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 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

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….

Stretching Into September: August 31, 2014

The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life/

Wow! Can someone please tell me where August has gone? I swear it was here only a minute or two ago, but it’s already getting ready to leave for a year!

The coming of September finds me in a state of flux. I’ll be continuing many of my goals, tweaking others, and setting a few aside for later rounds. The month will begin with my son’s 13th birthday, and, two days later, I’ll be attending a World Sexual Health Day event with Elizabeth Anne Mitchell -oh, and meeting August McLaughlin, too! =)

A busy start- so it may take me a week to really get into a September swing. That’s all right- I know the autumnal air will energize me, and being wholly present during these experiences will feed my soul, and my writing! =D

How about you? Is September a shifting time, or a period of continuity?

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.

Soon to be a teen! =D

2014 Blogging:

Focus on layout and design aspects of my Blogging Action Plan. - I haven’t get to any of these, this round. Shifting two to back-burner status until 2015.

  • Get the Kristen Lamb social media wizardry ball rolling. - Contact Kristen by September 7.

  • Play with Web Lab app; goal is exploration and experimentation. -setting aside for Round 1, 2015.

  • Start planning new website, using input from previous two goals. -setting aside for Round 1 /2, 2015.

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely. – On target. I’m posting and interacting regularly and often. Sharing is shakier, but I have ideas…

  • Maintain regular posting schedule; queue 3 posts for Coffee and Conversation; prep 3 ahead for WIPpet Wednesday. -hoping this will give me a clearer target.

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

  • Update sidebar; it’s a little outdated and jumbly.

A mischievous girl in a pink mustache!

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. On target. Gearing up for the final quarter; I’ve had several revelations regarding story that are definitely taking things in a tenser direction!

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, as my November NaNoWriMo project. - Time to start planning for November’s drafting.

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

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

  • Rough out concepts for remaining books in this series.

This is my smile on Shakespeare!

2014 Editing:

  • First revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish; Pre-Revision Plan for Bounded by a Nushell: Readthroughs/notes for Blood and Breath. -This goal is subject to change; revision takes longer than I thought, at the moment!

  • Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish.

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

  • Complete first pass revision pre-planning for Bounded by a Nutshell. Setting aside for Round 1, 2015.

  • Revise three short story WIPs for October 31 submission deadline. -More on this goal in the coming week or two.

Seventeen years later, we still like each other – OK, MORE than like! =D

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset. On target .

Clean out email files. On target .

Continue reclaiming my study. On target .

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

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

Develop Daily Hometending Frames. On target.

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

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting.

Mail Annalise’s End of Year report. Target attained!

Complete Jeremiah’s PASS test and submit results when received. On target. Test returned for scoring.

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

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

My girl – lover of fashion and wildlife!

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. Nothing yet.

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, and there will be more!

Indulge in days with both children, at least one date with Jim, and one with myself. Better – did something special with each child this month; Jim and I, and myself, not yet.

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

Plan a monthly family excursion that involves physical activity. Target attained with Sterling Renaissance Festival.

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program. Target attained- new goal pending.

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

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

Nutrition goals for July:

Consume minimum five veggie/fruit salads and/or fruit smoothies each week. Target attained most weeks.

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

A Midsummer Evening’s Dream…

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

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

Come ROW along with us!

 

Annalise’s Shakespearean Still Life!

Second-Serving Sunday: #NotBacktoSchool Edition!

 

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead, in my little corner of the blogosphere

What do I mean by #notbacktoschool? Well, it’s only a coinflip away from #backtoschool – and a universe apart.

Neither of our kids have ever gone to school. We began as eclectic homeschoolers (a lot of the “curriculum” I used with our son came from other homeschoolers, garage sales, and imagination), then shifted into the relaxed category, then became so relaxed, we were radically unschooling by the time our son turned eight. He’ll be thirteen in a couple of days, and we’ve never looked back.

So no back to school lists, chores, or schedule changes for us. Just life as we know it, flowing on. Birthday plans. Work plans. A trip to New York City for me, to expand my own horizons. Working out and swimming, and making connections with friends. Learning, living, laughing, and loving as we go.

Today’s pictures come from another #notbacktoschool week, when our youngest was officially “kindergarten-eligible” (now, she’s 10!). I think they capture the flavor of our lives very well!

Annalise’s Zen-style volcano.

 

And speaking of life…what have I been up to?

Recently at shanjeniah:

Second-Serving Sunday for August 24: Big Stretch Edition!

