Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Life Writing, ROWnd #2

ROWing Mellowly Down the Stream – ROW Update #5

Miah and Lise enjoy the new coziness of my library. =)

Excerpt from 750Words, June 10, 2012~

Got less than 20 minutes left to get this in under the wire. So, tonight, nothing fancy, no corrections, just typing, to see how fast I can go, and if I come up with anything even remotely worth remembering (or even editing!) LATER!

The “problem”, if it can be called that, is that I finally had a day cool enough to move around the house without dripping sweat, and took full advantage to wring further order out of the chaos of our existence. And, once I had shifted into that that mode, I forgot, over and over again, that I still wanted to get my writing done.

I am not at all upset by it, although I really like doing these words each day, like the challenge of getting to 750 words each day, and find the act cleansing.

Sometimes, our physical space needs some cleansing, too, and sometimes I need to care for my emotional space and our home, and focus most of my energies on moving those things further along……So I got the house into a better shape, culled some of the overflowing abundance of our herd of stuff, and generally took action myself to help us all be able to ,live more easily and comfortably in this space- not to mention moving closer to the goal of thoroughly streamlining each of our possessions, so that the move into a travel trailer, or even preparing for our continuing fair-weather adventures, can be much less stressful as we go along.

Over 200 words now, and about 13 minutes to go. Will she make it,. or will she not? Will any of this be legible or worth the effort, when she’s done….well, I’m her, and I thing the process is definitely worth it, even if I don’t make it or write anything deeper than surface…

It was a physical plane kinda day…maybe there are deep thoughts going on beneath, but mostly, I tried to concern myself with presence or consciousness today. Wow, I an almost half done, with about 10 minutes to go….getting there. I do love the self-imposed pressure of a good challenge every now and then.

Back wall of my library. I like the way it's coming together.

Life is a blend, more and more. It can be hard to remember, in the lulls where things just seem somehow to be difficult and languid, that there will be more up and exuberant times, too, times when my energy and focus allow me to do a lot in a very short period of time, and in a state of flow.

Just as I am learning how my body moves through patterns of hunger, energy, and health, I also go through processes of being best suited, in certain moments, for certain things. I(f I can learn to sense them, know, them, attend to them and honor them, it would seem that my efforts, in each moment, can be more and more directed to those things that really flow easily in that moment.

Maybe that’s the secret that the ad agencies, religious sects, and governments would rather we not learn – that there is no magical political program, no magic product or bill, no technique to be bought that can give what simply attending to what we are ready for in that moment can…

Wow, a bit of shotgun philosophy, wrapped in the typos and missed keys, and Jim’s voice booming loudly beside me as he comments on the Tonight show (Bill Cosby, so we’ll keep it on till TNG comes on. Wow, almost 600 words, but it looks like I am fast running out of time and my not make it after all….but I sure as hell have been giving this my best effort.

Would’ve been better without the technological missteps…erased needed programs on this machine, took too long to find the site on the tablet, and so here I am,. Extremely last minutes, trying to get these words whacked out…


Round 2 Goals:


  • Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
  • I am reading book 4 of 4 for April, Hold On to Your Kids, and am on on page 213 of 280 (Wednesday 10:51pm).  I find this book vexing on several levels, and thus far disrespectful of children and their abilities, so the reading is less than joyful!
  • Read at least 3 articles a week from my To Be Read files on computer, and categorize those I choose to keep or share.
  • I weeded out several articles with broken links, or that I didn’t find useful.
  • I archived two items to explore in greater detail at a later date.
  • I shared this link on my Facebook Writer Page, as a possible submissions market.
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • I have read:
  • Disjointed commented and sharing here.
  • MORE voices in my Head  – commented and sharing here.

  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • I am adding Blood and Breath to this goal, as well, as a way to help reconstruct and/or revision the missing chapters.
  • I have written a flash fiction scene that may be the foundation of the epilogue for Blood and Breath. 
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I pulled the excerpt that appears at the beginning of this blogpost.  I liked what it said about blending and balancing, times of intense writing, and times when other things draw my focus.

  • Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
  • I have written rough drafts of all posts through W is for Wonder.
  • I have edited, embellished, and scheduled posts through Saturday, April 21, S is for Self-Awareness.
  • I am nearing the end of the creative part of the process, and am looking forward to having more time for other projects –  and reading others’ posts, too! =D
My newly organized and relocated bookshelf, in triplicate.


  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I have entered  the Storyteller Writing Challenge.  
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I haven’t commented on as many blogs this week, thus far-  I have been called away by nice weather and outdoor occupations; my new room; reading; working toward the end of my A to Z posts;  my flash fiction piece; and the rest of life.
  • I plan to be a very active reader and commenter as soon as I have written my final A to Z post.

  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
  • I have submitted twice so far this month, leaving one more to post in order to attain the April portion of this goal.

  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • I have changed the layout of the blog, and added a page for Jeremiah, at his request.
  • Next will come adding a page for Annalise, and diving into the editing process.
  • Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
  • I took another rough  essay from the notebook.
My writing area - spacious, embracing, and welcoming - also, close to the doorway and accessible to the common spaces.


