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.

 

 

 

A Festive Stretch – ROW80 Update, July 9, 2014

 

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Ahhh…here we are again, at the first check-in of a brand-new round!

I’ve been up to a lot, but not so much things that are directly writing-related. You see, this round started on Monday, and Tuesday was my daughter’s tenth birthday. She wanted to have a Girls’ Day just with me. So I squeezed in my weekly workout on Monday, and Tuesday was all about her – taking her to a movie, shopping, and out to dinner.

We had a lovely time. She is delightful to be with, and I am amazed at the way she’s blossoming.

I haven’t really hit my stride with my ROW80 stretching just yet, because, well, the blue-eyed Force of Nature had priority. And I am more than OK with that! =D

How does this Wednesday evening find you? Are you happily engaged with people and activities that bring you joy? Is there some way you could have more of that? Have you stretched in any way, lately? I’d love to hear about it! =D

Part of the life ROW80 knows I have. =)

July Focal Areas:

  • CampNaNoWriMo

  • Homeschool Administration

  • Blog Maintenance and Exploration

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.A bit of a rough start; writing and celebrating took precedence.

Continue interacting through comments; expand and diversify my willingness to comment. On target, although I have a comment backlog to address due to writin’ and celebratin’ and workin’ out.

  • I’ve visited several blogs, including my sponsor visits, and left often extensive comments.

Striking a pose, with attitude!

2014 Writing:

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

Continue drafting Perchance to Dream during July NaNoWriMo.On target.

  • Current word count: 94,846 (this is clearly going to be a loong draft!)

  • CampNaNo word count: 30,988/50,000

  • Scene 30/60 in progress.

2014 Hometending:

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

Clean out email files.On target.

  • I did a bit of this while looking for an email.

Birthday Dinner.

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

  • As noted, Girls’ Day to celebrate Annalise’s tenth birthday.

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

One workout at the Y each week. On target.

  • A moderately intensive workout on Monday – weights and cardio.

Continue exploring fitness goals – more on this throughout the round. On target – I’ll explain these a little better on Sunday.

Workout goals for July:

Treadmill: 22 minute walking mile using “Rolling Hills” program.On target.

  • .48 miles in 10 minutes.

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

  • 6.17 miles in 30 minutes; resistance to 13.

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

Nutrition goals for July:

  • Acquire Intuitive Eating ebook.

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

  • 2 of each, thus far.

Consume Greek yogurt and nuts minimum twice weekly. Target attained for this week.

Weight goal for July:

  • Maintain or reduce weight measured at beginning of the round. On target

Sponsor Visits:

Wanna ROW a little further?

Still Silly After All These Years!

 

WIPpet Wednesday: Disparate Bindings; Tangled Pulls

 

Are you ready to WIPpet?!

Are you ready to WIPpet?!

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel,maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

It’s July, and July is an emotionally slippery month for me. It holds birthdays, death anniversaries, and the entire lifetime of our second child. It’s bisected by a much-anticipated annual out-of-state gathering, Unschoolers Rock the Campground.

I’ll be riding the waves this month. I’m also participating in CampNaNoWriMo. I’ll finish my current WIP, The Stars are Fire, and add more words to another, Perchance to Dream.

Since both of these are ragged and extremely rough, I’m going to continue with snippets from my Story A Day May Challenge: Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction exploring the interspecies relationship of T’Pol and Trip, in a project titled The IDIC Romance.

Disclaimer: T’Pol,  Trip, and all the rest of Star Trek are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement intended. I just want to play with them, and I’m careful!

A bit about the challenge:

Story a Day is just that- a story every day in May. To make the challenge more interesting for myself, I used all of the prompts offered, throughout the month.

The stories are sequential, with various tones, POVs, and voices, due to the particular prompts that were in play during the writing.

For those keeping track:

  • This is the final installment of Story #3, Vermilion Threads . The prompt was to write a story of about 640 words. An additional guest post was to use the words “vermilion” and “musky” (both used in previous WIPpets). “musky” (both used in previous WIPpets).

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 2, 2014.

Today’s math…

  • 14 sentences, for the last two digits of the year. Yup, that simple! =D

This snippet is the aftermath of T’Pol’s meditation on her first hours of compulsory duty aboard the human starship Enterprise in the pilot episode:Broken Bow Part 1. It follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet,Trip, Stumble, and T’Pol.

