Posted in "Mutually Acceptable", Fan fiction, Short Stories, Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing Sample

Beyond All Control: Passion Observed for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt

It all started with this line, at the beginning of the month:

“No. Honestly, I’m more interested in the guy in the bathroom.”

Since then, I’ve been sllloooowwwllllyyyyy revealing bits and pieces of the story, hoppig around to build the picture gradually, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. And last week, we filled in the face of the interesting guy in the bathroom, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, who, as fate would have it, shares a September 2 birthday with my son, who is about to be 15.

Maybe it’s fitting that, this week, we finally get to peek inside the head of a certain very British Tactical Office as he considers the romantic entanglement of the ship’s second and third in command, who seem consumed by a passion that could easily become dangerous for everyone aboard…

Let’s say that Malcolm has a good instinct for threats…

Here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I don’t make money on them; I just love them!


WIPpet Math:

  • Today is August 31, 2016

  • Thirty-two sentences, plus one to reset the moment. Why thirty-two? Because it fits, and because the two birthday boys – the fictional and the very real teen at my house – get one to share for birthday luck. =)

Here’s where we’re starting from, picking up from the last line in “With Alacrity”:

“Do not come between me and my t’hy’la, kiral.”

And away we go…

Beyond All Control

“Understood.” Although T’Pol had long ago asked her to speak English, there were times when only one’s native language would do. This was one of them.

Hoshi was rewarded by a slight relaxation in the other woman’s manner, as though she was settling into the new realities of her situation –

Or maybe it had nothing at all to do with her, and everything to do with the fact that Trip and Malcolm had just come out the door. T’Pol took a step toward him, then another.

Afraid that she might just bolt straight back to the engineer, Hoshi spoke a single word, very quietly.



Malcolm Reed didn’t know a single word of Vulcan. Until tonight, he’d been fine with that gap in his knowledge base. T’Pol spoke English so well, it was sometimes difficult to remember that it wasn’t her language.

They were barely out the door when T’Pol started for them. She got one step before Trip said something in Vulcan – and she stopped, holding herself perfectly still except for her mouth, which seemed to be testing out whatever that word was. Malcolm almost asked Trip, but then he looked at his friend and decided to let well enough be well enough. He could almost certainly overpower the engineer if need be, but it looked like, at the moment, that would be considerably less pleasant, and potentially a far more damaging prospect, than he wanted to entertain.

After a moment more, with the four of them standing somewhat conspicuously in the corridor, Hoshi reached to touch T’Pol’s arm – more a brush of the other woman’s sleeve, near her elbow. The Comm Officer started to walk, not hurrying, and T’Pol backed away beside her, as though to take her focus off Trip was more than she could manage.

“How’n hell are we gonna manage the turbolift?” Trip sounded anguished, and he was moving a bit faster than was normal. “You were there, Mal – you know what happened before….how much longer?”

“A mere 75 minutes. An hour and a quarter. Less time than the length of one of your movies.”

“A damned eternity. You have no idea what I’m goin’ through, here – but I know that what she’s going through – no. Not gonna speak to that.”

T’Pol was still backing away, and Malcolm almost thought he could feel the energy crackling between the two of them. He personally thought they were both fools not to tell the Captain that this thing between them got started before she was Starfleet, and that she was commissioned while she was married, but now she wasn’t, and nothing they’d tried to stay away worked, because this thing had swelled beyond all control. Captain Archer wasn’t a stickler for discipline, by any means Malcolm defined it, and, surely, if he could see the effort the two of them were making just to keep from touching –

Or maybe not. It was impossible to miss the risks inherent in a passion as unbounded as this; as distracting as this. A passion that could reduce T’Pol, of all people, to walking backward up the corridor.

Will Malcolm tell the Captain about Trip and T’Pol?

Are his instincts correct?

Will T’Pol regain her control, or lose it altogether?

What does “kroykah” mean?

Well…I had been planning to go back to Ava and Donovan next week, but these folks might not actually be done with me. We’ll have to see…

If you liked this, and want more…click the button below!

