It’s All Connected: Oneness for Mindful Monday and #JusJoJan Day 26

Have you ever had an epiphany? You know, that sudden ping that opens your eyes to a new way of thinking or being? That thing Oprah refers to as an “Aha moment”? That’s what this post is about, more or less. It’s a combination Mindful Monday Healthy Living and Just Jot It January make-up post, for the January 26 prompt, “Oneness”, brought to us by Carol at WritersDream9.

Have you let that aha moment slip by, or embraced it, finding ways to make it truly your own?

One of the most paradigm-shifting realizations I’ve had in recent years has to do with the inter-connectedness of things, and how it impacts my entire life.

The Vulcans have a koan given to them by Surak, who brought logic to a passionate people.

“The spear in the other’s side is the spear in your own; you are he.” 

Yes, I know that Vulcans aren’t real. Or are they? If I believe them to be real, if others do, too, and if they’ve become a part of our culture, then, in some sense, aren’t they real?

Whether or not you believe that they are, I do, and I take that koan to heart. I’m not inclined, these days, to seek revenge or even retribution against those who wrong me. It’s not exactly “turn the other cheek” – I was abused, as a child, and so I know intimately that there are those who would happily take the opportunity to use my cheek to vent their own emotional chaos.

It’s more an awareness. If you hurt others, you hurt yourself, because we’re all part of one another; far less separate than we often tend to think we are. The emotional energy that leads to lashing out at others is toxic – not just to the person we attack, but to us. It’s better, and far healthier, to learn new ways of handling our own emotions. We can become responsive, rather than reactive.

What’s the difference? Reactivity happens instantaneously/ It’s the ifight-or-flight reflex. It’s the domain of the limbic system – the oldest part of our brains. It can lead to crimes of passion, hurtful words, and other sudden explosions. The limbic system doesn’t allow for rational thought. It’s a survival mechanism for those times when we need to react instantly, and taking the time to think things through rationally could get us killed.

Responsiveness means waiting out that limbic reaction. That takes about ninety seconds; after that we can think again. Deep breathing can help us get through that minute and a half; so can separating ourselves from the situation that triggered the response. In his excellent book Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests getting still and accepting our emotion rather than fighting it. We’re told anger, fear, jealousy, and other strong emotions are ‘bad’, but, in truth, they’re simply powerful.

There’s something to be learned in these emotions, he advises. Rather than trying to get rid of the feeling, it’s better to turn toward it, to quietly ask it what it’s about, and what would ease it.

When I began doing that, I learned something very valuable about my powerful emotions. Many times, I was angry because I wanted someone else to act according to my own preferences. I wanted to control what others did, and their failure to do as I wanted led to my own furies.

That’s where my wise friend Mary comes in. Once, several years ago, I was angrily recounting an argument I’d had with my Accomplice, when she looked at me and said, “The only person you can control is yourself. The question is, what are you going to do about it?”

It was another paradigm shifter. Yes, I could go on and on in what I saw as righteous fury. But I wasn’t getting anywhere that way, and I was poisoning my marriage and my own soul.

At first, the responsibility of being in control of my own actions and reactions was terrifying and confusing. Did it mean that I simply had to accept behavior from my spouse or others that I found intolerable? That he had no accountability for his own actions?

The answer to both of those questions was no. What I did do was wait for the hard feelings to ease, and then, when I felt we could talk without getting embroiled again, I told him calmly what Mary had told me, and that I wasn’t angry at him anymore, but that I needed to figure out how to deal with behavior on his part that I found personally untenable. That opened the door to a more honest, less emotionally fraught conversation, and a process of change that is ongoing. From that point on, I began to learn how to disagree, and even argue, with him in more productive ways. Eventually, he responded in kind, and things have been getting better ever since.

Just this morning, my Accomplice shared with me that I’d done something he found a bit stressful. Not wrong, just stressful. He told me that he wanted to share it, because he didn’t want it to build up and become an issue between us.

How is all this connected to health and mindfulness? Well, happier marriages offer greater support; give us a partner to help us as we navigate life’s stressors.

Taking responsibility for my own actions, and releasing others to theirs, keeps me from a great deal of angst in my life. Living in a way that accepts others and embraces peace rather than retaliation means that I live in a kinder and gentler world than I might, otherwise. It frees me up to simply live, joyfully, focusing on what makes me happy and healthy.

