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Just Jot It January: Day 18 – “Revolt”

“We’d better hurry this up before the little ones revolt.”

Connor laughed at the comment from his brother, Callum. His daughter, Kaelin, was one of the ones who looked about ready to take up arms against the adults keeping them from opening the presents. He couldn’t stop laughing as the image took hold in his mind. Ames looked at him from their position at his side and shook their head.

Connor’s parents walked into the living room finally. Good, everyone was here. They could get things started. The kids started to settle down in front of the tree, and his oldest nephew, Tyler, grabbed the first gift to hand out to one of his cousins.

Connor settled back with his arm around Ames. He always enjoyed this, seeing the joy on the kids’ faces, even when things got a bit chaotic. Which it always did with seven kids ripping into presents. Nine now, but the two youngest could barely hold their heads up, let alone open their own gifts.

Ames stroked a hand down his arm, and he leaned into their touch. Yes, he had a lot to celebrate this year, so he was just going to sit back and enjoy.

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Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was ‘Revolt’ brought to us by Sandra. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with this one. Until the first line popped into my head and made me think of Christmas mornings. Even with just six kids(from 6-14 in our case), it gets a little crazy. Especially when my nieces and nephew tend to be loud. I’m not being biased about my own kids, everyone mentions how quiet they are. This will probably happen after(or maybe at) the end of Flames of Knowledge. Which I’m just about finished plotting. I won’t actually start writing it until April, when I’ll hopefully be finished with all the drafts I’ve left hanging.

I finished one of those drafts yesterday, the one I started for this past NaNoWriMo, Green Hills & Smoky Fields(which will actually be the series title). So, I’m working on one that’s been giving me fits(By the Gun) since I started it until the end of the month. Then, I’ll pick up one of the others, and if I finish it before the end of next month, I’ll pick By the Gun up again.

Writing Wednesday: Better Week

This has started off to be a far better week than the last.

On Sunday, we did some shopping, letting the kids spend some of their gift cards they got for Christmas. First was Barnes & Noble. The girl got 2 of her Warriors books she likes. I got 3 books for myself. Then, we went to Toys R Us. Then, Gamestop so the boy could look at some games for the Wii(we’ve had it for years, but he’s recently gotten into playing it). He found 4, and they only came to a little over $20. Then, off to get groceries. I also found a coloring planner and got that for me.

Words were flowing Monday morning, even after an odd night of sleep. Fell asleep on the couch a little after 7:30 Sunday night, woke around 10, fell back asleep, woke up after 12 and decided to actually go to bed. So, I got about 3 rounds of 2 hours of sleep. The kids had Monday off so we’d said we were going to go sledding, since it was supposed to be in the 20s. Yeah, it wasn’t that warm(more like 10F), but we went anyway, though not for very long. Then to Pizza Hut for lunch. And I still made all my goals for the day.

Monday night, I once again fell asleep on the couch. This is becoming a habit I really should break. My neck, back, and hips do not appreciate it much(Of course, I may still be catching up from my Thursday night stuck in the garage). But, Tuesday morning I woke up at 2 and figured there was no point going to bed for an hour or two. So, I just got up and decided to start writing.

I did actually make it into my bed last night. So there’s that. And I was up in time to have a little extra time to write this morning. An hour and a half and over 2300 words. That’s impressive, even for me(usually I don’t even do 1k in an hour). Just past the climax, so I might be able to finish the first draft this week. Which will give me a week and a half to work on By the Gun this month.

Now, since it’s Wednesday, time for a WiPPet snippet again! Today, I just have 7 sentences(1+7[for the day]-1[for the month]=7). This is shortly after last week’s, but still in the same scene.

He took his hand away just before Jonas’ mother stepped into the doorway. She looked surprised for a moment then a smile spread over her face. “Isaac. I guess that’s your car out there then.” Her gaze flicked between the two of them, and her smile widened. “This is a sight I haven’t seen in a while. Are you staying for dinner, Isaac?”