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by clicking the button and popping from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources

The Odds and Evens of Blog Comments for #JusJoJan Day 23 and #SoCS

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt,odd/even”,comes to us courtesy of Linda, and is also the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

I’ve tried to dampen down my natural oddness at various times in my life; even so, people call me weird. Now, I just let my unique freak flag fly!

OK, that was fun to write, but really not what I want to talk about…

I’ve got something of an odd problem-that-isn’t-exactly-a-problem.

Comments are piling up around here like the snowdrifts we don’t have outside today, and I’m finding it all but impossible to get to them.

There’s more snow outside that August ice rink than we have had all winter!

Oh, I want to! One of the biggest reasons I post here is to engage in connection and conversation with others…but, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for…even, apparently, when what you wish for is blog interaction.

I love reading your comments. I want to answer you – and I want to bring in firewood so my home is cozy for me and the other beings who live here – my Accomplice, the Boyo and the Girl, the ancient guinea pig, the getting-old pit bull mix, and the formerly feral feline of the house, who also rules the yard. I want to hone my revision skills, through revising my own work, and critiquing and beta reading for others. I want to draft and refine some of the stories in my head (and keep T’Pol from taking over by making sure that she gets her fair share of attention, or something she can at least find agreeable). I want to be submitting, and publishing, and blogging…

Sometimes, I even want to be with these beings I live with. We happen to like each other here, and there are the odd moments of snuggling, conversation, shared meals, entertainment, and, where my Accomplice is concerned, even some occasional canoodling (I like my marriage happy, and canoodling from time to time certainly helps!).

Oddly, I even sleep sometimes. Well, not all that much, honestly – I’m something of a sleep camel, and I don’t generally sleep more than five or six hours, and often considerably less (I’ve had 3.5 hours of sleep since about 10:30am Thursday; it’s now 8am on Saturday morning. I’m tired, but not exhausted).

I’m feeling more like last winter…


I’ve got to have a better way to handle comments. At the moment, I try to answer each and every one, and make a return visit. I try to visit multiple people on each hop I join, and read other interesting blogs as I find them.

I feel a sense of failure when I can’t get to those things. And yet – nearly all of my discretionary time is spent on writing-related projects. I’m not wasting time, or twiddling my fingers – and I still can’t keep up, or even come close. The last several days, as I do various critiquing and beta reading projects for the three other members of my local critique group and move through a beta reading I took on a year ago, I’m only catching the odd comment, and the string of those I haven’t responded to is getting longer and longer.

I’m trying to accept that I can’t get to you all right now. That may change, once this new crit group becomes not new but SOP, just another part of my every week. But, for now –

I’m not ignoring you. Oddly, I’m probably thinking about those unanswered comments a lot more than you are. I’m feeling guilty about it, and that’s not good for any of us.

Maybe I need HER attitude about snowdrifts?!

I need to let go, not try to break even….

So, this is my blanket comment to all of you who take the time out of your own lives to interact with me here.

  • You are valued.

  • I read your comment.

  • It’s very likely it made me smile, or laugh (I kind of do those a lot).

  • I might have nodded silent agreement.

  • I almost certainly wrote you at least the beginning of an answer in my head.

  • I was, and am, honored that you took the time and energy needed to write that comment.

  • Things will settle, and I hope to get ‘caught up’ then-

  • But I can see that I might end up making myself stressed and crazy trying, and I’m sure none of us want that….

I promise to do my best to show my appreciation – if not in return comments and visits, then in the content I share freely on this blog. I hope that, whether you just popped in the first time to read an odd post or two, whether you’ve been here a few times, or even if you read Every Single Thing I ever post, and want more, you will find something here that makes you think of commenting, even if you don’t.

If you’re a blogger (especially a high-volume and often-visited one), how do you deal with comments? Do you answer each and every one? Do you have a system? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you even try to get to them all?

Or am I just odd?

