Indecisive and Slightly Possessed

My update this week is all about frustration and indecisiveness…

And this, after I’ve missed a number of updates altogether.

You may notice this isn’t the page I’ve been updating on.

I took down the WordPress.org page. It’s been glitchy, spazzy, EVERY time I’ve needed to update a plugin the auto-updater failed and I had to go manually dink around with code and other things that terrify me. I love the idea of having the full level of control, but something just wasn’t right. Going to research some more and try it again later.

Much later.

For now Rantravewrite is homeless – offline, as I wait for the DNS records to update back to WordPress.com

I played with this idea for a couple of weeks. Yes. No. Yes. No. Have a banana split. Yes. No. SQUIRREL! My mind was all over the place with it.

Last night, while doing something totally unrelated, I suddenly found myself halfway through the move.

I’d been indecisive for too long, it seems.

You know that little spot in the back of your mind that KNOWS what you should do, even when you’re waffling? Yeah, that took over and compelled my fingers to merrily do what needed to be done.

Aside from this, not much to report. I was third level sick this week, on the heels of my son being the same. Raging fever, hallucinations, the whole nine yards. Almost 10% of my body weight disappeared in the course of the last 6 weeks between the gall bladder deal, the subsequent surgery, then the sick. Harsh way to get back to fighting weight, and it left no energy for writing, housework or even reading for the most part.

This is probably going to be my last update for a while. I’ll be catching up with all of you, but no writing. I need to pull myself up out of this bog and shake off the mud before I can do much. And once I do, I need to clean the cobwebs from the house, from work and the other areas of my world I have been ignoring. Time to get the head on straight.

And for a giggle at my expense, to show you how loosely my head’s been attached lately, here’s a conversation I had with my son yesterday:

Q: It’s so beautiful out today.
Me: It is. We’re lucky to live in a place so verdant.
Q: What’s verdant?
Me: Green.
Q :Well why didn’t you just say green?
Me: — I don’t know, buddy. Probably for the same reason I didn’t name you Bob.
Q: Why didn’t you name me Bob?
Me: I don’t know.
Q: Mama, none of that made any sense at all.

Linky

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Round 1 Wrap Up, Open Invite and a Favor

How’s that for a catchy title?

All in all, I’m fairly pleased with my Round 1 wrap up. Didn’t hit every goal, but I did fairly well, and in some cases even exceeded my goals. Can’t complain about that, given the crazy stretch of sickies, strange happenings and obscene day job workload this round.

As a wrap up, this is a bit long. My posts are often a bit long. I need a T-shirt that just says Verbose. But this is killing my point here. Or emphasizing it. If you want to skim, please check out Goals 3 & 4 where I am looking for new to Triberr tribemates and begging a favor of you.

Can’t wait to see everybody in the next round!

Goal #1 – It was supposed to be 1 10×10 and 2 RantRaveWrite posts each week. I hit the three post total nearly every week, and in a few cases exceeded it. But not exactly according to specifications – not as many 10x10s as I should have done, but I’m calling this a 90% win.

Goal #2 – Working with the rantravewrite.com domain. – This one I did spent a lot of time on, but I wasn’t all that successful I scrapped it midway as a time eater. I will revisit this some other time when I can have alone time with it. Trying to manage that with one hand while the other hand is playing a game with Q is not working.

Goal #3 – Break out of my introverted shell by working with social media more – total score. I exceeded my minimum post requirement of 80 for the round – a more than doubled my goal. All in all pretty successful. I’m still working on the whole Triberr thing – I have a starter Tribe on Triberr called Write, Read, Repeat – as a starter Tribe, you can register and just hop in if you want without an invite. So far it’s a bit lonely – just me, Darlene and Alberta. I’m hoping to gear it toward writing, especially for anyone interested in collaboration, finding beta-readers, illustrators and feedback. Anyone who is registered w/ Triberr who would like to join, tweet me @rantravewrite for an inbreeding invite.

