Wednesday, October 26, 2011

brief update....sometimes

a three year old girl just needs to snuggle her way to her nap.

wrote about 550 words on the WIP on Monday, as hoped. Today I used the free time volunteering at my son's class for an hour, had a bit of time to eat, then picked up my daughter from pre-school. Today has been spent playing catch up on a few items for more activities, but it's all expected. Found the wedding earring I'd feared lost this morning, so i feel there may be a bit of extra luck in the air. Next writing date: friday am. No less than 30 minutes and ideally 500 words. Little by little....

to make today go the way I want to, I'll need a bit of that. And a little more focus (funny, I've YET to find a way to Download That!) So, off the laptop. On to life. More ROW 80 writers below - Cheer them on!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pausing, for a moment :-) just to regroup, recap, and then keep going....

There, I paused, did you?

I frequently feel like autumn should bring me both more, and less, to do. I can spend half a day scurrying around, tell myself I need a break, and then give the to-do list a once-over and realize that there is a whole mess of partially complete tasks, and a nice stack of 'still waiting'.

Being the kind of person who got Sick And Tired of the Foot Surgery Whinefest I indulged in all last winter, I threw my family out the door, drank two glasses of water, and a big cup of coffee, printed out my calendar and stared at it. I added some missing bits, sent out emails and phone calls to fill in some empty bits, and realized I've not yet checked in on the one routine I've held to this fall - ROW 80.

To refresh your memories, I'm writing a long-story/short novella. Horror/spec.fiction is the genre, and it is, at it's heart, a 'don't go into the woods' story. More grunge than Twilight, more rust than chrome. A little bit of Myst thrown in to, just because I love keeping folks guessing...and I really need to work out my influences lest they haunt me forever!  I have been ignoring the poetry - it will keep, but really neglecting the artwork.

For those of you who are not actually following me and landed here by happenstance, I'm also a stay-at-home mom in pursuit of,  hmmm, domestic zen, I guess. Not perfection, not pristine (for that you need my mom or my auntie Jeannie!) My children are in a few activities, and I refuse to allow this unless they 'make the most of them'. Therefore, these meager literary efforts (let alone the domestic ones) get Regularly De-railed by Ballet class, scouts, tae kwan do, homework, and violin practice. I will note from time to time that when I pay attention to the art and the writing, that my children are being raised by wolves. This is slightly more true than you'd think - ever the amateur biologist, my son enjoys organizing 'wolfpacks' for all ages play with the hordes of kids that end up in my yard. This also means that I'm the local RedCross, and I deal with most injuries, hypothermic requests for hot chocolate (we live in Minnesota), and endless glasses of water.

I think the only way i get anything done is by being grateful for all that I can do.

On that note, as per plan, I didn't write or draw a damned thing on Friday. The week still got over a thousand words though, and if that doesn't count for much, well, it still counts for me.

Right now, i need to finish meal planning and calendar catch-up for this week (which is already bloody ludicrous). Looks like I'm volunteering in the classroom during one of my writing days, so I'm guessing i'll only clear about 1000 words this week too. On the other hand, seeing how we are leading up to halloween, I might get a lot more out of my sessions than usual.

Off to it, then. I've got to plan baking days for a Saturday get-together (pumpkin bread, gingerbread cookies, and an apple tart with hazelnuts. Maybe some choc. chip cookies too!) and come up with a plan to have some solid food in my daughters tummy without resorting to mcEvil's even once. I've also got to check in with my lovely neighbor to see what I can assist her with, as her husband is recovering from a long-needed neck surgery. So, time to fly. I'll land here again 'round wednesday.

Take care, and if you find the time to play linky-hop, do check out the writers below, it's a great way to unwind. Send 'em some love ;-)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spinning the Tale, One Thread at a Time

It's a greyish sort of day out there, perfect for baking, thinking, writing. Also, for cruising through paper clutter at about a zillion miles per hour simply because I am tired of looking at it!

The kids will be home with me for Thursday and Friday, so today is kind of a getting ahead-or-on-top-of-it day, since the next two days will be pretty irresistably in the goofing-around category. I am also starting to think seriously ahead about the Christmas holiday, and how to manage the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays. Because my husband and I actually took our budgeting seriously this year, we've been able to knock out some longstanding bills, and start filling up the 'holiday' portion of our budgeting. Hopefully, our biggest stress will be deciding between two of the 'right' gifts for people, rather than the 'which-one-is-better-vs-which-one-can-we-better-afford?' 

So, I am trying to drink my water, remain clear-headed, and on track with personal goals, as well as writing goals. Hitting my writing goals helps fire me up about more of my daily routines, so here we go!

(remember, write the damned story 30/day, m-w-f, attempt that artistic mother thing.)

