August:We invested in our business; bought two new vehicles, a website, and supplies;, added two more weekly farmer’s markets.
September: launched my Chaostivity 10K with Story A Day September.My son turned 16 on the 2nd, and I’m facilitating his driving practice. Markets and events abound; and several classes and courses on marketing, branding, and design in a flurry that mimics the falling leaves.
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 nearly to the climax) I moved it to primary position. Added 19,210words this round.Secondary(now Primary) goal;good progress.
Kifo IslandSeries: Complete drafts of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8)andThe Last House (A Kifo Island prequel). Adapted: Now Secondary goal; deleting SN till Round 4.Modest progress on THL: added 10,793words; 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;began mapping out the schedule for the October Special Project. Very modest progress.
Plot/outline blog posts as needed to complete the drafting goal above. Adapted: Moved to primary position..Did some pre-production organization.Secondary (nowPrimary) goal;no real 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.9/50 (now 25) hours completed.Primary goal; modest progress.
Blogposts:Revise blogposts for use through November 2017. Adapted: Revise posts for October’s Still Secret Project.I worked out a rough schedule for the October project, and reviewed the basic topics.Secondary goal;slight 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.I believe the last round of revisions has been completed. Primary goal COMPLETED!
Read guidelines and sketch rough ideas for all projects I’d like to submit in 2017. Secondary goaldeleted in August.
Explore Duotrope; Compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Research these; choose ten to pursue further.8/25 markets compiled.Stretch goal; very modest progress.
Blogging: Polish/package/schedule/publish relevant blogposts to return to /maintain regular blogging schedule, and prepare for November NaNoWriMo.Keeping mostly to schedule for September; some preliminary planning for October’s Special Project posting. Primary goal;goodprogress.
Other Platforms: Create a cohesive brand across my Facebook Writer page; Pinterest, Patreon, and Instagram.Did more for Chef Bluebeard than for myself; but making progress on both. Created social media accounts for business.Secondary goal;steady progress.
Explore other avenues: Twitter (#writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats); LinkedIn; Medium; Quora; and Wattpad).At least a bit here in all but LinkedIn. Stretch goal;good progress.
Complete my writing business plan using this excellent article by Angela Ackermanas a guide; begin enacting it.Adapted: Work throughProsperity 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;Completed12WY readthrough.Foundations being laid.Step 4/7 with business plan (from June).Primary goal;some 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.Great progress for Chef Bluebeard: product and supply purchases; seeking and marketing to new venues; Facebook ads; other marketing and design; new classes. 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.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.Completed physical goals; not quite up to target for mindfulness goals, but close. Great progresshere!
So, Round Three is about over, but September still has ten days to go. So this is my midweek update on monthly goals – and I’ll have my end-of-round update on Thursday….because I like to use the last day of the round to the fullest.
My mantra for September is:
Keep It Simple.
I think that would be an easier mantra to achieve if our business hadn’t just entered a new growth phase, at the same time my son’s learning to drive, and I’m in a phase of personal growth, too…
I wonder if a clone would make things simpler, or if I’d find enough shinies to match whatever number of me I happen to have…?
Well, all silliness aside, on with the update.
Do you ever find your life getting more complicated just when you planned on simplicity?
How do/did you handle that?
Note: For simplicity, only those goals I engaged with are included in the update. Complete lists are below.
“You feel me at last, my Shentaa!” She had never thought to hear such jubilation in him again as he had had when she whelped a child of his blood. But it surged in him, and through him, to her – and Shentaa felt the first fleeting whispers of hope.
And, through the whispers, and his jubilation, she thought she might begin to See a path that would lead to the vengeance she craved.
Story A Day September:Continue call for TnT word prompt lists.Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals. Minor plotting ongoing.Primary goal; good progress.
Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets.Choose 5 to research in greater depth. Added 3 contests from Writer’s Market2018:8/25 markets.Primary goal;modest progress.
Explore ten of the sites I have in my various email feeds; choose 3 for further exploration.Writer’s Market: 6non-fiction/poetry markets;11 /10 for Step 1.Okay, they didn’t all come from the mail, but the general purpose has been met.Secondary goal;stage 1/2 complete.
Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September.Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.#weekendcoffeeshare and #ROW80 Sunday posted; WIPpet Wednesday/scheduled.. Tentatively rough scheduled October special project.Primary goal;solid 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).Made a tentative schedule for this project; simmering production schedule to revise and package posts.Secondary goal;modest progress.
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. 6/60 Story A Dayvisits complete; it’s a start.Played on Instagram.There may be somewhere short of 60 to read. Stretch goal;good early progress.
Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces: Assist my Accomplice with his business 15 hours each week.10/15 hours; workedmarket; worked on creating/researching marketing materials; applied for craft fair; downloaded UPC codes Jim purchased (a prelude to store sales). Primary goal; good progress.
