On Life and ROWing….Goals Update #19

From 750Words, June 2011...

##### ENTRY ##### 2011-06-22, num_words:996, num_minutes:32.2094
I am here again, filled with thoughts and ponderings, none of them concrete enough to express in words. I am very very in touch with my more intuitive self just now, and I can feel new depth and breadth coming into my awareness on an almost constant basis. 

I really feel that I am on the course I have always been meant to travel, the trail I have resisted for most of my life because those around me were busily telling me how little sense it made to go that way, how lacking in common sense I was, and that it was nothing more than a frivolous waste of time.

I made the mistake that so many of us seem to make, in this homogenized culture we've created out of what once was an entire nation of individuals......

I let those living outside of my soul determine the course that I should follow; in the process, I ignored and forgot how to read my own internal compass, and convinced myself that my inner sense of direction was as capricious as my outer navigational awareness is.

And maybe it's true that I don't really know what direction I'm traveling here. Then again, I don't think that any of us truly do. So many people would say that they do, but, if their lives are examined, they are often busily pursuing external goals that have little or no bearing on their inner life.

I've come to realize that I am the happiest when I am doing as my inner nature, and my current levels of energy and focus, direct me to. That means very different things depending on the day or the hour. I've been tired a lot the last week or two - full, close moon, which keeps my thoughts going through the night; hormones; lots of kid interruptions; a couple of arguments with Jim; lots of cleaning; lots of heat; some overcast days; both kids going through substantial growth and cognitive spurts;and I myself am in a very inquisitive and creatively charged place just now (busy organizing; culling possessions; gardening and beautifying inside and out; learning new technology and diving headfirst into the lifetime dream of making a living through my words; sharing the gift of my words and perspective with the world, too, freely).

So today, so far, has looked like this, for me.  Star Trek: The Next Generation began at 12:30 am (before it started was making love with my husband and watching a show about lightning that was on the Weather Channel). After, I watched the end of a True Hollywood Story on the kids from Diff'rent Strokes. Then I switched to PBS and caught the last two stories on History Detectives, which in turn was followed by Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, Part 1. While I watched, I wrote a little of the outline for the Spock/Jeniah bonding story. By the end, at about 4am, I was dozing off, so I brushed my teeth and went to bed. 

I woke at about 11am (one of the better nights' sleep I've had the last couple of weeks). I played a little more with my new cell phone, which arrived yesterday. Jim and I enjoyed wandering conversations, more lovemaking, and lingering coffee with each other. 

The kids seem to be much more interested in each other's company, these last few weeks, than they had been for several months before this. They are also tireder than typical, due to their intense mental and physical growth. They were outside together between bouts of rain. They brought our garbage and recycling bins down from the road, and got the mail. Inside, they played games on the Gamecube (Teen Titans) and Pokemon and Excitebike via handheld systems. Lise took a nap, and was awoken by the barking dog (I had canceled the Schwan's service, but the salesman didn't check his route, and came anyway. I don't think he'll be back now that I have told him personally.) Now, she's awake and playing more games in Miah's room (with his advance permission), while he is napping. 

Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I have written two piece of flash fiction for Jeniah. They are, I think the beginning of a series. They take place at about the point I am up to in myBlood and Breath story arc, and I believe they will help to both clarify Jeniah’s character, and also to suggest the shape of the upcoming chapters in the story arc.
  • I have begun creating a character list. All major and minor characters are listed.
  • Next, I will begin writing character sketches for each of these characters, which I will carry over into the next round.
  • I have written a brief character sketch fro Spock. Of course I started with Spock.

     

  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I have pulled four posts from June 2011, two of which recount a day I want to remember in a blogpost. I will be editing and embellishing over the coming days.
  • One of these posts appears at the beginning of this update.
  • Another appears at the end of this posting.
  • I have decided to finish the June 2011 posts, this round, and continue editing later postings in the next ROWnds.
  • I have reached June 27 thus far.
  • This leaves only three posts left to go through before I have gone through all of the posts.
  • After that, I will go through the so-far uncategorized fragments, and decide what to do with these.
  • At that point, I will have attained this goal..

