Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Three, Writers' Resources, writing

I Think I’ve Got It Now! #ROW80 Round 2 /#12WeekYear 3; Midweek 7

Hi there, ROWers and friends!

Yes, you’re seeing this right. It’s Wednesday, and I’m here….on time, even! – to offer up my plan for this week, taken directly from my accountability group, and presented to you with progress accounted for.

Looking at this checklist shows me that I am resisting doing the family financial stuff, and letting other things get in the way of my marketing learning and practice. I have a few ideas why this is happening but will be giving it more attention in the coming weeks and rounds.

In the meantime…

last Wednesday, I asked people what their least favorite books were. The one response I got was the same as my own attitude – I don’t generally read books I don’t like – I set them aside. Most recently, I did that with Dark Mirror, by Juliet Marillier. The two main characters, both children, jumped seven years in age – and became strangers to me. I can’t invest in them twice like that…too much is unknown.

But I do have least favorite children’s books:

  •   Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: I know this is a classic, and many people love it – but the rhythm changes dramatically, and without warning partway through. I feel that this spoils the story, and cheats children out of the beauty of a rhythm that had been established. I just can’t seem to get past it.
  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch: Although Mr. Munsch is one of my favorite children’s authors, this one gives me the creeps. Love is not about stalking your children into their adulthoods, or always considering them babies even when they’re long since grown! Love is seeing someone as they are, with all their flaws, and being willing to spend time with them and sacrifice for them if need be. This book gives a very strange concept of love, with a mother actually putting a ladder to her grown son’s window and cradling him in her arms while he sleeps…it suggests that kids don’t REALLY grow up, and I don’t think that’s a great message.

But now – let’s get to know each other with -yup – another question or two:

 What characters resonate with you?

Which characters do you love to hate?

I’ll post my answers next Wednesday!


  • Wednesday: Weekly Action Plan
  • Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up.
  • Final Review: after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike: 86’ed.
  • Red: Goal Change.


I complete one Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction story each day, using the Story A Day prompts.

I brainstorm, do needed worldbuilding and character work, create a rough outline, and write a first draft of my 2,500 word limit short story for the Little Bird Writing Contest, using the prompts.

  •  I finally got to this! 301 words in first brainstorming session.


I complete a final polish of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” and submit revised version to Exploits in the Adirondacks anthology publishers for professional editing.

  • Downloaded one crit from an accountability partner – thanks, Lauren!!!

I complete spot revisions for each day’s Story A Day fan fiction piece.

  • Sunday’s mammoth piece done; 1/3.


I decide on a spring/summer blogging schedule.

  • Early brainstorming in progress.

I post and adhere to this schedule.

I respond to all pending comments.

I revise my About page, based on Pixels to Platform learning.

I add a Welcome page, based on P2P learning.

Social Media

I update my Patreon page, with apologies to my Patron (sorry, Fallon!)

I share my Patreon page on other social media, because no one can be my patron if they don’t even know I want any!

I keep up with #AllStarTrek, ROW80, #accountabilitygirls. P2P Facebook group, and general Twitter, Facebook, and email.

  •  Some attention to each of these, but skimped on ROW80 (sorry, fellow ROWers!).

I post and browse at least once on Instagram and Pinterest, because I miss them.


I complete Pixels to Platform Module Two.

  • Gathered some images, and did some research. #babysteps.

I watch Module Two Video Two.

I assess Video Two Play Sheets/devise schedule for completing them.

I doublecheck time for group call;  am prepared to participate; submit at least one question.

  • Group call time verified; simmering questions.

I watch the DIY-MFA free Stop Dreaming, Start Doing! videos, and participate in the discussion of same.

  • Watched 1/3 currently available.

I finish reading voiceover ebook.

  • Done…simmering and contemplating next steps.

Family Finances:

I read two financial articles.

I investigate Fiverr.

I post three items to yard sale site.

I choose three more items to prep for sale.

I find titles for Gus and motorcycle.

I handle two administrative tasks.

  • I’ve pulled the materials for these and placed them prominently on my desk, where they will stay till completed. #babysteps again.

I add regular auto withdrawals to planner.

I check Paypal for other auto payments and list.

I rough out family budget.


I complete 3 hometending cycles in my room.

  •  2/3 in progress.

I complete one each in garage and porch.