This is obviously not the first time his mother has interrupted them. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

Now for an accounting of my progress so far:

Color Code:

Monthly Goal Met/Finished

Weekly Goal Met

Progress Made

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Back Stories –
  • Secondary: Flames of Knowledge – Plot Summaries –
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Story Toolkit – started this Thursday afternoon. 19/20 sheets done
  • Stretch: Flames of Knowledge – Outline: Act 1
  • Stretch2: Green Hills & Smoky Fields1 – Outline: Act 4Β 
  • Stretch3: Green Hills & Smoky Fields2 – BrainstormΒ – 3/8 mind maps done

Writing:

  • Primary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields – 1st draft – 14693/~25000 words, 5536 this week
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words – 3973/5000 words, 1451 this week
    • Patrick & Sarah – 357/500 words
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 356/500 words
    • Roman – 379/500 words
    • Dougal & Shae – 376/500 words
    • Jacob & Matthew – 496/500 words
    • Mike & Fadil – 397/500 words
    • Hawk – 405/500 words
    • Sean & Braeden – 359/500 words
    • Melanie & Garren – 480/500 words
    • Desmund – 371/500 words
  • Tertiary: Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 11/15 pages
  • Stretch: By the Gun – 2500 words(will work on this when I finish Primary goal)

Editing:

  • Primary: Flames of Renewal – CP edits once I get it back
  • Secondary: Stained Blood – Beta edits as they come in
  • Tertiary: Protecting the Heart – Transfer to Scrivener – 5/9 chapters
  • Stretch: Melanie & Garren – revise & post to Patreon

Reading:

  • Primary: Read 20 books – 12/20

    • Going Too Far(Jennifer Echols) – Started this Saturday afternoon. Finished it Sunday afternoon.
    • The Howl of the Fettered Wolf(Krista Walsh) – Started this Sunday afternoon. At 26% Not quite sure what happened on Monday, but I didn’t do any reading.
    • The Love Interest(Cale Dietrich) – Started this Tuesday. On page 133/373
  • Secondary: Listen 5 books – 7/5
    • Reckless(Skye Jordan) – Started this in December. Picked it back up on Monday morning. Finished it Monday.
    • Overexposed(Megan Erickson) – Started this Wednesday evening. Finished it Sunday morning.
    • A Gathering of Shadows(V.E. Schwab) – Started this Tuesday morning. On Chapter 9/60

Social Media:

  • Primary: Just Jot It January – 15/31 posts
  • Secondary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 10/21 posts
  • Tertiary: Post to Patreon 2x – 0/2 posts

Crafting:

  • Knit: Honeycomb Dishcloth – got the set up row and another 60 rows done.
  • Crochet: Lap Blanket – This is at about 37/40 inch

Just Jot It January: Day 16 – “Contemplation”

“I knew you were there. You didn’t startle me.”

Ames stepped toward him. “You looked like you were in deep contemplation about something.”

He smiled as he lifted his head to look at them. “Just sketching,” he said. “I’d think you’d know by now I’m always aware of your presence.”

“And you say you are incapable of flirting.” They came over and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

“Was that flirting? I thought I was just speaking the truth.”

They laughed and pressed their lips to the back of his neck. He felt heat flush through him at the touch, but he didn’t pull away. He liked when they touched him. Connor set his sketchbook away from him then turned to face Ames. “So, you came in to distract me, did you?”

“Thought you might appreciate it,” they said as he pulled them down onto his lap.

Oh, yes, he definitely appreciated it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt is “Contemplation, brought to us by Cheryl. This wasn’t quite the direction I thought this one would take me. But, if I’d kept going, I might have had to open a window despite the cold temps outside. πŸ˜€

Just Jot It January: Day 15 – “Justice”

“Do I do it justice?” Connor asked, holding his arms out.

There was no answer, and he finally glanced up at his brothers and father. They were all staring back at him. “What? Did I button the vest up wrong or something?” He glanced down at the tux, but he couldn’t tell that anything was off. He looked back up again.

