Monthly Archives: January 2013

Reallife interventions…

Grape vines and snowIt recently occurred to me that I have a real life.

Well, okay…  the discover didn’t have recently; I just didn’t really pay much attention when Life’s Clue-By-Fours would give me a womp on the side of the skull (usually virtually) in hopes that I would start to pay better attention.  And, as always happens in disciplinary situations, I would scramble to deal with any paperwork, affairs, events, etc. that awaited me so that I might quickly escape back to my books, art and stories.

It’s only recently that I’ve discovered how to merge my lives (online, offline and story-based) into something cohesive.   Some of it has come from not having to make so many of these changes in mode on the schedules of others as much as I used to.  It’s incredibly difficult for people on the Autism Spectrum (even those with milder versions of Asperger’s) to move from one frame of thought to another, something I understood intuitively for years but never understood why.

Over the years I used something akin to multitasking where I would only half focus on any one thing at a time so that I could “deal” with those things that jumped in at inconvenient time.  The problem with this technique is of course that everything jumps in at an inconvenient time and that I never got the chance to truly become engrossed in anything that appealed to me.  Oh…  and almost nothing ever got finished.

In comes being a mom and trying to finish up some of the hundreds of half-finished projects that I’ve started over the years*…  I learned early on that I could not be half-focused on my son.  I also could not, for my sanity, be completely separated from my writing.  Everyone needs an outlet for their creative passions, and I tried to force all of my passion into writing at carefully allotted times such as when the Boodle would be napping or later when he was in school.  And that was…

Alley cat printsNow, thanks to my amazing husband, who works from home most of the time, and homeschooling (no more 2 hours of commute each day or administration-based “extras” to deal with), changing mental modes has become easier, not just for me, but for all of us.   We allow ourselves time to flow from task to task more than before.  We permit ourselves the occasional absences, even when in the same room.  And we have spaces to work on things where we’re able to shift gear more smoothly…  memo board, post-it notes, email reminders.

What does this have to do with a ROW80 check-in or anything else?  Not much really–I just realized this after I’d come into a bit of a goal slump that this week also had been one filled with a lot of external changes of focus.  Yes, many of these changes are things I need to deal with or are things I initiated (such as acquiring beta readers for Release), but they are changes nonetheless, and I haven’t fully internalized the processes I need to deal with them.

So I’m behind for this check-in.  There , I said it.  I am behind.  I did not get more than a few hundred words done on my 1,500 a week goal.  I did not visit as many blogs as I wanted (though I did at least reach my minimum).  Exercise and reading were both minimal but there.

I did spend a fair amount of time comparing versions of files from one computer to another and editing photos.

No complaints here–the week was what it was, and it held a nice mix of ups and downs.  It just wasn’t a good week for me to get things done.  I’m okay with that.  I’m also beginning to understand why things happen this way.

So now, let’s go visit some other ROWers, many of whom I’m sure have great news, some of whom are in the same fix as me and others who need some boosting up after real set-backs.

*These projects I do not wish to let slide, because I enjoy them.  I just never seem to have the time to delve into them the way my brain demands.  Some I’ve discussed here such as my drawing and my various stories.  I also have a blanket I’m crocheting, I used to do beadwork and make jewelry, and I’d love to learn painting, sewing and how to cook better.


Short sweet and pretty

OpalizedshelledI’m working on a great post about the mythology of my story worlds, but today just isn’t the day to post that.  Today is, instead, a day to post a ROW80 check-in and some pictures of some awesome ammonite shells that I bought just before Christmas.

Why?  Because they are nifty and cool, and because I just learned from Jessica Rosenkrantz’s blog  Nervous System what the lovely filigree designs I saw on my polished shell came from.  They’re called suture patterns, and as you can see, both from my own photos and those on Jessica’s blog, they are gorgeous–Nature’s own Rococo (a style that I love far too much for my own good).

What does this have to do with the ROW80 you ask?

Delicate inside crystals

Delicate inside crystals

Well, the ROW80 is the challenge that understands you have a life, and I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself a lot when I couldn’t play with my camera.  So, I’m taking more pictures again.  I’ve also involved myself with a Facebook group where I’m supposed to take a picture a day and post it (not quite there on the posting daily, but getting better on the taking daily).  It’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s stirring my mind.

