Building and Going: January 11, 2017 Update

Hey there!

The first ten days of the month have whooshed by for me! I’ve dived in deeply, dipped my toes in, floated along on the current, made progress with a strong forward stroke, and even sat on the bank taking in the view.

And, while I was doing all those things, some progress was made – both the kind that shows on the goals list and that other kind – the kind that isn’t expressed in language. That counts at least as much to me as the progress I can quantify and tally up.

As I mentioned on Sunday, this is a busy week, and I’m still in the thick of it. The boy has new clothes, and my Accomplice and I got a couples’ workout. I attended my weekly write-in. Still upcoming is a coffee date, grocery shopping, tai chi, and meeting my son’s friends halfway on Friday and Sunday (we live in upstate New York, and the party is in Pennsylvania). Each round trip will be 200 miles…so Saturday, I’m going nowhere.

But that’s still in the future.

Right now, it’s time to take account of where I am, right now.

 

  • Note: Goals I engaged with this session are listed in  this update. For complete goals list, check the links below.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island: Write 5,000 words/week The Far Shore (KIC #6), until complete. Secondary goal. Currently Scene 13/24 in progress. 4,069/5000 weekly words; 42,621/~65,000 total. On Sunday, I was considering reducing this goal, but…well, I added words, and broke through the “stuck” place I was in. So, for now, I’m keeping this goal as-is.

Plotting:

  • Kifo Island: Select April and July novels. Create rough Aeon Timeline  for first six novels/ select and place April and July novels. Secondary goal. Finalized selections for Camp novels. Created rough paper timeline with all current/planned stories placed.

Blogging:

  • Blog Hops: Just Jot It January Write 333 word stream of consciousness vignette for each day’s topic; complete guest posting duties as assigned. #atozchallenge: Complete any loose ends and unfinished business, move all posts to blog interface. Primary goal. #JusJoJan: 10/31 complete. I’ve been assigned a midmonth guest slot; awaiting further instructions.

  • Blogging Features: Resume Mindful Monday: Biweekly posts on mindfulness. Find blogging/website rhythm. Secondary goal. Getting there with the rhythm…at least for now.

  • Blog/Website Interface: Begin duplicate posts on blog and two-way linking. Side goal. First duplicate posted.

Submission/Publication:

  • A Splash of Red”: Complete final revisions and edits/polishing passes; work with Jaz on cover art; make front/back matter checklists. Secondary goal. Made initial contact with Jaz.

Hometending:

  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and kitchen. Complete three 27 thing flings each room, each week. Bedroom, living room, and bathroom: one 27 thing fling each room each week. 27 General Hometending rounds weekly. Secondary goal. Study: 3/3; bedroom and living room; 1/1. General: 17/27. Tuesday was a very active day for hometending.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Primary goal. Movie/TV; write-in, plans for the weekend; clothes shopping with son.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Secondary goal. Lots of plans;workout/errands; Miah clothes shopping; coffee date for me with a friend on Wednesday; tai chi Thursday; Miah to his party on Friday – and attending out-of-state escape room party on the 14th.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group. Tertiary goal. First piece complete; second simmering; third downloaded.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Side goal. Offers are out; promo post completed.

Selftending:

  • Journal six mornings and three evenings each week. Meditate five mornings and two evenings weekly. Primary goal. Morning journal/meditation: 3/6; Evening: 0/3. Return to mandalas.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly, and 6 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.) monthly by end of round. Secondary goal. Moderate: 3/6. Strenuous: 3.75/6 hours: weight/cardio/moving firewood. Over halfway, with two-thirds of the month left – finally, a hooray here! =D

Kait Nolan’s ROW80

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Goal-Oriented Prosperity: ROW80 Round Four Final Update; 2016

Hey there!

My goal for Round Four was to take stock, gather in loose ends, and set things up for next year. I think I’ve done well, even if my reach exceeded my grasp in some areas….