That’s it for me…find more jottings and SoCS posts right here, and feel free to add a comment to the snowdrift down there –

Maybe you’ll help me learn a better way of addressing them. =D

I just need to find my trail…
Posted in Blogging from A to Z 2014, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge

Blogging from A to Z: D is for Donovan (Kifo Island Chronicles)

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NOTE:  The last line of this piece contains two relatively mild curse words. Those offended by profanity might wish to avoid it.

Donovan went, blinking, into the studio proper, which smelled of damp clay and the fresh flowers Corinne kept scattered around the space. The shades were drawn to create some darker patches, where he could sit out of the sun, and empty except for a tiny elderly woman, delicate, but with a definite air of strength, and a small, painfully thin, dark-skinned little girl.

The woman’s hands trembled as she kneaded her clay with the practiced ease of someone who had spent a lot of time baking from scratch. The girl’s brows creased into a frown as she used sculpting tools on – a slightly lopsided vase. It was tall, fluted, and quite ambitious.

Corinne went over to them, putting a hand on the elderly woman’s shoulder and leaning in. “Gladys, Iris, I’d like you to meet my friend, Donovan.”

“Hello there,” Donovan said, walking to a shadowed table two away from the one where they sat, and reaching at once into the lidded bucket where Corinne kept fresh clay. It was easier to connect with people if he was busy with something of his own; the clay was cool and refreshing in his hands as he rolled a handful into a ball, then squashed it to begin again.

Photo credit: Mennonite Church US; courtesy Flickr Commons.

“You’re an albino, aren’t you?” Her voice was soft, and unusually accented. It wasn’t a question; she was too sure of herself.

“Iris -” started the woman, warningly.

“Yes, I am.” Donovan said. “Most people your age don’t know that.”

“I read a lot, and watch things.”


I don’t mind, and I’d rather answer questions than just be stared at.”

“Me too,” said the child,, and she came halfway round the table, watching him. “You’re blinking a lot. Does the sun hurt your eyes, even in here?”

“Yes,” he told her, simply, kneading the clay. She was silent as he rolled another ball, then took up a knife and sliced it in half before rolling out a snake. “Why don’t you put your sunglasses on, then?”

“I wanted you to be able to see my eyes. People sometimes get nervous, when they can’t, and I’m hoping we can be friends.”

“You can put them down, if you want. I’ve seen your eyes, now.” She pulled out a chair across the table, and rested a knee on it. Donovan wondered what made her so cautious, and put that shadow in her eyes. Experience and instinct said that it was something deeply rooted, and nothing to do with the woman she was with.

Photo credit: The British Library; courtesy Flickr Commons.

“Can you still see your clay?” Now she looked directly at him; the sunglasses seemed to offer her as much protection as they did him. Not a child who enjoyed being the subject of adult scrutiny, then.

“Well enough. I’ve had dark lenses since I was a baby; I’m used to them.”

Donovan noodled with the clay, rolling and coiling, making something that might be a basket, a bowl, or a cup. Corinne went to sit with the old woman, and they chatted quietly.

“Did you know that ‘kifo’ means ‘death’, in Swahili?”

“Yes, I did.” Donovan kept his eyes on the clay. He could feel her working up to something, testing him with it.

“My grandma Gladys came here to die. She’s very old – ninety-nine! – and she has Parkinson’s disease.”

“I can’t think of a more beautiful place to die, or to be with someone who is.”

“I’m going to need some friends,” Iris said, very quietly, reaching to place her dark hand on his pale one. “I think you might do.”

Donovan smiled, and put his other hand on hers. It was bony, but strong and sure, sandwiched between his own. “With honor,” he told her.

The front door jolted open suddenly, and the child crouched into the space beneath the table as Donovan, caught in a shaft of full sunlight, tried to shrink away from the painful assault.

Corinne, her voice kind and unruffled, said “Please close the door quickly -”

A man’s voice cut her off. “Gladys! Where the hell’s that damned stepdaughter of mine?”

Want to learn more about the Kifo Island Chronicles?

Get more great alphabet posts!


Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Challenges and Contests, Round 1 2014

Play, Revised: ROW80 Update, 3/3/14

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Hi there! It’s been an interesting few days. I participated in August McLaughlin‘s wonderful Beauty of a Woman Blogfest III this week, and have been reading the other powerful entries.