So, even though this post is a bit rambling, that’s OK, because all these things connect to one another in a spirit of oneness that feeds our healthy living.

Want more Mindful Monday learning? Follow the link!

Coffee, Community, and PBS: #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee, I’d start by saying that I missed having coffee with you last weekend. I’d hope you’d understand that I took the week off to concentrate on achieving a personal writing goal. I was involved in a marathon, drafting, revising, rewriting, revising, revising, polishing, polishing, and finally submitting.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that having coffee wasn’t the only thing I set aside. I’m behind in my blogging, and not just Weekend Coffee Share. Other projects, writing and otherwise, were set aside while I focused on that story (I only had a month between learning of the contest and submitting to it). Now, I’m gradually resuming a more typical writing flow, and that makes me feel content and settled, ready to take on some of the less creative administrative details that are a necessary part of life.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I needed a few days of rest. I played a lot of Spider Solitaire, and a lot of Cake Mania 3. I took my daughter thrift store shopping, and to buy a new goldfish, Beauty, to replace Goldie, who died a week or so before. I’d tell you that Beauty was dead by the next morning, and that there hasn’t been much talk of another – fish deaths can be painful when you’re eleven and a half. Hugs and fishy funerals help, but the sorrow lingers. Later in the week, we went out to our local Stewart’s shop for breakfast. I’ve known the store manager since we were children; we’re obliquely related through marriage – my aunt and her mother were sisters. We sat in a booth next to a former sixth-grade teacher I never much liked. My daughter would have been in a sixth grade classroom in the same school system, on Friday morning, except that we’ve decided to travel a different road, and so she’s never gone to school, and is free to spend her mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nights orchestrating her own life, and learning more widely and broadly than school walls allow for.

If we were having coffee, I’d chuckle and shake my head at the strangeness of familiarity. I’ve traveled the country. I’ve lived in at the edge of the Grand Canyon, in the heart of Yellowstone, and in the Everglades. I’ve lived (and plan to live again, in another year or two) in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. And so here I am, living in the same small town where I grew up, on the same road I lived on as a child, in a house owned by a woman who sold it to us because she remembered the little girl with long blonde hair I used to be.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I live 300 yards from my parents, and in a different world. It might as well truly be another planet. The dysfunctions that led to a volatile and abusive childhood are still there, still unresolved. I’ve chosen a different road there, too. While I wish things could be different, I don’t wish it enough to sacrifice the peace and joy of the life we have here in our shabby little home.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this isn’t the direction I expected this post to take, but that I enjoyed allowing it to unfurl as it would. That’s always once of the joys of writing for me; the bits and pieces of myself that come together in mysterious ways.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s been a quiet Sunday that seems perfect for such musings. I spent hours watching PBS – for me, output needs input. Sometimes a lot of input about bioluminescent animals, snub-nosed monkeys,the Civil War, and how Theodore Roosevelt became President. I’d tell you that I’m feeling happy, and ready to join my writing friends for a night of creation and communion.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it’s time for me to go, and direct you to Part Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share. And, of course, I’d wish you all a week full of the very loveliest of chaos!

Gradual Presence: February 7, 2016

Happy Sunday to you! Here, the sun is making truth of the day, and, after 3 hours of PBS documentary indulgence (snub-nosed monkeys on Nature; bioluminescence on Nova; and the Western front of the Civil War), the house has settled into a quiet time, and I’m here to account for my last few days.

I’ve also had an epiphany or two, resulting in some new goals (offset in the list to differentiate them from existing goals), and more I’m contemplating and fine-tuning in my mind. Those will likely make an appearance by next Sunday, because, by then, I’ll have better settled back into a more typical flow after the intense marathon of preparing my short story for contest submission.

We’re not a football family, so the Super Bowl will happen without us. I’ll be going to my weekly write-in with our local NaNoWriMo group this evening, and my Accomplice, whose restaurant has no television, has an extra night off. He’s probably going to enjoy a few movies, or more documentaries.

But, before all that, comes an update. =)

Writing:

Plotting:

  • The IDIC Romance: Complete plot/pinch points for 25 stories. 1/25 complete (A). Reread information for B post.

Revisions:

  • The IDIC Romance: Reread “Slow Jazz Awakening” hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft – 16 short scenes. Draft 2.5 rewrite of Scene 4/16 complete.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Beginning Wednesday, all posts on time. Experimenting with new schedule.

