Stretching into the Fall: September 17, 2014

What’ll happen if you click the badge?

Is it me, or does autumn carry a certain level of transformative energy that summer, for all its warmth and sunshine, doesn’t have?

I’m seeing lots of new possibilities, in so many places. It’s in the air, the cries of the geese as they wing by overhead, hurrying away from the approaching chill…

It’s in my various sprucing and beautifying efforts, inside and out. It’s in the roughness of my hands, from weeding and toting firewood and cleaning surfaces.

It’s in my writing, my planning, my revising, and my blogging…

It’s in my playing with imagery, memory, color, texture, and language…

It’s in each breath, and every heartbeat…

How about you? Do you live in a place where autumn is in the air, or are you eagerly opening up to signs of the coming spring? What type of energy does the changing season have upon you and your creativity?

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete) Target attained!

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space

As always, I list only those goals I moved toward this round.

September fun at the Erie Canal!

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. On target.

  • Next week’s WIPpet is in my WordPress Drafts file; the following week’s in prep; with the next snippet in revision. Wahoo! =D

  • I have several Coffee and Conversation ideas ready for development.

  • Second-Serving Sunday: “I’m Back!” Edition

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation.Target attained!

  • Still moving through, still getting more. Happy times!=)

Celebrating my study’s magical bits…

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed. Not quite.

  • Sunday was a busy day, with yardtending, andI ran out of day before I ran out of projects…

  • September 14: 516 words.

  • September 15: 827 words.

  • September 16: 864 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Prologue read-aloud complete.

My grandmother’s Hoosier cabinet; my study desk.

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Scene 12/60 complete at last! I really like the way it turned out -and now only one resolution scene to go….

Throughout read-aloud, make on-page pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath. On target.

  • Prologue: 10/10 pages.

  • General Chapter Notes.

Resting places for me, and for my Trueborn duology planning.

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A bit more tidying – and I took some pictures of the magical bits, to share in this post.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. On target.

  • Yes. Blogging, drafting, and revision were the big winners, this round.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Homeschool paperwork.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting. Target attained!

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. Target attained!

  • Annalise’s complete, except for attendance.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. Target attained!

  • Annalise’s IHIP complete.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Submit Jeremiah’s PASS test results when received. Target attained!

  • Results received. Need to scan or photograph them, and send then with the reports.

Views of my study shelf….

2014 Lifetending:

Continue exploring fitness goals – more on this throughout the round.

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. On target.

  • Plans in the works for apple picking and a trip to a local “amusement farm”.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program. Target exceeded!

  • 1 mile in about 20 minutes; fewer and shorter rest breaks.
  • I’ll be adapting this goal, making it more challenging for Round 4! =)

Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program. On target.

  • 7.54 miles in 30 minutes. My legs are feeling much stronger, and my speed is increasing, even at higher resistances. Getting closer….

Weights: At the Y; minimum 3 machines for arms, legs, and torso weekly. Target exceeded!

  • Arms:4; Legs:3; Core:3.

  • I increased weight on all machines, number of reps for several.

Continue exploring nutrition goals – more on this throughout the round.

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. On target.

  • 2/5 so far; 1 smoothie; 1 salad.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. On target.

  • Yogurt: 2/2; nuts 0/2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

Draft my Round 4 sponsor post by 9/25 (end of round 3). Target attained!

  • My post draft is written, and resting. =)

  • New Goal: Revise sponsor post by 9/25.

 

Who’s ROWing through the last week?

 

A Tangled Stretch: September 14, 2014

Wonder what will happen if you click this badge!

Know that place where progress and problems get all tangled up in each other? Where it seems all your steps amount to a lot of sideways travel?

Well, that’s been this session, for me.

Yes, I’ve made progress on several projects. I’m about to get the homeschooling reporting done, and that will free me up until the next (smaller) batch is due in December. Early planning for my NaNo project is coming along. I feel like I’m finding a more sustainable blogging rhythm that fits in with my life. Revisions are moving slowly, but moving, and the results – well, I’m loving the results, and this is just the beginning of the first pass! Perchance to Dream is inching its way to completed-draft status; that’ll be the last “hanging” WIP, and the last of my hybrid planning projects. I’m doing well with my fitness goals, too.

