All posts by eclecticalli

I am finding my way on the meandering, twisting path of life, constantly surprised by what’s around the next bend. Working to embrace and face the challenges inherent with following your dreams, and writing the journey. A writer and dreamer, historian and theologian, academic and fantasy-world-creator, genealogist and gluten-free baker, crafter and reader, poet and life-long learner, constantly questioning and occasionally irreverent. Eclectic Alli is my personal blog, with reflections on writing, life, theology, history, or whatever may catch my thoughts. Disparate Threads is a fantasy-fiction serial-blog, I am trying to break out of the traditional book-format mold of storytelling, taking advantage of the blog format to build a world. Everything on Disparate Threads is considered "Draft," and I WANT reader responses and input! Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram round out my online presence, and I try to do little bits different with each of them.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Busy Week, Sleepy Weekend

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 8th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 11th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to join me at a little coffee shop downtown. I’m meeting up with a friend soon, so why not start with an appetizer-round with you? Appetizer coffee is totally a thing, right?

Anyhow, I’m out here because today I am going to go yarn shopping! This spring I’m going to be participating in the Rose City Yarn Crawl with some friends, and have gotten the Mystery Crochet-Along for the event. So today we go in search of the yarn to make this project with. I’m hoping my friends will help me because, while I’ve been crocheting blankets and scarves for a while now, I’ve never paid a whole lot of attention to things like yarn weight, or color contrast.

We’re also going to be getting sushi – because… sushi. It’ll be a new place I’ve never been (being all the way on the other side of town from me and all) so I’m hoping that it’s got some good selection!

Other than that my weekend is, thankfully, pretty open. I am SO behind in wrapping presents, making presents, and getting my space in order. Need to put some real time and energy into my room — because I am not a fan of living in the whirlwind mess I’ve been ignoring lately. I’m also thinking of doing some rearranging — not sure what exactly I’ll do but, playing with thoughts.

Really, though, I’ll probably end up spending my free time this weekend sleeping. It was a busy week at work, and I’ve been dealing with a cold for most of it, so my energy is completely depleted. Which usually means that I just end up sleeping for most of the weekend to try and recharge a bit.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Reflecting on 2017

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.

 

IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Well, now… what a question.

2017 was a rough one for me in the writing world. I struggled to write — my fiction took a serious hit, and even my blog suffered a bit. Heck, there were even three months where I didn’t even manage to get my IWSG post written! Thankfully I didn’t get vetted in those months, because I would have been dropped (that happens when you don’t post for a few months – you can always sign up again – but I quite like my mid-100’s location on the current list).

And most of the ones I did write tended to be about how to get my writing started again….

Campfire Stories Cover

At the same time, I worked with some awesome ladies to put together a short story collection and we published it!

It’s pretty exciting to have something out there, but it is certainly bringing anxiety up in me. At the same time as I’m working on promotion, I’m having to glare-down the part of me that keeps wondering if the story is any good. Does it deserve to be in this collection?  

It’s kind of strange.  

On the one hand I’m doing the internet-equivalent of shouting from the rooftops. I’m so excited about it, I’ve promoting it where I can, asking people to read it and review it for me.

On the other hand I’m scared to read what I wrote. I’m constantly silencing that voice which tells me that I am an imposter.  That this story really doesn’t deserve to be out there.  That it will be mocked and torn to shreds.

I keep trying to silence that voice.  I try as much as I can. And I’ll keep working on silencing it until it learns to shut itself up.

 

Honestly, if I could backtrack I’m not sure I would do anything differently in the writing world. While I wasn’t very productive, I feel like it was a break I needed — there were other things that claimed my time and attention, and those are just as important.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Stuffs. And Things!

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 1st at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 4th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!


