Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round I 2013

Trusting my Truth – #ROW80 Update, 2/27/13

Curious? Click here!

I’m going to make a declaration here, today. I’ve made it before, in a wishy-washy way.

Now, it’s time to state it, loud, proud, and without shame.

 I write Star Trek fan fiction erotica.

Damned good Star Trek fan fiction erotica, too!

It’s not all I write, but it is vital to the worlds I have created, because my female antagonist was originally conceived to be the woman Spock deserved. As a Vulcan male intended to have a lifebond that is a rich telepathic connection, he needs a mate – a mate who can fascinate, accept, inspire, and challenge him, on many levels.

There is a lot of Star Trek erotica out there, and much of it seems to ignore character and canon simply to be lascivious.

That’s not what I write.

Characters matter, to me. Spock must be Spock, always. But there is so much more to him than is shown in the series and movies, so much that is left unsaid. So much passion that so often gets overlooked, so many possibilities not played with…

Publicity photo of Leonard Nimoy and William S...
Publicity photo of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk from the television program Star Trek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And so, I go there. And I’m done feeling apologetic about it.

I will be offering my Trueborn double series, both Warp and Weft, in the form of flash fiction pieces, throughout April, as my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. These stories will be set in the childhoods of Spock and Niaan, when they first become aware of one another.

  • I hope that people will read them, and give me feedback.
  • I hope that claiming this part of my writing life wholly will free me in all parts of it….
  • And I hope that I will, at the end of the month, have created beauty, and a fuller vision of these characters and the story they share…three stories in, I think I have made a good beginning.

What I write may become the basis of the first books in the Trueborn series. I’ve never written Spock’s childhood at length before, and I’ve been debating what to do with the handwritten and typed manuscripts for Niaan’s girlhood (the original WIP, Trueborn, to be renamed), since I don’t have it on the computer.

Now, I’m beginning to know…I will write these stories, and the revision will be richer and more textured. Those drafts will simmer with the new flash fiction, and become something new…

Yes, it will be some work, and likely a long process. That’s OK. When I’m done, I will have a revised original novel ready for beta readers – and a fanfic novel to share freely ….

Which is a lotta good!

 ROW80 stuff:

My BIG TWO:

Homeschool reports:

  • I am happy to report that these are done and submitted. Three months now before the next quarter’s are due.

Goal attained! =)

WANA 113:

  • Completed raw word dump of my word cloud grokking.
  • Connected with most of the remaining class members.
  • On course to hit both targets.
  • Have begun the small but gradual incorporation of some class and conference ideas into my social media.

Targets: Word cloud grokking submitted by Sunday, March 3.

Connect with all classmates by Sunday, March 10.

Other stuff :

Reading slowed while I completed the reports, but progressed. The need for input is easing, and I will likely be writing more, and reading less, within the next week or two.

Queen of My Infinite Spaces –

  • Nothing new written.
  • I took a glimpse at the NaNoEdMo site. Since I plan to edit a poetry collection, I won’t officially register, although I will still focus on editing in March.

Targets:

  • Dedication and acknowledgments by March 1, which will give me a completed rough draft.
  • Look into NaNoEdMo by February 28, and decide if I want to participate.

The second target is complete.

750 Words

  • Each day – exposition and fanfic (began A to Z posts and exposition).

Sponsor visits: I’m up to date on these.

Sponsor post:

  • The Imagery of Possibility went up on 2/25.
  • I’ve received several positive comments, and two Tweets of this post.
  • I’m feeling humbled and happy that it spoke to people, and a little shy about it, too….
  • I’m going to, in small steps, be sharing this post myself, in several places, and doing more of this type of writing…

What’s next…?

MY BIG ONE! =D

WANA 113

  • Connect with remaining classmates
  • Complete word cloud grokking and post.

QUOMIS

  • Dedication and early acknowledgments.

Other stuff:

  • Continue reading.
  • Begin exercises in Steering.
  • Work on action plans for blogging and noveling.
  • Submit guest post and “something else” by month’s end….
  • Beta read “Blow Me a Candy Kiss” and return with comments (aim for March 1).
  • Adjustments and changes to blogs and social media will be gradual, but ongoing.
  • Continue with A to Z posts (using 750 words).
  • Sponsor visits.

