Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Weekend Coffee Share, Writing in Freedom

Plotting Over Coffee: Weekend Coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d be compelled to tell you that I’m participating in Just Jot It January all month, and that I’m using the prompts, because I like the way other people’s ideas shake up and stir around all those ideas in my head, so that I never quite know what’s going to come out. It’s like sprinkling adventure into my mind, or playfulness…

I’d also be compelled to tell you that today’s prompt is the word compelled, which comes to us from willowdot21…why not pop over for a chat with her when you’re done here?

If we were having coffee, I’d meet you at the door, and tell you that this pot is fresh. I’d let you pick your weapon of choice (that’s your mug), and your ammunition. We’ve got coffee, of course, but also an eclectic selection of bag teas, the hot cocoa packets my daughter prefers, and sweet water from beneath the ground, drawn up from our well…you passed that when you came in, although you might not have noticed it, because you were probably as astounded by the green January grass on our snow-deprived front yard as I am. I’d be compelled to mention that I kind of wish, for the first time in my life, that I lived a couple of hundred miles further south on the Hudson River, so that my girl could fulfill her compulsion to play in the snow we’re not getting this year. Last winter was a banner year, and we were thrilled to have Oregon family to escape to for ten days…this season, I think they’ve had more snow there than we’ve had!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m feeling an urge to make this post (and this cuppa) a short one, because I’m compelled to write. At the very end of December, I learned about this short story contest, and the deadline is swiftly maybe just a bit too swiftly approaching. I had less than the glimmer of an idea on January 1. Today, with just over a week to go, I’m adding the musculature and beginnings of the circulatory and respiratory systems to the skeleton outline I finished in Saturday’s midmorning hours, before I finally admitted that I’m a corporeal being, and therefore sometimes compelled to sleep!

I’d be compelled to add that I’m excited – it’s so much more of a story than it was even several hours ago. I’ve got the first four scenes fleshed out, and next I will do the last four – leaving eight in the middle, as the bridge that binds it all together. I’m hoping to have a rough draft before I sleep again. (Update: It’s Sunday, nearly 5:30am as I’m typing this. Ten scenes are fleshed out, with six to go, and it’s much more a story, with subplots and insights popping left and right and reminding me why I love my open-ended plotting system so much!

If we were having coffee, I’d be compelled to show you how clean and decluttered the kitchen counters are getting – but I’d probably resist that temptation, since you didn’t see the shambelized version, and therefore would be less appreciative than I am at the emerging order in that formerly lost space. Maybe next week, it’ll be done, and I can share it…

If we were having coffee, I’d say that it’s just about time for me to go put another log on the fire, because, even though there’s no snow to speak of, it is cold. I’d make sure you were well bundled, and offer you a travel mug to take another cuppa with you, so you could keep your hands warm out there – and I’d show you the door. Because I like sharing coffee and conversation with you – but I’m a writer, and sometimes I need to listen to the people in my head who are clamoring for their stories to be told….it may be a compulsion, but it’s a happy one, for me.

If we were having coffee, I would remind you to check out the other Weekend Coffee Share posts at Part Time Monster. I hope to have more to say next week, by which time my completed gem of a story should be polished to a lovely lustre, and off to take its chances in the Big Wide World!

Until then, I leave you with my daughter’s tribute to what was the most magical moon of her eleven and a half years…

And, of course, I’d wish you all a week full of the very loveliest of chaos!


Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Parenting, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Fueled By My Rage: #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 little treasures….

And, 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

This week, I offer you the next nine sentences of “A Splash of Red”, a surreal fantasy story, the child of my own life and my dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the 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…but just who are these two to one another? And what about those hawks?

When we left our woman and child last week, the hawks screamed, the little girl vanished into the woods, and the woman is paralyzed where she stands by her fear.

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

Fueled By My Rage

The shadow of a hawk passes over me, blocking the sun, making me shiver as though I’m naked beneath its glare –

“No!” I shake my fist, and the hawks drop lower, fueled by my rage. I am an adult now. I’m not defenseless anymore. I’ve learned things, and I have resources. I’m strong. Once, I was a child, powerless to stop them. Once, I thought too that I deserved the attacks, that I had earned them.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets (from beginning):

Will the woman be able to find the girl?

Will she even try?

