Category Archives: accomplishments

Not Bad!

Okay, so I’m a little proud of myself…

Not the same words, but the same idea

Different words, same idea

I’ve been taking a class via FutureLearn on the Archaeology of Portus (a major (man-made!) port on the west coast of Italy during the 1st-6th centuries AD).  Yesterday, one of the lessons suggested we try to translate a Roman inscription from the Trajanic Period of the port.

[ ]
NE[ ]
TRA[ ]
DAC[ ]
I[ ]
FOSSAM [ ]
[ ]VA INVN[ ]
[ ]DSIDVE V[ ]
[ ] PERFN[ ]

Most experts fill in the blanks this way:

[Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi]
NE[rvae f(ilius) Nerva]
TRA[ianus Aug(ustus) Germ(anicus)]
DAC[icus trib(unicia) pot(estate)]
I[mp(erator) co(n)s(ul) p(ater) p(atriae)]
FOSSAM [fecit/restitui iussit]
[q]VA INVN[dationes Tiberis]
[ad]SIDVE V[rbem vexantes]
[rivo p]EREN[ni instituto arcerentur]
— from the lecture

or like this:

[Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi] / Ne[rvae f(ilius) Nerva] / Tra[ianus Aug(ustus) Germ(anicus)] / Dac[icus trib(unicia) pot(estate)] / i[mp(erator) — co(n)s(ul) — p(ater) p(atriae)] / fossam [restitui iussit] / [q]ua inun[dationes Tiberis] / [a]dsidue u[rbem vexantes] / [in] per<e>n[ne arcerentur] — from here

This was my translation:

The Divine Emperor Ceasar,
sinew of Nerva (adopted Trajan)
“Trajan’s full name” (lazy; didn’t write it out)
tribune of Dacic (Dacia?)
Consul General, Father of his Country
Made the river/canal to be restored
when the inundation (flooding?) of the Tiber
constantly denied the city its regular flow of trade

This was our teacher’s translation.  Not exactly the same…  but I think I was getting the idea through:

Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, son of the deified Nerva, Conquer of Germany and Dacia, Tribune, Consul, Father of the Nation made a canal by which the floods of the Tiber which continually troubled the City were kept away

Not bad, if I do say so myself.  😀

Of course, the rest of my personal progress is a bit less inspiring.  Of my ROW80 goals, I’ve done very little.  I’m even falling behind again on my critique group work.  As much as I love FutureLearn, I’ve found I cannot take one of their classes without exploring the topics deeply, spending several more hours a week on each class than the anticipated timeframe.

I did get a small bit of writing done in the UnNamed Story.  This means I have something to post for  WIPpet Wednesday!


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Following right on the heels of last week’s piece, here are eight sentences for the 8th of February

Ytramli shook his head, just barely avoiding, it seemed, to snarl at the implication that a priestess was somehow of a lesser calling than a priest, though among most Acarians it was the standard view. He shook his head. “It will hurt her—actually it will destroy her among our own people. To offer herself in this manner for Val’s defense is tantamount to offering herself as chattel. Slaves have been, and are sometimes, still used by some of the temples for ritual supplications when the priestess is too old for the physical acts or—.” The man stopped short and shrugged. “It doesn’t matter why they are used. The point is that doing this will destroy her among the Clans.”

Amused? Bemused? Want more? Head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. Merci, merci, Emily Witt, for graciously hosting the WIPpet.

Thank you to the ROW80 community for just being there. 🙂

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Flight of Fancy

Writing Is for the Birds

A lovely crow cousin

While trying to avoid getting immersed in work when I needed to head out early, I found a cool blog about the family Corvidae (crows and their cousins) because of this post about some of those more flamboyant cousins…  the magpies and how impressively colorful they can get.  The magpie-jays (which weren’t pictured in the post, so I posted one here) are stunning creatures.  I have three crows that spend their time in our back yard these days except when the grackles chase them away.

Crows and their cousins are delightful birds for a couple of reasons.  They are intelligent birds in general, gregarious and attractive too.  They also help us keep our world clean whether we want to or not.  And I learned something else about them today…  actually, about birds in general.  It’s about how chicks are raised.  There are two types or processes involved in chick development while in the egg.  One type we’re pretty familiar with from grade-school science experiments with an incubator and some eggs via a local farm.  The other development type we see in the stereotypical cartoon of a nest with pink featherless creatures raising their gaping beaks in the air for the first worm or bug the parent birds can offer.

The first type (called precocial) results in a mostly capable little down-covered fluff-balls that look so cute on Easter mornings, chicks who can peck away at cracked corn and seeds on their own, cheep cheep and scurry away in a panic.

