A Blog Post: New Year, New Goals

I’ve been thinking about goals, as one does at this time of year.

Yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals – the whole shebang.

Some of this comes from finishing up last year’s Wordcount spreadsheet and moving on to this year’s, but “wordcount” is, while a lot of fun, not a very important goal.

(okay, that’s not entirely true, ’cause if you-all want to read, say, Spoils, Purchase, and two other things every week, then a serial once/month and four other stories, a recipe and a partridge in a pear tree on Patreon and I want to write a novel and submit some stories, there needs to be a certain base wordcount.  That, by the way, turns out to be approximately 2000 words, 5 days a week.)

We did this seminar at work on “SMART” goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Bounded (or something like that).

So when I’m setting goals – okay, I’ve tried for this for years but now I have a metric – I try to make them things that I can count and work towards.  Not “Sell 12 stories.”  That’s a) not my choice, b) not realistic and possibly not achievable, and c) not actually all that time-bounded.  But “Submit a story every other month.”

I’ve been trying to apply this to all aspects of my goal-setting, but when it comes, to, say, fun (someone suggested I have a section of goals for fun) I’m still sort of struggling.  The best I’ve come up with is “pick a day, and on that day every week, try to communicate with at least a couple of your distant friends.”  And also “do a trip that involves a museum.”

Those are not really uh, specific, but fun sort of gets wedged in the sides of things, doesn’t it?

I mean, other than uh.

When I spend three hours minecrafting and netflixing, which is… um.  It’s own problem?

Have I shown you my Minecraft railroad system?  It’s pretty amazing…

I know not everyone does or likes resolutions, but what about goals? How do you go about setting goals?

And, of course, also, how do you go about moving towards those goals?  Do you check in with yourself monthly? Daily? Never?  Do you bribe yourself? Punish yourself?

…Spend an hour playing Minecraft and THEN do your goals?

Burn all your goals down after a month and start again in March?

If I had a resolution in 2020, it would be Get Stuff Done.   I’m hoping that setting goals will help me get there.

How do YOU get stuff done?

The Bellamy, Chapter One

A new series!

“Come on in, come on in.  I wasn’t expecting anyone today, was I?”

The woman smiling at Veronika from the other side of the door – which she had not moved out of sufficiently to allow Veronika to, as suggested, come in – looked far too tidy for her confused expression.  Her salt-and-pepper hair was confined in an amazingly tidy bun; her vest and skirt fit her perfectly; her glasses were held on a decorative beaded string that coordinated with her outfit, and her make-up was on point. 

“I’m not certain,” Veronika admitted.  She, herself, was attempting not to feel untidy – she’d put a lot of work into her outfit and thought she was very nicely coordinated, but this woman….!  “Eve Dirckx contacted me through the temp agency. She told me to come here, to this side door–” she gestured at the door in question and the little parking lot outside of it “–at 8 a.m. today.  Well, the twenty fifth of November at 8 a.m…?” Veronika was beginning to wonder if she’d gotten something awfully wrong. “This is the Bellamy Manor Archival Library and Museum, yes?”

“The twenty-fifth of November – Wednesday?”  The woman peered at her over her glasses.

“Monday?” Veronika offered. Continue reading

Purchase Negotiation 30: Tests

First: Purchased: Negotiation

💰

Sylviane patted Leander’s shoulder and smiled brightly at him.  He hoped he didn’t look as nervous as she was acting like he did.  “We’re going. I’m driving, if that’s fine with you.”

Leander felt as if his head was full in a way it hadn’t been – possibly ever.  He had taken notes in the seminar because Sylviane was – and because she’d given him a notebook and a pen and it seemed to be what you were supposed to do – but most of his notes had been looking at her notes and writing down something similar.

He had, he realized, no idea how to handle this whole school thing – and this had just been a seminar.

He’d listened to the woman at the front of the room talk – it was a discussion on how data could be used or abused in manners to make your business better for you, to make it better for your customers, or possibly both – and had written down a bunch of questions as he got confused, but when the time came for questions, he’d left that to people who were supposed to be here.