Do you have any secret writing passions? =)

Lookee what I found at the Air and Space Museum! =D

It’s a BLOG HOP!!!

Posted in Life Writing, Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings #1 – from January 28, 2009

Me, abut a year before these words were written. Photo by Eden Mabee.

Quite a few years ago, now, I began a notebook entitled Monday Musings….the idea was to spend a little time each Monday just writing whatever came to mind. This was years before I knew about Natalie Goldberg and writing practice.

I wrote for a few weeks, and then the chaos of my life of the time took over, and I stopped.

Now, I’m adapting that idea.

Each week, I will pull a notebook at random from the stack in my cupboard, and turn to a random page. Then I will transcribe a passage and post it here on Monday.

I welcome your comments…and invite you to journey with me and get to know the me that was…

 ***

January 28, 2009 2:30pm-

The result I’m looking for is not anything to do with her or any attempt, in any way, to dictate or change her behavior.

No.

The only result I need is the chance to finally allow MYSELF to speak my own truth.

Whether she chooses to consider my truth, reject it out of hand and utterly ridicule it, or get royally pissed off at me doesn’t matter. I don’t need to engage further on the topic. I will simply state my truth, and then live with it – or, more accurately, within it.

I don’t need to invest in any sort of crusade to make her (or anyone else, for that matter) hear me. No. I need only speak – and live – my own truth.

I am also learning how to do that in my own life. Unschooling has always spoken to me. The idea of allowing the children to do and explore as they please, within a guiding framework of principles – that is the way I wanted to grow up.

Blossoming….Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in my doorside garden, 2011.

I was filled with so many ideas, such an incredible and insatiable need to be, do, explore, discover, and KNOW. But I was thwarted by the dictatorial life at home. We seldom were allowed even paint and play dough – stickers didn’t come into our home (except on fruit and gallons of milk) often enough to be accessible.

Things must be orderly, children were to be seen and not heard – OMG! I just realized that this is why I talk so much now! I stored up all that longing to speak my mind, all through childhood, and now I’m driven to do so!

 But, if I can channel it onto the page, or into honest and open communication with those with whom I choose to connect deeply, what an incredible gift this is, this need I have to share my being.

 I almost feel that, rather than being split open, as I’ve assumed would happen, I am blossoming, unfolding, becoming more able to share myself with more people and on more levels.

 As a flower opens in its own time and manner, but is not shy and reveals its full beauty, so am I becoming able to share all that is within me!

***

Comments, thoughts, insights…? Please feel free to share below!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round I 2013

Intuitive Trust -#WANACon #ROW80 – February 24, 2013

 

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As some of you may know, my theme for this round is trust – trusting myself, life, those around me, new opportunities – and my own intuition. Trusting my gut, my heart, and my soul when they are whispering songs, stories, and wishes into my mind’s ear…

This trust has already led me in some interesting and unexpected directions this round….

  • Joining the WANA113 Blogging for Brand class. I had been hesitant to invest money in building my writing skills, so this was a leap of faith.
  • Shifting my goals as a result of my first grokking for this class.
  • A few weeks ago, after some wee-hours mulling, I told Jim that attending a writer’s conference was on my list of things to do within the next few years. The truth was, I would have loved to schedule one then and there…
Fulfilling her gorilla dreams….

Trust tells me that my family still needs me too much for that. Both kids still remember the 30 hours I was away when Eden Mabee and I went to Maine on a quick mommies’ getaway. They were 6 and 3 then – they are now 11 and 8.

Our budget already accommodates two major trips each year – Unschoolers Rock the Campground and the Northeast Unschooling Conference, which the kids and I attend. Until I am earning a more sizable writing income, another hotel trip is a little beyond us.

Only a few days after I stated that intention, I first heard about WANACon – a completely online weekend writer’s conference. I knew in that moment that I needed to be a part of it. I checked the prices and dates. The entire weekend seemed like more than my family could spare me, and a bit of a stretch for a budget that is already largely spoken for for the next several months. But it fell during Jim’s vacation, and so he could be the in-charge parent for one day.

