Unsettled for #SoCS and #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that things here are unsettled. Unsettled skies, where sunshine is replaced by overcast, or torrential rain, and then, in moments, sunshine again. We’re expecting storms tomorrow.

I’d stop myself before I get too far into the unsettledness of things, because I forgot to make sure you’re comfortable. I know, I know. The house is a bit unlovely in its chaos; there’s that unsettledness creeping in again as I caution you about that big box and tool kit waiting to ambush you on the other side of the kitchen island. I’m hoping they won’t be there long, but maybe your toes will be a little safer in the living room. I’d suggest the yard, but, with the unsettled weather, your coffee might get inadvertently watered down out there.

OK, the living room it is. Don’t mind those game boxes by the green desk, or the impressive array of items on the other desks surface and hutch shelves. The games have been cast off; I’m intended to purge them, and haven’t yet. The overloaded desk is a testament both to my newly twelve-year-old’s expansive nature and her growing maturity – it used to be that all her projects and plans in progress happened on the floor, creating an ever-shifting obstacle course. Now she’s – somewhat more contained.

She had a doctor’s appointment this week, and her kitten did, too. That was parts of Monday and Tuesday taken up….and then, that brings us to Wednesday…

Ah, Wednesday. The If Only Paradox day to end all days – except for July 25, which brackets the other end of the lifetime of our second child, Elijah James, who lived only 12 days of 2003, all of it in a hospital NICU.

That’s a lot of unsettled. If Elijah had lived, Annalise would never have been conceived.

I can’t imagine life without my daughter. I can’t imagine life with a second son who would now be 13. I can’t imagine the now-teenage girl who received his heart valves not having them.

I’m reminded of a line from Hamilton….

If we were having coffee, I’d see if all this heavy stuff has made you ready for a refill yet. I know I can use one – because Wednesday brought even more unsettling this year than it usually does. So let’s refresh our drinks, and then I’ll tell you about it.

My Accomplice was fired from his job of nine years on Wednesday. He’s a chef; the restaurant owner isn’t, but his son, newly graduated from college, has been working as one in another state. Essentially, the owner wanted a change of direction. My Accomplice did all he was able, attempted to explain why the impossible was so, and continued to offer his decades of experience.

But owners have the final say, and a son looking to relocate won out over a seasoned chef.

For the first time since our daughter was a toddler, we’re at loose ends in the work world.

We’re unsettled, but adjusting. Weighing options, and feeling simultaneously weighted down and liberated. I’ve been out of the workforce since my oldest, almost 15, was of school age, to focus on homeschooling. But the kids are older now, and less emotionally reliant on me. I’m learning a great deal as a writer, and I’m moving closer to the day when I might be able to earn a modest living with my words. I’m still two or three years from being close to that point, though, so it won’t help us right now. I may decide to take part-time work – so that I can still focus on my family and writing, but also contribute.

As for my Accomplice, that heavy box and tool kit are his personal belongings from the restaurant kitchen. He’s been taking steps to launch a business of his own, around his work schedule, for the last several months. Today, he went to Massachusetts, a three-hour drive, to take a certification exam he needs in order to market his hot sauces, and, eventually, his jerky.

Again, it may not be a viable option right away, although his path is more concrete at the outset than mine is.

We’re still working all of this out. Life will look very different, but change does tend to equal growth, and, with our children nearing adulthood, and a cross-country move in our future, this is about as good a time as any for us to grow and change.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m not sure where we’re headed, but I do know that we’re doing it together. And, someday, we’ll be looking back from the other side of this challenge, remembering what it used to be like, back then.

This post does double duty.  Its my entry into  Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where the prompt is “If/then” – beginning with “if” and using “then” in the last sentence for bonus points. At the same time, it’s my #weekendcoffeeshare post: go see Diana at Part-Time Monster for more cups than you can drink!