 

I opened my eyes, considering the flame, and my fingers reached again to hover over the thread. Only now did I realize that Trip - Commander Tucker – had not intended an intimate gesture, but only to shake my hand in the manner of a human greeting. Although I knew I couldn’t return it, Awakened to him as I was, I allowed a moment of remorse that I hadn’t found some way to acknowledge his welcoming ritual, especially since there had been some element of challenge in it, something that spoke to those moments when our souls had communed with the surging music.

My own fingers, the restless indicators of my own inappropriate longing for him, danced away from the token of my bondage to Vulcan, to the PADD. I traced the vermilion piping on Trip’s uniform with paired, trembling fingers, then dared to caress his image’s face. I longed to sample the texture of his human skin; to feel the interplay of his muscles as they shifted in what seemed to be an endless dance, conveying emotions I didn’t have enough data to identify or comprehend.

I drew a deep breath, staring into those intensely blue eyes- the color of Earth’s sky on a sunny day – and imagined, for an uncontrolled moment, that he was here, in this room, meeting my gaze and accepting my touch.

I was intended to marry Koss, but I was Awakened to Trip. There was no logic in deluding myself – about the realities of the situation, or my own emotional agitation. They were as real as the strange scent of my new quarters, the too-chill temperature, the too-yellow quality of the ambient lighting, the unaccustomed vibrations of the humans’ primitive Warp 5 engine, the prototype of which they were so unaccountably and unabashedly proud.

I knew what my world demanded of me, and why. There was a logic to it that was a part of me, that had been whispered into my ear, as an infant: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one.” But now I looked at Trip’s image, and the thread Soval had given me, and I asked myself a question I knew ran counter to what it meant to be Vulcan.

Do I wish to honor my obligations to my family and my homeworld, or surrender myself to the pull of this human on my soul?”

What will T’Pol decide? What is Trip‘s reaction to T’Pol’s presence on Enterprise? Will this assignment change the course of both of their lives?

Yup, you guessed it…you’ll need to either read below, watch the series, or wait for next week, to learn more, from Trip’s point of view.

 

Story A Day commentary…

Full version of the story…

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. Already, new stories are weaving themselves into the fabric. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun ..for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?

I’ve kinda left poor Captain Archer out of these stories, thus far, but someone made this nifty video…

 

Coffee and Conversation: ROW80 Round 2 Retrospective

 

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, myfamilywas 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...

So, what about that ROW80 thing, anyway?

A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), is the creation of Kait Nolan. It’s “the writing challenge that knows you have a life”. Rather than an intensive writing marathon with rigid rules, ROW80 divides the year into four 80 day segments, with breaks between. Each writer devises their own personal goals, then gives an accounting once or twice a week. If the goals aren’t working, they can be changed at any time.

It’s an idea that’s brilliant in its simplicity and flexibility. Through it, I have learned a great deal about myself- as a writer, and as a person. More, I’ve found a supportive community of fellow writers at all levels – I can learn from those who are further along the road than I, and offer support and advice to others, as well.

It’s break time now; Round 2 is over, and Round 3 begins on July 7. So, it’s a good time for me to take account of where I stand, in order to get a sense of what I’d like to do in the next round.

For 2014, I’ve set annual goals; each round, I make steps toward these in the form of smaller, incremental goals. Some of these goals will be somewhat altered for the next session, since I have a better idea of what I can accomplish at the midpoint of the year than I did at the beginning.

Curious? Click this icon!

So, without further ado, here are the goals I addressed in Round 2, and their status:

2014 Blogging:

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

  • Mostly, I set this aside, for this round.

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

  • I did fairly well with regular posting, and with answering comments.

  • As far as queues and sharing, not so much.

Brainstorm what I want in a website; move The Unfettered Life to a spiffy new home.

  • I have a better idea of what my eventual website will look like.

  • As for The Unfettered Life, it will be incorporated, in some form, into that website.

2014 Writing:

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

  • TBONTB complete.

  • TSAF nearly complete at 138K (it’ll need some cutting in the edits, for sure!)

Draft two more novels in the Trueborn double series, as NaNo projects.

