Sunday, Lovely Sunday

I know that’s not the way it’s supposed to go since I just finished a course on the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, but…  I like my version better. Especially since this has been a pretty good day so far.

It’s a rainy day, but not one of those drown you in mud rains nor even one of those hovering drizzles that reach into every layer of clothing you own without offering the consolation of a solid dunking.

A real rain…  just heavy enough to soak into the ground and nourish the roots, just heavy enough to hear plit-plattering on the window, just light enough to leave rain drops caressing petals and leaves…

Rain and Fountains at Blenheim Palace

Rain and Fountains at Blenheim Palace

A heavier rain than I remember from my days in England, but only by a small touch.  It is certainly grayer here.  I’d be curious to know why.  Perhaps it’s because of our location on the Hardiness Zone scale…  No—I just checked, and we’re actually 10° closer to the Equator here in Southern Albany Cty than we were in the UK.

Elevation does it again.   Add on over 600 more feet, remove the effect of being surrounded by water…  We’ve lived in this house for 15 years now, and I still find it remarkable that  we can drive to Albany in 30 minutes, but it takes an extra week and a half minimum for plants to catch up with those in our NYS Capitol.

Hmm…  well, that was definitely a line of non-sequitur.*

And so is this…  now is time for:

ROW80LogocopyMy ROW80 check-in and weekly assessment

General Assessment first…  It’s been another damned awesome week.  A few more migraines than I’d have preferred, and definitely with far more kitty panic than anyone needs…  but in all other ways it has been a great week.

The question of whether it’s been awesome enough to inspire me to add on something new though?  I’m still thinking “not yet”.  This is why:

    • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
    • Progress: still detoured, though Syd Field’s Screenplay is sitting untouched too; I’ve done other reading, but between my classwork and getting my wordcount in for the CampNaNoWriMo, I wasn’t doing diddly about this goal
    • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
    • Progress: group is was on hold for the month of April, and I still haven’t submitted anything
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
    • Progress: on track
    • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progress I thought I was getting All The Words, but yesterday I found proof.  When I went to collate everything I’d written this month for my CampNaNo project (and this isn’t including words deleted because I was also editing work), I didn’t have to include any of the 37 handwritten pages I’d held in reserve.  I’d set myself a 30K goal for this Camp, and cleared the month with a total of 46K.   Am I ready for the 50K JuNoWriMo this year?  Oh.. yeah!
    • Someone couldn't stay still for the photo... he wanted to hug the camera and the hand holding it

      It’s dry inside, Mom

      Not Goals but Progress Anyway:

      1. Dropped the ball after 112 days of Duolingo last Sunday.  I’m back up to seven days again, but it was hard to lose all that progress (and the bonuses that come with a long streak).
      2. Being school vacation, there was a lot of Boodle time this week. I admit–I glutted myself a bit. No regrets.
      3. This was also the week of missing cat, surprise dentist appointments, and curious financial errands (several visits to our insurance company for policy rewrites and adjustments). The good news? Mr. Kitty is home and sitting on the deck-rail all soggy and pitiful (on purpose, trust me… he could sit under the picnic table and stay dry, but it’s harder to watch for when I move from this chair and just might be heading to the door to feed him); no new cavities this time for me (the Boodle has the start of one on one of his permanent teeth); and in all this juggling, we’re finally not spending a month’s salary on insurance each year…

And lastly, I’m still flailing wildly on my goal to do something creative every day.  Since that’s a new goal I’ve made absolutely no progress on in over two weeks now, I think I need to attend to making that work before I go further.

Still, there’s a lot of progress there, a lot of joy and some surprises…

As I said before, it’s been a pretty awesome week.  Kind of like today and the rain (see?  I did have a point hiding in there somewhere!)

Anyone who has conversed with me over Starbucks’ drinks is all too familiar with the way my mind wanders aimlessly from thread to thread in this way.  Hope you enjoyed the journey. 😀

Got Time For a Quickie?

ROW80LogocopyShort one today, all y’all.  The hubby and I have a lunch date with friends, insurance paperwork…yadda yadda. There’s all the time in the world it seems…

just after everything else is done first.

So here’s it all in a nutshell.

This has been an incredibly crazy, yet oddly productive week.  I’m on track with everything except my new “creativity goal”, but since the Boodle is home from school this week and there’s been a shift of focus there, I’m not too bothered.

IMG_4137_1What is bothering me is that nagging surety I’ve lost a friend.  Mr. Kitty, the last of our feral cats turned to cuddle-bum and window serenader,  hasn’t come home since Sunday.  Worse yet, since I’d been desperate to sleep in on Sunday for some huggy-dozing time with the Leader of the Opposition Party, it was the Boodle that fed Mr. Kitty, not me—I’m actually not sure he was here on Sunday at all.