  • Keep up with all current blog comments and visits, at least twice weekly.. Goal change pending. Answered some.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round One Sponsor Post before January 10. Back on track here.

  • Change one thing weekly in my blog layout. Haven’t resumed yet; likely this week.

  • Maintain email at under 99 messages; clear Archives folder. Better than it might have been; still room for improvement.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and begin adding to them. Sciences section complete; Social Studies: Patriotism and Citizenship; U.S. History; and U.S. Government; and Economics.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. General maintenance; organization; decluttering, firewood.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week.

Lifetending:

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Write-in for me. Breakfast out with Annalise; plans with Jeremiah. Tentative plans to visit NJ friends in April.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group, which is brand-new this year! Attended write-in;submitted beginning of “Slow Jazz”; completed crits for this week..
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read. Chapter 28/28 submitted to author. That’s a wrap – and I can’t wait to see the finished product! =)

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Yes. Outings; reading aloud; walks; conversation; canoodling.
  • Complete 6 pending book reviews. Set aside for another week or so.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate seven times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice. Finally got back to journaling and meditation on Thursday. 3/7. Getting back into this.

  • Tai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week.

  • Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking twice monthly. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Good on the daily moving sprints: walks and hometending. Strenuous activity: 1 /2 carrying firewood.

 

Leaps of Faith:

  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, and “Scavenger Hunt”, and offer at Triaxian Silk.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ goals here!

A Year of Presence: 2016 Writing Goals Update

About this year’s #oneword.

I update this goals list periodically throughout the year, but at least at the end of each quarter. I’ll adapt, change, add, or delete as my life and progress indicate.

Writing:

  • Write at least 1 story and submit at least 1 story each month in 2016. Fan fiction and self-publishing are acceptable. January: Several fan fiction, and one fantasy, stories. Submitted the fantasy. On track with this goal.
  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Write 3 new novels in this series as April, June and July NaNo prokects. Write 31 new flash stories for #STaD May; these can be the basis of these or future Kifo stories.
  • The IDIC Romance: Write 26 stories for April’s A-Z Challenge; and 30 for #StaD September, using existing threads and ideas with the daily and guest prompts, 1/26 A-Z stories drafted (M).

Plotting:

  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. https://algren.submittable.com/submit The deadline is January 31 – complete planning by January 10; plotting by January 15. Complete and submitted.

  • The IDIC Romance: Plot 25 April and 30 September stories. 1/25 April plot/pinch complete (A).

  • Kifo Island Chonicles: Plan and plot 3 novels and 31 flash fiction stories. Create timeline and ‘series bible’.

  • Trueborn Warp/Weft Series:Plan/plot Weft #3 Blood and Breath?) for November. Create rough tinelime, focusing on points where the series’ events intersect,

  • Plan/plot other projects as needed to meet writing and submission goals.

Revision:

  • Submit to crit group weekly; critique and beta others’ work to gain insight into my own. Until this week, when I’m running late due to my contest submission, I’ve submitted and critted every week. Expect this week’s post to be up today. On target.

  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” and its prequel story. The prequel is revised, polished, and submitted. On target.

  • The IDIC Romance: Revise “Slow Jazz Awakening” and five other stories. “SJA” in revision planning. Mission Accomplished” and “Scavenger Hunt” have been through the critique process. On target; 3/6 in progress.

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Complete revisions for Sea Changes; first pass for Transitions; and revision plan for Generations. Currently sharing SC scene one as a WIPpet for initial feedback. On target.

  • Poetry: Find information about revising poetry. Experiment with revisions of existing Trek poems.

  • Chameleon’s Dish (Trueborn Weft : Complete first pass revision; reread and create plan for revision pass 1.5 (cohesion, consistency, etc.).

Social Media:

  • Blog Maintenance: Adapt and keep to regular posting schedule; answer comments, and return visits at least twice weekly. Clear backlog of comments and spam folder. First steps to new schedule underway. Fell off toward end of month, when deadline loomed large.
  • ROW80: Sponsor duties up-to-date throughout the year, including four sponsor posts. Round One Sponsor post in progress; visits fell off due to deadline.
  • Make regular visitis to others participating in hops and challenges I’ve joined. Some; not as many as I’d hoped.
  • Connect on social media in a natural way that feeds creativity and my passion for sharing thought and experience. Getting the hang of this….

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork, testing, etc. Create Flickr portfolios, by year, or roughly so, for both children. All steps in various stages of progress. On target.

