Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Nature and Outdoors, Occasional Features, photography, SkyWatch Friday

Things Are Looking Up at Home: Skywatch Friday for May 19, 2017

Not finished skywatching? You can find more Skywatch Friday posts here – it’s your portal to skies around the world! In the meantime, here’s one more from my springtime yard. Keep on looking up!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Life Writing, SUnday Post

Sunday Post for May 18, 2014

Welcome to My Sunday Post for May 18, 2014 !

Since my ROW80 updates are getting a little crowded, this seems to be an interesting way to update some things without adding to the clutter. I’m still figuring out what form I’d like this feature to take, so please expect there to be evolution as the weeks pass!

Last Week on My Blog:

shanjeniah:

ROW80 Updates:

Story A Day May:

All my Story A Day posts.

Stories Sans Commentary, for the purist.

What’s Next:

This week, I’ll be posting daily Story-a-Day posts here at shanjeniah, with commentary on how the writing went; episode trailer, and maybe other goodies, too.

There’ll also be my regular posts:

  • For Coffee and Conversation, I’ll explore the some of the consequences of our chore and punishment free life.
  • WIPpet Wednesday will host an excerpt from The IDIC Romance – I’ll be picking up where I left off last week, with a treat or two…
  • For Wordless Wednesday, I’ll share images of my kids and I (and that guy we live with may put in an appearance or two!). I didn’t manage to get this posted last week, so I’ll try again this week!
  • And for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I’ll be doing just what the title suggests – writing a stream-of-consciousness post on the weekly prompt.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Cool Stuff I’ve Found along the way…

Life Stuff: (Hooray!Current pictures! Only two, but it’s a start!)

  • The weather brightened this week, and so three out of four Burtons mowed, 1 weeded, and one planted. There was bouncing, walks, and warriors who battled Evil Flowers with stick swords.
  • I had a little time to myself on Monday, when my husband took the children with him to run errands and perform the spring rituals of visiting a playground and getting ice cream. Since we homeschool, I truly enjoy these times when they bond, and I have a few hours of renewing quiet with my own thoughts. It energizes me for the lovely chaos of the rest of life… =)
  • Our lilacs are in bloom, and I brought some of the delicious inside!
  • I finally (and briefly) caught up with blog comments.
  • I’ve done some substantial hometending this week, and life is good!

 

Want to join the Sunday Post fun?

 

 

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, April CampNaNoWriMo 2014, Blogging from A to Z 2014, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round 2 2014, Story a Day May Challenge

Creative Reset: ROW80 Update, 4/30/14

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Well, hello there, and welcome to the last day of April!

It’s raining on our brand-new trampoline, and looks like it will be all week. One pogo stick of a girl is very miffed with this weather, so I hope the aftermath is warm and dry- and flower-filled!

It’s a time for me to wrap up some things, and to begin others. This update will account for my April, and make the shift to May…there’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Goals being shifted for May appear thusly.

April’s focus:

May’s focus:

  • Story-a-Day May

  • Sponsor post

  • Homeschool reports

Memory of a sunny spring day, May 2013

2014 Blogging:

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

Continue posting on my regular schedule. On target!

Kifo Island Chronicles:

Complete April A to Z challenge. Target attained!

  • 26/26 stories posted!

Prepare for Story-A-Day May posts.On target.

  • Complete and post 31 Story-A-Day May Enterprise fan fiction stories, following prompts.

Respond to comments, and return visits. On target.

  • Caught up on Sunday, and now behind again!

Visit three additional A to Z blogs each day, on average. Target exceeded!

  • Sunday: 2/3

  • Monday: 7/3!

  • Tuesday: 4/3

  • Visit three Story-A-Day blogs each day, on average.

Spring 2013 unfurling….

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

For April:

Complete TBONTB rough draft as a CampNaNo project..Target attained!

Move The Stars are Fire closer to completion, as the conclusion of my CampNaNo effort.Target attained!

  • The Stars Are Fire: Draft one scene each week.

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.

Explore Kifo Island Chronicles as my 2014 A to Z April Challenge project.Target attained!

Plot, create, and edit 26 flash fiction pieces for the challenge,Target attained!

