Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Challenges and Contests, ROWnd #4

“BOO!” – An All Hallows’ Eve ROW80 Update, 10/31/12

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In deference to the intense nature of NaNoWriMo, my projects list will be modified for the month. See the November goals here!

It’s Halloween here at the Burton house, and we’re in the midst of the tumult of getting reaay for trick-or-treating. I am writing when I can, in the gaps between other things. I will likely take my computer, as the kids are hoping for some time at the mall’s bounce house, and I have enough battery power to write there, even if they do not have free wi-fi (Jeremiah is telling me that they do, so I may be setting up blogposts instead).

This is our Plan C. Plan A was to spend Tuesday -Saturday with our friends, the Woodman family. But they live in central New Jersey, and Hurricane Sandy had other plans. Plan B was to meet up with friends and trick-or-treat with them…but sadly, that hasn’t worked out, either, with such short notice.

We’re pretty good at rolling along with the flow, though, so, tonight, we will be visiting a local mall (the weather is still unsettled, and we live quite rurally). We hope to be home in time for the Peanuts Halloween special at 8pm, after which point we’ll shift to a hometending mode for a bit (I did some already, but the house could use a bit of a reset before I dive headlong into NaNo at midnight!).

The Woodmans’ hometown, where many people are still without power, is rescheduling their festivities for Saturday. So, if they should have their power restored by then, we may still be able to celebrate with them,, too! =)

As for tricks or treats, I prefer the latter. So, scattered through this post will be images from last Halloween with the Woodmans, and, at the end, there are a few extra treats. You can read through or just scroll down – but please don’t leave without depositing a little treat of your own in my comment box (I like comments and frozen grapes better than candy!).

Pink unicorn rider, Halloween 2011.

Honoring Myself  (Original goals post)

My goal for this round is to honor myself – my rhythms, energy, needs, truth, dreams, desires, and emotions.

A fundamental part of that is to identify my energy type each day, and summarize what I do. It’s my hope that, throughout the round, patterns will emerge which lead to a more joyful, organic writing flow – one that honors me and allows me to get the most out of my seldom predictable writing time.


My energy levels and poems for the last few days..

  • Sunday: High Tide (used more for hurricane preparations than for writing, though).
  • Poem: Wild Origins
  • Monday: Serious Ebb Tide (backlash from so much busy on Sunday, and too little sleep).
  • Poem: Outside In; Inside Out
  • Tuedsay: Slack Tide (a bleed of input and creating; very little physical acticity. I needed a “down” day to rest for Halloween and the arrival of NaNo, I think.
  • Poem: Two Lives, Two Rings


Our friend Harry, incognito!

What’s goin’ on..?

Priority Projects –

I am serving as a  ROW80 sponsor for this round.

Devil Darling, impish grin!

I am participating in the OctPo WriMo Challenge throughout October.

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at least 50,000 words of another novel in my Trueborn Weft series Sima Garo Provides.

  • I have set up an as-yet blank page for this nascent WIP, and will be moving some items to it throughout the challenge. I will make my detailed updates there, and link those posts in this space.
  • In that way, I can begin to somewhat painlessly build the shanjeniah’sTrueborn blog and improve it as I create.
  • I’ve added a picture and an avatar, and changed a few other minor details.

I will be answering a rather embarrassing backlog of blog comments that have, in some cases, waited for months.

  • I answered all waiting comments on The Unfettered Life, on Tuesday.
  • I went through the spam folder.
  • I did it! Across the three major areas, I have answered all backlogged comments! And a full day before NaNo starts, too! =)
  • There are still some other places where I may have a comment or three to catch up, and I will trace those down and take care of them during the coming weeks.
  • I will be doing comment answering about once a week at The Unfettered Life, unless I post there more often than I have during the last few months.

Cray Dave (aka Jim Woodman)

New Fitness Goals – I will focus on eating something each time I am hungry (and getting protein and magnesium into every other time I eat). I will be active enough that I can always feel my body and muscles. I will add more fruits and vegetables to my diet, and be more attentive to how much water I am drinking.