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: study, family room, porch/playroom, and kitchen. All started; none finished. On target.
  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all laptop files; sort email folders; delete excess. A little. Ideas for better organization simmering. On target.
  • Yard Beautification: Plant edibles and cutting flowers in season; maintain in a presentable manner; declutter outgrown kid-things and random life debris. Focus on improving salability and preparing for anticipated 2017 move to Oregon. Decluttering ongoing. On target.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan box of travel photos; save in organized files with backup. This fizzled post-Oregon last year.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week until done.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. This has become habit, but it’s a good habit to keep, so here it is again! On target.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. On target.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group and beta reading. Off to a good start! On target.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. This is important, and worthy of more focus. Finally moving through a beta I accepted last January. Crits each week. On target.
  • Reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in longer than I like.

Selftending:

  • Smart Change: Work through at least one habit change using these methods.
  • Intuitive Eating: Finish reading and begin implementing.
  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Gradually increase meditation to ten minutes, twice daily. including one eating meditation daily. Explore one new meditative practice each month. Fell off at end of month, due to deadline.

  • T’ai chi: Develop a sustainable independent practice; learn the 24 form so I can do it on my own. I can do the first few moves well. Car troubles, injury, and deadline have gotten in my way.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly, and more strenuous activities building to thrice weekly by year’s end. I’m doing moderately active hometending sprints and moving firewood as a starting point. On target.

  • Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. One in January.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Complete the Write1Sub1 monthly challenge Fan fiction and self-publishing count, for me. The challenge is no more; but I will do the same, on my own. On target.

  • Submit fan fiction to Ad Astra and/ or Triaxian Silk. I have one poem submitted to TriS; site issues are preventing posting. Three stories in the revision process. On target.

  • Self-publish “A Splash of Red”; experimental project. ASOR” is moving through my #8sunday postings, and has been through my crit group. Cover ideas simmering. On target.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Do rough setup for Trek poetry chapbook. This is experimental. One poem, “Candlelight Commingled Kisses”, submitted to Triaxian Silk. A beginning….On target.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

 

Presently Not So Present: February 3, 2016

Yes, that title’s confusing – even to me, and I’m the one who wrote it! But then, it’s been two weeks (already?! Yes, indeed!) since I last posted a ROW80 update.

It’s not that I vanished, although it might seem like it. And I wasn’t pretending I had no writing goals, either.

I was simply so absorbed with creating the best short story I could, in a limited time frame, that there wasn’t much of me left over for anything else – and, as always, my family came first, in that regard.

So I fell out of touch. I’ve neglected my sponsor visits, but I will have them all caught up by this time tomorrow. I set aside pretty much all my other projects, too, so, for the beginning of February, I’m going to keep my remaining January goals. I’ll likely add some in on Sunday, depending on what I’ve managed to accomplish between now and then, and, from there, I’ll add if it looks like something I can make progress on, so long as other goals are going well.

But now, the update we’ve all (maybe) been waiting for!

Writing:

  • Draft “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story (as yet only a glimmer in my mind) for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 – complete rough draft by January 20. Finished, later than I’d hoped.

Plotting:

  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story – complete planning by EOD January 19; plotting by EOD January 20. Finished late.

Revisions:

  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. https://algren.submittable.com/submit The deadline is January 31 – complete first revisions and submit to crit group by January 25; final revisions complete by January 30. You know the drill, right?

  • The IDIC Romance: Reread “Slow Jazz Awakening” hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft – 16 short scenes. Draft 2.5 rewrite of Scene 2/16 in progress.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Revisions in progress, most posts up on time.

  • Keep up with all current blog comments and visits, at least twice weekly. Got swept up in Revisionland…got to a few, and made more visits. Goal change pending for next monthI can’t keep up with all the comments at the moment, and need a better plan.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round One Sponsor Post before January 10. Dropped the ball on visits and updates as the contest deadline loomed.

  • Change one thing weekly in my blog layout. Skipped this the last week of the month; needed to focus on the contest entry.

  • Maintain email at under 99 messages; clear Archives folder. Better than it might have been; still room for improvement.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and begin adding to them. Sciences section complete; Social Studies: Patriotism and Citizenship; U.S. History; and U.S. Government; and Economics.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. General maintenance; organization; decluttering, firewood.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week. Set aside until February.