Writing in the Weather: #weekendcoffeeshare and #SoCS

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m very happy you’re here, because both the weather and my writing are unsettled. We’ve got thunderstorms and a tornado watch active on this first day of July. A bit less than three hours from now, that will expire, but we’ve had three thunderstorms already. The first was the fiercest – it came with hail nearly the size of ice cubes, and rain that made seeing to the end of my backyard impossible.

My daughter doesn’t like thunderstorms, and, due to the rotation of the storm and our basementless house, I felt it was wise to wake her, although she’d been up all night and well into the afternoon, when we were listening to Hamilton together.

I packed a bag with essentials, in case we needed to head off to emergency shelter.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this post began its life scribbled in a notebook that will fit easily into my computer bag. I decided to delete the last page or so, but, even though its now late Saturday evening, and it’s taken me longer to get back to this than I wanted or expected. That was due in part to the storms. All that turbulence led to a disruption in my rhythm that was followed by neighbors setting off fireworks. After all the thunder and lightning, I thought there was more weather chaos happening.

And then I’d tell you that I feel like it’s been too long since we visited like this. I’ve been writing, and plotting, and planning – not so much blogging. That always seems to be the thing that gets left behind when the creative surge tugs at me. I miss being here, chatting with you. Eventually, I’ll work things out so that I can both indulge my writing passion, and the one for connecting with others.

If we were having coffee, I might show you the notebook that currently holds all the relevant materials for my current novel-in-progress, The Far Shore. I might show you my emerging character work for the next novel on my agenda, Tsunamis. I’d tell you that, once these are added to A Rising Tide, which I finished drafting last week, that makes six novels drafted for my Kifo Island Chronicles series. It’s a solid start toward my goal of having the first dew novels ready to publish within a few weeks of one another, with more in various stages of production.

I’d tell you that I’m getting much faster at the writing phase of this venture. Now that I’ve done some research into story structure, and experimented with open-ended plotting methods, that part is moving along more efficiently, and I’m even getting faster. I try a new method for each year’s projects, and keep the best of each for my own. So far, I’ve explored Rock Your Plot, which I’ve kept quite a lot from, and The Snowflake Method. I’ve adopted a little from that, but, on the whole, it wasn’t a good fit for the way my mind works. I don’t see that as a waste of time; learning what doesn’t work for me is as important as learning what does.

This year, I’m loving my work with The Writer’s Coloring Book. I’m going to be keeping a lot from this – maybe nearly all. I love the way it engages both sides of my brain, and I get to play with color-coding, which I absolutely love. Like RYP, there’s a lot of layering, and a strong focus on developing characters before plot. Since everything I write is character driven, I find that approach intuitive and delightful. And both are open-ended enough that, although I end up with a solid outline and understanding of the story’s “bones,” I’ve got lots of room for the story to unfold and evolve, so there’s still plenty of surprises.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the part of the process that takes the longest, right now, is revision. I don’t know as much about it, but I’m learning. I’m gradually rough-editing Sea Changes, the first installment in the Kifo Island series, so that I can submit it, scene by scene, to my local critique group. After that, I’ll compile all the notes, and devise a revision plan I’ll be working on in the early months of next year (I’d like it to be sooner, but time is a finite resource…)

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that writing is not an avocation for sprinters! It’s more, even, than a marathon. It’s more like a decathlon!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I appreciate your letting me rant a bit before I dive back into the writing. I’d also tell you that this post is both part of Diana’s #weekendcoffeeshare over at The Part-Time Monster Blog, and Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: ‘long,’ used any way we like.

I’d also ask you to forgive me if I wander off into the worlds in my head. Feel free to finish your coffee; writers just do these things, sometimes…and sometimes we post random Hamilton clips, because it’s Independence Day Weekend, and because, well…Hamilton!

I Thank You Kindly: #RevofKindness and #weekendcoffeeshare

 

If we were having coffee…I’d say that it’s been a challenging week, and I’m grateful you’re here. Let’s sit in my still-untidy-but-getting better family room, and have our coffee there. Once we’re settled, I’d tell you that gratitude and kindness are on my mind.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that we all had a rather nasty head cold this past week, but that we’re feeling better now. Still some residual sneezing and coughing, but we’re on the mend, and we’re past the point of being contagious.

