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

Trusting a New Vision – #ROW80 Update 2/17/13

Curious? Click here!

Okay – I promised on Wednesday that there would be some major changes coming along today, and now it is time to deliver on that… I am in the midst of Kristen Lamb’s Blogging for Brand class, and have envisioned my ideal writing life, setting incremental goals to move me toward it. I shared the grand vision here. The first increment is the end of the class, which is roughly concurrent with the end of this round. These new goals look quite different than those I originally chose for this challenge, as they focus on moving me toward my big life goal. I had become accustomed to setting my goals in 80day cycles – the length of one round. Although I tried to choose goals that were aiming toward something, I hadn’t really defined what that something was, so I was moving nearer in a scattered fashion….so energy, time and focus were not being used as efficiently as they might be… I am shifting to these goals, and setting aside the previous (available, if you are curious and scroll down a bit), and I feel like I’m breathing fresher, purer air. I am now aimed at a target I can feel, and see clearly, rather than an ambiguous figure I can barely sense, hiding in the thick forest growth far ahead of me….

Sylvia’s miso vegetable soup….and Quirkle tiles….

In the meantime, I am still wrapping up my Big Three: WANA 113 –

  • Connected with all other class members through friending or friend requests.
  • Began connecting to other class members through social media – this will be an ongoing project, when time and focus permit.
  • Commented on others’ assignments, discussions,and blogs – this will also be ongoing, if intermittent.
  • Posted twice to my WANATribe blog.
  • More writing toward the novel and blogging action plans (detailed in my revised goals). Target is to have these completed by month’s end.
  • Finished reading the first lesson, and am taking a day or two to grok it before moving on to the second.

Editing Finding Esta

  • Completed Chapter 26 – 72% of the project.

Homeschool reporting

  • Finished Annalise’s, excepting the attendance.
  • Will begin Jeremiah’s later tonight…

What’s going on? Life’s full and busy. The children and I are visiting New Jersey friends, the Woodmans, this weekend – by the time Sunday is over, though, we will be home and Jim will be on vacation! There’s been:

  • Quirkle
  • Stimulating conversation that challenges me to think and rethink my assumptions
  • Walks in the dark with glow sticks
  • Nerf gun store stocked and operated by four children, ages 6 -11
  • Monster High doll, baby doll, and fashion play
  • Gorilla rides by Jeremiah
  • Skylanders and television
  • And a LOT of laughter!
Quirkle game in progress….

We arrived here at about 8:45pm on Friday, and were all up until close to noon on Saturday….a few hours’ sleep, and then we were up again…in a few hours, we’ll begin the five hour drive home, and Jim will officially be on vacation…since his last one was spent like this, we’re really looking forward to time just to be together, this year! Other stuff….


Purim hamantaschen in the making….

What’s coming up…. With Jim on vacation, I will have the luxury of a second on-call parent for much of the next two weeks, so I am panning accordingly:

  • I plan to finish both the Esta edit and Jeremiah’s rough draft this week, so that I can place my focus on my class, and on WANACon Day One on Friday. Then, I think I will relax a bit on Saturday, giving myself time to absorb.
  • The rest of my round will be devoted to the new goals and my class. There’s plenty to do, and I suspect I will be full of goodness, with the two lessons still unread, a photo editing site to play with, another grokking to complete…and those goals I set and am beginning to pursue….and whatever else Kristen has in store for us in the next weeks!

And, one final little bit of niftiness, to round out this Sunday report…. I received an email from a publication I submitted a poem to last year. They did not accept it, but this was the most personalized and encouraging rejection letter I have received yet! It included not only things I can improve upon, but also some very specific praise about the individuality of my cadence and rhythm. =) They’ve invited me to submit there again, and I shall…after a very thorough rereading of guidelines and sample copies!

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Round I 2013

ROW80 2013: Round 1 Goals – Building with Trust


Curious? Click here!

What do you trust?

My goals, sans commentary

My theme for this year is trust. Trust in myself, my abilities, my loved ones, and the universe. Trust in sima garo, which I talked a little about in 2012…and which is the soul of my latest WIP.