I’m inspired by their delight in learning.

My gut said to choose Day One, and so I did, attending these sessions:

  • Publishing 101 – Also with Jared Kuritz

There were other sessions I missed (damn that need for sleep!), but there will be recordings available, so I can watch them later, and it will be like a conference bonus. =)

There were nice breaks between sessions, and Jim left me with a tidyish house (best we ever get, really, and then rarely!), and took the kids out for the day, so that I could attend without distractions or guilt – – have I ever mentioned that I really, REALLY love this guy?

Learning to value my own learning as much as theirs…

Each session had a video link for the host, and most had a slideshow, too. There was a chat box, and a place for notes. Jenny Hansen even got all fancy and shared pages with us! People could talk, although I was feeling a bit shy and didn’t. Something about hearing too much of my own voice in an atypically quiet house, I think.

I learned a tremendous amount – and I can’t say too much about it, because it’s still all aswirl, working its way into who I am and how I see myself and my writing…I know that there is great treasure in the grokking of it, and I don’t want to rush it.

I know that I will find a way to attend both days next year (I keep saying next year as a not so subliminal message to Kristen Lamb that there should absolutely be a next year!). I know that I will be making many changes and tweaks as time goes on…

The Capital Rotunda ceiling from below…

So what about ROW80?

My BIG TWO:

Homeschool reports:

  • This allows my mind processing time. Finished Social Sciences section of Jeremiah’s report, about 2/3 complete.

Target:

  • Have rough draft done by Wednesday, February 27.

WANA 113:

  • Nothing new written….pondering word cloud grokking.
  • Set to the side for WANACon.

Targets: Word cloud grokking submitted by Sunday, March 3.

Connect with all classmates by Sunday, March 10.

Coral in the invertebrate house – at the National Zoo

Other stuff :

I have an intense need for input right now. I’m READING – lots!

Vinny Reams Lincoln – first sculpture the US government commissioned from a female artist.

Queen of My Infinite Spaces –

  • Wrote conclusion.

Targets:

  • Dedication and acknowledgments by March 1, which will give me a completed rough draft.
  • Look into NaNoEdMo by February 28, and decide if I want to participate.

750 Words

  • Each day – exposition and fanfic (alternate scenes for WIP Bounded).

Sponsor visits: I’m up to date on these.

What’s next…?

  • Finish homeschooling reports and submit to school district.

WANA 113

  • Connecting with other classmates
  • Complete word cloud grokking

QUOMIS

  • Dedication and early acknowledgments.

Other stuff:

  • Continue reading. Do exercises in Steering.
  • Work on action plans for blogging and noveling.
  • Submit guest post and “something else” by month’s end….
  • Adjustments and changes to blogs and social media will be gradual, but ongoing.
“We found a rubber duckie in the fountain!”

So, how is your round going? Are you still humming along with your original goals, or charting a new course?

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round I 2013

Trusting Life – #ROW80 Update, 2/20/13

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Today is my husband’s 49th birthday, and the 16th anniversary of the day we met, at a small hotel just outside of Grand Canyon National Park. Moqui Lodge has disappeared along with the tribe it was named for, now…but Jim and I are still here.

One year ago today, I wasn’t sure that that would be true. Jim began his last birthday in a helicopter, being airlifted to Albany Medical Center, after a collision with a deer as he rode his old Suzuki home for vacation.

The children and I began it on our way to the hospital in the dark, staving off panic by exploring both the best case- and worst-case scenarios…maybe it was Elijah’s death when Miah was only 22 months old, and not quite a year before Annalise was born…or maybe just an inherent belief that it’s better to tell children hard truths (gently, at a level they can comprehend and process), rather than to shield them from truths that may become undeniable.

After an agonizing wait, first in the main emergency waiting room, then in a small private room – where I finished my ROW80 update and fielded alarmed Facebook messages as a means to hold my own fraying edges together, so that I could be somewhat calm and reassuring for the children – we were finally addressed by a surgeon who seemed almost impossibly young, but who spoke with confidence, meeting my eyes and answering my questions as he detailed a 100-foot journey from bike to road, 8 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a lacerated spleen that might need cauterization, and a possibly broken hand. “Minimal chance of mortality,” he said, as though that was a normal thing to say (and, for him, maybe it was – better news than he had to deliver to other, less fortunate, families).