That all sounds pretty good, right? Well, there’s a flip side…

I’m in the midst of an awakening to deeper aspects of myself. As often happens, my Accomplice in Mischief hasn’t yet gotten the memo, and so there’s a certain dissonance between us. It’ll ease, and it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it adds a certain friction that frays at the edges of life.

It’s the week where the kids and I seem to be on different schedules, and the brief zone where a few days go by without there ever being a time when we’re all asleep.

And my planning and rereading have led me to a tangled place in my Trueborn duology in the making – the timelines do not come close to matching up! I’m going to have to split Blood and Breath into two novels, and I’m not sure where in the novel to do it. I know I’ll need to expand both halves…

Ahh, the tangly, lovely chaos of autumnal transitions!

Silly kids at the Erie Canal!

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space

As always, I list only those goals I moved toward this round.

They found this cow creepy…I think it’s cute!

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. Not quite for posting; on target for queuing.

  • All posts on schedule except Second-Serving Sunday, which I missed last Sunday.

  • I’ve got this week’s WIPpet excerpt in drafts; next week’s in prep; and the following week’s in revision. Wahoo! =D

  • Second-Serving Sunday: “I’m Back!” Edition

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation.Target attained!

  • So many comments! So much interaction. I’m making peace with the idea that a backlog is a good thing, because it means that the conversation is ongoing. I’m learning how to pace myself so that there’s still time to write things we can chat about. =D

Walking along the towpath…

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed.Target exceeded!

  • September 10: 798 words.

  • September 11: 996 words.

  • September 12: 814 words.

  • September 13: 761 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 49/60; into the third act we go! =)

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Prologue read-aloud complete.

Complete pre-planning for King of Infinite Space, through character sketches/bios. On target.

  • Rock Your Plot premise testing exercises complete.

  • Reread goal/motivation/conflict section; set POV characters.

  • Spock’s G/M/C complete; 1/3.

Girl on the towpath.

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Scene 12/60; Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Resolution pass about half finished.

Throughout read-aloud, make on-page pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath. On target.

  • Prologue: On-page revision notes: 8/10 pages.

Backlit on a barge.

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A little magnet sorting; general tidying, bulletin board sprucing, and contemplating what’s next.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. On target.

  • A surge is taking shape. Lots of writing, and not a little revising- and even more dreaming and scheming, sprinkled with planning.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Mostly homeschool paperwork.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting.

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. On target.

  • Annalise’s complete, except for attendance.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. On target.

  • Annalise’s IHIP complete.

  • Jeremiah’s English Language Arts and Library Skills sections complete.

Submit Jeremiah’s PASS test results when received. On target.

  • Results received. Need to scan or photograph them, and send then with the reports.

Tugboat lineup!

2014 Lifetending:

Continue exploring nutrition goals – more on this throughout the round.

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. On target.

  • 5/5 so far; 3 smoothies; 2 salads.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. Target exceeded!

  • Yogurt: 5/2; nuts (walnuts; mixed; slivered almonds): 3/2.
  • It was clearly a Greek yogurt kinda week! =)

 

My friend Yorick!

 

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

Draft my Round 4 sponsor post by 9/25 (end of round 3). On target.

  • I have a theme, and an idea or three bouncing around in my head. I’ll be playing with them this week.

 

Come ROWing with us!

Playful sibs!

A Laid-Back Stretch: September 10, 2014

Wonder what’ll happen if you click the badge?!

You know that feeling, after a busy stretch, when life slows down again?  Yup, I’m there…

After all the hustle and bustle and general bigness of last week, this one has begun more quietly. The kids and I took in the closing moments of Tugboat Roundup at the Erie Canal, then stopped at a local ice cream shop, because the summer slipped away without a visit there.

Tuesday, Jeremiah and I went for a workout – his first independent visit to the weight room. While I did my cardio, he went for a swim, then joined me on the recumbent bike for a mile or so…

Writing-wise, things are happening. Nothing major to report, just progress on several fronts.

Tugboat Roundup Shoppers

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space

As always, I list only those goals I moved toward this round.

Sign of the Times…

2014 Blogging:

Focus on layout and design aspects of my Blogging Action Plan.

Get the Kristen Lamb social media wizardry ball rolling. On target.

  • I found a bit of explanation that describes what I want my future website to be. Will share with Kristen this week, and address wider social media, too.

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. Not quite for posting; nothing queued as yet.