When I looked back at my 2012 accomplishments, many inspired by ROW80, I found a lot there to trust. Things like my sleep/wake cycle, energy levels, the ebbs and flows of day to day life, my ability to learn, adapt, and grow…

There are many more things, but not all of them are ready for articulating or sharing, and some I just choose to keep to myself, at least for now.

Our perfect non-traditional tree….more or less unattractive to kittens…

And so, I am going into my second year of A Round of Words in 80 Days ready and willing to trust…

  • That the words will come.

  • That there will be time.

  • That everything else I do feeds my writing, just as my writing feeds everything else I do, in a symbiotic relationship.

  • That everything is connected.

  • That I will be able to find my true voice even when the truths are difficult, and the stakes are high.

  • That ebbs, flows, and the spaces between are all natural parts of living.

  • That relationships, goals, and writing can be accomplished without force.

  • That there is greater productivity and reward from moving with the currents of my life than in struggling against them.

  • That sometimes just stopping is the best possible option.

  • That some people have good intentions, while others do not, and, in the main, I will be able to discern the difference.

  • That each of us has our own path to travel, and, although I may have ideas, I can never know another’s path to the degree I understand my own.

  • That there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy.

  • That positivity and gentleness trump negativity and cruelty, every time.

  • That the only logical responses, in a world where brokenness too often explodes into catastrophic violence on both large and small scales, is to learn, more and more, to live in peace, with compassion, and to focus on healing.

  • That the universe is unfolding as it should.

Simple, minimalist Christmas. The big gifts were the Kindle Fires, but the morning brought some small treasures…

That seems like plenty to trust in, for now, but I trust that I will be expanding this list as the round progresses. Certainly, it is my intent to stay with this idea of trust, and to see where it takes me…

As much as trust is a worthwhile philosophy, and a wonderful mantra, it is not easily quantified. It’s maybe a lofty pursuit, but it does not, in and of itself, make goals I can measure.

So, my goals will be based and centered in trust, and they will be specific.

As I considered what my goals would be, three  areas kept recurring, and so I will trust in that, and use these as frames for my goals, this year.

I love these candid shots, when they aren’t looking at me…and I love the closeness between them…I have several of these, going back almost to when Lise was first walking.
  • Creating

  • Connecting

  • Claiming

All of these are areas where I have learned to trust, and where I know I can learn to trust more deeply, more widely, and more naturally. They also seem to encompass, quite neatly, what I feel resonates most strongly for me, in writing, and in all of life.

So, these will be my three major categories. All of my goals will fit into one of these categories, which will form the foundation of my writing throughout the year. My general goals for this year are here.

Now that I have a foundation, it’s time to build a structure upon it – walls and a ceiling to shelter my goals as I strive to meet them during Round 1.

So, here are the walls, by category:


  • WIP Novels (Sima Garo Provides, Chameleon’s Dish, To Be Or Not To Be, Blood and Breath)

  • Flash Fiction (new, on various topics and themes, using prompts, and not)

  • Exposition (essays, guest posts, book reviews, letters, interviews,ect.)


  • Blogging (new posts, guest posts, design and layout, editing, blog rolls)

  • Visiting ( sponsor and other visits, comments, sharing)

  • Social Media (continuing, developing presence, exploring new arenas, learning, growing, classes)


  • Continuing on with the poetry book project. (gathering, revising, structuring, learning about ebook and print options, additional materials)

  • Owning my own perspective and experiences, and saying things I have needed to say – not for the other’s response, but for clarifying and claiming my own strength and reality. (stories, letters, essays, art, reading, and other expressions or healing around my life)

  • Reclaiming our home (kids’ rooms, kitchen, and other areas that tend to get lost to clutter; repurposing, reorganizing, maintaining and beautifying inside and out.)

And one for me, from my friend Robin, all the way in Washington State – delivered by a sweet boy.

