Category Archives: Family

By Her Majesty’s Decree

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The Queen and the Sheriff of Nottingham (sort of)

Busy day for us here at Chez Mabee, at least for me.  Somehow I got posted to the JuNoWriMo hosting schedule for sprints twice on Sundays (feel free to jump on Twitter and join me if you need some writing boosts–you don’t have to be a June WriMo member to participate), two four hour shifts: from 6-10am and 7-11pm.  We also went to the New York Capital District Renaissance Festival today, which (for anyone who has attended such things) took a lot longer than we expected it would.

This awesome soldier (Trojan--he'll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

This awesome soldier (Trojan–he’ll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

It was the Boodle’s first “real” renfaire (there is a little one that occurs every other year at a church in the center of Albany*, but that doesn’t have the space for many of the activities that make up such an event).  For a while we weren’t sure if it wouldn’t be his last.

We shouldn’t have worried.  There was a Shakespeare-inspired skit going on at the Vixens En Garde stage.  After that…  we had no fear of leaving early.  In fact, we stayed well past the ending bell for the Queen’s Blessing and dismissal.  And during the parting wishes, the Boodle was calling out “Huzzah” right along with the crowd.  He wants to go again next year and has asked if we can look into going to one of the other big faires in NYS (Sterling or Sterling Forest) before summer is over.

The Boodle wasn't quite as keen on trying to fire the ballista

The Boodle wasn’t quite as keen on firing the ballista

A big change from the kid who didn’t know if he was even interested.

He has even expressed something of an interest (though I’m unsure how strong it is) in planning a costume for next year).  If he does, cool.  If not, equally cool.  There is plenty of time to get involved more fully such activities.

And with his love of the Bard, who knows…  maybe someday he will be one of those on the stage someday!

In all, it’s been a good day.  A tiring one…  but worth it.  Even if it did make me dream of England again…

Now, ’tis time for my weekly assessment and…

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyWriMos are tricky things.  They tend to consume more energy than they feel like they should.

I mean, really, if I normally hit between 750-1000 words a day, and somehow manage to goof off a bunch, then it stands to reason that a bit more than doubling that shouldn’t really be an issue.  On an average day, I can usually pull out 750 words in a half-hour.

I’ve been lucky to achieve 400 +/- these last few days in the same amount of time.  And when I’m hosting sprints, my actual wordcount drops even further.  I am a host after all, and as a host, it is my responsibility to mingle and interact, answer questions, provide  support.  It’s fun, but it’s very disruptive to the muse at times.

How does this work with my goals?

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: nothing—shifting, broadening focus from now on
  • Not-progress, but… this was the week of reading twice daily a writing blog article for more craft ideas
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress:  I submitted a piece the other day
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: typing away madly
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I’ve been fighting myself for this handwritten work these last few days–some stuff going on at the house that just has our heads a bit filled (my hubby’s more than mine, but he needs his partner around when Life is giving him this kind of stress, so it’s a mutual thing)
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on these again)
Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he's been everywhere!

Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he’s been everywhere.

And that’s pretty much it.  I’m overtired; have dealt with two migraines and a slew of sinus headaches this week, two power outages (which almost ruined out file server because it tried to do updates between outages!), “Stuff”, my SiL’s father died suddenly…

I keep saying I’ll add to these goals, but Life doesn’t seem to want to work that way lately.  Maybe it’s just as well that the ROWnd is almost over.   I will be ending things on a “I DID it” note instead of scrambling to reach ever newer and brighter stars.

There is something kind of cool about that too..

Thanks for stopping over!  If you’d like to visit other ROWers and cheer them on, follow this linky here.

* this isn’t the main site, but there is a funny story in this piece, since the cathedral was never completed and a stop-gap roof was installed so the building would be usable

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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.

It’s Thursday Already?

Most of the time

Most of the time

By Thor…  time really did get away from me these last few days.  I mean, I knew on Sunday that these were going to be some chaotic days, but really…

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t get a whole heck of a lot done these last few days.  Some of it was because of the cray-cray.  However a generous portion was not.

At the pavilion by the pond

At the pavilion by the pond

Something…  I’m not even sure what anymore just knocked me on my butt.  I came home from the Big Boodle Day and pretty much crashed (the next day, the Boodle came home from school and crashed so it hit both of us).  Boodle Day was amazing…  It started out with this six actress production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Then afterward we stepped out with the local homeschooling group for some time at Ferncliff Forest.  Then, when it was well into lunch time and we needed food, the Boodle and I headed into Rhinebeck for some yummy Thai food and a bit of shopping.

Mom, put the camera down

Mom, put the camera down

I was already feeling pretty shot though before we’d even started for the day, so I wasn’t too upset when the Boodle decided he had had enough well before we had to think of leaving.  Something had been stirring since the night before…  and between stress (I forgot a turn on our way to the play and we arrived late) and whatever it was…  we just weren’t at our best.

But sweet sticky rice and taro….  YUM.  (I always get these foodie binges after dining out and start hunting up recipes.  My kitchen suffers, our budget suffers…  but I make a mean navy bean pie, at least according to the Boodle.)

That was Monday though, and it’s now Thursday afternoon.  Four days, one root canal and a two-day migraine later…  I’m ready to get some work done.

I did get some work done on my goals during this time.  My typing, my five sentences, even some of my reading on writing process…  I’ve staggered but squeaked by on most of my language work.  And I’m just one document off from being caught up on my local critique group’s projects

ROW80LogocopyAnd… really, that’s about it for this Wednesday.  (Not really, but my head isn’t in the best place now, and I don’t want to dig too far.  I will provide my full assessment on Sunday.)

Why not check in with some other awesome ROWers and see how they are doing?

Hopefully by Sunday I’ll also have some news to offer on the little “I’ll watch yours if you’ll watch mine” bet I have going with fellow ROWer, Caren Rich.  She’s never watched Doctor Who; believe it or not… I’ve never watched a James Bond movie.  We’re on for May 27th—”Never Say Die” for me and “Blink” for Caren.  Will we make converts of each other?  Who knows?  But how can it not be fun to try?