Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Lucky 7 ROW

The Lucky 7 Meme pic

Meme Time

  • If you just wish a short-cut to the ROW80 check-in go: here.
  • If you prefer to just shortcut to the comments go: here.

Back in March,  the very eloquent Jayrod Garrett tagged me on the “Lucky 7” Meme.  And since I’m slowly re-working these blogs into something different, it seemed an ideal time to send out some of these posts I’ve built up.  Besides, this one was fun…

The Lucky 7 meme rules are pretty simple.
1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next seven lines (sentences??) as they are – no cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors.

I chose to go to page 77 of Release for this little game.  For those following my posts, you may recognize Release as the WiP I’ve been trying to decide whether I wanted to spend the effort on reviving.

This little sample comes from page 77 of 515 pages when formatted in Times New Roman 12pt (as many people use for their electronic submissions).  That does matter….  If I used the classic hardcopy manuscript font  of Courier New 12pt, the piece is quite different, coming from page 77 of 640 pages.

For a moment, it felt as if I was there, not her, in one of the formal beatings I had received, or worse.  Only my voice was caught, and I couldn’t cry out.  I gagged.  I thrashed and kicked, tried to break away…

A cuff aside the temple reintroduced reality, then I noticed movement down by my relations.  After casting a disparaging glance at the guard behind me, I watched a man join the Andar and my grandmother, another red-head than the one in the ring with my mother.  I recognized the baldric and sash of the Dantii Captain Lauren Vestitian.  He took over my grandmother and drew her off.  Their departure privileged me–that symbol of power and strength, our sovereign, fell to his knees, clutching at handfuls of grass and dirt.

And just for the comparison, here is the Courier version (which obviously occurs much earlier in the book):

“Would you have?  Put away the swaggerstick, kid.  The two of you need each other to deal with what is hap–“

I cut him short.  “I don’t need anything…but you off my back.  Yeah, and maybe a chance to wring his Oh So Very Royal Highness’ neck.  I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t started bragging about that brat of his.”  Chaz was one of the few people I’d been willing to talk to about the things that had happened to me.

Yeah….  I’m still not sure what I think either.    Hope you enjoyed the pieces, of course.

And for the rest, here are my seven people.  And like Jayrod said in his own post, I have no expectations from any of my targets fellow writers, but it is a pretty fun, light-hearted meme.  So if you’d like to do it, please let me know.  It will be fun to read what your stories hold in them.

1) Shan Jeniah Burton
2) Lena Corazon
3) Ryan King
4) Lauren Garafalo
5) Fabio Bueno
6) Shah Wharton
7) Amy Beth Inverness

And now, for my ROW80 check-in….

Can we say “bleh?”    Come on, everyone…    1…2…3…  BLEH!

There, I feel better.  Really.  I feel better.

It’s not that things haven’t gotten done.  I’ve just spent more time researching this past week than actually putting words to screen or paper.  It’s been heavy research too with lots of heartbreaking tales of suffering, loss, self-abuse, as well as tales of strength and perseverance.  The effects of tropical parasites on tribal cultures and reading interview after interview of people (mostly women) who were involuntarily sold into the sex trade….  I will be taking a few days off from researching very soon, just to give my heart a break.  I’m not even asking my head to deal with putting everything I’ve learned into character form on the page yet.

A man sitting at a desk, cutting apart a paper...

The rest of my goals (barring that #*&(*^@! Timeline) have gone fairly well.  I’m ahead still on typing, and the editing is proceeding steadily enough; though the heavier rewrites are fast approaching, and I’m sure my great number will fall then.

Heck, I’ve even gotten most of my walking done without any hassles this week.  And that’s with the sinus infection from …well, I don’t know how one could have a sinus infection in a place that’s supposed to be as hot and fiery as Hell, so I’ll leave it as another Bleh!

The BIG thing I am discovering this ROWnd is  my tendency to not take my welfare into account.  Especially notable, I tend to completely toss aside the computer-free days as if they don’t nearly matter as much as doing my sponsorship postings or even checking in with people whom I play with on Fairyland.  I have noticed this before in myself…  this tendency to not value my own needs and try to help and support the world.  Silly, of course.  I know that everyone can manage a few days without me around.  Heck, intellectually I know that some people don’t even have a clue that I am here.  That even most people don’t know it.  But…

I take my small responsibilities perhaps far too seriously.   And I’m still trying to decide what that means…

Lastly, because I was feeling so under the weather Thursday and Friday, I’d made one “big answer” to everyone who commented on my last post and promised I would acknowledge those wonderful people here.  This serves two purposes….
1) I get to acknowledge their largesse a bit more
2) You get a link to on of  their more recent blog posts to enjoy.