So, now I have a strong foundation,  walls and a roof. Seems a good time to lay out a floor plan – open, yet with purpose. I tend to need freedom, but with focus and direction to channel my energies and impulses into effective zones.

Using my foundation and my frame, I will lay out an open plan, with general zones – one major, and two minor, goals for each area.

Building With Trust ROW80 2013 Round 1 Goals List


WIP Novels:

Major goal –

Minor goal 

  • Separate Chameleon’s Dish into two books with individual Scrivener files – Warp and Weft series.

  • Begin timelines for both stories, throughout all WIP and extrapolated novels.

Flash Fiction:

Major goal –

  • Create new flash fiction weekly through prompts, challenges, envisioning WIP scenes, and original ideas.

Minor goals –

  • Revise existing pieces in my Writing Bullpen files, with an eye to submitting and/or creating a collection for a potential book.

  • Submit at least one short story to a paying market each month.


Major goal –

Minor goals –



Major goal 

Minor goals –

  • Edit sidebars and layout for all blogs (excepting childrens’ reporting blogs)

  • Write at least one post weekly for three major blogs (shanjeniah; Trueborn Jottings, and The Unfettered Life.


Major goal 

  • Complete all ROW80 sponsor visits twice weekly; comment, and share posts I read.

Minor goals

  • Submit guest posts, at least once monthly.

  • Read weekly at a writer-oriented blog that appeals to me; comment; share; learn; absorb; try; grow.

Social Media:

Major goal –

Visit PinterestShe Writes, or StoryDam at least weekly. Get a better sense of how each works, and build my presence there with sharing, commenting, and asking questions.

Minor goals 

  • Continue visiting and interacting through Facebook and Twitter, especially via relevant groups, several times a week.
  • Explore Linked In and WANATribe every other week. Both have things to offer, and are my newest social media connections. I want to get to know them better, slowly.
True joy exists before the present is opened! She makes my heart grin!


Poetry Book Project:

Major goal –

  • Complete a rough draft compilation, with dedication, introduction, and conclusion.

Minor goals –

  • Gather art and images for inclusion in the book.
  • Gather resources for learning how to publish ebooks.

Owning My Perspective and Experiences:

Major goal –

  • At least once weekly, use expository writing time to explore memories, wounds, healing, perspective, or personal philosophy.

Minor goals 

  • Read through all 2012 blog posts, and make a list of items to consider or expand upon.

  • Continue my eating and health goals from Round 4, 2012. Aim to get to the Y once alone, and once with the children, each week.

Reclaiming Our Home:

Major goal –

  • Clean Annalise’s and Jeremiah’s bedrooms, creating spaces of welcome and haven for them, with room for their favorite things and activities.

Minor goals –

  • Clean and reorganize kitchen, so that it supports a home where everyone prepares and serves themselves, and where cleanup is easy enough that we all will choose to participate.

  • At least weekly, work on an area where clutter tends to take over, such as the games cupboard, round table, my office, computer desk, coat cabinet, bathroom dresser, and my personal spaces.

So, there we have it -from the ground up, here are my goals for this first round of my second year of ROW80. I trust that I will know whether these are working or not, and will take appropriate action,as needed.

Jim gets Lise a Hess rescue vehicle every year. It a regional collectible, and a tradition between them. This year, with the Kindle, she had been willing to give up the Hess helicopter….but she didn’t have to. Sweet surprise.

A few last points:

  • I plan to work on each major goal every session, and work in the minor goals as my time and focus allow.

  • In my updates, I will only list those goals I actively pursued during that session.

  • I will evaluate my goals, progress and preferences at least twice monthly, and adjust accordingly.

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, ROWnd #2

Lightly ROWing Along….Goals Update #21

At my last check-in, I was pondering what will happen if some of my ambitious goals have not been met when midnight comes on June 22….

Basically, nothing special. I won’t lament it, even….