All I can do is hope that if he was caught by someone (some group has taken up catching ferals nearby because we had had the male version of the feared cat lady down the road for years, and he finally lost his home and the cats have run rampant).  I really hope Mr. Kitty was trapped by such a group and not taken by coyotes (so far the nearby roads shows no sign of a kitty-corpse).  He’s lovable, affectionate, wants to have a forever home (which is something I could have never given him because of… things).

But this, and so much of this past year when I wasn’t blogging because life was cray-cray, is why I picked the title I did today.  Maybe it wouldn’t have helped if I had gotten up on Sunday—maybe he was gone already—but I wouldn’t have this regret that I ‘wasn’t there’ when I could have been.

IMG_3179It was the same when my grandfather died in December…  we hadn’t gone to see him because we’d been fighting cold and sickness after cold and sickness, and he had a very compromised immune system.

One of my best friends died in December…  we’d set plans for a lunch date in January ‘after the holiday crazy was done’.  It was a freak thing, but…  now I eat sushi and cry a little (kind of happy tears, because they are great memories, but still).

And my grandmother died a few weeks later.  I got to spend some time around Christmas with her, but then Rod’s death and disasters at the Boodle’s school…

It seemed like so much to take a day trip to Syracuse just for an hour or two of visiting.  Maybe next weekend I’d have ‘more time’…

No.  There was no more time.  There is no more time.

So, yesterday…  when I invited Elizabeth Anne Mitchell to sprint with me and she couldn’t because she had a meeting in ten minutes at work, I decided I was making a change for myself at the very least.  I texted her back “Quick, write two sentences!”

I mean, there’s always time for a Quickie….

The Morning After

Here I am a day late for my ROW80 check-in, and I feel completely unapologetic about it.  The last few days have been, to quote the prolific Chuck Wendig, amazeballs (actually Chuck has a lot of really awesome, though mostly NSFW* terms for writers to… um, ponder).

Anyway, absolutely friggen amazeballs!

Not only have I again caught up with all of my goals, I’ve been exceeding them (well, not totally, I still haven’t started that creative art thingie I was going to do, except a bit of coloring on one of those so-called “adult coloring pages” I printed off a while ago and had lain around.  I’m working on it slowly, bit by bit.

Here is something I drew myself for that very purpose you can download and color yourselves if you’d like.  It’s not Great Art, it’s just a sketch I made once.  If you click on the image before you download, you should get a full page image.

Just an old pump to color

Just an old pump to color

And besides…  I have had too much fun with my wonderful characters to want to do much more than spend my free time with them.   Especially Atyr…  she’s hard to ‘relate’ to, a lot harder than most of the others.  I find myself not connecting to her, a lot.  She’s got religious and political views that are alien to most anything I’ve been raised around.  And while I’ve made some study of martyrs, there is a deep difference between knowing the acts of someone so devoted to a belief and the inner feelings of such a person.

And a long time ago, I realized that for all that she lives through her choices, Atyr is a martyr to her faith.  To her, life is her punishment for not serving in her religious duties better, even despite the fact that those in charge of the temples she had been raised in were not acting in the interest of the people they served or the good of the world at large.

But Atyr believes in ideals, not individuals.  And I’m more the opposite.  I believe in individuals, then groups with more caution.  Ideals…. no so much. It always seems to me that everyone has their own interpretation of an idea—there doesn’t seem to be a universality to many things, and those tend to not involve higher level thought: basic needs, etc.

Yeah…  she’s a zealot.  And I think a lot of my problem with working with her is because people with that dogmatic a personality make me very uneasy even to be around.

But enough of my writing problems (what few there are…  one character out of several, and lots of words to write about all of them)…

Here’s some nori before I start the assessment of my goals.  I think I want to make something like stained glass out of this stuff.  Isn’t it just awesome?nori panes

And now my weekly assessment:

  • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: still detoured progress here, though I not done much Syd Field’s Screenplay either; some other library book reading… and an overdue fine to pay tomorrow
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: group is on hold for the month of April; however, finished all the critiques I owe; now need to submit something
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: one page ahead of count
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  getting ALL the words…  am so loving this time with my characters
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: managed to sort out and discover several files for bits of story and notes I’d thought I’d long lost and place them in Scrivener projects with the stories they belonged to *happy dance*

Again, since this post was late, and I was having serious doubts about getting anything done on Wednesday, I’m holding off one more week before I consider adding in extra projects.  We’ll see how things are by mid-week (fair warning my mid-week check-in will be on Thursday because this one is a day late).

Hope you had fun reading and plotting your own creative endeavors.  Before you go, why not visit a few other awesome ROWers here!

  • or most daily life…  you can do serious damage choking on that latte if you read these while drinking