  • I missed my Second-Serving Sunday post when Windows swallowed it just before I finished it. I planned to make it up on Tuesday, and then discovered that Annalise’s homeschool paperwork was also gulped up – and that is a priority…

  • I am getting closer to the point where I have ideas ready to develop for my Coffee and Conversation queue; and a more refined topic list for posting.

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation. Target attained!

  • This has become standard practice. I’m getting many comments, and interaction has skyrocketed over the course of this round! It may take me a few days to reply, but I LOVE chatting with you all! Happy, happy, happy me! =D

I Love Tiny Tugs!

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed.Target exceeded!

  • August 7: 792 words.

  • August 8: 792 words.

  • August 9: 897 words.

  • Currently drafting: Scene 48/60; setting up third act.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, King of infinite Space, as my November NaNoWriMo project.

Print and read-aloud Blood and Breath (rough draft WIP); KOIS will be its duology fanfic. On target.

  • Printed the Prologue and Chapter One; have read aloud first several pages.

Complete pre-planning for King of Infinite Space, through character sketches/bios. On target.

  • Began Rock Your Plot premise testing exercises. I now have a premise, and I’m not afraid to use it! =D

Pennants against the sky….

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Still moving through Scene 12/60; Devices pass completed. One more (Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Resolution) to go.

Throughout read-aloud, make on-page pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath. On target.

  • Prologue: 1/3 complete.

Revise three short story WIPs for October 31 submission deadline. On target.

  • Moved all existing story files to new folders.

 

Posing with Pikachu!

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • A little magnet sorting.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. On target.

  • Things were a little jumbled by life; but writing happened.

Set aside time weekly for Adminstrative Frames. On target.

  • Mostly hometending.

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting.

Complete fourth quarter reports for both children, and submit by 9/15. On target.

  • I lost all of Annalise’s, but reproduced up to Sciences.

Complete 2014-2015 IHIPs for both children; submit within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of LOI packet. On target.

  • Annalise’s IHIP was lost, but recreated through Sciences.

 

Mule Map.

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Select and complete projects from my Play Jar. On target.

  • I took the kids swimming. Slip count tally pending.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. Target attained!

  • The kids and I attended The Tugboat Roundup.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

Last week was a strenuous one; that was reflected in my workout this week.

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program. Target attained!

  • I walked .62 miles in about 15 minutes. On target, or nearly so.

Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program. Not quite.

  • 7.17 miles in 30 minutes. Not as fast as my last time; I was fatigued.

Weights: At the Y; minimum 3 machines for arms, legs, and torso weekly. Target attained!

  • 3 of each.

Continue exploring nutrition goals – more on this throughout the round.

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. On target.

  • 2/5 so far; one of each.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. On target.

  • Yogurt: 3/2; nuts (walnuts): 1 /2.

 

I love pistachio ice cream!

 

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

Come ROW with us (tugboats not included)!

 

Tugboat Lineup!

Coffee and Conversation: #WSHD: Let’s Talk About Sex!

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while. It’s time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

What reaction did you have when you read the title of this post? Did you think about running away before things get dirty around here? Did you salaciously scan down, hoping for “naughty bits”? Did you think of your own partner, orientation, children, beliefs, fears? Abuse or empowerment? Specific sexual acts you’ve participated in, or wish you could? Fantasy, food, poetry, or literature? Sin, or ecstasy, or some of both?

I hope I didn’t scare you off with the title, and that you’re still here…!

I could go on and on – because sex is as natural for humans as breathing, eating and sleeping – one of the most basic of our drives, inextricably bound up in the fact that we are sexually reproducing animals – yes, beneath all our evolution, we are still animals.

But there’s sex- the simple procreative act between male and female; the base drive to reproduce and perpetuate the species – and then there’s sexuality –

Sexuality is what happens when all those layers of evolution come into play. It’s the human element of sex, and it’s as diverse and complex as humanity itself. It’s as big as the collective human, and as small as a caught breath, a feathered touch, the instant of conception…

Click the icon to learn more!

Last Thursday, I attended the Second Annual World Sexual Health Day Celebration in New York City. The venue was intimate and inspiring, and the event –

The event had my laughing, thinking, soaring, grinning, shaking, savoring, imagining, learning, stretching, growing, crying – and shifting.

To see why, you can watch the entire show, follow the Twitter feed, or join the Facebook page.

I could write thousands and thousands of words on this experience – and I think I will, over the next weeks and months. For today, though, I just want to share one aspect of the evening, and how it clicked with me and my life on a deep level.