Note: This is my final Round Four update, but I will be posting on my December goals Wednesday and Sunday.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Complete draft of The Far Shore (~65,000 words); Primary goal. Scene 11/24 in progress; 36,495 / ~65,000 words; 11,596 new). Draft Tsunamis (~65,000 words). Complete at 63,461 words. With many other goals seen to, it’s conceivable, if unlikely, that I could surge through the end of this in the next week. Still, progress is progress, and I’m satisfied.
  • Poets on the Page: Write 31 new poems in October, using OctPoWriMo prompts and building for the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge 2017. Secondary goal. 31/31 poems written; various stages of roughness; plotting and drafting for A-Z! Goal completed!
  • Trueborn Warp/Weft Series:Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: Complete draft (Scene 40/50 complete). Tertiary goal. Back-burnering until 2017.
  • The IDIC Romance: Finish remaining five #STaD wrapup stories. Side goal. Goal completed!

Plotting:

  • Kifo Island Chonicles: Complete planning (Settting/Time/Story World Mandalas for all 3 main characters) and plot Tsunamis. Primary goal.

  • Plot #atozchallenge posts while writing October poems. Tertiary goal.

Revision:

  • For Submission: Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” for Dark and Bitter (by 10/10); first “Philodosia” story for The Machinery (by 10/15); and Beneath the Ice” for World Unknown Review (by 10/31). Primary goal. 

  • Kifo Island: Submit Sea Changes scenes 5-24 to critique group. Critique crit partners’ work as posted. Secondary goal. I got a little revising done; but the group is on hold till January, when we’re adding a member, so I set this aside to focus on other revisions.

  • The IDIC Romance: ReviseFirst Contact, With Jazz and get it in the hands of waiting betas. Revise Chapters 4-10 of A Backdrop of Stars; continue revisions on Chapters 4-20; Love and Loss. Restructuring “FC,WJ”; pulling apart Scenes 1 and 2. Progress made on Scenes 3 and 4. “ABOS”: Scenes 1 and 2 highlighted for revision; Scenes 3 and 3 rough-revised. I’ll be carrying both over to 2017, most likely.LAL”: BBed till these are finished.

  • Poetry: Find information about revising poetry. Experiment with revisions of existing Trek poems. Side goal. Bbed till 2017.

Social Media:

  • Make regular visits to others participating in hops and challenges I’ve joined. This will be a Thursday/Monday focus. Primary goal. Better this month than last.

  • Interaction: Visit website, blog, ROW80, Albany NNWM, and Yakon Village FB pages; ff.net; Twitter; Instagram; and Pinterest at least twice weekly, each site. Secondary goal. Ummm…some?!
  • Continue in situ website design, with a focus on bringing in the various facets of my life in a more cohesive manner. This will be a Friday/Tuesday focus. Tertiary goal. Not really, but a bit, so it’s not a complete wash.

Hometending:

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and porch. Use the 27 Thing Fling for structure. Add in 20 cycles a week for random indoor/outdoor tidying/hometending. Primary goal. Closer. Switched from porch to kitchen. Not finishing this year, but happy with solid progress.
  • Homeschool Administration: Submit first quarter reports for both kids by December 15. Create Flickr portfolio, by year, or roughly so, for Miah; categorize and continue to file to Lise’s. Secondary goal. Reports done; Miah has a portfolio. Other things being dealt with sporadically. Ongoing.

  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all OneDrive files.Tertiary goal. Making progress; taking three directories most months seems to be working well, so this will be ongoing.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan box of travel photos; save in organized files with backup. Side goal. Nothing new, and not likely to be this year, so BBing it.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Primary goal. Lots of connection; one-on-one outings with my Accomplice and both kids. Goal completed – in many ways!

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group. Secondary goal; critique group on hold till 2017.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Tertiary goal. In the process of doing something- this week, I hope.
  • Finish reading/reveling in Hamilton: The Revolution (Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey McCarter). Return to its rightful owner….*sniff*. Side goal. And my own copy is on its way to me! ❤

Selftending:

  • Journal six times each week. Gradually increase meditation to ten minutes six mornings, and four minutes three evenings. Primary goal. Not consistently, but some….