Maybe because we were sick, there was a bit more than our typical amount of crankiness and impatience this week. It’s times like this, when we aren’t at our best, that I’m deeply grateful for the kindness we’ve all been practicing over the last seven years or so. Things like both kids pitching in to clear clutter when we thought we were going to have short-notice guests – and neither complaining when that didn’t happen. We ended up with a neater house, and we worked together, and that was a good thing, and a kind way for them to act.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that, even with our sickness, even though I forgot to check the Kindness Challenge prompt until the week was over, and even though I did my being grateful for the kindnesses in my life at the beginning of the day rather than the end- I’m still very grateful.

Why?

Because our family life IS centered in kindness. Because, even when we’re far from at our best, there’s a thread of sweetness at the core of things. It’s in the little things that happen – bless yous when someone sneezes, even if it’s the fiftieth time today. It’s my daughter bringing me a cough drop because she wants me to feel better, or it’s me taking her to the store to get the things that will help her feel better. It’s her going with me to the vet with her kitten, even though she was sick, and sweetly petting a blind elderly pug named Lucy.

 

If we were having coffee…I’d say that being sick could’ve been a lot harder than it was. I’d point to the sink, and the way it faces away from the whole house, so that you’ll understand the profound kindness that follows…

Like I said, we were sick. My Accomplice had it first. He was feeling better by the time I really wasn’t on Monday. It was his weekend, and he’d had a busy couple of days. No one had done dishes, and the kitchen…well, it looked just like the kitchen in one of those old commercials where Mom gets sick and the whole world goes to Hades in a handbasket.

I thought my Accomplice was puttering in the garage. I knew both kids were sleeping in their rooms. And so I vented my frustration at untidy kitchens and general ickiness. Some less than reprintable language crept in, and so did the edge of whininess and poor-me-ness I try to avoid these days.

I indulged. It was a way to off-gas before I went and said something to the other responsible adult in the house – you know, the one who brought home the bacon, fried it up in a pan (he’s a chef!), and left the mess.

When I wore down, I turned toward the washing machine right there – and there was my Accomplice, arms folded, smiling at me. I was saying definitely not-nice things about him, and he was smiling. He even hugged me! Then he sent me off t0 bed and took care of the kitchen.

If we were having coffee…I’d explain why that’s a Big Deal. My Accomplice is a wonderful mate. He makes me laugh, and smile, and my heart beat faster even nineteen years after our honeymoon. There are a couple of things you should know about him, though. The first is that he’s considerably less tidy by nature than I am. The second is that he tends to deal poorly with criticism, no matter how it’s presented. He’s aware of both, and so am I. I’m typically very careful to remove emotional volatility from my attempts to make specific changes toward a tidier living environment.

Even thinking I was alone, I wouldn’t usually have ranted the way I did. I don’t like putting that type of energy out, or giving things that frustrate me that kind of power.

Even knowing I thought I was alone, he wouldn’t usually have responded with a sense of humor and an understanding that I was overwhelmed, not feeling well, but unable to leave things as they were.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that, to me, this is what love is. Knowing when someone’s in over their head, forgiving the moment they lose their grip on their ideals, and stepping in with kindness, affection, and exactly the kind of help they need. Sending them off to bed and doing the thing they were griping about. Not holding a grudge…letting it go.

It was kind, and I’m grateful.

If we were having coffee…we’d be done, now. I’ll lick my fingers and thank you for the treat. Then I’ll remind you to check out the #RevofKindness at The Richness of a Simple Life and #weekendcoffeeshare at The Part-Time Monster Blog by clicking the links provided.

And now it’s my turn to be kind to you…here’s a little something else I’m grateful for this week.

 

Proving Ground: ROW80 2016 Round Two Goals End Of May Update

Hey there, ROWers and others!

