Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Challenges and Contests, Round 2 -2013

ROW80 Round 2 – A Look Back, a Peek Ahead

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It’s been a few days since Round 2 ended. I’ve spent a day with an online friend I’ve wanted to meet for years, and recovered from the rather nasty cold that took over the last few days of the round. I’ve done a little cleaning up, and a lot of hanging out with my three favorite people in the world.

And I’ve had a bit of time to think about the 80 days of Round 2, assess where I am, and begin to envision what I want from Round 3.

Round 2 was my fifth ROW80 session, and, in many ways, it feels as though I have had a transformative session. Maybe it’s that I began with this phrase:

Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch.” –Sandra Dodd

This phrase has been hugely helpful in my unschooling life, and turned out to have similar value for writing:

  • It encouraged not only reading about craft, which I did, but also embraced my periodic tendency to need a great deal of various types of input – television, games, travel and events. For the first time, these became a recognized part of my round, important for nurturing growth and new ideas.

  • Because of this, I discovered Enterprise. If you’ve read here the last few weeks, you will know that this show has become my new passion – and, as a bonus, it’s inspiring both new fan fiction and deepening ideas for existing WIPs.

  • It encouraged me, for the first time, to freely adapt my goals to suit me, as often as I felt it would benefit me. I don’t have conclusive proof, but that seems to have inspired me to do more, and more of what truly felt “right”, than in previous rounds.

  • Waiting a while gave space for those times of flux when nothing much seemed to be happening. I’ve known for a long time that these are deepening and fertile times for me, but I had been more focused on ticking things off the to-do list than in allowing these times space to be.

  • Watching meant a commitment to periodic in-depth evaluation against my interests, energy and time availability, and long-term vision. This gave me many chances to tweak and adjust, throughout the round.

Some of my personal favorite points of note for the session:

  • I completed rough drafts of two Trueborn WIP novels: Sima Garo Provides, and Blood and Breath, both original Weft series fantasies begun in 2012 and 2009, respectively.

  • I wrote 26 flash fiction pieces to complete the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. These stories will form the basis of my July Camp NaNoWriMo challenge.

  • I completed my 75,000 word goal for April CampNaNoWriMo.

  • I blogged more regularly and with more awareness than ever before. Although I will be stepping back a bit, at least for the summer, I learned a tremendous amount in attempting (and sometimes succeeding), in blogging daily.

  • I became more aware with social media, so that I no longer feel so much like a lonely message in a bottle everywhere but Facebook.

  • I took more time to be with the ones I love, hang with friends, and honor myself.

Something that’s not on this list is how much more naturally my writing flows with my life, now. I had the same feeling, when the once-alien world of unschooling began to make sense and require less in the way of constant self-checking, and more a matter of simply being open and aware to what each moment needed of me.

There are some concrete signs of progress up there, but I think the greatest shift has been happening, in its own surges and ebbs, within me. I am different than I was at the beginning of the round. I feel at once as though I am softer, easier – and with a far more finely honed edge of focus.

Next month, I will be, amidst the sea of emotional surges and ebbs that is July, 44 years old.

And, at last, I feel like what it seems I’ve wanted for most of it…

I feel like a writer.

And I am.

I am a writer.

Thank you,Kait Nolan, and all you amazing ROWers, for the inspiration and the tools that have allowed me to see that it was there, inside me, all along, just waiting for me to be ready to claim it.

I will be back by Sunday, June 30, with my Round 3 goals ready to go! Want a hint? I’ll be Delving Passion!

My most recent fortnightly (or so) long term goals evaluation.

Progress on my Blogging Action Plan

Progress on my Noveling Action Plan

It’s a BLOG HOP!


Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013

General Blogging Action Plan Update (for all blogs)

Round 3 Action Plan for shanjeniah:

  • Create 6 headers (and randomize)
  • Update header text
  • Tidy sidebar
  • Review pages
  • Review categories
  • Update bio
  • Build queue
  • Recruit guest posters

Will complete during ROW80 Rounds 2 and 3; 2013

June 23, 2013 Update:

I’ve set these goals aside, for the most part, as I focus on adjusting my blog posting, and preparing for JulyCampNaNo.

They will be a priority during August, and I will fit in some July progress, as opportunity provides.

I’ve attained a goal or two, and moved a couple a bit further along, in a nudging kind of way…

First Priority:

Develop and post Individual Action Plans through 2013On target.

  • I will post these with my Round 3 Goals.

Write and post Mission StatementsPending.

