Saturday’s Share: Major Celebration; Minor Apology

 

Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

First off, that minor apology. I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been away from  Facebook and Twitter, WANATribe,  and this blog, for a lot of it.

I had a pretty good reason, and I meant to prepare better. I fully intended to say, at the beginning of the month, that these things were bound to happen, before the end of it. But I didn’t quite get to it in the bustle.

I’m sorry for my prolonged absence, and my darting way of popping in and then being gone again, almost before anyone knew I was around.

Today’s photo provides an explanation of sorts…

It’s the last day of November, and, for me and many other writers around the world, that means the end of (Inter) National Novel Writing Month – the annual attempt to write 50,000 words of a brand-new novel, in 30 days flat.

I’ve completed the challenge in three previous November efforts.  I’ve also finished three more free-form CampNaNo challenges, with goals up to 100K words.

This year, I wanted a brisker challenge. My goal was to write an entire novel draft in one month – sixty scenes, which I expected to work out to somewhere around 120,000-130,000 words.

It seemed a little crazy, even to me. But I had a very good plan in place, and I know much more about how I write than I did even last November. I’m not the type who’s often accused of sanity,.  I went for it…and kept going, in the opposite direction of social media, which tends to use the same energies I use for writing. This was a meaty project that merrily accepted all the energy I had to give it. And, since I live with three other people,  two of whom call me “Mommy”, and the third of whom has a signed contract entitling him to call me “wife”,  they have prior claim to my time and social resources.

On Friday, November 29, at about 4pm, I completed the first draft of my brand-new novel, King of Shreds and Patches!

I won the NaNo challenge – actually, I completed two full NaNo quotas, and was within 1500 words of completing half of a third.

And now I know that I can draft a novel in a month – if I spend the month before delving into my characters and their realities, without stinginess. I may count up the words in all my planning documents – I think there’s at least another NaNo’s worth of prepwork; before I wrote a word of the novel! I’ve got some backstory that just may demand a bigger, more public role, in the future, and I have a sense that all of my characters did what they needed to, throughout the story, whether things turned out well, or not.

It was also a wild, wonderful whirlwind of a ride through my own fertile imagination. And you will benefit from my absence, from my creative absorption in my passion. I’ve been away a while, I’m excited, and I have things to share…and, after all, that’s what Saturdays are all about, here! =D

Gradually, I’m coming back from the place where I left my main character, on his way to an adventure that will possibly change the direction of his life. I’m blinking, and looking around, as though I’ve been away a while – which of course I have.

There’s been more time just being with family, the last few days, and more hometending. A return to other goals, and other things I’m obligated to do. More breathing and being, and less striving…

After a stretch, it’s good to relax, reconnect, and recenter.

And I’m glad you’re here to share a little of that with me!

How about you? What inspires you, captures your creative side? Can you still interact with others, when you’ve gone deep into that space? Are there other things that become too much? And how do you feel, when the project is completed, and you start to notice those other parts of life again?

Saturdays are for sharing!

Inaugural Sunday Sampler -A Mashup of Snippets and Bits

For years, I’ve enjoyed sharing links to interesting things I find on Facebook and elsewhere. It satisfies my inner virtual librarian, and, best of all, there are never any late fees, and it doesn’t matter if you lose your card.

This is an extension of that pleasure, a sort of virtual Sunday paper with a variety of offerings for your pleasure…the topics may shift, depending on what I find most intriguing each week, but I will always offer a variety….if you will, a Sunday Sampler for your pleasure.

Browse a little, read an entry or two….or all of them….it’s up to you!

If you have ideas, articles, memes, or blog posts you would like to see here, or if you have feedback on this week’s posts, please remember to drop me a line before.  I welcome your opinions, and I love when lively conversation sparks into being! 

Boy with Kindle, learning naturally.

Learning and Exploration-

Writing evening with Eden Mabee.

Writing-

Snowy Sibling Silliness!

Parenting -

Koi at the desmond Hotel in Albany, NY.

Relating -

  • Fearlessness Thich Nhat Hahn writes about being with our fears, until we understand them…

Vulnerable Trust: #ROW80 Update, March 3,2013

Curious? Click here!

The last few days have been vulnerable ones, for me I’m learning, deepening, and awakening to new ideas, new ways of being. I’m stretching toward my dreams, and, at the same time, needing lots of time to just be where I am, and absorb…

Have you ever felt this way?

I’m in a slack tide…some energy shifting outward, some still inwardly directed. I am a held breath.

Broken open, hesitantly poised at the edge of something so long yearned for, but which, as it begins to unfurl, is as vast as the Grand Canyon under a moonless, star-filled Arizona sky.

I feel it into my soul, echoing through my mind – the resonance of knowing that these dreams are not only possible, but attainable.

Have you ever neared that possibility, and you can at last see just how you can get from here to there – the place you’ve dreamed of, longed for? How do you feel, when it happens, for you?

I’ll admit it. I’m a little terrified.

Taking the next steps means shifting from what I have been, how I have lived. It means owning things about myself in new ways, proclaiming who I am, what I want, what I am willing to do to get there.

Becoming…Photo courtesy WANA Commons.

And, then – it means doing it.

What is it that has me quaking, wanting to crawl into a cocoon and pretend that it’s still just fantasy, a not an schievable goal..?

I’m hearing the voices again.

You might know them. They say it’s impractical, a pipe dream, that I am too ditzy or unmotivated – or too something – to ever do this.

They are the “who the hell do you think you are” voices, and they come with faces, attitudes, energies, and experiences I’ve known my whole life.

Who the hell DO I think I am, anyway?

Well…

I am myself. I have a passion for life, connection, and communication. I adore words, ideas, and imagery. I feel emotional energy in the same way I feel the shifting of the winds.

I am the only one of me there is. No one else has had just my set of experiences; no one else has felt and thought in just this way.

No one else will share their life just in the way that I do.

I think there is value in that – in each of us sharing our story in our way, giving it to others to do with as they will.

I’m feeling vulnerable. I am the early bud; I am the chick who no longer fits within a once comfortable shell.

If I remain curled into this cocoon, this casing, this shell – I cannot survive.