  • I’ve got some extensive basic notes on one character’s story arc for one story.

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May. (Overstrike; completed!)

  • The Last House concept was renamedKifo Island Chronicles, and will be developed as a series of novellas.

  • The Enterprise fan fiction project was named The IDIC Romance, and will be offered freely online as a serial project.

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

  • Chameleon’s Dish in revision; set aside for most of this writing round.

  • Pre-planning notes for Bounded are complete.

  • Blood and Breath has had a read-through.

2014 Hometending:

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

  • Progress made in resetting rooms (but a slow process!) and in the study.

  • File cleaning was more organic; with the introduction of a snazzy new computer.

2014 Lifetending:

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

  • I got together with some friends I hadn’t seen in longer than I wanted.

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

  • More thought being given to fitness and related goals.

Do you set long-term goals? Do you enjoy moving toward them as part of a group, or are you more of a soloist in that regard? Or, like me, do you prefer a blend of personal attention and group accountability? Please pull up a seat, and I’ll pour you a fresh cuppa while we chat!

 

Creative Delving : ROW80 Update, 6/25/14

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Well, hello there, and welcome to the final ROW80 midweek update of Round 2!

Ever look back at your last weeks, and find such a whirlwind of creativity that it spins your head a little?

Yup, that’s this round, for me. I delved two nascent ideas: the idea of a hospice resort in April’s Kifo Island Chronicles, and finally gave Trip and T’Pol my full attention in May’s The IDIC Romance.

In April and June, I moved forward with my Trueborn Weft Series fantasy WIP, The Stars are Fire.

I might try adding up all the words I’ve written this round, at some point…or I might not. While I’m pretty sure it’s staggering, it’s really not the point. The goal was creative exploration, and the honing of my craft. It was delving into myself, going deep, growing and evolving.

That’s a huge part of why I write – to discover myself, and to connect honestly with others. To give the daydreams that possess me space and breathe life into them that I can share with others, and maybe entertain, intrigue, provoke…

I write to learn who and what I am, and to become more of myself. To learn how to be a better version of me.

It’s been a big round, and there are revelations beginning to break my surfaces. I’m not quite ready to reveal them – like icebergs, they’re still mostly submerged, and I’ve learned to wait for the time when they burst forth on their own.

Art by Uwe Kils, Wiska Bodo, via Wikimedia Commons.

Do you find that your creative surges lead to revelations and epiphanies of a more personal nature?

I’ll be posting a full-round assessment on Sunday. For today, I’m focusing on what happened this June:

June Focuses:

  • Homeschool Reports (due 6/15) Target attained!

  • Guest post  -Blog series canceled.

  • JuNoWriMoOn target to finish by the end of the month.

2014 Blogging:

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

“Blogging Maintenance”: Post regular features; answer comments; make return visits. On target.

Build Features Queues: Add to Idea/Concept Files; develop post outlines; create posts; ship. Not yet.

Share Diversely: Look for more places to share and interact; develop a diverse sharing habit. Not yet.

2014 Writing:

Complete the JuNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words onThe Stars Are Fire and, if applicable, Perchance to Dream.On target to finish the challenge, and maybe the WIP, by the end of the month.

  • New words: 15,701!

  • June words: 40,775/ 50,000

  • WIP to date: 129,085/~ 140,000

  • I will likely be finishing up the challenge with TSAF.

Write guest post.  Blog series canceled.

Draft Round 3 Sponsor post. On target.

  • I have been tossing ideas around and letting them simmer in my mind. I’ll be drafting over the break.

2014 Hometending:

Continue family room reset: Move computer desk and pantry to new positions. On target.

  • Cleared some clutter from the desk itself; things have been landing there more than I like.

  • Things moving slowly…

Continue claiming my study: Clean and reset corner between work spaces. On target.

  • Nothing new this session.
  • Progress continues slowly, overall.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Maintenance goal: 5 salads/fruit smoothies peer week. On target.

  • 2 salad, 1 smoothies.

  • 3/attained.

Evaluate other fitness and lifetending goals. Something’s gone amiss, and I think I need some time and attention to what that is, what I want to accomplish, and what might be a better way to get there. On target.

