Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekly Features, writing, Writing Sample

Like a Promise  for #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!

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

“Monday Morning Coffee”  has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later,  he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, contemplating Jeremy and the nature of her own humanity – or perhaps, lack thereof…

Like a Promise

I’m like her, here – the nameless, faceless Very Tame Dragon in her lair, seldom surfacing, seldom seen.

I read the letter again, focusing on what it says about that thorny hundred dollar bill:

“The money, I leave you as a gift; do with it what you will.  I have less need of it than you might suspect.”

This week stretches ahead, suddenly alive with possibility. Jeremy’s money sits on my bare desk like a promise. Maybe I’ll find a pretty blotter –  I loved those as a little girl.

What will Rose do with the money Jeremy gave her?

Where did that money come from?

Can she learn to embrace her own humanity?

Any guesses?

 “Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review.  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

I was away much of last week, and never quite got to the point of pulling together an #8sunday post. My husband and I spent four days in Maine – a mini-romantic getaway that was the first one we’ve had since we became parents a little over 16 years ago.

Now I’m back, recharged and ready for new challengeslike NaNoWriMo

Until then, may you and yours find joy!

Looking for more #8Sunday?

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, writing, Writing Sample

I Was Human for #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!

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

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, contemplating Jeremy and the nature of her own humanity – or perhaps, lack thereof…

I Was Human

I know I’ll go to Scrimshaw on Friday – but this is only Monday, and it’s not even nine o’clock yet. My Monday life has been empty – my entire life, really. Each morning, I slink past my colleagues upstairs, and hide myself down here, as though I have no place or business in the rest of the library. I can’t even recall their names.

I was human in the train station with Jeremy. But I haven’t been, here.

Now I’m noticing and thinking, not hiding. I remember the woman I sat beside at the station, the way her painted drawstring mouth cinched up her closed face.

What will Rose find when she meets Jeremy at Scrimshaw?

Can she learn to be human at work?

Is she too much like the woman at the station?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review.Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

It’s been a busy week in Shan-land. Last Friday, my best friend and I took a day trip to Lenox, Massachusetts. Saturday was a relative’s housewarming party – a beautiful, big place by a glacier-carved lake. Sunday, we were along the Erie Canal for our last week at the Waterford Harbor Farmer’s Market, and Monday, we closed out the season at our local library’s market, as well.

Because I had a cold last week and missed two workouts in my 5K training program, I’ve gone for a walk/jog every day this week to catch up. I attained that goal today (Thursday, as I type this), and tomorrow I’ll be able to do my on-time workout to close out the week.

The kids and I also have plans to go see the new My Little Pony movie tomorrow, and then I’ll be gearing up for a weekend that includes both a swap meet/motorcycle show, and a fall festival. And next week is a whole other adventure; I’ll share the details of that next weekend.

Until then, may you and yours find joy!

Looking for more #8Sunday?

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", Blog Hops and Fests, Marketing my Writing, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, Writing Sample

“Nearest the Fireplace” for #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!

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

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, exploring the gift given to her by a shabbily dressed man, when she discovers something unexpected – a hundred dollar bill folded into the shape of a thorn and containing a message whose first line read, “Your kindness went beyond guilt, or a token gesture, and has touched me deeply.” Now, the rest of the message…

“Nearest the Fireplace”

I’d like to learn more of you. If you wish, you may meet me at 6pm this Friday, at the address below. I’ll be at the table nearest the fireplace. The money, I leave you as a gift; do with it what you will. I have less need of it than you might suspect.

With gratitude to my fellow human,

Lost Jeremy.”

The address is for Scrimshaw, one of the finer restaurants in this part of the city, notable for its large koi pool and the real trees, strung with tiny lights, that grow in its covered arboretum.

Does Jeremy need the money?

Will he appear at Scrimshaw?

Will Rose?

Why does he want to meet her there?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

I’m pushing up against the deadline for posting, yet again… eventually, I’m going to find ways to blend the creation of this new business, and my writing. I’m certain of it – but it’s still all very new, and I tend to find myself scrambling to get things done more than I would like, at this point.

It’s in a good cause. After a few weeks plateau, business-wise, we’re back in a growth phase, as we shift from farmer’s markets to craft fairs, and expanding into the retail market. It’s exciting – and, for me (the marketing/branding/design/business administrator), it’s also a LOT of learning as I go.

