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 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re on Facebook!

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.

Sun and Shadow: #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

Full disclosure: I posted this last week, but, when I went to add it to  the linky, I saw that it had already closed. It’s been a crazy week, and the next days are going to be busy and emotionally charged.  So, I’m sharing this here, and will move on from there – after next Wednesday, I’ll get a week or so of slightly less intense living before the kids and I go camping with fellow unschooling families, which is a yearly thing for us.

I haven’t been here since early last month! It wasn’t intentional; or not exactly intentional. First, there was a week where both of my children had social plans – and my son’s involved two 300 mile drives in four days. I don’t mind the driving, but it does take time and energy, and shifts the rhythms I live and write by.

And then there’s the writing. I’ve gone from April CampNaNoWriMo and Blogging from A-Z, to Story a Day May, to JuNoWriMo, and now, this year month, July CampNaNoWriMo and #WordHighJuly…

So, rather than sharing here, I’ve been writing things I might eventually share here, like this snippet from “A Splash of Red,” which I’m serializing here. 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 maybe begin to come clear…or as clear as they will get, anyway.

More on the story after the nine-sentence snippet.

Context, such as it is…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 the child’s question answered, and another asked – why did the woman used to hit her children, and yell at them? This week, finally, the woman gives an explantation.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Sun and Shadow

“Because I was a hawk, raised by hawks.”

“I am a hawk?” Hawklike, she circles, as she had before, watching me, watching the pebble in my hand.

“No,” I say, gently. “Not really. You are a dove who has to pretend she’s a hawk, to survive.”

She slows, then stops. Her hand reaches out, trembling, then retreats. Her lip quivers; her eyes are sun and shadow.

Will the girl overcome her resistance?

Is the woman’s explanation satisfactory?

Will the child be able to trust her?

Next week may bring more answers – and certainly more questions!

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Did you like what you read? “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?

Hoshi’s Gift: My Word-High July Intro Post!

 

Oh, look!

Here we are, into July already. The month began with a day of intense thunderstorms and tornado warnings (not exactly common in upstate New York) that caused some turbulence here in our home, and slowed down my plans for today’s blogging –

But here I am, joining in on Word-High July, a chance to explore some lovely Filipino words – one each day, for 30 days. Clicking the link will tell you more about the challenge, in lovely language – and here’s a word list, for those who’d like to play along.

For my personal challenge, I knew what I was going to write as soon as I read the list of words. So many of them deal with specific emotional states in concrete terms…perfect for a Vulcan woman desperately trying to understand what she feels for a human man named Trip…

Yup. In the spirit of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations), I’m writing Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction. Let’s see if T’Pol and Trip can use these words to find common emotional ground.

By the way, standard disclaimers apply. I don’t own the characters, but they certainly like putting stories in my head. I write fan fiction for passion and joy, not money, to share what I love about this inter-species couple. My fan fiction has always been, and ever shall be, totally free – my gift to you!

But enough about me. Let’s get on with the introductory story that sets the stage for the 30 daily stories to come….here, we begin with Hoshi’s gift. For those who aren’t in the know, it’s good to know that Ensign Hoshi Sato, Enterprise’s Communications Officer, is a linguistic prodigy who can learn nearly any language, so it’s not at all far-fetched that she would speak Filipino.

Hoshi’s Gift

Hoshi looked over to the Tactical Station, where Trip was sitting. T’Pol hovered on the other side of the console, almost as though she was glued to him. She’d been like that ever since he got back up to the Bridge after he’d assessed the situation in Engineering.

Hoshi had been debating this ever since that mind meld with T’Pol. She’d told the First Officer about her dream, woman to woman, but she’d held some things back. T’Pol was Vulcan, after all. The fact that T’Pol had also been emotionally compromised at the time, and had admitted it openly, made it a matter of compassion.

For years, now, they’d been at the edge of friendship, but, between her own shyness, and T’Pol’s genetic and culturally ingrained reserve, they’d never crossed that threshold. It didn’t help that Vulcan didn’t even have a word for ‘friend’ – or, for that matter, for most emotional concepts and states.

That’s what had given her the idea. She’d watched a clearly anguished woman pacing her room, trying to give some voice to all the things she felt for a certain Chief Engineer. She might have already lost her chance, but Hoshi thought that she hadn’t. She’d known Trip for a long time, now, and he wasn’t the kind to give himself halfway to anything. And the dreams – well, T’Pol might have doubts, but that was because she naturally looked at things logically.

