradually gearing back up for our busier travel and birthday season.

Want to join the Sunday Post fun?

Playing at revisions with a different Vulcan, a few months back…

 

Coffee and Conversation: Looking Back on the Alphabet

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

It’s Monday again - time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my familywas 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…

It’s the last Monday of May, and, as I move through the final week of my Story A Day challenge, it seems like a good time to do a little online hometending. One of the things I’ve been meaning to do is to write a reflection post for this year’s Blogging from A-Z April Challenge, now that I’ve had a little time and space from the intensity of the challenge itself. Read my pre-challenge Big Theme Reveal post.

  • I chose to do this challenge because it was a perfect vehicle for a writing project that had been swirling around my mind for a year, and was ready to be born. This challenge, whose only requirement is to write 26 alphabetical posts, allowed both a framework, and the freedom to explore in whichever ways my creative impulse carried me.

  • I chose to do it because there’s something satisfying in participating in a challenge with a group of others, pursuing the same goal, each in their own unique way. This meant others sharing in the journey. New blogs to discover, new friends to make. New ideas to ponder, and be expanded by…

  • And the excitement of writing and stretching myself to complete and ship my post, 26 out of 30 days.

So, did I get what I wanted out of this challenge?

Let’s take a look.

  • That nascent idea became Kifo Island Chronicles - 26 stories of characters residing, for various reasons, on a no-cost private hospice island. Some are dying; some are mourning; some are desperate for a chance to live.

  • By the end of the month, I knew that I want to use this source material to create a series of novellas. Each will contain between 2-5 interwoven story arcs. There will be some recurring characters, and themes and arcs may encompass more than one novella, although each will stand alone.

  • For each character, I have a brief character sketch, and a rough outline of their story arc. I can see many intersection points, and ways in which diverse characters will intertwine in various ways.

  • I have 17,915 words of story; and plans for much more. For each of my characters, I have one crystallized story that captures them and their conflicts.

Yes, it’s a long way from a completed series – or even one completed arc. But every project must begin somewhere – and I began with play, and now have a solid beginning.

And how about that group participation?

I discovered some wonderful blogs and bloggers during the challenge. This seems like a perfect time to introduce a few of my very favorites:

Badge of Honor!

Obviously, there’s lots of ideas and creative fodder here! =)

I’ve also picked up a few new blog followers, myself!

But, more importantly than the stories, or the camaraderie, or even the challenge, is the fun, the feeding my own creative life, the pouring forth of my daydreams…

Will I be back next year, for another take on this challenge?

Absolutely!

Enough about me – how about you? Have you undertaken a purposeful challenge, lately? What were your goals and hopes, going in? What inspired you? Did you get out of it what you wanted? Expected? Were there unexpected benefits?

I’ll brew up another pot with the new coffeemaker, and set out some tasty treats (we have muffins!). Why not tell us all about it? =)


Creativity, Multiplying: May 11, 2014

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Well, hello there! A happy day to you, whether you’re a mother or not.

Have you ever had that feeling that things are a big scramble – only to realize that you actually did a lot more than you realized?

Yup. Happened to me this week – and then, while preparing my Sunday Post, I tallied 14 blog posts (and there’s actually another 7 bare-bones posts at my Story-A-Day blog…oh, and writing those stories, visiting and commenting, hometending, time with people I love – even mowing a bit of the lawn.

I’m aswirl in creative energies. They’re pulsing through me, and the best thing I can do, right now, is to give this surging the space and time it needs. Eventually, the ebb will come, and things will slow down again…until then, I’m riding the wave!

And while I’m riding, this week, I intend to refocus on a couple of playful aspects of life I’ve set aside a bit more often than I’d like, of late…more on that during the next few weeks! =D

I hope this post finds you well and engaged in joyful pursuits – whatever those might be, for you!

May’s focus areas:

  • Story-a-Day May

  • Homeschool reports

  • Guest post

2014 Blogging:

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

Continue posting on my regular schedule; share on Sunday Post, weekly.Target attained!

Complete and post 31 Story-A-Day May Enterprise fan fiction stories, following prompts. On target.

  • 10/31 Completed.

  • 22/31 In development.

Respond to comments, and return visits.On target.

  • Did on scheduled days. A bit behind, due to increased volume.

Visit threeStory-A-Day blogs each day, on average.On target.

  • Wed-Friday, none.

  • Saturday, 7. I seem to go in streaks.

2014 Writing:

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

The Stars Are Fire: Draft one scene each week.On target.

  • Reread 3 scenes. 1 to go before I can plan the next.

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.

Complete 31 Stories for The IDIC Romance, using prompts wherever possible.(2014 Story-a-Day May).On target.

  • See Blogging, above.

  • 12,045 words to date.

Prepare Scrivener files for the writing process. On target.

  • 10/31 scenes prepared.

2014 Editing:

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

Chameleon’s Dish: Revise one scene each week.