We’re nearing the end of Rose and Jeremy’s story now – and I’ve given almost no thought at all to what I’ll share next (except that, as I typed that, I had an idea!). Stay tuned…if it turns out to be one I still like in a week or two, I’ll reveal it then.

Until next week, may you and yours be well!

Looking for more #8Sunday? 

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Story a Day, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom

Growth’s KISS: September 3, 2017

Hey there!

It’s a brand new month. Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally old enough to drive.

On Tuesday, I’ll be taking him to the DMV to take his permit test. Once he passes, my life’s going to include helping him learn the things he needs to know to be a safe driver.

Which leads me to my mantra for September:

Keep It Simple.

My September goals  follow a trend I’ve been practicing for the last several months, as I learn the balance between what I want to do, and what I actually can accommodate in a busy family life, and at the budding stage of our family business.

I’m excited for new challenges, and for finishing those I’m still in the midst of…

So, here we go…on to my Keep It Simple September goals!

What growth do you plan for this month?

  • Story A Day September: Create one 333 word story for Trueborn; Solemates, and one 100-word TnT fan fiction drabble each day, to challenge prompts. Day One done; Day Two finished just past midnight. Primary goal; up to date.
  • Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week to Trueborn: Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. Secondary goal; after StoryADay completed for day.
  • Kifo Island Series: Add 3,333 words/week to The Last House (until draft completed). Stretch goal; after other drafting goals met for day/week.

  • Story A Day September: Continue call for TnT word prompt lists. Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals. First set of prompts in play; simmering Day 3. Primary goal; good progress.
  • Trueborn: Solemates: Use daily stories for notetaking, character sketching, outlining, and other materials that will allow me to plot the novel in October. Secondary goal.

  • Other Star Trek Enterprise TnT Fan Fiction: Enterprise Early Days Arc and Cogenitor/Expanse Limbo Arc (may include new writing). Continue revisions on these projects any day I choose, if I’ve completed an hour of HTRYN. Stretch goal.

  • Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Choose 5 to research in greater depth. This is self-explanatory. Primary goal; left over from August.

  • Explore ten of the sites I have in my various email feeds; choose 3 for further exploration. Secondary goal; left over from August.

  • Fan Fiction: Post stories from Cogenitor/Expanse Limbo Arc to fanfiction.net as revised. Stretch goal; after 5 Duotrope and 3 email sites compiled each week.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November. #weekendcoffeeshare posted; #8sunday scheduled. Missed #SoCS (may post Sunday). Primary goal; good progress.

  • October special features blogpost drafts: Revise, package, and schedule this project. Once I’ve got two weeks’ worth ready, announce the project with schedule (I do better at these things when I commit to a time frame). Secondary goal.

  • Connecting: Visit at least 3 posters/week from every hop/challenge I participate in. Visit at least two other Story A Day posters/day, on average. Touch base with other social media platforms at least once weekly. Posted a few pics from Miah’s birthday to my Instagram account. Stretch goal; modest progress.

  • Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces: Assist my Accomplice with his business 15 hours each week. 11/15 hours for blended week.Primary goal; good progress.

  • Va-Va-Video Course: Complete the three week session, and keep current with the Facebook Page 3 times/week. Watched first two videos, completed challenge, skimmed Facebook page (1/3 visits) and made my intro. Stretch goal; solid progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week. 1.75/1.5 hours for blended week.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least 8 hours physical activity/week, (including finishing Baby Steps to 5K/ beginning Run 5K programs); meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity for blended week: 11.15 /8 hours. Meditate/journal: 7/8.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood/ related material . Crit group: 15 min/3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3. Betas: 3.5/3 hours for blended week, finished/returned “Patrick and Sarah” Chapter 2; highlighted Spellfire’s Kiss, Chapter 3 for commenting.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Business Startup, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Round Three 2017, slices of life, writing, Writing in Freedom

A Season of Growth; #ROW80 Round 3, 2017

Hey there!

Well…when I last posted here, at the end of July, I thought August was going to be my month to “rest, renew, recharge, and shift to a slower, more contemplative pace” after my Chaostivity Marathon, which ran from April 1 -July 31.

Life (and a burgeoning family business) had other plans. I’m more than a little gobsmacked by all the changes (many of which are in areas that just won’t show on this update; I’m perfectly OK with that!).