Emergence…Photo courtesy WANA Commons.

It’s time.

Time to thrust outward – to break the silky threads, force the outer leaves open, tap cracks into that shell and push outward.

Time to trust in metamorphosis.

I’m at the beginning, atremble, beset with ‘what-ifs’. Naked, bereft of the protections of the comfortable spaces I had occupied – I know too much, now, for them to be anything other than restrictive.

I have to change, grow, evolve…

I can’t be as I was, and so I become something new, something bigger and deeper, something truer to these dreams that are becoming my reality.

What will I be, on the other side? Hard to say, exactly, since I am not even sure where the other side is….

But I will find it.

And live it.

Who or what has challenged you to grow and change, else wither and stagnate? I love comments, and reading your stories!

Dreams and beauty beyond the shell…Photo courtesy WANA Commons.

 ROW80: 

(My biweekly evaluation is pending until later Sunday, March 3, and will be posted here, when complete.)

 #WANA113 - My BIG ONE:

  • I completed and posted my Word Cloud Grokking.
  • I connected with all class members.
  • I read Lessons Four and Five.
  • I scanned the next two assignments.

Targets:

  • Read/comment on five word clouds by Wednesday, March 6.
  • Begin Grokking #3.

Sponsor Visits:

Reading: (slowing down some as I move into slack tide,and am writing more.)

Blogging:

  • New weekly feature, Friday Frolic. The inaugural post was a video tribute to Davy Jones, on the anniversary of his death. It will be a place for lighter fare to start off the weekends.
  • I spent some time with my blogging action plan, setting some things down.

Target:

  • Rough draft complete by March 15.

Writing:

  • Submitted “The Last House” to a literary journal – a personal, scary first.
  • A Splash of Red” – revising for deep POV. Will be a guest post submission.
  • Completed QUOMIS rough draft! Next,editing!
  • 750 Words – Exposition and Blogging from A to Z rough posts D and E (C was done as one of the exercises above.)

Targets: 

  • Submit “A Splash of Red” by March 10.
  • Compile QUOMIS. Revise 2 poems by March 6.

Beta-reading:

  • Blow Me a Candy Kiss”- will comment and return by Wednesday, March 6.

The children and I visited friends with newborn kittens on Friday, to fulfill a dream for Annalise. Saturday, I took Jeremiah to the store for half-birthday treats, and today (Sunday), the kids and I are going to the bookstore to meet Elizabeth Anne  Mitchell.

That makes a happy but busy weekend for me, and I will be happy to go nowhere tomorrow!

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Am I ready to take flight? Photo courtesy WANA Commons.

May I Have a Blog Roll, Please?

Can I help you with your entrance?

Public domain image via Google.

One of my goals for this round is to create blog rolls for shanjeniah and Trueborn Jottings.

I know some blogs I will definitely be including, both those of followers, and those that inspire and educate me.

Since I like diversity, I would like a long and lovely list of blogs to welcome visitors to my space to wander off on whatever trails beckon to them.

So, here’s the deal.

If you would like your blog to appear on my blog roll, please drop me a line and a link in the comments section below, so I can visit you, and, if you catch my imagination, add you to the spiffy, shiny new blog roll that you can see over there on the right!

And, by the way, I would love to be a little link in your blog roll, too…

Ba-Dum -Dum!

Thankvember NaNoROW – ROW80 Update, 11/11/12

Modified #ROW80 / #NaNoWriMo Projects November 1-30, 2012

Due to National Novel Writing Month and the NaNoWriMo Challenge, the landscape of my writing life has shifted.

I have only five projects as my focal points for this month. I may play with some smaller projects, here and there, but that will be sporadic and likely impromptu.

So, without further ado, here is my own personal (and specific) five point plan:

 

Curious? Click here!

I am serving as a  ROW80sponsor for this round.

  • I “fell behind” during our travel, and did not completely complete my Sunday visits before posting mt Wednesday update. The remaining posts are included with this update.
  • I will be keeping, as much as possible, to my established Monday/Thursday visiting schedule.
  • If I can’t finish them on my regular visiting day, I will continue on subsequent days, until I complete them.
  • I will continue to post twice-weekly updates on my progress.
  • I am returning to my policy of keeping a running account of my progress on each of my goals. This will help me to get my update posted on time, without dropping everything else to do so.
  • As time permits, I will choose or write a brief account of what I have been doing, feeling, or pondering; or perhaps a passage or musing about writing.

 

Curious? Click here!

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at least 50,000 words of another novel in my Trueborn Weft series, Sima Garo Provides.

  • I tend to get quite solitary when I am noveling. I intend, this time, to visit my buddies at least a few times each during the round, and to visit the NaNoWriMo 2012 Facebook Page at least once a day, as well as the #NaNoWriMo folks over atTwitter, which I am finally getting the hang of.
  • I have continued to visit the Facebook NaNo Page, sometimes throughout the day, and others just to drop in here or there.
  • I will be posting updates here, and likely also on my shanjeniah’s Trueborn blog.
  • The update will be a part of this post, linked from the Trueborn blog, so I will be up to date on this project.
  • I hope to have word count widgets installed on both blogs by the time NaNo begins, but that may take a bit of extra time.
  • I have a widget for shanjeniah’s Trueborn!Two, even – one in the sidebar, and one on the page itself.
  • The blog, as a whole, is still a Very Big Empty (with a nod to Henry Blake). I hope to be remedying that over the course of the winter in a more major way, but, for now, I am adding in little bits and pieces and nuggets here and there. I do seem to live life a bit as though it were a crazy quilt, so this seems fitting.
  • I may attend one or more NaNo events.
  • I have looked into it. There are no events planned in our area. I may or may not unofficially start one.
  • And, of course, I will be writing a novel this month…or 50,000 words of one, anyway! =)
  • I am currently at 36, 686 words, Chapter Six, Scene Four.
  • Many surprising things are happening. Many characters are at crisis points, and the story is richer than my plan.
  • The last few days (since Wednesday, as writing on Election Night was somewhat diminished by watching the returns as they came in) have been excellent for writing. The kids and I have been tired as we recover from our trip, it’s getting dark earlier, and the house is a cozy place to hibernate.
  • I am hoping to get to 50,000 by November 13, then take a bit of a break to focus more on my other writing goals, and maybe check on my Twitter and email for the first time in several days. After that, I plan to continue on, likely at a less intensive pace, until month’s end – it would be awesome if I could complete the entire draft before the month ends, bit the reporting must come first.