I complete 2 each in common rooms – bathroom, dining, kitchen, and living.


I move rest of downed branches to containment.

  • Moved one largish branch more closer to containmnent, but not quite INTO containment.

I move slate to front yard.

I weed/clean flowerbeds.

I mow backyard as possible.


I choose three recipes to make this week.

I make them.

I facilitate Gabrielle visit on Monday.

  • Done – possible weekend plans, as well.

I take Noli to dog park Wednesday and Friday.

I get Noli’s license.

  • Done, and tag on her collar – so she’s all legal!

I take a long walk with Noli each day.

  • Sunday- Tuesday; check.

I get at least 4 hours of sleep each night.

  • A bit short Sunday, but nearly 8 hours on Monday.


I meditate and journal each morning.

  • Sunday -Tuesday, Check..

I read one inspirational article.

  •  Done – one on “taking the waters” from Mindfulness Newsweek Special Issue.

I meditate and journal 4 evenings.

  •  1/4; Monday.

I light a candle and read from Sleep 4 evenings.

1/4; Monday.

Use a sleep meditation each night.

  • 1/7; Monday.


The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

Noli on the go! Photo by Gabby Monlea, age 13.
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Three, Writers' Resources, writing

Now I’m Late Again: #ROW80 Round 2/#12WeekYear 3 EOWeek 6 Wrapup


Hi there, ROWers and friends!

It’s Tuesday –way past time time to share my Week 6 Wrapup. I’ve been Working on Week 7 since Sunday…it just seems to be that kind of a month, but I am checking in more promptly than last time. (Here’s my last update). 

Sunday was a tricky day. I stayed up well past dawn Sunday, slept 3.5 hours, and got up in time to do my usual morning things and take a long walk with Noli and Miah (my 16 yo son), before getting ready to head out to my weekly writer’s group meeting.

I came home late, and tired, and spent the rest of the evening playing Cake Mania 3, because I needed that.

Monday brought our twice a month visit from Lise’s best friend, Gabrielle extra driving for me, and an extra teen in the house.  By the time we were home again, it was closing in on the end of the day, and I hadn’t written my Story A Day piece yet (or even checked the prompt!).

I’m finally here, to answer my three wrapup questions:

  1. What did I accomplish last week?
  • I realized I habitually expect myself to do four times what I CAN do.
  • I decided to work on that.
  • I completed a major revision and passed the draft on to my accountability group for critique.
  • I regained forward momentum with Pixels to Platform.
  • I explored voiceover freelancing.
  • I wrote a StoryADay and shared them at
  • I decluttered a bit and made a modest profit from doing so.
  • Family, home, and dog stuff.
  1. What’s on deck for this week?
  • More Story A Day
  • More Pixels to Platform
  • Polish “Storm Glass” and sumit)
  • Updating blog and Patreon
  • More decluttering
  • More voiceover research
  • More family, dog, and hometending
  • Learning how to set reasonable goals
  1. How do these things serve my greater purpose?
  • All support a sustainable writing career – and/or a a sustainable income that will allow me to nurture and tend my family – my primary life goal.

How would you answer these three questions?


  • Wednesday: Weekly Action Plan
  • Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up.
  • Final Review: after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike:
  • Red: Goal Change.


I write one new StarTrek:Enterprise  fan fiction piece each day for Story A Day May, and post to

  • Held one story back because it wasn’t working.

I brainstorm ideas; do character work as indicated; and create a rough outline for the Little Bird Writing Contest ( 2,500 word limit).


I complete “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” revision/submit revised copy to anthology publishers.

  • Revision completed; it’s with my accountability group for critiquing.

I complete spot-revisions for all StaD stories prior to posting.

  • Daily except Saturday; story wasn’t finished at midnight.


I move everything from Squarespace (expiring 5/16).

  • I looked at what I need to move; shouldn’t be a huge problem to copy/paste into a Word file).

I decide on a spring/summer blogging schedule.

  • Considering a pared-down effort with a shifted focus.

I post in accordance with new schedule.

I answer all back A-Z and all new comments. (I got to more; maybe all.)

I continue A-Z visits through letter I, using the format I used during April.

Career Building/Learning:

I listen to two past Story A Day podcasts, and all daily prompt videos.

  • Keeping up with the videos for daily prompts.

