13 June 2019

My Home

I recorded a portion of the 10,000 steps I do when it's nice out.

My Home

I will be adding more videos on various topics, mostly revolving around my fantasy world, Niiganabiik's World and writing tips I picked up over the years.
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05 June 2019

2019 #IWSG Post 5

Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why? Question of the month.  My favorite to write in?  Fantasy, although a close second would be satire. 

Fantasy genre allows me to showcase what I like about the "real" world and provide solutions that probably aren't workable in the "real" world.  Now, having said that, I fully realize that much of what I write is based on real world, real life experiences, thoughts, beliefs etc.  I know that what I've presented in "Niiganabiik's World" isn't how a lot of Anishinabeg view the world.  Such as dragons, elves, magic amongst a few other things. 

I remember the questions I had, the answers I was given, and the world as I saw it as a small child, a teenager and a young adult.  There was seemingly no way to reconcile the differing views on our culture.  I wasn't the only one. 

One of the precepts we're taught is to think for ourselves, make our own decisions from the choices we're presented.  This teaches several things and that is the main thing I present in my fantasy world.  The fact that we have choices, we have the ability to make decisions, we have the responsibility to accept the consequences for those decisions.  All wrapped up in an entertaining story.  That is how we were taught. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We went to school.  We also had elders, aunties, uncles, grandparents and parents who told us stories.  I remember their delivery style, I hear their voices in my head and I try to emulate this in my writing style.  Cause many of the stories still guide me in my life. 

And satire because I couldn't really think of my stories as comedy.  Can't really describe those stories over on my other blog as one thing or the other.  It's a mishmash of whatever I think of at the moment.  I've gotten comments and suggestions of what readers want to read more of. 

How do I find the why?  Not sure.  It's just something I have to do.  So, I've spent a lot of time learning the ropes, trying to improve, getting my stories right.  Cause I have that one reader in mind.  That reader might change for the particular story I am currently working on, however the process stays pretty much the same. 

25 May 2019

Thoughts on Writing

As some of you are aware, I've been busily attempting to get the business side of writing into some semblance of order.  I've been prettying up my websites, trying to get writing assignments finished as I am taking one of Holly Lisle's courses, "How to Write a Novel" and working out the financials for reaching my goals and objectives. 

Those goals and objectives solidified and became real for me after I'd watched Laura of "How to Get Your Shit Together" and took up some of those ideas she presents, in particular, her lists for Goals and Objectives, and dipped my toes into "Bullet Journaling."  One other thing she got for her followers was a lifetime membership for Aware, the meditation app, which I've been doing.  Not everyday, close enough.  Finished the Basic course, one on motivation, and now one for creativity. 

Now, some of you may be thinking, "What does this have to do with writing?"  And as usual, I answer, "A lot."  Least for me and my path in life.

I've done a form of meditation all my life.  Done some of the things my Elders taught me, whilst at the same time, trying to find my own way.  Got ready to publish my first stories, then bam.  Lost my greatest supporter, my mom, shortly after, my father.  Yep, my father who gave us his words of wisdom, usually gleaned from his solving of cryptograms.  Then, one after another, those Elders who taught me many things.

Meditation helped me to sort out emotions and adjusting to life without the ease of running to someone to help me figure out what I needed to.  Time for me to stand on my own.  Not that I'm never going to find support, not that I'm discounting the support that is already there or leave behind everything I've learned.

Nah, my vision got clearer, despite the fact that I've broken the second pair of glasses in a year, and I have the strength to achieve those goals and objectives.  As one Elder told me 33 years ago, "I'm not answering any of your questions.  You already know."  And thus, I will achieve whatever I set out to, thereby living up to my name, Niiganabiik.  Chii-Miigwetch to those who're on this writing path with me.  Let us achieve much whilst enjoying the gifts we've been given.

30 April 2019

ISWG post Writer Insecurity

Well, well, well. It's that time. Here I am, writing, typing on my phone. Trying to get this written. Tomorrow, the first Wednesday of the month, begins in 5 hours.

Well, didn't take time to check out the question. Insecurity in writing? Well, as some of you know, my time for the past three weeks has been taken up with the dreaded business plan.

Oh, I won't go into everything cause this might turn into a...dare I say? Nah, sufficient to tell y'all that I learned a very important lesson concerning my chosen writing programs: Scrivener, Scapple and Aeon.