  • During my moderately strenuous workout on Tuesday, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding these goals. I’m beginning to formulate that into an actual plan; more on that for Round 3.

Sponsor Visits:

How did the other ROWers ROW?

Okay, hopefully, my icerberg is not as titanically disastrous as this…

Creativity, Exponentially: ROW80 Update, 6/22/14

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Well, hello there, and welcome to another ROW80 Sunday update!

Ever been so creatively charged that it almost feels that you are breathing your creative expression? That, even when you’re doing something else, you’re still creating, beneath the surface?

When I last reported here, I had about 6,000 words toward my JuNoWriMo total.

Things have changed, since then. In a big, happy, word filled way! And, better yet, I’ve had time for other things, too…

In other news, Wednesday will about finish out this round. I’ll make my final accounting on Sunday, with some thoughts about what I’d like to be doing until Round 3 starts on July 7. I’ll likely post something on ROW80 days over the break, because I like keeping that rhythm.

Where I often feel a lull at the end of a round, I’m definitely in a surge, just now. I’m going to keep this short, so I can get back to the storyweaving! =D

My focus for the remainder of this month:

2014 Blogging:

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

“Blogging Maintenance”: Post regular features; answer comments; make return visits. On target.

  • 3/3 weekly posts.

  • No comments answered Saturday; but caught up till then. I made lots of blog visits this week.

2014 Writing:

Complete the JuNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words on The Stars Are Fire and, if applicable, Perchance to Dream. On target, and nearly caught up to where I ought to be, at this point in the month.

  • New Words: 18,689 -yup, you read that right! =D

  • Word Count to date: 25,074/ 50,000

  • WIP Stats: Scene 48/60; 113,524/~120,000

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue family room reset: Move computer desk and pantry to new positions. On target.

  • Slow progress on clearing the porch.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Maintenance goal: 5 salads/fruit smoothies per week. Almost...

  • 2 of each this week, thus far…4/5 attained.

Evaluate other fitness and lifetending goals. Something’s gone amiss, and I think I need some time and attention to what that is, what I want to accomplish, and what might be a better way to get there.On target.

  • I’m feeling more positive and proactive, and I’ve got the beginnings of a plan of action for Round 3.

  • I visited some dear longtime local friends I hadn’t seen in years too long! =)

Sponsor Visits:

Yes, but I’m going to beg off on the listing of these, this time…words are callin’ my name!

Other ROWers ROWing!

Welcome to My Sunday Post for June 22, 2014 !

Curious? Click the icon!

Since my ROW80 updates are getting a little crowded, this seems to be an interesting way to update some things without adding to the clutter. June will be my “test month” for this feature. I’ll be evaluating and adapting, with a bit of a sandbox approach…summer’s a good time for playing in the sand! =D

Do you ever just need to get away – from routine, the expected, life-as-you-know-it?

I didn’t post here last Sunday. I was instead enjoying the last day of a lovely weekend visit with friends a state away. I swam and played water games, and sat in sun and shade on Sylvia and Jim’s deck, reading and chatting.

It was a lovely way to spend the day, and I have no regrets about not posting. Sometimes you gotta get away….

This week, I’m back. Most of my creative energy has been on a late rally for JuNoWriMo – you can see more about that further down the post (Life Stuff). Other than my “hooky” day on Sunday, I’ve kept up with my blogging, and my reading, and my writing….lotsa that. And I’ve stretched myself, too..

Anyway, here’s what’s up in my little corner of the blogosphere

Recently at shanjeniah:

ROW80 Updates:

Last year’s visit with our friends. Love the secretive smile!

 

What’s Next:

This week, I’ll be riding the creative wave of JuNoWriMo, attempting to reach 50,000 words, and the end of my WIP fantasy novel, The Stars are Fire. If I’ve still got words left to write at the end, I will pick up with my other WIP, Perchance to Dream, Star Trek: TOS/ Enterprise fanfiction novel. These two are interwoven, and my goal is to complete the drafting of both by year’s end.

A little pooltime meditation.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Then I got occupied reading T’Pol/Trip fan fiction, and, well, writing….so I haven’t been browsing elsewhere on the Internet as much as I might have. I did find a few interesting things, and now comes the fun part when I get to share them!

Sweetness on a plate!