I catch up with Pixels to Platform Ambassador duties.

I complete P2P Modules 1 and 2.

  • Worked on Module 2; mostly assessing, with a bit of brainstorming and setup.

I complete two 11:11 flash fiction course sessions.

I complete reading Voice-over book.

  • Currently at 54%

Family Finances:

I offer first 3 items on yard sale site.

I investigate Fiverr and consider what I have to offer.

I go through cash receipts and bank statements.

  • Listed out monthly bills from bank statement,

I find five more items to sell.

  • 2/5.

I locate titles for motorcycle and Gus (our vintage truck).

I create rough budget.

I create cold-call pitch for unlabeled hot sauces.

  • Not happening this week; need a bit more time to think about it.

I read one financial/business article.


I move downed branches and old wood to fire pit or containment area in former garden.

  • I have a willing son – and a plan of approach. Moved several small/medium branches.

I move slate to front yard.

  • This needs to wait until enough branches are moved to allow access.

I get contact info for refugee family relief; offer outgrown playground toys.

I see if lawn mower is working; mow yard or facilitate kids doing it.

  • Mowed broad strokes of front yard and a bit of the back before getting rained out.

I clean out/weed flower beds.

  • #babysteps to cleaning out 1/3 beds – the most cluttered.


I complete 5 rounds in my bedroom.

  • 5/5 rounds complete.

I do one round each porch and garage.

  • Garage done.

I do two rounds each in bathroom, dining room, kitchen, and living room.

I catch up with laundry and dishes, then maintain.

  • Both much closer than last week,

I make a rough list of regular hometending tasks and typical frequency.


I watch Enterprise each day: #itswritingresearch.

  • Yes.

I take Noli for a long walk at least once daily.

  • Every day.

I take Noli to the dog park twice.

  • 1/2 Tuesday, for about 3 hours; kept her home with digestive issues Friday.

I get Noli’s license.

  • Postponing till next week.

I make Instant Pot chicken, bone broth, and chicken soup.

  • YES!!!! ALL of them!

Make pasta bakes for kids.

  • Done Wednesday night, when it was cooler out.

Make Cheddar Bay biscuits.

  • Done! Lise loves them; Miah found them OK.


I meditate/journal every morning.

  • 7/7; 4:44 minutes, using Insight

Meditate/journal 3 evenings.

  • 3/3; 1:11 with Insight Timer, then sleep /relaxation meditation to promote sleep.

I read from Hygge book.

  • Regularly.

I read one inspirational article.

I focus on getting at least 4 hours sleep for each 24.

  • Every night this week!


The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

A moment in my life….at my Command Center, with pistachio ice cream!



Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, Parenting, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

J is for Juxtaposition of Joy and Sorrow: #atozchallenge Day 10


Departed With Honor

I feel his loss with every breath

I know my love has departed

Departed from this earthly plane

Departed from our home

Home could now be a somber place

Home could be wreathed in endless sorrow

Sorrow deep and rooted in this grave loss

Sorrow an oppressive ominous thundercloud

Thundercloud bringing rains of tears

Thundercloud lifts and thins out and away

Away and apart letting the sun shine in

Away goes the gloom in comes magic

Magic of light reflected through raindrops

Magic and promise of the rainbow

Rainbow paints the sky in wonder

Rainbow born of the deepest loss

Loss of my mate and my kids’ dad

Loss of the life that went before

Before we can grow we must absorb

Before we grow we must evolve

Evolve into a new way of life

Evolve into something that has space

Space for what was precious to us

Space for new life and new joys

Joys are the treasures we seek

Joys of the living and the loving

Loving the memory of beloved lost

Loving possibilities held in each breath

Breath and heartbeat hold new potential

Breath of fresh air with the coming of spring

Spring brings the softening of frozen places

Spring brings the time of rampant rebirth

Rebirth into a life that grows and changes

Rebirth as a new kind of family

Family is a matter of heart

Family is a matter of soul

Soul hungers for laughter and singing

Soul yearns to remember old laughter

Laughter is worthy of protection

Laughter is ever the best medicine

Medicine perfect for healing deep grief

Medicine that blends the then and the now

Now we cultivate laughter in ourselves and each other

Now we seek out moments of happiness

Happiness is what he wanted for us

Happpiness is a way to do him honor

Honor the loss of a singular love

Honor the future as we move beyond




I’m running a bit later than I wanted to be, today – because I took time for joy. I met my dearest, oldest friend at a local library where her son was taking a class, and we did some catching up – she and her family will be moving out of state in the coming months, and so time together is more precious these days. We also did some writing, then went to Toys R Us so her son could spend gift cards before the store goes out of business.