Squeak the cat figured out how to move the drop ceiling in our bedroom, and get into the upper reaches of the house (not really high enough to be an attic). That was inspiration for Jim to add some much needed insulation and do a bit of repair work he didn’t get to last fall.

I got out by myself, to do a bit of personal shopping and have dinner. Jim’s taken the kids out a couple of times, so I’ve had some time to myself, at home and away.

Jim returns to work on Wednesday, so we’re gradually shifting back to a more typical rhythm…

And it’s March, which, for me, means that, as the round winds down, I will be selecting just a few goals to focus on. New or adapted goals will be appear like this.

My main focus will be on :

  • Revising Chameleon’s Dish;

  • Submitting the children’s homeschool reports;

  • Preparing for April and May’s intensive writing projects.

  • Continuing with home embetterment.

  • Continuing with life embiggening.

Play Jar Update:

It was a better Play Jar week. The house is somewhat shambelized, with Jim on vacation until Wednesday, which shifts our flow and focus – in good but chaotic ways.

I want my Play Jar to be fun. So I’m dropping the deadline. I might do less when I am focused on something specific, and more when I get that restless, looking for something new feeling…

  • 3/58 slips completed.

  • #49. Buy 3 large paper lanterns – I am calling this complete, although I didn’t buy the lanterns. I decided to buy a very pretty string of lights, and may choose to add the lanterns later.

  • #35. Read Miah’s fanfic with him. We read a few chapters, and he decided it was enough. He was happy, so it was a success! =)

  • #53. Private – no peeking! 😉

  • 25/80 completed.

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Answer comments at least every other day. Target attained!

  • This has become habit, so I’m expanding for March.

  • Answer comments regularly, across all blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

Make at least two return visits every other day, on average.Target attained!

  • Yes. I’ve had more comments, this week; moving through the return visits.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue one post for each regular feature.On target.

2014 Writing:

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May.

Create basic plan for the Last House stories (2014 A to Z April Challenge).On target.

  • Create Scrivener file; list basic facts for each protagonist (age, gender, physical characteristics) by March 10. Pending.

Create basic timeline for Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May). On target.

  • More pondering, this session.

  • Create timeline, premise, GMC, and character sketches for both protagonists by April 1.

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

Work through Chameleon’s DishPre-Revision Action Plan by March 1. Target attained!

  • March is designated an editing month; for me. New goals below.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • This is a rough, non-linear pass; the focus is on adding scenes, character and subplot development; correction of talking heads, info-dumps, characters as mannequins or in limbo, structure, and consistency.

  • This is a completely pantsed NaNo WIP, and this step involves major rewriting and revising. I’m not setting an end date; I will use time goals, per month, until the revision is complete.

  • 1/60 scenes complete; scene 2/60 in revision.

Spend at least 60 hours (2hours/day average) on this pass during March. On target.

  • 3/1: 5 hours, 20 minutes.

  • 3/2: 3 hour, 15 minutes.

  • Month to-date:8 hours, 45 minutes.

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue the family room reset.On target.

  • Computer desk will hopefully be moved before Jim’s vacation ends on Wednesday; general decluttering.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Begin collecting info for second quarter homeschooling reports; due March 15. On target.

  • Since it’s now March, this goal needs adapting.

  • Complete and submit both children’s reports by March 15.

  • Completed Annalise’s English Language Arts and Mathematics; Sciences in progress.

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Select and complete projects from my Play Jar.On target.

  • Details above.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

Choose two playful motions for each day in February; do it several times throughout the day, with a spirit of adventure. On target.

  • Still not quite up to pre-flu levels, but getting closer.

  • Walking, moving firewood; stair stepping; lunging; toe touches.

  • Goal will be adapted for March:

  • Choose two playful activities per day; walk at least one mile each week: workout at the Y or with a video at least once a week.

Sponsor Visits:

See what the other ROWers are playing with this round!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round 4

Weaving in the Edges: Final ROW80 Update: 12/26/13

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Here we are, at the end of another round. It’s time to evaluate what I’ve woven, these last 80 days, and make some general plans for the next.