  • I am continuing to drink more water, and, with varying degrees of attentiveness, have been conscious of hunger and thirst.
  • I am continuing to add fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
  • I have been doing well with getting protein more regularly.
  • I have increased my magnesium intake a bit. I had black beans, salmon, and bananas during the last few days – all good sources.
  • On Sunday, I had a very physically challenging day. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us, I spent an hour or so in fairly serious yard cleanup. I also did some hometending, and the kids and I went out on a major provisioning run – I find shopping hugely exhausting. And I drove the standard transmission Subaru – still something of a strenuous affair.
  • Monday involved some moderate hometending, and some stretching. Very tired from little sleep and Sunday’s exertions.

Trick or Treat!

Short Term or Intermittent Projects:

Complete Logline Lesson reading, draft logline, and submit to class.

  • On Monday evening, I attended the Webinar (my very first!), for the Loglines class. Although Sandy really messed with the sound, and I will be going back to listen to all the parts that skipped out on me, the text and chat box helped fill in the gaps, and I took a page and a half of scribbled notes I will be adding to my Scrivener files, including a bonus section on making a pitch.
  • I have now visited most or all of the other participants, and left comments where I had relevant contributions to make.
  • I have written several more drafts, and critiques thereof, as I worked my way through the process. I’m not sure my latest logline is final (especially since the story is still in a very NaNo rough first draft!), but, barring anyone pointing out something brilliant or a glaring mistake, it’s the one I will carry forward into the rewrite.
  • I feel that this class was very much worth the small fee, and I am developing a skill I hadn’t realized the importance of.
  • I will be writing loglines for every new and ongoing project, from this point forward.
  • Special thanks go out toWANATribe and especially toMarcy Kennedy, instructor extraordinaire, who provided the perfect blend of support and freedom!


Lise made a new friend!

Read existing segments, and write my portion of Write A Story With Me!

  • This is all set to post when my turn comes up on November 5! My first public collaboration!

Moving ahead with the Reporting Pages projects for both children..

  • My long-range goal, for the rest of this month, is to have enough material for each topic to construct the main body of the report, so that completing them does not conflict with my NaNo participation.
  • I set this aside for this last update before NaNo commences. I still have a month, and I have a plan adapted for where I am and where I need to get before month’s end.
  • The most taxing part, at this point, is finding the time and patience, and making regular progress, so that this can be wrapped up and out of the way of other projects.
Gabriella the Wizard used magick to avoid my camera most of the night…

Revise and submit “Claiming My Passions”- WIP submission to the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette .

  • I am setting this goal aside. It will make a very nice thing to putter with, or to noodle with after NaNois over, when I am likely to need refilling and renewing time before moving on to anything brand new.

What I’ve been reading…and watching!

All that candy…and his first choice? Peanut butter crackers! 


And Now for Something Not Completely Different, and Not Just the Same:



  • My dear lifelong friend and sometimes ROWer, Eden Mabee, sent this bit of fascinating loveliness into my life a few days ago….it inspired me to purchase an out-of-print book I’ve been lusting after since high school….Reflections on Spock
Treats for all – I guess the pumpkin knife is the trick?
Help yourselves….carefully!


Want More ROW?!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Challenges and Contests, NaNoWriMo 2012, ROWnd #4, Thankvember 2012 Gratittudes

The Times, They are A- Changing – November 2012 Goal Modifications

Modified #ROW80 / #NaNoWriMo Projects November 1-30, 2012


Due to the near-advent of National Novel Writing Month and the NaNoWriMo Challenge, the landscape of my writing life will be shifting.

I will have only five projects as my focal points for the following month. I may play with some smaller projects, here and there, but that will be sporadic and likely impromptu.

For those who are interested, beginning with Sunday’s update, there will be an excerpt from my WIP planning and writing for that time period linked to each update.

So, without further ado, here is my own personal (and specific) five point plan:


Curious? Click here!

I am serving as a  ROW80 sponsor for this round.

  • I will continue visiting my lovely 9’s throughout the month, and sharing links to their posts.
  • I will continue to post twice-weekly updates on my progress.





I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at

Curious? Click here!

least 50,000 words of another novel in my TruebornWeftseries, Sima Garo Provides.