Only Callum wasn’t staring dumbly at him. “No, little brother,” he finally said, slapping a hand against Connor’s shoulder and squeezing slightly. “They’re just finally not ignoring the fact that you’ve actually grown up.”

Right. Sometimes he managed to forget that his whole family still thought of him as a little kid. He hadn’t chosen a grown up profession yet, just played around with his art. He didn’t think his family would ever see him as grown up, always the baby. As long at they let themselves forget that he hadn’t always been the baby.

Callum looked at him with sympathy, though. They’d stuck him in a box and it had taken him quite some time to break out of it, too. Then, Adrian stepped forward. “Well, since I’m the one who knows the most about justice, I can say that tux should be trying to do you justice not the other way around.” Adrian grinned then. “We’re going to make a fine picture standing up in front of that church. And I know fine pictures is something you know about, baby brother.”

Connor laughed then relaxed slightly. Maybe they were finally getting it after all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was “justice” by Barb. I had a couple different starting points pop into my head, but this is the one that stuck. Not sure if this will end up in the actual story or not, but they’re getting ready for Callum’s wedding.

Just Jot It January: Day 14 – “Ultimatum”

“Are you giving me an ultimatum?”

Ames blew out a breath and resisted the urge to just hang the phone up. Instead they took a deep breath and another, until they were sure their words would come out calm. “No, Mom, I’m just telling you what I need.”

“Camella.”

Ames ground their teeth. But, they didn’t respond to the name. Not until their mother sighed deeply on the other end of the line. “I’ve told you I don’t want to use that name.”

“But, it is yours. I don’t see the problem-”

“That’s the exact problem. You don’t see a problem disrespecting me and who I am. That’s why I don’t call and I don’t come home. Just because I am not who you and Dad assumed I’d be when I was born doesn’t mean I don’t deserve that respect. So, yes, if you can’t give it to me, I won’t call or accept calls from you. I’m sorry if you find that impossible to overcome.”

Ames hung up the phone and drew in a deep breath. They had done what they needed to, but it still hurt. But, they hoped the sharp ache once was better than the constant battering of disappointment in their family.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was “ultimatum” by Itinerary Planner. I wasn’t sure I’d come up with something for this one. Of course, as soon as I had that thought, Ames started talking. So, I did manage to get something down anyway.

SOCS/Just Jot It January: Day 13 – “His eyes shut”

With his eyes shut, Connor ran the pencil over the page in his sketchbook. It was an exercise he liked to do sometimes, especially when nothing else seemed to come for him. “Get out of your own way,” he muttered. It was what one art teacher had always told him he needed to do more of.

His hand kept moving, but he refused to let himself look at what he was doing. It might look like crap when he was finished, but he could usually pull something out of it. He only drew lines: long ones, short ones, curved ones. Everything else would wait for later, when he knew what he was creating.

Connor didn’t know how long it took but his hand was starting to ache when he set his pencil down. And he finally blinked his eyes open. He drew in a breath. Other than a few stray lines, it was right. Just right. He wanted to run right to his easel and start. But, he couldn’t do that right now.

Instead he kept staring down at the page. How had he not seen it already. It had been right there in front of him this whole time.

Get out of your own way.Β Yeah, that was exactly what he’d needed to do. In more than just one way, it seemed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday(and Just Jot It) was:

look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page.

I really hope using an ebook isn’t cheating. πŸ˜‰ Since that’s what I’m currently reading, I opened Hamilton’s Battalion(a series of 3 romances set near the end of the Revolutionary war) and took the words from the beginning of Chapter 5 of “The Pursuit Of…” by Courtney Milan. (The whole line was: John could feel sleep tugging his eyes shut, fogging his brain).

Unlike Connor, I am not an artist. Though I do use the same technique when I’m writing sometimes(not by hand, because that would just be a mess). Sometimes I find the words come easier, though, when I’m not actually staring at the screen.