Fitness Goals – I will focus on eating something each time I am hungry (and getting protein and magnesium into every other time I eat). I will be active enough that I can always feel my body and muscles. I will add more fruits and vegetables to my diet, and be more attentive to how much water I am drinking.

  • I intend to continue to make this a priority, as it will add to my quality of life and help me to be feeling as healthy and energized as I can throughout the month.
  • I am continuing to listen to my hunger, and to eat more veggies, whole grains fruits, protein, and magnesium. I made an onion lentil soup, with stir fry vegetables, and Jim has been very good at bringing me dinners that meet my specifications (shrimp and salmon tacos are delicious!).
  • I’m not getting as much water as I had hoped to – I need that to be a larger focus in the coming weeks…
  • I will be recording my progress here, along with my energy levels for that Sunday – Tuesday or Wednesday – Saturday period.
  • Judging by the chaos of my personal spaces this week, it’s clear I am in a High Tide writing space! I think I am moving into Slack Tide on Sunday, after several days of much much writing. I’m more engaged in cleanup now, but still writing plenty!

Moving ahead with the Reporting Pages projects for both children..

  • These are non-negotiable and due on December 1, 2012.
  • I will attempt to do 4 pages a week, and more if I am able, taking a few moments to deal with a point at a time, during the times when I am shifting from one activity to another throughout the day and night.
  • I have moved Annalise’s Sciences information to a file, and will, in the coming days, be working my way through the listed objectives.
  • With under 14K words left to write to win NaNo for the year, I will be getting back to these, most likely, before the week ends.
  • I will report my progress here with each update.
  • I am reporting very minimal progress, with lots of resistance, still but progress nonetheless.

Curious? Click here!

I am participating in the Thankvember Blog Hop.

  • For ease of dovetailing them with my other projects, I will make these short 500-750 word posts, with only a single image apiece. That is an approach that worked well for me during OctPoWriMo, and it seems it would be likely to here, as well.
  • This part hasn’t been the problem. Nearly all the posts fall within this length, excepting the two poetry posts I am working on, which will be harder.
  • I will be scheduling them ahead where and when I can. When I can’t, I will do them at some point throughout the day.
  • I am finally working up to current days, and even a day ahead, but I am still not caught up with complete posts. I hope to be scheduling ahead by the 15th.
  • I have completed and published 4 more posts for Thankvember. I currently have posts up through the sixth, and posts in various stages of development through the eleventh.
  • Friendship – Thankvember Third
  • Thank You, Mr. President – Thankvember Fourth
  • The Right to Vote – Thankvember Fifth
  • Listening – Thankvember Sixth
  • I am hoping to have posts in progress current by the tenth, and to be caught up with posting by the thirteenth. If I manage that, then I will hopefully be able to begin scheduling by the fifteenth.
  • I am current with posts in progress, and getting closer to meeting the goal of being caught up with my posts by the thirteenth. The goal for the fifteenth is contingent upon meeting both of the previous goals.

My overarching goal for this round remains: To Honor Myself – my rhythms, energy, needs, truth, dreams, desires, and emotions.

There you have it. I am LOVING this month of writing intensity, and focusing allowing it and all the other aspects of my life to move into a natural, shifting balance, a circle that feeds each point in its orbits.

I plan to dive in, immerse myself to the point that I am able, and to surface when that is what I need or want to.

I plan to keep my life simple and peaceful as much as I am able, this month (and always).

I plan to delve, delight, and discover my way through this month….

And you are all invited along for the ride! =D

 

Some Corki-dog love to spread around!

 

 It’s a BLOG HOP!

Laughter – OctPoWriMo #9

 

Curious? Click here!

Laughter 

Tonight, I am home alone.

With the television – music and inane advertising,

The pleasant and the irksome, in turns.

The rattlehum of the heater bouncing gently

Up and down the hall.

Predictably warm, and comforting on a chill night.

The rattling ting of the dog’s tags as he moves

The guinea pigs‘ deep purrs and high squeaks.

Remind me that this solitude includes them.

The slliiissshhhthump of hot water

hitting a plastic milk jug, and the

so-soft pip-pop of newly born bubbles.

The slightly discordant symphony of

Our motley collection of dishes

clank tinkle sliding into order again.

And, woven through and all around,

The memory echoes of the music

That most defines my life.

It is the music of laughter,

Of giggles, and squeals, and sometimes snorts

Bubbling, exploding, surprising.

It runs through our lives and our souls

Like a flowing river, alive, mutable

Its song burbling mirth.

It is our nourishment and sustenance

The force that connects us one to the rest.

Our not-so-secret superpower.

The family that laughs together, has magical powers together!

And…We’re off! -ROW80 Goals Update, 10/4/12

Curious? Click here!

A Few Words About Honoring Myself:

 How is your Round 4 kickoff going?  off to a roaring start?  Still gearing up? Revamping? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! 

This is the goal – the only goal – I have set for this round. So, how am I doing?

  • When threads on a Facebook group I belong to got nasty, I tried to defuse the hostility, and had one of my posts reported and deleted. In four years on Facebook, this has never happened before. I was hurt, and angry…my words, carefully chosen and crafted, just gone.

  • I could have held onto it, or ignored the pain it caused. I’ve done both, habitually, in the past.

  • This time, though, I let myself feel the hurt and injustice. And I took action. I wrote to Facebook, and I posted on the group’s page (I believe I was reported by a reactive and hostile group member). I stated that I would not be posting there unless the atmosphere became more peaceful. When the page owner contacted me, I suggested she create standards for appropriate posting.

  • And then, I released it. I decided that with two challenges starting, and all the positive feedback I had gotten from posters to that group, that I had done all I wanted to do, there, for now.