 

  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • This has been happening, but in a far more organic and less definable way than I had originally thought that it would.
  • Not only are portions of these writings finding their way, whole, into my blogs; they are also informing my current writing in sometimes wholly unexpected ways.
  • I have a potential novel idea growing in the back of my mind, based from writings I’ve done during times when Jim and I have argued with each other…it may be a while before there’s enough of an idea to begin writing it, but I am enjoying the way it’s slowly coalescing in my mind.
  • I have found several essays that just need some editing and polishing before being complete. Some of these I will share on my blog; others I will submit to various venues…it’s a little like finding a gift I gave to myself!
  • I have saved another post, which, with editing and polishing, may be a publishable essay, for later review.
  • I am currently up to June 27, leaving 3 d posts to be reviewed and mined for usable content.
  • After that point, I will review the posts I highlighted to return to later.

     

 

  • Find all chapters of Chameleon’s Dish.  Input into Scrivener. possibly begin rewrite.
  • I have added Chapter 5 (original Chapter 12) to Scrivener.
  • Rewriting may wait until August, when there is another NaNo event, or perhaps later, but will certainly not formally begin this ROWnd- I want to get through all the inputting, as I am reading and performing minor edits and proofing as I go; and then give things a while to compost before I go back to it.
  • I have added Chapter 6 (original Chapter 13) to Scrivener.
  • It seems that I have only one scene of Chapter 14 (which will be Chapter 7) before I need to go looking….after NaNoWriMo, I took a few weeks off, then finished the draft on 750 Words. I will need to hunt down those pieces by scanning each post.
  • Late note – I thought I had input all of Chapter 6, but, upon delving into my 750 words logs, I have found that I missed a portion of one scene, and all of another (possibly, two)..
  • I have stopped moving forward until the rest of chapter 6 has been edited, reformatted, and added to my Scrivener files.

 

  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
  • Without reading the previous writings, and after taking some time to emotionally detach, I have written a concise outline I will be following as I refine just what I want to say and how I want to say it.
  • I will work through this outline, again concisely, before I review the previous writings on this subject, then use that material only for fleshing-out as needed.
  • My aim is to reframe his concerns; and to answer them without being defensive or reactive; and to answer them in ways that may lead him to a deeper understanding of our lives and learning.
  • I have written what I feel is a good introduction; maybe wanting a little polish, but otherwise clear, concise, and easy to follow.
  • This leaves six sections left to write, then proofing, editing, printing, and sending.
  • I finally feel I am approaching this project from a good perspective and with a useful structure. I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent mulling it over and writing emotional rants; it’s helped me to vent my emotions and clarify what my true message is.
  • I dealt with the first point of the first section. I feel the writing is flowing much more naturally, now.

 

Self-care:

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: A restful day. Stayed close to my bed. Lots of mellow snuggles and conversation. Perfect for the day.
  • Tuesday: Slept in, allowed everyone to wake naturally. Then we all went to the YMCA . Jim worked out, the kids and I swam (Lise for nearly two hours, and she made several friends); Jeremiah and I spent some time in the computer lab, and tried to see the transit of Venus, but the sun was obscured by a cloud, and then a school building. We had a family dinner at Red Robin, ordering what appealed, and exploring some of the art. I took a complete break from hometending for the day – how liberating!
  • Wedneday: Cake Mania 2, and reading to Annalise. Relaxing day; minimal hometending. Kissin’ with Jim.

 

  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: Not much moving, after a busy weekend. Very minor hometending and unpacking. Lovemaking.
  • Tuesday: Spent an hour in the pool with the kids. Swam a lap with Miah, swam, floated, and treaded water. Served as Lise’s stunt diving platform; spinning. Walked with Miah.
  • Wednesday: Mellow hometending.

     

  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Long, lingering, leisurely hours with my family, and no real expectations. Working toward my reading and writing goals.
    Tuesday:
    Lingering family time away from home. Writerly stuff.
  • Wednesday: A day spent in flowing ebbs and flows- mellow hometending; reading aloud with Lise, hearing about kids’ projects, and a good deal of time alone to work on my writing and Cake Mania 2.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Annalise: Reading aloud; two hour swim; exploring art; snuggles; play; conversation; lots of guinea pig interaction.
  • Jeremiah: Long swim; computer lab; walk at YMCA; looking for Venus’s transit across the sun; conversation; snuggles; exploring art and his projects.
  • Jim: Lovemaking; helpful hometending; conversation; supporting his workout.