I skipped yesterday’s Just Jot It because I got stuck in the garage all Thursday night(screen door of our house wouldn’t open, so I had no way to get back in the house until daughter woke up Saturday morning). Needless to say, I did not feel like doing much at all Friday. Hopefully I won’t skip any of the others. And I think we got the door latch fixed so it won’t jam like it did Thursday night.

Just Jot It January: Day 11 – “Humiliate”

“Just stop it, Callum,” Connor said. “Are you trying to humiliate me?”

His big brother grinned at him. “I thought that was my job. It’s what Rian and Adrian always told me.”

“Well, it’s not,” Connor said, though he was fighting back a smile now. No matter what embarrassment Callum was trying to cause him, it was good to see his brother like this. He’d been clean for nearly three years now and was the happiest Connor could ever remember seeing him.

Part of the reason for that happiness came running over to them now. “Daddy,” Kaelin said, nearly throwing herself into his arms, “I want to go swimming, but Mommy said I had to ask you. She feels like a whale and is afraid she’ll turn into one if she gets in the water.”

Connor choked on a laugh, but Callum’s face softened as he turned to look toward where his fiancΓ©e sat. “What have I told you about repeating everything you hear?” Callum asked her.

“Grandma says you should stop saying things around me you don’t want me to repeat. It’s not my fault I’m a sponge.”

Callum’s lips pursed for a moment then he let out a breath. “Go get your stuff on. We’ll go swimming.”

Connor couldn’t help grinning at his brother as Kaelin ran off. “She so has you wrapped around her little finger.”

Callum didn’t deny it, only smiling. “They both do. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was “humiliate” by Jim Adams. The beginning of this conversation popped into my head when I read the prompt. I don’t have older brothers, but older sisters seem to believe the same thing.

Writing Wednesday: Heat Wave

Well, I’m considering above freezing to be a heat wave. I have fairly low standards, especially when it had been 0F this time last week. We’re supposed to have a couple days of 50s this week. That’s almost shorts weather around here.

My week has not started out too well. Over the weekend, I found a spreadsheet for a daily schedule. I figured I could start my day at 5, and I have 5 different hours for writing tasks. That first hour is for writing on my main project, the other four are picked randomly(between plotting, editing, side projects, & Jonas and Isaac). Well, Monday I slept in until well after 5. So, I ended up with less than half an hour to write. I woke up earlier Tuesday, but couldn’t seem to drag myself out of bed until right around 5. Computer didn’t want to start up at first. After I got it to, things were going okay. Then it decided to freeze up and restart on its own. I had some issues with getting it started up and it was the end of that hour by the time it did, but the words wanted out, so I ended up going into the next hour(which was set aside for chores and such). I didn’t hit my goal either of those days. Today I woke up at 4 and managed to get up. And so far computer is cooperating(although it looks like I’m back to using Microsoft Edge since Firefox refuses to open), so I’m hoping to get more words(I did, I did, I did!). More on that progress in a bit.

It’s Wednesday again, which means WiPPet time! *dances* *knee cracks* *sits back down* WiPPet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by the wonder Emily Wrayburn where we share a snippet of a work in progress that somehow pertains to the date. I’m still sharing from Jonas & Isaac’s story. Today I have 7 paragraphs(1+8-1-1-0) from a little farther in the scene I’ve been sharing from. Things are getting…warm. πŸ˜€

“Jonas,” Isaac breathed, “are you going to kiss me or not?”

With a groan he couldn’t hold back, Jonas leaned forward and pressed his lips to Isaac’s. They opened immediately, but he didn’t plunge forward. Instead he traced Isaac’s lips with his tongue just as his thumb had moments ago. It was Isaac’s tongue that darted forward, catching Jonas’ and tangling them together.

Jonas moaned around it, feeling too much to put anything into words right now.

They finally pulled apart, both breathing hard and staring at each other. Then, Isaac leaned forward, gently caressing Jonas’ lips with his own. It didn’t have the intensity of that first kiss, but it had Jonas’ heart skipping more.