I bought some Littlest Pet Shop things for Lise, because the income tax refund left us some extra breathing room, and then, when I went shopping, I supplemented the modest list we’d created with some favorites – a bit of a celebration of spring’s potential, and a surprise the kids weren’t expecting. Before heading home, I stopped at Panera because they have French onion soup I always enjoy, and my favorite salad is back for the summer.

Giving ourselves joy isn’t always about spending money. Sometimes it’s just hanging out together, or watching a rainbow, or hugging.

There’s so much sorrow we can’t avoid – but we look for moments of delight wherever we can find them.

When Jim was alive, we laughed a lot – and we want to keep on laughing. More, that’s what Jim wanted, too.

And so we grieve, and we laugh – and sometimes, we do both at the same time.

Join us again tomorrow for Kids and Kitchen – as a chef’s widow learns new ways to feed her offspring.

Jog on over for more juicy J posts!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Three, Writers' Resources, writing

Settling Into the Now:  #ROW80 Round 2 /#12WeekYear 3 MidWeek 2

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

It’s Wednesday – time to list out my Week 2 Action Plan, and current progress (Here’s my Week 1 progress). 

These goals are more specific than my Week 1 goals. I’ve refined things; made them more measurable and specific. Some of these may take a few weeks to complete, so they’ll be here a while.

And that’s okay.

I’m reminding myself of something I’d lost sight of for a while. NOW is the only time I have, no matter how much I might wish it was otherwise.

What are you doing with your now?


  • I post my Weekly Action Plan on Wednesdays, and Weekly Wrap-Ups on Sundays.
  • I review/adjust my Round 2/12 Week Year 3 after weeks 3, 6, 9, and a final one after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike: 86’ed.
  • Red: Goal Change.

Relationships, Family, and Home:

Family Stuff:

I facilitate Miah’s driving at a pace that’s comfortable for him.

I facilitate kids’ social travel and time with friends as desired, and check up on Unschoolers Rock the Campground.

  • Nothing posted for URTC yet.

I spend 11:11 gathering materials for each child’s third quarter homeschool reports.

I facilitate both kids’ learning as needed.

  • Lise checked the weather around the world, with some suggestions from me. We discussed climate and geographic features which influence weather.

Home Stuff:

I facilitate home and yardtending, asking for assistance as needed.

  • Made a deal with Lise – a sinkful of dishes traded for an order of fries.
  • Bedrooomtending; laundry; dishes; yardtending (raking leaves; decluttering).

I post three items (already selected) on a local yard sale site.

  • I’ve taken photos for these posts.

I rough draft a schedule for hometending as a baseline for action.

I touch base with Lise about next steps in baking/selecting a mop she wants to use.

  • She’s comfortable with prepackaged cookie dough for now, but may want to experiment with mixes soon.
  • We agreed that I will find a few potential mopping solutions for her to choose from.

Relationship Stuff:

I schedule lunch/coffee dates with two friends.

  • Tentative plans to meet Eden Mabee (best friend since almost forever; we were little, little girls!) on Wednesday.

I send thank you notes to Jim’s sisters, and contact them via text to touch base.


Writing/Revising Stuff:

I complete the first revision pass of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” (short story), and return to publishers.

I collect materials, organize, get beta feedback, apply, finalize layout, and submit my Secret Project.

  • I have my base materials, and have secured 3 beta readers (3 more to ask).

I use April CampNaNoWriMo to complete the rough draft of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8).

  • 18,277 new words; 5,668 this week.

Blogging From A-Z April Challenge: The Alphabet of Grief complete 26 posts.

I check in at Story A Day, catch up on recent podcasts, and begin collecting story sparks for this year’s stories. If there is a way to get advance notice of the prompts, I utilize it.

  • Made a quick survey; selected some follow-up items.

Learning Stuff:

I complete Pixels to Platform, and complete Module 1.

  • Began intro video rewatch: 30%.