  • 17,915 words of workable material created!

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

For April:

Complete plotting for 31 stories by April 30 .Moving forward…

  • 17/31 in development.

Prepare Scrivener files for the writing process. On target.

  • 2/31 scenes prepared.

  • Complete 31 Stories for The IDIC Romance, using prompts wherever possible.

2014 Editing:

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

For April:

  • Continue revision plan for Chameleon’s Dish, as time and focus permit.Nope.

  • Chameleon’s Dish: Revise one scene each week.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset.

For April:

  • Get the computer desk and moved out of the room.Stalled.

  • Complete pantry cleanup; move; organize. Stalled.

  • Plan the new coat area.On target.

Continue claiming my study.

For April:

  • Complete the bulletin board reset. Stalled.

Move bookcases; buy and place new chair. On target.

  • Bookcases moved. Chair coming soon! =D

  • Buy and place new chair.

  • Clean work surfaces.

Set up coffee/refreshment station.Target attained!

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

For April:

  • Freewrite about what organization and productivity mean to me. Stalled.

  • Begin considering ways to use this information in my day-to-day life.Stalled.

Move to Round 3 or 4.

Sunlight and shadows on the front lawn, last May.

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.

For April:

  • Resume picking and completing slips as a playful complement to the more intensive blogging, writing, and editing. Stalled.

Open myself to opportunities to spend time with people I enjoy.

For April:

  • Attend at least one NaNoWriMo Tuesday Write-In.No.

  • Attend the Regional Food Bank Charity Dinner. No.

Contact one person from my People I’d Like to Meet list. Target exceeded!

Tweet during one show per week, using appropriate hashtag.Mostly

Eat salad and/or drink fruit or vegetable smoothies at least 3 times a week.Target attained!

  • One salad; one blueberry/pomegranate smoothie.

  • 2/3 attained.

  • Eat salad and/or drink fruit or vegetable smoothies at least 4 times a week.

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

For April:

  • Walk at least 1.5 miles each week; at the track, or measured by pedometer outside.Not so much.

Choose two playful actions for each day; do several times each.On target.

  • A slow week for this. Helped set up a trampoline, though!

  • Play with the kids outside or at the Y pool at least once each week. Some.

  • Ride my bicycle at least once a week.Not yet.

  • Get a workout at the Y or with a video at least once a week. Some.

Sponsor Visits:

You can check up on the other ROWers, and their plans for Round 2, right here!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round 2 2014

Creatively Productive: ROW80 Update, 4/13/14

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Well, hello there!

I hope this Sunday is as lovely where you are as it’s projected to be here – temps in the 70s for the first time since October, and sunny! I plan to spend a chunk of the afternoon outside, just taking it in and maybe puttering and playing…but, before dawn comes:

I’ve got some exciting news to share….I’ve finished a major component of one of my annual goals!

WAHOO!

Yes, on the 10th, I completed the rough draft of my Trueborn Warp/Weft WIP, To Be or Not to Be!

It’s the first of the three “hanging” drafts I plan to wrap up this year, and it was the closest to completion – oh, and the last of my totally pantsed drafts.

It’s put a spring in my step, for sure! =D

Today is important to me for another reason, too.  Nineteen years ago, on April 13, 1995, my fiance, Tim Simmons, died.  I was with him, the way he wanted.  My life has moved on – and I will always hold his memory in my treasured places.  A dew years ago, I wrote this letter as a tribute at Letters to the Dead.

Today, I’ll enjoy a bit of the warmth and sunshine for Tim, too.  He loved sunny days. =)

How about you? Have you accomplished something you’ve been moving toward for a while? Getting ready to? Feeling the push of springtime energy? Remembering someone gone, but still somehow a part of you?

Note:

I review my goals each month, and as indicated throughout the round. I update only those goals I advanced during each session.

My main focus, for April, is on the two challenges I’m involved with:

Other goals addressed on a secondary basis.

Taking time to smell the flowers….

2014 Blogging:

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

For April:

Continue my regular posting schedule.Target exceeded!

Complete April A to Z challenge. On target.

  • Developing stories through Week 3.

  • 11/26 stories posted.

Prepare for Story-A-Day May posts.On target.