At the beginning……August 23, 1997.

And now, here we are. One year later.

Jim is in more pain than he was before the accident, and isn’t quite as strong. He isn’t riding as much, and has moments of post-traumatic stress. But he is alive, and healthy.

So, today, I celebrate this man, my partner, my best friend, my accomplice….I celebrate that he is here, and that the near-tragedy and long recovery have grown us closer, encouraged us to be more present in our lives together, and birthed a higher tolerance for the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.

We won’t, after all, live forever. Jim is 49, now, and I will be 44 at the end of July.

We are not young, as we were when we first married, at 28 and 33.

We’re seasoned. We’ve been parents for nearly 11 and a half years. We’ve traveled across the country 3 times, now, the last with a nursing newborn, from Montana to upstate New York, in October of 2001, when life as an American was perhaps as frightening as it has ever been.

We’ve lived together, growing together by growing into ourselves….we’ve called some of the most beautiful places in the world our backyards (the Canyon, the Everglades, Yellowstone, the Oregon woods).

We have delighted together

Tiny Miah had a giant love of vacuum cleaners!

at our children’s growth, and devoted ourselves to raising them, and learning to provide for them a peace and wholeness that neither of us felt in our own childhoods. There is no way to express the depth of change, learning, and determination that is required to learn to parent in a way so unlike what we knew, or even how we began. We’re still learning, but we can see, now, the vast benefits…not only to the children, but to us, because parenting with the intention of peaceful partnership has also healed us, as people and as a couple.

We have been with our infant as he died, the NICU fading out, until it was just us three, there at the end of his brief life, spent mostly in coma. And we embraced each other’s grief, not making Jim’s need for silence (still, almost ten years later), or mine to revisit (still, nearly ten years later), wrong or less than….

I know many words, and ways of stringing them together….but, for the profound gratitude of this man in my life, and in our childrens’, alive and happy, able to do most of what he wants – for this joyous gift, I have no words. Only a song in my soul, and warm, blissful tears….

 

Now, for the update….

My Big Three:

Finding Esta edit:

  • COMPLETED!!!!!!

Homeschooling reporting:

  • First Reading objective (a very small start!).

WANA113:

  • Read lessons 2 and 3.
  • More thought on action plans – nothing new written, thus far.
  • Pulled and colorblocked passages from 750 words relevant to this class (and others I want to play with, as well).
The early days – Miah, age 3, Lise, age 3 months, and Jim. almost 40.

Other things:

  • Answered several blog comments.
  • Looked over Jeremiah’s initial blog transfer research, and paid up.=)
  • 750 Words – fan fiction, expostion, and planning.
  • Catching up on sleep; even took a nap!

 

ROW80 sponsor visits:

Reading (will be part of action plan):

APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur):

  • 33% complete

Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life:

  • 20% complete

 

Coming Attractions:

Tiny girl- giant taste for literature!
  • Jeremiah’s homeschool report
  •  Schedulekitten spaying for Srindi and Achoo.
  • Finish Big Blogging Grokking
  • More grokking action plans
  • Finish books

 

 

 

 

In honor of Jim, will you take a moment to share the miracles in your life?

It’s a BLOG HOP!

 

Self-portrait on the Metro, Washington, D.C. September 2, 2008

 

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round I 2013

Trusting a New Vision – #ROW80 Update 2/17/13

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Okay – I promised on Wednesday that there would be some major changes coming along today, and now it is time to deliver on that… I am in the midst of Kristen Lamb’s Blogging for Brand class, and have envisioned my ideal writing life, setting incremental goals to move me toward it. I shared the grand vision here. The first increment is the end of the class, which is roughly concurrent with the end of this round. These new goals look quite different than those I originally chose for this challenge, as they focus on moving me toward my big life goal. I had become accustomed to setting my goals in 80day cycles – the length of one round. Although I tried to choose goals that were aiming toward something, I hadn’t really defined what that something was, so I was moving nearer in a scattered fashion….so energy, time and focus were not being used as efficiently as they might be… I am shifting to these goals, and setting aside the previous (available, if you are curious and scroll down a bit), and I feel like I’m breathing fresher, purer air. I am now aimed at a target I can feel, and see clearly, rather than an ambiguous figure I can barely sense, hiding in the thick forest growth far ahead of me….