Personal professional Development: Complete and post September Patreon offerings. Finish reading/exercises from Prosperity for Writers. Complete mywriting business plan using this excellent article byAngela Ackermanas a guide. Finished Patreon post, with Scene One of a never-before-seen story;shared twice. Secondary goal; some progress.
Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week..7/1.5 hours.Goal on target for this 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);meditateand journal 8x/week.Activity:3.8 /8 hours. Meditate/journal:4/8. Goal on target for this week.
Paying It Forward:Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week onbeta projectsSpellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood/ related material .2/3 hours on betas;Stained Blood:Chapter 2 completed and sent to author.Goalon target for this week.
(Preparation for my upcoming Trueborn series epic fantasy series WIP, Solemates.)
“So, sister, you have news you have nay shared with me yet.”
Niaan might have been surprised, once, at the ease with which Rachyl discerned such things, when she had thought them camouflaged and safe from encroachment. But she was sitting on cushions beside a voluminous planting of sensates. She could nay read any but the most basic of the messages the plants made, but Rachyl tended to the plants as to dear friends, and they spoke to her even if she didn’t touch them.
“Are you going to tell it, or hoard it to yourself like you did that fur when you were seven sunrounds, and dragged it into the Great Hall, and would nay let any other touch it or take it from your jaws?”
“Nay – I will tell it. I want none of the flogging Mother gave me when I fell asleep with it.”
“As though I would flog you for simply being as you are, sister. Come, now, you know me better than that. Besides, your fangs are far sharper, and your Huntskills far stronger, than they were then. I value my skin too much to wish it punctured. Even more my breathsource and bloodsource, sister. So, if you will nay tell me now, I will wait on your choice, and hold to my own wonderings.” Rachyl sipped her tea sedately; as though nothing could ever disturb her.
Mayhap it could nay. She was a fine healer, and had been so since she was a child. It was she who had made and applied the salve after Mother’s flogging.
But, if there was that which could disturb her, it was like as nay the news Niaan had to share. It had been so long, near to her lifetime, and many tended to think she had only imagined it in some fever-sickness long past, and that she was merely a fool who chased after dartwings, and would nay release the dessicated carcass of a prey long since dead.
She set her drinking bowl on the flat rock beside her, and studied her sister closely for a moment. “Kaivelt is coming to me, Rachyl.”
After the crazy-happy-busy week I detailed in my Sunday (well, posted Monday) update, the week has settled into something that’s not really a lull, but definitely the wake of that mad ROWing!
It’s a quietly productive time fueled by the shift in the seasons and the air, the late night and early morning fogs, the cooling of the nights and the softening light of the days, the songs of the crickets and the cry of the blue jays. Things are being born in me: autumn is an intensely creative time for me, and I tend to be abustle with tending goals and plans for a long New York winter by the time September is midway through… which it very nearly is, as I type this in the last minutes of Wednesday morning.
It can be tempting for me to want to charge ahead with each new plan or idea or Shiny Thing as it arises, particularly as the vibrancy of color intensifies, and the cool shifts to a frost-edged chill…
There’s a reason for my September mantra:
Keep It Simple.
Much as I might want to add new goals, and chase after the Shinies of life…I’m going to stick with what I have. I’ll remind myself as needed that these goals were the Shinies as I moved into the month, and that I set them with intention, in service to long-term contributions. I do have a plan to add one thing to the upcoming Round 3/Round 4 break – but it’s a thing that will make all the other things easier to attain.
Rather than adding goals, I’ve decided to indulge my desire for new Shinies by seeing some goals in a new way, and by embracing some new experiences, large and small. And, of course, by getting out into this lovely weather regularly, rather than spending all my time at the keyboard (which is essential to a writing career, but certainly not all there is to experience in life!).
So, here we go…on to my Keep It Simple September Roughly Midmonth Update!
Do you find yourself creatively energized by cooler weather?
Do you have autumn where you live?
Notes: For clarity, only goals I engaged with this session appear in this update. Comprehensive goals lists can be found below. Standard disclaimer applies on Trek excerpts – I neither own nor profit from these characters.
Story A Day September: Create one 333 word story for Trueborn; Solemates, and one 100-word TnT fan fiction drabbleeach day, to challenge prompts.Day Twelvefinished for both, Primary goal;on target for the month.
Excepted from: “Far Past Time:”
“It’s about time.”
“It is far past time.”
“Blame me, Jim – I took too long getting into my dress uniform.”
Excepted from: “Triaxian Silk:”
I caress the cloth -Triaxian silk, in an appealing rainbow of color. I worked hard for a whole night to make the deal that bought me these, but I figure if I get to see her wearing it even once, I have made a profit.
Niaan woke alone, and chilled despite the warmth of her borrowed furs. Kilyp was nay here; she must have slept overlong, and he, in the manner she knew so well, had gone to tend to her fastbreaking and morning brew, as though she could nay tend to it herself.
