Monthly Archives: March 2014

No Apologies

Yes, I am a day late. No apologies though, just as the title says.

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Reclining on Pratt Rock

I had a wonderfully active and family oriented weekend.

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String Theory

Highlights could be the family drive and spontaneous hike in the Catskills on Saturday or the excellent concert by the Albany Symphony yesterday that The Boodle, Grandpa (my dad) and I saw.

There was so very much more (as always). Somehow, even the necessities of laundry, class time catch up, and general cleaning had their fun elements this weekend. Only complaint… I wish someone would turn up the thermostat outside a few degrees. It’s hard to enjoy waterfalls like this one in 30°F weather.

Runoff heading into the Catskill Creek

Runoff heading into the Catskill Creek

ROW80 Check-in

Except for posting this a day late, everything on my goals list is a “did it” or  in the “I made progress” side of things.  Given the approaching end to this round of the ROW80, the extra happy notes to each day feel like a bonus treat.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences some new fiction and journal entries every other day
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  wrote a new scene
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  hikes, gym visits, home movement CHECK!  😀
  • reclaim my writing space found some new space
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) organized some photos and bookmarks; backed up photo archives
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more… sang with friends Tom and Joely on Friday at the Hoffbrau, outings both Saturday and Sunday…  
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) okay, this one I let slide
Boodle in a Box

Boodle in a Box

 

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No Ideas

WIPpet

I really have no idea of what to write for today’s WIPpet. Extra distractions… I really want to write something about birthdays today instead of story excerpts.

Happy Birthday, Punkin!

Happy Birthday, Punkin!

Today’s the Leader of the Opposition Party (aka my husband Dan)’ s birthday.  (The title is a joke his father made once that I just get a giggle out of using… every time.)  I’d really like to post something for him (though I know he’d be thrilled if I something I’ve written and posted became published as a result).  So, despite wishing to post the poem I wrote for him a few months ago, I’ll stick with Courting the Swan Song and give you three paragraphs (for the month) from the 19th Scrivener scene I’ve written out:

Brooklyn Museum - Courtesan and Maiko - Torii ...

Brooklyn Museum – Courtesan and Maiko – Torii Kiyonaga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lady Gizsel chuckled. “Ah, yes, later. I’m sure it can wait that long. After all, it seems he has nearly more at stake in this than you.” She picked up her wine and took another sip. “Still, it’s a big choice you make. I know I was requested for you because I have a small enough talent to hold my mind still.” A small cough of disgust escaped her. “The very thing that kept me from being worth marrying now is the skill that made me too useful to send off when I got pregnant and is now the very skill I was given to you for.”

Alanii tipped his head thoughtfully. “I had always heard that mageborn women were too valuable to sell off.”

She shrugged. “Depends on the skill, I would imagine. My mother was kept in an iron collar, but she was a strong witch. It was her fault that Gisza was harmed by her birth and left deformed. My oldest sister was also strong enough to earn her collar. I escaped because I could hide. At my testing they told my father I had no talent of value. It wasn’t true. Mother had taught me how to trick the testers. I could close my thoughts away from the priests, sit and play with my dolls and they would think I was nothing more than a simple child. Even when pressed, I could usually hide things. Mother taught me a small song to think to myself that kept me focused and allowed me to keep the walls up. If she’d lived to see what Father eventually had to do to me, maybe she would have chosen differently, but then maybe she wouldn’t have. At least here I’m somewhat free to be who I am.”

A toast (with jam and butter) to KL Schwengel for guiding our WIPpet efforts each Wednesday.  Join in!  Visit!  We hang out here:  WIPpet Linky

ROW80

Rollercoaster Jumble

Rollercoaster Jumble (Photo credit: Thomas Euler)

Some progress yet again…  I feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster.  Where’s my seat belt?

