Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round 3 2013

Hello, Forty-Four: ROW80 Update, July 31, 2013

Curious? Click the icon!

What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

It’s been one of those sessions where it felt like I was just taking life easy, and then – whoosh! I take stock, and – wow. It doesn’t feel like I did all that, plus reading, gaming, and substantial hometending…WOW.

 I think being 44 agrees with me, so far!

 August will be something of a reset month. I am shifting from NaNo-level writing to a more maintenance level that will move three WIPs forward.


My focus will be on editing, blogging (including finally setting up a backlog of posts), homeschool paperwork (the most intensive month of the year for that, here.), and paying attention to the odd shyness that keeps me from sharing and offering as much as I might like, or chatting with certain folks my mind labels as “Important People”…

I hope this last day of July finds everyone happy and ready for the last full month of summer (or winter, for those of you in much more southernly places!).

Setting my sights high while keeping them grounded…

Here’s an accounting of my ROW80 Goals Progress…and what will be next!

Blogging:

 

Create Jottings header. Target attained!

  • Not only did I create a header, it’s up on the blog! I’d love feedback; view it here!

 

Tweak The Unfettered Life header. On target.

  • I’m considering changing the logline. Letting ideas spin and whirl in my head….

  • Ongoing goal.

  • Tweak shanjeniah header.

 

Upload photos to Flickr and create two Sayen Gardens posts. On target.

  • I lost a few photos while uploading to Flickr. Apparently, the Picmonkey saving struggles of last week resulted in some bad files.
  • One post is complete and scheduled.
  • 10 of 15 photos edited and uploaded for second post.
  • Ongoing goal.

Continue editing for more Sayen Garen posts. Pending.

  • Nothing this session.
  • Ongoing goal.

Write Coffee and Conversation post for July 29 (my birthday). Target attained!

  • I ended up scrapping the first writing, and doing another.
  • That netted the rough post, and the makings of two more -hooray!
  • Posted Monday afternoon.
  • Draft 2 Coffee and Conversation posts for stacking.
  • Write and post a Saturday’s Share for this week.

 

Begin prep lists for features “stacking”. On target.

  • Beginning steps. Jotted a couple of blog ideas in a notebook, and skimmed my Coffee and Conversation file for neglected ideas in progress I can move forward.
  • Create a file for potential stacking, per feature.
  • Begin brainstorming ideas.

 

Rough draft of revised posting schedule. Pending.

  • Ongoing goal.

 

Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • I’ve been blogging more, since I finished NaNo. And sharing! =D

  • Answered comments a day late,but answered them all! =D

  • Ongoing goal.

Peeking through into the future…

 Editing (With Cathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Revisions)

  • Chameleon’s Dish– Print for reread. Begin reading to my beta listeners (Annalise and Jeremiah). Take general notes, begin list of things to look at.

  • Bounded by a Nutshell– Print for reread.

Writing:

  • To Be or Not to Be – Write at least 25,000 words in August.

  • The Stars are Fire – Write or plan one scene each week in August.

  • Perchance to Dream – Write or plan one scene each week in August.

Relax until August. Read some stuff. Do other things, and enjoy! Target attained!

Continue planning as POV scenes are completed. Pending.

  • Resuming in August.

Interact socially around NaNo, as desired. Target attained!

  • Some Twitter time, at various connected hashtags.

  • Stopped by my cabin to offer kudos and encouragement.

Lightness and greenery to brighten my path….

Business-y Stuff:

  • Update Long -term Goals, Noveling Action Plan, and all Blogging Action Plans.

Maintain sponsor visits. Target attained!

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. On target.

  • Annalise’s quarterly – Writing/Spelling added.

  • Jeremiah’s IHIP – ELA and Library Skills added.

  • Add Sciences to IHIPs and Quarterlies.

Reread law for 7th grade requirements before starting Jeremiah’s IHIP. Target attained!

  • These vary some from the elementary level laws. Still very doable. The shift to “middle school” has me feeling a little like I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff, though…almost like those very first, very scary, reports, when he was 6!

Read, comment, and share the WANA113 blogs I saved. On target.

  • I have read the first round, and saved several more.

  • Ongoing goal.

Join in on the conversation. Target attained!

  • I responded to a couple of comments. A beginning step toward immersion.

  • Ongoing goal.

Share at least 1 post on the blog sharing thread. Target attained!

  • I got brave and just went for it! Shared my birthday post! =D

Post to 3 NaNo threads before the month ends! Target attained!

Reply to three posts, also before the month ends. Target attained!

A Masterpiece of a Moment.

Farewell to the paradoxical month of July – and welcome, August!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers,  click here!

Posted in Coffee and Conversation, Life Writing

Coffee and Conversation: Birthday Desires, Past and Present

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.

Today’s Topic: Birthday desires, past and present, and what lies beneath them….

When I was six, my family was driving on an interstate highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living their lives, lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to see what those lives were, and to share my own…

Here, each Monday, I strive to reach that understanding through offering ideas and tidbits from my life. Settle in for a while, and share something of yours.