A week of romance as my Accomplice and I celebrated 17 years of marriage, I dis some odd things I wasn’t expecting, and new perspectives were formed. I wrote my inaugural post for Rose B. Fischer‘s Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Trip and T’Pol got all tangled up in each other, and drafting and revising took a step back for a few days. David Vienna urged parents to CFTD; Kerry took us to the museum to share Shakespeare’s First Folio; and there was this blogfest announcement:

 

 

This week’s fun:

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Thirteen Years: This week’s SoCS prompt was “Age”. Apropos as our oldest becomes a teen this week. Here, I contemplate the threshold between childhood and adulthood, choice and control, and what these have to do with maturity.

ROW80 Updates:

Learning about “monies” in a lobster hat, cause that’s how we rolled back then!

What’s Coming Up?:

My writing focus for September is on:

Siblings in communion with the TV, and each other.

 

This week’s blogging:

Annalise discovers that light is made of colors!

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Learning is fun, and makes this girl grin!

Life Stuff:

  • I reflected on the past, looked forward to next week, and spent a busy week in the middle.
  • I took Jeremiah out for a workout and lunch on Tuesday, and we set up his weight room orientation. On Friday, both kids and I went for a swim, and to do some provisioning.
  • I bought my ticket for the NYC World Sexual Health Day event, and began making the travel details with my companion for the day!
  • Magnet Mountain was reduced to barious sorted piles of rubble…uh, magnets.
  • Jeremiah’s testing was completed and submitted for scoring; Annalise’s end-of-year report was submitted to the school district, and I moved forward with fourth quarter resporting and IHIP for Lise.
  • All in all, a week with some busyness, and some calm, in a pleasing blend.

What was your favorite part of your week? Did things go according to plan, or were there surprises along the way?

“I’m riding a horse on the army!”

An Odd Stretch: ROW80 Update, 8/20/14

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

Is anyone else having a hard time accepting that it’s Wednesday, already? This happens to me every time we travel, whether for a day or a weekend – I lose my time sense, and things feel a bit -well, out-of-kilter is the best way I have of describing it. It’s not that I haven’t done things, but more that the things I’ve done haven’t all been the things I usually do.

I haven’t done any revising on Chameleon’s Dish, and my blog comments are woefully behind – sorry, folks, that’ll be a priority over the coming days! – and, although I’v made my scheduled blogposts, none of them have exactly appeared on time.

On the other hand…

  • I have added words to Perchance to Dream each day. On Sunday, literally in the middle of a sentence, a major and utterly unexpected plot twist occurred, and now everything else will need to accommodate this new reality, which I never saw coming. Sometimes writing is like that – and the story will be far more intense, and the stakes higher, because of it.

  • I had a very strong workout on Tuesday, even after a physically strenuous day on Saturday. I’m seeing changes in the way my body looks, feeling changes in my muscles, and these changes are reflected in what I’m able to do. Since my goal is focused on well-being rather than weight loss, I feel like my exercise and nutrition goals are yielding high results, and that makes me happy! =)

So, all in all, this was a productive stretch for me, even if it had some odd twists and angles to it. Life can be like that, and, at least for me, these times shake and stir life up, keeping thing interesting. And that is definitely good for my writing!

A different view….

Here’s my somewhat twisty progress since my (a day late) last update ! =)

August Focal Areas:

  • Homeschool Administration

  • Chameleon’s Dish Revision

  • Social Media/Blog Design

2014 Blogging:

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

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue one post for each regular feature. Welll….

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 for this session!

  • August 17: 823 words.

  • August 18: 751 words.

  • August 19: 797 words.

Beauty is where you find it…

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue the family room reset. On target.

  • More porch decluttering.

Clean out email files.On target.

  • Got rid of another sheaf of messages.

Continue reclaiming my study. On target.

  • Much more decluttering, a little beautifying. Mount Magnet awaits…

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Experiment with Daily Writing Frames for the rest of the year. On target.

  • My daily flow was odd, due to life rhythm. I did things, and that’s the goal here.

Use Daily Hometending Frames; adapt to suit shifting goals and circumstances as needed. On target.

  • Still making big progress in small sprints. Not quite so many, with Jim’s weekend, and two physically strenuous days. I expect that to shift for the next few days, which are unscheduled.

Set aside several sessions weekly for Adminstrative Frames, shifting according to goals and circumstances. On target.

  • A little. This will be a major focus over the next days; I have lots to do!

Complete all required homeschooling documentation, testing, and reporting. On target.

  • The school district finally sent the packet we should have had a month ago, so all systems are go, and the four-week IHIP countdown is officially begun.