Story A Day September:Continue call for TnT word prompt lists.Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals.A writing group friend mentioned having several 100-word prompt lists. She’s shared them with me; I’m now word-rich, and shouldn’t need more! Minor plotting ongoing.Primary goal; good progress.
Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September.Outline/draft working schedule for October/November. Finalized my schedule for September (finally!). Made up#SoCS.WIPpet and this post in progress. Primary goal;solid progress.
Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week.1/1.5 hours.
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:2.9/8 hours, including Run 5K and tai chi class (I really, really missed it!).Journal;3/8; meditate 3/8.
Paying It Forward:Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week onbeta projectsSpellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood/related material .Crit group: 1.5 /3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3.Solid progress; Crit group nearly done.
It’s been a busy week, and I’m capping it off with Tugboat Roundup – a two-day gathering of tugboats for competitions and camaraderie on the famed and historic Erie Canal. Today’s #SoCS posts were written on the fly there, as a matter of fact.
This week’s prompt is “motive”, used however we please. I chose to combine the prompt with my #StoryADay posts for today – with interesting results. One of this week’s prompts was to change the gender of the main character, and another was to “break the rules.” My first story is onesinglerunonword – there are no spaces to be found anywhere!
Standard disclaimer: I don’t own these characters, and do not profit from this writing.
T’Pol has no answers for her question, nor an understanding of her own motive in coming here. The nimbus of almost-memory remains; there is no plausible explanation for how savagely she had attacked the crates of plasma injecctors; how forgetful and dismissive of the dangers she had been.
All attempts to comprehend her fanatical behavior fail, nor can she release the question that consumes her:
Who is Jossen?
All attempts to answer morph into images of two men running, leaves slapping her face, the hands, the priest and the stone beneath her.
I wrote this on Sunday: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally old enough to drive.
Today, I’ll add: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally able to drive.
That’s right. Jeremiah fulfilled a years’ long dream, and earned his New York State learner’s permit. He didn’t miss a single question on the permit test, and he did most of the prep work of gathering, printing, and filling out the required forms – made his mom’s life pretty easy, and learned a lot about administration. He even made the decision to sign up as an organ donor. Since his dad and I have both made the same decision, this makes me very honored to be his mom. He’s always been a generous soul – but this is generous on another level.
My boy is growing up, becoming a man, and outgrowing the need to be parented. It’s exactly as it should be – and somehow, it’s heart-filling and amazing when it’s happening to this boy, whose lifetime has been so permanently and intricately bound up in my own…
It feels momentous, and more than a little staggering.
Has anything staggered you, lately?
Now, on to my Keep It Simple September goals progress!
Note: this update includes only those goals I engaged with during this session.For complete goals lists; visit the links below.
“This barbaric, bellicose side of you is a bit disturbing.” He’s got a split lip, and Trip grins savagely as Malcolm starts to circle, feeling him out more cautiously this time.
“We’re just sparring.” Trip lunges in with a stiff-armed drive he’s seen T’Pol use, and Malcolm goes down again.
“When did you morph into a barbaric tyrant, Trip?”
Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week toTrueborn: Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete.1,072/2,222 words. Secondary goal;just under halfway to target.
Even that was nay enough to put fear in the man’s scent, or his manner. He simply sat, his acceptance like another garment over those he wore.
Story A Day September:Continue call for TnT word prompt lists.Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals.Drafting in my head and on the fly; it’s working thus far. Prompt words coming in a few at a time.Primary goal; on target.
Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets.Choose 5 to research in greater depth. Renewed subscription; did first search; base exploration turned up5/25 markets.Primary goal;one-fifth through primary step.
Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September.Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.Sunday #ROW80posted Monday;#8Sunday (The Thorn)completed (excerpt follows).Primary goal;mostly on target.
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.
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.Visited all posters on the #ROW80 Facebook page for Sunday update.#8sunday/ #weekendcoffeeshare and StoryADay still pending.Stretch goal; 25% completed.
Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces: Assist my Accomplice with his business 15 hours each week.1/15 hours;shopped and ordered materials for gift buckets and did some exciting advance marketing. Primary goal;very modest progress.
Va-Va-Video Course: Complete the three week session, and keep current with the Facebook Page 3 times/week.Skimmed Facebook page; read through; interaction; and Challenge Two still pending.Stretch goal; very modest progress.
Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week.30 min./1.5 hours for blended week.33% of goal.
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:2.25/8 hours. Meditate/journal:journal;3/8; meditate4/8. Just over 25% of activity goal; a bit under target for journaling; on target for meditation.
Paying It Forward:Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week onbeta projectsSpellfire’s Kissand Stained Blood/related material .Crit group: .5 /3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3.A little slow to reach goal.
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!
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 Twofinished just past midnight. Primary goal; up to date.
Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week toTrueborn:Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. Secondary goal;after StoryADay completed for day.
Kifo Island Series: Add 3,333 words/week toThe 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.
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 myInstagram account.Stretch goal; modest 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 onbeta projectsSpellfire’s Kissand 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.