Goal #4 – Children’s WIPS – I didn’t do as much with this as I should have. *sigh* BUT I have a plan now. And it seems I like working on these more in nice weather, which we have been having copious amounts of this last to weeks, so I have dug back in. As a matter of fact, if you’d like a sneak peek at the first third of the Seuss style poem, it is on here. Check the A Little Something To See Here page.

Ok, what I’m really doing here is not so much offering you a sneak peek, as begging you to take a look and give me some feedback. This is outside of my normal writing style and I would love some comments about flow, rhyme, content – tell me you hate it or love it, I don’t care. This is literally the first time any eyes but mine have seen it.

Goal#5 – Blog reading/commenting – I struggled with this one early on, but now I’m nailing it. I have developed good habits by trying to reach the goal, so now I think those habits will stick.

Goal#6 – Edits – Mayyybe not so hot here. I did get to work on it, I have been making progress, but not enough. I did find an edit buddy to help me make sense of myself here, so hopefully by the start of the next round I’ll be better suited to continue this.

Goal #7 – Weekly Short Term Goals – Most of these were hit, but not all – maybe a 70% success rate. Not too bad for an experiment. But I like the short term ones, so I’ll probably carry that over to the next round, too.

Goal#8 – Reading for my Bookmark Break Challenge – consistently reading, but not at the pace I usually whip through books. Gotta step it up if I want to reach my Kindle goal.

Goal#9 – Sidebar updating – done, done done. All good on this one.

Linky

A Twitless Tweep and Tribeless Triberrer er er

Ok, I’m going to start this be freely admitting that I am a moron sometimes. One of my goals this round was to hone my skills and use of Social Media. I jumped into and out of Pinterest, signed on to Twitter and Goodreads, and started a FB Page for RantRaveWrite. I also jumped into Triberr, but that tidbit is for later.

This is why I am a moron:

1. I connected FB to my blog, and also to Twitter. This resulted in posts making the round over and over and over. I don’t like that, so I’m trying to manage them as parallels as opposed to duplications.  The moron part comes in when I tell you it took me two weeks to figure out how to unlink the FB/Twitter feeds. 12 year olds can manage this.

2. I put a Goodreads widget in my sidebar and then fought with it for a week and a half trying to make it actually SHOW my books.

3. Twitter is the real kicker though. I signed up through a gmail account I’m trying to link to my blog site (still haven’t accomplished that,either) After signing on, I took a quick tour through all the links on my page.

Since then, I keep having emails tell me that people have sent me direct messages, reTweeted and mentioned me, but I couldn’t find a trace of them on Twitter itself.

Two MONTHS after signing on, I discovered that the little @ Connect button at the top is where all this stuff has been. I thought that was a search for people by their @name. Two months. Really?

4. And because I was fighting this battle with my own stupid, I didn’t jump on the Triberr intro that was making the rounds here with Jenny Hansen. Now I’m signed up, but belong to no Tribe, save my own. If anyone has an invite they could extend for a Tribe relevant to what we do here on ROW80, I’d love to hook up. And because I didn’t even know that I would be starting my own Tribe by signing up sans invite, not I’m going to have to give some through to my Tribe.

As for goals –

Goal #1 – 3 Posts up on RantRaveWrite – done!

Goal#2 – Social Media. I’ve pretty well documented this one already. Got my goal time in and then some.

Goal #3 – Children’s WIP – moved a few stanzas around I have way more than I need, I just don’t know what to cut. But, opened and altered, so progress.

Goal #4 – Blog reading/commenting – definitely have established a full on habit here. I’m pretty happy with where I am on this one.

Goal #5 – Read ahead in it, but there was no reworking of this WIP because of a computer issue. But the new cord came in yesterday so I should be able to start in a week or so once I catch up on the paying work.

Goal #6 – I had a shorty here – have hubby wrestle the gym equipment back into the house. Being done today.

Goal #7 – Reading for the Bookmark Break Challenge – sailed through two complete books this week and then some.