At the beginning of Round Two, I wrote:

This round is my proving ground, where I will test my mettle and my limits, where I hope to learn some new skills, and gain proficiency and confidence that will bring my closer to that next level – completed works ready for self-publication.

May brought plenty of progress, and increased clarity regarding my purpose and direction. That’s reflected here, and in my June goals. It will be even more evident in Round Three.

Until then, though…where do I stand on the goals I already have?

Note: This update is current to May 31, 2016. All progress after that date will be included in my end-of-round update.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island Chronicles #5: Draft as my JuNoWriMo project; approximately 65,000 words.

  • Story A Day May (#StaD):  Write 31 new Kifo Island stories, using challenge prompts. Use this challenge for exploration of the June and July novel drafts. 30 Kifo, and 1 fan fiction, as prompted.

Plotting:

  • IDIC Romance A-Z stories: Watch or read transcripts where I’m not sure of events, sequences, or relevant details, prior to scheduling posts.

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Choose characters and storylines for two new novels, reread all relevant materials, and plot both. To the extent possible, do plot sketches for #StaD stories.

Revision:

  • Complete “Peach Liqueur Love” Deep Revision Exercises;  submit to critique group. Adapting to completing Steps 2 and 3.

  • The IDIC Romance: First Contact, With Jazz”: Complete revision plan for 16 scenes; offer to betas. Complete revisions to “Mission Accomplished” and “Scavenger Hunt”: Polish all, and submit to a fan fiction site. Three betas ready when “FC,WJ” is finished; setting other goals aside till Round 3.

  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #1): Offer first 3 scenes as WIPpet snippets. Do hard copy readthroughs, silently and aloud. Scene 2/3 in WIPpet progress. Readthroughs complete through Scene 2/24.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Shifting as I slowly move to a website-centric presence.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round Two Sponsor Post before April 9.

  • Update my blog layout and pages. Deleting due to ongoing website shift.

  • Maintain email at under 333 messages. Exceeded.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue; create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and add all current year items to them.

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

  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week until done. Adjusting the goal to two more cancelations.

Lifetending:

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

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.

  • Complete 6 book reviews carried over from last year, on Amazon and/or Goodreads. 1/6 done. Reducing goal to 3 books this round, which is more doable.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate ten times weekly. Explore one new meditative practice each month. Journaling dropped a day or two; otherwise good.

  • T’ai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. Learn 24 form well enough not to be lost on World Tai Chi Day. Participate in our local event. Goal adapted; deleting this.

  • Swim biweekly, at least 500 meters at the Y pool. Goal adapted; deleting this.

  • Go for walks at least thrice weekly. I’ve been going for short to moderate walks every day the weather is pleasant.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 45 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking, building to weekly by round’s end. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Not sure I’m at the 45 minute mark, but I am active some part of nearly every day.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” to an erotic fiction contest. Missed deadline.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Organize all poems into rough categories for future development. Created rough categories for OctPoWriMo 2015 poems.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

Hey there, ROWers and others!

At the beginning of Round Two, I wrote:

This round is my proving ground, where I will test my mettle and my limits, where I hope to learn some new skills, and gain proficiency and confidence that will bring my closer to that next level – completed works ready for self-publication.

May brought plenty of progress, and increased clarity regarding my purpose and direction. That’s reflected here, and in my June goals. It will be even more evident in Round Three.

 

Until then, though…where do I stand on the goals I already have?

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1510/24093253252_d5537fe524.jpg

Note: This update only goes to May 31, 2016. All progress after that date will be included in my end-of-round update.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5499/10969662713_801bcceff3_z.jpg

Writing:

  • Kifo Island Chronicles #5: Draft as my JuNoWriMo http://junowrimo.com/ project; approximately 65,000 words.

  • Foul Deeds Will Rise: Trueborn Weft Series #2: Complete draft. Letting this go till Round 3.

  • Blogging from A-Z April 2016: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ Write Reflections post; create index page for this challenge.