  • Fitness: Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, 2 hours thrice weekly, by round’s end. Secondary goal. Getting closer to that 90 minute goal, and hit the two hour one for a day or two here and there.

  • Tai chi class, swimming, strength, and/or cardio training for a cumulative total of twelve hours in October; thirteen in November; fourteen in December. Tertiary goal. Not even close. I need better scaffolding on this one.

  • Smart Change: Choose a habit to change using the intial steps in this book. Side goal. Setting aside till 2017.
  • Intuitive Eating: Begin implementing first steps. Side goal. Setting aside till 2017.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit stories to Dark and Bitter; The Machinery; and World Unknown Review. Primary goal. 2 rejections and an acceptance.

  • The IDIC Romance: Submit chapters 4-10 of A Backdrop of Stars and First Contact, With Jazz to fanfiction.net; begin submitting to either Ad Astra or Triaxian Silk. Secondary goal. Adapted goal: Submit Chapters 4-6, ABoS. Get FC,WJ to betas. Revision is a lengthy process. Carrying over into 2017.

  • Self-publish “A Splash of Red”; experimental project. Tertiary goal. BBing till 2017.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Do rough setup for Trek poetry chapbook. This is experimental. Side goal. BBing.

  • Create Patreon page, and incorporate it into my social media…this is an exploratory time. Side goal. Made some progress; drafted my rewards structure. Carrying over to 2017.

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Bits of Prosperity: December 18, 2016

Hey there!

I tend to be the optimistic type – but not in an ostrich-hiding-out way, but rather in a focusing-on-the-positive helps me find new ways to add to it. When I get fixated just on what’s wrong, I tend to get all mired up in that place.

So, in that vein…

We had a little windfall this week – a small tax rebate. It’s enough to cover a few essentials – I’ll be getting a winter coat tomorrow – I haven’t had one for a couple of years. Last winter, when money was more plentiful, it didn’t really get cold or snowy, but this year seems to be different already, and I’ll be grateful for the added warmth.

It was also a good time for my Accomplice not to be working, since the weather was iffy, and he didn’t have to drive in it. We went for a workout on Wednesday. We’d gotten out of the habit with his variable work schedule, so that was connecting and happy.

He also cooks when he’s home. Me? I’d rather play with words. The kids tend to like to get their own meals, so I eat better when the chef’s home. Saturday, he made a batch of hot sauce; once we can afford to have labels made and liability insurance purchased, he’ll have a small inventory ready to go.

I’m also busy creating an inventory – and the foundations of a business. Since it’s the middle of the month, or thereabouts, I’m trimming my December goals, to focus on those that are my current priorities.

Since this will be a longish post, I’m going to give you a snippet, then step out of the way of my own progress – but first, I’d love to know what bits of prosperity have fallen into your week?

From The Far Shore (Kifo Island #5); Scene Ten:

“Why am I asking myself these questions, when I’m probably never going to have the answers?”

But she didn’t have an answer for that, either. All she had was an unused pregnancy test and too many questions. Those, and a broken heart.

Note: I list the goals I interacted with during the current session.  Complete goals lists are linked below.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island: Complete draft of The Far Shore (KIC#5); 24 Scenes, ~65,000 words. Primary goal. 2,756 new words; Scene 10/24 in progress. 32,711/~65,000 words/
  • Blogging From A to Z April Challenge: Continue writing poems/drafting posts, on a rotating-week cycle. Secondary goal. Week Two: F and G essays drafted: 6/6. Week Four: N, O, and P poems drafted; 3/6. Read instructions and topic for PQ”; simmering, 4/6.

Plotting:

  • Draft my basic 2017 goals/schedule. Primary goal. Color-coded/organizing brainstormed possibilities for March-December; 12/12 months complete. Simmering.