Goal #8 – Updating Sidebar – done for my requirements and I even managed to add a few more links to my Blogroll

So this week I met or exceeded all of the goals that were possible – the crapped out cord hampering me edit work a bit, but still, I’m totally happy with this week. My Spring is showing!

Linky

 

A Veeewy Quiet Check In

Shhh! Nobody move.

The kid is still sleeping and it is blissfully quiet. I’m hoping I can crank out this post and dye my hair before he wakes up and demands that the flurry of our Sunday activity kicks in.

We have lots to do today. I was reminded of this when kiddo woke me up at 5:00 AM, eager to go his friend’s birthday party. I demanded he go back to bed, which he actually did for a change.

Goal #1 –  One, two, three, four! posts up in Rant Rave Write between last Monday and today. I actually exceeded my three post goal.

A couple of them are short random rants – My Valentine’s post, and another, better example of love went up. A third, longer random one also went up detailing  just one more of the absurd situations I keep finding myself in. This time it was a Team Building or: How To Be Violated at the San Diego Zoo. I really must figure out how this stuff keeps happening to me. The fourth is one in which I was put in my place by a four-year-old.

DAMN! There’s the kid. That didn’t last long. I believe that was four minutes of silence. Sometimes I think it’s a shame that tying children up has such a bad rap.

Kidding!

I really don’t care if he runs around like a hooligan. A gag on the other hand…

Ahem. Goal #2 – I got tapped out in this domain/email link thing last week. I’m caving and now admit that this is something I really must concentrate on when it’s quiet. Which may mean that it is deferred until 2015.

Goal #3 – Social Media – not a lot here, I just have no enthusiasm for it. I think I need some suggestions of FB pages/Twitter feeds to subscribe to – maybe if I have a reason for checking in to the sites, I’ll post something, or interact with the posts of others. Any ideas for me?

I need a site that I can feed all of the feeds into – RSS, Google+, FB, Twitter, Networked Blogs each in its own corner of the page.

Goal #4 – Nothing on the Children’s WIPs. I talked to my potential illustrator last week and we ended up spending all the time I had free catching up on our friendship and the book never even came up. Grrrr.

Goal #5 – Doing mostly okay on Blog reads/comments – making the minimum on RoW, not quite on the non-RoWers. Roni Loren had a great post this week on Blog Commenting, and I think a lot of what she had to say is true, and then some. I really want to do better with this.

Goal #6 – Edits – I’ve had no mind for this in the past couple of days – my grandfather’s in the hospital and my mom is having a bad mental health episode so my evening hours after the little goes to bed are dedicated to family check ins and talking my mom down from the proverbial ledge. But it is in my head more now that I really got something accomplished last week.

Goal #7 – My short-term goal was to find a home for all of the displaced furnishings that are stacked up in the dining room after a house purge got out of hand. Had a line on a number of points, but they all fell through. I will not forget about this though, as my husband reminds me about it daily. Freecycle, here I come!

This week’s #7:  Finish patching the spots in the wall where the puppy ate the drywall.

Goal #8Bookmark Break reading challenge: Finished Atlantis Betrayed, getting ready to begin The Scarpetta Factor, and reading The Phantom Tollbooth to my little as his bedtime book.

Goal 9 – Updating my sidebars – the reading challenge one has been updated, but not the writing one. 50%.

Linky

New Year, New ROW80, Same Old Me

New ROW. Yay! New goals, new friends, new everything. Except I’m the same old dingbat. Hence my Linky link stating my intent to join up again – Rant Rave Write, Back Like Slim Shady.

What?

A few minutes after I did that, it occurred to me: that was stupid. I’m a late-30-something white chick from rural Maine. Pretty sure there’s not a whole lot of Slim in me.

Although being able to whip out lines like “Skibbedy-be-bop a-Christopher Reeves/Sonny Bono, skis, horses and hittin some trees” is an awesomely fun thing to do to unsuspecting high school students.

So. Clearly the random rant-like nature of my writing hasn’t evolved at all. You will be subject once again to both goals and updates, but also what appears to be an unrestrained line on my internal monologue. Luckyyyyyyyyyyy!