Will she earn the little girl’s trust?

Exactly what are the hawks hunting?

Come on back next week to find out more!

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, 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!

Want more #8Sunday?

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources

The Odds and Evens of Blog Comments for #JusJoJan Day 23 and #SoCS

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt,odd/even”,comes to us courtesy of Linda, and is also the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

I’ve tried to dampen down my natural oddness at various times in my life; even so, people call me weird. Now, I just let my unique freak flag fly!

OK, that was fun to write, but really not what I want to talk about…

I’ve got something of an odd problem-that-isn’t-exactly-a-problem.

Comments are piling up around here like the snowdrifts we don’t have outside today, and I’m finding it all but impossible to get to them.

There’s more snow outside that August ice rink than we have had all winter!

Oh, I want to! One of the biggest reasons I post here is to engage in connection and conversation with others…but, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for…even, apparently, when what you wish for is blog interaction.

I love reading your comments. I want to answer you – and I want to bring in firewood so my home is cozy for me and the other beings who live here – my Accomplice, the Boyo and the Girl, the ancient guinea pig, the getting-old pit bull mix, and the formerly feral feline of the house, who also rules the yard. I want to hone my revision skills, through revising my own work, and critiquing and beta reading for others. I want to draft and refine some of the stories in my head (and keep T’Pol from taking over by making sure that she gets her fair share of attention, or something she can at least find agreeable). I want to be submitting, and publishing, and blogging…

Sometimes, I even want to be with these beings I live with. We happen to like each other here, and there are the odd moments of snuggling, conversation, shared meals, entertainment, and, where my Accomplice is concerned, even some occasional canoodling (I like my marriage happy, and canoodling from time to time certainly helps!).

Oddly, I even sleep sometimes. Well, not all that much, honestly – I’m something of a sleep camel, and I don’t generally sleep more than five or six hours, and often considerably less (I’ve had 3.5 hours of sleep since about 10:30am Thursday; it’s now 8am on Saturday morning. I’m tired, but not exhausted).

I’m feeling more like last winter…


I’ve got to have a better way to handle comments. At the moment, I try to answer each and every one, and make a return visit. I try to visit multiple people on each hop I join, and read other interesting blogs as I find them.

I feel a sense of failure when I can’t get to those things. And yet – nearly all of my discretionary time is spent on writing-related projects. I’m not wasting time, or twiddling my fingers – and I still can’t keep up, or even come close. The last several days, as I do various critiquing and beta reading projects for the three other members of my local critique group and move through a beta reading I took on a year ago, I’m only catching the odd comment, and the string of those I haven’t responded to is getting longer and longer.

I’m trying to accept that I can’t get to you all right now. That may change, once this new crit group becomes not new but SOP, just another part of my every week. But, for now –

I’m not ignoring you. Oddly, I’m probably thinking about those unanswered comments a lot more than you are. I’m feeling guilty about it, and that’s not good for any of us.

Maybe I need HER attitude about snowdrifts?!

I need to let go, not try to break even….

So, this is my blanket comment to all of you who take the time out of your own lives to interact with me here.

  • You are valued.

  • I read your comment.

  • It’s very likely it made me smile, or laugh (I kind of do those a lot).

  • I might have nodded silent agreement.

  • I almost certainly wrote you at least the beginning of an answer in my head.

  • I was, and am, honored that you took the time and energy needed to write that comment.

  • Things will settle, and I hope to get ‘caught up’ then-

  • But I can see that I might end up making myself stressed and crazy trying, and I’m sure none of us want that….

I promise to do my best to show my appreciation – if not in return comments and visits, then in the content I share freely on this blog. I hope that, whether you just popped in the first time to read an odd post or two, whether you’ve been here a few times, or even if you read Every Single Thing I ever post, and want more, you will find something here that makes you think of commenting, even if you don’t.

If you’re a blogger (especially a high-volume and often-visited one), how do you deal with comments? Do you answer each and every one? Do you have a system? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you even try to get to them all?

Or am I just odd?

That’s it for me…find more jottings and SoCS posts right here, and feel free to add a comment to the snowdrift down there –

Maybe you’ll help me learn a better way of addressing them. =D

I just need to find my trail…
Posted in Blogfest Entries, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Just Jot it January, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Writing in Freedom

“A Little Felicity”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 22

Welcome to Day Twenty-Two of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill. 