Monday - wrote for 40ish minutes, 638 words. No artistic mothering - i think I need to move that book up to the re-read section of my current reading list to fire myself up on this. Monday was busy with cooking and family time, which is okay by me :-)

Today - wrote for 40ish minutes, 560 words. I am attacking the WIP by going through from the beginning and hitting the 'placeholder' sections so those passages tie into something before, and lead to a future story thread. At some point, sooner rather than later, I need to physically print it out, note how many red-pen question-marks are left in the story, plotwise, so I can make a new list of Stuff To Address. However, that is going to take more energy than is currently on deck (sadly, even cappucino can't give me a shortcut through this kind of effort).

Poetry - there's a site that feels like a decent fit and is soliciting submissions, and I am considering it. Given how much energy (let alone time) it could take to polish/edit/review something suitable, I feel like this could stay on the back burner a while longer. Yes, I am dithering and procrastinating.....I'll let you know what I do with this one, just not today! Too much going on right now :-)

Okay, so almost 1200 words this week, with no writing scheduled Friday. I'll check in on Sunday, and hopefully work in some time to hop around with the rest of the ROW 80 challenge-ers. Because sometimes, that is the only thing keeping this story afloat! Life is funny like that....

Anyway, all my threads are flapping loose, so I will close before the stuffing starts escaping too :-)

I wish you all a wonderful week, and promise to find my head before I start typing next time. Today, I'm only barely 'here'.

Take care,


Share the love with the fellow ROW-ers - old friends and New!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Still trying to stick-to-it!!

hello there! fourhundred bajillion things on my mind to take care of or address today, so short and snappy is the way to go.

Goals - M-W-F - write the story, artiscally mother, check in on rowers, no squalor allowed.

Since Wed. check in happened, I will only report friday actions.

Friday - 643 words on the story, deleted crap, considered mailing to a few readers and decided a teensy bit more plot would benefit the betas and refrained. For the record, that's something over 1000 words for the week - and that practically NEVER happens!!!

No art, except I did iron a face onto my daughter's 'we made it together' dolly. Now we are attempting to glue hair on her head. Squalor was more than fended off - until friday night hit - and it's been a battle against paper stacks ever since. I hopped around to a few row-ers, and tried to converse with other creatives on the wishstudio fb page and site.

(to all those who just jumped over to me and have no idea what the hell I am talking about, I promise if you just show up Wednesday all will be explained. If you are otherwise committed, here's the short version. A nice group of writers called "ROW 80" are trying to encourage each other to write, edit, or publish their writing on a regular basis for 80 days. Knowing that with support, many things are easier, some of us tack additional personal or artistic goals onto the challenge.Sometimes we even make a point of saying what works, and what doesn't! Make sense? S'okay if it doesn't - even on my best days it's hard to make sense and today I am JAMMING!)

This week, Mon. and Wed. are the only good writing days, Friday is a day off with the kids. I wish you all a tremendous week, doing whatever you need/and/or love to do.

Take care,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ROW 80 update - way too much writing goin' on!

Hello visitors and friends!

I wanted to make this a chipper, bloggy, friendly and intriguing post, instead, we are doing facts.

Goal - write the damned story for 30 min (minimum) Mon-Wed-Frid, do something about that Artistic Mother project also. Sigh, THAT'S the reason i needed to quit at thirty minutes today .....grrrr.

Monday - had hair appt so almost two inches of evil grey is now Vanquished, I tell you, VANQUISHED. She was able to leave me in peace for 30 minutes and I think I knocked out around 350 words (including the usual deleting/decrapifying process).

In researching bits of my story, I encountered some toxicology information AND discovered that the "King's Purple" dye (Tyrian Purple) was secreted by Carnivorous Sea Snails. No WoNdEr it cost about a zillion dollars to buy!

Wednesday (today) sat down for 90 minutes (thereby missing the entire window for the artistic mother program, not to mention DINNER!)and wrote about 560 words, (including stupid word deletion and more decrapifiying)Most of this writing is connecting the events in varying scenes and making some of the events in the plot make much more sense. In fact, the scene where my MC tries to weasel information out of a police officer with some really dumb and transparent lies finally fits into the story!

So, what's next, new and old friends and readers?

Hopping into the car to score some really fast happy meals for the kids (I'll be subsisting through ballet class on domestic shame and Caffeinated Writer's High, myself) Then, the laundry I never finished putting away this morning (oh, don't call social services on me yet, I had a brutally important dr. appt. which went as happily as I dared hope!)