So my goals, since that is the general purpose of this post.

Still working on my 10 x 10 project, but also trying to boost traffic overall to my blog, so a lot of these are geared toward that.

Goal # 1 will be a double up from last time –  one 10 x 10 post each week AND one Rant Rave Write post in any category in between each check in for a total of 3 posts each week.

Goal # 2  Because it seemed like a fine idea at the time, I bought the domain rights to rantravewrite.com. Now I have no idea what to do with it, so the goal is to find things to do with my magical new domain –  I have to spend 1 hour each week dinking around trying to hook up the domain based email and other stuff.

Goal #3 – I’m a bit of an introvert, so social media gets a big “meh” from me and the concept of self promotion feels s little dirty. But it’s time to put on my big girl panties and put myself out there – a minimum of 80 FB posts or Tweets  through the round. That only averages one a day, but first I must figure out how to use Twitter. That hashtag thingy is a mystery to me.

Goal #4 – Do something with one of my children’s WIPs each week. I tanked this one last time, so this round I’m shifting gears. No specifics, just do something. Even if that something is opening one, staring at it a while, swearing a bit, then closing it. That will count. I didn’t even open those most times last round.

Goal #5 – This one is inspired by Ryan and some of the others from last round – Commenting! Those comments really helped me through some rough patches and made me think I might actually be decent at this whole writing thing. So it’s time to share the love. I must read and comment on a minimum of 10 Linky posts each check in, and a minimum of 10 non-ROW check in posts each week.

Goal #6 – Edits. I have to get through at least 20 pages of edits each week. This is where I will need the most help. I have a four inch binder full of a paper copy of a WIP that is book one of what could theoretically be a never ending series. I have one complete D1 in the binder, and two other partials electronically. First step is to re-read it its entirety, so it begins with reading at least 10 pages a day,  then start the 20 page weekly edits. I’m sure I’ll be done reading ahead of time, but those edits will try and take me down.

Goal #7 – Pick 1 new, short term goal each week. I have to name this goal on the Sunday checkin and have it complete or well under way to becoming a habit  by the following Sunday. This week’s goal is to remove all the holiday trimmings from the house and clean up the catastrophe that is my new office after a quick move from one office space to another. It currently looks like someone bombed Romper Room.

Game on.

Birthday Cake and Victory

It was my Birthday on Friday. And I got all uncharacteristically melancholy. Not because I’m getting older – I’ve never been one to despair over getting a year older. That, to me, seems akin to crying because I’ve spent the last year breathing. You mean it’s my birthday again? That means I’ve made it through another year – battling the crazies with the lovlies, winning and losing battles.

Admittedly, there are more crazies that there are lovlies, but that only means that when I find myself in the midst of something lovely, I know it. And have the presence of mind to appreciate it. I have been known to speak out loud, “Thank you for this.”

Our wedding is a prime example of this. The first wedding date was postponed due to the death of my husband’s father after 7 long years of fighting a brain tumor. We postponed for another year when his little sister died unexpectedly at 22. The third time our budget was cut by a dramatic pay cut at my job. We pushed forward after cancelling the photographer and DJ. We were going to be married in that pretty little ocean side stone chapel and celebrate on the open docks of the marina just down the road, no matter what.

“What” turned out to be a hurricane. Hurricane Ophelia.  Before I grasped my father’s arm to begin my walk down the aisle, my dress was soaked tatters, the gauzy material unable to stand up to the vicious rain and wind. Worse, the inside of the marina, with its orange booths and nautical themed decor took the place of our outside reception with the rough picnic tables and pretty white umbrellas. And several guests took turns watching the water levels in case we needed to evacuate.

And when it was over people talked about what a shame it was. But to us, we got what we went for. It was decidedly unbeautiful, but to my husband and I none of that mattered. We won.