Today’s prompt, “Felicity,” comes to us courtesy of Fun at Simply Me.

This is the latest (and maybe last, at least for a while) episode of my December story, “Animals”, all of which has appeared here. Links to all segments, from the beginning, follow the story.

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, “Demons” and “Terra Prime”. Trip and T’Pol, are grieving the death of another baby daughter, and struggling to find healing – possibly through adopting two newborn orphaned kittens.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“A Little Felicity”

“You want to name a Mississippi kitten ‘Mittens’, son? I thought you said you never got space happy out there?”

Trip chuckled. “Don’t worry, Dad. My wife isn’t going to let me name either one of them Mittens.” Dad had always known how to find his funny bone when he was hurting, one way or another. It used to make him mad, when he was a kid and thought Dad was making cracks while he suffered, but he understood, now, and was grateful. A man could drown in this kind of hurt, and T’Pol needed him maybe more than she ever had.

“I haven’t addressed the issue of nomenclature, t’hy’la.” She sounded – and felt – less empty, since the kittens.

Trip hoped it was a good sign; that she was coming back from the edge of that damned Vulcan abyss she’d been perched on since she came out of the coma. “Not aloud, anyway. But just because you can’t feel me right now doesn’t mean that I went anywhere. I’m still right here in your head, where I belong.”

T’Pol turned the conversation over and over, looking at it from every side in that way he’d been able to see in her face long before he could feel it in her mind. The way she hadn’t done with anything, this last week. Damn, he’d needed to feel her doing that – gearing up to rain all over his parade in that way only she could. Almost made him want to jump for joy, except then he’d have to let her go, and this was the most comfortable and peaceful she’d been since that terrible moment when someone’s carelessness had changed their lives – and ended Grace’s. 

And, just like that, he was tearing up again, the grief still jagged and gaping. Four babies – in less than a year.

“I had a cat named Felicity, when I was a little girl -”

T’Pol’s yelp wasn’t remotely Vulcan sounding, and cut Hoshi off with the precision of one of Phlox’s medical lasers. She reached up to disengage tiny but effective claws from her nose. Trip held his breath, knowing better maybe than anyone in this room just how strong her fingers were, and how easily she could hurt or kill the kitten if she wasn’t extremely careful – what would that do to her, after everything else?

“I won’t harm the animal.” She stroked the little domed head, and eased the kitten back into its cozy spot, nestled against the swell of her breasts with its sister or brother. “Nor do I have any intention of ‘raining on your parade’. I don’t expect logic in human naming practices.”

That was the closest she’d come to a joke since she woke up. Trip wriggled around carefully, so he could get a good look at her without disturbing her. She had four thin lines of blood on the side of her nose – and the life had come back into her face. After the last five days – well, he’d been starting to think he’d never see her lit up again. That maybe blindness – to everything that might hurt her – wasn’t enough of a defense against having to see, and accept their altered reality.

“Why, hello there, beautiful,” he said, and raised his fingers to salute her with an ouz’hesta,  stroking the backs down her cheek – just as the first tears brimmed over in her still-unseeing eyes and came to meet his caress. “Do you want to tell them, or should I?”

“Tell them?” Her voice was a throaty whisper; she was about to cry for real, and he got ready to let go with her. It would feel good, in a strange way, to cry together for their baby girl – for all of their babies. But first, he wanted her to realize what she’d just done, so that she knew there was hope. And then, maybe, there would be time to get her to their room, where they could sob their hearts out in private – or do whatever else she needed. Experience had shown him that she wouldn’t care about privacy, once her control snapped  – but after was a different matter, and he didn’t like audiences anytime.

“C’mon, pepperpot. You can figure this one out.” Trip held the answer in his mind, and tried to guide her to it, but she didn’t seem to feel him anymore. She was frowning a little, though, like she wanted to, like maybe she was starting to put the pieces together. Trip decided that was another damned good sign. But now she was exhausted; she wasn’t going to get there on her own, not yet. He was going to have to clue her in the old fashioned way.

He answered the question she hadn’t asked aloud. “Hmm…maybe you were just surprised by a little Felicity, then – but you read my mind, pepperpot. Twice.”