I will post a more retrospective/forward-thinking post on Sunday. For today, though, it’s just the basic checklist and a summary evaluation.

During the break, I will be assessing my progress, preparing for 2014 in a more detailed way, and playing with some projects and ideas as I feel the desire to do so.

And for now, I wish you all a restful and lovely remainder of 2013. See you Sunday!

Round 4 Wrapup Buffet Summary:


Focus point:

  • Offering a sustainable schedule of features.

Maintain four non-ROW80 posts weekly. More often than not.

  • Likely keeping as-is.

  • Will work on preparing queued, rerun, and reblog options for busy writing times.

  • Announce anticipated absences from regular schedule.

Keep up with comments; or post an explanation. I tend to lose track when I am especially creation-focused. Attained maybe half of the time.

  • I did well enough during normal times, but lost track of this during holidays, travel, and creative intensity.

  • Will be working on a polite way to announce when comment answering may lapse.

Write/Revise Mission Statements for all blogs. No progress.

  • I gave this a little thought, but nothing else.

  • I’ll be carrying this on to the next round.

  • I feel the thoughts crystallizing.

Strive for high-concept posts for shanjeniah Regular Features. On target, mostly.

  • I’m gaining more of a feel for what this means to me.

  • I will continue to develop this as a craft practice, across all blogs.

Stick tree, 2012.

Writing: With NaNo complete, I return to my three remaining Trueborn WIPs, and also some dessert shorter fiction.

Focus point:

  • Noveling-in-progress.

Write or Plan one scene weekly for The Stars are Fire and Perchance to Dream, through December. On target for October; took November off for NaNo; fell apart some in December.

The Stars are Fire: Nothing new since October 31.

  • I’m almost at the halfway point of this novel.

  • I will continue on through the next round(s), until I have a completed draft.

Perchance to Dream: Spotty progress in December.

  • This WIP is developing in my mind, about one-third completed.

  • I will continue on through the next round(s), until I have a completed draft.

To Be or Not to Be: Some progress in December.

Complete rough draft: ~200,000 words totalDecember 31. On target.

  • I am nearing the end of this WIP, and hope to have it completed before Round 1 begins.

Move pending stories into WIP folder. I began, but didn’t finish.

  • I will carry this over, as well. It got lost in the NaNo/post NaNo/holiday excitement.

Christmas, by Annalise, 2011, age 7.5.

Editing: Editing hasn’t been on the list much this round, due to NaNo plannning and writing. 

Focus Points:

  • Continue pre-revision process for Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp Series).

  • Edit Queen of My Infinite Spaces (poetry collection). Nothing this round.

  • Complete revisions on three Deep Revisions short story WIPs. Nothing this round.

Complete on-page editing notesJanuary 31, 2014. Deadline likely to be extended; progress made.

  • This will be a higher priority through the next round.

Complete scene-by scene revision notebook – February 28, 2014. On target.

  • Continuing on.

Stick ponies in the tree, 2010.


Focus point:

  • Tidying and beautifying my physical, virtual, and interior spaces.

  • Small business research. No progress this round.

Continue refitting common rooms to better suit our needs. On target, although far less during NaNo.

  • This goal will be carried through the winter, at least. There’s plenty to do, and needs tend to shift with growth, seasons, and interests.

Minimum of 5 minutes, twice weekly, organizing and cleaning the space. Sporadic.

  • I’ve still had some resistance to this. Considering; moving forward through next round.

Minimum of 10 minutes, twice weekly, being in the space. Not really; only once or twice.

  • The space is not particularly welcoming, as yet; it’s more a cat playground. Will be working on that!

Clear email inbox and spam twice weekly; sort, file, and delete . Target attained more often than not!

  • This happened often enough to become something approaching habit. Yay, me! =)

Clean main Documents folder. Mostly.

  • A final sweep, and it’s done.

Complete and submit quarterly homeschooling reports. Target attained!

  • Next reports due March 15, 2014.