During her question and answer session, Dr. Sara NasserZadeh, who is a native Iranian, addressed the topic of the differing views of sex and gender attitudes across the world, and how there is a certain tendency to view our own way as the “right” one, rather than being open to learning more about other ways of sexual being, and what there might be to learn from them.

She cautioned about carrying arrogance into sexual conversations, as in referring to the female circumcision practiced in some areas of the world as genital mutilation. She invited us to consider how that would sound to the women who have experienced this procedure- to call this most intimate part of their bodies ‘mutilated’, and imply that they are lesser in some way because of it.

“We have to meet people where they are,” she said.

That resonated with me. It’s the cornerstone of unschooling- rather than attempting to act upon our children, to focus on bringing them to where we want them to be, we literally or figuratively come to where they are, watch them, learn where it is they want to go, and offer as much or as little support and guidance as they need to get there.

Another version of this is at the heart of mindfulness, yoga, t’ai chi, and other such practices. It’s not necessary to master anything in one try. “Begin where you are.” And, as parents who might be moving into respectful, partnership parenting from a very different paradigm. Such huge changes can’t be accomplished overnight, so the only thing to do is to begin where you are, and go from there.

And so, I’m beginning. From time to time, there will be a sexual topic in this feature. The range will be – well, it will be the scope of my journey….and more.

Because I’m inviting you all to make this journey with me, but in your own way. Because it’s time to talk about sex, and sexuality – not behind our hands or in dark rooms to hide our blushes, but openly and with respect.

Come out from behind that menu and chat with me about sex.

What are you thinking about sexuality now, at the end of this post? Are you seeing it a little differently? Are you thinking about where you are, and if it’s where you want to be? Are you seeing a widening of your sexual awareness? Are you ready to hide? Strut your sexual stuff?

I’ve got a variety of refreshments available, and an intimate virtual space cleared for our private use. Whatever you have to say, I want to meet you where you are, and I promise not to snicker…so, what do you have to say about sex and sexuality?

A Daring Stretch: September 7, 2014

I wonder what’ll happen if you click the badge?! =)

Ever have a week so full of exciting things that it leaves your mind spinning and swirling as it tries to absorb it all?

Yup, that was this past week, for me! Not only did I become the mother of a teenager on Tuesday; on Thursday, I dared to travel to the Big Scary City (as I thought of New York before the trip) and attend the second annual World Sexual Health Day Celebration at the Cutting Room. I’ll be writing more about this amazing and uplifting event tomorrow; for now, let’s just say that I have definitely fulfilled my Round 3 theme of stretching, this week…and then some!

And for those who’ve been watching me push it aside week after week – I also finally got brave enough to reconnect with WANA Mama Kristen Lamb, to set the wheels in motion for the social media prize I won in the WANACon raffle waaay back in February. Why did I need to be brave to do that? I don’t really understand it, but it might have to do with the fact that I have a hard time asking for help, sometimes, even when I have every right to it, and know the other party wants to help.

Needless to say, I am feeling stretched, achy – and more limber than I was at the beginning of the week!

How about you? Done anything personally daring lately? What simple things scare you for reasons you don’t fully understand? Or are you the fearless type?

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space

I had a ticket to ride!

As always, I list only those goals I moved toward this round.

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Get the Kristen Lamb social media wizardry ball rolling. Target attained!

  • We’ve chatted briefly, in the middle of the night, and on very general terms; but already, I feel more of a sense of direction, and I’ll know better what I’m looking for when we talk again.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. Target attained for posting; On target for queuing.

  • Second Serving Sunday: #NotBacktoSchool Edition – this will be delayed; Windows burped and swallowed the nearly completed post. I don’t have the energy to rewrite it tonight, but I will do it by Tuesday, and add  the link then.

  • I have ideas for future CandC posts. Will begin developing them this week.

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation. Target attained!

  • I’ve answered many comments, gotten new ones, and stretched a bit further with sharing and visits: used hashtags and shared beyond my regular readership via Facebook group.

My buddy Yorick – I had a lot of fun with him at the salon while August got shined up for the evening’s festivities!

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed. Target exceeded!

  • September 3: 1107 words.

  • September 4: 831 words.

  • September 5: 776 words.

  • September 6: 760 words.

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Pre-Revision Plan for Bounded by a Nutshell: Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • After several days’ break, I began the editing device pass for scene 12/60; Resolution scene 2/3.