  • #atozchallenge: Add elements/ links/setup for posts in rotation; move to blog drafting interface. New side goal. Week One: Added two photos. Created an A-Z image file directory and folder for the A post; 1/1 completed; 1/26 overall. Week Five: Moved all poem tutorials for letters T-Z to planning page; 7/7 for the week, this step complete for 26/26 posts.

Revision:

  • The IDIC Romance: Finish revisionFirst Contact, With Jazz and get it in the hands of waiting betas. Revise Chapters 4-6 of A Backdrop of Stars and review 1-3. Primary goal; ABOS: Completed first revision pass for Chapter 1/3, “Returns and Remembrances;” reread Chapter 2/3 “Clinging to One Another,” color-coding for first revision pass complete. “FC;WJ”: I’ve decided to restructure, and seriously tighten. Next revision pass for segments of Scenes One and Two, now the opening scene. Now have revised/restructured Scenes One Three, with more to go from these two original scenes (it’s complicated)! Things will be a bit chaotic as I rejigger, but I expect the result to be much lovelier.

  • Self-Publication: Revise/polish “A Splash of Red”; offer for critique readers. Secondary goal. Setting it aside to focus on in January.

  • Kifo Island: Revise Sea Changes scenes 5-8 in preparation for submitting to critique group. Tertiary goal. This probably isn’t going to happen this month, but since I have at least two scenes which two of my partners haven’t gotten to yet, I’m OK with taking a couple of weeks in January to get moving on this.

  • Philodosia”(Hamilton-inspired alternate history): Revise and print a nice copy of Scene One, “A Matter of Honor” for my daughter’s Christmas gift. Side goal. Color-coded for first post-rejection revision pass; simmering.

Social Media:

  • Make 3 visits to others participants in each hop/challenge I’ve joined. This will be a Thursday/Monday focus. Primary goal. Visited 3 #weekendcoffeeshare; #SoCS, #ROW80 Sunday. Wednesday, and #8sunday and all WIPpet Wednesday. participants. Goal completed for the week – hooray!

  • Interaction: Visit website, blog, ROW80, Albany NNWM and Yakon Village FB pages; ff.net; Twitter; Instagram; and Pinterest weekly, each site. Secondary goal. Thursday/Monday focus. Another goal completed!
  • Continue in situ website design, with a focus on transitioning to it as my prime online home in 2017. Prepare countdown posts for this blog, and post with link. Post one reblog and two snippets each week. This is a Sunday/Wednesday focus. Tertiary goal. Discovered I can do a lot of setup while listening to podcasts, and thinking I may do this once or twice a week. Made my first efforts at countdown posts – see widget in sidebar. Not really satisfied, but simmering. This session; WIPpet: Your Records Say”; #8sunday: Glimpses of Him scheduled and linked. Edited images for next 2 Skywatch Friday/#weekendcoffeeshare posts. Reblog post in progress.

Hometending:

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and kitchen. Use the 27 Thing Fling for structure/5 each per week. Add in 25 cycles a week for random indoor/outdoor tidying/hometending. Secondary goal. Study: 5/5; Family: 5/5. Kitchen: 3/5 (Accomplice tends to take it over when he’s not working, which makes it a bit harder to get to). Indoor random; 25/25.

  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all OneDrive Move to Yogical, Stuff to Look At, and The IDIC Romance files. Maintain email below 99 messages. Cull/organize Writing Stuff email folder. Tertiary goal. Email back in sane parameters! Began organizing Writing Stuff into more specific folders; Began with 2,150; now at 1,724. Started secondary sorting of IDIC; Went through Arcs in Progress and Boldly Go folders; began One-Offs (actually, most of them can fit into existing arcs); 3/6 folders in progress.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings and at-home activities (personal and family) as desired. Primary goal. Conversation; podcasts; planning; canoodling.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly online and in person. Secondary goal. Visited page.

Selftending:

  • Journal six times each week. Meditation six mornings, and three evenings. Primary goal. 6/6 morning; 1/3 evening.

  • Fitness: Get a cumulative total of at least 80 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, 90 minutes 4 days weekly. Secondary goal. 80 min: 6/5; 90 min: 5/4. Wahoo!