Anyway, I must fly, thanks for stopping by. Please have a little faith, we may get a short story out by 2011 yet! Of course, you'll all stick around for the rejection slips, right? ;-)

Have a lovely night, see ya Sunday!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

ROW 80 check in #2 - success yay. Oh, and shameless quest for help

Good evening, I am attempting speed and brevity - for those of you used to my rambling ways and efforts at spelling, well, try to keep up :-)

Per plan, I am to write 30 minutes M-W-F while dear daughter is in pre-school. I am to also do 30 minutes on the Artistic Mother program those days, and I am also supposed to drop by and visit fellow ROW-ers and Cheer Them On. Lastly, I cannot let the house descend into abject squalor, and people here have to have actual meals at their appointed times. I began the challenge Wednesday.

Wed. - I successfully sat down for 2 chunks of time Wednesday (totalling 30 min.), and posted results. No A.M. projects, though. That project is so far in the dust I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do. Plus, I was really stinkin' busy (er, ok, what else is new.)

Fri. - Researched the hell out of botany (at the local level)for way too much time, then started pecking away. Went for about 45 minutes in one chunk,30 in another, and knocked out ~400 words. Scanned backgrounds for the AM project while sorting through the Evil and Obese stack of paper remaining after Wednesday's decluttering effort. Halfway through the scanning, my daughter woke up. And, I remembered that I was supposed to sketch, doodle, stamp, and paste stuff before the scanning. So, um, I guess I have to re-read a bit to get that thing back on track.

Now, gross plea for help. I need information about how ground/soil composition could affect the toxin properties in certain plants. Without getting too specific here, if anyone has this sort of knowledge base and LOVES to talk about it, I could sure use someone to bounce some stuff off of. If there are no takers, there will be some shameless fictional chemistry invention going on in my nasty little story, and if you read it, and you were in a position to help, I hope you know you've only yourself to blame ;-)

(for those of you without english as a first language, and some of you who are native speakers, that whole thing may make zero sense. It's not your fault, that's alllllll me. Sorry a zillion times for confusion.)

Anyway, that's the wrap up. I truly do have to feed these people, the wolves who usually raise them have got the Night Off.




Cheer on the Row 80 Buddies Below!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ROW 80, Round 4, check in one, and sad news :-(

Bottom in chair, hands on keys for 30 minutes - it took two sessions, but it happened :-) I'll be taking my mom out and about for furniture and such things tomorrow, so today was also Take Care of My Floors day. I managed 4 rooms, two sets of steps before I switched to addressing a morbidly obese pile of paper clutter, and worked my way through half.

I'd really like to spend 30 minutes tonight on the Artistic mother program, but there's some unscheduled editing I get to putz around with that has to happen tonight.

I just finished reading the notice that Mr. Jobs passed away, and I think immediately of his exacting genius. Then, I think of his wife, who by definition of purely 'sticking with it' must have been some kind of saint. Then I think about how changed life will be for she and their children, and I say a prayer for them.

Then I think what the future of computing will be with him out of the picture for the next ten years he should have been productive for, and then I say a prayer for us.

We've lost an innovator - somebody who has made modern life what it truly is. I'm both worried and intrigued by who - by what - will fill his shoes.

RIP, Mr. Jobs. The world already misses you.



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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ROW 80 - Round Four - Goals...seems like I'm really going to do this thing!

Well, if you know me (or have merely paused here, once or twice -  and thank you if you did!) you know that life has had many busy days and nights in the last three weeks, and that writing has been so far on that back-burner that it's already gathered a family of dust bunnies, named them, and married them off.

 So, what the bloody hell do I think I am doing by subjecting myself to routine humiliation again? Falling so short of the damned goalpost I could be an honorary MN Viking!??

The brilliant founder of IKEA, in Sweden, has a lovely quote about "... it's only in our dreams we are perfect...'

Clearly that fella has never had my dreams (nightmares about my own earwax?!!). He said something about the privilege of failure, though, and something critical about keeping at it till you get it right...or maybe just getting it done!

So, since the Muse has been making herself obvious lately, despite my best attempts to scare her off with poetry about 'shitmobile's', I'll throw my hat in the ring. Starting tomorrow.

I have two hours writing time M-W-F mornings, and one hour writing time in the afternoon. Since I have more errands as well, the writing commitment will be 30 minutes, three days per week. 30 minutes per day on those days will also be spent on the (formerly, sadly - abandoned) Artistic Mother program - no, I never did make it out of week 2! The rest of my time will hopefully be spent getting done other creative things - er, DINNER, perhaps??! for my family. They are lovely folks, it would be nice to feel worthy of them more often than usual!

Also, I made a lovely group of acquaintances in the last several rounds. I will commit to 15 minutes/week cheering people on.

That's it, this mama needs her sleep! Especially if I will drag out the WIP tomorrow - imagine what I can figure out about this story of sociopaths, missing people, nasty trucker's, hairy and tiny hermits, and small towns with big dreams....'cause we need more stories like this ;-)

'night all!