To Hoshi, it was clear as air. The passion sizzling between the two of them went a hell of a lot deeper than lust or friendship or even rivalry.

“You’ve stood here stalling long enough,” she told herself. “And, meanwhile, they’re both here, and no one else is even close to aware enough to notice.”

T’Pol didn’t have a Vulcan word for the human maze that was love, either, and it certainly couldn’t be quantified in concrete, logical terms. She needed help, and Trip was in way too deep to be able to give it to her – he’d transferred to Columbia, after all, and that probably meant that he was as hurt and confused as she was.

It was up to her.

“Commanders?” she asked, because neither of them was paying attention to the display. Two sets of eyes, hazel and blue, broke a mutual gaze heavy with things Hoshi could only guess at.

“Yes, Ensign Sato?” Formal as ever, but T’Pol’s voice was softer and more vulnerable than it had been. There were things she couldn’t hide anymore, even if she wanted to.

Hoshi brought out the PADD, and offered it to T’Pol. “This is for you – both of you, I mean.”

T’Pol moved the PADD so that Trip could look at it with her. “A Mutually Acceptable Emotional Vocabulary?” The engineer stuck his tongue in his cheek, and didn’t look at T’Pol.

“This isn’t English,” T’Pol said, very softly.

“It’s Filipino. If you don’t mind my saying, English doesn’t seem to have been working very well. I thought – well, I thought this might be better.”

“Hoshi, what exactly are you trying to say here?”

“She’s shared my dreams, Trip.” A whisper, but Trip got redder than he’d been when he’d come off that desert planet with his new friend Zolkan.

“Ah, hell….if yours have been anything like mine – umm, sorry, Hoshi.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She kept her voice quiet, even though they were the only ones on the Bridge, with most of the crew still recovering from the effects of the Orion women’s potent pheromones. “But this might help – if you decide to give it a try.” She didn’t wait around to see what they’d do with the gift. She figured that she didn’t need to know the specifics – if it helped, sooner or later, she’d know.

She wasn’t only good at spoken languages, after all. Most intimate conversation between both species was held on a non-verbal level. No matter how hard they tried to hide it, she would know.

“You Sound Tired”: 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. 

Have you ever come home after a few days away, and everything looks both normal and strange at the same time?

That’s me with blogging over the last few weeks. Other than my regular ROW80 updates, I really haven’t posted much in June. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, because writing (and plotting, and planning) has been a lot of what has kept me away. Well, that and making sure offspring with social plans got where they were headed, and home again..

And Hamilton. Mustn’t forget Hamilton (as if I could)…

Now A Rising Tide, the fourth of my Kifo Island novels, is a complete rough draft. The Far Shore, has been plotted, and I’m over 10K into the writing (since I’m expecting it to be about 65Kish, that’s a fair chunk, and I only started writing on Sunday night, at our local write-in.

I think it’s safe to say, at this point, that I’m very happy with the way The Writer’s Coloring Book, which is the basis for this year’s Kifo Island plotting, is working for me. – and that’s good, because I’ve just dived into planning for the third and final KIC novel for this year, Tsunamis.

Eventually, all three will be drafted, and waiting as I work on getting as efficient at revisions as I’m getting at this plan/plot/draft thing….

But that’s another mountain range, for another day.

In the meantime, let’s rejoin Donovan Nash and Ava Garcia in Sea Changes (how’s that for a bad segue? You’re welcome.)

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 June 29, 2016
  • I‘ve got 9 sentences today.

Donovan has agreed to assist Ava in her quest to live out her life the way she wants, and asked for access to her medical records. We pick up from there.

“You Sound Tired”

“You sound tired, Ava. Is there anything I can do right now to make you comfortable?”

“I usually nap at this hour – or what would be this hour, back home. I’ve only been here a day; I’m still a bit jetlagged.” She spoke like a seasoned traveler, and Donovan wondered if she’d had the chance to see some beautiful places before she became ill. “Maybe it’s not fair to ask you before you’ve read up on me and know what all you’re getting yourself into here – but I’ve gotten used to other people moving around while I sleep, and I’d feel better if you’d stay -”

“It’s getting a bit too bright out there for me, anyway. Would you like help getting to bed?”

“No – I’ll nap right here. It’s a very comfortable chair, and I haven’t been comfortable nearly enough, for the last three years – maybe even longer.”

Will Ava be comfortable with Donovan there?

What will her records reveal?

Will her nap be restorative?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more of Donovan’s story.

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.

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!