 

Life Stuff:

  • The kids and I had a lovely weekend visit with our best out-of-state friends.
  • I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and went to visit the family for whom I babysat in my teens. Odd to think that the boys are now all in their 30s! I’m more like a long-lost sister, than a former babysitter, now, and that suits me fine. They’re good guys. =)
  • I got the kids’ homeschool reports finished for the quarter. Yay, me!
  • My car is finally road-worthy, and I took myself out for two workouts – one with my son, which also included a lunch date, and another on my own, after which I took myself toPanera to write.
  • And I’ve been reading T’Pol/Trip fan fiction, and writing up a storm – over 18,000 words in four days!

Want to join the Sunday Post fun?

I like to end on a high note. Laughing works!

SoCS: I LIKE FLIKE!

 

Flike Road, two winters gone.

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme.

The rules and this week’s prompt.

The idea is simple – write a stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt.

This week’s prompt is to write a post that involves the word “LIKE”.

I LIKE where I live. Not quite as much as I did when I was a girl, but I do LIKE it. I’ve traveled the country, lived in many places, now, even married a man from the opposite side of it, and borne a son in the middle. And yet, here I am, on the same road I grew up on….

A road with LIKE in its name.

FLIKE Road.

I LIKE FLIKE.

It makes me think of political campaigns, and those old buttons. I LIKE Ike.

Well, I LIKE FLIKE.

Busier than those decades-gone childhood years, it’s still, by and large, a rural road, often sleepy and quiet. The Holstein cows I remember have gone, to be replaced by horses, and a few (but not too many) new homes. One of them is pink and somewhat palatial; it makes me chuckle that it has a sweeping, panoramic view of the trailer park on the next road over- that seems oddly fitting, since the house sticks out so amongst its far more modest neighbors -ranch houses and farm houses, modulars, and mobile homes with additions.

There’s still corn and hay growing, and tractors passing by, and sometimes horses. There are no sidewalks, no public water or sewer (although those have come closer, in the last few years, and may someday be imposed on those who live here on FLIKE. I would not LIKE that – our well water is sweeter than chemically treated town water, and we like being responsible for our own waste.

When I was a girl, the setion of the road that bisected the Holstein farm was left unpaved, so that the cows would not hurt their hooves when brought across twice daily for milking. Driving that section in summer raised hot dry clouds of dust that softened the pungent aroma of cow manure (which still, somehow, says home to me).

Once, there was a cow lying in the middle of the road, when we attempted to drive it late at night. My father didn’t LIKE the inconvenience of having to circumvent it with a LONG country “block”, but I did.

Another time, three horses broke loose, and went carousing down the road.

Ah, memories…

My own children know a tamer, more civilized and settled version of the road, but it’s still far more natural than many, and I LIKE that they’ve had the chance to grow up on FLIKE, too….

I hope you enjoyed my SoCS offering for this week. Remember, anyone can play, so long as they are willing to followa few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos inside my head! =)

 

Do you share my fascination with what’s going on in other people’s heads?

 

More SoCS posts here!

 

Creative Interlude : ROW80 Update, 6/18/14

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Well, hello there, and welcome to another ROW80 midweek update!

Do you ever feel like what you really need to fuel your creativity is to indulge yourself by doing something – well, completely different?

I haven’t been around much lately. I didn’t post an update on Sunday – instead, I spent the day in the pool and on the deck at my friend Sylvia’s house. We chatted, read, watched various combinations of four children play in the water. The kids and I had a rousing and silly game of Shark and Fish that lasted nearly an hour. We all took a bit more sun than needed, and that was OK.

After a lovely dinner and the angst of packing up, the rest of the night was taken up with the five-hour drive home. Sometimes, we have deep conversations during that dark journey, but this time the kids, sated with companionship and hours of swimming followed by a filling meal, slept, leaving me alone with the early Simon and Garfunkel Jeremiah had selected, because he loves “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” (he appears to have inherited a pacifist streak from his mother…).

My mind wandered over decades of memories, all tied to this beloved music, introduced to me by my near-lifelong friend, Eden Mabee, in our tempestuous teenage years…

And, then, even though they weren’t even created at the time, they showed up, and started dancing with each other again in my imagination. Stubborn, both of them. They don’t let up…

Well, I really don’t think I want them to…

Because something is shifting, with all this stirring-up and interspecies dancing:

  • I’m relaxing into this slack tide, letting it carry me where it will.

