Posted in Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Reblogs

Photo Notes: Digital Infrared Photography Testing

Something lovely and evocative for your Thursday, from Errin Zarro! #Lovely #shadows

Weaver of Words

So, I finally got around to doing more digital infrared tests! I took some pictures outside in front of my Mom’s house and on the street. The sunlight was absolutely PERFECT for infrared, so I went for it.

These photos actually turn out red in the camera, and I convert them to b&w in post-processing. I’m getting the hang of it. See what looks like snow on the grass? It isn’t snow. It’s the GRASS. B&W infrared turns everything with chlorophyll white, the sky dark like it’s night, and stuff glows. Human skin glows, too.

It’s really neat. I’ve loved it ever since I was taught in college.

(Stay tuned for actual b&w infrared on film. That is also a plan of mine!)

Here they are!

DSC_9497bw-RS Digital infrared, Mom’s house (and the house where I grew up), pic taken 4/16/16.

DSC_9498bw-RS Digital infrared, my street, pic taken 4/16/16.

DSC_9499bw copy-RS Digital infrared, my…

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Marketing my Writing, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Screaming Dali Clocks: #StaD Kifo Project for May 18

Welcome, friends! Come in, and let me tell you a Story A Day, all May long…

In June and July, I’ll be drafting two new Kifo Island novels. I know something about 5 of the 6 point of view characters, and I’ve got a sketchy idea of the plots – but I need to learn more about these people and their stories.

So, in May, I explore. Every day, I’ll follow the prompts in A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ll play while moving through my planning efforts. Some of these stories may become part of the eventual novels, but my goal is to invite these characters to show me who they are and what they want – and how their lives fit together to make a novel.

I’ve been writing my story each day, but I slipped behind in my posting. I’m now only two days behind, and plan to finish the month out on time.

I continue with May 18, following the daily prompt, Tell the Story of a Painting

Week Three is our Rescue Week – some easier prompts that offset the challenges behind and still ahead.

The paintings referenced in this story are The Scream by Edvard Munch:

Public domain image via Wikipedia Commons

And The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, which is the one with the dripping clocks, and which isn’t in the public domain, so I’m not comfortable sharing more than the link.

Yvette has made a painting for Zeke in this dialogue story.

Screaming Dali Clocks

“This is for me?”

Oui, mon cher. You seem surprised.”

“No one’s ever given me a painting before, let alone painted one just for me.”

“No one has ever inspired me as you do, Zeke.”

“I inspired it? How’d I do that?”

“Open it, and see.”

“What if I’d rather keep the mystery alive?”

“Once you’ve looked, we can explore other mysteries in bed.”

“Well, since you put it that way….whoa! This is….”

“You don’t like it.”

“I don’t know what I feel about it.”

“Most people would lie. I love you for not doing that.”

“It’s a little like looking into my head. Those screaming Dali clocks – wait! This is that nightmare I had! Yvette, you made my nightmare!”

“I thought, if you wanted to destroy it, maybe the dreams would end.”

“You painted me a picture so I could ruin it?”


“What if I want to keep it?”

“Do you?”

Oui, ma chere.”

Pourquoi? Why?

“Because it’s beautiful. The art, and the thought, and the artist. So maybe the nightmare is, too.”

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, NaNoWrimo, Unschooling

JusJoJan Day 13: Dripping Dali Clocks of Time

Just Jottin’ my way through January!


Does the title phrase bring any pictures to your mind? I’ve been fascinated byThe Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali, since the first time I saw it, when I was a child.

It’s lived in the back of my mind, dripping and oozing into other parts of my life. It might have something to do with the way my life has evolved, and the way my family lives. We’re an unschooling family, and, most of the time, the only schedule in our lives is my Accomplice’s work schedule.

The children and I tend to sleep when we’re tired, wake when we’re rested, and pass our days as we’re inclined to. I have a Sunday night Write-In with my local NaNoWriMo group, and a Tuesday workout, but those aren’t strict commitments. Mostly, my life flows, something like a melting Dali clock.

Those dripping Dali clocks work their way into my writing, too. Recently, I penned these lines for a character who was attempting to meet a scheduled obligation immediately after ingesting two intoxicating substances that alter perceptions. I wanted to express this in imagery, and the Dali clocks came to the front of my mind, and I wove them into the text. As time becomes more liquid than solid in his mind…

Class. “I must go to class. In – ” But he didn’t know in how many minutes; the grandmother clock had merged with the tide, melted into it, become the tide. Long ago, T’Pol had shown him a Terran painting, by a man named Dali. Clocks dripped into the scenery; this was as that was. “I must go, my Thistle, and yet, I have no desire to do so.”