Gingerbread gobbler?


Focus points:

  • Relationships.

  • Exercise and Movement.

  • Passions.

Make time and sweetness for Jim and the children, in ways that are important to them. Target attained!

  • Carrying over, because I love making my beloveds happy! Good for all involved.

Immerse myself in writing, living, and being with my family, striving for presence. Target attained!

  • Again, this has become something akin to habit, and a good one, too!

Regularly evaluate; adjust as needed. Target attained!

  • Another success.

Practice movement daily, for at least a few minutes. Mostly!

  • For next round, more playful activities are on tap.

Work out at least once a week. Sporadically, around car issues.

  • I’ll be coming up with workarounds.

Allow time and space to indulge my passions. Target attained!

  • Feeling less guilty about giving myself indulgence.

Read, comment, and share others’ posts and links.Sometimes…

  • I’ll be focusing more on this next round.

Tend sponsor duties promptly. Target attained, mostly.

  • Promptness will be a greater focus.

Connect! Mostly successful!

  • I found new ways to connect and interact. Carrying over.

See other ROWers’ exit posts here!

May your cup be refilled with inspiration during this time away…
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Life Writing, Round 4

ROW80 Update– Quiet Weaving

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Often, I write something fun in this space, or share revelations that occur to me during the week. Today, though, I’m just not feeling that talkative- saving myself up for NaNo, I guess.

I’m plotting, and blogging, and writing.

So, instead, I’ll just say I hope everyone here is happy, healthy, and doing many things they love!

And now, my ROW80 progress for this session…

Current Goals Buffet Samplings :


Focus point:

  • Offering a sustainable schedule of features.

Maintain four non-ROW80 posts weekly, throughout the round. Target exceeded!

Keep up with comments; or post an explanation. Target attained!

  • Done on Friday and Sunday. A tad late, but better than forgetting! =D
Cover art inspiration.


Focus points:

  • Noveling-in-progress.
  • NaNo Planning

Write or Plan one scene weekly for The Stars are Fire and Perchance to Dream, through October. Target attained!

Perchance to Dream: Target attained!

  • Planned :Adapt Scene #20; Plan Scene #21
  • Written: Scene #20; 2,079 words
  • WIP Total: 72, 464 / ~100,000 words.
  • On hiatus until December, to accommodate NaNo.

The Stars are Fire:Target attained!

  • Adapted/Planned :Scenes #27 and #28
  • Written: Scene #27; 1,666 new words.
  • WIP Total: 66,811 / ~100,000 words.
  • On hiatus until December, to accommodate NaNo.

Plan King of Shreds and Patches; complete Rock Your Plot planning exercise/ scene-by-scene outline. – October 31. On target.

Add quick sketches of connecting scenes. Target attained!

  • 28/28 -All done!

Add GMCD for all connecting scenes. On target.

  • 17/28 scenes complete. Over half done with this step! =D

Give quick title and sketched action for all scenes.On target.

  • 60/60 scenes titled – WAHOO! =D
  • 36/60 scenes complete. A paragraph each for Opening, Middle, and Disaster. Over half of the way to my first-ever fully outlined NaNo novel! =D
  • Working out the tangles as I go.

Chart vital stats for each scene: (the old whowhatwherewhenwhyhow).On target.

  • 2/60 scenes completed.

Set up scenes in Scrivener.On target.

  • 2/60 scenes set up.
  • Double check all notes and prep for consistency.
  • Breathe deeply till Friday!
Feeling a little reflective…


Focus point:

  • Tidying and beautifying my physical, virtual, and interior spaces.

Ponder . Brainstorm, discuss, freewrite, percolate. On target.

  • A natural by-product of NaNo planning; more details in December.

Decorate bulletin board, take down maps (moving to family or living room). On target.

  • Bought new wrapping paper to prettify board, and a staple puller for the maps.

  • Found a new home for our large US map.

Hang ribbon board. On target.

  • Jim found tacks and a hammer.– now to use them!

Keep email inbox clear. Check at least twice weekly; sort, file, and delete each time.Target attained!