I will just keep on writing, and lving, in ways that make sense and being me joy, and leave me free to enjoy life, and to be there when my family needs me…

Round 2 Goals:



  • Input Chameleon’s Dishto Scrivener.
  • After some stumbling around through the transition from November’s NaNo writings, done on Diigo, and those that began in January, at 750 Words, I think I have located all missing scenes thus far, and have a coherent draft into Chapter 7.
  • I am continuing to input scenes from chapter 7 (originally Chapter 14).
  • I found the last remaining chunk of missing text (I only downloaded part of January’s 750 words posts – ooops!).
  • I have now completed Chapters 7 and8, and am partially throughChapter 9 (which was Chapter 16. I recall that these middle chapters were long and rambling as I played with ideas and plotlines and characters.
  • There is still one snarl I will need to remedy – a misplaced and fragmented scene. I have highlighted one of the relevant passages, and will fix it once I have collected them all.
  • Other than that, the transcription process should proceed smoothly, as I am far more familiar with the program, and I now have all the text I need to finish.
  • I completed Chapters 9, 10, and 11 (original chapter 18). I inadvertently made a fornatting error on Chapter 11, which it looks like I can fix, but I may need to play around a bit to accomplish that, which I will do before moving on to Chapter 12.
  • There were 25 chapters in the rough draft, I am at the beginning of Chapter 19’s text.
  • This leaves six chapters and an epilogue left to transcribe in order to attain this goal.
  • Create story arc for Blood and Breath.
  • I reread Chapters Tenand Eleven,for reference.
  • I wrote the story arc for Chapters Twelve and Thirteen.
  • Use Twitter and Tweetdeck at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I actually used Twitter for some chatting, Tuesday night, and also for writing sprints.
  • I am dropping the idea of needing to use it once a week, though.
  • If I get more comfortable with it, and find it more personally relevant, I know I will begin using it more regularly.
  • So, this goal will now read: Use Twitter and other social media platforms as desired. Learn more.
  • This goal has been attained.
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I have reviewed and added some comments to my list.
  • I have at least briefly answered most of the questions on the list, and I don’t have any more at the moment.
  • I will be setting this list aside, unless something I really want to know crops up, until the next ROWnd.
  • This goal has been attained.
  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • I have a very good source or two to explore in more detail; but that will wait until the next ROWnd. I am definitely in a producing rather than absoebing phase, at the moment, and I likely will be until the Rownd has ended.
  • This goal has been attained.
  • Begin research list/research for  Chameleon’s Dish second draft.
  • I have a list, and also some resources (as well as ideas for explanding those resources in diverse ways).
  • I intend to explore attaching the list to Scrivener, so that I can keep a running list of questions and answers while I edit and do the rough revisions I’m planning, before preparing for a full rewrite.
  • Until then, I will likely set this list aside, for now, until I am ready for that experimentation.
  • I have borrowed several volumes from our local library, which I will use to get a basic sense of just what I want to learn more about before I move into the rewrite.
  • I will be exploring these books during the next several weeks, and compiling a more detailed list; which I can then explore in greater detail…
  • This goal has been attained.


  •  Explore She WritesTwitterStoryDamPinterest;and LinkedIn .  Use, develop, evaluate, adjust.
  • I have been intermittently exploring these sites, but have found that I am using far more of my writing time for actually writing and reading, orediting and organizing, at the moment.
  • I ‘ve come to the conclusion that I will be appearing in new virtual places only as the natural flow of life allows, so that my explorations will be born of interest, and not out of some sense of duty.
  • I will continue to learn and evolve in these areas, as opportunity and desire present themselves.
  • This goal has been attained, although I will continue the research into the next round, and possibly beyond.
  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I have joined the Flicker of Inspiration linkup for this week with my flash fiction piece, The Pickle Barrel Incident, inspired by Jeremiah’s (long overdue) birth…
  • I have been entering these events consistently throughout the ROWnd, as I have felt able to, and will continue to do so,
  • This goal has been attained throughout the round, although I will continue entering challenges and other blogging venues as the opportunity arises.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I feel as though I’ve really had a hard time with this one.
  • I’ve been very busy with living, and with writing and organizing, and this fell by the wayside.
  • I’d like to be able to be more supportive, so I will set fewer goals next round, and give this one more priority.
  • Do 3 guest posts and  host 3 guest bloggers this round.
  • I have written most of the rough draft of an essay which I hope will be my second guest post.
  • I have an idea about where and what my third guest post will be.
  • I am still seeking two guest bloggers for shanjeniah.
  • However, I am not into forcing things.
  • Sima garo will provide. I need only be open to it. =)
  • I have posted one guest blogger.
  • I have submitted one guest post.