Read previous “Animals” episodes, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Just Jot it January, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Writing in Freedom

“Maybe We Need This”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 21

Welcome to Day Twenty-One of Just Jot it January, where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt,Mittenscomes to us courtesy of Candy at Rhymes With Bug .

Today’s post is the latest episode of my December story, “Animals”, all of which has appeared here. At the end of the story, I’ll post links to the other segments.

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, Demons and “Terra Prime”. 

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“Maybe We Need This”

“That is hardly an answer.” Had she intended to direct her frustration at her bondmate?

“Don’t worry about it, pepperpot,” he whispered into her ear, his cool breath shivering and shuddering through her. It was perhaps even more frustrating that, while she remained as blind to his mind as she was to the room surrounding her, his ability to sense her had, if anything, intensified. “Do you want to find out what I mean by Schrodinger’s basket?” Before she could answer, he said, “OK, silly question. Of course you do. Here, let me help.”


He took her hands in his own, very gently, brushing the backs of her fingers. She wanted him to touch her fingertips, to feel his unique bioelectric pulses. Without them, without his mind sensed twining with her own, without their child growing in her womb or at her breast –


A strong arm around her, squeezing her firmly. “I’m still right here, T’Pol. What’s in the basket – I think maybe we need this -so, when you’re ready -” A tear fell onto her hand; she had shed no tears, not for Grace. Not for them. It was as though she were locked tight around the grief, the shock of waking from coma to find their daughter delivered, and already dead, while she was unconscious.

Was it logical that she still couldn’t accept that Grace wasn’t kicking and rolling, her small fist finding that precise place against her rib that elicited a sharp stab of discomfort – discomfort she illogically held to, as a sign of health and vitality that matched her father’s?

“You’ve gone all silent again, pepperpot. You OK?”

“Not in the least, Trip.” She would be honest with her t’hy’la. There was little else she could offer him.

Another small sound emerged from the basket on her lap, and, this time, an almost imperceptible movement accompanied it. T’Pol drew a deep breath. “Kaiidth. What is, is. I’m ready to learn what Schrodinger’s basket contains.”

He guided her hands down the handle of the basket, then into the bowl, where a nest of soft cloth waited. “Nice and gentle, now….”

Tiny, squirming life struggled into her hands, the cries becoming frantic. “Infant animals?”

“Kittens,” Trip told her. “No more than a week old, and orphaned.”


“We found them in the old shed,” Kath Tucker added. “We don’t know where their mother is, but they were going to starve to death.” T’Pol felt the way the ribs were plainly defined, and thought that Trip’s mother was correct.

“They need care, immediately,” she said. “Nourishment, warmth, and comfort. Closeness to serve as proxy for their mother.” She considered what she knew of Terran felinoids. “Cats see to matters of hygiene without assistance, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Not at this age,” Trip said. “They’re too small; their eyes aren’t even open yet – they can’t see any more than you can, right now. Mama would be doing that for them, if she was around.”


“May I help tend them? I know little of Earth felines, but, if you’ll assist me, Trip -”

“I was hoping you’d want to,” Trip said, and she didn’t need to see him or feel his mind to know that he was smiling at her through his tears. “But I didn’t want to push you.”

“It seems logical, Trip. We’ve lost a daughter; they’ve lost their mother. I will need assistance, and information in a form I can currently disseminate -”

“Ah, Commander T’Pol. It’s encouraging to see you returning to your customary efficiency. I’ve taken the liberty of adapting a formula designed specifically to meet the kittens’ nutritional needs.”

“And I’ve got a comprehensive file on kitten care, translated to Vulcan and recorded with your auditory preferences in mind,” Hoshi said, from the corner of the room.

“And I’m right here, to help be your eyes and hands, pepperpot.”

T’Pol allowed her fingers to drift along until she determined the dimensions of the kittens’ bodies, and the safest way to pick them up before she addressed her mate’s growing restlessness. “It is less than comfortable to rest against you when you’re attempting not to say something, t’hy’la. I’d find it more agreeable if you shared it.”

“I don’t want you to feel obligated -”

“Trip.” She made no effort to restrain her frustration.

“Well, Cap’n Archer says that we can keep them. If you want to, that is.”