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences  progress…  short one fiction sentence yesterday, but progress
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   hmmm, well, most of the new fiction is on third book
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation all good here
  • energize myself with more physical activity mostly home stuff
  • reclaim my writing space still seeing that solitary clear spot
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) not nearly enough time spent here
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more… a very social week so far; I could use some downtime
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) one so far this week
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M’OOC! Ah….

List of titles of works based on Shakespearean...This Some Thing 4 Sunday post is all about Shakespeare.  Okay, maybe not all about Shakespeare.  It’s about an awesome (can you tell I’m giddy about it?) MOOC course I’m taking via the FutureLearn site on Shakespeare and his World.

This isn’t the first FurtureLearn class I’ve taken.  Now into my third class through the site, I’m finding I like the varied formats they’re using and the general accessibility of the teachers.  I’ve tried other MOOCs as well before this, including a course of History and the Occult through Berkley and Roman History class I found via Open CourseWare.  Even with access to group chats on the courses, the level of teacher interaction never seemed quite adequate.  I’m really happy so far with my experience at FL.

Sir John Gilbert's 1849 painting: The Plays of...

Sir John Gilbert’s 1849 painting: The Plays of William Shakespeare, containing scenes and characters from several of William Shakespeare’s plays. Since the artist died in 1897, this work is now in the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for my present course…  I’ve never been much for the Cult of Shakespeare personally (sorry, but my school experiences till now never inspired in me a passion for his work, and with so many other great writers and artists tweaking at my senses..,).   However, this class draws into my passion for history and mysteries and wordsmithery 😀 in just the right combinations.  Each lecture and discussion following it has given me cow trail after cow trail of bits on architecture, social customs, politics, even history as seen by people of the time period.

Perhaps the best way to explain my feelings might be via a Doctor Who episode The Shakespeare Code.  During David Tennant’s tenure as the

Love's Labour's Lost by Gresham's, c. 1914

Love’s Labour’s Lost by Gresham’s, c. 1914 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doctor (I have to note this because I’m such a fangirl, of course), he  and Martha Jones end up in Elizabethan London during the Bard’s attempts to write Love’s Labour’s Won as a sequel to the canon play Love’s Labour’s Lost.

I liked the episode, mostly because Shakespeare wasn’t the star of the show.  As usual, the Doctor and his companion(s) were, and the limelight of the week was cast on the villain(s) and the random person (usually historically famous, but not always) who needs the Timelord’s help in defeating them.  I liked the way the story portrayed the jail, the potential romantic life of young people of the time, the crowds, the boarding house scenes….  even the idealistic visit by Elizabeth I herself at the end.  Most of what I liked though is how Shakespeare is cast as a normal, flawed human being, a product of his time.

Conwy's Elizabethan Locals - IMGP1538

Conwy’s Elizabethan Locals – IMGP1538 (Photo credit: catchesthelight)

I like human beings.  I can relate to human beings.  I like spending time with human beings.  I do not like to spend time with gods.  (An odd thought–how humanity tends to try to humanize its favored gods and deify its beloved members…)

And this MOOC, while about Shakespeare’s works, is as much about the people and the world they lived in at the same time as Shakespeare.  Yes, our professor uses Shakespeare’s works as a lens to show us these things; he also uses historical documentation and artifacts from the time period–things sorely deficient in my high school experiences with the Bard.

FutureLearn hasn’t closed the class to new sudents yet.  If you’re interested, sign up.  The joy of MOOCs is you can participate as little or as much as you’d like and at your own speed.  I have no doubt you’ll get something new out of it even if you only follow the lectures and assigned plays.

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyIs this progress? *shakes head*

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentencesdo notes count?
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  except for scratching notes, no action
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation on track; decided to sponsor again next ROWnd
  • energize myself with more physical activity mostly home stuff
  • reclaim my writing space the top of my desk showed up momentarily
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) a forced electronic reprieve because my PC is acting up
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  some, though not as much as I’d have liked; a lot of collapsed plans these past few days
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) nope
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