Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

How Do They Live? for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

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

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

Context:


Rose has a newspaper rose made by a shabbily dressed man whom she finds compelling. As she takes her commuter train to work, she reflects on the experience of meeting him.

How Do They Live?

I hold his rose, and wonder.

How does he survive, alone on the streets? How does anyone? Especially now, with winter stretching for months ahead, and the nights falling well below freezing? Where do the forgotten humans go, when it’s killing cold outside?

How do they live?

Again, my cloak feels like a weighted accusation of excess, of plenty when others have not enough. I’ve remained carefully unaware, pretended not to see, not to notice, not to be either part of the problem, or the solution. But now I hear Jeremy’s voice in my mind.

What will Rose do now that she’s so aware?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do with his rose?

Any guesses?

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

On Saturday, my Accomplice and I attended a Wine and Food Tasting held by a local Lions Club chapter. It was held in a yacht basin, and he was there to represent the restaurant where he works. His employer also said he could sell his artisanal hot sauces, so I was there to offer those, as he served up fresh-grilled Cajun catfish and dirty rice.

The food ran out in about an hour, and we shifted our focus to the sauces, setting out our samples and signage. We already had our new shelf stocked. We sold seven bottles – that’s pretty good, as it’s a fledgling cottage business that’s only existed for about 3 months.

My Accomplice makes the sauces by hand – it’s a labor of passion for him – but I do all the labeling, signage, platform building, and marketing….and I’ve essentially been learning as I go. It’s keeping my brain very busy (and kept me from getting to as many other #8sunday folks as I wish I was).

And, on that note….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, CampNaNoWriMo, CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Challenges and Contests, July CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Preparing for New Growth; July 19, 2017

For the last twelve years, I’ve not-so-secretly dreaded July 13-25.

In 2003, the year Elijah was born and died, life was in limbo. We were afraid for our baby’s life, and didn’t yet know how significant those 12 days would become – that they would mark out an extremely abbreviated lifetime.

In 2004, Lise was 5 days old when those days started. Needless to say, I had other things on my mind and in my heart than the calendar.

Since then, though…

It’s been hard, every year.

Until this one.

It’s not that I don’t miss my baby who never had the chance to grow up. I’m aware of this 12 days, and I know what they mean in my life…

But I’m alive. WE’RE alive, as a family…and we’re an especially busy family, right now:

  • It’s homeschool reporting time. I’ve got Lise’s test scores to send to the district, and IHIPs to draft and finalize this month.

  • In addition to the weekly local farmer’s market where we have a table this summer, this weekend Jim and I will be working a charity food event for his employer, and we’ve secured permission from him to also offer his sauces, which will open another new market for us.

  • I’ve got a short story to revise and submit by month’s end, and, as always, writing and fitness goals, and a home to tend.

It turns out that when life is full of things that nourish myself and those I love, there’s less space available for dwelling on the tragedies that are part of life.

I’m just too focused on these various leaps of faith to sink into the deep well of anguish and “what-ifs” for which there never have been answers…my focus is more on the here-and-now of life.

Is this what acceptance feels like…knowing that some things can’t be, that they will affect me more powerfully at some times than others – and still going on with the daily stuff of living, simply because I and the rest of my beloveds are alive?

What do you think?

 

Drafting:

  • CampNoWriMo: Write 66,666 words (average 2,151/day) of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8). 38,798/66,666 words; a bit less than 1K from Tuesday’s goal. Primary goal; On target plus a bit.

Naomi’s regard was intense, and a little threatening; Ophelia went back to staring at the pizza, her stomach twisting as though Pandora’s creatures were whizzing around in there, banging against the sides and stirring up the acid.

  • Blogposts: Write new material at least 2 hours/week. Continue on with series in progress/JuNoWriMo words. 15 min/2 hours. Secondary goal; progress.

Revising:

  • Blogposts: Revise JuNoWriMo blogposts one hour each week. Secondary goal back-burnered till August.

Social Media:

  • Other Platforms: Post twice weekly to my Facebook Writer page; and once weekly to Instagram, and Pinterest.  Complete Patreon profile and launch. 1/ 2 FB page. Lots of pinning! Secondary goal; good progress.

  • Continue in Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad) if/as desired. Stretch goal; good progress.

Business:

  • Complete my writing business plan using this excellent article by Angela Ackerman as a guide. Step 4/7 in progress from June. Primary goal.

  • Assist my Accomplice with his labeling/branding/platform/marketing (if this is scary for me; it’s completely alien to him). Got the PayPal Business account and new email/Google identity set up, all sauces in Facebook Business Page Shop; which is now open for business! Also set up Pinterest/Instagram accounts, and failed at setting up Twitter. Dipped toe into website/blog. Secondary goal; a dizzying amount of progress!

Tending goals:

  • Hometending: Spend 30 minutes at least 5x/week in mindful cleaning and/or yardtending; draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans); complete testing submission and reporting; deal with subscriptions and other business that tends to get pushed aside. Hometending: 1/5. Received Lise’s test scores in mail Tuesday; will copy and send to district this week.