So without further ado, please enjoy…

  • Susan Franzblau –expert on hypnosis and sloths (there are no sloths in this post, I regret to say)
  • Shan Jeniah Burton –whom the Boodle still calls Aunt Dee more often than not and who will always have a place in our family with or without sloths
  • Ryan King –who favors action over sloths, but shares my love of Scrivener and understands my predicament with social media.
  • Karen Huber –an insightful essayist who is exploring her own experiences as a blogger and has inspired me more times than I can count
  • Robin McCormack — who knows and supports the pursuit of education and loves to read, read, read

Please check out these great bloggers and enjoy their writing and insights.  And to each of you, I owe you a real response these days.  But thank you for taking the time to comment and share your time with me.

And lastly, a belated “thank you” to Kirsten at A Scenic Route for having a copy of the Lucky 7 image I could borrow and some wonderful writing related posts.  I especially enjoyed: Character Interview: Who’s Teaching Who?

What to ROW About


One word:  SLOTHS!

There are so many things that should be put into the blog today.  I think I’m going to make it bare bones…  It feels more honest.  Not that it’s any more or less truthful to say that things went well and I just don’t feel like trying to describe it all in an essay online.    It’s just how I feel.  I have other directions where I would rather devote my energy.


(Photo credit: iamrandygirl)

Still, I should probably include some of the awesomeness…  If only because the point of these blogs is to actually “connect” with other people, and I am not making as much of an effort to connect via my blog as I probably should.  It’s not because I don’t want to spend time doing things.  It’s because I find the creation and plotting and planning of blogs so mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Blogging feels (to me) like what one might call “risky writing” because of its oh-so personal nature.  I never know when I am writing too much, too little, boring the reader…  And so much of the stuff (like this) is personal.

But because of the ROW80, I do it.

So, first piece of awesomeness…  The car is fixed…mostly.  The work it needs now, while important, is not likely to leave us stranded anywhere.  Just doing that has turned five grey hairs on my head back to brown.

Second piece of awesomeness…  The wheels have begun turning once more on my degree.  I have started the application process to SUNY Albany, and while I’m experiencing a few small snags in dealing with my old schools for records, everything is moving along steadily.

Third piece of awesomeness…  The Boodle has been asked to perform in a recital by his piano teacher.  (Yes, I know this has nothing to do with me personally, but anyone who knows the Boodle and how much he loves to perform will know why I’m so happy for him.  If you don’t know and would like to see some examples, here is a video (on Facebook) of him dancing.)

Fourth piece of awesomeness …  Carmina Burana.

I really shouldn’t have much more to say than that, but I cannot help myself.  I went to see the Albany Symphony Orchestra and Pro Musica  perform it with my friend Barb on Saturday.  Mostly I went because Barb had humored my earlier choices for concerts.  My one experience with Carl Orff’s musical composition was a CD a friend played for me, trying to share what was one of his favorite pieces of music.  I wasn’t impressed, and I normally love classical music.  And I love the stories and songs that Orff used for his creation.

After the concert I thanked Barb profusely for convincing me to join her and explained my prior hesitation.  She  stated that she’s never found a recording of the piece to ever do it justice either.  This (hour-long) version on Youtube by the UC David Orchestra is far better than the CD I heard.  The live performance though?  The buzzing as my blood raced through my body to  feed my thundering heart and the ecstatic vibration that filled me….  neither faded until well into the next day.    I don’t think I’ve EVER felt myself so moved by any piece of music before.  

But don’t take my word for it.  There is a link at the bottom of this page from a review via the local Times Union‘s site.

I saw a rock. Hi!And a fifth (but only last for the sake of posting) piece of awesomeness…  An amazing day off the computer, spending time with my husband and son, talking, relaxing and just “being”.  Different than simply a computer free day, this was also a re-immersion in those this that we treasure so much.  We talked (literally for hours and almost forgot to make lunch), we hugged a lot.  We played games.  We danced around the house…

Really…  these are just highlights of what ended up being an amazing week all around.

My keyboard has a bend in the middle of it.  I swear…  It wouldn’t be that remarkable, except that this is my laptop I am typing on at the moment.  And the very top row of keys is clearly swoopy.

Umm, yes!  I lost track of my thoughts.  The mind is fitting that picture so very well right now…

I’m slowly letting my pierced ears close up.  Or quickly…  Depends on how one looks at it.  I just realized, I don’t feel better when I have to worry about jewelry.  Even the lovely pieces that Michelle from Ivaldis Dream Trove custom made for me.  I love them, but I also have trouble keeping the earrings in the ears.  And finding an earring that I could sleep in…

Bradypus variegatus Deutsch: Braunkehl-Faultie...Eventually my inner sloth (a lot of sloths going about the ROW80 today…  Lauren Garafalo has an extra gorgeous one for her check-in) said…  who wants to fuss with these silly things all the time?  I mean, really!  I haven’t felt comfortable getting my ear lobes nibbled in…

Oh, yeah… hmm…

Time to give that check-in…

My original goals for this ROWnd are here.  So far, I’ve managed to catch up on the my sabbatical day, but I am running a bit behind on the “fresh fiction” I intended to write for the NaNoWriMo stories.  There has been no progress on the timeline, yet again.  But my fingers have been flying across the keyboard for edits and typing.  I’m at least 3 pages ahead on typing, and about a half a chapter ahead on editing.  Small chapter, but still ahead.