  • Story A Day May (#StaD): http://storyaday.org/ Write 31 new Kifo Island stories, using challenge prompts. Use this challenge for exploration of the June and July novel drafts. 30 Kifo, and 1 fan fiction, as prompted.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5836/21026179841_843aa81a16.jpg

Plotting:

  • IDIC Romance A-Z stories: Watch or read transcripts where I’m not sure of events, sequences, or relevant details, prior to scheduling posts.

  • Kifo Island Chronicles: Choose characters and storylines for two new novels, reread all relevant materials, and plot both. To the extent possible, do plot sketches for #StaD stories.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5484/10969584674_8e3394d983_z.jpg

Revision:

  • The IDIC Romance: First Contact, With Jazz”: Complete revision plan for 16 scenes; offer to betas. Complete revisions to “Mission Accomplished” and “Scavenger Hunt”: Polish all, and submit to a fan fiction site. Three betas ready when “FC,WJ” is finished; setting other goals aside till Round 3.

  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #1): Offer first 3 scenes as WIPpet snippets. Do hard copy readthroughs, silently and aloud. Scene 2/3 in WIPpet progress. Readthroughs complete through Scene 2/24.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3852/15017152499_784778ee7b_k.jpg

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Shifting as I slowly move to a website-centric presence.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round Two Sponsor Post before April 9.

  • Update my blog layout and pages. Deleting due to ongoing website shift.

  • Maintain email at under 333 messages. Exceeded.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3846/15250404271_9adca1fafb_k.jpg

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue; create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and add all current year items to them.

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

  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week until done. Adjusting the goal to two more cancelations.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3840/15127940959_95363686fd_k.jpg

Lifetending:

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

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.

  • Complete 6 book reviews carried over from last year, on Amazon and/or Goodreads. 1/6 done. Reducing goal to 3 books this round, which is more doable.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3807/9704515821_28a3a85dfe_z.jpg

Selftending

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate ten times weekly. Explore one new meditative practice each month. Journaling dropped a day or two.

  • T’ai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. Learn 24 form well enough not to be lost on World Tai Chi Day. Participate in our local event. Goal adapted; deleting this.

  • Swim biweekly, at least 500 meters at the Y pool. Goal adapted; deleting this.

  • Go for walks at least thrice weekly. I’ve been going for short to moderate walks every day the weather is pleasant.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 45 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly, Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking, building to weekly by round’s end. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Not sure I’m at the 45 minute mark, but I am active some part of nearly every day.
  • Read Smart Change, Intuitive Eating, and reread Gift from the Sea. 3/3 complete.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8531/8642616224_f70c7112e8.jpg

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” to an erotic fiction contest. Missed deadline.

  • Poetry Chapbooks: Organize all poems into rough categories for future development. Created rough categories for OctPoWriMo 2015 poems.

Kait Nolan’s http://kaitnolan.com/about-me/ ROW80 https://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/ The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life! See other participants’ goals here!

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1635/23882224274_c18e585968_z.jpg

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1635/23882224274_c18e585968_z.jpg

To Mine Own Self Be Kind: #RevofKindness Week One and #WeekendCoffeeShare

 

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you’re kind to yourself. OK, I hear you: you’ve got a lot to do, and people need you, and and and …

Well, what if I told you that being kind to yourself is an investment in all those other things?

That it might make your days brighter, and you just a little bit sweeter, like adding a bit of sugar or honey to your coffee?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m participating in Niki Lopez’s Kindness Challenge, which you can check out at The Richness of a Simple Life. It’s a seven week exploration of kindness, in many forms, beginning with self-kindness. And self-kindness has been instrumental for me in learning to be kinder to others, so I’m very committed to it, because I feel that kindness is the key to a more peaceful world.