Respond to comments, and return visits. Target attained!

  • Got caught up on Friday. It may not last long (and I don’t want it to!), but it’s refreshing!

Visit three A to Z blogs each day, on average. Target exceeded!

  • Wednesday: 4/3

  • Thursday:     4/3

  • Friday:           4/3

  • Saturday:     5/3

Soon it will be pansy time again! =D

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

For April:

Complete TBONTB rough draft as a CampNaNo project.. Target attained!

  • CampNaNo count:  11,068 words.

  • Completed draft: 207,096 words.(Will split into two volumes).

  • This WIP is a big ole pantsed hodgepodge. But that’s true of all my WIPs until July 2013, and it’s not as scary as it used to be!

Move The Stars are Fire closer to completion, as the conclusion of my CampNaNo effort.On target.

  • 3,599 new words.

  • Current NaNo count: 14,699/33,333 words.

  • Current scene: 29/60.

  • Current word count: 70,394/~100,000

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.

Explore Kifo Island Chronicles as my 2014 A to Z April Challenge project.

Plot, create, and edit 26 flash fiction pieces for the challenge.On target.

  • Continuing with development – most stories now have at least a premise.

  • 11/26 Complete.

Lush and fertile splashes of color!

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue claiming my study.

For April:

Move bookcases; buy and place new chair. On target.

  • Began clearing/organizing the first of the two bookcases.

Set up coffee/refreshment station.On target.

  • Fine-tuning. Should be done in a week or less.

2014 Lifetending:

Tweet during one show per week, using appropriate hashtag.Target attained!

  • Indirectly. One Tweet, via Facebook, with hashtags, during Castle.

Eat salad and/or drink fruit/vegetable juice or smoothies at least 3 times a week.Target exceeded!

  • One smoothie – cranberry, cherry, strawberry, and pomegranate.

  • One salad – made by Jim. Many veggies, beans, salmon, and pecans. Protein rich, filled with color, and delicious.

  • Two blended fruit/veggie juice – apples, berries, pomegranate, and purple carrot.

  • 4/3 attained.

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

For April:

Choose two playful actions for each day; do several times each.Target exceeded!

  • Wednesday: stair stepping; arm curls with 5 pound weights; side stepping.

  • Thursday: marching in place; calf raises; wall push-ups.

  • Friday: t’ai chi “beach ball” movement; demi-plie (ballet); lunges.

  • Saturday: fly with 5 pound weights: bottom raises; air punches.

Ride my bicycle at least once a week.Getting ready to roll..

  • Jim brought my bike, which I haven’t ridden in years, out of the backyard tool shed on Friday, and filled my tires. Then, just after he left for work, it started to rain…

  • I sat on my bike Saturday: I’ll need to lower the seat.

An invitation to wander….

Sponsor Visits (and some extras!):

Wanna cheer on the other ROWers?

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Life Writing, Round 2 2014

Saturday’s Share: Framing the Sky!

Welcome to Saturday’s Share -Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

Ahhh, spring! Especially after a long, hard winter, there’s something about those first hints of warmth and softening, the dawning and dusk chirpings of the songbirds, the first ca-runkings of the Canada geese on their northward trail overhead.

We’re still a bit early in this season, and it’s been an up-and-down transition: a couple of warm days, then a chill in the air, and then another stuttering foray into rebirth. The times I’ve gotten outside, I’ve been enjoying the weather rather than taking pictures.

But I recently found this treasure from last year’s early spring. It was taken before the grass even greened up, on a day where the kids and I went outside and played with hoops and each other.

That’s Jeremiah’s 11-year-old hands there, holding up the hoop. Already, those hands are a year closer, verging on a teen’s hands. It won’t be that many more years, now, before they are a man’s hands, maybe too occupied with other pursuits to hold a hoop against the sky in a celebration of life reborn, laughter, play, and togetherness.

Too often, these times are called frivolous. All over America, there are children whose days are planned out, from rising to sleep, according to clocks and schedules. There’s little time off, and maybe less energy for this type of freeform, just-because play. No time, really, for simply noodling around, exploring, laughing together while breathing in air that holds the promise of green growing things.