  • A little less on top of this. Haven’t used Kindle in a day or two, during NaNo final planning stages.

Keep Spam folder clear. Check at least twice weekly; sort, file, and delete each time.Target attained!

  • See above.


Focus points:

  • Relationships.
  • Exercise and Movement.
  • Passions.

Make time and sweetness for Jim, in ways that are meaningful to us both, and in ways that are important to him.Target attained!

  • I asked Jim. He said I did. =)

Do the same for the children, individually and together.Target attained!

  • Our first trip to the independent local game store. I bought each child a game or two.
  • Trip to Target.
  • Time at the Y.
  • Playing with pendulums, inverted and otherwise.
  • Walks and a birthday party.
  • Annalise’s Halloween costume ordered.

Immerse myself in writing, living, and being with my family, striving for presence. On target.

  • A banner writing week! Lots of planning for KOSAP, and a scene each for PTD and TSAF. Good times!
  • I was present with these cool people I live with, although a little crankier than I’d like, here and there!

Regularly evaluate; adjust as needed.On target.

  • NaNo hasn’t made me crazy, yet – only slightly sleep-deprived! =)

Practice movement daily, for at least a few minutes.Target attained!

  • Two workouts, a walk, and moderate hometending.

Add a little more intention to this, and remember to move even when in long nighttime writing sessions, at least occasionally. On target.

  • Definitely better this time.

Work out at least once a week. Target attained!

  • A fast and moderate 45 minute workout. 3 minutes on the arc trainer, 2 machines each for arms, legs, and body.

Work out on Thursday, while kids enjoy Prime Time program. Target attained, if abbreviated.

Get outside for at least a few minutes each day.Target attained!

  • Yes! Every day – whether to stand out in a light, almost-snow rain, or to and from the car, or out walking or chatting.

Allow time and space to indulge my passions. Target attained!

  • Yup. Time with loved ones;plotting; blogging. All the new Deadliest Catch episodes on Netflix.Time outside in the air!

Read, comment, and share others’ posts and links.Target attained!

Tend sponsor duties promptly.Target attained!

Why not go ROWer-peeping this fall?

The Stars are Fire-inspired art.
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round 4

ROW80 Round 4 2013 – Weaving a Writing Life

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Time again for ROW80! How exciting!

How was the break for you? I spent time with my husband – talking, romancing, and watching Enterprise – we’re at the beginning of a wild ride; a 15-episode story arc that takes T’Pol, and the rest of the crew, where they’ve really never gone before.

I’ve hung with my kids –flowing with all the things that impassion us – geodesic dome blanket forts, forgotten in the rain. William Carlos Williams poetry, Minecraft. Doctor Who, My Little Pony, Creatures of Olympus. Budgeting,scheduling, planning, dreaming. Snuggling, cooking, and deep conversation negotiation. Two trips to the Y, a mother-daughter day. Hometending, laughing, negotiating. Learning, growing.

I’ve done some things just for me. I’m not quite ready to share them yet – I’m absorbing the warm glow and deeper meanings, holding them close until I’ve grokked them better.

And…I’ve been writing. Quite a lot. I have a blog queue building, WIPS growing, ideas brewing, and a rhythm that feeds the different areas of my life. I’m weaving the pattern of my writing life, and that’s my theme, this round.

Even when things don’t turn out as expected, they can still be awesome!

Round 4 Goals and First Steps:


Focus points:

  • Queuing posts.

  • Offering a sustainable schedule of features.

  • Sprucing up blogs.

Use Blogging Action Plans – smaller steps to reach larger goals.

  • Post 4 non-ROW80 posts weekly: two at shanjeniah; one each at other blogs – October 15.

  • Maintain this level throughout round.

  • Write/Revise Mission Statements for all blogs – October 31.

  • Five posts queued for each Regular Feature: Coffee and Conversation; Wordless Wednesday; WIPpet Wednesday; and Saturday’s Share November 1.

Develop professional image; reflect in blogs.

  • Strive for high-concept posts for shanjeniah Regular Features.