The Dali clocks have something in common with optical illusions, and, in this next segment, while Spock discusses his obvious lack of attention with his instructor, the effects of absinthe and sugar take on a new aspect, inspired by my son’s early fascination with the lovely Relativity” and mind-twisting bit of illusion art by M.C. Escher...

“Yes, ma’am.” There seemed little point in attempting to deny it. He was feeling decidedly altered, and the hall was becoming something akin to the Dali painting, or something else, that Mother had shown him long ago, a perception and perspective shifting drawing by an artist named Escher…

And later, when he returns to the safe shelter of his room and his lover, those Dali clocks ooze into the story again, claiming the grandmother clock in his mother’s home, and all sense of time’s passage…

And then, for a time beyond measure, as Mother’s clock dripped like a Dali painting into the tide, they were love together….they roused themselves, later, to perform the absinthe ritual.

I’m not sure if there’s a point to this jotting, except that, although we’re often told that life imitates art, sometimes art imitates art. And sometimes there are melting clocks with dripping numbers, and art and ‘rithmetic become one in the fertile ground of my mind, and that twists and oozes into the words I write…

Do you have a favorite piece of artwork? Why do you love it? Does it inspire your creativity? If so, how? Share your story below!

Drip on over to more Jottings!


Posted in Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge, Parenting, Unschooling, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

OctPoWriMo Day 23: I Forget to Write a Poem

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Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty-Three!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott.

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt is “Another chapter begins”. There is a list of phrase prompts:

  • Another chapter begins…

  • Turn the page….

  • And then there was….

  • I begin again….

  • And then there was….

  • Now it is time to write….

I had an idea. But then something happened.

I forgot to write a poem.

It’s not that I meant to forget. A few times, I remembered. While I was in the middle of plotting a scene. When I was in the middle of untangling a revision passage. Just as my daughter came in to tell me that her tadpole, who recently sprouted four functional legs, wasn’t in her tank (a plastic bin with no lid, which was fine for a legless tadpole…but not a froglet who just learned how to hop…

She thought her new little friend was gone forever, and was so happy when I found one frightened looking wee amphibian behind the tank. So there was a slightly hurried preparation of the frog habitat, and now PomPom the frog has a new, bigger, safer home…

And I was writing – getting my gestating novel outline ready for NaNoWriMo, rvising a short story I will be submitting this week, answering blog comments….

And forgetting, again and again, to write a poem – until I looked at the clock, and it was almost 9pm.

And I remembered…

And found that maybe I hadn’t forgotten, after all.

So here is my rather tongue-in-cheek poem for today…

Image credit: Julie Jordan Scott.

And I Forget to Write a Poem

Another chapter begins…

And I move through my novel outline,

And forget to write a poem

Because other words and images

Dance through my head

Plots and subplots

Complex conundrums

Setting up for the third act

And I forget to write a poem

Turn the page….

I move through my short story revision

And forget to write a poem

Piecing together a world

Of stooping hawks and child selves

Each word polished

Seeking gleaming truth

Beauty brought forth

From ugly memory

The climax nearing

And I forget to write a poem

And then there was….

The memory card

Filled with pictures

And I forget to write a poem

Nightmare Fairy and Chica

Leaves a frost painted

Blanket on chilling ground

Edit to bring out the

Magic in each one

A thousand words

To describe them

And I forget to write a poem

I begin again….

Blog comments like a leaf pile

And I forget to write a poem

Conversations long and deep

With friends a world away

New folks stop by and

Spread new joy

I engage

And I forget to write a poem

And then there are….

Son and daughter who love me

And I forget to write a poem

Hugs and chatting

The tadpole turned into a frog

Horses killed by a were- cat

“Can I help you with anything?

I feel helpful today”

Bigger now than yesterday

And I forget to write a poem

Now it is time to write….

Yes, time to write a poem

Of plotting and revising and

Editing and connecting

And marveling at

My babies grown big

Now is the time to write

And I find I’ve written a poem

You mean you don’t have a Nightmare Fairy at your house? It’s OK, I’ll share mine! =D

Who else remembered to OctPoWriMo today?

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge, Unschooling, Writing Samples

OctPoWriMo Day 6: Perfection kills possibility

Learn more about OctPoWriMo – click the icon! =D

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Six!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott.

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s suggested poetry form is Naani, and the word prompt list is:

  • perfect

  • perfection

  • perfectionism

  • imperfection

  • imperfect

This is another poem that came to me more or less whole. I believe it’s exactly 25 syllables, revised, which puts it at the upper limit for its form – although, if it had gone over, that would have been a poetic bit of imperfection, too!