(Sylviane had, in three cases, written down an answer to his questions right under them, so he was glad he hadn’t asked any of them out loud). Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter One

A new Miniseries!

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

“You don’t belong here, you know.”

Lina tensed.  She wasn’t doing anything against the rules — she didn’t think.  But there was a boy in front of her in one of the strange robes that the leaders kept wearing, sort of a silvery white and soft, velvet maybe, and he was glaring at her. 

He had blond curly hair that reminded her of someone, although she couldn’t remember who at the moment, eyes that seemed too pale to be real, and a very unfriendly expression. 

“It’s — it’s food for the group,” she offered.  She pointed at the sign.   Continue reading

The Milk

“There’s a problem with the milk.”

Cara raised an eyebrow at intern in her well-practiced “do tell?” expression. She’d brought double PhDs to their knees with that eyebrow.

The intern was uncowed. Cara didn’t know whether to write the skinny grad student off as an idiot or be impressed by the stainless steel guts that demonstrated. “The whole milk, to be exact. Not ours, that is, we didn’t develop it; it’s in the dining hall.”

The intern hesitated. “That is, as far as I know, it’s a dining hall product and not one of our developments; if the Facility is using its dining hall for non -consensual, uninformed testing, I quit.”

“Not the staff dining hall.” It was not the most robust denial, but Cara wanted to see what this one would do.

The intern relaxed minutely. “Then there is a serious problem with the whole milk.” Continue reading

Spoils of War 28: Rules

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

PLEASE NOTE: I WENT BACK TO THE END OF CHAPTER 21 AND AM REWRITING FROM THAT POINT. 

Nikol was making a mess of this suggestion, as much of a suggestion as it was.  She glanced at Aran as she trailed off. He was… smiling. 

No.  Laughing.

He actually laughed.  She paused, thinking about punching him, but he ended with a little snort that didn’t sound mean.  “Hey, hey, I’m just amused because you’re as bad at this as anyone else and it’s kind of a relief. I mean, how did you do it with your mercenaries?” Continue reading

Patreon this Month: Finish It

My friends!

The theme this month for my Patreon is “Finish It!”

Which means, if you have wanted me to finish something, if you want me to write more about things, if you think I have too many cliffhangers, if you’ve been thinking about sending me a couple bucks in my tip jar,

now is a great month to join my Patreon at the $5 (prompt-me, “To-Do List”) level.

Yes, even if you only want to join for a month.  I won’t tell anyone 😉 That’s still $5 (less fees) for me!

Bonus:  If you join and prompt, I will write to one of your prompts, even if I’ve already written the 4 stories for that month.

Yes, it’s a loophole to get me to write even more finishes (or semi-finishes, let’s be honest).  But to do that – you gotta Patronize (the capital P is important in this case; if you lower-case patronize me I don’t write nothing) me and you have to prompt (on the “Prompt Call” post, please).

Check it out: https://www.patreon.com/aldersprig.

 

 

A Landing Page of Micro- and Tootfic

I love posting tiny fics on Mastodon on occasion (see the tootplanets for one series there), but Mastodon, like Twitter, is inherently a bit ephemeral.

I’m going to begin with an archive of all the tootfics I’ve posted that I can find (mostly from the Read Me Elsewhere posts) and attempt to update this as I go.

Microfiction is very small fiction, designed to be a whole tale (hopefully), in a small package.  50-word fics, drabbles (100-word fics), 6-word fics (See the Hemmingway example) – these are subsets of microfiction.  So are tootfiction – fics designed to fit in a toot (The Mastodon version of a tweet) or, in common usage, several toots.  Tweetfic is harder (less characters, although 280 is better than 140 for this) but is the same concept.

Here’s someone else’s definition:

As Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Which translated into modern language means, “Everyone should write and read microfiction.”

What is Microfiction?

It’s a subset of flash fiction—those super short stories typically told in 1,000 words or less. Definitions vary, but for the most part, microfiction is any story told in 300 words or less, and could even be as short as a few words. (At Microfiction Monday Magazine, I use the limit of 100 words.)

Mastodon is free to join, by the way, and ad-free; you can read any of the below fic, however, just by clicking through – you don’t need to have an account!


