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May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:11 am
by Lynx

Welcome to the May Daily Stepping thread. It all comes down to what steps do you need to take to make your life better, achieve something worthwhile, help support the growth of people your care about, or cope with necessary changes.

John Steinbeck found a device that worked for him. He warmed-up every day by writing to his journal or to his editor friend. He did this with Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. At one point in East of Eden he writes of one of his character's plans in his daily letter.
"[Today] I'm going to set down Adam's plans for his life. The fact that he isn't going to to get even one of them has no emphasis whatever. Plans are real things and not experience. A rich life is rich in plans. If the don't come off, they are still a little bit realized. If the do, they may be disappointing. That's why a trip described becomes better the greater the time between the trip and the telling. I believe too, that if you know a [person's] plans, you know more about [them] than you can in any other way.' Journal of a Novel, p. 94.

Make plans, set up steps, share here, report back. Repeat.


Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:31 pm
by An8el
Guess I'll join up here for a bit, since I'm going to be house sitting with daily Internet access May 15th. Think I can afford to dip in and keep up here and there for the first couple of weeks in May.
It's nice to come back to this forum and see two of my fave people posting here!
Elaine and I had a face to face - so we can say we actually KNOW each other, LOL. Wish I could meet you too Lynx, we've had such interesting exchanges in the past. Maybe someday...

So - onto my goals for this month...
*To advertise for students in hopes someone shows up so I can indoctrinate someone into my fave pastime of changing reactions. (i.e: make posters announcing a "class" and post them at the local library and in the media event section, and to contact someone who hired me in the distant past who does a yearly workshop event to let him know I'm doing the class privately...and to talk myself up at the local coffee shops.)
*To do some planning for a domain I just bought that doesn't have anything on it yet, but is so general that I think I can fit something into it. (I know, it was just a wild hair. But I have soooo many interests, thought I'd take the plunge and appear to specialize!) The challenge is WHAT?
*To get a little more experience designing my own web pages, i.e: to choose a template for instance. I'm probably going to use Weebly to do the designing, which is really, really easy to do. So the bigger challenge is just to decide what's going to be on the site!
*To advance any one of about twenty various projects that have been begging for attention that I've put aside for later completion. Probably the apprentice book. But the how-to on Window Painting already has its illustrations DONE and just needs editing and learning about how to do illustrations on the e-book interface on Amazon. (Picking one and work for 25 min. sounds like a good idea. Thanks Lynx.)
*To make a kitty feeder I've imagined in this ceramics class I've already joined. Maybe to make some ocarinas too. To resist not buying glazes! To find out if the three other things I made didn't explode in the firing that's supposed to happen in a few days, (if someone's stuff doesn't ruin everything in the kiln. If so, to re-do what I just made.)
*Because I know I don't have a place to work on ceramic stuff, even hand-building - I need one. Outside spaces are just too mosquito-ridden this time of year, and it's just too messy for my 'clean craft' areas inside. Maybe the key would be to create a "station" for it to live somewhere...So that could be another goal - setup a ceramics work space.
*To figure out how to entice the library people to at least help involve a bunch of people to get inspired to design a project that could change the face of what libraries do for people. The guy in charge is running for mayor or something, so he's brushing me off until he runs into me face to face. I've already got a series of questions for them they could use to do the designing, (but I'm going to need more of those, and ideas about how to involve people.)
*To get some more work done on a book I was writing about how apprentices can find mentors among people who don't think of themselves as teachers. It strikes me that it would work in with this library idea.

Lynx - whenever I could not "get a job," I went ahead and MADE a job for myself. Maybe a project like my library idea could be a ticket for you, given your skill set. Of course, you'd have some time to work on it once you have a bit of lead time cushion. It's the sort of "make your own job" thing that would respond well to crowd sourcing.
Lemme know if you wanna to talk with me about it? Do we still have each other's contact info phone numbers, etc?

Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:42 pm
by Elaine Glimme
Hi, An8el,

Yes, it was fun meeting an Internet friend. My computer is acting up. So if I'm not around much, blame the computer. Wifi goes on and off. Mostly off. Right now I have it connected by wire. The Comcast rep says it's my router, and I should contact Netgear. Earlier today, I couldn't get Internet even with a wire connection.

Lynx, yay for money coming in.

Me - We're going to try to shoot Molly's video on Tuesday. it may be a practice run. I'm using my phone to shoot the video so that I can get the whole thing in one fell swoop, and I don't have to try to link an audio up with a visual. I'm not sure what the sound quality will be. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Happy steppin' (p.s. I'm not happy because I've just been talking to the Concast rep.)


PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 8:05 am
by Lynx

Angel, I like the really BIG ideas you just casually dropped at the end ...
* ... to design a project that could change the face of what libraries do for people.
*To get some more work done on a book I was writing about how apprentices can find mentors among people who don't think of themselves as teachers. ...

Here's a link on a draft for apprentice patterns (in the software field) could have some nuggets ... index.html

I'm being carried along by a couple of big ideas, too. It's like mental rapids.

Social Security retirement checks start to drop next week. I want to post something to a energy healing group because I know at least one of its members struggles with bills and is over 62. I'll cc a former roommate with my post(s) as well. C'mon folks, claim it while we can keep the vultures at bay.

This is my warm up. I need to get an outline back to my editor for an editorial on Jackie Robinson. Want to finish before noon, when I need to get out to the library and a clinic appt. For the outline, I'll put it in email and follow her flow. Did all the research yesterday to get this far, hope it slides off my fingers. Doing 25/5 minutes. The 5 minutes are things like clean the kitchen counter, read a few pages in a book, get dressed.

Let's see,

Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 10:53 am
by Elaine Glimme

I love libraries. An8el, If it's not a secret what are your ideas about libraries? And is it one thing that has to be done in one big swoosh, or is it a lot of little ideas that could be implemented one idea at a time? I also love little steps. My computer seems to be working, so I should probably take back some of the bad things I have to say about Comcast, or at least the tech who helped me yesterday.

Lynx, as I understand it, if you make more than a certain amount, they do deduct it from your social security, but they take it into account later, so you get higher payments later on.

Me - we're shooting Molly's video tomorrow, and the best part is that Sandy understands about learning experiences, so if it doesn't work tomorrow, she's willing to come back and try it again later. My friend Barbara plays the oboe. She's not available on Tuesday, but she will be available later, and she'd be willing to accompany Molly. When I was about ten, I spent a Saturday afternoon making paper cutouts of a Native American village with canoes & tepees. I also had a wild west village with a fort and covered wagons. I thought it was pretty cool. My mother said, "but why are you wasting all that time?" The answer of course was that it was fun. It served no useful purpose. That's how I feel about everything I've done with Molly. It's fun. That's fine. Saturday afternoons and retirement are meant for fun. But it makes me hesitate to ask for help from other people. I tried to get profits from "The Molly Chronicles" to go to animal rescue groups, and I did donate $70 to the Napa shelter. But it would be cool if I could get something useful out of all of this.

It sounds like May will be a nicer month for all of us steppers. I hope I didn't just jinx it.


PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:14 am
by Lynx

Elaine: Lynx, as I understand it, if you make more than a certain amount, they do deduct it from your social security, but they take it into account later, so you get higher payments later on.

Yup, I've done my diligence. Options are available. Right now I'm not even close to requiring them.

I'm annoyed as all heck that I'm not in a high paying job right now and NOT taking the SSret. I feel overlooked just when I'm primed for a great contribution. Onward, still, what else is there?


Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 7:53 pm
by Elaine Glimme
Molly, the Border Collie, here reporting on my first practice photo shoot. I must say that the camera loved me, and I was able to perform up to my usual high standard. This one was just for practice. My next shoot will appear on YouTube.
Licks and tail wags to all,


Human's note: Hah! Who said working with animals is easy! Sit and Stay. That was all she had to do. Sit and Stay. We will be doing a lot of dog obedience practice before our next shoot.


4 warmup

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 8:28 am
by Lynx
Hi folks,

Molly, look at Elaine—"Sit and stay." It's kindov like getting my writing done ... sit and stay and write!

The rains have returned to dear Seattle. Chillier too. Just perfect for getting my 812 word op-ed piece drafted today. My weather underground says there's a "1/6 chance of rain." I guess I'm see the 1. "Expect dry conditions over the next 7 hours," it reports. And also set outside and put your finger to the air ...

The Plan:

I need to leave the homestead before 4 PM ... so several runs at this in 25 min on/5 min off cycles. I find the 5 minutes off tend to be longer and sometimes I drift past the 25 bell. But getting the rhythm established is the key.

Feeling groggy just out of bed. About 2 hours ago awoke more alert but talked myself out of getting out of bed. Curious, I might have been finished by now (830) and ready to take a nap.

My editorial is something I have a lot of knowledge about and could write about forever. So mostly my work is keeping the focus and staying at a consistent view from 30,000 feet.