  • Instead of obsessing, I wrote my first poem, commented on sponsor posts, and spent time with my family. Oh, and I watched Castle on the nice flatscreen in the living room, rather than the old analog in our room, which is dying, and has a habit of turning itself on and off without warning, often repeatedly (we’ll be replacing that, when the budget will accommodate it! Until then, it’s, shall we say, an adventure to attempt to watch anything on it!).

Mother and son, July 2011.

  • On Monday, two friends sent me Facebook messages to share poems they’d been inspired to write after reading my posts related to OctPoWriMo. Their poems were things of beauty and truth, and this came on the heels of the deleted post debacle, and so were doubly sweet. How gratifying to know that my words fed someone else’s creative impulse!

  • During a stressful moment on Tuesday, I told Jim that my feelings had been hurt by something he said. He responded in a way that might, in other times, have easily led to an argument.

  • Instead of answering reactively, which would have been easy, I took a deep breath and explained that I need to be able to express my feelings and tell him when I find something he’s done hurtful. I then said that it was only a big problem if he chose to make it one…

  • And then, I dropped it, and went elsewhere. This is huge for me. Jim needs space, and time, to consider these things, but I have a tendency to drill away, trying to force my point home.

  • A few minutes later, Jim came to hug and kiss me, and to apologize, and the stress of it evaporated. =D

  • I am honoring my energy levels, need for food and sleep, convictions, and my creative impulses. It feels good and right.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly in our front cottage garden, summer 2011.

ROW80 Goals Update 10/4/12 (original goals post)

Monday, October 1 – Energy Style:Slack Tide

Me, my girl, and a horse….winter 2005.

  • I wrote and posted my ROW80 goals in Honoring Myself, and shared on the Linky.

  • I read all of my current sponsor team posts.

  • I commented on a goals post, and shared to my Writer Page.

  • I gave some thought to my sponsor post. I know the direction I want to take, but not exactly what and how I want to say it, as yet.

  • I began, in a very nebulous way, to think about projects well-suited to Ebb Tide and High Tide energies.

  • I began to open my mind to King of Infinite Space. That’s a necessary first step for me, as I need time to dream and begin to feel the story moving through me before I can write it with any degree of depth or truth.

Tuesday, October 2 – Energy Style: Slack Tide, moving

Poppy in our cottage garden, summer 2011.

toward High Tide

I began my Ebb Tide and High Tide lists, brainstorming categories of things to work on.

  • Unfortunately, I apparently lost the list, because I can’t seem to find it (at least, not yet) in my DropboxWriting Bullpen files…maybe it’s that I’m very sleepy, and a bit flummoxed about how to work, and it will appear later. If not, having done it once, it will be easier to reconstruct.
  • Either way, the next step will be to come up with at least a few specific projects for each category. I’m not looking for a comprehensive list, just a few options that will keep me moving forward in a variety of areas.

  • I completed my first set of sponsor visits – before my first Wednesday poster. I was hoping to achieve that!

  • I am really enjoying these visits. It was something that fell far, far by the wayside during Round 3, and left me feeling isolated – and a little guilty.

  • I will link the posts I read at the end of this check-in. It’s a fascinating and inspiring collection!

  • I answered perhaps a dozen comments in the backlog for shanjeniah. This, too, has been causing me anxiety, and I am feeling pretty danged terrific about doing something about it!

  • I wrote and posted my OctPoWriMo poem for October 2, School Bus Paradox, and, to this point, have answered all the comments it has received.

  • I read, but haven’t yet commented on, another poster’s poems, linked below.

  • I took a moment to post a status update on my Writer page.

  • I chatted with a ROW80 friend, Charis Maloy, via Facebook chat.

  • I moved a fair amount of firewood into the garage before the rain. I stacked some, but mostly tossed it into an empty place to stack anytime.

  • The woodpile, currently, is more like a scattering, so, if the weather permits, I will be gathering it in, where we can tarp what won’t currently fit into the garage. The weather is expected to be unseasonably warm and humid for the next several days, so we aren’t likely to burn any wood for a bit.

  • I took a little time to get to know our new-to-us car, while Jim and the kids enjoyed washing and waxing, and Jim did a few maintenance and repair projects on it.

A younger me at Catskill game farm, lovin’ on some baby goats.


Now, for my thoughts on the specific projects I listed in my goals post:

  • I am serving as a sponsor for this round.

  • As noted above, I completed my nines, and did so before today’s first posted.

  • I met some fascinating people, and have found interesting tidbits to follow up on.

  • I found at least as much inspiration as I may have given – and maybe, that’s part of the point?

  • I am treating this as a gift to myself….and I love it!

  • I plan on beginning my sponsor post tomorrow or Thursday. I was a little late with my bio, so I would love to get this to Kaita bit early, and ease her mind a bit.

  • I know the basic idea I wish to explore; the shape will hopefully emerge through freewriting.

  • I am participating in the OctPo WriMo Challenge throughout October.

  • As noted above, I have completed two poems.

  • I like both, and am enjoying the realization that I can write happy, peaceful poetry. I spent years thinking I could only write poetry when life was tangled and angst-ridden.

  • This, too, has proven to be a gift to myself – a way of attending more deeply to moments in my life, and of celebrating this life, and myself.

  • I am awed by some of the other poetry I am reading, and realizing that I need more of that in my life.

  • I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at least 50,000 words of another novel in my Trueborn series, King of Infinite Space. I might plan or sketch out parts ahead of time, or I might just leap in blind, with only the vaguest sense of where I am headed, which tends to work out for me.

  • I have begun the nebulous process of letting my dreams play with the base ideas for this story, as I currently envision them. This is a process, for me, which I hope will reveal some degree of direction and form before November.

  • I stumbled into a really terrific timeline idea, and, since I will be needing two timelines for the Trueborn series, I think I will be giving it a try during the next weeks.

  • I will be answering a rather embarrassing backlog of blog comments that have, in some cases, waited for months…it’s time – actually, far past time – to attend to these, acknowledge those who took the time to comment, and, in the process, enrich myself.

  • As noted above, I answered perhaps a dozen…some, over two months old!