  • This will be a priority from now, until all required paperwork has been submitted.

Seeing things from a new angle!

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!

  • August 18 was my estranged brother’s birthday – a milestone one, for him. I sent a message to wish him well, and in hopes of potentially healing our relationship. We were once very close, and I miss him.

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

One workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

  • I had a vigorous workout, and loved it.

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

  • 1 mile in 20.49 minutes!
  • I needed a few brief breaks, and lowered the resistance of the program (and discovered I can actually achieve descents that way!).

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

  • 7.26 miles in 30 minutes, with manual intervals.

  • I’m edging up on this one. I was able to pedal faster and more consistently this week than in the past. I just need to build on this.

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

  • 4 each for arms and torso; 5 for legs.

  • Gradually increasing weight, repetitions per set; and number of sets.

Nutrition goals for July:

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

  • 2/5; 1 of each.

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

  • Yogurt: 2/2; Nuts/Seeds: 1 /2 (raw sunflower seeds).

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “2”s every session. On target.

  • Yup.

Living a triple-exposure kind of life….

 

Come ROW away with us!

Coffee and Conversation: The Gift of Grief

 

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – 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..

Are there times of year that you find emotionally charged? Where your feelings are tumultuous and close to the surface? Where small things can lead to huge inner shifts?

As I mentioned in my posts throughout this past week, July is an emotionally complicated month for me – turbulent, surging up in joy, plunging into sorrow, lifting again…

Alive and silly, ten years after birth!

 

Earlier in the month, my daughter celebrated her birthday. She was born in July of 2004.

July of 2003 was a very different matter.

After a textbook pregnancy, our secondborn, Elijah James, decided it was time to be born, four days before his due date. Things didn’t go as expected. Eventually, forceps were used – and our baby boy, healthy only a few minutes before, was born not breathing.

Things got a little blurry for me, after that. My blood pressure tends to be low; it dropped precipitously. I remember asking the nurses what was wrong with my baby, and the nurse answering, “He’s fine, he’s fine,” as I watched them attempting to resuscitate him.

After what seemed an eternity, they got enough response to whisk him away and intubate him – I’m not sure about the order of those events, only that both happened in the four hours I spent recovering before the maternity staff allowed me to use a wheelchair to go to the NICU.

My husband went to be with the baby, and my emotionally volatile mother stayed with me. She had been with us through Elijah’s birth, and I know she was feeling protective and helpless – but she became embroiled in a power struggle with my nurse, and the conflict had me trying to play diplomat, and feeling not only raw and terrified, but also like I was the non-sentient tug of war rope in their battle of wills. All I wanted was to see my baby, and for him to be okay.

I am lucky. Elijah was awake when I met him; we regarded each other. I wrote about that meeting in my poem, “Soul to Soul”. Here’s an excerpt…

Elijah lived twelve days, and died on Friday, July 25, 2003.

I turned thirty-four 4 days later.

I’ve learned not to try to hold a balance during this month. I live a life that is peaceful, chaotic, often laughter-filled, inspiring, sometimes frustrating. I have a tremendous deal to be thankful for. I have a marriage that survived a loss that 85% of marriages don’t, and that has grown stronger, deeper, and richer. I have two living children, and they are happy, strong, curious, kind, affectionate, bright, funny, confident, independent, and many other wonderful things – the chiefest among them being that magical word – LIVING!

I have a child who lived and died in less than two weeks. He never cried, never nursed. I never held him without tubes and sensors attached to him.

His death is the most shattering thing I have ever known. And it was the catalyst for deep healing. His donated heart valves made a little girl’s life easier. His brief life made me take a long hard look at the way I was raised, and what I wanted for my own children, my marriage, and, maybe most importantly, for myself. It led me to make massive changes, as a mother, and as a human being. He is my most precious and painful gift.

I don’t know how to balance between the extremes of this month. Instead, I go for blendings- allowing the emotions and memories to weave in and around and through the life I live now, the love I share, not only with those who are here, but also for the small life so quickly ended, and whose presence has been a part of me, ever since…

It’s July 14, 2014. I’m home alone, remembering, writing, hometending, and planning a weekend camping trip. Life goes on, and I remember, and make memories, all at once…

I ask you to take a few moments, today, to look at your life, at your loves. What would life be like without them? How can you show them how very cherished they are? How can you do that for yourself? Most importantly, what are you waiting for? I’ve got a fresh cuppa something hot and sweet. Won’t you drop by and chat a bit?

Sitting up front and looking mighty grown at twelve.