  • Tai chi class, swimming, strength, and/or cardio training for a cumulative total of eight hours. Tertiary goal. Cardio/strength workout at Y: 2/8 hours.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Update my Writing Kanban board. Tertiary goal. Cleaning my work table in order to get to the board; surveyed and simmering.

  • Listen: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Side goal. Through Chapter 5/19; 11% complete. I was waiting to finish the Trek movies, the reports, and catch up on the Welcome to Night Vale podcast so I could listen to Episode 100 with Lise. Now that I’ve done all of those, this will be my primary focus.

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Spoilers….beware!

Prosperity and Gratitude: November 2016 Goals

Hey there!

It’s November…what does that mean to you?

To me, it’s a time of abundance and scarcity (like last week, which was between my Accomplice’s final, partial unemployment check, and his first full check from his new job, and when several of our larger bills came due). It’s abundant for the profusion of words that gather as NaNoWriMo progresses, and there’s the comparative perceived scarcity of time…time to spend with loved ones, tending to my home and myself, and piling up those words to create a story…oh, and those homeschool reports due in the middle of next month.

All of this means that it’s time for some new November goals…

Note: For more details, visit the links below.

Writing:

  • NaNoWriMo: Complete draft of Tsunamis (KIC#6); 24 Scenes, ~65,000 words. Primary goal. Scene 3/24 complete; 5,106/~65,000 words).
  • Poets on the Page: Write final two poems using OctPoWriMo prompts. Secondary goal. Poem 30/31 completed on 11/1, as part of my NaNo draft – now that’s efficiency in action!
  • Blogging From A to Z April Challenge: Continue writing poems/drafting posts, on a rotating-week cycle. Tertiary goal. I’ll use these as filler between larger progress, and hopefully wrap up the month with some tidy progress and momentum I can build on in December.
  • Kifo Island Chronicles: The Far Shore (KIC #5): Complete draft as a postscript to my NaNoWriMo efforts. (Scene 8/24 in progress; 21,533/65,000 words). Side goal. This will be a project for after my main novel, Tsunamis, is completed. If that runs long, or I just need some downtime, it will be postponed until December.

Plotting:

  • Plot #atozchallenge posts. Primary goal. This has three components for each post: a poem, image, and themed essay. All themes selected, and poetry written through letter E at beginning of month. The idea is to have all components at least sketched out by the end of the round.

Revision:

  • The IDIC Romance: ReviseFirst Contact, With Jazz and get it in the hands of waiting betas. Revise Chapters 4-7 of A Backdrop of Stars; review 1-3; Love and Loss. Primary goal. I’ve had at least two requests for more stories at ff.net, so this moves to top billing. 

  • Self-Publication: Revise/polish “A Splash of Red”; offer for critique readers. Secondary goal. I want to get this published by year’s end, but, since I’m running out of year, so it’s time to move forward here.

  • Kifo Island: Submit Sea Changes scenes 5-8 to critique group. Critique crit partners’ work as posted. Side goal; there probably won’t be any activity in the group since we’re all NaNoing this month. Still, my momentum has stopped, so time to nudge it.

Social Media:

  • Make regular visits to others participating in hops and challenges I’ve joined. This will be a Thursday/Monday focus. Primary goal.

  • Interaction: Visit website, blog, ROW80, Albany NNWM, and Yakon Village FB pages; ff.net; Twitter; Instagram; and Pinterest at least weekly, each site. Secondary goal. Once each for green items.
  • Continue in situ website design, with a focus on bringing in the various facets of my life in a more cohesive manner. Post one reblog and two snippets each week. This is a Friday/Tuesday focus. Tertiary goal. This can be tricky during NaNo, but I’m determined.

Hometending:

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and porch. Use the 27 Thing Fling for structure/4 each per week. Add in 22 cycles a week for random indoor/outdoor tidying/hometending. Primary goal. (For the week): Porch: 1 /4; family 1/4. Random inside/outside: 19/22. A good start to the week; mostly because getting up and moving gets me oxygenated and helps the ideas to flow, so there’s an added benefit to cleaning.

