Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days -2012, Challenges and Contests, ROWnd #3, Uncategorized

Celebratory ROW – ROWnd 3; Update #2

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I’ve had a head cold the last few days, Annalise’s birthday was Sunday, and we leave for a five-day campout in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Therefore, I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking, this time…..

Goals for ROW80 ROWnd 3, 2012


Trueborn Series:

  • Trueborn:

  • Reread current rough draft from 1998-9ish and 2000.

  • I am still reading the first draft, from the late ’90s.

  • I have read Chapter 11, and discovered that the beginning of Chapter 12, pages 50 and 51, are missing. If they don’t turn up elsewhere, I will recreate them, from what I already have.

  • I am continuing to jot notes and impressions on the backs of pages as I read.

  • I am currently on page 49 of 240.
My office worktable, as I clean and organize!
  • Consider title change.

  • I am letting this idea sit with me, while I explore the story. I figure I’ll learn whether it has the right title, and, if not, a better one will come, somewhere along the way. Sima garo provides.

  • Chameleon’s Dish:

  • Compile a print copy for editing, page count, and to see what it looks like!

  • Although it may not seem related, I am vigorously working on cleaning my office work table (made out of a door from Eden Mabee‘s house; it has recessed panels that I hope will help to keep my papers corralled a little better). I will need spreading-out space for the editing, and so this is a positive step in the right direction.

  • Complete basic research based upon library books and websites; looking for information to enhance later digging and prevent hugely obvious gaffes).

  • I am currently reading Hamlet; Shakespeare’s England; and Colonial Cooking.

  • I am taking notes on the latter two books listed above.

  • I have finished reading the play portion of Hamlet, and will resume taking notes as indicated as I read the accompanying articles.

  • I am reading Shakespeare: His Life and His Works, aloud with the kids. This is a childrens’ picture book, but it is very comprehensive, with quotes from many plays, and the artwork is simply lovely and evocative. We are all enjoying it!

  • I intended to renew these books last week; a Wednesday Independence Day threw me off. I will do so early in the week, before Unschoolers Rock the Campgroundlater this week…

Some of my current reading material….
  • Experiment with removing Tisira’s story as a YA novel, with a potential optional add-on of the fanfic elements….not sure how this will work, exactly, but I think it might be the best approach to have something marketable without sacrificing my vision.

  • I am letting this one percolate until I am ready to print and work on actual paper pages.

  • However, it is working in my mind, and I beginning to see the fault lines where I can perhaps easily separate the stories without losing the character of the Trueborn elements.

  • I find I’m still really excited to see where this project will lead me!

Flash Fiction WIPs

  • Begin compiling a list for possible ebook anthology.

  • Although I haven’t added any stories to the list, I have thought of a few more I would like to add when I am in the mood to play there again…

  • Go through old story notebooks for source material.

  • I have read 568 of 591 handwritten pages of Solemates: The Courage Version. I know there are other portions of this storyline, scattered in different notebooks, and also variations on this theme.

  • Not only is this good material for potential flash fiction; it will greatly inform the various “clean” incarnations of Trueborn, as well.

  • I have found snippets of story pieces in my Writing Practice Notebook – June 2000.

Annalise and her first gift.

Homeschool Administration Ad Infinitum….

  • Begin setting up portfolios for both children – invite them to be a part of this process! =)

  • I have been sorting and photographing lots of projects going back several years. I will have a huge number of photos to categorize, later, but that’s OK…I need to begin somewhere!

  • Annalise has expressed some interest in what I’m doing, and I have explained it to her in a general sense, and let her know she can help if she likes.

  • Relax, enjoy, learn, grow, laugh, and … BREATHE!

  • Oh, yeah – we’re on this one – except that breathing has been a little tricky for me the last couple of days….
Annalise, 8, at the Erie Canal!