  • Progress on this goal is slow, but significant in quality.

A Joyful September August!

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Clean out email files. On target.

  • Still weeding…I try to get to some each time I check my email. It’s helping.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • Mount Magnet is being sorted slowly, and some shuffling of items so that I can use the printer. It was a week busy in other, away from home, things.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. Target attained!

Set aside time weekly for administrative stuff (Administrative Frames, maybe?) Target attained!

  • Mostly planning for this week’s events, and some chatting with a certain WANA Mama!

Man and Nature in Peaceful Coexistence.

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Make plans to meet with at least 1 person on my get-together list; get in touch with at least 2 more to express my wish to reconnect. Target exceeded!

Indulge in days with both children, at least one date with Jim, and one with myself. On target.

  • Finally took myself out on a date to the big city. Delightful!

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

  • Although not on the list, I walked roughly 3.5 miles, carrying a day pack, on Thursday. That was certainly moving and challenging my body – as my fatigued muscles are still reminding me on Sunday! =)

Nutrition goals for July:

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. Not quite.

  • 4/5. Two of each. Not bad, for a busy week!

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. Not quite.

Yogurt: 2 /2. Nuts: 1 / 2.

Pretty pink petals – gorgeous symbolism!

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

  • Yes – and I signed on for Round 4, as well. =D

  • Which leads to the new goal below:

Draft sponsor post by the end of the round (September 25).

We’re ROWin’ along – come join the fun by reading or posting!

 

My favorite picture of the day! Don’t they both just have all kinds of wonderful mischief in their eyes? ;D

SoCS: Re-Creation Recreation

I wonder what’ll happen if you click the badge? =)

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme. The idea is simple – post an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt in some fashion. This week, it’s the prefix RE -.

Round trip ticket to Re-Creation Recreation!

 

Early Thursday morning, I picked up my friend Elizabeth, and we made our way to the Poughkeepsie train station, a little over a seventy mile drive. There, we boarded a train bound for Grand Central Station in New York City, where we met up with another friend, August, who was visiting from Los Angeles on business, and generously shoehorned us liberally into her plans.

Elizabeth all smiles at the Poughkeepsie Station.

 

Interestingly, one of the first things we three disparate women learned was that we’ve all adapted the names we were given at birth in some way. In my case, the choice to alter my name was a conscious release of the patterns I was raised with, and a way to step free of the toxic power my personal history once had on me. Although I didn’t know it when I made the decision, that name change and the shifting attitudes that resulted from it enabled me to make the chain of decisions that brought me to Manhattan on a sunny September Thursday, to spend a day in connection with two friends, learning, stretching, and celebrating.

Peekaboo Whispers – Shhhhhh!

 

It’s funny how something small can change so much, over time, and how much of my identity and sense of self is wrapped up in my name. The name on my birth certificate is tied to abuse, to attempts to placate others even at my own expense, and a set of behaviors that no longer serve my life. The name I chose for myself is an intentional release of negativity, and a way to embrace what is instinctive, intuitive, and daring within myself. My name is a symbol, and a motto, for me. It defines the life I want to live, and the shape of the person I want to be.

August joy in September!

 

The person who wore my birth name would have been afraid to make this trip. The woman I am today is still much more comfortable and at ease in the country than in the city. But, given such an opportunity – I took it. And I did things far outside my normal range of activities. We walked the city streets and had lunch at a deli I’d never heard of when I woke up that morning. Elizabeth and I walked to a small corner park, just up the road from the United Nations, and then to the salon where August was having her hair and makeup done for the event she would be emceeing that night. It was a place the me who wore another name would have been too intimidated to enter, a place she would have told herself she wasn’t good enough for.

A New York Minute…

 

Instead, we chatted with Lydia, the very personable manager, and sipped water while we watched August get all shiny. We looked at style books, and I had fun with a skull I named Yorick because I’m a Hamlet geek. I changed into my event dress (a long, simple black tank with a flattering drape for my lush curves, and a neckline much more daring than I usually indulge in), and, when August emerged from the chrysalis as a gorgeous butterfly in ebony and scarlet, we took a New York City cab (yes, I did that!) to The Cutting Room, where the event was held.

Yorick gets a piece of the action!