  • Homeschool Administration: Gather info/draft first quarter reports (due 12/15). Create Flickr portfolio for Miah; continue to file to Lise’s. Secondary goal. We had a very busy quarter, so there’s a lot to organize here.

  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all OneDrive Homeschool, Blogging, and Beta Reading files. Maintain email below 99 messages. Tertiary goal. I’ve tended to have trouble keeping up during NaNo, but habit and momentum are on my side. Wednesday/Saturday focus.
  • Yard Beautification: Declutter outgrown kid-things and random life debris. Side goal. Nice weather expected this week; a good time to move forward.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Primary goal. Conversation; flirting; canoodling. Kids and I went to the New York State Museum today.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly online and in person. Secondary goal. Visited FB page/ attended party.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer promotional posts for other writers. Tertiary goal. Blog tour post coming to me tomorrow.

Selftending:

  • Journal six times each week. Gradually increase meditation to ten minutes six mornings, and four minutes three evenings. Primary goal. Maintaining at my October level.

  • Fitness: Get a cumulative total of at least 75 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, 90 minutes thrice weekly. Secondary goal. Maintaining at my October level.

  • Tai chi class, swimming, strength, and/or cardio training for a cumulative total of ten hours. Tertiary goal. Dropping a bit to make it more attainable.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Mentor Yacon Writing Class. Primary goal. Another way to give back.

  • The IDIC Romance: Submit chapters 4-7 of A Backdrop of Stars to fanfiction.net; begin submitting to Ad Astra. Secondary goal. I wanted to get to these for the last two months. I still do.

  • Create Patreon page, and incorporate it into my social media…this is an exploratory time. Tertiary goal. This could be a very good idea, for many reasons.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

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An abundant image: Fort Ticonderoga, New York, inside and out, last week. I had abundant fun playing with reflections, shadows, and my great big kid.

An abundant image: Fort Ticonderoga, New York, inside and out, last week. I had abundant fun playing with reflections, shadows, and my great big kid.

 

Brevity Is…: Potential Wit for WIPpet Wednesday

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.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

I have a confession to make.

That’s how I started my last WIPpet Wednesday post, and it fits today, for different reasons. Then, I was preparing for the onslaught of birthdays and death anniversary and camping.

Tonight, I blame Shakespeare, because we all went to see a free performance of Romeo and Juliet at a local park. The play began at 6, so I’m running out of day now.

And so I’ll keep this brief in the spirit of the Bard, so I can post before a swift-approaching midnight. I’m taking a break before going back to Sea Changes, and sharing a bit from An Unspecified Project. Points for anyone who can guess what, who, where, and why?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is August 3, 2016
  • Two sentences. Why two? Because “Brevity is the soul of wit.” And these are brief.

No. Honestly, I’m more interested in the guy in the bathroom.”

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

“Hawks Eat Doves”: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

It’s been a wild ride here, the last week. As I write this on Friday, it’s one week past my daughter’s twelfth birthday. Wednesday was our second child’s birthday, but since Elijah died when he was only 12 days old, it’s not the kind of birthday to celebrate; it’s more a time of reflection and remembrance…

Except that, this year, it was also the day that my Accomplice was fired from a job he’d had for nine years, because the owner of the restaurant he helped to create wanted to move in another direction, and hire his own son as chef.

We’re facing uncertainty, and looking at it as an opportunity to move in a different direction.

We’ll see where life carries us. In the meantime, here’s another serialized snippet from “A Splash of Red.”This surreal fantasy story is the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license. We’re getting close to the end, now, so things that have been mysteries will  become clearer…

More on the story after the eight-sentence snippet.

Context: A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above. We left last week with our focus on the child’s tentative  and aborted attempt to accept a small token offered by the woman.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative.

“Hawks Eat Doves”

“Are you – are we – a dove now? Are – our – children happy?”