Post Features Schedules Target Attained!

  • These will be adapted for Round 3, as summer is a very active social and emotional time for my family.

  • I will post the revised schedule when I post my Round 3 goals.

Rewrite bio/aboutsPending.

Build post and draft queues. On target.

  • Templates in use for all features to speed creation.

  • Revising my posting schedule will make this a more attainable goal.

Resource lists and files for all features.Target attained!

  • All lists have been created and are in use.

Second Priority:

Experiment with Image/Logo. – On target.

  • My vision is a series of images that embody my logline – Lovely Chaos.

  • I have brainstormed logline adaptations for each blog.

Tidy Sidebars. – Pending.

Revamp Headers – a good space for trying out logos. – On target.

  • As noted above, I have logline ideas.

Evaluate pages.- Pending.

Posted in Sunday Sampler

Sunday Sampler – Second Blogiversary Edition

 Assorted lovelies for your reading and viewing pleasure….offered up weekly on a pretty blog platter!

I love learning and stretching my perspective; I love sharing what I find with others, and learning and stretching more in the process.

I offer up this virtual Sunday paper, filled with things I have read and enjoyed recently, in the spirit of learning and sharing.

Share your opinions, editorials, and ideas for future  topics or articles in the comment receptacle below…

And now, this week’s buffet of ideas….on the second anniversary of this blog!  The cellular peptide cake (with mint frosting) is at the center of the table. Help yourself!


  • The Girl Who Hated Books

When there is a correct answer




Hows and Whys:

  • How Do They Recycle Paper? – This brings to mind the recycled paper mill where my father worked when I was a girl. I can almost smell it and feel the dried blobs of paper pulp that stuck to his work clothes!

  • HD Mandelbrot Fractal Tour Guide 


Smiles and Laughter:

  • I’m a doctor, not a ————–! Go McCoy!
  • Amusing Propaganda! (the irony is that this is a video about reading….)
  • Sad Cat Diary

Share your opinions, editorials, and ideas for future topics or articles in the comment receptacle below…and may the rest of your weekend be filled with restorative wonder!

Posted in Life Writing, Saturday's Share...

Saturday’s Share: Summertime Sibling Smiles

Caption: Annalise and Jeremiah, at Unschoolers Rock the Campground 2, Plymouth, MA, July 2010.

 Sharing reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

I snapped this picture as dusk fell, and the beach was closing at the Pinewoods Campground. The children and I were ending our first full day at Unschoolers Rock the Campground, a day they spent mostly in the lake, exploring natural swimming: and on the beach, making sand art and new friends.

I love this picture…Miah so big and solid, an anchor for Lise’s impish twinkle peeking out from beside him.

Even with a lake, a beach, and the campground beyond, even with many other available playmates, they still choose to spend much of their time like this – together, being just who they are.

They aren’t just brother and sister. They are good friends.

It doesn’t only make for fantastic and beguiling pictures, it also makes for a very pleasant and happy home environment (not to mention making four days of the three of us sharing one tent much sweeter than they might be, otherwise!).

We’re getting ready for our fourth trip to Rock the Campground. Thursday, we traveled, the three of us, to Jellystone Park, in the Catskills. Another lovely day, time with friends, and much play and togetherness, and just a bit of friction.

Friday, things moved more slowly, post-adventuring, and so they’ played Minecraft together, watched Total Drama Island and Goosebumps on Netflix; cleaned their guinea pigs’ cage, and gave them a bath and a swimming lesson in the tub.

They had the whole house, and the yard. They have their own rooms. And they hung out happily together, nearly all day, in the living room.

I didn’t have this type of ease and comfort with my three siblings when we were children.

Today, I am estranged from two of my own siblings. It seems to be the best way to maintain peace. Ironically, I get along best with my older brother, with whom I was not close in childhood.

I think it’s because he and I have learned, with much trial and error, to relate in a way a lot like the way my children do naturally – with an acceptance that we are not the same, that we value different things, and that we move differently through our own lives.

We accept that, and enjoy what we can of one another. We forgive missteps and mistakes, and focus on what is good. We don’t make assumptions. Sometimes we say hard things because we need to, or we hear them because the other needed to say them. We do it in love, and with respect, and with kindness.

Living with my children is a very different experience than what I imagine my parents experienced. There is a calm and joy here. Yes, sometimes they are at odds. They will argue, and still aren’t always willing or able to hear each other’s side of a dispute. Rarely, names are called. Once in a great while, someone will take things to a physical level.