  • Began freewriting new scene; 9/60.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset.

For April:

Get the computer desk and moved out of the room.On target.

  • I got back into digging out the very messy enclosed porch, where the desk will go when there’s room.

Continue claiming my study.

Clean work surfaces.On target.

  • My hoosier cabinet/desk is clean again!

  • Next up, the tabletop…

Other things:

2014 Lifetending:

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

Contact one person from my People I’d Like to Meet list. Target attained!

  • I’ve contacted three.

  • Getting together is the next step.

Tweet during one show per week, using appropriate hashtag.Target attained!

Eat salad and/or drink fruit or vegetable smoothies at least 4 times a week. Not this week.

  • One salad; one “breakfast” smoothie.

  • 2/4 attained.

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

Choose two playful actions for each day; do several times each.Still meh.

  • Still slow. I’ve been doing a lot of hometending, but forgetting the playful motions.

  • Recommitting this week! =)

Sponsor Visits:

You can check up on the other ROWers, and their plans for Round 2, right here!

Blogging From A-Z: E is for Exuberance (Kifo Island Chronicles)

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Exuberance spun out of the twirl. The man was still watching her. She sashayed over to the bar, swishing her skirt, and stood with her bared back to the table where he sat. She felt his stare making suggestions she wasn’t getting enough, these days.

“May I buy you a drink, pretty lady?” He was beside her now, leaning on the fake driftwood bar; a middle-aged man, neatly dressed. He looked like he took good care of himself, other than the broken vessels on his cheeks that said he was a drinking man.

She smiled, and he smiled back.

“I like cosmos.” She let a hand reach out to almost brush his. The man’s eyes followed it, and Exuberance’s smile got wider as he hurried to catch the bartender’s attention. She flipped her hair over her shoulder, as he ordered drinks – her cosmo, and a double scotch, neat, for himself.

They toasted to nothing, and sipped. After a minute or so, he said, “Do you only dance alone, or -“

“Are you asking?”

“Yes. Will you dance with me, -?” He left a space for her to say her name, and he leaned in close. Exuberance just breathed him in for a few breaths. He smelled of good scotch, suntan lotion, and expensive cologne; the smell of easy money and luxury.

Photo by Lynn Kelley Author, courtesy WANA Commons at Flickr.

It had been too long since she’d had either.

“I only give my name to people who give me theirs, first,” she answered, and this time she did touch his hand. He caught it, brought it to his lips. They were soft, and lingered just long enough to tease her. His eyes glittered in the low lighting.

“You can call me Howie,” he said, with a crooked grin that made promises – promises Exuberance thought she might let him keep.

“Hello there, Howie. I’m Exuberance.” She grinned. She hadn’t had a night this exciting in months; maybe longer. Suddenly, she felt alive – even exuberant enough for the name she’d taken. “Yes, I’ll dance with you.”

Howie was smiling, too. He had a nice smile, and that glitter in his eyes got her imagining. “Exuberance. What an unusual – and fitting – name.”

He kept her hand, and led her out onto the dance floor just as the music changed to a hot Latin beat. They nearly ran into another couple; a silver-haired man with a very young girl, maybe not even out of her teens. They clung together, kissing and swaying, as though they didn’t notice that the slow dance was over.

“Shameful,” Howard said, looking back over his shoulder at them. “He must be three times her age, at least.”

“They seem happy.”

He scowled. “It just doesn’t seem right,” he said.

Instead of arguing, she whirled out onto the floor, pulling him along until he wrapped his arms around her, bringing her hard against him before spinning her away.

Howie was a good dancer, and, when the next slow song came on, he pulled her in close, his arm just a little tighter than she liked – but it felt so good to be held by a good-looking man with money that she pretended she was comfortable, and gave herself to touch and motion happily.

They danced until they were breathless, and then headed back to the bar. After one drink, Exuberance excused herself to go “to the powder room” she said, like she was a fancy lady. When she got back, Howie had already ordered another round.

“Thank you,” she said, as he wrapped an arm around her and kissed her. He tasted of scotch, and his mouth was hungry on hers. She sipped the drink, then let him buy her another, and another, although she had a rule about stopping at two.

Photo by Lynn Kelley Author; courtesy WANA Commons at Flickr.

She was a little giddy when he bent to brush her hair from her ear and whispered, “Would you like to go get something to eat? I know a very nice place, secluded and quiet, up the beach. Very, very classy.”

“I know the place – you mean the Oyster’s Treasure? Howie, that’s the most expensive place on the whole island!”

“I’m thinking it’s going to be worth it.” The glitter in his eyes was brighter now. Was there a shadow in them? No, she decided. It was just the drinks catching up with her.

Exuberance shoved the doubt away, and teased, “And if it isn’t?”

“Then I’ll have to take you again,” he said, and his smile this time said all the things his words didn’t.

Exuberance let Howie lead her to the door.

 

Want to learn more about the Kifo Island Chronicles?

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