 

I sang along with the music while we waited for things to get going (something else I wasn’t brave enough to do in such a place as me-that-was), and then I stretched further – and went on camera to talk about what sexual health meant to me – as a person, and as a mother. Birth-name me would have felt shame and guilt. Me-as-I-am reveled in a respectful, purposeful celebration of sexuality.

Trois Amies ready for recreation and stretching!

 

Sometimes, accepting others’ ideas of who we are or should be cheats us out of experiences that can make our spirits soar. I’m grateful for the re-creation, the recreation, and the connection my assumed identity has brought me.

Yes, I DID walk the friendly streets of New York City at night!

 

How about you? Have you re-created or reinvented yourself in some way? Did you find it liberating? Drop me a line in the comments – I love peeking into your lives! =D

Do you enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Want more? Join in or read more SoCS posts here!

See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos of my mind! =)

Homeward Bound…

 

Stretching Into Bigness: September 3, 2014

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Last update, I was wondering where August went. This time, I’m looking at a boy nearly as tall as me, with some very mature attitudes and opinions, and wondering…where did my baby boy go?

He’s disappeared into the years – and yet, he hasn’t. In some ways, he seems so grown, so close to being an adult – and in others, he’s still a silly boy, seeming very young and new in the world, sometimes.

In a way, maybe, these early teen years are my grace period as his mother. I’m on notice, now. This boy, who wanted a Pokemon game for his gift, and chose to see If I Stay rather than Let’s Be Cops or Guardians of the Galaxy, will soon – maybe too soon for me to believe – be a man. Hopefully, he’ll retain some silliness, some sense of childlike wonder to carry him through some of the rougher edges of adult life. Hopefully, his parents will have done their job, and he’ll be well prepared…

Thirteen years seems like a long time – but it really isn’t. Not when it measures the journey from brand new life to the threshold of manhood. Not when it marks out my own son’s life…

I’m guessing that if you have older or adult kids, you know what I mean. If you have younger ones – take a few minutes, today, to just soak them in where they are, because tomorrow, they’ll be a little different, a little more grown…

After a good workout, dinner.

September Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration (until complete)

  • Chameleon’s Dish/ 3 short story Revisions

  • Drafting Perchance to Dream/ Pre-planning and Prep for King of Infinite Space

As always, I list only those goals I moved toward this round.

The sillier side of thirteen! =)

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. On target for posting; nothing queued yet.

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my blog visits and participation. On target.

  • I’ve answered many comments, gotten new ones, and even branched out a little with sharing and visits- more on that as the month goes on.

And a more serious side emerges…

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

Write at least 750 words on Perchance to Dream daily through August, or until the draft is completed. Target exceeded!

  • August 31: 793 words.

  • September 1: 860 words.

  • September 2: 760 words.

Salady delight!

2014 Editing:

First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Pre-Revision Plan for Bounded by a Nushell: Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • I’ve highlighted scene 12/60 for its first of two problem area passes.

Still Plays Peekaboo?

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Clean out email files. On target.

  • Weeding through a batch or two each day. Slow headway.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • Mount Magnet is eroded, sorted rubble! I’ve begun containing the piles, and wondering how one family ever ended up with SO MANY MAGNETS!

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames from Round 1. On target.

  • Yes, with variations on Tuesday to allow for birthday stuff!

Set aside time weekly for administrative stuff (Administrative Frames, maybe?) On target .

  • Mostly planning for this week’s events.

On our way, 2014….

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Make plans to meet with at least 1 person on my get-together list; get in touch with at least 2 more to express my wish to reconnect. Target exceeded!

Indulge in days with both children, at least one date with Jim, and one with myself. On target.

  • Spent Jeremiah’s birthday with him; we worked out, swam, hit the game store, had dinner, and took in a movie. It was delightful, and I’m honored he still likes me enough to want to hang out with me!

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

  • Jeremiah had a weight room orientation, and then we swam, so I skipped my usual cardio routine.

Weights: At the Y; minimum 3 machines for arms, legs, and torso weekly. Target attained!

Maintain or reduce August body weight. Target attained!

  • My intention not to diet or try to “lose weight”, but rather to organically create a lifestyle that feels better as I live it is reaping dividends. For the second month, I lost 3.5 pounds, by eating more of healthier foods I love, working out weekly, and fitting more activity into each day.

Nutrition goals for July:

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. On target.

  • 3/5. One salad; two smoothies.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. On target.

Yogurt: 1 /2.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. Target attained!

Get your ROW on here!

When he turned twelve….