Lifetending:

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Write-in for me. Shopping for both kids; sleepover and thrift/pet stores for Annalise. Tentative plans to visit NJ friends in April.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group, which is brand-new this year! Attended write-in;submitted “Monday Morning Coffee”; completed crits for this week..
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read. Chapter 20/28 submitted to author.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.
  • Complete 6 pending book reviews. Set aside till February.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate seven times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice. Both suffered in the last days of the month. Dropped eating meditation for now.

  • Tai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. Took the month off for Other Things.

  • Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking twice monthly. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Hometending; putting away groceries; firetending. 1 /2 health posts.. Moved firewood with my Accomplice, and on my own. Pushed a Cadillac! 6 /2 strenuous activities.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 -aim for January 30. Sent this out just before 11pm on the 31st.
  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, and “Scavenger Hunt”, and offer at Triaxian Silk.Registered at the site, and both stories are freshly revised and expanded, and went through my crit group. Although TriS isn’t able to post right now (site glitches), I have a poem submitted. Not exactly the leap I planned, but leap I did! =)

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ progress here!

Presence and Absence: ROW80 2016 Round One End of January Update

For me, the end of January got swept away in a torrent of preparations for a short story contest submission. I was present with that, and made the rather daunting deadline. I even submitted a story that I feel good about. Yes, I could probably make it better, but I probably will also always think that about everything I submit, and with good reason – perspective shows us what we might not see otherwise.

I did manage to advance a few other items, as well. Not as many as I’d hoped, but more than I would have, if I hadn’t tried.

Ready? OK, here we go!

Writing:

  • Draft “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story (as yet only a glimmer in my mind) for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 – complete rough draft by January 20. Not on schedule, but completed.

Plotting:

  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 – complete planning by January 10; plotting by January 15. Not on schedule, but completed.

  • The IDIC Romance: Complete plot/pinch points for 25 stories. 1/25 complete (A).

  • Watch relevant episodes/clips for IDIC Romance A-Z stories after rough drafts are completed. 32 episodes, whole or in part.

Revision:

  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 – complete first revisions and submit to crit group by January 24; final revisions complete by January 30. Ran a day late with this one; but I can live with that!

  • The IDIC Romance: “Slow Jazz Awakening”: Reread hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft; 16 short scenes. Complete revision plan for 16 scenes; offer to betas; polish; and submit to a fan fiction site. Moving along through the pre-beta revised draft (2.5).

  • The IDIC Romance: “Mission Accomplished” and “Scavenger Hunt”: Polish and submit to crit group. Done!

  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #1): Continue offering first 3 scenes as WIPpet/#8sunday snippets. Do hard copy readthroughs, silently and aloud. I will be sharing this only as a WIPpet. That will allow for continuity. Moving along with scene 1.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Fell way off at the end of the month, due to contest deadline.

  • Keep up with all current blog comments and visits, at least twice weekly. Respond to all older comments, with apologies for the delay. Again, the deadline…but I did take the time to warn my readers what was coming…

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round One Sponsor Post before January 10. Sponsor post done on time; visits and updates failed as deadline neared.

  • Update my blog layout and pages. Header, tagline, comment prompt.

  • Maintain email at under 99 messages; sort Archives and Transactions in Progress folders. Well, I did well enough until, you guessed it…deadline crunch.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and add all current year items to them. Sciences section complete; Social Studies: Patriotism and Citizenship; U.S. History; and U.S. Government; and Economics.

  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. House looking a lot better!

  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week until done. Thus far, crickets.

Lifetending:

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Winter tends to be a cocooning time for us, but some outings will happen, nonetheless.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group, which is brand-new this year! Working this into my weekly routine, and getting a little faster at critiques, too!
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read. Chapter 17/28 submitted to author; moving along.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.

  • Complete 7 6 book reviews carried over from last year, on Amazon and/or Goodreads. That should read 6.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate ten times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice each month. You guessed it – deadline. Did well enough till then, though.

  • T’ai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. Put this aside. Car troubles, knee injury, deadline.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 40 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking, building to weekly by round’s end. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Lots of moving firewood. Pushed a Cadillac. Hometending, and some walking. I didn’t keep close track, but I did look for ways to be more active. Wrote 1 /2 health posts.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Join the Write1Sub1 monthly challenge. Third time’s the charm, right?! Fan fiction and self-publishing will count, for me. This is out, at least officially; the challenge shut down. But I will keep one new story and submission a month as a personal goal.