Isaac’s lips moved to his jaw then his throat as his hand touched his hip then slid over his thigh. “God, Is,” he murmured. “Your hands…” He couldn’t even form words as the desire twisted through him.

“Soft, I know,” and Jonas thought he detected bitterness in the words.

“No,” Jonas said, lifting Isaac’s head. “Capable of driving me fucking crazy.”

I wonder how many people have told Isaac hew has story hands, as if it’s an insult. Jonas certainly doesn’t see it that way.

Now for that progress so far this week:

Color Code:

Monthly Goal Met/Finished

Weekly Goal Met

Progress Made

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Back Stories – Wrote Connor’s back story(1041 words) on Monday. Finished Ames’ back story(902 words) on Tuesday. Started antagonist’s back story Tuesday night, finished it Wednesday afternoon(661 words).
  • Secondary: Flames of Knowledge – Plot Summaries – Finished short summary(37 words), medium summary(109 words), & long summary(277 words)
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Story Toolkit – started this Thursday afternoon. 6/19 sheets done
  • Stretch: Flames of Knowledge – Outline: Act 1
  • Stretch2: Green Hills & Smoky Fields1 – Outline: Act 4
  • Stretch3: Green Hills & Smoky Fields2 – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields – 1st draft – 7980/~25000 words, 2204 this week
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words – 2120/5000 words
    • Patrick & Sarah – 213/500 words
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 172/500 words
    • Roman – 287/500 words
    • Dougal & Shae – 134/500 words
    • Jacob & Matthew – 338/500 words
    • Mike & Fadil – 242/500 words
    • Hawk – 134/500 words
    • Sean & Braeden – 193/500 words
    • Melanie & Garren – 265/500 words
    • Desmund – 142/500 words
  • Tertiary: Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 5/15 pages
  • Stretch: By the Gun – 2500 words(will work on this when I finish Primary goal)

Editing:

  • Primary: Flames of Renewal – CP edits once I get it back
  • Secondary: Stained Blood – Beta edits as they come in
  • Tertiary: Protecting the Heart – Transfer to Scrivener – 3/9 chapters
  • Stretch: Melanie & Garren – revise & post to Patreon

Reading:

  • Primary: Read 20 books – 7/20

    • Brotherhood in Death(J.D. Robb) – Started this Wednesday afternoon. Finished this Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Must Love Mistletoe(Christie Ridgway) – Started this Sunday afternoon. Finished this Sunday night. Enjoyed it.
    • The Ones Who Got Away(Roni Loren) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Tuesday night. Loved it.
  • Secondary: Listen 5 books – 4/5
    • Reckless(Skye Jordan) – Started this in December. On Chapter 13/29
    • Trust the Focus(Megan Erickson) – Started this Friday morning. Finished it Monday morning. Love these books.
    • Focus on Me(Megan Erickson) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday morning.
    • Out of Frame(Megan Erickson) – Started this Tuesday morning. On Chapter 11/21

Social Media:

  • Primary: Just Jot It January – 10/31 posts
    • Pants – A bit with Connor dealing with a cousin who decides to be an ass. And Gio makes an appearance.
    • Coffee – A bit with Connor and his sister-in-law, Kayla.
  • Secondary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 6/21 posts
  • Tertiary: Post to Patreon 2x – 0/2 posts

Crafting:

  • Knit: Honeycomb Dishcloth – got the set up row and another 36 rows done.
  • Crochet: Lap Blanket – This is at about 31/40 inches

Just Jot It January: Day 9 – “Coffee”

“Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.”

Connor looked up from his sketchbook as his sister-in-law walked, no stumbled was a better description, into the kitchen. He couldn’t quite stop his smile. “Do you want a cup of coffee by chance?”

“No, Connor,” she said, a near whimper in her voice. “I need coffee. And more like a vat than a cup.”