I complete organization for How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck, evaluate my current progress, and complete one 11:11 learning session this week.

  • Organization 95% complete; evaluation 50%

I complete organization for How to Revise Your Novel.

Networking Stuff:

I serve as an DIY-MFA Pixels to Platform Master Class Ambassador.

  • Checked in regularly with private Facebook group; class is now live.

I answer blog comments and visit other blogs on my current informal schedule.

  • Several #atozchallenge visits. #babysteps.

I complete current chapter of Stained Blood, return to author, and highlight next section for revision.

I touch base with author next in my queue, and another possible beta author regarding manuscript schedule.

I post current goals and Dark and Bitter reading video/transcript to Patreon, and update Facebook Writer page and blog sidebar.

Family Financial Stuff:

I go through current receipts.

I set budget for groceries, eating out, and monthly expenses, using receipts and bank statement as guides.

I contact insurance agent (re: business insurance).

I read at least one article or blogpost on a financial matter.

I talk with both kids about what prosperity means to them.

  • Opened a discussion with Lise. It was enlightening, and showed how she’s matured in the last several months.

Body, Mind, and Soul:

I return to tai chi on Thursday, and swim afterwards.

I reset my 5K training; prepare to restart next week.

I make chicken and rice soup; steel cut oats; a pasta bake; and steam sweet potatoes in Instant Pot.

  • Bone broth for soup and steel cut oats.

I meditate and journal daily, and twice daily at least three times this week.

  • Meditation (Insight Timer at 2:22) and journaling each morning; extra journaling Sunday night (1/3).

I read at least one spiritual growth article this week.

  • Read Strip Away Stress and How to be Kind in a Rude World from the Real Simple Find Your Balance special issue.

I allow myself sufficient time for rest, recreation, and reflection, without guilt.

  • Rest was rocky until Tuesday, but others are solid. Coloring, meditation, journaling, and pondering in abundance.

I share my experiences with others as I am inspired.

  • Through blogging, and in person.

I create art that allows me to explore and express my emotional state.

  • Singing, writing, and coloring

I memorialize Jim’s place in my life, and makes changes as I am moved to, without guilt.

  • Through writing, and in life.

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

Just a bit of now-themed silliness! =D

Posted in #atozchallenge, April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

I is for Increasing Incapacity: #atozchallenge Day 9


Time Before Alone

Once before cancer came

Once upon a time

Time was he was strong and one

Time he lifted a washer in his hug

Hug me as though he was a bear

Hug so safe so secure so warm

Warm embrace and gentle soul

Warm willingness to help any and all

All parts of this lumberjack of a man I love

All things I took for granted would always stay

Stay strong and healthy for another two decades

Stay with me as we grew happily old together

Together like we were back in Sedona

Together climbing red rocks my hand in his hand

Hand strong and certain touching me and cradling babies

Hand broken by trauma but still artful and nimble

Nimble until the ravages of disease came

Nimble until growing weakness made them tremble

Tremble that troubled him when it first came

Tremble that echoed down into each muscle

Muscle consumed by rampant multiplicity of cells

Muscle once so capable rendered insubstantial

Insubstantial losses at first until he fell

Insubstantial no longer as he lay on the floor

Floor now a terrain that thwarted independence

Floor only crossed when he had extra support

Support given and accepted but bittersweet

Support of my hug as he cried anguished tears

Tears on my shoulder as he leaned into me

Tears because he wasn’t ready for this

This relentless assault on all that he was

This proof that this was not a bad dream

Dream of some miracle that had yet to be

Dream become a nightmarish reality

Reality of the walker the exhaustion

Reality of increasing shaky frailty

Frailty as his body wasted away

Frailty of mind as lucidity faded

Faded off into delusional dreaming

Faded away taking him somewhere distant

Distant undiscovered country waiting

Distant eyes of this man that I love

Love transforming as he goes further away

Love can’t make this journey shared

Shared bed where we exist in two separate planes

Shared memories of two decades now mine alone

Alone now but still held by his gentle strength

Alone and still supported by his remembered embrace




I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the sound.

Jim and I had been sitting together in the living room, and decided to head toward the bedroom. I was in the bathroom, with Jim following, when I heard the unmistakable sound of a large man hitting the floor
Once we’d gotten him up and into the bathroom, with the aid of the walker that had been folded up behind the living room chair for the last few weeks, he hugged me and cried. “I’m not ready to need a walker,” he said, but I knew that what he meant was, “I’m not ready to die.”