  • I tend to get quite solitary when I am noveling. I intend, this time, to visit my buddies at least a few times each during the round, and to visit the NaNoWriMo 2012 Facebook Page at least once a day, as well as the #NaNoWriMo folks over atTwitter, which I am finally getting the hang of.
  • I will be posting updates here, and likely also on my shanjeniah’s Trueborn blog.
  • I hope to have word count widgets installed on both blogs by the time NaNo begins, but that may take a bit of extra time.
  • I may attend one or more NaNo events.
  • And, of course, I will be writing a novel this month…or 50,000 words of one, anyway! =)

Public domain image via Wikipedia

Fitness Goals – I will focus on eating something each time I am hungry (and getting protein and magnesium into every other time I eat). I will be active enough that I can always feel my body and muscles. I will add more fruits and vegetables to my diet, and be more attentive to how much water I am drinking.

  • I intend to continue to make this a priority, as it will add to my quality of life and help me to be feeling as healthy and energized as I can throughout the month.
  • I will be recording my progress here, along with my energy levels for that Sunday – Tuesday or Wednesday – Saturday period.

Moving ahead with the Reporting Pages projects for both children..

Curious about mastodont teeth!

  • These are non-negotiable and due on December 1, 2010. And as those of you who’ve visited me a few times will maybe know that, while I love sharing our lives in writing, I do not enjoy this dessicated accounting that must be conducted in the alien-to-us language of schoolspeak.
  • I will attempt to do 4 pages a week, and more if I am able, taking a few moments to deal with a point at a time, during the times when I am shifting from one activity to another throughout the day and night.
  • I will report my progress here with each update.
  • Please feel free to nudge me on this one; I have a tendency to resist it, and gentle reminders may make it more pleasant.
  • I would also welcome any stories about your own least- enjoyed obligations, and how you make them palatable, if you’ve found some tricks.

Curious? Click here!

I am participating in the Thankvember Blog Hop.

  • It may seem a little counter-intuitive to add a daily blogging commitment here, but I have found that having a smallish ongoing project to tend along with a larger one feeds my passion, creativity and joy.
  • Gratitude does wonderful things for my soul, and it tends to flow outward in unpredictable and amazing ways.
  • For ease of dovetailing them with my other projects, I will make these short 500-750 word posts, with only a single image apiece. That is an approach that worked well for me duringOctPoWriMo, and it seems it would be likely to here, as well.
  • I will be scheduling them ahead where and when I can. When I can’t, I will do them at some point throughout the day.

My overarching goal for this round remains: To Honor Myself – my rhythms, energy, needs, truth, dreams, desires, and emotions.

There you have it. I am looking forward to this month of writing intensity, and to allowing it and all the other aspects of my life to move into a natural, shifting balance, a circle that feeds each point in its orbits.

I am eager and raring to go. I am more organized than I have ever been; some degree of chaos and plenty of room for spontaneity exist. I could have a better handle on a few aspects than I do – life has thrown me a few surprises, including a hurricane, in the last few weeks.

I plan to dive in, immerse myself to the point that I am able, and to surface when that is what I need or want to.

I plan to keep my life simple and peaceful as much as I am able, this month (and always).

I plan to delve, delight, and discover my way through this month….

And you are all invited along for the ride! =D

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

The Infinite Now – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 31

The Infinite Now



This moment.

This single Now

Becomes infinite.

All possibilities

Exist first and only here.

There is no other time for me

No other instant I can act in –

This heartbeat, this breath, and only this one

Holds the magic of thought, impulse, movement.

Waiting as open as the vastness

Of the Grand Canyon in the star-

Pierced near utter dark, open.

Unseen unknown landscapes

Their power soul -sensed

Wide deep fierce true

Only bound by

What I


Grand Canyon 1


Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Two Lives, Two Rings – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 30



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Two Lives, Two Rings



I lost my ruby ring on my wedding day


For years, I wore it on chain


Where it rested just above my breasts


Warmed y my skin, and warming my soul.






It was my grandmother’s ring, a treasure


From the days before rubies were grown


The deep wine red with tones of pink


That I had worn on my small finger


When I was nine


And attended her funeral.






The day I was married, I wanted to


Wear a necklace that matched my dress


And so removed my grandma’s ring, and


I never saw it again.




The stone was set in a delicate filigree of gold,


A intriguing braiding of supple metal


That reminds me of the nurse


Who stood behind me as I cried on the bed


And whisperingly braided my hair


As I held my dying fiance in my arms.