He laughed, and she turned a glare on him. “Glad you think it’s funny. Maybe you want to stay up rocking miss whinypants all night and see if you’re laughing.”

He held up a hand in surrender. Maybe this hadn’t been a good time to visit his brother. “Is that any way to talk about your sweet baby girl?”

She dropped into the chair across from him and laid her head on the table. “I’m just so tired, Connor. I think I’ve gotten five hours of sleep in the last few days.”

Concerned, he moved closer to her. “Is she sleeping now? Maybe you could get a nap.” He’d thought waiting a couple weeks would mean they’d have gotten into a routine, but what did he know about babies? He hadn’t even been two when his baby sister had been born. He had younger cousins but didn’t remember spending too much time around them as babies.

Kayla shook her head. “Adrian’s sitting with her. She quieted for her daddy nearly right away.”

Connor was glad she couldn’t see his smile this time. “Mom says that’s how Dory was too. Daddy’s girl from day one.” And her death had nearly destroyed their father, not to mention their family unit.

Kayla did lift her head then. “Is your family really okay with it? That we named her that? Your mom said-”

“Mom doesn’t lie,” he told her. “It was still too soon when Rian’s daughter and then Darcie’s girls were born. But it’s past time her name held more than pain. They all understand that.” He squeezed her hand. “Why don’t you get some rest? I’ll spell Adrian so he can join you. Being here alone is the only way I can get my hands on my niece anyway.”

She didn’t fight him on that. He closed his sketchbook and headed up the steps toward the baby’s room. This wasn’t what he’d planned when he’d decided to stop over. But, if he could give his brother and Kayla the break they needed right now, maybe it was what he needed, too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was “coffee” by Barbara. I wasn’t exactly sure where this was going to go after the beginning. And I am so glad those days are behind us now(my youngest is 7 now). But, I do remember those sleepless nights and breaking down when my son was about 3 weeks old because I was just so tired.

Just Jot It January: Day 8 – “Pants”

“So, who’s going to wear the pants in this relationship?”

Connor’s shoulders tightened at his cousin’s voice. He wasn’t going to respond. The comment didn’t deserve a response. Cormac could be an ass all he wanted. Connor wasn’t going to rise to the bait. It had taken him a long time to learn how not to do that.

It turned out he didn’t have to. “I though you’d given up being an asshole, Cor,” another cousin’s voice said. “Who says either of them have to wear pants. I often don’t.”

Connor snickered at Gio’s last comment. It would probably get their brother going, but Gio didn’t seem to care anymore. Good for them. Gio, and their boyfriend, Cam, had been through enough.

“I’m just saying,” Cormac continued, “she–”

“They,” both Connor and Gio corrected at the same time. Connor glanced at the cousin who was the closest in age to him. Gio smiled slightly at him. It eased off some of the irritation Cormac’s words had brought on.

“Whatever,” Cormac said, and Connor could practically hear the eye roll in his words. Though he was sure his cousin thought himself too mature, in his late thirties, to do such a thing. “I’ll leave the two of you to that nonsense.”

Gio’s face darkened at that comment. “Nonsense,” they muttered. “Because no matter how he claims he’s accepting now, he still thinks who I am is nonsense.”

Connor wasn’t sure what to say to them, a way to make things better. If there was ever so much distance between him and his own brothers, it might tear him apart. But, Gio seemed to be coping.Β  Maybe it helped having Cam with them.

At least they had that. He wasn’t sure if he’ be able to say the same for long. If Ames couldn’t deal with his family, he might lose them no matter what else he did. And they shouldn’t have to deal with attitudes like Cormac’s. Thankfully most of the family was more accepting, no matter what others tended to assume about them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January was “pants” from Pensitivity101. Yes, Cormac can be a bit of a jerk with very “firm” opinions. That actually caused trouble for Gio and Cam in their story. He is trying to do better, but as you can see, doesn’t always succeed at that. His opinions are, of course, not mine, but I do know people who share them. So, I may have drawn from that a bit.

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