But death comes, whether we’re ready or not. Jim had been sure-footed, but, after that fall, he never again moved easily. His hands began to tremble. First, he couldn’t write, then he couldn’t take his medication on his own, then he couldn’t manage his water bottle – and then he was bedbound and unable to use his hands at all.

It was small blessing that, by that point, he was seldom lucid, already more in the next plane than this one. I don’t think he knew how incapacitated he was.

I hope he didn’t, or, if he did, he was no longer troubled by it.

I know that I was humbled by the reality of his decline, the simple things, once done almost without thought, that were beyond him.

Cancer truly tested the vow, “in sickness and in health.” I didn’t live up to it as well as I’d like in every moment – but I hope that I did in enough of them to ease the transition for the man I would have loved to have spent the rest of my life with.


Join us again tomorrow, when we explore the juxtaposition of joy and sorrow.

And find more illustrious I posts here.

My son introduced me too this lovely and heartbreaking song during the last several weeks of Jim’s illness. It’s become a favorite I can’t listen to too often – it’s just too close to my reality…

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Three, Writers' Resources, writing

One Week In:  #ROW80 Round 2 /#12WeekYear 3 End  of Week 1

Hi there, ROWers and friends!

It’s Sunday, so it’s time to take account of my Week 1 progress on the Action Plan I posted Wednesday.

But let me begin by borrowing a tactic from DIY-MFA founder Gabriela Pereira, and ask myself 3 questions about the week just past, and what’s upcoming:

What did I accomplish this week?

  1. I attended the kickoff webinar for the Pixels to Platform Master Class, for which I am an Ambassador.
  2. I shifted focus to my Secret Project – something that’s been on my goals list for years, and which I am finally moving forward on, due to an unexpected opportunity too good to pass up (more details in a few weeks – stay tuned!).
  3. I added 12,609 words to my Kifo Island novel-in-progress, Still Nameless. I’m gearing up for the climactic scenes….*rubs hands together gleefully!*
  4. I wrote 7 poems and accompanying text for the #atozchallenge.

What’s on deck for next week?

  • Complete revision pass 1 for “Storm at Song Glass Cabin”, a short story that has been accepted for publication in a small-press anthology.
  • Pixels to Platform Module One goes live.
  • Get Secret Project to Level Two.
  • Move Still Nameless toward completion.
  • Continue with the #atozchallenge.
  • Resume flash fiction course.

How do these further my deeper purpose?

  • Each of these goals and accomplishments furthers the purpose of expanding my reach, my personal resources, and the ways in which I can use writing to communicate with those who will value my message, and support myself and my two teens.

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?


  • I post my Weekly Action Plan on Wednesdays, and Weekly Wrap-Ups on Sundays.
  • I review/adjust my Round 2/12 Week Year 3 after weeks 3, 6, 9, and do a final assessment after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Goal Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike:
  • Red: Goal Change.

Relationships, Family, and Home:

Family Stuff:

I facilitate Miah’s driving at a pace that’s comfortable for him.  

  • Drove twice locally. Moderate low-lying fog; discussed fog lights/light options.

 I facilitate kids’ social travel and time with friends as desired.

  • Both kids have plans with friends in the works.

I provide for clothing, materials, appointments, and other things needed for kids’ growth.

  • Shopping trip to Target; essential toiletries and a sweatshirt for Lise.

I complete all necessary homeschool administration.

  • Lots of discussion with both on various topics including home maintenance, family economics, social issues, ethics, and personal/family plans.

Home Stuff:

I facilitate home and yardtending, asking for assistance as needed.

  • Regular hometending; asked kids for specific help.
  • Did a round of yardtending: policed clutter in front yard.

I research and acquire items that improve our quality of life.

  • Bought storage containers for food, laundry supplies, and spare towels.
  • Exploratory visit to Honest Weight, the local natural foods co-op.
  • Considering a $100.00 lifetime membership, which will get us a 5% discount on future purchases.

I research, budget for, and oversee home improvement projects.

I assist the kids in learning to maintain a home independently.

  • I purchased cookie dough for Lise’s baking efforts, at her request.