  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: Relaxing day; puttering; reading;writing; family time; venting.
  • Tuesday: Solitude, reading, puttering, writing, connection with family and dear friend.
  • Wednesday: Supplies for various projects, library, family time, reading, exploring.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: Gardening and weeding; hometending.
  • Tuesday: Mellow hometending.
  • Wednesday: Shopping; library visit; short in-village walk; hometending; carrrying heavy bags of soil, groceries, and library books.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • So far this week, I have worn my blue streaks, anti-frizz cream, pretty shirts, and a whole lotta joy!
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Reading; writing; hometending; yardtending.; family connection; spousal intimacy.
  • Tuesday: Reading; writing; creating: hometending; time to myself; a visit with Eden Mabee; playing.
  • Wednesday: Happy afternoon shopping and to library with kids; induging bibliophilia; homrtending; writing; reading; researching.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jeremiah: Helped with birthday list; trip to library and new card; cuddles and conversation.
  • Jim: Spousal time; conversation; supported his fishing trip.
  • Annalise: Helped with her birthday list; read aloud; trip to library; new card; paid fine; lots of yesses; cuddles; play; conversation.

So, why am I, after all the hard work and goal setting, and striving, not terribly worried about whther I complete these goals?

Well, I do have all the hard work and passion I put in. I wanted to write and to pursue those specific goals – but the end date is just an arbitrary point in time. I am not a failure if I need more time than that. I am a person pursuing a goal, and delighting in the process...

My thoughts and perceptions are shifting and deepening. I earned a tiny little bit of money with my writing this round; in the first, I didn’t.

I don’t need the validation of money, and money is a supremely useful tool when I want to trade it for something I value more.

I’ve been published in more places, and I have submitted in more places. No, it’s still not commonplace; yes, it is still fraught with a nameless apprehension, mixing with anticipation.

It’s sharing my words and my truth with more of the world, and I am feeling quite brave about it…

There are still more reasons, but it’s past dawn outside, and I have been reading, writing, watching PBS (the War of 1812), and playing Cake Mania 2 all nigt long… I am going to go to sleep….soon!

I haven’t posted the Linky, lately, so here it is.…have a ROW with some other amazing writers!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, ROWnd #2

G- ROW -ing Pains…and Treasures!

It’s a chaotic and changeable time here at the Burton house.

The children are growing, and maturing. They’re both hovering at the edge of big changes that will carry them into the next phases of their lives.

As always, and as I have well-documented over the years, it makes for a tumultuous energy in our lives.

It used to catch me unawares, and have me wondering if everything I was doing as a parent – and maybe as a person – was wrong.

I was acting as though life should always flow smoothly, and the chaotic times were an undesirable condition I must resolve.

This time, though, I’ve changed my approach.

Instead of seeing it as a problem, I have opened myself to the energy that’s here, and, while supporting the children in their growth, I am embracing myself, too…

Things are changing and shifting within me, at a level too deep for words. But it’s coming out, in the way I’m living my life, in my writing, in my confidence, and in a new sense of personal peace and power.

Suddenly, the world is big and shiny and exciting with possibilities.

And my arms and soul are wide open.

Bubble fun!


  • Complete Cooperative Catalyst post and relative links (interviews with both children, and their “day in the life” posts from last year) ; submit to editor.
  • I have submitted my essay, and mentioned the available links.
  • This goal has been attained.