I have been working, in a very desultory fashion, on my business plan for years. Bits and pieces are in various files scattered in a few dozen sites. Now, this isn't the reason I procrastinated writing that plan.

No, cause it was taking time away from my precious novels. Therein was the problem; a mindset that some of us writers have concerning our precious writing time. The very term "business plan" implies a job and all that goes with a job.

"What does this have to do with the aforementioned fav writing programs?" You are rightfully asking.   And a very embarrassed me answers:

"I've been inputting data into Scapple for a few months, knowing I was gonna need it down the line.  Fourteen days ago, I transferred it manually to Aeon. I knew it synced to Scrivener somehow. The past three very frustrating days have flown by.  I finally figured out, after much frantic searching of the Literature and Latte site, how easy it is to transfer data back and forth.

Duh

26 April 2019

Writerly Doings of the Business Kind

Just a short post today to let all interested parties know what I have been up to recently.

First and foremost, learning to type with two fingers. The exact opposite of what I've been taught since reaching the age at which I could legally earn money as a child.  And I now hear my typing teacher's voice in my head as I type this on my handy dandy phone.

Ahh, what a conversation going on in my head-Muse vs. Typing teacher.  And in the background, the clamorous sounds of sadly neglected characters.

Secondly, the would be author's most dreaded task on the way to fulfilling the childhood dream of seeing their name on a published book: the business plan.

Now this might not have yet entered the realm of reality if one is focused on getting their book written.  If this is the case, you're in for what may come to feel like a badly written novel.

"What? Business plan? No one ever mentioned business plan. I am a writer.  I create..." or some such scene when you're out trying to network, particularly if you are trying to get some publisher, editor or possibly even financial backing of some kind.  "All everyone mentioned was the 2, (or is it 1?) minute elevator pitch."  Hmmm.

T'any rate. That is is precisely what I've been doing.  *Note, now at home and doing good; the Typing Teacher has now happily settled since I am properly using a keyboard once again.  Back to my writerly doings...where was I? 

Oh! The dreaded business plan.  And the Bullet Journal, both of which have grown to slightly larger than planned proportions.  Still manageable though.  An enormous relief.  Thinking this may be why I've put off doing the business plan, the thought of all those papers that I have been reliably informed, being a recent KonMari convert, that one must categorize, sort and dispose of those papers.

I took an SBA class offered several years ago on my home rez which helpfully provided me with a sample business plan to follow.  Yep.  Having been a government employee, a tribal one, I can safely say that things get complicated.  Without even half trying, I got lost amongst all the rules, regulations, laws, forms and rigamarole that goes into such things.  Promptly went back to happily writing, letting my now happy muse free rein, my book which then grew into 3, then 6, then 20...well.  There are a few more than that clanging around in my head.

My bullet journal has pretty much stayed in one notebook, still a reasonable 2, 3, at most 6 tasks to get done per day.  The tasks include the joys of living, cleaning, finishing up the KonMari stuff and other necessary things such as traveling to get groceries, cooking....

How now brown cow.  *Just threw that in so the typing teach is deliriously happy. 

My bullet journals have grown to.  Ahh, must quietly say this, since I think this defeats the purpose of bullet journaling, seven total.  Yep, seven, 7, VII, total.  One for each area of the Business Plan.  Not that they are rapidly filling. Just to keep me reasonably organized: WebSite, Blogs, News column, tracking, current stuff, planned stuff, financial....

*This was intended to be short when I started.  Went a little overboard upon getting back to my keyboard.  Now, should I review, rank, whatever, blog posts according to phone vs. keyboard typing?

03 April 2019

IWSG #3 of 2019 April

Insecure Writer's Group has been a part of my life for a number of years.  Not that I've made the group a priority.  I've let life events overwhelm me and set aside aside my writing goals and tasks.

A few months ago, I came across this lady, Laura of "How to get your Shit Together," during my searches for a printable (free, of course and 'sides, why reinvent the wheel?) list of the KonMari Method of tidying on her You Tube channel.  Cause, of course, we, as writers, sometimes get carried away in our "research" and that is by far the biggest time suck of our writing the next "world's greatest novel" in the J.K. Rowling sort of dream.