Sylvia’s miso vegetable soup….and Quirkle tiles….

In the meantime, I am still wrapping up my Big Three: WANA 113 –

  • Connected with all other class members through friending or friend requests.
  • Began connecting to other class members through social media – this will be an ongoing project, when time and focus permit.
  • Commented on others’ assignments, discussions,and blogs – this will also be ongoing, if intermittent.
  • Posted twice to my WANATribe blog.
  • More writing toward the novel and blogging action plans (detailed in my revised goals). Target is to have these completed by month’s end.
  • Finished reading the first lesson, and am taking a day or two to grok it before moving on to the second.

Editing Finding Esta

  • Completed Chapter 26 – 72% of the project.

Homeschool reporting

  • Finished Annalise’s, excepting the attendance.
  • Will begin Jeremiah’s later tonight…

What’s going on? Life’s full and busy. The children and I are visiting New Jersey friends, the Woodmans, this weekend – by the time Sunday is over, though, we will be home and Jim will be on vacation! There’s been:

  • Quirkle
  • Stimulating conversation that challenges me to think and rethink my assumptions
  • Walks in the dark with glow sticks
  • Nerf gun store stocked and operated by four children, ages 6 -11
  • Monster High doll, baby doll, and fashion play
  • Gorilla rides by Jeremiah
  • Skylanders and television
  • And a LOT of laughter!
Quirkle game in progress….

We arrived here at about 8:45pm on Friday, and were all up until close to noon on Saturday….a few hours’ sleep, and then we were up again…in a few hours, we’ll begin the five hour drive home, and Jim will officially be on vacation…since his last one was spent like this, we’re really looking forward to time just to be together, this year! Other stuff….

 

Purim hamantaschen in the making….

What’s coming up…. With Jim on vacation, I will have the luxury of a second on-call parent for much of the next two weeks, so I am panning accordingly:

  • I plan to finish both the Esta edit and Jeremiah’s rough draft this week, so that I can place my focus on my class, and on WANACon Day One on Friday. Then, I think I will relax a bit on Saturday, giving myself time to absorb.
  • The rest of my round will be devoted to the new goals and my class. There’s plenty to do, and I suspect I will be full of goodness, with the two lessons still unread, a photo editing site to play with, another grokking to complete…and those goals I set and am beginning to pursue….and whatever else Kristen has in store for us in the next weeks!

And, one final little bit of niftiness, to round out this Sunday report…. I received an email from a publication I submitted a poem to last year. They did not accept it, but this was the most personalized and encouraging rejection letter I have received yet! It included not only things I can improve upon, but also some very specific praise about the individuality of my cadence and rhythm. =) They’ve invited me to submit there again, and I shall…after a very thorough rereading of guidelines and sample copies!

It’s a BLOG HOP!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, My Poetry

The Huntress Stretches….INDIE-kissing Blogfest, Feb. 14

Curious? Kiss (I mean click!) here!

The Huntress Stretches

Dawning

Rose – tinted clouds

Two silhouettes ripple

Long, slow grapple of

A kiss

Tasting, testing

Predator and prey

In the same instant.

The Huntress stretches

New light caresses

Sinew and soul

Leaving her mate

Asleep in her furs

Slips into forest

Death stalks on

dew-kissed

Paws

Second Anniversary smooch, 1999….still kissin’ and still lovin’ it! ;D

 This is a BLOGFEST!

  • Tattoo (neonrabbit1.wordpress.com)
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round I 2013

Trusting Through the Ebb – #ROW80 Update, 2/13/13

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It’s been an odd session, and I seemed to have trouble getting to, and focusing on, writing projects. It’s an ebb tide – I am refilling, gathering, readying, grokking…lots of projects, moving gradually forward…

  • On Sunday, I had a migraine that made editing unthinkable, and writing unlikely – so I used that time to answer a few blog comments, until I couldn’t, anymore.

