Nano Nano

Oh, if only I were as prolific in writing as Williams was in adlibbing!

Once again – glutton for punishment I am, I participated in this year’s National Novel Writing Month or simply NaNoWriMo as many, sometimes cringingly, call it. In layman’s terms I had write 50,000 words of my story/novel in 30 days.

Why 50k and calling it a novel? I’ll let the NaNoWriMo website explain it:

We’ve found that 50,000 words is a challenging but achievable goal for many people, even folks with full-time jobs and children. And, though on the shorter side, it’s definitely long enough to be considered a novel: 50,000 words is about the length of The Great Gatsby.

We define a novel as “a lengthy work of fiction.” Beyond that, we let you decide whether what you’re writing falls under the heading of “novel.” In short: If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing a novel, too.

Nanowrimo website

As a fan fiction writer I use it motivate me to go for those longer multi-chapter stories in the warren of plot bunnies running amok among the dust bunnies in my head. I am verbose – I know this. I have a fic out there that took over 277k words and eighteen months of my life to tell. So, I at least start the stories and complete them once NaNoWriMo is over.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo off and on for a few years now. I believe they chose November because here in the States, at least, Thanksgiving at the end of the month throws a huge wrench in the gears of obtaining that 50,000 words. When I first started there were a couple of years where I had not managed my time well and had fallen far short of the goal. Now I try to hustle at the beginning of the month, with a personal goal of reaching the 50k by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Because I know from experience nothing is getting done that Wednesday thru Friday.

Notice I said try to. I was more than annoyed with myself this year to have only reached 42823 words on the morning of the 22nd. I knew there was no way I was typing over 7k words in a single day. Between preparing for, celebrating during, cleaning up after Thanksgiving my brain just had to accept the fact that not another word was going to be typed until Saturday morning the earliest. Yeah – between family staying the weekend, and I’ll be honest – alcohol, lots of alcohol, Saturday morning at the earliest became Sunday evening before I could write again. It took until last night, but I crossed the Rubicon with 53517 words and two days to spare!

2022 NaNoWriMo Winner Badge

No, this year’s so called novel “Rock Star” is not even close to complete. I estimate another 20k, but a chunk is done, and the was the goal. So now I get to breathe for a moment, pull out the big red editor pencil and go from there.

Let’s see how others are goal tending this Tuesday…

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Writing Challenge

Obsession – My Ode to Joe

This is my confession it is my obsession
I have a natural predilection to its addiction

Memories of my father and his ochre cup
Attached to his side, breakfast, lunch and sup’

My oath to drink only one all my friends joke about
I would offer my first-born rather than do without

An olden concoction for which we modernists still toil

To smell its aroma fills me with such frustration
To see its liquid flow as I pour fills me with anticipation
To taste its liquid heat is such a sensation
To feel its burn down my throat fills me with elation
To hear that last swallow fills me with such trepidation

For some it is more precious than diamonds, gold or oil

An obsession shared by many on this orb
As sip after sip it is so greedily absorbed

I oscillate between the need the makes my heart burst
And the joy of feeling the elixir oust my deep thirst

I’m like a kid with chewiest of toffee
Nothing beats that first oomph of coffee

Glass coffee mug with line indicating it is safe to speak to owner of said mug when the contents  have reached the bottom line.
Yes, this is my coffee mug at work.
Yes, my colleagues know not speak to me until my coffee reaches well under that bottom marker.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics: Cheers!

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Today at dVerse Poetics our host and pub-tender paeansunplugged invites us to raise a glass and sip on some verbiage to that all quenches our thirsts. I chose the libation that gets many of us up, running and ready to face the world with less of a snarl in the mornings – well at least me.

Just Reading

Most people saw images. People, animals, objects and then they made stories about them.

Not Papa. Papa only saw words among the luminaries once the skies grew the dark.

She walks in the street of the sky, Night walks scattering poems, calligraphy in the stars.

That is what Papa told me when I was young.That above our heads are words among the stars.

Reams of poems of Night.

Shooting stars? Line breaks. Comets? An exclamation.

Pictures were for those too young to read. He taught me how to read them as well.

To read the sonnets, couplets, quatrains and meter that falls from Night’s fingers to the firmament she treads giving Luna teasing nudges to see who notices her offerings.

It is why when you ask me what in doing as I gaze into the diamond dotted indigo skies I answer, just reading. 

Street of the Night Sky Goddess
— Raivenne

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Prosery: Tulips & Chimneys

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Tonight at dVerse we’re challenged to write a prose piece of no more than 144 words including the prompt.

Today’s prompt which comes from Tulips & Chimneys, by e. e. cummings and is the last line of IX- Impressions:

In the street of the sky night walks scattering poems..”

We may alter the punctuation, but we must use the line in its entirety without inserting any other words. 

L’amour Mort

Photo of woman at a grave in autumn

Autumn leaves in warm earth tones vale upon the new mound of soil. The leaves appear demur on the soil adorned with fresh florals. She who has spent nearly three score with in life until a year ago, has now joined the he in afterlife. Most have begun to mill away, eager to start the slow shedding of bereavement that begins with the repast, but she lingers a spell.