T’Pol lifted the small creatures to her chest and cradled them there. “It is perhaps illogical to discuss this while they are hungry.”

Half an hour later, the kittens were both fed and asleep upon her chest,their tiny bodies vibrating in an involuntary sound known as ‘purring’; she had no desire to return them to the basket, where they could neither derive comfort from her, or she from them. “I would like to keep them,” she said quietly; their ears were as sensitive as hers.


Trip’s pleasure was evident in his voice, and the sudden relaxation in his body and scent. ‘What should we name them? The smaller one has four white paws – maybe Mittens?”


T’Pol chose not to tell him that the practice of giving a name to a creature that was notably unlikely to respond to it was highly illogical.

Now, as promised, here are the other episodes in this serialized story, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Just Jot it January, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Writing in Freedom

“Schrodinger’s Basket”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 20

Welcome to Day Twenty of Just Jot it January, where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt, “surreptitiously”comes to us courtesy of KG at Books, Music, Photography, and Movies.

I bounced ideas around for hours before this one just popped into my head. It’s the continuation of my December story, “Animals”, which appears in installments on this blog. At the end of the story, I’ll post links to the other segments, so you can read in order, if you’d like (and that will also clue you in to the contents of Schrodinger’s basket…).

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, Demons and “Terra Prime”, and ignores the travesty of the finale whose name shall not be spoken.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“Schrodinger’s Basket”

Kath Tucker watched surreptitiously from the kitchen as her son guided the grav chair into the living room with great tenderness, murmuring too softly for her ears to pick up anything but the rhythm, which reminded her of the ocean. She couldn’t see her daughter-in-law’s face; only a huddled form hidden by layers of Vulcan robes and blankets.

“Will she recover, Doctor?” Charlie kept his voice low; of course, T’Pol could probably still hear them, if she was inclined to listen. Kath remembered the numbed shock that had nearly smothered her when Elizabeth died, and didn’t even want to imagine what it must be to lose not just one grown daughter, but four babies.

The Denobulan doctor smiled faintly. “If your son has anything to do with it, she will eventually make a full recovery. He is a most determined man.”

Kath watched Trip as he lifted his wife into his arms, bending his head to kiss her, his voice still rising and falling. “He always has been – even when he was a little boy – ”

“I remember.” Hoshi Sato said, cryptically, and Kath wondered vaguely what she meant by that. But the young woman went to the living room, where she stood aside. Trip had explained that she here as some kind of moral support Vulcans needed when they were incapacitated.

Their little house had gone from far too roomy and quiet to nearly overflowing in just two days, and Kath could only wish that the circumstances were happier. But, at the same time, if T’Pol needed a secluded and welcoming place to grieve and heal, she was glad this was the place she wanted to be.

A warm, strong arm wrapped around her, and Charlie pulled her close. “Our boy’s home, sweetness, and he’s brought his little injured bird with him to our nest. If anyone can help him help her get better, that’s you.”

“Mom? Dad? We’re ready – or as ready as we can be.” The hurt in Trip’s voice made her want to grab him up and hold him tight, the way she had when he was little and always seemed to dare a bit more than he could manage safely. And, so as anything, Lizzie’d be right beside him…

Kath swallowed. She was going to do her damndest to keep her tears away from T’Pol. She’d had too much pain; she didn’t need the alien human kind to deal with, on top of it.

“I grieve with you, Kath.” Scarcely more than a whisper from the layers of wrappings – insulation against the pain? Or a shield, to give her privacy? “There’s no need – to hide your sorrow. I can’t hide mine.”

“Oh, pepperpot…” Trip choked out, and then his own grief, and maybe his wife’s, broke loose, and he was crying hard. But Kath had mother’s ears, and they’d had a lot of practice, these last two days. They picked up the tiny sounds even over Trip’s sobbing.

She picked up the two baskets – the tiny nestlike one, and the larger one that held the supplies. She was grateful she had Charlie to lean on, and grateful that Trip and T’Pol had each other, and their friends. Doctor Phlox went to the table to check out the offerings she’d set out, but she could feel his readiness to shift instantly to medical mode. Hoshi was sitting in the chair by the window, a small piece of lace in her hands, her fingers moving swiftly as she tatted – Kath hadn’t known that anyone still tatted by hand. Maybe they’d get a chance to talk about that.