  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Monday: Relaxing day – home and yardtending; coffee with Jim;  hanging with the family; reading; writing; claiming  my space.
  • Tuesday: Began mowing lawn;  family time; reading; story creating.
  • Wednesday: Home and yardtending; one-on-one time with all family members; reading and writing; reclaiming my space.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Monday: More raking, yard cleanup, hometending.
  • Tuesday: Finished raking front yard; began mowing; hometending.
  • Wednesday:Finished mowing front lawn; cleaned side yard and began to mow;  hometending; claiming my space.
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Monday: Family time; reading and writing; owning my space.
  • Tuesday:Lots of kissing and Jim time; lots of kid snuggles; reading; story creating.
  • Wednesday: Owning my new space; lots of time with Lise; home and yardtending; pursuing goals; Big Bang Theory.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Jim – Coffee, conversation; what he really wanted.
  • Jeremiah – Questions answered; snuggles given; conversation.
  • Annalise – Snuggles; play; talk; being near each other; new cord for her inherited tablet.

Administrative Stuff:

  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • I have written the Reading section of Annalise’s  report.  That was fun – she is developing her independent reading skills quickly and joyfully!
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • Cleaned out, then deleted, CComputer Info, which was a duplicate and unneeded file.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • I have input up to page 9 of 120 in the first notebook.
  • Jim has cleared us to pay for the rest of the campground fee.  Now I just need to be up before noon to call the lodge and pay them –  easier said than done!
One of the things that surfaced in my cleaning was an animal drawing book Auntie Mouse (Eden Mabee) gave to Jeremiah several years ago. Annalise enjoyed exploring it - here is her first effort - a duck. Quack!

o, it’s been a mellow few days for me, ROW goals- wise. I’ve been busy with the transitions in my life – creating a writing space, beginning the process of yard care and the outward movement of our lives that is a natural outgrowth of thedoftening of spring; two children learning and growing at a currently frenetic page (game card creating; beading; allosaurus; dog genetics; online tech research; lots of talk and play; animal art – among many other things).

Ans I have been engaged in projects that are a bit longer range – finishing my A to Z blog posts, and my last book of the month. Writing a piece of flash fiction that seemed to have a mind of its own.

Making a neglected and hugely cluttered little cubby into my own personal writing nook, with the full support of my family.

My family…

have loosened up a bit about the state of the house, and have spent some time reframing and redefining what will help me. Then, I simply told everyone what would mean the most to me – one of the things I love is to get up to a shiny kitchen (often, what greets me is diametrically opposed to that).

And, since I shared that little dream, I have woken each day to a cleaner kitchen, courtesy of Jim and Jeremiah.

Annalise helped me with my raking, and with yard cleanup and dog waste removal. Miah took the recycling to the curb, and both children have been making a greater effort to help with indoor tidying.

It’s a bit of a lull, pace-wise. I feel things filling in, and I know that a surge of writing is building.

These peaceful times always seem to be the waiting for the seeds to sprout – and sprout they will.

Let’s check in on the rest of the ROWers!

Grubby shirt; sleepily happy girl who spent a good part of her last week outside.


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

3 thoughts on “ROWing Mellowly Down the Stream – ROW Update #5

  1. As always, Shan, you are filling your life with riches and justly so. Thank you for the linking love, btw. For a post that grew out of a picture and a nagging unease, I find “Words.. words, words, words” to be close to the best “raw work” I ever wrote. I corrected spelling errors but nothing else, yet…

    I had to laugh a bit when I saw Shah’s note though about the books in a month. I do know it’s possible (easily so), but it does sound pretty unbelievable too. Still, I know you; you’ve got a good sense of your limits and you aren’t afraid to say “no” or to change plans if necessary. It’ll be great.

  2. “Read at least as many books as the number of the month” = will you read 12 in December? I can’t even get my head around that? 🙂

    As per Shan, your exhaustive list astounds and humbles me. You’re doing so much very well – Kudos 🙂

    The A-Z blew me away last year – it really takes it out of you doesn’t it. Although its great for meeting peeps too. The link for submissions – thats who published my The Dead Party short story! They are lovely to work with.

    1. Shah –

      I don’t know yet if December will mean 12 books, or not. I plan to take each month as it comes, and see how feasible it is to add one each month….

      Some of the books will be ones I read aloud to Annalise, and it is by no means unheard of for me to devour 12 books in a month (or sometimes far less).

      Right now, I am alternating fiction and non-fiction. As my book count goes higher, I may tip the balance in favor of fiction, which I tend to read much faster, although at least three of the fiction works in my To Be Read piles are over 800 pages, with intricate plots and a LOT of details, so….

      It’s funny – people keep saying I do so much, but it really doesn’t feel that way to me, while I’m doing it. It just feels like living.

      I think that over the last few years, I have really culled out all the things that don’t suit my purposes and/or bring joy. So, essentially, all of my time is free for doing things I love…and I embarked upon my ROW adventures at a time when the children had recently become capable of a lot more independence. A year ago, Annalise needed much more physical closeness, including often in the night, because she still had fairly frequent night terrors. At almost 8, she’s found more confidence and balance, and her dreams are more manageable most of the time…..which means I can fill her up more easily, AND sleep better when I need to.

      Yes, the A to Z challenge is causing me to dig deep, and I am finding things within me that had been trapped for far too long…..exhausting, but in a very cleansing way.

      My 40s have been transformative and nurturing and rich with living. May yours be, as well, my friend! =)

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