I began my Chaostivity 10K on Friday, with Story A Day September. October will be OctPoWriMo, a poetry challenge, and November brings another NaNoWriMo.

There will also be much more business stuff, and some rather significant personal changes (more on those in Round Four!).

But, first, let’s take stock of my August progress on my Round 3 goals, shall we?

  • Trueborn Series: Complete draft of Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn #2); Will resume once both Kifo novels are complete. Adapted – since this is the longest of the three unfinished projects, and the closest to completion (I’m in the climactic scenes now) I moved it to primary position. Added 11,284 words. Secondary (now Primary) goal; solid progress.
  • Kifo Island Series: Complete drafts of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8) and The Last House (A Kifo Island prequel). Adapted: Now Secondary goal; deleting SN till Round 4. Modest progress on THL: added 2,642 words; reached to midpoint or just past it for all three POV characters. Nothing added for SN. Primary (now secondary) goal; modest progress.
  • Blogposts: Complete all finite series begun during JuNoWriMo. Adapted: Complete October Secret Project posts, write intro material as/if needed. Stretch goal; no progress.

  • Plot/outline blog posts as needed to complete the drafting goal above. Adapted: Moved to primary position..Did some pre-production organization. Secondary (now Primary) goal; a bit of progress.
  • Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8):Use a hybrid form of The Writer’s Coloring Book  and The Story Toolkit  to finish plotting this novel. Adapted: Deleting for this round. Primary goal; no progress.

  • Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel: Spend 50 hours revising “On Any Tuesday Night.” Start once Still Nameless Act One Beat Sheet is complete. Adapted: Spend 25 hours on classwork. 4/50 (now 25) hours completed. Primary goal; minimal progress.

  • Blogposts: Revise blogposts for use through November 2017. Adapted: Revise posts for October’s Still Secret Project. Secondary goal; no progress.

  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island #1): Organize the manuscript – one of the cats dumped it. Make a decision regarding sharing it with critique group, or waiting to run it through HTRYN. Stretch goal COMPLETED (July)!

  • Miss Spider and Mister Fly” Title of this short story is now “Being Colette”: Complete any details/authorize copy edits needed for publication. Moving through third round of publisher edits; nearly finished with draft and (I think) the process.Primary goal; good progress.

  • Read guidelines and sketch rough ideas for all projects I’d like to submit in 2017. Secondary goal deleted in August.

  • Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Research these; choose ten to pursue further. Stretch goal; no progress.

  • Blogging: Polish/package/schedule/publish relevant blogposts to return to /maintain regular blogging schedule, and prepare for November NaNoWriMo. Kept mostly to schedule for August; some preliminary planning for fall posting. Primary goal; good progress.

  • Other Platforms: Create a cohesive brand across my Facebook Writer page; Pinterest, Patreon, and Instagram. Did more for Chef Bluebeard than for myself; still simmering. Secondary goal; a little progress.

  • Explore other avenues: Twitter (#writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats); LinkedIn; Medium; Quora; and Wattpad). Stretch goal; some modest progress.

  • Complete my writing business plan using this excellent article by Angela Ackerman as a guide; begin enacting it. Adapted: Work through Prosperity for Writers and The 12 Week Year; then move on to completing the business plan using knowledge gained from those sources. 38% with PFW exercises; 20% on 12WY readthrough. Step 4/7 with business plan (from June). Primary goal; good progress.

  • Refine labeling/branding/platform/marketing for my Accomplice, and branding for myself; complete the PicMonkey branding tutorial for both ventures. Adapted: moving PicMonkey to Round Four. I’ve done a lot more for Chef Bluebeard: product and vehicle purchases; website; seeking and marketing to new venues; Facebook ads. A bit for myself, too. Secondary goal; great progress.

  • Hometending: Spend 30 minutes at least 5x/week in mindful cleaning and/or yardtending; draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans) and complete testing submission and reporting; deal with subscriptions and other business that tends to get pushed aside. Adapted: Complete 1.5 hours hometending each week. Some hometending. Submitted IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. Lots of other business dealt with! Great progress!

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least one hour of physical activity 5x/week, and two hours of strenuous activity weekly (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Not quite up to target for physical and mindfulness goals, but close. Solid progress.