If we were having coffee, you might ask me what I mean when I say self-kindness. I’d tell you about how, a few years back, I decided I wasn’t going to do things that didn’t bring me joy. No, that doesn’t mean that I never do laundry or dishes or plunge the toilet if it backs up. It just means that I make an honest effort not to hate the more mundane or distasteful parts of life. So I stopped calling the essential household tasks housework or chores, and started calling them hometending. I buy laundry and dish detergents that are better for the environment and have light, natural scents. I think of the service I’m doing for my family. I take the clothes out of the wash one by one, and think about how my kids are growing, how nice it is to get everyone’s favorites clean and returned to them.

 

If we were having coffee, I’d say that I know that might sound Pollyannaish, but it’s not like that. It’s simply a way of taking those things that make a home work, and giving them a better, more joyful face. It makes my life a bit sweeter, and I can pass that on to my Accomplice and our children, and it comes back through them to me in the form of greater peace, and more willing help – because it’s easier to help when something isn’t approached as an odious ordeal.

 

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you that I have a secret weapon in my exploration of self-kindness. The illustrations through this post are from my meditation coloring book, which is just one component in my morning routine. Each morning, I sip my first cuppa, and go through a blissful, solitary journaling adventure. I start with my gratitude journal, listing five things I’m thankful for. I follow that with my intentions journal, which has a series of prompts that help me reshape my life in accordance with my purposes. After that, I freewrite in my blank #onegoodcup journal (Clicking the link will tell you lots more about this nifty idea.) I might write a to-do list for the day’s activities, or my writing projects; plot things; decompress about those occasional marital or family annoyances that crop up; share dreams or memories or observations; or whatever.

 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I usually spend between five minutes and half an hour this way, and nearly always finish with a smile. And that’s when I set a timer and color as a meditation. I prefer gel pens, because the vibrant colors and smooth flow of ink are a sensory delight.

If we were having coffee in the morning, I’d invite you to finish out my morning routine with me. We’ll assume the weather is nice, and head off for a meditative breathwalk – I like two in, two out, and a fairly brisk pace. Spring is a lovely time to walk in my rural neighborhood – won’t you join me?

For more #WeekendCoffeeShare,(even though the weekend is officially over) pop on over to see Diana at Part Time Monster!

Stirring in Some Light Magic: #LoIsInDaBl Day 26

Why, hello there, and welcome to Love Is In Da Blog, Day 26. 

I wasn’t here yesterday. Instead, I had a lunch date with my Accomplice, and, after, I was busy with a piece from a member of my critique group, and with untangling a difficult scene for the piece I’m revising for the group this week. The house was quiet, as our daughter was visiting a friend, and our son was mostly occupied in his room.

It’s not the first post I’ve missed this month. I came in late, and I’m undecided, right now, about whether I’ll revisit the topics I’ve missed along the way. While I’m not fond of leaving things unfinished, I’m also heading into spring, which is a series of creative endeavors for me, personally, and also the time of year when we tend to gear up for getting out and about. We’ve got plans already for the beginning of March and the end of April, and, between, my daughter’s likely to have sleepovers. There will doubtless be other things added in as we go along. So, either I will, or I won’t, or I’ll get to some, and not to others.

But now, it’s Friday again.

Here’s what Bee wrote at the beginning of the month:

Fridays will all be about blog love. Celebrate a blog, or just a post, that you love. That can be one of yours or someone else’s. It can be a blog about love or just a blog you love. As long as you give it some credit and share it with us it will be fine! This is also a great possibility to use the WordPress reblog button.

Give them to me😉

For the last (but only my third) Blog Love Friday, I’ve got a blog filled with magical simplicity. It’s the inspiration of unschooling pioneer and mother Sandra Dodd, whose writings on the nuts and bolts of partnering with children, and her personal advice during a visit to our home in 2010 are largely responsible for the dramatic and amazing shift in the life of my family.

As I sit here in my peaceful home, visiting and watching TV with my eleven year old daughter, while my teen son sleeps and my husband watches a movie in the other room, I know that I owe Sandra a huge debt of gratitude, not only for her own words, but for her careful curation and sharing of others’ words of wisdom as well.