T'any rate, I watched all of her KonMari videos and glanced at her Planner stuff.  Thought I'd skip this stuff as it never worked for me.  I'd always start one or the other of the various systems available and whoa, stop doing these things as, well, you might be familiar with the process so I won't go into detail.  Over the next few weeks, I ended up checking out her other stuff.  Signed up on her Facebook page and gradually the idea of "Bullet Journal" entered my life.  I like her style.

Then, I actually started a Bullet Journal after checking out various posts and stuff over on Pinterest.  Which by the way, reminds me to post a link to my page over there in the event some of you may be interested in checking it out.  I found out the author/originator of this system and yeah.  I did the short tutorial and thought, why not?  Ryder Carroll said it was simple and one didn't have to do all the fancy stuff so I just followed the advice on the Learn page.

I had an empty 88 cent notebook I'd bought to use for organizing my novel writing stuff.  Started it and here I am, three months later, getting things done in a more organized fashion.  Three months of daily setting of goals was enough to help me decide my priorities in life and how important writing is to me.  So, I've gotten some tasks done, or started some, that are important to an author if one is serious about writing.  Or publishing.

I'd already known about Business Plans, marketing and other stuff.  I even registered with my state as a business.  And there I stopped.   As far as the business aspect of it went.  All that research involved in "target audience," Competitive Analysis, copyright, trademark, and so on.  Overwhelming, to say the least.  Aspects of this writing life aren't my "cup of tea."

Got back into IWSG and here I am with that part of my reorganization of my life.  Yep, Yep.  I even put up a picture of my mother and her sisters on my lockscreen that has the added words from Marie Kondo's philosophy, "Does it spark Joy?" on the top and "What do I want to take with me in the future?" on the bottom.  All in all, a more inspiring screen than Mic...ft's default picture.

31 March 2019

Plans of the Would be Author

“What are you doing?” says sis as she breezes into my living room where my computer is currently set up.

“Working on my Business Plan.”

Her face falls.  This has come to mean that I won’t be very good company for a bit.  However, last night she was happy to sit down.

“What are you watching?”

“Nothing really.  Just more to keep my connection to Netflix til I feel like watching.  Pick something.”

She’d come in just at the time I start cooking supper, which is my son’s breakfast.  He works the midnight shift.  We spent the next couple hours watching “Miracle” and it was exciting.  We both decided we’d like to attend a hockey game once.  I’d been to a few back in the day.  I’d watched a lot of hockey when I was growing up, due to the fact that the Canadian station was the only one that came in clear.  Yep, I’m getting up there as I grew up in the middle half of the last century.

If you’ve been following my posts the past couple months, you’ll know I came across a new, as well as easy, organization system.  I’d decided to put deadlines on the collection of Flash Fiction pieces I have up over on Lean Pub, with the last one scheduled for April 12.

Due to the fact that my daily posting of goals and tasks in my journal showed me the difficulty I was setting up for myself, I put those plans on hold.  Why?  Cause I’d discovered how important it is to have a plan.

Yepper, one can teach an old dog new tricks.  Or, leastways, the ideas need to percolate through until they land with unsettling force.  So, my Business Plan has been properly researched, goals and tasks written down, legal stuff is being addressed, budgets, etc.  Yeah, all the not fun (methinks, you might not) parts of the business of writing.

Part of the Business of Writing for a living I had to do was the updating of my websites, making sure I’d pick up where I left off.  I am so glad I put the restructuring page up on Niiganabiik’s World before life threw me into a tailspin.  Stay tuned for more updates.

With this part done, leaving only review and updating to-do’s, I can now focus on the fun parts of writing.  Doing the happy dance. Yay!

06 March 2019

IWSG Post 2 of 2019

Ahh, February was a very busy month.  Went by faster than usual.  I am currently involved in tribal affairs which needed to be scheduled into my writing goals, amongst other things.  For 2019, I've made these two things the priority in my life.

Grand plans.  Amongst the writing goals is writing a novel from scratch as I signed up for Holly Lisle's "How to Write a Novel" course, an editing/revising goal for one book and two collections of stories.   Amongst the tribal affairs goal involves monthly meetings and setting up targets for our objective. 

Well, seeings' how I had to do some research to see what was already out there, vs. what I thought needed to be done, this cut into a lot of plans for my writing.  I was doing writing, just not the kind of writing I'd wanted. 