A shadow covers the sun, falls upon us, and she shivers as the hawks give a cry of threat and hunger and jagged brokenness.

“We’ve grown into a dove. Our children are happy, and free, and their laughter is my – our – favorite music.”

The hawks lift higher, circling, silent, waiting, seeking vulnerable prey.

“Hawks eat doves.” She stares a challenge at me; then up at the hawks.

How will the woman answer the child’s challenge?

Will the hawks attack?

Are woman and child safe?

Next week may bring answers, or new questions!

Like what you read? Want more?

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

 “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review,  which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer. Until then, may your week be delightful! =D

Want more #8Sunday?

Inescapable Possibility: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

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.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt

I have a confession to make.

I’m writing this post just past 6 am, on Thursday, July 7. Yup, that’s nearly a week before I want to post it.

Why?

Because this is a busy stretch of days, and the physical side of that can’t hold a candle to the emotional one. It begins tomorrow, when my daughter turns twelve. I’m still finding that almost impossible to believe!

Then, I have a busy blogging and writing weekend, with things all pretty much behind, at least as I type this, and a couple of dollops more in the way of necessary administrative duties than I’d like. Then, next week, my daughter has a vaccination appointment, the kitten goes to the vet –

And then it’s Wednesday.

And not just any Wednesday, either. Wednesday, July 13.

The day our second son, Elijah, was born.

He died twelve days later, in the NICU where he lived his entire post-birth life.

I don’t want to be writing these words, then, so I’ll write them now.

Elijah would be 13 this year. A teenager. But he’s not. 13 birthdays we didn’t get to share with him. That pain dulls, but never ever disappears.

Because I’m his mom, exactly as much as I am my older son’s, and my daughter’s.

And that makes sharing the last sentences of this scene more poignant, and maybe gives you a clue why Ava’s desire to live and die as she chooses is so important to me.

Elijah James Burton, July 13-25, 2003. Our Tiny Tiger at 6 days – halfway through his life.


Nuff said. Let’s rejoin Donovan Nash and Ava Garcia in Sea Changes.

Donovan is one of my favorite Kifo Island characters. He had a major supporting role in both of my previously drafted Kifo stories. Now, he gets his own (well, shared with Karina and Ava, but still, he’s finally the star he was always meant to be!)

The premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?

Note:

This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan beginning in August as the 24 scenes pass through my local crit group. Until then, I’m focused on new writing.

Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 13, 2016

  • I’ve got 3 sentences today, because I am the mother of three, blessed to raise two, and because that wraps up Donovan’s scene.

Donovan reads Ava’s medical records while she sleeps. Because it starts in media res; here’s the preceding paragraph, posted last week.

She sounded lucid, but was asleep within moments. Donovan watched her for a moment, marveling at how trusting she was, how willing to put her well-being and safety into the hands of a man she’d only just met. Of course, he wouldn’t have any idea how thoroughly she or her legal representatives had had him vetted unless she told him – she might know more about his work history than he even remembered. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Inescapable Possibility

Of course, there was another inescapable possibility, and that’s the one that kept him sitting on his heels for a long time, watching the sleeping child who would never become a woman, before he got up and went to begin reading her files.

She could simply be too sick to keep herself awake, and far too sick to protect herself, if she needed to.

When he began to read her dossier at last, that worry sharpened into a knife of apprehension.

What is so concerning to Donovan?

Are his concerns valid?

Next week, we shift to Ava’s point of view, and learn more.

To read Donovan’s scene in its entirety, just follow the links:

If you’re enjoying my Kifo Island posts, and would like to see the evolution of my two upcoming WIPs, The Far Shore and Tsunamis, I’ll eventually be posting an index for my Story a Day May 2016 vignettes. Until then, clicking the link will take you to the category, where you can play.

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

 

This song does me in….because it’s so perfectly expressed, and not unimaginable to me, or to many others. Warning – there may be tears. I went with the childlike animation because there are no clips from the show…and it seems fitting.