5 warmup

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 8:46 am
by Lynx

Very ready for work today. Sent off my outline on Monday as promised and got feedback from the editor today. In the meantime I had begun to draft it out, and her feedback falls right in line. She gets what I'm after and why I'm after it.

I'd suggested about 800 words, she let out the line to 1000.

It's interesting. A few years ago I began an html "book" of 64 brief chapters around a the topics of leadership, learning, and community. I couldn't sustain it alone feeling that no one would see and I'd rather write than market.

Then I started reviewing plays, which led to reviewing plays for a second site, which led to my first pitch which they consider an editorial. I'm curious what's next.

Still exploring the exciting worlds of 25/5. The 25 minutes I just cling to staying on task as best I can. Any 'prompts' to do something else either stops the clock or goes on a list for the 5 minutes.

The five minutes can be productive, reading, or rest. Today I have several ready:

Follow-up with M. on lunch at culinary school
Ask A-E if she is planning on going to First Thursday
Look for groups on Linked-In for history, drama, and landuse (low odds, but who knows).
Read a day or two of the Steinbeck Journal for East of Eden
send links for pencil reviews to the manager of the old tech section at the univ bookstore

Oh, reminds me ... breaking news. The Palomino pencil co. has just released a 'limited edition' box of 24 pencils branded as "Steinbeck's preferred pencil" with a note by Thom Steinbeck, John's son, that John thought pencils should be all black: the paint, the ferrule to hold the eraser, and the eraser. So they are in this L.E. Price: $25.

I found them last night in Chinatown while tracking down some Tombow & Mitshubishi pencils ($1.15 to $2.70 — cheap treats). I'll be back in Chinatown today. Limited edition, new lead formula, the son approves. I dunno.

Thom probably is around 70 years old. The cynic says this is his last chance to collect money to endow the grandkid's college education.

The writer in me is going ... just over $2 a pencil. You dine out and don't even like, how much is that? Pencils can last a long time.

To be continued ...L

6 warmup

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:18 am
by Lynx

It's 8:07 AM. Just waddled out of bed and stretched a bit and got a glass of juice.

Awoke thinking about warming up. Sometimes I warm up with reading, right now I'm experimenting with writing as warm up. There's a big difference. With reading I'm getting someone else's finished, polished, edited, printed work. Sometimes it would fire up my imagination so high I'd bounce around like i was riding a pogo stick.

With writing I can adjust the content and pace and use it to establish the mood I want in myself for what I'm expecting to get done. This is one of the key uses Steinbeck discovered. It also keeps my thinking close to my vest, and I'm not exposing myself to other people's methods, styles, or tone.

Also, I find there's a natural place to leave off the warming up and get to the work. Over and over again I see this happening in Steinbeck's journal. I'm feeling it rise now by a flexing in my knees (I'm at a standing desk).

Last comment for this morning. I bought a special edition box of 12 blackwing pencils, #24. An insert claims that John's son Thom endorsed this edition because it was all black, etc. as I mentioned yesterday. Sharpened one and ... it writes well. Good point, glides across the paper.

Now to work. L

8 warmup

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:03 am
by Lynx

Happy mother's day to visitors who are mothers and the rest of us who were born of mothers.

Suffering through a tech-world problem ...a review post I finished and posted with Wordpress has vanished! Google's bot managed to cache it so there's a wisp of a pixel trail, but as far as I can tell it's gone. The producer of the play sent email asking where it was because the link returned one of those 404 pages. I can't find any trace on WP, no article, no picture, and it's not somehow tossed in the trash.

Mercury in Retrograde!!!!

After I post something the details start of glide out of temporary memory. Some flashes of what I'd done are returning. Took about 4 hours to write, maybe I can redo it in 2 to 2.5

Here forward I'll make my own copy to my computer, at least of the text. And it will probably never happen again.

The work I'd plan for the day may be to re-write this piece. And make my own backup.

Aggh, The Cloud!