Today, I am forty-four years old. I like the number; the two fours fit together nicely, and it feels welcoming, this place between forty-three and forty-five.

Four days ago was the tenth anniversary of our son Elijah’s death. He was 12 days old.

Since he died, I haven’t wanted any kind of party-type celebration of my own birthday. The two dates are too close together. It’s a classic case of “you can’t get there from here.” I tend to be in a more contemplative place. Instead of a celebration, I take account of the journey I’ve made over the last year, and where I would like to go from here.

This year, PBS has been showing The Buddha.This teaching on desire spoke to me.

I’ve known that feeling! I’ve walked through stores with money in my pocket, but too little in the budget, looking for something new with the quiet desperation of a empty-lunged drowning woman sinking below the surface.

It was as though I could fill the emptiness and jagged edges of my soul with some thing that would heal all my hurts, sorrows, and furies.

It didn’t work any better than filling my lungs with water would. I was still drowning.

When I was a child, I wanted many things for each birthday. Or, I thought I did.

What I wanted , really, was something I had never had, or felt – power in my own life. I wanted, more than gifts chosen by others, an allowance, so that I could have money of my own – the means to get and do things I wanted.

On a journey of self-healing…

I wanted to be able to make choices:

  • to not eat sauerkraut.

  • to have a dog.

  • to stay inside and read all day, even when the weather was beautiful,

  • to take my book outside.

I wanted freedom, and equality:

  • I wanted my brothers to do the dishes and set the table,sometimes, instead of my sister and I doing it because “we were girls.”

  • To take out the trash even though I wasn’t a boy.

  • To stay up all night, sometimes, reading, writing, and delving my own depths.

  • To watch intriguing shows neither of my parents liked, – M*A*S*H, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and my nirvana, when I could sneak it –Star Trek.

I wanted things that would feed my soul:

  • My own voice, and the freedom to use it.

  • For my interests and passions to be taken seriously, not scorned or ridiculed.

I needed to feel safe from:

  • Screaming,

  • Hitting,

  • Harsh punishment,

  • Shaming,

  • The too-frequent spontaneous combustion of too many tempers and far too little peace.

I find solace, beauty, wonder, and fulfillment in nature.

I also wanted:

  • To learn what, when, and in the way I wanted.

  • To be accepted just as I was, with no labels attached.

  • To not be shamed for my failures.

  • For others not to claim ownership of my triumphs.

  • To own my own life – and, like many kids, I didn’t.

I transferred the unmet longings onto Breyer‘s horses and Black Stallion books and baby dolls and stuffed animals, Barbies and bicycles, and myriad other things that never filled the need.

It’s taken me nearly all of my forty-four years to learn that I wanted all these things, and to start learning ways to finally meet these deep desires. I’ve still got a lot to learn…but life today has a vastly healthier, easier feel to it.

I ordered a new printer this week – The kids have been using the one we have, and it’s seen some wear and tear. I plan on editing two novels beginning next month, and I wanted a new one that will be up to printing out several hundred pages, and ready for scanning stacks of old-style film photos I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

As I’m learning to heal my hurts and meet those old needs, largely through raising and living with two children who, at 9 and almost 12, have owned their own lives for years, now, the nature of my desire is shifting from wanting to have things to fill my empty places, to wanting things that serve my life and passions.

And it feels lighter, freer, and more fulfilling!

Which could be the biggest and best gift of all.

Do you take account of your life periodically, on your birthday or at other times? What are your biggest or most valuable personal victories? Do you have unmet needs from your childhood? Have you learned ways to meet them, as an adult?

Grab a fresh cuppa, and join the conversation in the booth below!

And on across the bridge leading to next year….
Posted in Uncategorized

Write a Story with Me – Segment #54

Welcome to “Write a Story with Me!”

View the Story Here

What is Write a Story with Me?

This story began July 17,  2012 with the first installment by Jennifer M. Eaton.  Different authors from all genres joined in, and have added, or are getting ready to add, their wonderful talent and ideas to keep this story moving.

The great thing about being a part of “Write a Story with Me!” is that no one author knows where we are going, and we have no idea what the person ahead of us is going to write that we will have to build on.

It is the ultimate challenge to your creative imagination.

I hope you enjoy our story.  If you’d like to hop on-board, NO PROBLEM!  The more the merrier!  Just click here to add your name to the list, and you will be tagged when your turn pops up.

Please read and abide by the rules before signing up.

Thank you, and enjoy!

 

Personal Note:

 

The coolest thing about it being my turn today is…..It’s My Birthday!  What a great way to celebrate…by sharing my little bit of “The Story” with my readers, and with those who have followed it from blog to blog for all or part of the last year or so…

 

And now, in the very best hobbit tradition, here is my birthday gift to all of you! =D

 

“I’m not asking you, Yoran. It is foretold .”