  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I am continuing with the Story a Day May Challenge….one story left to write – wonder what it’ll be?
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I am continuing to submit and to share, read, and comment. I hope to be able to do more of this as I complete more of my other goals.
  • Do 3 guest posts and  host 3 guest bloggers this round.
  • My first guest blogger, Elizabeth Anne Mitchell, will be featured on Your Soapbox Awaits… on June 1. Please come visit her!
  • I have written and submitted my first guest post, on kinship, to Elizabeth.
  • I have 2 out of 3 guest posts left to schedule – takers?!


  •  Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
  • I submitted my dream-based flash fiction piece, “A Splash of Red” to MonkeyBicycle.
  • I submitted my bitty little erotic poem, “Love Speaks”, to the Poetry section of the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.
  • I have completed 4 out of 10 submissions toward this goal.
  • News flash – “Love Speaks” was accepted and will be published in early June! And I made another $3.00!
  • I have two more flash fiction pieces in progress that may be suitable for submission in the coming weeks.
  • Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
  • I have submitted my post for the Anything Goescolumn in thePittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.
  • I have submitted my first essay to Cooperative Catalyst. This may eventually become a guest post, there, and I may post there on a somewhat regular basis, as I learn my way around this organic education reform community.
  • I have submitted my first guest post.
  • I have completed 3 out of 5 submissions toward this goal.
  • News flash – “To Bog, or Not to Blog?” was accepted and will also be published in early June. And I will be paid $5, too!
  • I have several essays in progress that may be suitable and preparedfro publication during the coming weeks.
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • This goal has been attained for this month.
  • I have continued to write a story each day for the Story a Day May Challenge. I particularly enjoyed writing my May 30 story – it’s juicy in a way I really needed it to be!


  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I have created Picasa albums for all my current
  • I am in the process of syncing these albums, some of which will remain private until I have edited and pruned the files.
  • Once the albums have finished syncing, I will delete them from my hard drive.
  • After that, this goal will be attained, and I can process as I go, moving forward.
  • Watermark all photos I post on my blogs, going forward; begin watermarking favorites not on blogs.
  • Now that I have figured out how to add the watermarks by the batch, I will be adding them to each Picasa album, going forward.
  • All of my current Picasa albums are now being synced to my Web Albums, with watermarks.
  • Next, I will make sure all my Web Albums include watermarks, and this goal will be attained.
  • I am only adding watermarked photos to my blogs (unless the photo credit belongs to someone else).
Love from Annalise…..



  • Add useful articles to my shanjeniah Marketing Articles page.
  • I added the above article to my page, and will be returning to visit the links.
  • Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
  • I am feeling the nature of my future marketing efforts.
  • Like everything else about my writing, it will contain my truth, and take an organic and flowing shape.
  • I know that I do not intend to focus all my efforts on conforming my writing to specific markets, but rather to finding the just-right markets and venues (whether paying or not), and offering my writing there, stretching my comfort zone as energy, focus, and time permit.
Ink line drawings, found inside the envelope….


  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday:Peaceful communication of my needs. Lovely family day together.
  • Tuesday: Some time alone, peaceful resolution to a conflict, writing all night!
  • Wednesday: Quiet family day; sleeping in. Getting published – twice in one day!
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: Hometending in the heat. Luxurious stretching.
  • Tuesday: Minimal hometending
  • Wednesday: Hometending. Happy I’m Getting Published dance.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Writing, exploring, time with loved ones. Medium.
  • Tuesday: All-night writing session, M*A*S*H, passion and conversation with Jim. PBS. Lots of submitting!
  • Wednesday: Two acceptances! A new (used) washer, the better to do laundry with now that the old one finally stopped even feebly trying to spin…..the price was great, and it should last a year or three.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jim: Lovemaking, conversation, snuggling, working together.
  • Annalise: Cuddles, guinea pig support, forgiveness, play, talk.
  • Jeremiah: Cuddles, conversation, forgiveness, guinea pig time.

    Cat and mouse….

So, there we have it. Things are changing, we are growing. Life is in flux and the flow is strong.

I’m going back to ride the tide….why not check out the other ROWers?


Sgt. Frog paper dolls.