  • I have kept up with new (since the round started) comments, as well. I figure the two-prong approach will keep me from building a new backlog while I work my way through the existing one.

  • This works well with the sponsor visits, because I like to read posts, then mull them for a while before commenting. I can fill in some of the space between with answering my own comments, and it seems to have a synergistic effect.

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, near where Jim proposed to me.

What’s coming up, during the next days..?

  • In addition to the projects above, I will be adding:

  • Moving firewood, as weather permits

  • Editing and adding photos to my Picasa albums, and sharing these more widely.

  • Assembling the IHIPs and other paperwork for the school district (due October 12)

  • Moving ahead with the reporting pages project on The Unfettered Life.

Jim and I, August 23, 1997….the birthday of our family. <3

And lastly, my reading list…:

Lovers on the Metro -headed into Washington, D.C. – September, 2008

 Need more ROW?  It’s a BLOG HOP!

Just Rowin’ Along – ROW 80 Goals Update #9

Lise sleeping in the front yard….a new hobby.

I don’t have a lot to write tonight, beyond  my update.  No real reason; I’m just in a  quiet space, now, deep in processing mode, because things are happening, thoughts are swirling, and I really don’t want to put into words what isn’t ready yet.

I do, though, have news, and a few tidbits;

  • My poem, 4AM call, is being published in the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.  I will make $3.00 for its publication –  my first paying gig in several years! =)
  • My life has been rich in family over the last days.  The collages here will attest to the mellow, peaceful flow going on here….smooth, rippling waters, with just a few swift currents.
  • With the wide array of goals I’ve set, I’ve been feeling like a few things are slipping away from me each week.  Not in an ignoring them way, more in a tucked into the corner way.
  • Today, I had a sudden idea to  use a tin to hold slips of paper with my goals categories written on them.
  • I experimented with pulling a slip from the jar, and working on that category’s goals.
  • When I have made measurable progress on each goal in the category, I set the slip aside and choose another.
  • I won’t return slips to their tin until all have been selected, which will make me feel a bit better, I think, about how I am balancing them.
  • I may stop using this method as I wrap up a few more of the goals, and feel that I’ve attained some form of equilibrium for those remaining.

Growing things….

Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I read the wonderful A Lucky 7 ROW, and made a long and personal comment (when you’ve known the author since you were both 4, it’s hard NOT to be personal!).
  • I read the inspirational and thought-provoking Fun Ways to Network.  I shared on Facebook and Twitter.
  • I read the celebratory  100,000 , shared on Facebook, and commented.
  • I read the delicious self-affirmation in Happy New May, Dear ROW#80 Friends, and commented.

Jeremiah communes with Elijah’s tree.

  • 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 added to the scene I have been working on, but think I will set it aside for a while and begin a new one, soon.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I have clipped one entry of about 650 words. and will be posting it both at The Unfettered Life and to in my Sunday update, here…
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I will be posting that piece both at The Unfettered Life and  in my Sunday update, here…
  • Locate, rough edit, and format all chapters of Chameleon’s Dish.  Input into Scrivener. 
  • I have located Chapter 9 (which will eventually be Chapter 2) and created a LibreOffice file for it.  I have also reformatted it for easy transferring to Scrivener.
  • I began to create a Scrivener project for Chameleon’s Dish-  Rough Draft by adding the first scene of Chapter 1, and setting up the basic project structure.
  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
  • I added more notes to this letter draft, and still have about a quarter of the letter as written to mull over and make notes on.
  • Once the notetaking is done and the letter has had a few days to rest, I will begin writing a revised draft.

Jeremiah, Warrior of the Broken Sword

  • Create a “flow chart” for posting to shanjeniah and The Unfettered Life.  Use these, and adapt as necessary, throughout the round (with allowances made in April for the challenge).
  • I am having some trouble getting into the blogging flow… I think I just have too many other projects going on.
  • I am therefore going to use the flow charts only if I am at a loss as to what to write, and want to work on one of my blogs.
  • I will try to do the Monday highlights at The Unfettered Life at least twice a month, because it will make reporting that much better.

Networking:

  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • As mentioned above, I joined the Story a Day May Challenge.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I have commented on and read four posts.

Annalise’s current round of chalk art.

Submitting:
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • As mentioned above, I will be writing a story a day for the month of May.
  • That leaves two to join for May.

Photography:

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I have cleared my recent downloads, and also some redundant and empty files.
  • At this point, the remaining folders have some redundancies, as well as photos that have not yet been uploaded  to my Picasa Web Albums.
  • My focus, going forward from this point, will be to go through those folders, uploading and deleting as appropriate.  Some of these have been waiting for quite some time, and it will be a relief  –  an likely fun, too – to deal with them!
  • Watermark all photos that appear on my blogs, and all those I post going forward; begin watermarking favorites not on blogs.
  • I  added watermarks to all the photos in my Picasa Collages Album, and synced to my Web Albums.
  • Next, I will find the posts which use these collages, and replace with the watermarked versions.

The artist with her creations…..

 Learning:

  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting  Chameleon’s Dish.
  • I have input Chapter One, Scene 2, into the existing novel format.
  • I was apprehensive about adding additional scenes past this point, because the existing format only has two, and I could not easily see how to create them.
  • I toyed with the program a little, and found that by clicking to the place  in the main binder where I want to add a scene or chapter, then clicking “Add Text”, I can add as many scenes and chapters as I need.
  • I added Chapter One, Scene 3 in this manner.
  • From this point, I expect that the adding of scenes and chapters will flow more quickly, naturally, and easily.
  • I will be doing minor reformatting and editing as I go, but anything major will be waiting for next ROWnd’s rewrite.
  • Use Twitter and HootSuite at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I used Twitter  –  just Twitter, without the HootSuite platform for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.
  • I am becoming a little more comfortable with this platform.  I might even feel at home there, someday!
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I have added my big question regarding last night’s domain name SNAFU (I somehow assigned the domain name to my new Story-a-day WordPress.org account, “stealing” it from my writer blog –  gulp!).
  • This issue seems to have ironed itself out! =)
  • I have added ideas to try for two of the other questions I already had on the list.
  • I will experiment, at some point, and see what that yields…..