If we were having coffee I’d be full of Auntie-pride. I get to spend time with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece this weekend! They’re making their first trip down – it will be interesting to hear how the little one (nearly 6 months old) manages with the long drive.
This is also going to be the first time I get to see my niece interact with other members of my family (aside from her parents) – I’m looking forward to that!
I’m also going to be celebrating the end of National Novel Writing month by attending a “Thank Goodness It’s Over” party (Yay! We Survived!) It’ll be fun to see some of my fellow Wrimo’s and see how the month went for them. I was super surprised as how well the month went for me – hoping to have a bit of a reflection on it up sometime in the coming weeks.
This weekend is also going to bring some present-work (have to get my Secret Santa present for work finished!) and hopefully some cleaning… because my room has been a bit neglected and needs some love!

And I’m running late with my coffee share so, off I dash! How are you today? What are you up to?

Oh! And! Hey!  I had a short story published!!  Check it out – I’m super excited… I’ll be writing more about it later but — here’s the link!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077T72711

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Thanksgiving Weekend

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from November 24th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday November 27th at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”

 

It’s Thanksgiving Weekend here – so I’m laying low today. Really, I kind of laid-low yesterday too, we just had a few people over for Thanksgiving and it was a nice and simple evening. I felt pretty relaxed the whole time, which was nice!

Today I’m planning on just resting a bunch, writing a bunch, and maybe doing some cleaning and Christmas decorating. I particularly want to get my lights un-buried and put up – that’s the part of the holiday decorations I really like to have up as early as I can.  The extra light and sparkle that they bring really helps when it’s so darn dark all the time.  Because of my schedule it’s dark when I leave for work, and dark when I leave work for home.  And my office doesn’t have windows, so it can seem like the entire day is just dark if I don’t make an effort to get out during my lunch break.  So the holiday lights add a nice touch of light to things.

The writing has been going really well.  I reached my goal of 50,000 words – but am still going. Because I switched stories midway through NaNo I’m now reaching the dreaded Half-Way Point in my new story.  It’s that point where it can be hard to keep writing.  In my case I think the challenge comes from needing to push through to some particular scenes and plot points – but not being entirely sure how to maneuver myself there.  I have a few thousand words of scenes that will be deleted in rewrites because they are wrong.  I wrote them, but as soon as they were down I knew that it was the wrong way to get to the scene I wanted.   So I’ve backtracked (kept the word count though – because that’s how NaNo works) and am trying to write my way to that scene another way

Having to re-approach the scene has also forced me to ask the question of why it’s important. I know that it’s a scene I want to have in the story, but I am now trying to figure out what I want to be the ultimate outcome of it — what is the purpose of having it in the story?  Why not reveal the information that it shows a different way?  I’m pushing that question on myself because I feel like it might help me understand something more about the direction of the story.  When a scene comes to me so strongly that I find myself shaping parts of the story around it I want to know WHY.

Time to get going!  Have a lot of thinking and writing to do!

How has your week been?  What’s your weekend like?  If you’re someone who celebrates Thanksgiving how did it go?

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Another Weekend of Writing

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from November 17th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday November 27th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Welcome to the weekend before Thanksgiving (at least here in the United States)!
I’m going to be spending the weekend… well… writing. I scrapped the story I’d been working on – maybe at some point the actual story (and the character) will come to me. But for the time being it needs a rest. I pushed probably a good 10,000+ more words on it than I really should have. So I’ve jumped to another story, one that just came into my head when I sat down with the resolve to try something different. I don’t know where this story will be going either, but I already feel like I know the character better (with only a few hundred words on the page as I write this), and I like the story more. So, that’s a good sign.

I’m also hoping to get some work done on a few Christmas Presents that I need to get pulled together. I’m excited that I’m getting to make a Christmas Stocking for my new niece. You see, when we were little my mom handmade stockings for each of us before our first Christmas, and those stockings are the ones we still use (though many have had to be repaired, or have the fronts sewn onto new stockings to reinforce them).

So as we started to approach my niece’s first Christmas I asked my sister if I could make a stocking for her, and was given the okay to do so. I’ve picked out the shapes for the front, have most of the fabric, and have begun the sewing. Since large parts of the project are done by hand it’s going to take me a while — and I keep forgetting to work on it when I have my hands free. So, that’s going to get some attention this weekend.