I am starting to explore Liquid Story Binder XE to see what I think of it compared to Scrivener, so the new software feature is a “check”.  So far I’m not inspired to move to a different program.  Story Binder is “pretty”, but it’s almost distractingly so.

Oh, yeah…  and exercise.  Some, but not a lot.  Despite all the awesomeness, three days last week got wasted on migraines and nausea.  I’m rather used to it but a bit resentful.  I want to know who’s been partying out there and sending me their psychic hang overs.  I mean, I didn’t get out of any of my own sorority-pledging, frat-party crashing, college idiocy.  I shouldn’t have to do it again.  :-/

Oh, and lastly, some thoughts on e-books via Writer Beware….  So, I’m curious.  I remember my first ebook, but only because so far I’ve read two.  How about you?  How many titles do you remember?

A “Most Beautiful Thing” and a Tuesday Snippet


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the first of a few meme posts that I have lined up, but I have no doubt you will enjoy this one.  I wasn’t tagged in it.  Like the Friday Flash Fiction that L.S. Engler would post, or the occasional #3WW (Three Word Wednesday) poems, this meme I decided to join in solely for the pleasure that sharing brought me.

And so, I give you my version of Fiona Robyn’s The Most Beautiful Thing as I wrote it, nearly freeform, in 750words this afternoon:

Thinking about the Most Beautiful Thing…  Given it’s originator, it’s something of a “small stones” exercise, but even without truly exploring the depth of beauty I have found, I know where it lays…  I don’t need a small stone to know that I have something incredibly beautiful here with me every day.

There are days I would say it is so beautiful to have my few hours alone at night, in my own home, working on stories, sitting in an almost dark home, relaxing yet getting so very much done….  which I do.  My power hours for writing, reading, typing all come after 10pm.  I only go to bed around then  because the 6am waking time to get the Boodle to school (which we haven’t been making at all lately) seems to come earlier and earlier each day.

(Of course, my 10pm going to bed time usually drags out into the 1am to 2am “I just want to finish one last thing before I turn off the computer” bedtime.  And often, I don’t turn off the computer because too much is still running.)

But while I find those moment peaceful and empowering, I would never attribute them as “beautiful”.  They are necessary for my sanity, desirable for my efficiency, and even pretty darned nice.  But beautiful…  no.

What is beautiful? The Boodle… his genuine heart and love.

A little backdrop here:  Yesterday, crossing one of the two public reservoirs on the way home from my Boodle’s school, I hit a bird.  Well, this daring aerialist swallow decided to see if he could fly under the car.

Tachycineta bicolor English: A Tree Swallow fl...

Hurt, but not dead, I knew he’d suffer for a while there on the road.  With a broken wing, a blinded eye, and a few missing tail feathers he wasn’t likely to fly ever again, but he seemed determined to live from what I saw.  So I brought him home.  We had cat food (kitten chow is recommended for feeding these birds when nursing them), sunflower seeds, water…  an old box from some computer memory filled with some extra soft rags…

He didn’t really like the box and chose to settle against my chest and sit there.

But the injuries must have been worse than I could see.  I should have suspected, given the damage to his eye.  I rose for a few moments to go see if he’d prefer a little perch in his box, settling him in it.  I came back inside less than minute later, and he’d died.

Now, of course, you might wonder where  my Most Beautiful Thing is in this….

Well, after my last post, one might wonder if I fear I may be raising the next Hannibal Lector.  Trust me, I’m not.  The Boodle is enormously sensitive and aware of the feelings of others.  This is the boy that will run and cower in another room and hide when someone speaks to him loudly or will start crying just because he’s seen a friend hurting.  And this is the boy who came over to me to hug me and held my hand so we could walk outside and say goodbye to a little tree sparrow that I’d hit with the car yesterday.   He held my hand, he hugged me, and he told me to “Feel better” and that the little bird would go back to Nature where it came from.

And my husband’s heart is amazing too, because even before the Boodle came home from school, he gave me hugs and encouraged my support of that little bird.

So maybe the Most Beautiful Thing really is mine, not theirs.  It is my life and the fact that they (and so many other amazing people and experiences) are a part of it..

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