These days are so very precious. My children keep growing, making their own leaps toward adulthood. Every moment I can give them, every laugh, every memory of just being outside together, is a treasure.

It’s a little like catching the sky with a hoop, and something I want to remember, as this iffy season slowly shifts into the warmth of spring.

How about you? Are there special just-because times you shared with your parents? With your children? What tickles your fancy? What would make your spring more- well, springy?

How can you catch the sky?

I’d love to hear your stories and opinions! After all, Saturdays are for sharing!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Round 1 2014

A Not-So-Playful Wrapup: ROW80 Update, 3/26/14

 

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Hi there! I hope this finds you well and happy, indulging in things and people that delight you!

Here we are – time already to put ROW80 Round One in the record books, and ramp up for Round 2. My, that first quarter of the year went fast!

On Sunday, I will be posting my progress on my annual goals. But for today, I give you my final Round 1 update

I’d hoped to get more done, but…

Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes unexpected things happen (and, in the odd perimenopausal place I’m in, ‘often’ can be substituted for ‘sometimes’). Sometimes, decades after puberty, I get clusters of acne. Sometimes I get them in places I never had them before…and sometimes, that’s incapacitating in the way childbirth was, or that time I fell on the hot wood stove because I didn’t want to step on the dog…

Enough said. Monday and Tuesday were days of excruciating pain, and I am happy to report that today is much, much better. I can move and sit, stand and walk, just like a regular person! Hooray! =D

 

I lost some time, during those two days, and so, for the rest of the month, I’ll be playing catch-up:

  • Write and schedule five A to Z posts, to cover Week One.
  • Write my guest post for my friend Flo Gascon‘s lovely blog, and my ROW80 Sponsor Post for Round 2.
  • Queue some blog posts to cover the April creative bonanza without ignoring my followers.
  • Move To Be or Not to Be to Dropbox, and reread in preparation for April CampNaNoWriMo.
  • Set my intentions for Round 2.
  • Indulge myself, and gear up for the creative surge of April and May.
  • Continue revisions for Chameleon’s Dish, and plotting for “The IDIC Romance” stories.

My main focus areas (other than pain management) :

  • Revising Chameleon’s Dish;
  • Preparing for April and May’s intensive writing projects.
  • Preparation for ROW80 Round 2.
A break in the clouds….

2014 Blogging:

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

Answer comments regularly, across all blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. On target.

  • Behind, due to pain affecting focus – oh, and happily, more comments these days!

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

  • I think so. A little foggy.

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

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.

  • This will be my major focus, until completed.
  • I will begin posting stories on Tuesday, April 1.
  • Hope to have 5 stories (for the first week) completed by then.

Create premises for all stories; write POV character’s GMCs . On target.

  • Premise:12/26 Completed; nearing the halfway point at last!
  • GMC:11/26 Completed.

Write brief character sketch for each MC.  On target.

  • 9/26 Completed.

Set Plot and Pinch Points for all stories.  On target.

  • 3/26 completed.

Write story summaries. On target.

  • 1/26 completed.
  • Write story Cheat Sheets. Pending.

“The IDIC Romance”Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May):Create premise, GMC, and character sketches for both protagonists by April 1On target.

Write character sketches/bios for both POV characters. On target.

  • Completed Habits and Mannerisms.
The promise of spring.

2014 Editing:

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

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

  • In progress: 8/60

Spend at least 60 hours (2hours/day average) on this pass during MarchTarget exceeded!

  • 3/23: 1 hour; 30 minutes.
  • 3/24: 50 minutes.
  • 3/25: No revising.
  • Month to-date: 63 hours, 20 minutes.
  • This will be a lesser focus through the remainder of the month.

2014 Hometending:

  • There was little that could be called hometending this session. I was in debilitating pain.

2014 Lifetending:

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body. Uh, no – not after Sunday.

  • Marching in place; yoga sun salute.
  • Does “seek out ways to move my body that don’t involve excrutiating pain” count?
  • No workout or walking yet – those were impossible, before today.

Sponsor Visits:

 

See what the other ROWers are playing with this round!

I hope the close of the round finds you in a place of joyful productivity. What are your plans for the coming days? For the new season? Will you be part of ROW80 Round 2?