Just Add Light And Stir  is a (nearly) daily tiny treasure – a short suggestion or musing about unschooling and approaching children peacefully, with an associated image that adds dimension to the post.

Even better, you can get Just Add Light and Stir delivered directly to your inbox, if you’d like!

Living happily and peacefully with these two growing-up kids is the light stirred into my life!

My Sheveling Present: February 24, 2016

Yes, I know sheveling might not actually be a word, but, well…I like it, so I’m adopting it. It fits my life right now. A week before my Accomplice returns to work, we’ve made significant progress in several particularly unlovely areas of household chaos. Some of it has been actual cleaning. He’s been busy in the garage; sorting, tossing, and disassembling items for recycling. I’ve been moving through my study and taking on smaller projects in the living and family rooms, as well as our bedroom.

There’ve been other things, too. More family time, and more time for the intersecting orbits that we all seem to prefer. There’s been more time for sleep, watching shows, reading, and writing.

And we’ve been taking care of some administration stuff. My Accomplice finally did something we’ve been wanting to do for years, and upgraded our internet. Hopefully, we’ll now all be able to use it as we want to, regardless of how many of us want to use it together, even if we’re all streaming (which isn’t likely, but still). We were still using the wireless plan I got when we had one laptop…before Kindles, 3DSs, streaming Netflix, Minecraft, and Skype. We’d been assigning days when each of us had priority, just to give everyone a chance to do what they wanted.

The combination of getting rid of and upgrading is liberating. I feel lighter and oddly both focused and relaxed. Have you ever felt that way?

Writing:

Plotting:

  • The IDIC Romance: Complete plot/pinch points for 26 stories. Once I get through Week Two plotting (I), draft Theme Reveal and Post Template. 9/26 complete. (I). I’ll be starting the theme reveal and post template this week.

  • Decide on, plan, and plot April CampNaNo novel. Created Scrivener project; created folders for the three main characters. Added original A-Z 2014 stories. Read 1/3 character sketches (Linwood), and added to his folder. Found base character arc I wrote in 2014, read that as well.

Revisions:

  • The IDIC Romance: Reread “Slow Jazz Awakening” hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft – 16 short scenes. Draft 2.5 rewrite; Scene 12/16 complete; Scene 13-16 in early progress.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. All posts on time. Nearly prepared to announce new schedule.

  • Answer blog comments and make visits, at least thrice weekly. I may not get to them all; but I will get to some. 1/3.

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

  • Change one thing weekly in my blog layout.

  • Clear out Inbox and Archive twice weekly; Weed through Transactions in Progress, keeping only currently useful items.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and begin adding to them.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. General maintenance; organization; decluttering; deep cleaning. 3/5.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week. I’ve sorted a lot into my Transactions in Progress file for near-future review.

Lifetending:

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Plans firming up to visit NJ friends in April; state museum and a sleepover for my daughter upcoming.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group. Attended write-in.
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Time with all. Yup! Pretty easy on a vacation week! =D
  • Complete 6 pending book reviews.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate seven times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice. Journaling 3/7; meditation: 3/7.

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

  • Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking twice monthly. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Good on the daily moving sprints: walks and hometending. Strenuous activity: 5/2 . 2/2 health blogposts.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, and “Scavenger Hunt”, and offer at Triaxian Silk and/or FanFiction.net. Dealt with the lightweight fixes for “Mission” suggested by my crit group; larger issues simmering.

  • Read through The Writer’s Coloring Book by Rachel Funk Heller in preparation for using it to plot and draft my April CampNaNo Kifo Island project.

  • New goal: Purchase all needed supplies before I finish this month’s Foul Deeds Will Rise chapters, so that I can begin planning as soon as I finish. Order placed; items beginning to arrive.

  • Begin exploring FanFiction.net for possible submissions there. Explored, read through submissions guidelines and procedure, and have been reading and commenting. This one’s a mission accomplished. =D

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ goals updates here!