Otherwise, it’s going to a few write-ins that are being hosted by the local libraries, and writing, writing, writing.

I’m also hoping to make it around to other Coffee-Share posts this week, I wasn’t able to last weekend and wish I could have.

What are you up to this weekend? Anything exciting going on?

That #NaNoWriMo Time

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-CoverSo, here we are.  Mid-November.  Which means that those in the writing world are probably talking one way or another about National Novel Writing Month (well, at least it seems like all the writers I know are!) Some people love it, some people hate it, some people settle happily in the middle of “it words for me,” or “it doesn’t work for me.”

Personally I’m a fan.  This year is my 9th year participating (over the period of 11 years).  Hopefully it will be my 5th year “winning” — in the sense of getting to 50,000 words. Nearly all the years I’ve tried I’ve “won” in some sense, because for me NaNo is about the personal victory of making strides in my writing life.

For instance, one year where I didn’t “win” I made a new friend who is now the person I get together to talk writing with (and to write with) on a semi-regular basis.

Another year I didn’t “win” was the year I got the seeds of the idea that would turn into the novel (which I did work on another year when I did win) which I am looking forward to continuing edits in to turn into a published piece.

This year I’m ahead of the game in the writing, so the chances I’ll “win” are high (unless something crashes in my way, but I’m less that 20,000 words from the goal, so it would have to be a pretty powerful something). But more important than that, I set out this year with the goal of getting past this monster block that’s been in my way for the past year-plus. It kept me from writing, it kept me from editing, it trapped me in a not-so-awesome place. And I have smashed through that monster. I know that what I wrote for the start of the month was pretty bad — there just isn’t any sort of story there.  But I kept pushing, and if I can write that many words of really terrible non-story, then I should definitely be able to write more of an actual story.

I’ve switched gears and am now working on a story that has already captured my attention more (in the first 400 words). It’s the first time in over a year that I’ve actually LIKED what I’ve written so… this year, no matter what, I’ve WON at NaNo.

I’ve been seeing some different posts out in the blog-sphere so I thought I’d share some of them with you —

I Think I’m a NaNo Failure

NaNoWriMo – Liberating or dangerous?

Raevenly Writes: Wierd Stuff

 

Do you have a favorite NaNo blog post?  What are your thoughts?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: What a week!

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from November 10th at 7am (Pacific Time) through November 13th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Happy Weekend! It’s Veteran’s day weekend here in the United States – so I want to make sure to say Thank You to any veterans out there.
This is another weekend in November, therefore it’s another weekend where I’ll be writing a bunch. I’m still a bit ahead of the game as far as words go – and may have just made some breakthroughs about my character and story. At least, I hope they are actual breakthroughs and not dead-end ideas like some that I’ve had this month so far.
This week was crazy. It was a short week (we have Friday off work because of Veteran’s Day), but it was a hectic one. Two fire alarms (one on Monday, one of Thursday) which meant evacuating our office (including people we’re responsible for evacuating, keeping track of while we’re out of the building, and making sure that we get them all back in afterwards and write up incident reports). And on Wednesday… oh boy, Wednesday.
So… I had a dentist appointment – no biggie, just a check-up and cleaning. So I was able to use the car (I car share) to get myself there. Appointment went fine, but ran a little bit over as we talked about some things that I am going to need to have done in the coming year.
No biggie. Get out and drive myself to the Transit Center (where I usually park the car in order to catch the train downtown). That stop is COMPLETELY full, so I have to go a stop further down the line to find a spot. Not a huge deal, but making me a bit later for work.
THEN I find out that there is a fire downtown, which is interrupting the trains, so the trains are delayed up to half-an-hour.
Fine… I get to stand and wait for even longer…. Finally get on a train and…. the train got evacuated at the next stop due to a biohazard on the train…. sigh. (I heard the drive mention about feces… I don’t really want to know more).

Finally got another train and made it to work – but it took me FAR longer than it should have.

So, I’m glad that we’ve made it to the weekend – and looking forward to just relaxing!

What does the weekend have in store for you?  What was your week like?