More Lise and her chalk art – so glad I took the pictures before it rained!

Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I have reread Learning Nothing….the Final Frontier in preparation for editing and updating.
  • Next, I will begin a fairly major edit/reformatting of this piece.
  • Input Chameleon’s Dish to Scrivener; Complete story arc for Blood and Breath.
  • As mentioned above, I have moved both of these goals forward.
Self-care:
  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: Skipped hometending; lazy at-home day; lots of outside Lise time.
  • Tuesday:Attended t’ai chi class and brought Miah. Stopped to see two pairs of Canada geese, one with several little yellow goslings, at the creek on Coon’s Crossing Road.  Snuggles and love with Lise.
  • Wednesday: Outside time with Lise and Miah; photography; being clear about my needs; sleeping in after two poor nights’ sleep; coffee with Jim.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: Mowing, outdoors stuff.
  • Tuesday: T’ai chi class –  a surprisingly thorough workout!
  • Wednesday:A little more mowing; mellow hometending; outdoors activities with both kids.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • Big time self-decorating.  Jim helped me to bleach a section of my hair and add vivid blue dye….
  • It isn’t just how I pictured it, but I’ve learned a bit more about the process, so next time will be better.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Reading, writing, relaxing, and simply BEING.
  • Tuesday: More reading and writing; joined the Story-a-day Challenge; t’ai chi; a couple of hours of solitude; color for my hair; TWO hot showers!
  • Wednesday: Reading and writing; outdoor photography; taking the time to consider a vivid dream.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jeremiah: I invited Miah to join me for t’ai chi.  We had lots of fun and good, private connection time.
  • Jim: Coffee and companionship; help with the lawn (a bit much still for his broken hand); and the suggestion that he should get a new riding jacket to replace the leather one that has now been cut off him twice; and honest and open communication regarding or not-quite-aligning visions of our family’s future plans.
  • Annalise: Lots of snuggles and tickles; attended several animal weddings; toured her most recent chalk art exhibition, commemorated with photos; listened to her reading.

 Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have revised Jeremiah’s Reading section.
  • I have written Jeremiah’s Writing/Spelling section.
  • As we are now officially into our “fourth quarter”; I will be stepping up my focus on getting these reports finished and sent – it felt good to have them completed early, last quarter, and I am looking forward to that feeling –  maybe even sooner, this month!
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • I have deleted over two dozen messages from my Transactions in Progress file (some, almost a year old!), leaving only those I need (hotel and campground confirmations; receipts for services I no longer want; etc.
  • This leaves only a few files with a couple of messages in each; after which I will begin reading and acting on what’s left.
  • I also intend to set aside a bit of time every so often to weed through these folders, so that they won’t get so congested in the  future.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I am now up to page 26 of 120 in notebook #1.
  • Given the time left in the round, this, too, will likely become a greater focus in the coming weeks, especially as I complete other goals.

A girl and her dog…..

At my last post, I skipped  introducing any of my followers, mostly because it was late, and I was very tired.

Tonight, though, I have 5 more  interesting people to recognize: 

I’ll maybe be more talkative, come Sunday…or maybe not.  Quiet times are a part of me.  Good stuff happens in the quiet times….

Some of the other ROWers may be more wordy….why not take a look around?

ROWin’ in the Rain – Goals Update #6

Excerpt from 750words, June 8, 2011 – 

Today is a much, much happier day. I feel like I have struggled my way back to a place of calm and something approaching acceptance of the present moment. And keeping my focus on this moment and no other, the action I can take now, and no other, helps me to feel far less overwhelmed with what, looked at as a whole, complete situation, is utterly and completely overwhelming.

This moment, and no other. This action, and no other. So here I am, writing my 750 words, because that is the action I am taking in this moment. And, after, I will return to some tidying in the house, then maybe try another method of getting the kids’ quarterly reports to the school. Later, when it cools down from the 90 degree temperatures we have right now, I’ll hook up the printer, because submitting the reports in writing may indeed be the route I end up taking, much as I disagree with it.

Deep breaths. Short bursts of activity. Letting things go, or just working on a small part of the whole, in short bursts, helps me to remain calm. Giving myself the time and space to just be, to leave things undone, to decide for myself what is worthy of my time and attention and energy. Understanding that sharing a home with others means there are both others to help me….and others who sometimes do things that trigger unpleasant emotions in me.

Understanding that those emotions might very well be responses to old, entrenched patterns I am not yet even aware of. Learning to slow down, get still inside myself, and attend to the feeling and the associations it brings up. Going into those, until I get deeper than the surface emotion, to the place where I can find what I need in this situation – or if I need anything. Often, all I need is to acknowledge the feeling and its source, and all the perceived wrongness and angst of the moment just fades away.

When there is a need, understanding what it is is hugely helpful, because none of us can fill our own needs if we don’t understand what they are. That’s evident in our society, and very prevalent in my family of origin. Buying things and doing major home additions and renovations, as stand-ins for the need that goes unacknowledged and untended to.

So I am learning to understand my needs, and that it falls to me, and no one else, to tend to them. I an responsible for meeting my own needs.

How I do that depends on the situation and the nature of the need. Sometimes I am at a loss, in the moment, on what to do, except that I need to accept this moment just as it is, and surrender to it rather than fight it. Then, anything I choose to do will be from a place of acceptance, and all my energy can then be channeled to productive measures rather than flailing against life as it is.

This has been particularly difficult for me over the last three or for days. I’m hormonal, and it is very, very hot, and we have been busy, and the kids seem to both be getting ready for pretty major growth spurts.

If I can remember that all of these things tend to lead to a feeling of imbalance for me, separately, I can perhaps be patient with their combined disequilibrium.

If I can remember that it is also disorienting for the children, and that they really need my stability, calm, and patience, perhaps everything else will flow more peacefully through our lives.

Of course, in order to be in a state to provide that calm for them, I do need to nurture myself. There are in fact no housework police arriving on a daily basis to evaluate my daily portion of household chores. The world will not, in fact, come to an end if I choose to skip cleaning sometimes, or do the minimum amount I can live with, if I just am not up for doing more.