9 warmup

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:57 am
by Lynx

well, couldn't recover my post (see yesterday) so rewrote it. new one a bit longer but also more thorough. has its own clevernesses, and i can't recall the first well enough to say if i forgot any.

i'm clear the fault lies with wordpress. my editor, not sitting at my side as i read through search results of people dealing with lost posts, keeps insinuating i might have done something wrong. i've uploaded 50 posts so you would think i'd be let some slack and trusted. people!

moving on to today. a free association

there's a delicate balance between being thorough with my written plans and feeling pressured and like i want to escape. while they float in my mind they move around like so many clouds, more complicated ones are larger. there's a lot of room around them as they float about, bump, separate.

there also feels like a lot of space for emergent ideas. the emergent ones often feel more exciting (because they are new) and "cut the line.'

hm. anyway, when there are too many idea clouds i write a few down. it's almost a type of rain and it clear the mental space. i look at the list and i know it will be far more complicated and slow so now i feel like the air is being sucked from around me. i feel bound and tied by the list.

this relates to when i was about 8 and organizing my stamp collection on a spring day. i looked up and thought, i'm indoors, i really want to be out there playing. stamps are known and past (because they are printed and often cancelled) outside is open, random and flexible. If I know i want to do something, it's like a stamp. Something just appears it more like outside.

--end free association--

for today's 25/5 cycles:
get ready for a talk around lunch time
- check digital recorder
- test microphones

eat breakfast early-they will have food (likely pizza)

get some of these idea clouds out of my head (stamps) by using Scrivner so I can learn it (outside)

(maybe, if the weather cooperates) some shopping for food in a nearby town

listening to ambient music tonight
note to friend who lives near the music hall


Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:06 am
by Elaine Glimme
Lynx, welcome to my world. Writing is so much more fun when you're not actually doing it. Still, you do get days when it just all happens and it's perfect. Or it's not perfect, but you work at it, and it's fun, and it ends up okay. And maybe twenty edits later, it's good. (That's my world, anyway.) Right now old black dog is visiting. The one that makes you want to crawl back into bed.

We had Mother's Day lunch on Saturday, and it was great. We were up at the lake. Sunday, came home to reality. Molly and Zena do not get along. On Saturday, they got into an altercation, and Zena ripped a patch (small) of skin from Molly's chin. Sunday, I noticed that she was licking her paw a lot. She's either got a scratch or a fox tail in the webbing between her toes. I slathered it in antibiotic. She's not licking now, so maybe we don't have to run to the vet - I hope. There was no piece of fox tail sticking out, and it usually takes more than one day to get the fox tail completely under her skin. I'm also keeping watch over the sore under her chin. I may not be taking Molly up to the lake anymore which would be a shame, because it's dog Heaven up there, and she likes to be with Astro and Buddy, and probably even Zena.

Tom was watching Northern Exposure, and the episode we saw was the one where Joel gets swallowed by a giant sturgeon. It's a parallel to Jonas and the Whale, and the moral is responsibility. I used to be better at responsibility.

Happy steppin' everyone.

Re: May 2016 Daily Stepping

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 2:38 pm
by Lyndon
This is even farther away from the 1st of the month than last month.

It has been a month (now a month and a half) of improvement. Not writing more regularly, except by accident, but I’m doing sprints more often. Anywhere between zero and four times a day, and a couple delightful, relaxed half hour writing by hand sessions.

Getting the channels between my brain and fingers clear.

An8el Window painting and apprentice book and anything about libraries look like topics that could find buddies in my sooooo many interests.

I have a domain to try to put a herd of interests and see which work.

Elaine: So now working on MOLLY: THE VERY MUCH MOVING PICTURE?

Lynx: Re: Writing to establish the mood you want for yourself—rather than have a mood thrust upon you.
That parallels some of my discomfort with TV where excited-sounding people work to push moods.

I like writing down things as rain that clears the cloud from mental space.
It often seems to me that in writing things condense from blurred to clearing.

Work and life and my body collecting I.O.U.’s continues. Hope to be back while it’s still this month.



PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:34 pm
by Lynx
Hey there,

Elaine, hope the dogs are doing better, together. Is this a touch of canine rivalry for your affections?

Lyndon, that's for coming back and your update with what has been working. It may well be your signature method ... Not writing more regularly, except by accident, but I’m doing sprints more often. Anywhere between zero and four times a day, and a couple delightful, relaxed half hour writing by hand sessions.

Had a fun few days of the rotating edits game with my editor for a short piece on Jackie Robinson's lessons for Journalism. I'll kick it here (link) when it's out. Soon. Always soon.

This lifted ye ol mood ...

The story looks AMAZING, and it's almost ready for publication tomorrow. ... Thanks so much. I really appreciate the incredible rework you did. It's looking really good. - [editor]

Just awoke for a nap and going to do a 25/5 cycle or two on rewrite 4 she's referring to and see how far I get.

For warm-up: I'm still a little groggy. Maybe I'll copy off a few quotes from Steinbeck's journal to remind myself how up and down this business is.