  • Lifetending: Reading: Crank It Out (from June goals); 20K A Day; Prosperity for Writers. Audiobooks; The Upside of Your Dark Side (from June goals); and Practicing Mindfulness; and The Star Trek Chronology Project  Episodes 281: Redemption Part 1290: A Matter of Time. Adapted: Watch STCP to Episode 320 (Deep Space 9: “Past Prologue”). Complete 6 books, 2 audiobooks, and keep up with Welcome to Night Vale podcasts. PFW: 78%; STPC: Episode 310 (The Next Generation: “Man of the People”); current with WTNV. Steady progress.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

This is what things looked like at our third farmer’s market in July….we’ve already come a long way!
Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, Writing Sample

The Thorn for #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!

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

Confession Time: This post was listed as part of last week’s collection, but when I checked on it earlier in the week, I realized I’d forgotten to, you know, hit that “Schedule” button in my editor…so, a week belatedly, here it is!

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, exploring the gift given to her by a shabbily dressed man who occupies her mind.

The Thorn

My fingers explore the petals and then the stem – and stick again on the thorn. It’s a different texture than the rest of the creation, sturdier, and green-brown…

I bring the rose closer to my face, and take my magnifying lens from the top drawer, so that I can get a closer look.

The thorn is made of money.

“Not the twenty I gave you, Jeremy, please!” My whisper rasps through the quiet. I meant the money to offer him comfort; I don’t want it now, if it means that he’s hungry and cold.

I tug at it experimentally, and it pulls free of the sculpted rose, to lie in my hand. It’s not my twenty.

Where did Jeremy get the money?

Why did he use it to make the thorn?

What will Rose do next?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

Another week…and, as I type this on Friday, I haven’t been much better at the visiting and answering comments thing…my only defense is that it’s been A WEEK.

Yup, all caps.

I won’t go into detail here, but, if you’re so inclined, you can read more about it here [#weekendcoffeeshare/#SoCS post]. Here’s the bullet list of highlights:

  • Sunday: Farmer’s market; test drove and bought 2007 Subaru Forester.
  • Monday: Paperwork; eclipse; picked up Forester; farmer’s market.
  • Tuesday: Looked for second car; put down payment on 2005 Subaru Outback.
  • Wednesday: 20th wedding anniversary; lovely dinner out.
  • Thursday: Purchased business website for Chef Bluebeard; spent night in emergency room – husband with abdominal pain (suspected appendicitis; turned out to be gall bladder).
  • Friday: Made reservations for midweek getaway in the fall; picked up Outback; dropped off Forester for repairs; packed Outback for weekend markets. 
  • Saturday: Market #1; workout; lunch out; shopping.

We have the #8sunday you’re  looking for!

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", Blog Hops and Fests, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

I’ve Invested Nothing for #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!

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

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, but her contact with a shabbily dressed man has her seeing her office  – and maybe her life – in a new way.

I’ve Invested Nothing

I have only what’s needed to conduct my task of archiving documents, and filling research requisitions for professors and graduate students.

I’ve invested nothing of myself here. If I quit this job tomorrow, would anyone notice?

I sit down at my serviceable, if not quite steady, metal desk. Setting my purse down on the right corner, I open it, and tenderly withdraw Jeremy’s rose. Maybe I’ll buy a vase to put it in at the chapel thrift store – I might even be able to find a warmer coat for Jeremy, or at least a heavier shirt…I want to see him again, and know that he’ll be safe and warm.

What would Jeremy think of Rose’s office?

Will Rose take action, or sink back into life as she knows it?

If she takes action, what will it be?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown ReviewSince I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

I’m still not doing as well as I want at visiting my fellow #8sunday participants, but I do feel things moving to a more even keel as we adjust to a self-employed life with less tension, since we decided to cash out on a modest investment or two and use the funds to replace the car, fund some much-needed purchases, have a financial safety net during the transition, and invest in moving the business to the next level.

I’m still working on my major revision class, marketing, and self-publication. I’m also reading and working through Prosperity for Writers, which is a mindful approach to shifting perceptions and attitudes toward, well – prosperity through writing.

Now, once I get better at fitting visiting and commenting into this growth, I’ll be golden! Yo that end, I’ve pulled several posts into my Pocket account, and hope to be able to read/comment upon them during odd quiet moments at our Sunday morning market. I can do that right on my phone. I’m hoping that will be the answer to my quandary.

Looking for more #8Sunday?