There are so many things that are of greater value than housecleaning. Creative expression, hugs and kisses and tickles and cuddles, putting one’s feet up and enjoying a cool day, feeling peaceful and happy to be just where I am, just now. Bliss. Laughter. Joy. Discovery. Time to ponder. Time to wonder. Time to embrace my own passions, and time to help the children embrace theirs, and Jim his. Time to be kind, and courteous, and generous – to myself and to others.


Round 2 Goals:

Reading:

  • Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
  • I have finished book 4 of 4 for April, Hold On to Your Kids.
  • I have now completed my April book  reading goal!
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I have read Laughter of Children and Clouds, commented,and am sharing here.
  • I have read the deep truth and courage in Words…words,words,words, written by my dear lifelong friend, Eden Mabee.  
  • Because she is my friend – and so much more – I wrote two long comments.
  • Because this post is incredible, I am sharing it to Facebook.
  • I read the poem  Shame, commented, and shared on my Facebook Writer Page.
  • I have completed this goal for this week.
Writing:

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish and Blood and Breath.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I now  have 489 words in the group dialogue scene for Chameleon’s Dish, and a much better sense of where this piece is headed.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I pulled a complete essay, which appears above.
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I have included excerpts from these writings as part of these updates (see intro, above), and they have informed other writing I have done since reading them.
  • I will be focusing more on these as I finish the A to Z posts, then the essays and book reviews that have been queued up behind them.
  • Find all chapters of Blood and Breath.  Input into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
  • I have created a story arc for Chapters 2 and 3, as a preliminary step.
  • Next, I will begin creating flash fiction as the basis for scenes in these chapters.
  • In the meantime, I may shift my inputting focus to Chameleon’s Dish, because I have a completed rough draft of that novel.
  • I will consider my options, and change my goal if indicated.

Blogging:

  • Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
  • I have edited, embellished, and scheduled T is for Toxic People –  Y is for Yelling.
  • I have written Z is for Zoo.
  • I have now completed the writing for this challenge, and have 1 post left to edit, embellish, and schedule.
  • The last post may take a while longer….I found many pictures I want to include, but they will need editing and collaging before posting….and that may take an added hour or three beyond what I usually need for that process.
Networking:

  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I posted to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop, as noted above.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I read this “article” (biased, ill-informed, and rather poorly written) on unschooling.  I commented.
  • I have answered a few comments on this blog.
  • I have shared Freedom, the 2009 post I edited on The Unfettered Life.  I posted it on Facebook.
  • I also shared G is for Growth and H is for Happiness, both from my A to Z posts.
  • I have resumed the process of answering my blog comments –  another ball I released in order to focus on the A to Z challenge.

Submitting:

  •  Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
  • I have reviewed the submission guidelines for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.  I plan on assessing several of my existing flash fiction pieces, in preparation for submitting.
  • I have decided to make “Twice-Coupled” my first submission, and will begin preparing it in the next few days.
  • Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
  • I have reread my Cooperative Catalyst rough draft, which I had not looked at for a month or two. I will let it rest a few more days, then begin polishing it, as I finish the pieces that I intend to link it to.
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • I have submitted to the Storyteller Writing Challenge twice, and once to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop
  •  This goal has been attained for April.

Photography:

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I synced the pictures from last weekend to my Picasa Web Albums, and deleted the file from my hard drive.
  • Learn how to watermark pictures.
  • I did it!  I learned how to watermark, and designed one I can be happy with.  It may change over time, but I like it, for now!
  • This goal has been attained!
Marketing:

  •  Explore marketing articles on my Facebook Writer Page.
  • I explored a free copyrighting service, and have decided not to go that route.
  • I read this interview on publishing and marketing to Kindle.
  • Add useful articles to my shanjeniah 
  • Marketing Articles page.
  • I added the above article to my Marketing Articles page.
  • Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
  • I am beginning to see a shape and scope for my marketing efforts.  Nothing more than a sense of it, yet.  I will keep learning, and pondering…

 Learning:

  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting first an essay, and then Blood and Breath.
  • I have begun the creation of a story arc for the remaining chapters.  I am midway through Chapter Three in this process.
  • Use Twitter and HootSuite  at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I opened  HootSuite on Saturday…and closed Facebook.
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I remembered that I joined a SheWrites group for WordPress Bloggers.  I will be checking it out during the next week or so, to learn more about how to use this blog platform.
  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • I have saved two articles that deal with this topic, and will be researching them through the coming weeks ( they are long; I will read them in sections).

Organizing:

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I edited and updated the first of my Unfettered Life 2009 posts, Freedom.
  • Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
  • I have moved another entry to my LibreOffice clip files – a stream-of-consciousness essay that wanders interestingly.
  • I have deleted the file from my Penzu journal (as I do with each entry as I mine it for clips, because I am not ready to upgrade to Penzu Pro.  This keeps my single free journal from becoming unwieldly as I add to it.

Self-care:

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Thursday:  Staying home; lawnmowing; reading; writing; working in my room.
  • Friday: More lawnmowing; finished April book reading goal; old blogpost reminiscing; coffee with Jim
  • Saturday: Listening to Jim and the kids assemble and fly a wood glider plane kit; lingering coffee, with Jim and alone; the rain we so needed; saying yes to Lise in the rain and in my library; saying yes to the candlelit invitation….
  • Sunday: Old picture editing; coffee with Jim;  time  with Miah looking over the typical course of study for his “grade level”; time playing and snuggling with Lise;  hometending; warm clothes on a chilly,damp day.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Thursday: Lots of mowing. Hometending.  Yard cleanup.
  • Friday:Lots more mowing (including the steeply pitched hill; a real workout!); Hometending; climbing dome flipping; yard cleanup.
  • Saturday: A bit of mowing (ahead of soaking rain we desperately needed); hometending; other stuff.
  • Sunday: Hometending (too wet to want to be outside).  Played with Corki-dog and Annalise.
  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • I decorated myself this week with sunkiseed skin, windtossed curls, and many dimply smiles. Oh, and i wore the prettiest color –  blue – every day.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Thursday: Working in my library, home, and yard.  Reading and writing.  family time.
  • Friday: Working in home, yard, and my library.  Reading and writing.  More family time.
  • Saturday: Jim.  Candlelight. All the above stuff,too.
  • Sunday: One-on-one time with each family member.  Hometending. reading and writing.  Listening to the rain and the train whistle.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jeremiah: Grown-up conversations; exploring and learning together in my library; coffee and snuggles together.
  • Annalise: Tablet coed arrived, and I got to watch her begin to claim the tablet for her own.  It was mine, and is loaded with lots of goodies like a 3D Brain, painting and light art programs, YouTube App, and a keyboard….I need to check to see if i left anything important stored on it (she lost the previous cord when I loaned it to her, so I couldn’t do it before I gifted it to her at Christmas.  She is loving it!
  • Jim:  His heart’s desire; a cleaner house; a happily thriving family.
 Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have completed the Reading section of Jeremiah’s third quarter report, to date.
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • I winnowed my Homeschooling items folder from 60+ messages to just 19.
  • I will return at a later date and designate new homes for the remaining messages.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I am up to page11 of 120 in the first notebook.
  • Pay remaining balances for summer trips to Unschoolers
  • Rock the Campground and Northeast Unschooling Conference.
  • I woke in time to call the campground Friday –  but forgot to do it!  I seeem to be going to sleep a little earlier (about 3am; pretty early for me!), and rising earlier.  I plan to get the number and post myself a note so I remember tomorrow…
 Excerpt from this week’s 750 Words ~~
Oh, I liked that post. I don’t like weathermen, though, who tell us “trust me, we’re going to hold off the rain as long as we can.”
Sorry, Jason, you don’t have that ability, so far as I know. Ok, minor rant over. It’s been a slow and rather lazy day of mellow productivity and big heat (recordbreaking over 90 degree April day, but with a breeze that kept it from being as oppressive as it might have been. And since it’s been a dry spring, it wasn’t at all humid.
Which makes it weirder that a meteorologist would offer to attempt to hold off the much-needed rain.
Oh, it looks as though my battery is getting low…..I want to get my 750 words in, so I am writing, writing…. I did do some writing today, and some reading, and some tending in the home and yard.
Ok, I have enough battery to get me through. I am happy with what I’ve written tonight; it does seem that the words are coming slowly. And yet, they are coming. Sometimes that needs to happen, I think – the lull, the refilling, the pause between the inspiration and expiration; the pause in the heartbeat, the instant of held tension just before orgasm breaks over you…. I’m tired, and the images are here. And I have 750 words. =)~~
In other news:

  • I was nominated for my fourth blogging award today.  I will reveal the details when I have a post ready; since I am in the midst of my Z post, this update, and backed-up reading, commenting, and essay-writing, that may take a week or three, but I will get there (this is an award I have quietly coveted  since seeing it on a blog I really enjoy).  This is a new award for me. =)
  • I will be contacting my prospective guest bloggers before month’s end.  If anyone else is interested in guest posting, or hosting me as a guest blogger, feel free to drop me a comment anytime!
  • I will have an announcement of something new coming by the end of May, so stay tuned!
  • I forgot to introduce any of my followers with Wednesday’s check in.  Oops!
    I remembered this time, though, and so…

May I introduce you to….?

And now, for the Link Treats:

 

R is for Resistance

500 Words On….Resistance.

Resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated.

So goes the threat, warning, or merely informational greeting (depending on your viewpoint upon hearing it, I suppose) of the Borg.

The Borg have no sense of humor, and they don’t bluff. If they say you will be assimilated – well, it’ll take a lot of fight to prove them wrong.

I’ve been known to be pretty good at resisting. I think that can be said of most of us who are looked upon by others, and maybe even ourselves, as stubborn.

It can be a good thing, to resist, if I am resisting an impulse that leads to harm for someone.

Other times, though, resistance is not only futile, but actually self-destructive.

Some things simply are, and cannot be changed. As much as I wish it might be otherwise, Elijah died. As much as I might wish it to be otherwise, Jim was involved in a serious, life-threatening motorcycle accident a little less than two months ago, and, whether I or he or anyone else resists it, the lingering repercussions will be a part of our lives for quite some time to come.

As much as I might wish it to be otherwise, I cannot have peaceable relationships with certain of my family members, despite having spent the maority of my life resisting that knowledge – knowledge that I suspected long before I allowed myself to fully and consciously accept the fact of it.

Until then, I resisted. I capitulated. I apologized for wrongs I did not feel I had committed, accepted the responsibility of atoning for crimes that were of far lesser magnitude than those they  inflicted upon me. I allowed those who disregarded my well-being, who hurt me intentionally as a way to feel better about themselves or to punish me, do so with impunity.

More than once, I returned to the strongholds (in our family, the homes) of those who had physically, emotionally, and verbally abused me.

Once there, I watched my every step, every word, every action, knowing without doubt that I was being constantly watched and assessed. Those who assessed might appear sweet and friendly, or aloof and disinterested, or anywhere in between.

But I knew that, if their moods shifted, there would be another attack.

And still, I resisted, acquiesced, tried to get along despite knowing that, sooner or later, there would be rage, pain, and suffering. I resisted because I needed to be loved just for myself, as myself, even when I screwed up.

Always, I believed that I was somehow to blame for the rage and ugliness of those moments – until the day that two of my siblings spent 18 hours in a torrent of ugly and sometimes slanderous comments on my Facebook wall, because I had posted a general comment that they took objection too.

I had been away from my computer for the first 12 hours or so, and had contributed nothing, and yet the attacks went on and on….

From that point, I began to release my resistance. The thing is, when something is not right in my world, energy will be required to set things right. If I give some of my energy to resisting the facts, I have thrown that energy away, making the problem larger.

Resistance is futile.

I’ve stopped resisting the family dynamic – nor do I tolerate abuse. I simply accept each family member as they are – and avoid any private interactions with those who may become abusive.

Not perfect, maybe – but far more peaceful than resisting truth.  I have been assimilated, and that is healing.