Writing very short poems might seem simple – but, like in flash fiction, fewer words to play with means that each must do its job and earn its place…a very different challenge than writing an epic poem would be, and definitely a mental exercise for someone as verbose as I am!

Perfection kills possibility

Perfection kills possibility

disallows the lovely chaos

of perfectly

imperfect life

Need Mo OctPoWriMo?


Imperfectly perfect selfie – the eyes have it! Photo credit; Annalise S. Burton
Posted in Coffee and Conversation, Life Writing

Coffee and Conversation: That Post-NaNoWriMo Glow

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while...

It’s Monday again- Well, it was, when I started this post, anyway, and, around here, that means it’s time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on an interstate highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living their lives, lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to see what those lives were, and to share my own…

Here, each Monday, I strive to reach that understanding through offering ideas and tidbits from my life. Settle in for a while, and share something of yours.

So here we are. It’s the Monday after NaNoWriMo, and it’s been a week or three since I have written a Coffee and Conversation post. I tried to avoid this, by writing up a few posts ahead, to sustain me through the blogging drought that always seems to accompany my intense noveling. The only problem with that was that I used those posts during my October planning time. Never having planned a novel before, and determined to see Rock Your Plot through with attention and intention, I underestimated the amount of time needed to move through the process.

As those of you who read with me may know, I finished NaNo, and my own personal goal of drafting an entire novel in those 30 days. I’m rather impressed with myself, and happy to know that I can write that much, that quickly. Read King of Shreds and Patches excerpts.

Final NaNo 2013 Stats.
Final NaNo 2013 Stats.

It wasn’t accidental, this mission I’ve accomplished. I set myself up to succeed. How, you ask?

I spent most of a month in planning; which allowed me to delve my characters and their motivation, and indulge my imagination. I lived close to the gestating ideas, all month. We built a relationship, this nascent novel and I, before I ever wrote a word.

When it was time to begin writing, at midnight on November 1, I already had a “container” of sorts for each scene. I knew who would be in each scene, what the premise of the scene was, where and when the action took place; why it happened (the goals of the thing); and the last – how it happened…a short paragraph each summarizing what I expected to happen in the beginning (getting the situation set up), middle (the conflict of the scene), and ending (usually with an unanswered question or some type of disaster for the point of view character).

Honestly, going in, I was a little worried about it. I write best when my characters have room to play and grow, and they usually take charge of their own stories, and let me know what they are going to do. I wasn’t sure that all this prepwork, although it seemed open-ended enough for my creative process, wouldn’t get in the way.

Those worries were – delightfully – unfounded. The planning process unrolled from the most basic – premise, goal, motivation, and conflict of the novel; major plot points – and moved gradually into other, more complex matters -character biographies detailing their life up to the beginning of the story; scene by scene outlining, as mentioned above.

The opening scenes of my lovely, rainbowy scene list, with word count total.
The opening scenes of my lovely, rainbowy scene list, with word count total.

I think that this allowed the story to begin writing itself, before I actually began. Rather than my customary envisioning of bits of scenes and dialogue, I felt the story building, developing, growing into a cohesive whole, with each scene a part of the trajectory of the story as a whole, and the POV character’s personal story arc.

Writing this NaNo novel felt different than any of the others I’ve begun or continued as NaNo projects (I think there have been 8 altogether, although some have or will become two novels, before they are completed). I never felt that sense of desperation that was formerly familiar in the middle of each story, as I got tangled up in my plots and details, and the entire story bogged down.

Screenshot 2013-12-03 00.08.28
Beginning of the WhoWhatWhyWhereWhenHow?, or, affectionately, WWWWWH?. This is my “cheat sheet” for the scene on the left.

It might sound paradoxical, but the planning freed me. Freed my mind to focus on the possibilities that would advance and deepen the story, rather than flailing and floundering for something – anything! – to make the story more excited When. It. Seemed. To. Just. Drag. On. Forever.

While some of the scenes do wander and sag a little, and there are two scenes I think might want to be reversed, and a few dropped threads and inconsistencies I’ll need to deal with in revisions, this is a cleaner rough draft WIP than any other I’ve completed, and I did it far faster than ever before.

Part of the 'How" section.
Part of the ‘How” section.

Planning wasn’t the reason, though, as much as that the planning system I chose works so well with the way I create. I’m thinking that’s the key; I didn’t need to force myself to fit the system, and the system is very open to tweaking to suit my individual tastes and needs. Like the way I write, and live, it’s flexible.

Have you ever found a system for achieving a long-term goal that seems tailor-made for you?What do you like about it? Why do you think it works so well for you? Are there clues to your own process, in the system you favor? I’ll get us something tasty to sip, and you can tell me all about it! =D

The very first words of a spanking-new adventure!
The very first words of a spanking-new adventure!