When this happens, I intervene suggesting that they give themselves space. That usually allows hearing both sides of the story, separately, and privately. Then I help them to a place of calm where they can negotiate a peaceful settlement that is mutually equitable (“mutually equitable” is a concept we are exploring in great depth, these days, and it has led to a deeper awareness of the fact that every issue has more than one side). Once things settle, we often talk about ways we might have made the situation better, or avoided conflict.

And then, we move on. We do not punish or take things away, because we see the disagreements as a part of living, and it’s our hope that we can give them interpersonal and conflict resolution skills now, that we, their parents are only learning now, in our 40’s.

My parents often yelled at and punished us for fighting, arguing, stealing from one another, and calling names. I I imagine they spent a lot of time exhausted and frustrated at what must have seemed an endless need for law enforcement. We were six people in a smallish house, and there was little opportunity to be alone. My mother believed that sharing rooms was good for us, and would teach us how to get along with one another.

Maybe that is a part of it…with much free time, with help in getting along, without being penalized when things get a little hairy, there is room to learn and grow, to love and enjoy each other, have conflict, and, with very little fuss, get back to the sweeter parts of living…

Do you have siblings, and/or multiple children? Have you noticed similarities or contrasts between your sibling relationships, and theirs? Do you have ideas on why this is so?

Impressions to share about this Saturday’s post?

Feel free to drop a comment, image file, or link into the receptacle below – I love sharing, especially when others share about themselves!

Posted in Friday Frolicks, Life Writing

Friday Frolic: M*A*S*H!

Did you see THAT?!

It’s time for Friday Frolic, our weekly visit to Youtube, to see what wonders we can find to kick the weekend off right….let’s see….yup!

This week, I offer you….


My husband and I have been watching M*A*S*H together since our dating days, sixteen years ago. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve gone through those eleven seasons of shows – on TV, on homemade, videotape, on retail video, on DVD..Both of our children knew the theme song before they could talk, although, thus far, they’re not especially interested in watching.

We have our favorite lines, our favorite scenes, our favorite shows. And we have traditions. We brace ourselves for the final scene in Abyssinia, Henry. We do not watch that one without having the time to also watch “Welcome to Korea and Change of Command…it’s too sad, otherwise. The same is true for Goodbye, Radar – we need to see “Period of Adjustment” immediately after….

And “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen”? We sometimes need a week or three to be ready for that one. After, we need some good ol’ Henry Blake, so we start over again…and again…and again.

May you, too, enjoy the laughter, the tears, the insanity and humanity of life at the 4077th.

And, now, let the Friday Frolic fun begin!

1970 M*A*S*H Movie Opening Theme, “Suicide is Painless”, with Lyrics



The Best of Klinger, Pt. 1


M*A*S*H Bloopers (Language Alert!)


Dr. Sidney Freedman


Harry Morgan as General Steele


M*A*S*H Then and Now


STAY TUNED: “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen”


Want more M*A*S*H? Something completely different in mind? Let me know!

Drop your comments into the IN box below, and maybe we’ll be delighting in YOUR favorite videos, soon!

Wishing everyone a delightful Friday, and a glorious weekend! =)

Posted in Life Writing, Thursday's Treat

Thursday’s Treat: Book Dominoes!

 Thursdays can be tricky…well into the week, too far from the weekend…so, as a public service, I’ve reserved this space for interesting tidbits and snippets I’ve picked up around the Internet.

This week’s Thursday’s Treat comes from: The Seattle Public Library.

I’ve had a lifelong fascination with both books and dominoes. As a girl, I sometimes built houses or domino runs with my books – but never on this scale!

Seriously, this is my kind of awesome!

I hope this brightened up your Thursday with a touch of literary abandon! =)

Remember to drop your comments into the receptacle below – would you like more dominoes? Something completely different? Let me know!

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

Try a Little 3D!: ROW80 Update, June 19, 2013

Curious? Click here!

Please note: I will be posting a wrap-up on Sunday, June 23, along with my long-term evaluations.

I had high hopes of doing a tremendous amount during the final stretch of this round. Instead, both kids and I caught a bad cold that’s mostly laid me low, only able to manage a fraction of what I had planned, with down time between anything mentally or physically taxing.

Sometimes, life’s like that.

I have been blogging,and writing,and commenting. I haven’t been very visible on social media,except to share some links…interacting with the people I live with, the people at the vet’s office, and a couple of people at the movie theater took all the focus I had to give to being sociable.

