Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sunday, Sunday, So Good…

Is it so good to me?  Dunno…

Today feels like… well, like Monday in a way.  The song fits.

It’s not like it’s been a bad day so far, nor a busy one…  there’s just this edge of anticipation that says “Watch what you promise, be careful what you do–you’re going to need to be ready for something big soon.”

I wish I knew what.  Energy comes in different kinds, and it would be useful to know whether I need the kind that will be able to empower me during sudden, random bursts of activity or something more durable…  something that will get me through days, possibly weeks of grinding

For now, it has to be one day and then the next and then we’ll see after that…  Tomorrow, for example, is the happy but also busy event of the Boodle’s piano recital.  He’s got his three pieces down and shouldn’t have too much problem, but because of scheduling conflicts, we have a lot of racing before the recital starts tomorrow that could make things stressful for him.

Two years ago he had his first recital.  He wrote this song for it.

Row80 Check-in and Assessment

  • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: still detoured, and I’ve done nothing else of the type
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: one and half crits done, so halfway
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: had a happy burst of progress yesterday, but still a page behind; I’m in a happier place to see some progress for a while though, so hopefully this coming week will be easier
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I fell down here this week; I got nothing written, and only lROW80Logocopyast night was I able to stop thinking about my backlist of projects to spend some quality talk-time with my characters.  Thankfully they were there to spend time with me! *
  • Not Goals but Progress Anyway:
    1. Duolingo — daily progress
    2. JuNoWriMo prep — nothing on my work; have  gone through most of the Featured Author posts and returned them to the authors for review and corrections
    3. Inspirational Posts” — this may sound like an odd goal, but if I’m going to sponsor next ROWnd, I need to think one up; I’ve also been asked to write a PEP-talk post for the JuNoWriMo, and while I have an idea for that, I need to flesh out a rough draft this evening for Becca’s review
    4. Watch a James Bond movie — did it; watched Die Another Day Wednesday night.  Liked it enough.  I think my son would enjoy it more than me, but I liked the mix of humor, absurd plot devices and dastardly bad guys against the cool collected hero.  What surprised me was my feeling at the end about Bond and ‘his women’.  Yes, he got the girls, but his consideration for them as people seemed genuine too.  A telling bit with the double agent Miranda Frost came after Bond sent Jinx to save her.  It wasn’t to ‘save the pretty thing‘; to me it came off as ‘she is a fellow agent and deserves warning that the crap is going to hit the fan’.  And I liked how casual both he and Jinx were about sex.  Just two people having fun, doing their jobs, living life without messy emotional crap involved.  They made enough messes everywhere else…

That’s the way this ROWnd just seems to be.  Every week I think I’m going to add some goals, and I just keep sliding by instead.  The one goal I’ve made for myself since the round began (add something creative to my day) has been mostly satisfied by adding extra curlicues to my handwriting.  :-/

I guess it’s part of the process.  I’m learning what works for me and how to ensure that most of the things I plan for get done and allow some wiggle room for things I say “Yes” to when I didn’t consciously allocate any time to extras.  I still have an issue with not knowing how to say “No” to things or, at least, when to say it.  But the commitment I’ve made to myself with these smaller goals seems to be working most of the time.  I have seen steady forward progress this this ROWnd began.  I can’t call it the fastest progress, but it’s been consistent in most every area.  Even my biggest “failure” (the plotting book) has resulted in other forms of progress for me; I am reading more craft-related websites and following more writing-related podcasts again where I had stopped almost a year ago.

So, once again, I move forward to another week to see what might be changed or tweaked.  Some things will be cleared from the schedule such as edits on the Featured Author posts, but then it will be uploading and arranging the pieces for the JuNoWriMo website.  The week after that will be sprint-hosting on Twitter.

For now…  tomorrow is another day.  And the Boodle’s piano recital.

* Just in case I hadn’t mentioned before, these Five Sentences for me are something I do off-line. I have gotten some story-like writing done via 750words (as well as a lot of brain-dumping and idea exploring), but I try to write something by hand regularly as well. I find it’s good for the soul, and somewhat satisfies my need for a creative outlet.

Among and Of Art

Today's Temporary Office Space

Today’s Temporary Office Space

Today I decided to step out of my comfort zone and step into a café I normally don’t go to (mostly because it’s about an hour from home–I just had come this way for a dentist appointment* and a visit with Mom).  With a few free hours before my next thing and with heading home a stupid proposition since I had be back this way for it, I felt this was the time to give this place another try.