But now, there was something else to take care of. They walked together, Charlie keeping her snug against him, to the couch where Trip was holding his wife – Charlie had shown him well how to be a good husband even to a woman of a different species, whose needs were not human.

“That them?” Trip asked, his voice still rough with tears that leaked from eyes just like his father’s. T’Pol’s face was hidden against his chest, and inside the hood of the robe she wore.

Kath nodded, and passed the little basket to him, just as another, more insistent, sound came from within.

“What is that?” T’Pol’s voice held a faint trace of interest.

“This?” Trip cleared his throat, and guided her hands to the basket as he put it in her lap. He chuckled – a thin and wavering version of his typical hearty laugh. “This, pepperpot, is Schrodinger’s Basket.”

Now, as promised, here are the other episodes in this serialized story, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2016, Life Writing, Round One 2016, Writers' Resources

Poised Presence for ROW80: January 20, 2016

Yes, it IS Wednesday again already…that didn’t quite seem possible, since it feels like the week is just now getting underway, but I’ve looked at the calendar and everything, and the evidence is in.

It is, in fact, Wednesday, which makes it time for another ROW80 update.

I’ve been immersed in revisions – my own, and others’ – to the point where I’ve focused on that more than anything else, so progress in other areas is still a bit more scattered than I might like. I’m OK with that, though, since revision is definitely something I want to focus on improving this year, and that’s hard to do without practice. Critiquing and beta-reading things I didn’t write is already helping me to look at my own work through a different lens, and I can see that I’m improving.

I’m also getting into a rhythm of sorts with the new crit group, and that’s freeing up some focus for other things, including planning the story I’m submitting for the Nelson Algren Literary Awards at the end of the month. That’s going slowly, as I write character sketches and biographies, but experience has told me that I move along faster after that’s done (which it will be by this time tomorrow). I’ll have a revised first draft to submit to the group by Sunday night or Monday morning, leaving me a few days after I receive my crits to further revise and polish.

Ready for a closer look?


  • Draft “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story (as yet only a glimmer in my mind) for the Nelson Algren Literary Awards. The deadline is January 31 – complete rough draft by January 20.


  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story complete planning by EOD January 19; plotting by EOD January 20. Character Sketch 2/3 in progress.


  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story. Complete first revisions and submit to crit group by January 24; final revisions complete by January 30.

  • The IDIC Romance: Reread “Slow Jazz Awakening” hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft – 16 short scenes. Notations complete. Revised timeline for completion of this project; Draft 2.5 rewrite of Scene 1/16 complete.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Revisions in progress, most posts up on time.

  • Keep up with all current blog comments and visits, at least twice weekly. Got swept up in Revisionland…got to a few, and made more visits. Goal change pending – I can’t keep up with all the comments at the moment, and need a better plan.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round One Sponsor Post before January 10. Visits and update current.

  • Change one thing weekly in my blog layout.

  • Maintain email at under 99 messages; clear Archives folder. Under 450 emails at present; down from nearly 900 (oops!).


  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and begin adding to them. Sciences section complete; Social Studies: Patriotism and Citizenship; U.S. History; and U.S. Government; and Economics.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. 3/5 days. General maintenance; organization; decluttering.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week.


  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Write-in for me. Tentative plans to visit NJ friends in April.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group, which is brand-new this year! Attended write-in;submitted “Monday Morning Coffee”; 2/3 crits in progress (one arrived late; haven’t gotten to it yet).
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read. Chapter 11/28 submitted to author.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Conversation; canoodling; TV and videos.
  • Complete 6 pending book reviews.


  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate seven times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice. Journaling/meditation 3/7 journals; 3/7 meditation. Coloring meditation.

  • Tai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. A tiny little ice-breaking at-home practice.

  • Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking twice monthly. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Hometending; putting away groceries; firetending. Health post 1 /2 complete. Moved firewood with my Accomplice, and on my own. 4 /2 strenuous activities.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story. The deadline is January 31 -aim for January 30.
  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, and “Scavenger Hunt”, and offer at Triaxian Silk. Both stories are freshly revised and expanded, and currently with my crit group. Responses expected midweekish.

The new year is settling in now. Are you finding a pace and a rhythm, or still getting used to 2016?

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ goals here!