Posted in SoCS, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

Weathering the Whether for #SoCS

Whether the weather be fine

Whether the weather be foul

Life goes on…until it doesn’t.

I’m not sure if that’s particularly relevant to anything – or at least anything I’m going to write in this post – but it’s what came out of my mind, which has been up for a good number of hours doing writing-things and Trek-things.

It gets a little weird in here when I get very sleepy, and the connections between things that don’t seem connected get a little wibbly-wobbly, like lime jello on a hospital tray.

See, I had no idea lime jello was going to have a place in this post! But then, no one really ever expects lime jello, do they?

The kids used to have the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  Sunny, With Scattered lime jello just doesn’t seem to have the same ring to my ears.

Speaking of weather, we’ve had some damp chilly times lately here in upstate New York. I think the local weather folks are getting nervous, or maybe hearing a lot of complaints, as though maybe people think unsettled weather in the springtime is their doing. There must be a bit of “kill the messenger” mentality, at least. In the last two days, I’ve heard one proclaim he wished he didn’t have to give the forecast. Another gave the Saturday forecast – cloudy but dry – and then said good night, as though there couldn’t be anything more to say. When he continued the forecast, I understood why. Saturday will be the last dry day for a spell.

It always makes me wonder whether people just forget past weather – like last spring and summer, when we were experiencing a drought – nowhere near what California endured, but still quite dry for this area. The wet now seems more like nature’s imaginary pendulum swinging back, but there seems to be a certain attitude that never wants rain, until it stops falling….

For myself, I’m in a place of personal and professional transition. There’s too much happening at a level too deep for language, so I’m not going to go into details yet. This is a long-term kind of feeling, so it may be a while before I can see things clearly. All I know for sure is that I will do what I can to weather the whether.

This very short post is a part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is “weather/whether,” used any way we want. Find the rules of engagement here, and take a dip in the stream here.

Posted in Fan fiction, Kifo Island Chroincles, Story a Day, The IDIC Romance, writing

Reflections: #StoryADay May 2017 Wrapup Post

Well, Story A Day May 2017 is in the books, and it’s reflection time.

Here’s what I’ve got….

A lot of not-writing things happened this May:

  • The annual Dutch Street Scrubbing and Tulip Festival in Albany.

  • CanalFest – the annual celebration of the opening of New York State’s fairly extensive canal system.

  • Homeschool pizza party and time with friends.

  • An eye doctor appointment for my son.

  • My new-in-April smartphone has a very comprehensive fitness app, and I’ve been wanting to get to a healthier me…

  • Two arguments with my Accomplice (not, thankfully, a common occurrence – which also makes them more stressful when we do happen to disagree).

  • We decided to upgrade our cable, which now gives us access to many channels we didn’t have before…including Heroes and Icons. That’s notable because it plays a five hour block of Star Trek six nights a week – one episode from each of the live-action series, and ending with Enterprise…and there’s an accompanying Twitter chat. I’ve found my Trek tribe at #allstartrek, and I’m having a blast…but, of course, it’s hard to write stories if I’m also watching my favorite Vulcan and her favorite human, and chatting about them…

  • I’m in the midst of revision and marketing classes, and helping my Accomplice with his business venture (I’m his entire branding, marketing, and design team. I have a creative bent, good instincts, and some extremely modest related experience, but a lot of this I’m learning as I go, with trial and a LOT of error…).

But what does any of that have to do with writing a story every day in May?

It wasn’t a seamless challenge – not by a long shot.

Well, for one thing, there are only 24 hours in a day, and, even though I don’t sleep much, I am human, and it’s inevitable. Family and hometending take time.

I didn’t quite write every day. I felt guilty about the misses, even though the reasons for them often had to do with family, or stretching in new and productive directions, or attending events that are time-sensitive and wouldn’t wait for a more convenient month.

That’s more than a little silly, really.

I also found that writing two stories each day, and sharing them via three daily blog posts and a fan fiction site led to a good deal of additional work each day.

Sometimes, it was overwhelming.

At one point, I was behind two days with my stories, and a whopping 13 days with my posts. The rest of my blogging fell away to almost nothing while I tried to get caught up again.

I was stressed about being behind.

It was a challenge, and, now that my last posts are up, and I can breathe – I’m tired.

Was it all worth it?


My Month, By the Numbers:

  • I’ve got 64 new stories (I wrote 3 drabbles on the last day).

  • That’s 3,300 words of fan fiction, and…

  • A whopping 12, 833 words of backstory and noodling for the novel I’ll be plotting this month, and drafting in July.

I have a much better idea of who these people are, the realities of their lives, their histories and points of friction. They are more alive in my mind than they were at the beginning of the month.

I’ve seen, again and again, how life and writing intertwine. That time taken to go to the Tulip Festival filled my mind with the vibrancy of texture, color, heritage, and history. CanalFest did the same, with a different flavor.

Even those arguments had their place – because I was attempting to find the clarity of what mattered most to me and why, I was able to also do that for my characters.

And about that overreach that overwhelmed?

There’s value in realizing that I bit off a bit more than I could comfortably chew, and making the decision to either adapt the plan, or keep on chewing. Neither is more right every time, so assessing the variables and making a decision is a conscious act with a risk involved.

It’s not always about the challenge itself, as much as it is about awareness.

Falling down a bit and striving to get back up can lead to discoveries we might not make if we sail along smoothly from day to day.

Have you undertaken a challenge lately?

What did you learn along the way?