  • I’m reconnecting with my own past in more honest, open ways.

  • All this T’Pol and Trip is beginning to connect diverse things, and I feel my synapses getting ready for a creative storm of activity.

  • I’m growing more daring, and more committed…

At the moment, I’m not getting many JuNoWriMo words for The Stars are Fire…but I will. I can feel them rising to my surface, getting ready to break through me, out of my fingers, and into existence…

Until then, here’s what I’ve been up to the last ten days or so…

  • Homeschool Reports (due 6/15) – Target attained!

  • Guest post   Series canceled.

  • JuNoWriMo

2014 Blogging:

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

“Blogging Maintenance”: Post regular features; answer comments; make return visits. No Sunday post this week; I played hooky. Skipped Saturday and Monday comment answering sessions and visits.

Build Features Queues: Add to Idea/Concept Files; develop post outlines; create posts; ship.On target.

  • Still in the ideas phase for this one. But I do have some ideas, and that’s a start! =)

2014 Writing:

Complete the JuNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words on The Stars Are Fire and, if applicable, Perchance to Dream. Well behind target, but I feel a late-stage surge coming on….

  • New Words: 2,014

  • Word Count to date: 6,380/ 50,000

  • WIP Stats: Scene 41/60; 94,964/~120,000

Write Guest post. -Series canceled.

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue family room reset: Move computer desk and pantry to new positions. On target.

  • Slow progress on clearing the porch.

Continue claiming my study: Clean and reset corner between work spaces. On target.

  • The corner is mostly clean. I need to deal with some errant cables and cords, before moving to the reset phase.

Submit homeschooling reports. Target attained!

  • This is one thing I did do in odd moments over the weekend away. I submitted them on Monday afternoon, technically a few hours late.

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

Maintenance goal: 5 salads/fruit smoothies per week. Missed two last week; on target this week.

  • 2 salads, 1 smoothie last week.

  • 2 of each this week, thus far…4/5 attained. =)

Evaluate other fitness and lifetending goals. Something’s gone amiss, and I think I need some time and attention to what that is, what I want to accomplish, and what might be a better way to get there.On target.

  • While I haven’t gotten it into words yet, I’m beginning to understand where my fitness goals went wrong. Just this vague idea is helping; I’m beginning to feel more positive, and I’ve got the beginnings of a plan of action for Round 3.

  • I’ve gone walking and played Shark and Fish (a pool tag game) with one or both kids; I had a shortish but definitely strenuous workout on Tuesday.

Sponsor Visits: No, not this session. I indulged the need to be where I was, with those I was with. I’ll get caught up in time for Sunday, now that I’m home and settling in.

You can check up on the other ROWers, right here!

And, here’s a video I just discovered…more of the angsty side of that interspecies power couple.

Coffee and Conversation: Up for a StoryFest?

 

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...

After you achieve a long-term goal, do you take time to celebrate your accomplishment? Do you reflect upon its meaning? Do you find that it’s changed you in some way?

Hooray! Confetti Time! =D

It’s been over two weeks now since I completed the Story a Day May Challenge, and I’ve been rereading, pondering, and growing as a result of having undertaken this project.

Participating in this challenge stretched me, in several ways:

  • I wrote in different voices and points of view than I typically do. I wrote to musical prompts, word lists, and images.

  • I got to play with two beloved characters, and their story netted me almost 70,000 new words.

  • I discovered several amazing writers.

  • I have a new passion for reading others’ Enterprise fan fiction, and this is feeding my imagination, adding to the stories I created.

  • I got to indulge myself and my imagination.

  • I found that I was not only capable of following the prompts and my own framework, but that the results were often unexpected and better than I’d thought they could be.

So, in celebration, I offer, a little belatedly, the StoryFest. I missed the “official” window, because I was away, but I can still share these stories, for your enjoyment.

And, hey, why I’m sharing, here’s, “The Logic of Emotion” one of my own favorites from my Story A Day WIP, The IDIC Romance.

Do you participate in organized creative challenges? How do you benefit from the experience? Pull up a chair, enjoy your cuppa, and let’s converse!