 

From 750 Words, June 2011…

 

##### ENTRY ##### 2011-06-24, num_words:932, num_minutes:45.448
Starting my 750 words earlier today, and planning on getting them done during my cleaning breaks. Therefore I already know that there will be at least a few of what this site refers to as "distractions" - and are actually the bits and pieces of the rest of my life.

Odd how so much of the "discipline" of writing holds that we should not be distracted from our "writing lives", that these should be of prime importance, regardless of the circumstances of those lives. 

Almost as though children, spouses, housework, learning, other amusements, maybe even sex, should only be allowed to "intrude" upon our writing when we are done, and perhaps in the very direst of emergencies - but not else. 

As though our "writing life" should always be separate from everything else, should always take precedence and be more real than those other facets and aspects of a full-rich life.....

I call bullshit on that. Maybe it's the fact that we've now been unschooling for a couple of years, plus. Maybe it's that I have been on a lifelong journey of spiritual understanding and awakening. Maybe it's as simple as the fact that I've never been tame or docile enough to enjoy anyone else telling me that this is the way things need to be, for everyone, forever, amen. 

The reasons don't really matter though. What does matter is my own personal truth, my own inner compass and navigation system (so long neglected, but I am becoming more and more aware of them and their wisdom, now), and the reality of the very real complete life I am living.

Writing is a very large part of that life, and I can't even begin to imagine what life would be like, for me, without the characters, stories, and constant ideas cavorting in my soul, my subconscious, my dreams, and my fantasies. It is true and right and integral to my selfness that they do, and I don't want to thwart them in any way.

It is equally true and right and integral to my selfness that I have a husband whom I love dearly, who is my best friend, and who deserves a great deal of my time and attention. It is true and right and integral to my selfness that I give myself fully to my marriage. It is true and right and integral to my selfness that I not take the honor and duty of being Jeremiah and Annalise's Mom lightly, that I remember always that they are young, and learning, and may need me in any moment, with or without notice. 

It is imperative to our unschooling life that their access to me, and my ability to attend to them, not be subject to arbitrary schedules, writing or otherwise. It is desperately important that there be time to be, for all of us, that there be times when learning and growing must and will take precedence over setting words upon paper or saving them on a hard drive..... 

It is right and true and integral to my selfness that I live in a home that embraces, emboldens, and enlivens us all. That I tend lovingly, in that way, to the care and nurturing not only of those I love, but also myself - because self-love in any form translates to a greater ability to feel and express in meaningful way love for others.

Caring for my family, my self, and our home, and doing so consciously and well, never forgetting that I can always do so more deeply and truly, and moving toward that place with focus and attention on the present moment and its blessings, are matters of conviction for me. If I was not striving to live a life well-blended, rich, deep, meaningful, and true, my writing would certainly be affected by the lack. 

As a matter of fact, I tend to write much less, and far less meaningfully, when my life becomes too sedentary, too focused on any one aspect of its complete, living, breathing, heartbeat of a nature.

The point is, writing is not separate from life, for me. Writing is life. Jim, Jeremiah, and Annalise are life. Friends are life. Tending our home is life. Corki and Margot (our dog and cat) are life. Passion is life, and pain, and joy, and sorrow.

Several times during this writing, I have gotten up from the couch and done other things. I began my first batch of no-poo. I swept the kitchen and family room floors. I tended to laundry, dishes, and a grubbily chaotic corner I am setting to rights. I cleared some stuff out of Miah's room, and began to sort through it. I defused a conflict between the children that had gotten to the point of yelling, and might have come to blows had I not interceded on both their behalfs. Now they are happily playing video games together in Annalise's room. We talked, at several points, about Lise's newfound fear of bees (she was stung in the nose several days ago, while walking in the driveway), and the "tricks" they've learned to avoid a sting. 

None of this distracted from my writing here. What it did do is inform it, infuse it with the warp and the woof of an actual, messily real, life.

Just as school, no matter how well intended, can never offer all the riches of a life lived naturally and spontaneously, neither can writing alone in a room, by a schedule, yield the same deep rewards of writing that ebbs and flows along with the zeitgeist of a day.