I'd also started a Bullet Journal after one night of deciding to check it out finally.  I've faithfully filled this out since Christmas Day.  After two months of tracking, I've got enough to figure out more specifically how to accomplish these things. 

Then, after attending a pow-wow the last weekend of February, I got sick.  Only, I'd managed to complicate the issue by blaming my headache on the fact it might have been a migraine due to the cold weather I'd finally had to emerge into to get some shoveling done.  Not a migraine, a sinus infection on the verge of becoming something more serious.  So, enter three days of mostly sleeping as this is how I cope. 

I mention these things as I've developed a sense of guilt about the fact I've not stuck to my scheduled writing times.  So, instead of waiting until the end of March to check my Bullet Journal tracking, I've spent the past several days of enforced rest to really think about my plans and yep, have decided to keep up with the goals I have set.

I am now in the process of revising the deadlines I set for myself.   My scheduled writing blocks will now be split between my writing for self and writing for tribal affairs.  My blog posts will be set on a less demanding schedule and I've changed the deadlines for the three books I currently want finished to June. 

After speculation, I think we'll have gained enough momentum to be able to guide? advise? the tribal affair around June.  So, I've felt some of the tension leave my shoulders and neck which I also blamed on the cold.  So, we'll see how March marches on.  teehee.

21 February 2019

WEP 28 days

28 days brings to mind cycles.  Cycles of the moon, tides, Lunar happenings.  Yeah they all play a part of the cycle of life I live. 

Not that I am particularly prompt in observing these things.  They're things I notice in every day life.  Like the moon's quiet influence in lives with occasional splashes of spectacular brilliance.  Driving along the road during nights with a clear sky above, I notice the position, the phase and the brightness of the moon.

More often, I check the sky during the day to see if I can see the sun and the moon together.  I'd once read a tale of the moon and sun only being together during certain times of the year.  Yes, this is one of the few things I ponder in moments when I want to let my imagination roam free.  Times when I don't want to have to think about schedules, crises, what am I going to cook. 

I have managed to solve other puzzles wherein I wonder how things work and see if I can solve them without having to research it, check for the scientific explanation or other easily solvable methods.  Like trying to figure how the nozzle knows when to stop pumping gas when one has it set automatically.  Hahaha.

No, I didn't solve that one on my own.  My cousin happily explained it to me when he asked what I was thinking about.  Duuh, I've never made that mistake again.  "nothing" has become my stock answer.

Why do I do this?  Just to see if I can figure it out. 

***And yes this is really late.  I'd written this and set the schedule.  Only when I finally got around to working on my blogs, etc. it was blank.  Hmmph.  Something else to ponder on in those rare free moments.  I will be touching upon this subject in my 1st Wednesday post.  Yeah.***


06 February 2019

Creative Outlets IWSG

Writing is not the only creative outlet I have.  I do traditional arts and crafts, although I haven’t set my hand to beads in years.  I do have a couple projects that need to be done.  The thing is I hate to get started because I did so much that now my fingertips crack within hours of starting work. 

The beading isn’t the problem.  When I have to applique the work to leather is the problem.  I have devised a workaround, using pliers.  A method which requires a lot more time.  So, I only do work for myself at this time.

I also take photographs, mostly landscapes.  I go for walks when the weather is nice or conducive to walking at any rate.  Most times, it’s to fulfill my daily 10,000 steps program.  Since the beginning of this year’s program, I’ve mostly averaged about 2500 steps.  Luckily, we can use a half hour of dancing for 2000 steps.  There is a conversion table.  Pow-wow dancing is lots of steps.  Exercising, gardening and other activities designed to keep us moving.  Healthy lifestyle at the edges of my mind every day.  ‘Cept winter.

I have quite a collection of photographs.  Mostly, for my own enjoyment.  And, perhaps to use for cover designs.  Least til I can afford to hire it out.  Ahh, not hire it out.  Drats, sometimes, my father’s voice pops into my head.  Hire a professional.  Good thing this is written down in my grand plan for my writing career.  Teehee. 

I attend the arts and crafts, cultural stuff the local radio station sponsors every so often.  It’s always interesting to see and hear what other creatives are doing.