  • Post updated Features Buffet Menu, in sidebars of all three blogs – October 13.

  • Clean up obvious visual clutter on all blog layoutsOctober 25.

Weaving goals, weaving words, weaving life….


Focus points:

  • Noveling-in-progress.

  • Essays.

  • Flash fiction and short stories.

  • Submitting to paying markets.

Use Noveling Action Plan -smaller steps to reach larger goals.

  • Write or Plan one scene weekly for The Stars are Fire and Perchance to Dream, through October.

  • Sign up for NaNoWriMo 2013 October 20.

  • Complete To Be or Not to Be rough draft: ~200,000 words total – October 31.

  • Plan King of Shreds and Patches (A Trueborn Warp Series Star Trek fan fiction novel, companion volume to Sima Garo Provides – NaNo 2012 WIP);complete planning exercise/ scene-by-scene outline – October 31.

I submit to paying markets, garnering an income that allows for more yes-saying and necessary maintenance.

  • Create WIP Story fileOctober 10.

  • Move pending stories into files – October 20.

  • Find 3 freelance article and/or essay markets – October 31.

Finding the natural beauty in living…


Focus Points:

  • Continue pre-revision process for two novels

  • Revise poetry collection.

Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp Series):

  • Complete on-page editing notesJanuary 1, 2014.

  • Complete scene-by scene revision notebook – January 31.

Queen of My Infinite Spaces (poetry from OctPoWriMo 2012):

  • Highlight all 31 poems for revisionOctober 31.

Pulling the pieces together, and finding the patterns….


Focus point:

  • Tidying and beautifying my physical, virtual, and interior spaces.

Create career building; action plan; join a professional writer’s organization.

  • Ponder . Brainstorm, discuss, freewrite, percolate.

  • Research writers’ organizations choose 3 for further exploration – October 31.

Develop a plan for pursuing greater business knowledge: record-keeping, billing, shipping, tax records, and other administrative matters.

  • Investigate beginning small-business info. Make list for further exploration – December 1.

Create peaceful, inspiring creative spaces throughout our home; continue organizing and clutter control efforts in common and personal spaces.

  • Arrange “office” lightingOctober 20; decide if it’s sufficient.

  • Door covering hungOctober 25.

  • Decorate bulletin board, take down maps (moving to family or living room).

  • Hang ribbon board.

  • Minimum of 5 minutes, twice weekly, organizing and cleaning the space.

  • Minimum of 10 minutes, twice weekly, being in the space.

  • Find a name that suits my vision of this space – I resist the term “office” and its connotations….hmmm…

  • Continue the “greatroom” living room refit.

Clean up computer and email files. Sort, delete, file, spruce up.

  • Clear out email inboxOctober 10.

  • Clear out main Documents folder- organize and delete. – October 20

Prepwork for homeschooling reports.

  • Create and maintain base form; add items regularly.

  • Practice fitting this into my writing rotation, so it doesn’t eat up chunks of life later.

Making time to smell the…irises!


Focus points:

  • Relationships.

  • Exercise and Movement.

  • Passions.

Writing dovetails with my priorities – being with my children in these last few years of their dependence, and continuing to build my relationship with Jim, so that it is an entity readying for the eventual emergence into life as parents of grown offspring.

  • Make time and sweetness for Jim, in ways that are meaningful to us both, and in ways that are important to him.

  • Do the same for the children, individually and together.

  • Make time for connecting with friends.

  • Immerse myself in writing, living, and being with my family, striving for presence.

  • Regularly evaluate; adjust as needed.

I attend to my own passions, caring lovingly for myself.

  • Practice movement daily, for at least a few minutes.

  • Work out at least once a week.

  • Get outside for at least a few minutes each day.

  • Allow time and space to indulge my passions.

I offer assistance to other writers.

  • Complete beta reading by October 20.

  • Read, comment, and share others’ posts and links.

  • Tend sponsor duties promptly.

  • Find other ways to help.

  • Connect.

Want to read more ROW80 writiers?  Click here – it’s a blog hop!

crossing the bridge into the future….