I confess…  this place doesn’t work for me most of the time.  And today was no exception.  If I hadn’t needed something more doughy than flaky (and definitely not crunchy once the Novocaine started wearing off), I would have been highly disappointed in my ordered nibble (a buttered croissant that tasted frightfully like a Pillsbury Crescent Roll from a tube that had been “baked” in a microwave oven–under-baked at that).  The tea was good, but then as long as the water is clear and heated right, I usually can monitor the steeping to my taste just fine.

Still, I’m so very glad I came.  OMG, the paintings!  A local artist, named Tim Dobert, had several works displayed about the backrooms.  Incredible stuff.  His work with water effects is just…  Wow!

Even in this iPhone4 image you can see how good the water looks

Even in this iPhone4 pic you can see how good the water looks (I posted this to my Facebook to gloat a bit about my happy “office away from home”)

I  so wish I had the money to buy a painting.

Maybe after I find out what the oral surgeon I need to hire for the next tooth is going to do our bank accounts…  Just kidding.  Then the money will go to the oil bill, the car and house insurance… trivial stuff.

Guess I need to learn how to paint.

Not now though.  In lieu of a career as a talented painter**, let me update you on my progress as another kind of starving artist…

ROW80 Check-in

After yesterday, I bet I’m ready to take up a PT job as a proofreader.  The last few days have all been spent editing and beta-ing.   Sometimes it hurt to snip and trim…  I loved the work so much as it was, even when I knew it didn’t fit the guidelines.  Some pieces…  I’ll be honest, annoyed me because the creators took the suggestion that this was a place to promote their work very seriously.  I’m not big into ‘market speak” and “You too can…” genre of sales-speak just gives me the willies.  I understand where it comes from; these days, everyone feels almost forced to sell themselves to someone… audience, employers, even stores!  The urge to be the next Best Thing can seem overpowering in our society.ROW80Logocopy

I never wanted “IN” on that.  I so very much never wanted IN, that seeing this post by KM Weiland just made the world feel sane and happy again.  Or at least a place where I can stay sane, which is good enough for me.

But what all that meant for my goals is…  I’m squeaking by.  Almost.  Sort of…

Not really.

If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go through the list and explore my failures in fine detail.  Accept they are there and that I have a bunch of work to catch up on before Sunday, and then go visit some other ROWers here for hopefully more happy news.

Me?  I’m off to enjoy a song or two and get my 750words for the day done.  Here are two of my favorite car ride and contemplate tunes if you’d like to enjoy with me, both from the Avalanches album Since I Left You:

*I’ve had the same dentist since high school, and I don’t deal with change well…  don’t judge.  😉

** As I noted in this post, my brushwork could use some brushing up.

Mission Accomplished

I have delivered the kitten!

JuJuBee Mabee, the new kitten's aunt

JuJuBee Mabee, the new kitten’s aunt

Oh, you didn’t know I was supposed to be delivering a kitten?  Oh!  Well, if you’ve ever told a twelve year-old girl that you know where there are new kittens for free….  you’d be obliged to get said kitten.  And since I was playing middle-man between the elderly cat-man (this man is in his mid-70s and love, love, loves his kitties) whose barn the kittens lived in and the twelve year-old girl…  oh, and both this girl and this man live over an hour away (yeah, long story and long drive).

Mission accomplished as of 2pm.

And of course, I didn’t take a picture of said kitten, but I’m sure in a week or two there will be an update on Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos about the arrival and adjustment process.

Though… I can say that this kitten is very much like the Boodle’s beloved JuJuBee.  Of course, this new little girl is definitely JuJuBee’s niece, so that makes sense.

Now I suppose I should get to the real point of this post…

My ROW80Check-in & Assessment

And now my weekly assessment:

  • ROW80LogocopyGoal: 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 (had to renew this)
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: group is back working on projects, now moved to our shiny new Facebook group
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: one page behind on count, but that’s not bad since I had nothing typed at all Wednesday
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  not so good, but I knew I’d have no progress until Wednesday (I wasn’t counting on a sick day Thursday though); I managed four of the seven days and well over five sentences each day
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: maintained my progress in French and German for a twenty-day streak, have added a bit more social time with friends and family, have not added much exercise 😦 ,  and I’ve caught up my some of library backlog.

So…  another week where I’ve fought to get my goals done, had some failures…  I guess I was spot on when I picked out these goals in April.  Looks another week of maintaining status quo, and that’s OK.  I am glad that I made the progress I did given this was such a chaos week.  And we’ll see what happens next week.

And that’s it.  Why not visit a few other ROWers?