I watch her eyes, both mournful and misty.

And I watch as she, a morbid Noah, mentally gathers the dates of the ancestral pairings interned. I know she sees in the family line none have gone more than two years without their hearts in life beside them. The dichotomy of such beauty in sadness. She fears it, yet, I see she embraces the seemingly inevitable as we finally leave.

To her, death is quite romantic.


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Prosery – Bob Dylan

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Tonight at dVerse, Björn Rudberg (brudberg) hosts and would like for us to write a Prosery piece which includes the line:

To her, death is quite romantic

It is from “Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan, from his 1965 record “Highway 61 Revisited”.

Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words,
Including the given line from the poem.

Punching Age

It started at one,

strong and sure

The promise of more

its lure

Birthday punches are a rite it’s true

But as they wore on, so did you

I took its weak finish

with a laughing smirk

Forgot I was 59

didn’t you, jerk?


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Quadrille #160: Poems that Pack a Punch

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Yesterday on Quadrille Monday, De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, got a little punch drunk at the bar and invited us to punch out quadrille. Yesterday was my birthday. My bestfiend, not a misspell – who had the good sense to be born exactly a year later, and I were joking about the childhood silliness of delivering birthday wishes via punches on the arm. One punch-wish for each year, sometimes the token punches are delivered gently, sometimes not. Because I am blessed to age like fine wine, I do not look my years. Unless a boxer, I imagine most would begin to tire before reaching my current vintage and thus today’s silly quadrille.

Office Whoa-s

Client 09:51-email: Raivenne, it’s not working. HELP?

Me 09:56-email: Please give me a call. No idea what you’re speaking of.

[While waiting for email reply, I look through files, begin to see the problem. Start an email response.]

Client 10:21-email: Will do. Are you free now? Here is the issue.

Me 10:22-email: Yes. Call me.

[While waiting for call, I continue look through their content on the back end and discover a series of issues that I presume are the reason for the request for help and continue typing mostly to have talking points at hand when they eventually call.]

One of the things I inform students during training, is that our application identifies them by name, date, and time, down to the seconds, when an action happens. Do not waste time telling me or any one on my team that you did not do something, because the application will, as I call it, rat you out. I do not contact you if I do not already know that it was you (royal you in this case as it involves more than one person), that did it. I already know if I do not cauterize this at the source now, it will drag out unnecessarily, so I aim for a preemptive strike.

My talking points become a diplomatic full out email, complete with screenshots, timestamps, and step-by-step breakdowns to explain:

– how ya’ll done effed up

– when ya’ll done effed up

– when ya’ll attempted to cover up the eff up which then

– created a bigger eff up, so

– here’s how to fix your eff up and ‘cause summa ya’ll clearly didn’t listen the first time I tol’ ya’ll ‘bout effin’ dis up

– here’s yet another step-by-step detail of the ideal scenario on how not to eff dis up again.

And yes, I went uber petty and purposely CCed all parties involved in the shenanigans, to avoid the backend I thought he/she/they -blame the person not in the email- I knew would happen without it. I spent nearly an hour and a half crafting that email, being excruciatingly detailed, because office diplomacy of politely, but emphatically, saying ya’ll some stoopid Keystone Cops sonsabeeches and we, meaning me, ain’t gots time fo’ ya’ll ‘peatin’ the same ol’ dumb ass ish ova’ and ova’ is wordy as fuck.

I ended the tirade with “Had the ideally happened this entire “conversation” would not be needed.”

As always when I go off the email-rails, I have a second, and often third, pair of eyes go over things because I sometimes forget to camouflage my natural penchant to snark my Rubenesque African American callipygian to near non-existence.

“Oooh, you are pissed!” “Damn did you at least send lube first?” were my colleagues response before I was allowed to click send.

Alas, because I am a cunning philologist (hah! Not the word you thought I would use here was it?), I am also aware that despite my best efforts to curtail my wont for multisyllabic linguistics in professional diatribes, my email diplomacy ofttimes necessitates the employment of verbiage translations. I should mention, in that one hour and a half span of composing said email and writing this slice – I am still awaiting that promised call. Thus, I am not in expectation of immediacy in response to my correspondence.

I think I will pull a Cheshire Cat now – smile and wave and disappear…


Let’s see how others are smiling and waving it out this Tuesday…

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Two Writing Teachers

Falling into Spring

Fall comes fast and furious in ochre and goldenrod jewels that seeming shoved aside the abundant verdant hues of summer. For all its warm beauty I am cognizant of the oncoming days when grayed twisted bodies, shrouded in mounds of white fluff, exchange its colorful jewels for icy diamonds that drip from limbs that will scratch at the too cold skies of winter.

As I kneel in one of the garden beds, the loss of warmth and color sadden me. It’s peaty scent, petrichor after the last thunderstorm momentarily bely the seasons in my mind. I am reminded after winter comes spring and the better days that then follow. Pruning, turning over earth in preparation I remind myself I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace. Thus I bury my autumn doldrums in thoughts of spring for now.


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Prosery: When it comes to Katherine Riegel

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Sanaa (aka adashofsunny) would like for us to write a Prose piece which includes the line:

“I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace.” from the poem, “What I would like to grow in my Garden.” by Katherine Riegel.

Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words,
Including the given line from the poem.

Morning Scent

The fresh scent of lawn anywhere
Can sometimes take me there
Magnolia wafting on morning
breeze
Even if I cannot see the trees
Yes, sometimes a hint of sweat
Remembrances of you beget
The mourning in memory spurred
When into earth you were interred


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Quadrille #158: Morning Has Broken
dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics: A World of Common Scents

dVerse Poets Pub graphic
dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Yesterday on Quadrille Monday Linda Lee invites to put our best morning forward in a quadrille.

A Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered. You MUST use the word “morning” in your poem.

Today dVerse guest host Jo invites us to A World of Common Scents and challenges us to write a poem of scents.

Linda’s “morning has broken” struck at Melpomene who cruelly reminds pleasant scents do not always pleasant memories make.

Personal Falling

I am aware it is still Summer. I am the person who emphatically espouses yearly that my birthday is officially in the summer, regardless that the vernal equinox follows only a couple of days later. So believe me, I well aware it is still Summer.

That being said, it’s officially Virgo season and this week I have noticed my personal markers for the coming season have begun:

  • Waking up to darkness again at 5 in the morning.
  • Being fully dark again by 9pm
  • Enough leaves have begun to descend that the groundskeepers around my job are using already using leaf blowers to clean.
  • I haven’t seen so many people wearing long sleeves since early May.
  • Last night I closed a window because the cross breeze was a bit too cool to take.

I know we still have a month of regular summer, and there’s also Autummer* to go through later in the fall season. But these past few overly humid Canicular days are starting to get to me.

Come on sweater weather!!

*Autummer – what I dub what was once known as Indian Summer, which is no longer used out of respect to Native Americans. It is that brief, yet lovely, time of year mid-to late autumn, here in the US and Europe where after it starts to feel noticeably cold, it suddenly warms up for a few days.  It is what summer should be: regular length days and acceptable heat, just before Jack Frost slips his fingers in to give a hint of what’s coming next.


Let’s see how others are chilling it out this Tuesday…

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Slice of Life Tuesdays
Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Wordle #283 | For Now

Sir Michaels looks out the window in his nightly watch aware that he is in a way supervised. The neighbor in passing of his own windows across the way, Mussa by name, sees him there. It is the same near every morning, in or out of the light of the moon. If one did not know him better one would think him obsessive in his watch, the neighbor is one such.

He knows folks of the town have warned Mussa to beware such gazing upon Sir Michaels in his solitude – people talk, they do little else – that Mussa would not like it if the sharp faced neighbor were to know of his nightly staring. He has spied the contents of some of the letters the senders and receivers presume are exchanged in secret. The tales told are fanciful and frightening, but remain merely tales, nonetheless.  

For now. Should that change – it will be dealt with.

It amuses him that those who claims such dire tidings as truth are unaware that Mussa already knows he has been cognizant of his spying since his first night seeing him there. Having watched for many months now, though sometimes wondering if he should be, Mussa was not worried about his neighbor. With his face slightly tilted to the sky, Mussa believes he has not been noticed. Sir Michaels prefers to let that deceit continue.

For now. Should that change – it will be dealt with.

Truth be told a part of Sir Michaels admired Mussa’s steadfast observation of him.

Thus, he remains, to Mussa’s eyes at least, a solitary figure draped in moonlight dissected by the muntined panes in the massive, mullioned windows that overlook the garden of night blooming flowers.

“Can you hear me?” Sir Michaels asks into the night.

In the distance Sir Michaels hears the very first howl of many in response. Knowing he is under a watchful eye, he who howls lessens the volume of such as he draws closer.

“Can you hear me?” Sir Michaels asks into the night again. “I know your nature says you must run. Come quickly.”

The howler is quiet as scant hints of the lightening sky foretell the coming dawn, but Sir Michaels does not move. It is near the uncomfortable hour when the first rays of El Sol start to break the jagged horizon of the London skyline. The windows face east, making it dangerous for him to be there. Still, he does not move, he cannot. Not until he knows he is safe.

“Can you hear me?” Sir Michaels asks once more, nervous as he looks at the soon to be too light sky. “I love you.”

Sir Michaels breathes a sigh of relief as a bulk of dark silver fur rubbed against his leg and under his hand. He smiles as he feels his hand rise as the wolf becomes man in the sunlight.

“I hear you. I love you.” Lord Gregon rises from his lupine form, his arms around Sir Michaels, his hands in  the man for only a brief moment before he dissipates in the day’s sunlight becoming a gyrfalcon that lands  on his shoulder.

Across the way Mussa gives a slight shake of his head in acknowledgement of the uneventful night to Lord Gregon. He sighs and greets the guard of the day shift, before turning from the window, his watch done. He hopes, as he does each new day, that a cure for cursed lovers who crossed a madman’s path and that doomed them before he died is fond. They are safe.

For now.


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Wordle #283

howl, beware, obsessive, neighbor, rubbed, admired
supervised, shake, uncomfortable, letters, claims, moon

Use the above ten words in short story or poem.