Relationship Stuff:

I schedule time each week to connect with friends/ family.

  • Attended gathering with writing group friends on Wednesday.


Writing/Revising Stuff:

I complete the first revision pass of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” (short story), and return to publishers.

I use the spring writing challenges to advance/complete projects in progress.

Learning Stuff:

I schedule weekly time for the writing development courses I have in progress.

I explore new professional opportunities.

  • My Secret Project is a go!
  • Pulling together material for this project – stay tuned for updates!

Networking Stuff:

I maintain, develop, and expand my connections with both other writers and my readers.

  • I participated in sprints and Tweeted with other writers each day.
  • Read/responded to comments and visited a few blogs.

I serve as an DIY-MFA Pixels to Platform Master Class Ambassador.

  • Checked in regularly with private Facebook group.

Family Financial Stuff:

I develop, adapt, and maintain a family budget.

  • I gathered receipts from all purchases.
  • Keeping to the loose partial budgets already in place.

I explore the concept of prosperity and what it means to me and to the children.

  • Read 2 articles on entrepreneurship and pricing.

Body, Mind, and Soul:

I focus on physical health as part of my daily routine.

  • Mindful eating – focus on adding veggies/preparing my own meals and snacks.
  • Made Instant Pot chicken; adapted a new recipe that also provided base soup stock; chicken, rice, and asparagus casserole; and steel cut oats for myself and the kids.
  • Shopped at Honest Weight natural food co-op; trying some new and interesting produce, cheeses, and snacks.
  • Focused on moving at intervals throughout the day – something that can get neglected in writing-intensive months.

I resume focus on my spiritual development.

I tend to my emotional health in this transitional time.

  • I made time for rest, recreation, and reflection, without guilt: #AllStarTrek, #hgtv. Reading, and coloring. Treated myself to a new planner.
  • I enjoyed time with friends and an impromptu health food shopping adventure.

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

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Posted in April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, CampNaNoWriMo, Just for Fun!, Novel Excerpts, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

The Key to Freedom: #SoCS and #CampNaNoWriMo


Passive-aggressive behavior was something Serrah felt she’d elevated to an art form – but Donovan Nash didn’t leave her any openings to use her craft.  He just offered her options, without seeming to have any stake at all in how she used them.

While it appealed to her, the way he was, and the peace he seemed to feel, it was also frightening. What would it be like, to have that kind of freedom? To not be trying to find any little way she could to get out from under the iron-willed control Mom and Dad held over her? To stand braced on her own two feet, the way he was standing, and hold herself tall beneath the ocean sky?

Was she strong enough?

That was a question she’d avoided asking herself. It was easy, back home – other than the crazy risk she’d taken in running away and coming here to find out about the dead baby who belonged to her hostage heart, she’d never really had the chance to find out whether she was strong enough to make a choice for herself.

She’d thought she was trapped; but now, Serrah thought maybe there was a strange kind of freedom in it. With Mom and Dad making all the decisions, all she’d really had to do was decide if she was going to go along quietly, or complain to herself and find tiny, inconsequential ways to rebel. Or, as was more often the case, just dream of rebelling.

She’d been wasting her life, and she’d told herself it was Mom and Dad’s fault.

But it was her life, and there was a lot she could have been doing that she hadn’t, until she came here.

Now, she was responsible for herself, and for her own decisions, and that was a trap she’d never seen coming – because Serrah Eleanor Reed, whose middle name was for a woman who hadn’t waited around for permission to do things, even though she lived in a time when women weren’t allowed to do nearly what men could, had almost no practice in the art of living.

“Will you show me, Donovan?” Suddenly, learning tai chi seemed to be the key to freedom and power in her own life.

“All right. The first thing you’ll need to know is how to set your stance. This first one is called the bow stance.” He stepped out with his right leg, and turned his left foot out at an angle. “Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your tailbone should be tucked. If you can imagine a string connecting the top of your head to the sky, your posture will be better.”


The above was a snippet from the rough draft of Still Nameless, a Kifo Island Chronicles novel I’m working on for this month’s April CampNaNoWriMo.

It’s also my entry into this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday blog hop, where the prompt is “passive/aggressive”, with bonus points for beginning the passage with one of those words.

Learn more about CampNaNoWriMo here.

Find other SOCS posts here.