  • Continue reading books for the Bookmark Break Challenge – aim for 7 in July, 8 in August, and 9 in September, but these targets will be flexible – summer is prime traveling time for the kids and I and we have things planned and others we’re considering.

  • The Secret Life of Bees Completed.
  • Container Gardeningpage 80 0f 256.

  • Hamlet page 289 of 343.

  • Shakespeare’s England – page 20 of 252.
    Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real education With or Without School
    page 69 of 206.

  • Blogging for Digital Writers (ebook) – 13% – I am still getting used to how this app records progress….

  • I have read 1 of 7 books for this month.

Browsing and buying!

Other Writing:

  • Write 1 book review each week.

  • I didn’t quite finish it, but I have a review in the final stages.

  • I feel that’s pretty good for a busy, sick, birthday Week 1!

  • Play with flash fiction pieces as the mood strikes; aim for two submittable stories each month.

  • I played with a fan fiction piece which will likely become the prologue for the inclusive version of Chameleon’s Dish.

  • It’s not strictly a submittable piece, but it is stimulating creative juices – and bringing me delight!

  • Play with essay ideas as desired; aim for three submittable essays each month.

  • I have taken this one and run with it. In two days, I wrote about 3000 words on a topic I have been turning over for years….what makes one an over- or under-achiever, really? Having been labeled both, for similar activities, but at different places in my life, I have some ideas.

  • The material I poured out was stream-of-consciousness, and will need to be played with more before it’s cohesive.

  • I feel I have an excellent essay or two sitting amidst the words, just awaiting its excavation.
  • Write at 750 Words every day, with possible hiatuses for Unschoolers Rock the Campground (July 12-16); Learn Nothing Day (July 24); Northeast Unschooling Conference (August 23-?); and kids’ birthdays (July 8, September 2).On my birthday (July 29), I WRITE!!!

  • I have written every day. Some of it was deep; on Lise’s birthday, it’s mostly just an account of the day, so that I can remember it… but I am writing daily, and enjoying the return to that habit!

  • Use 750 Words for whatever – flash pieces, essays, venting, ranting, reports, book reviews, etc.

  • In the last several days, I have used it for: a book review, a two-day introspective rant, and journaling family events.

Scenes from the farmer’s market…


  • Aim to post at least twice a month to The Unfettered Life. Make one of them an update, perhaps roughly categorized to make creating reports easier.

  • I posted about our July 4 activities in An Unschooly Fourth.

  • Begin using this blog in a way that really supports documenting, so that it does double duty as a personal tool for me in the way it once did.

  • I feel that the above post did that very well.

  • I hope to keep on in the same vein.

  • Aim to post, at least weekly, non-ROW80 update material on shanjeniah. This may take the form of adding to my pages; creating new ones; other challenges, blog hops, etc; writing samples of various types; musings on writing and life; guest posts; photo essays; or whatever else seems relevant at the time.

  • I came close. My book review in progress isn’t quite ready to post, although it may be soon after I post this.

  • Consider and perhaps experiment with creating a blog for the Trueborn series. This could contain excerpts, bits of what I am working on (character sketches, research, flash fiction, story arcs; inspirational images and quotes, etc. Its purpose would be specifically to share the process of creating the series, from the beginning on….in a way, a window into my world and my mind as none of my other spaces are….

  • I haven’t added anything, just yet, but I have been considering ideas for the three WIP novels in the series (Trueborn; Blood and Breath; and Chameleon’s Dish).

  • I am also considering going WAAAAAY out on a limb in August, and starting a NaNorough draft for one of the other two novels I have in the concept stages…that way, I could write the fifth in November, and have all five novels in various stages of progress!

Hanging out with Elsie!

Organizing/Tootling my Horn….

  • Continue inputting June 2000 Writing Practice Notebook.

  • I am currently on page 80 of 120.

  • I am not moving forward quickly, but I am moving forward.

  • Continue reading marketing and ebook publishing sites and articles.

  • I am reading The Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging.