Feed us… FEED US!

The second type of development results in a baby that desperately needs its parents.  If an altricial chick falls out of the nest, its mostly featherless body could suffer from hypothermia and the chick could die without the warmth of the nest and its siblings.  It can barely move, expending most of its energy to raise its head for eagerly awaited offerings of regurgitated insects, seeds or meat made by its parents.  (Not only birds are considered altricial—many mammals, including humans, are too.  The term is related to parental investment in the raising of young.)

Crows fall into the second category.  Another cool fact about crows?  Their eye color changes.  North American crows have blue eyes when they are young…  I never would have imagined that, but it is very cool.  And pretty, pretty too!

Yep!  I totally fell down the internet rabbit hole this morning.  But it’s O.K.  I have some good news for…

My ROW80 Check-In

ROW80LogocopyMaybe I got tired of the lack of progress in gradually increasing my goals the way I had planned.  Maybe I missed the old crew.  Or maybe I got fed up with all the dancing through hoops I’ve done for others at the expense of a few simple (nearly free) pleasures…

Either way, I just did it!  I not only managed to meet my one added goal of doing something artistic (a fifteen minute tea break at Panera this morning), but I also got up this morning and posted a non-ROW80 post–a WIPpet no less.  Yes, I participated in the WIPpet Wednesday bloghop again.

Asking for Inspiration

Asking for Inspiration

I suspect my participation will be inconsistent as June moves in fully, since JuNoWriMo (50K before the Summer doldrums hit).  I’m going to try for every other week now and see what happens.

I am nearly back on track with all my other goals as well.  I missed my Five Sentences on Monday, but made huge headway on an inspirational post I’ve been asked to write for one of the JuNo pep-talks Sunday and Monday, so hopefully my characters will forgive me that (they seem to have done so with great consideration—today Valichii, Lan and Acarii spent a few hours with me, filling me in on history and social details I’d never guessed at; I really understand their points of view a lot better now).

It’s been a happy morning.  I still have a lot more to get done before the day is over, and I am tired.  But even if I only get a bit more handled, I’ll count it as a win.  And I learned something in trying to draw those hands today…  I had so much trouble seeing them in the lines I drew—the picture only came real once I added the shadows.

Not quite sure what lesson to take from that yet, but I know there is something to ponder there.

Me? A White Rabbit?

Yes, I’m LateI just looked at the clock and was like  “Ack!  it’s already almost 3pm and I haven’t done my sponsor visits for the ROW80—I haven’t even written a check-in for this week’s ROW80.  I’ve got a ton of backlogged comments to answer for this blog, plus some on my ‘name’ blog The Garden of Delights (which I missed writing a weekly post for last week and likely will again this week), I woke up late for hosting my #JuNoWriMo sprints today…

and…

The list keeps growing.

Oh, dear.  Oh, dear!

My excuse?  I took an evening off last night to just goof off and relax.  It was the last day of school and after karate (I didn’t miss that), I came home, flumped in a chair and played some Pokémon White on my 3DS with a glass of sangria next to me and chatted on occasion with family, petted cats…  it was grand!

I didn’t know how much I needed an evening like that until I had it.  Bliss, I tell you, true BLISS!

That said, this morning I had to jump right into it again.  And I’m still late.  My son’s homeschool paperwork is due next week.  Our wedding anniversary is Monday, and we need to finalize plans for our weekend…  June is such an insanely busy month.  Sometimes I wonder at myself for jumping into challenges like these (the ROW80, JuNoWriMo, RSWrite, plus several projects offline).

I’d say it’s because I like to keep busy, and in a sense, I do.  But I’m starting to think it’s also because I’m avoiding something.  Or rather…  someone: myself.

Yeah…  that’s getting too personal for me.  Time to just finish this check-in and get some catch-up work done…  partly because I promised the Boodle that we’d be going to a concert in the park this evening, and time is flying.

ROW80LogocopySo…  how’d I do on my ROW80 goals?  Pretty well actually.

  • Writing —Except for taking a break yesterday… on target
  • Storyworld/character time — pulled this out both by rereading sections for continuity and writing about my characters, so a big yes!
  • Pushups/general fitness —karate, some gardening, and a bit of extra walking; still not up to par yet
  • Camera time daily — nothing yesterda or Monday (camera was on the “charge all the batteries” mission Monday)
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — missed Tuesday, but did Italian with two of my students that day, so …  does that count?
  • MOOCs — still no; dropping this until June ends

So…  it could have been far worse.  Definitely will have to keep trying to improve, but at least being late hasn’t meant I have gotten stuck feeling sorry for myself.  I’m still writing!