  • 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. Activity: 1/5; Strenuous: .5/2 hours; Meditation/journaling 3/8.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Sharing the Wind for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

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

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

Context:

Rose has just made a confession to Jeremy, but then is afraid to hear his response. We pick up from that point…

Sharing the Wind

Can’t bear to risk that his ‘perhaps’ means ‘no’. I burst up, nearly upsetting the latte before Jeremy rescues it. I try to look back, but the other commuters are jostling and pushing for the car entrances, a tsunami that sweeps me away from him.

I get the last station-side window seat – nearest the door, and the cold wind that will enter every time it opens. But I don’t mind that – I’ll be sharing the wind with Jeremy, and I’m dressed more warmly than he is. I find where the thinning crowd leaves a bench in solitude, and there he is, watching me as he sips his latte. He lifts the mug in silent salute, his smile wide and crinkling the corners of his blue eyes. He mouths something. Fellow human, I think.

Will Rose ever see Jeremy again?

Does Jeremy want to see her?

What’s next for these two?

Any guesses?

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link, or the icon below!

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

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

More Than Perhaps for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’

Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

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

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

Context:

A new connection between a shabbily dressed man and a commuter is interrupted by her train’s arrival

More Than Perhaps

Jeremy feathers kisses across my forehead. “May you have a day as beautiful and charming as your soul and your smile, dearest Rose, fellow human.”

“I don’t want to go.”

He folds his newspaper. I will carry a fresh one, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…I’ll carry the paper, and come early to the station.

“You have your life, dearest Rose, and I mine. Perhaps time and life will bring us together again, and perhaps not.”

“I want more than perhaps,” I say, and then can’t bear to see if it was too much, and far too soon.


What will Rose do now?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

Does Jeremy have a better answer than he’s given?

Any guesses?

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

After last week’s chaos with the car breakdown, this week, so far, has been calm – and yet – exciting. Things are happening. Important things. Potentially life-changing things. They have to do with my Accomplice’s business, finally beginning to launch in a very soft manner, and in my own transition from writing as avocation to writing as profession. And also in the growing of our children, and a sunny Tuesday that follows a stormy Monday.

I’ll have more to say on those things in coming weeks.

Find more #8Sunday right here!

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Life Writing, Writing Samples

Deeper Than Thought for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’

Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

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

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

Context:


A shabbily dressed man returns kindness with kindness, and a connection has been forged.

Deeper Than Thought

The 6:53 pulls in – and he says, softly, “It’s time for you to go back to your own life, now, kind Rose.”

“Will I see you again, Jeremy? Please say yes!” I sound as breathless as the three girls chattering about Hunter and his dimple.

“Perhaps, dear Rose. Perhaps.” He leans in, wafting a faint note of cologne– another grace note; another mystery. I want to nuzzle him, to press against him, to offer myself to him. The desire runs deeper than thought, from hidden animal places within me.

Will Rose finally get on a train?

What will she do with the newspaper rose Jeremy made for her?

Is she going to tell him how she feels, and what she wants?

What’s next? 

Any guesses?

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

This week went a little topsy-turvy when I had a frightening car breakdown with my son in the passenger seat, but I’ve more or less recovered from the resultant chaos.

I’m moving #8sunday back to my blog – some folks are having a hard time commenting on my Squarespace website. Until I can figure out why this is happening, it’s better to move it to a place I know is working as it should (although I’m not exactly getting to comments as quickly as I should…this is an extremely busy time IRL – but I will get to them, as soon as I can.

Until then….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link, or the icon below!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Coffee and Conversation, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Story a Day May Challenge, Weekend Coffee Share, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

June Gear Shift for #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, you might just find me scratching my head and saying, “Wow – June seems to be flying by!’ I may also be scratching my head and staring around me in stark befuddlement….

Or, more likely, I’m at my laptop. I’m finished with #StoryADay May, other than StoryFest this weekend – I’ll tell you more about that a bit later in the post – and I’m about a third of the way through the #JuNoWriMo Challenge (think a more freeform version of NaNoWriMo).

But here I go, putting the conversation before the coffee again. I have a tendency to do that when my mind is busy, and I’m deeply involved in something….or when I have a new passion. Please do come in, sit down, make yourself at home. It’s cold and rainy today (I’m typing this on Tuesday), but it’s snug here in the house, if none too tidy.

That goes hand in hand with my busyness of the mind and overall sense of distraction.

I know, I know. I’m rambling. Haven’t slept much the last couple of days. My sleep/wake cycle seems to be influenced strongly by the moon, and there are a couple of days most months when I don’t actually sleep at night; just take a catnap or two during the course of the late morning/early evening hours. You’re catching me after the second night…and I’m more than a little bit tired.

But that doesn’t mean you’re not welcome. I’ve got a wide variety of teas, coffee, lemonade, and an assortment of snacks. Please, help yourself.