I was twenty-five then, and the thought


Of my life without him was a jagged precipice


Like the fifth floor window I had so briefly


Considered trying to leap out of


Before the death-message doctor could stop me.






And then, when I ran out of things to say in


Tear drowned and crumbling words


And you simply relaxed soundlessly into


The undiscovered country where I


Could not follow you.






Because I had promised him that I would live


And accept love if it were offered freely


I went on and accepted the love of


A dear friend, and the gift of our








One little boy, and then a second-


Born not breathing, terror replacing joy


Twelve days of unreal, breathhold living


Traveling the long road to the hospital NICU


Each and every day –


Until he died.






A year later, less five days


Our daughter’s cries wrung out


My tears of relief and joy


Although I would not trust that


She was here to stay


Until after she turned one.






Another ring lost, some years back


A simple sterling claddagh


with a purple glass gem


Meant, perhaps to be amethyst.


It was bought for pocket cash


At a farmer’s market on


The Erie Canal, on a whim.





It slipped off my finger while


I was tending our home, and,


Although I looked and looked


everywhere I thought it might be


It was simply gone, and I


Eventually accepted the fact.






The, two weeks ago,


My daughter came to me


In her sparkling, laughing way.
“Guess which hand, Mommy?”


And she knew I would guess left


Because I always do.






There on her palm, as though conjured


Lay the simple claddagh ring


Symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship


A gift now from my daughter to me


Just as she is a gift given from sorrow.






The ring had fallen into a corner


Back in her closet, and lay


A hidden treasure, unnoticed


For the years until she chose


To make a sleeping nest in there.



Life is the story of loves and losses


Some enormous, some trivial


All bringing feelings and memory


Touchstones for our humanity.






Some loves are seemingly


Torn from our lives without reason


Or regard for our grief and the raggedly


Ripped wound left behind.




And sometimes, another life and love


Our another symbol to cherish and cleave to


Are given to us, if we will be open


And not insist on seeing only


What we think ought to be.



Claddagh ring
Claddagh ring (Photo credit: Eddo Kloosterman)


 It’s a BLOG HOP!







Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Outside In; Inside Out – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 29, 2012

Curious? Click here!

Outside In; Inside Out

What do you see when you look at me?

Or is it presumptuous of me to think

That you notice me at all?

I am, after all, what might be called

Past My Prime”

If you are the type to judge others

On such a trivial matter as appearance.

My voluptuous youth has settled,

Fatigued from long years of fighting gravity

Gravity, eventually, will win.

I am becoming what is sometimes called

With polite dismissal,


You might notice that my untamed hair

Tousled and twisting into rampant curls

Is woven and shot through, now

With coarser silver, honestly earned.

I do not wear makeup

And so do nothing to disguise the

age spot lakes and deepening creeks

formed of laugh lines and crow’s feet

Changing the geography of my face

Making it perhaps more interesting

But no longer my culture’s

Perception of beauty.

Ahhh, but,

If you should follow the map of my face

Up to the twin geyser pools of my eyes

Sparkling with light, life and fire

You might get a peek into my soul

And who I am within, in my hidden depths.

Those lines and crow’s feet

Which do not know wrinkle cream

Are the outward sign of a life

Spent more in laughter than in scowls.

This wild hair is a perfect fit

For an untamed, unbound spirit

Symbiotically part of the golden fall grass

The thickening curves and settling plains

Echoing the shape of the rolling hills

I am a being more attached to nature

Than to the the city skyscape

More interested by far in the

depths and breadth of the inner life

Than in how others my see this outer shell

That conceals universes and subatomic

Particles of  my being.

Me, in the backyard on October 18, 2012. Photo by Annalise S. Burton.


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Posted in Blogfest Entries, Life Writing

The Vagabond Studio: Thankvember Blog Hop

Curious? Click here!

In addition to NaNoWriMo, I will be participating in this lovely blog hop throughout the month of November, because I am a huge believer in gratitude as a means of joyous and peaceful living, and because I find gratitude to be enormously energizing.

It will also give me the chance to create something lovely around the people, places, ideas, and things that inspire me to gratitude…

Wanna come join us? =D

The Vagabond Studio: Thankvember Blog Hop.