  • Set aside time each week to winnow email. Read items being saved for later reading, sort or dispose as indicated.

  • I am doing well on this one. Currently, there are 685 unread messages. Scanning the top of the list, I see many that can go away unread – from busineeses or sites where I seldom read.

  • I spent some time changing my preferred settings for WordPress and Yahoo Groups. I love all the wonderful bloggers I follow, but getting an email every time one of you posts adds up to a LOT of email – more than I remotely have time to read. Now, I will get a digest on Mondays, and maybe can spend a bit of time Tuesdays, browsing through.

  • I will continue my weekly winnowing sessions, and also ferret out more places where I can unsubscribe or receive less email.

  • It’s an ongoing process I am still near the beginning of, but I feel good about taking control over what reaches my Inbox!

Live action Annalise!
  • Be bold and daring in commenting, sharing, and submitting. Declare myself, learn, grow, and sometimes do things that make me uncomfortable. Open and blossom!

  • I am being a bit bolder about commenting, and I am contemplating new venues for sharing and submitting….stay tuned…I tend toward wee-hours leaps of faith!

Celebrating Life!

  • Add some form of specific motion (t’ai chi, swimming, hiking, biking, skating, dancing, etc) to each week. Keep track of what, where, when, for how long, and how I felt during and after.

  • I did some hometending every day but Sunday.

  • On Sunday, I walked along the Erie Canal, and carried heavy produce bags a quarter mile or so to the car…we parked on a side street.

  • I had planned to swim with the children, but was not feeling up to it, due to a nasty phase of my head cold.

  • I am hoping to spend more time swimming and engaged in physical activity during our upcoming camping weekend!

Birthday blueberry turnover bliss!
  • Fill us all up with joy, and continue cultivating family peace.

  • Loving this goal. Sometimes joy is the farmer’s market, or a tub of neon gummy worms, or truly present lovemaking…we are finding it in many ways…

  • We continue learning about conflict resolution and accommodating one another. We are evolving…

  • Spend time cleaning and beautifying my personal internal and external spaces each week.

  • I have made considerable progress in the bedroom, and have resumed organizing my office space. I have finished cleaning my work space, and now have a place where I can work on hard copy editing.

  • I have been writing introspectively, and practicing presence.

  • Embrace and be present in all my moments.

  • I am learning this one.

  • It’s amazing – I notice things like the lone seagull skimming the sky, and they seem rare and lovely in that moment.

  • I’m feeling very relaxed, and that is helping the overall peace and joy in our lives.

Erie Canal life….
  • Allow my emotions to be as they are. Practice expressing them calmly and reflectively.

Being more conscious of this. As I move through the space between Annalise’s birthday and Elijah’s, I will be as present as I am able, and gentle with myself. I know I will miss being with Jim (although the anniversary isn’t the same for him as for me), but being amongst many other unschooling family will bring a special type of warmth, joy, and solace.

Images from our walk to the car….that’s a hummingbird moth!

For those who want to learn more about the hummingbird moth…with a pretty video.


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!

2 thoughts on “Celebratory ROW – ROWnd 3; Update #2

  1. Karen – I know just what you mean….for instance, when I spotted the hummingbird moth, I had a heavy load of produce and treasures, we were in the sun, I was sick, and it was HOT.

    Another time in my life, I might have kept going, even though I didn’t know what it was called and am captivated by it.

    It was so worth the time to experience it, and also to get the camera and snap a few pictures – and share its beauty with Lise on her special day…

    I choose to spend days very differently than I once did, since I began to practice presence.

    I love reading about your days, too! =)

  2. How you spend your days is so full and always interesting to read. I know this is a full month for you in so many ways; thus, I know you will be exploring your emotions in many moments and some, unexpectedly so. Like you, I find that experiencing the moment for what it is–without judgment–allows me to lean into what that moment requires of me, and it is a richer moment, indeed.

    Best to you in this round and always.


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