That’s right – I’m sick, and I went to a movie. After a failed attempt to get Achoo spayed (a course of antibiotics for her ceaseless sniffles was obtained, instead), and having been up all night, because getting up early is harder for me, even sick, than staying up.

It wasn’t just any movie, though. It wasStar Trek: Into Darkness. And it was in 3D…

I tried hard (and mostly successfully) to avoid spoilers, and so I won’t put any here. I will say, though, that I have never had an experience quite like it.

Roddenberry's star at 6683 Hollywood Blvd on H...
Roddenberry’s star at 6683 Hollywood Blvd on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, presented in 1985. He was the first television writer to receive a star. Pearson, Roberta (2011). #v=onepage&q&f=false “Cult Television as Digital Television’s Cutting Edge”. In Bennett, James; Strange, Niki. Television as Digital Media . Duke University Press. pp. 105–131. ISBN 0822349108 . #v=onepage&q&f=false . : 110 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent the entire movie enthralled (and, remember, I had been up 24 hours, and was sick!). Often, I can tell where a movie is going, to the point where I can become bored.

Not this time.

I sat there, thinking how, while I never would have written this story, it was a fantastic representation of how many ways Star Trek can be interpreted, and wondering if Gene Roddenberry had any real sense of what he gave to the world.

I’ll be writing more on that. But, if you’ve been debating seeing the movie, my vote is that you do. If you can, and you want immersion, the addition of the 3D experience is worth the extra expense.

And now, to the business at hand…

At this posting, there is one day left to ROW80 Round 2.

I will be moving on with some of my posted goals, during that day, and then moving on to my between -rounds “hometending”, such as:

  • Submit Letters of Intent to Homeschool.

  • Round 2 wrapup post.

  • Round 3 goals/ sponsor post.

  • Planning for July NaNoWriMo.

  • Update long-term goals.

  • Draft August/September revision plan.

  • Stock my blogging queue – July will be a busy month!

And now, a peek at my recent doings:


Complete To Be or Not to Be (double volume) by October 31. On target.

  • Write 25,000 words /non-NaNo month, till complete.
  • Chapters 33-34 completed.
  • Chapter 35 planned.
  • Session total: No real count, as I moved some words from an earlier chapter.
  • Monthly total: 13,920 of 25,000 words – over halfway!
  • WIP total: 125,926 of ~ 200,000 words- less than 75,000 from the goal! 

A to Z post stories -Complete by June 30.

Plan WIPS.

Trueborn Weft (no title yet): On Target.

  • Added to Scrivenerplanning notes.
  • Goals/Motivations/Conflicts: Niaan and Kaivelt completed. 

Trueborn Warp (Working title: Perchance to Dream): Carrying to Round 3- On target.

  • Spock’s story arc – 3 of 13 completed.
  • Added planning notes. 

Begin revision lists for Chameleon’s Dish andBounded by a Nutshell.Round 3 carryover, . On target.


Continue throughout round:

Sharing posts from all blogs. – Pending.

  • Not so much. I’ve been sick. 

Commenting according to my posted schedules. Target attained!

  • Yup!

Create resource lists for all features, and add to them in an organic and ongoing way. Very late,but target attained!

Completed by end of round:

Build and maintain scheduled posts two weeks ahead for each feature. I will be making a more concerted effort at this, since I will be intensely noveling in July. Pending.

By End of Round:

Draft plan for website hosting expenses (where will money come from?). Target attained.

  • Saving most of my spending money. Currently: $240 of $350 saved.
  • No movement this session.Only $110 to go!


Continue throughout round:

ROW80 updates and sponsor visits: Target attained!

Comment on posts and share as inspired. On target.

  • Yes, and not yet.

Facebook and Facebook Groups : On target.

I fell away from my groups over the last months. Reconnect, participate, share.

  • See above. 


Visit on Tuesdays and Fridays; read, share, tweet, comment. Target attained!

  • More #wordmongering sessions on Sunday, a bonus day.
  • Missed Tuesday….sick, Trek, aborted cat spaying… 


Continue participating in activities and connecting with friends. This tends to slide during busy writing times; take advantage of natural lulls to feed my social spirit. On target.

  • Made plans to visit my unschooling mama friend, with the kids, on Thursday! 

And how about you? Are you happy with what you’ve created, lately?

My most recent fortnightly (or so) long term goals evaluation.

Progress on my Blogging Action Plan

Progress on my Noveling Action Plan

It’s a BLOG HOP!