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 -aim for January 30. YES! Story conceived, planned, plotted, drafted, revised, beta-d, revised, polished, and submitted before the deadline!!! YAY, ME!!!
  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, “Scavenger Hunt”, and “Slow Jazz Awakening; offer at Triaxian Silk. “Mission” and “Scavenger” have been sent through crit group, and “Jazz” is in pre-beta and crit group revisions.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Organize all poems into rough categories for future development.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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The Odds and Evens of Blog Comments for #JusJoJan Day 23 and #SoCS

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt,odd/even”,comes to us courtesy of Linda, and is also the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

I’ve tried to dampen down my natural oddness at various times in my life; even so, people call me weird. Now, I just let my unique freak flag fly!

OK, that was fun to write, but really not what I want to talk about…

I’ve got something of an odd problem-that-isn’t-exactly-a-problem.

Comments are piling up around here like the snowdrifts we don’t have outside today, and I’m finding it all but impossible to get to them.

There’s more snow outside that August ice rink than we have had all winter!

Oh, I want to! One of the biggest reasons I post here is to engage in connection and conversation with others…but, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for…even, apparently, when what you wish for is blog interaction.

I love reading your comments. I want to answer you – and I want to bring in firewood so my home is cozy for me and the other beings who live here – my Accomplice, the Boyo and the Girl, the ancient guinea pig, the getting-old pit bull mix, and the formerly feral feline of the house, who also rules the yard. I want to hone my revision skills, through revising my own work, and critiquing and beta reading for others. I want to draft and refine some of the stories in my head (and keep T’Pol from taking over by making sure that she gets her fair share of attention, or something she can at least find agreeable). I want to be submitting, and publishing, and blogging…

Sometimes, I even want to be with these beings I live with. We happen to like each other here, and there are the odd moments of snuggling, conversation, shared meals, entertainment, and, where my Accomplice is concerned, even some occasional canoodling (I like my marriage happy, and canoodling from time to time certainly helps!).

Oddly, I even sleep sometimes. Well, not all that much, honestly – I’m something of a sleep camel, and I don’t generally sleep more than five or six hours, and often considerably less (I’ve had 3.5 hours of sleep since about 10:30am Thursday; it’s now 8am on Saturday morning. I’m tired, but not exhausted).

I’m feeling more like last winter…

So…

I’ve got to have a better way to handle comments. At the moment, I try to answer each and every one, and make a return visit. I try to visit multiple people on each hop I join, and read other interesting blogs as I find them.

I feel a sense of failure when I can’t get to those things. And yet – nearly all of my discretionary time is spent on writing-related projects. I’m not wasting time, or twiddling my fingers – and I still can’t keep up, or even come close. The last several days, as I do various critiquing and beta reading projects for the three other members of my local critique group and move through a beta reading I took on a year ago, I’m only catching the odd comment, and the string of those I haven’t responded to is getting longer and longer.

I’m trying to accept that I can’t get to you all right now. That may change, once this new crit group becomes not new but SOP, just another part of my every week. But, for now –

I’m not ignoring you. Oddly, I’m probably thinking about those unanswered comments a lot more than you are. I’m feeling guilty about it, and that’s not good for any of us.

Maybe I need HER attitude about snowdrifts?!

I need to let go, not try to break even….

So, this is my blanket comment to all of you who take the time out of your own lives to interact with me here.

  • You are valued.

  • I read your comment.

  • It’s very likely it made me smile, or laugh (I kind of do those a lot).

  • I might have nodded silent agreement.

  • I almost certainly wrote you at least the beginning of an answer in my head.

  • I was, and am, honored that you took the time and energy needed to write that comment.

  • Things will settle, and I hope to get ‘caught up’ then-

  • But I can see that I might end up making myself stressed and crazy trying, and I’m sure none of us want that….

I promise to do my best to show my appreciation – if not in return comments and visits, then in the content I share freely on this blog. I hope that, whether you just popped in the first time to read an odd post or two, whether you’ve been here a few times, or even if you read Every Single Thing I ever post, and want more, you will find something here that makes you think of commenting, even if you don’t.

If you’re a blogger (especially a high-volume and often-visited one), how do you deal with comments? Do you answer each and every one? Do you have a system? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you even try to get to them all?

Or am I just odd?

That’s it for me…find more jottings and SoCS posts right here, and feel free to add a comment to the snowdrift down there –

Maybe you’ll help me learn a better way of addressing them. =D

I just need to find my trail…