I also am feeling the call to start drawing again.  I watched a woman in Bountiful Bread yesterday (where I can never seem to get the wi-fi to work with my laptop)…  I had done some proofreading of Release, but I just stopped and studied her face, and then wished I had some pencils and a sketch pad with me to try drawing her.

It may be a household thing.  The Boodle has been making wonderful nature scenes with fingerpaints and reading books about Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.  Even the hubby has been dabbling with writing some stories…

Creativity abounds.

And that is what these pictures have to do with the ROW80…  Creativity abounds, and even writing is getting done.  I’m editing; I’m writing; I’m even dreaming.  My wordcounts are on track; I’m visiting new blogs and learning new things.

It’s pretty awesome.

If you want to see why, here are a bunch of other ROW80 members with blogs to look over.  Have lots of fun!



Where do our ideas come from?

"Writing on the wood is prohibited."...

“Writing on the wood is prohibited.” DSC07600 (Photo credit: Nicolas Karim)

Quite a while back a fellow ROWer asked our Facebook group where he might find more prompts for short fiction.  He’d been using Chuck Wendig’s TerribleMinds Friday prompts but wanted to expand his focus.  There, of course, are the wonderful photo prompts that several of us use on the Five Minute Getaway, the Three Word Wednesday prompts on Twitter for poets, as well as others…  But it got me thinking.  What others are there?  Hundreds upon hundreds.  So, I’m starting a list (which, of course, will never EVER be complete):

Online, televised and print news sites….  I won’t list any here since we’re bombarded with these cues and all have our own perspectives on what qualifies as news.  But there is so much there to write about.  And yes, writing about something someone else has written about is perfectly valid in my opinion.

And on that vein there is Fanfiction.

Add in the shows we love to watch!  Even shows we don’t love make excellent writing fodder.  If you don’t like the way it was written, write your own story!  Introduce characters into these fictional worlds that stir things up in your own unique way.  (Cavaet Emptor: Fanfiction, while gaining respect in some areas, is likely to remain controversial for a long time to come.  Use with discretion.)

So let’s move back to less known ideas:

The Weekend Theme from View From the Side:

There is (not so much a prompt site, but some creative process discussion and therapy can help inspire you) the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (a redundant name if you ask me, since most writers I know are insecure writers)  (Do not post links on this page.  You post on your own blog, which means, yes, you need a blog.)

Here’s an idea that I might never have considered save thanks to Brett Myers for posting this link on Facebook…  Yes, weather plays a role in our writing  But are we making the best use of it possible?  In this light, the weather almost acts as a character itself, guiding and altering the behavior and choices of whole communities.

When you think about it– how much do we deal with on a day-to-day basis that we fully take in or pay attention to anymore.

  • For those of us who walk to work, walking is second nature.  Now break that character’s foot (I don’t know how, that’s for you to write in) and write how his commute changes.
  • What about the traveler who loses his luggage and gets held up by the TSA because the person who processed his ticket misspelled his name?
  • Even the most organizationally minded of us (I am definitely not one of those) occasionally have clutter in our homes–what happens when discover something that had been misplaced and it changes our lives?
Swords from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries

Swords from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries (Photo credit: One lucky guy)

And now, a bit late, here’s my Row80 check-in to round this out:

It’s been a good week in general.  I’m sure I could take out a pen and paper and get an exact count of what I’ve written, but the word count is well over my 1,500 min.  I could wish that more involved my WiPs, but it’s been spent more on process.  I’ve given in to the need to deal with a ten year-old…  So, I am officially asking for beta readers for my long quiet novel length WiP Release and am also looking for someone who might be able help me with some cover art.  I will be self-publishing it by the end of the year.  Please feel free to leave me a comment or contact me by email if beta reading a futuristic fantasy novel appeals to you.  If you’d like a sample of the writing style, here’s a post (or two) I wrote last year with small snippets included: Who Would Have Guessed and A Lucky 7 Row

My other goal pieces, the social media, the blogging, the reading…  all of those are going well.  I posted another book review on Goodreads the other day and an in the midst of a few other books.

That’s enough for now.  Time for lunch…  and therein lies a hundred more prompts.