  • I spent Tuesday with my lifelong friend, Eden Mabee – working out together for the first time in years, having dinner (avocado bacon turkey burgers – yum!) at Ruby Tuesday, then heading down to the Desmond Hotel in Albany, to enjoy strawberries Napoleon at Scrimshaw, a fine dining restaurant, then head out to the covered and heated courtyard, a magical place of trees, streetlamps, brick, a large fountain pool, and koi. Ostensibly, we were going to write, but we did more chatting, photograph hunting, and peace-absorbing. I am completely okay with that – what a lovely respite from the midwinter browns and grays….

  • Today, Annalise needed to be near me. She was seldom further than arm’s reach, all day, except when I was hometending, and that made concentrating with any depth near impossible. Also, Achoo the kitten apparently got into the used guinea pig bedding while I was away, yesterday, and so, today, I gave her a bath. She did not appreciate my efforts, but I have bathed maybe thousands of cats in my life (I spent a few years working for a vet and boarding facility), and I emerged nearly unscathed, and with a sodden but sweet-smelling fluffball…

  • Amongst all that, Google seems to have decided to play a poking game with me. Picasa decided not to recognize me, after it froze my laptop and lost some really nifty pictures I had taken (which is why I can’t show you the gorgeous baby grand, nor my scrumptious desert… I also accidentally downloaded an AVG program that, three days later, started forcing a useless search box on me, shoving aside all my Chrome settings….not good for my “writing as a grand buffet” approach to things. Lots of energy given to ironing these out, and now I see that Chrome wants me to sign in yet again…..sigh. Not tonight, Google dear….

I love street lights….

I’m tired – no, bone-weary. Sleep will come soon,

For Blogging for Brand WANA 113:

  • I worked on my cloud project (#2 Grokking) …there is more, of course….I am big and wide and deep, and one session is not enough….

  • I prettied up my WANATribe page – go see the gorgeous blue-accented umbrellas!!!!!

  • I commented on some posts, and begun connecting with classmates across whatever media they are using. Still a ways to go before I have everyone, but I will by the end of class.

  • I revitalized my long-ignored Flickr account, and begun adding pictures to my photostream there. I have a lot to learn…but I am now poised and ready to begin learning it.

  • I bean reading the first lesson – fascinating, and I think I grok it on a deep level.

Writers at rest…..sort of….

Finding Esta edit –

  • I am making progress, although a migraine, a day off with Eden Mabee, the kids needing more of me, and, today, extreme sleepiness has made for much slower going.

  • Three more chapters done; I am ready to start Chapter 25, 70% complete.

  • I am hoping to pick up the pace, but, as the children and I are likely traveling out of state this weekend to visit friends, that might be more wishful thinking than reality.

Homeschooling reports (due 3/1/13)-

  • Finished Annalise’s FLA, Health and Safety, and most of her Physical Education section.

  • I wanted to be finished, and might get to it, but I am not sure I can stay awake.

  • Once I finish the last three objectives for this section, I will begin Jeremiah’s, then tabulate the attendance, and be ready to proofread and send – hopefully, early.

Koi loveliness…

ROW80 Sponsor duties –

  • I am still a bit behind with sponsor duties – not technically, just in my own mind. I want to do every check in, but am only obligated to do one a week.

  • I didn’t do last Sunday’s yet, and, although I did do them all last Wednesday, I haven’t yet posted the links,which I like to do to help bring readers to my 4’s, and also because several people have mentioned that they think it’s a good idea.

  • I am hoping to get these all caught up, maybe over the weekend, because they will be easier to fit into small spaces of free time that some of my other projects.

Posts from Sunday, 2/10/13 –

Fountain…edited in Picasa.

Posts from Sunday, 2/3/13-

There’s been other stuff, but I’m done looking back, for now. Jeremiah is giving Annalise a haircut; I just got a set of pictures which will become a photo essay on The Unfettered Life.

Self-reflection has been a big part of the last few days….

And there’s more writing, learning, growing, and evaluating to come…look for some big changes, on Sunday….

Till then….It’s a BLOG HOP!