That’s what the worst birthdays are. A sodden, dirty, laughable win. But if you are still here to celebrate, it’s a win. This birthday was a bad one and for a short while I sunk in and wallowed in the self-pity. Then I stood up, shook myself off and really took stock. Yes, this year has been one full of more kicks than anything else, but I’m still here.

And if I change my measuring stick, it’s not so bad. ROW is one of the new measuring tools I have. Instead of looking back and thinking, I haven’t written nearly as much as I should have, or not even knowing how much I did write, I can look back and know that while I may not have met every goal every time, some, I have met and exceeded.

One of the ones that really took off for me is the blog. So many things vied for my time in the last couple of years that I haven’t written much of anything, almost nothing on the blog front. But with the ROW check-ins asking me every week, “Dd you get it done?” it seems I do. So much so that I was exceeding my goals without even knowing it. My stated goal was 1 post per week in the 10 X 10, but I’d be happy with one post period.

Apparently twice weekly check ins has shorted out my math skills. Being able to post about a new post at each check in, means 2 posts per week. So most weeks, even when I thought I was losing, I was winning. Especially when you factor in the actual check in post. Which I don’t, because it feels like cheating.

This week alone, I have posted 4 out of the last five days. One of them, That Mom, got an unexpected amount of traffic and feedback. And not one jump from Facebook or the Linky.  Just. . . traffic. I’ve been consistent enough to that I’m popping up in WordPress searches, google is actually sending me visitors and I’m picking up subscribers who aren’t related to ROW. Not many, not many subscribers, period, but still. It doesn’t feel quite so much like I’m casting pages to the wind.

Most importantly, all this blog writing is making me remember that I love writing. I love making people laugh, I love pulling responses from people, and I like choosing words to place on a page.

This is my first time with ROW, so my goals have morphed a few times, and will again for this last leg. But it’s working for me, so I win.

So today, I’m not going to measure my goals. I’m not going to go through the list and point out where I’ve failed (I have) and where I won, item by item. I’m going to be happy knowing that I’ve been making progress, sometimes smoothly, sometimes in fits and starts, but it’s progress, and that is a win.

Here’s the Linky.

 

Nov. 2 Check In and Do-Over Do-Over

November! This is the time that I begin to ponder a new year. Jan 1 doesn’t do much for me, but my birthday is at the end of this month, and it always makes me pause and look back to see what I did right and what I could have done better with. Also known as the tank review.

And to celebrate, I revamped my goals, because I was tanking them. A few were poorly timed and one was a bit too constrictive, so I redid my list. Now only two of my original goals remain. I could chalk this up to a careful re-evaluation of my plan and technique, but considering this is the second revision in a month, well, I shan’t be so lofty. I will call it what it is – a caving to reality.

For any of you who are interested, the modified post with my updated goals can be found here.

As for the goals – well, I still have a few days to get my 10 X 10 up, but I did have a moment on Halloween that simultaneously hurt and healed when I received an unexpected gift, so I did get another post up on Rant Rave Write. Sometimes it is just really important to pay attention to the little things, even if you think no one will notice.

I have been reading and commenting on ROWers blogs, but am expanding that practice to non-ROW visitors to my site and those I visit. Until ROW I hadn’t had a full appreciation of feedback.

I am so excited to have a line on illustrators for my children’s works that I can’t sit still with them long enough to get them moving out the door properly. Totally need to reel myself in here. Once more, this applies.

My timer rig is working perfectly, so when I do sit down I no longer find myself in a scramble to pick up Quinn, or make a work call. I’m loving this thing.

I sat down with my little yesterday and went through a basic demonstration of piano playing to start working on one of my new goals. He loves the piano, loves to hear me one-finger out nursery rhymes. All I wanted him to be aware of is that the keys have names. He starts properly at A, and knows which key it is, but he goes all the way to Z. We’ll work on that. Should be interesting, since I read music at approximately the same speed at which grass grows.

And on a totally irrelevant note,  my writing flow shorts out both spell and grammar check. I did something yesterday on a work collaboration site that actually prompted the Google doc translator to offer its services. Awesome.

Do the Linky hop here.