The most important one, to me, is sitting quietly, watching the world around me.  I notice a lot of things that I would miss when going about my everyday routine.  This gives me time to think about life, enjoy the memories I have.  Time to recharge. 

I do a lot of coloring, the closest I can come to actually painting or drawing.  I have much admiration for those who can.  Colors, mixing and matching, gives me the sense that all is right with my world.  It’s something fast and easy and also very noticeable errors and mistakes.  I think that’s what gives me the greatest satisfaction, being able to correct any mistakes without have to think about it, without having to hunt out where I went wrong.  I don’t have to analyze anything, figure out anything.  All I have to do is feel the positive emotions and that is good enough for me.

17 January 2019

More than a Wall

Warning: May be longer than 500 words.  I attended the Community Update on the government shutdown yesterday.  The whole meeting is on the YouTube channel for the Tribal Government.  Questions were asked, answers were given.  This isn’t a rehash of what was said.  You can watch the meetings as there were two meetings: one in each sector.  I haven’t watched the second one.  A community meeting for the Delegates was scheduled for last evening which I had to be at in preparation for the MCT Constitutional Convention meeting tomorrow. 
What I want to discuss is a more general set of things that we can do in the wake of the longest federal government shut down.  For now, I’d like to point out that this crisis is one of the reasons for the cultural value of sharing.  We are a generous, caring people.  Let us remember that in the days going forward.

14 January 2019

Writerly Doings

   I have been busy, day and night, working to get my blogs and such other details as are needed to bring you news and events from Niiganabiik’s World.  Well, as this is my writerly journal blog, I guess I must get in the habit of Writerly doings.
   Well, as you can see, I have revamped my website.  Just a bit.  The posts are now listed in the blog archive.  I haven’t updated the labels list though.  I did, at one time, trim that down to 15.  I have downloaded my posts and am in the process of analyzing them.  Had made updates to a few before and wondered why I made so many posts in 2013.  Hahaha. 
   Found out it was cause I updated my 2012 blogs at some point in the dim, forgotten past.  So, now, to keep things straight, I have set an update category so I don’t go bonkers at some point in the future, trying to figure out how I could have written so many when I don’t remember why.  Man, I tell ya, the past few days has been quite hectic around here. 
   “Maaa!” echoes from my newly KonMari’d rooms and this means my sons have discovered I have moved one or t’other of their precious belongings.  Now, normally, I don’t touch their things.  However, in the interest of saving time, I had to.  The end result, aside from tripping over the mountain of items in the living room and part of the kitchen, is I must suffer through their echoing cries.  Well, from my day son.  My night son just stands there, arms crossed, eyeball-ing me so that eventually I must ask “What?” in as guilt-free voice as I can manage. Hmmmph.
   T’any rate, being as that’s neither here nor there, but does, indirectly, mind, affect my writerly doings, I have developed a much more healthy, and grateful, respect for the Scrivener program I purchased, also at some distant point in the past.  In the past few days, welll, actually, this morning, as I was trying to make sure my blog could be seen on mobile devices, I inadvertently, messed up my settings on my blog.  This necessitated a frantic text to my niece who promptly sent a screenshot which then put me on the right track for getting my blog back.  -ell, I had to take a break and go have lunch with my sister.
   Upon my return, I spent a couple more hours and found out that my domain, google and blogger accounts were not in sync with me.  Those accounts just do not take in the facts that I live with sons, have sisters who need this or that and friends who rely on me to keep them informed of my writerly doings. 
   Well, the main thing I have discovered, after setting my website back to rights, is that 1000 words is a might too long to read on all those mysterious devices.  So, this blog as well as any others I may choose to maintain, will be limited to 500 or so words.  To see any longer writerly things must come from my books.  Ahhh,well.  Back to the drawing board…hmmm.

11 January 2019

Time for Healing


   Those of you who follow me on Facebook are aware that my mother journeyed on in July of 2015 and my father journeyed on in 2017 and my brother(in-law) in 2018 along with three Elders who were my “advisors” in 2015, 2017 and my last living uncle in 2016.  The past three and one-half years have been quite eventful in so many ways.
   About a year or so ago, I discovered Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” process.  I’d been searching for ideas on motivation and came across this process.  I’d printed out several cleaning schedules, organizing tips and what ever else I could think of to help me in the process of clearing my parents’ belongings.  So many details to take care of.