So, in addition to my marketing and revision classes, I’m also still refining my Accomplice’s labels, and now taking a more professional approach to the business side of my writing career. I’ve gotten very efficient at producing first drafts, adequate and gaining skills at plotting, and I’m making strides with revision – which means the only remaining obstacles to publication are production and marketing.

I like to start learning things before I specifically need them, so I’m making an internal shift toward those things. As time goes by, I expect to be putting more of my energy into them.

And that’s a bit of where my JuNoWriMo effort fits in. This year, instead of writing fiction for a third straight month, I’m drafting blog posts (including this one). When I’m in a place of creative intensity, I tend to get too absorbed in the project at hand to focus on writing new posts – or even reblogging older ones. Also, since I’ve been deeply engaged with fiction projects for the past two months, I’m in need of a bit of a breather – a changing of the gears, so to speak.

So I’m using my breather productively to create a blog pool. I’ll use some of the time to get back into the rhythm of my weekly blog schedule, which was abandoned somewhere along the middle of April, and really hasn’t been seen in anything more than the barest glimpses since.

But the rest will become my rough draft inventory, to be revised, polished, and packaged for later consumption.

For the first time, I will have a substantial stock of material ready to develop; once the month is finished, dedicating to a few hours a week of maintenance and replenishment should keep me in good shape. August brings another month without a major challenge, so I’ll use that for developing and finishing posts and ideas.

I think I’m onto something here, and it’s making me very happy.

Oh, I almost forgot!

This weekend is StoryFest – the “virtual recital” of the StoryADay May Challenge. If you’re a fan of short fiction, stop by the homepage anytime before Monday morning (EST), and enjoy a nibble, or a buffet, including my 1,100 word story, “Broken.” Writers write for readers to read! =D

There’s probably a lot more I could say, but I feel like I’ve been talking your ears off already, figuratively. Now I’d just like to sit here quietly and sip my drink while you tell me what’s been going on with you. If my eyes start to drift closed, feel free to just leave your cup on the table. I’ll get to it….later.

As you venture out on your way, I wish you a week that’s filled with all the joy you can imagine – and then a little more!

This post is part of the #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by #nerdinthebrain. Clicking the link will take you to more conversations – and please leave a comment in the box below, because it’s not a very good conversation if I’m the only one talking. =)

Posted in Uncategorized

I’ll Admit It…#SoCS and StoryFest for June 10, 2017


Okay, I’ll admit it. I really don’t have any idea what I’m going to write. It’s a full moon, and it’s been nearly a week since I’ve had a regular night’s sleep.

Things are a bit off-kilter this week, and, despite trimming back my monthly goals significantly. I’m feeling like I’m going in way too many directions at the same time, and the result is that I’m feeling a bit mired and at a standstill.

Also, my Accomplice isn’t feeling well. He hurt his back at work earlier in the week, while doing some heavy lifting, then he mowed the lawn. The pollen count was quite high, and he’s a transplanted West Coaster with no native immunity to our allergens. He’s also dealing with an upset stomach, and chills….

So there’s just an “up in the air” feeling here. Even my phone apparently agrees – my health app doesn’t show my 3.07 mile walk with my daughter, despite running the entire program and giving me the proper end-of-run cues. So it’s telling me that I missed a scheduled workout, despite logging the time spent in the activity.

I’ll admit it. That’s frustrating. I was working toward a perfect record, but I’d have to do five miles tomorrow to finish the week with my schedule full- and I don’t think I quite have the fortitude for that…even if I felt I could spare the time.

You see, the homeschool reports are due in five days, and I’ve barely started them. That means there must be time devoted to that legal requirement during the next few days. I’ll admit that I’m not exactly looking forward to that dull, dry, largely lifeless writing…but it’s the law, and the price of our getting to live a live that fulfills each of us.

I’ve finally, after what seems like a huge amount of learning, frustration, experimentation, and more failure than I was hoping for, managed to create a label prototype my Accomplice loves. There are still a couple of minor changed to make, but I’ve topped the wall on that one, and now I have a template we can adapt for all of his sauce flavors….

I’ve also managed to get my story revised for the #StoryADay May StoryFest, which is this weekend. I polished up my Kifo Island story, “Broken” after submitting it to the mini-critique group, where I garnered good suggestions, great insights, and some favorable response.

If you’d like to read my story, and/or other short stories, head over to the StoryADay site. The StoryFest posts will be on the front page all weekend – read one, read all, read somewhere in between. It’s up to you – but writers love feedback, and to know people are reading our words. Won’t you make a writer happy this weekend?

I’ll admit it – that was a rather shameless plug.

On that note, I’m going to admit defeat. I never really found a cohesive thread in this post – but I did add another 500 words to my #JuNoWriMo word count, so there’s that.

I’m tired, and I’m thinking about admitting myself to dream-land.

This post is a part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is “admit,” used any way we want. Find the rules of engagement here, and take a dip in the stream here.

Want to join the conversation? Use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences. When have you felt mired? Do you have strategies to move through and past it? Your ideas just might be what someone else needs to get out of a stuck place, so feel free to share!