Here’s My Microfiction

Fantasy (including Urban Fantasy)

By A Nose
Souls and Hearts
A Wish
Side Effects (warning: creepy)
The Come and Gone King (a reply)
The Hall of the Lost (a reply)
Because Of…
Prophecy
Cat Song

Natha/en (fae apoc)
Bi Kisses (more Natha/en)
Rooftop – Jasper and the House converse. (Haunted House)
Once Upon a Time comes to Fae Apoc – darkfic crossover Fanfiction
Cats who Saw – Aunt Family
100 Years – Fairy City, CrossRoads Park
Test Subjects – (Bear Empire, Cyber Era) the Potioneer is working on it

Ficlet with a portion of a map sketch, Autumn, Stranded

Stranded Caturdays

Untitled Cat Game – cats can’t see Strands….
Neighborhood Cat

The Pirates and Podka

Orange Sunset Parlay – The Imperial Captain wants to talk to Yonpler.
Silver Rain – on Podka, it was said to rain silver.
Blue Foraging – the Captain and Yonpler are going to have to work together.
Teal Calculations – Sometimes you have to take a leap. Sometimes you can calculate the risks.

Potions and the Apocalypse?

Po(t)tion – the trick in potions
Wav(er)ing – the trick in spells
End(ur)ing – magic in the apocalypse
Ru(i)ne(d) – Personal runes in magic
Grim(oire) – A scavenged grimoire.
Sel(f/v)edge – Salvaging Magic
Substitutions – Needs must, after all
Ban(e/ana) – Some more substitutions
Protect – During the Dust Fall
Discovery – Just after the Dust Fall
Kitty – Just after the two above
4-Part Harmony – After Kitty, above.
Necro-Kitty – Magic doesn’t raise the dead…
Picky – kitties
Nananana – Magical creatures…
Patience – Waiting for the Magic

Caturday – during the apoc, magic cats
A New Way – Just at the beginning of the apoc, potions
Walking – same world, different feel, characters, good cat
The Wilds – they weren’t safe…
Witch’s Cottage – filled with critters

Reinventing the Wheel – not sure if this is Fantasy or Sci-Fi so it’s Fantify?

Sci-fi

Cure the Cure
Tootplanet Resumes 
Bird Brains
Relax
Time Travel is Impossible

Horror

Don’t Approach

Misc

Cake Walk, weird.
Push the Button (if there’s an image on these, read the image alt)
Ass Hat

Tootfiction Already Posted on this Blog


Various Blog-posted Microfiction

100-Word Fics

I went through a phase where I was on 100- and 50-word fic community on Livejournal, back when that was a thing. 

50-word Fics

Try the password “suddenly!” for pre-2007 posts.  

General Microfiction

Kink Bingo prompts 

a story over many micro-intervals,to a kink-bingo prompt set

 

Purchase Negotiation 29: Survival

First: Purchased: Negotiation

💰

Sylviane patted Leander’s shoulder and smiled brightly at him.  He hoped he didn’t look as nervous as she was acting like he did.  “We’re going. I’m driving, if that’s fine with you.”

“Yeah, that’s fine.  I’m gonna need practice to be back into driving again – I mean.”  He blinked and shut up, staring at her, waiting for the anger. 

She snaked an arm around his waist and hip-bumped him.  “Hey. I asked if you minded. If it was fine with you.”

“I -”  He looked down at her.  “Yeah. Yes, you did, ma’am.” Continue reading

Sleddddddd (a blog post)

Hello all!  It’s wintertime!

And I have a SLED!

Have I mentioned this sled before?

I mean, it’s nothing exciting; it’s a plastic molded sled of the sort you buy your kid so they can go down the hill, or at least it’s really similar to the one I had to go sledding downhill at the nearby park (Rochester is on the plain that used to be in Lake Ontario, so the option is the park with a hill (which may have been manufactured, I never asked) or… well, that’s about it.  In Ithaca, I could sled half my commute, if I was feeling daring.)

What it is, for me, is just about the size of the totes we use to haul firewood.  Continue reading