She accepted the baby from Morgasa, and settled him to nurse as she moved closer to her husband. “I chose you well, Yoran, and for more than either of us thought.” It was so easy, now, to drop the human form. Iridescent turquoise wings fluttered as if of their own will, allowing her to hover in the air, slightly above him.

He looked up at her . “You are fey.” He wouldn’t admit it, she knew, but his revulsion was blended with fascination.

“You didn’t vow to cherish me only if I was human We didn’t raise our daughters with love and laughter so you could abandon them if they weren’t just as you imagined. I didn’t bear you a son for you to turn from him, or me. I am Natalia, your wife, as I have always been. These are our children, as they have always been.”

Yoran stared at her, and she could read the passing clouds of emotion in his eyes.

“Enough of this!” Sian snapped the flimsy chains. “It’s a waste of time. If he wants to hold his prejudices at night, rather than you, let him. When he let me be Recalled without a protest, he showed himself a coward. I, at least, have a lot of work to do – and I need Marci to help with the next steps.”

Sian clicked her tongue, and Marci was free, silvery wings flicking forward to brush against her sister’s vermillion.

 

Write a Story with Me! Contributors:  Please feel free to include the above on your blog if you like.

View the Story Here

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Book Reviews, Life Writing, Round 3 2013

Farewell to Forty-Three: ROW80 Update, July 28, 2013

Curious? Click the icon!

What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

I had a landmark week . I have moved every one of my goals forward! And tomorrow is my birthday!

I bought a new all-in-one printer, with delivery expected on or about the 30th, in time for my major August, project, – creating editing lists for my Trueborn Warp Star Trek fan fiction WIP, Bounded by a Nutshell, and my Trueborn Weft fantasy WIP, Chameleon’s Dish. I’ll be using Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions, the companion book to Rock Your Plot, which was instrumental in planning my NaNo WIPs.

The kids and I had a quiet and creative week at home, I’ll be blogging about that, using older pictures because, while I did lots of things this week,  I didn’t blow air cleaner into the telescopic part of my camera’s lens assembly.

I passed through the tenth anniversary of Elijah’s death, honestly if not wholly gracefully. There was a poem and a blogpost milling around in my soul. I wasn’t ready to write them, only to attend to my emotions and memories.

I tended house and designed Annalise’s pool party invitations. The pictures are included here, because I love them, and her.

I did a little weeding, until I stuck a rose thorn in my left paw! Ouch! I NEED my left paw!

Sometimes, a flying leap is called for!

I read a bit more of Kristen Lamb‘s Rise of the Machines, which I began during our camping trip a couple of weeks ago. I failed miserably at Learn Nothing Day.

I wrote a WIPpet Wednesday post. Want to read an excerpt of the sustaining passion of my life my Star Trek fan fiction? Here’s a bit of Marital Disharmony.

One more thing…I finished CampNaNoWriMo! I have two new 50K WIPs – the genesis novels for both series, and I am loving the directions they are taking. She writes, she SCORES!!!

Here’s an accounting of my ROW80 Goals Progress…and what will be next!

Blogging:

Create new blog headers for Trueborn Jottings and The Unfettered Life, using new loglines. On target.

  • I chose an image for Jottings. A small, necessary step.

  • Create Jottings header.

  • Tweak Unfettered header.

Prepare Wordless Wednesday Sayen Gardens post. On target.

  • I resumed editing  pictures using PicMonkey.
  • I have nearly enough for two fifteen image posts.
  • Upload to Flickr and create both posts.
  • Continue editing for more Sayen Garen posts.
Through the archway and into my future…

Write Coffee and Conversation post for July 29 (my birthday). On target.

  • I have a stream of consciousness, typo-riddled monologue.

  • Edit, find cohesion, revise, and post.

Prep Write a Story With Me post for July 29 posting. Target attained!

Keep up with comments and sharing. On target.

  • Answered comments a day late.

  • I shared more widely, exploring

  • Ongoing goal.

Writing:

(July CampNaNoWriMo) –Continue writing.Target attained!

  • NaNo total: 102,620 of 100,000 words. I love most of them! =)

  • Validated and official.

  • Relax until August. Read some stuff. Do other things.

Crossing a bridge can be an adventure!

Continue with Perchance to Dream writing. Target attained!

  • Current total: 51,601 of 50,000 words.

  • Take a breather until August, and enjoy!

Continue detailed planning one scene ahead for each POV character. Target attained!

  • Planned through scene 17, scenes 11-13 adapted to changes made during writing.

  • Scene 14, Spock’s POV, pending.

  • Continue planning as POV scenes are completed.

Tidy up The Stars are Fire corkboard cards. Target attained!

  • All are in order.

  • Relax until August, when I resume writing this WIP.

Who could resist an offer like this?!

Keep updates current, and interact socially around NaNo. Target attained!

  • Updates made after each writing session.

  • Social interaction was good, via #CampNaNoWriMo and #ROW80, mostly.

  • Interact socially around NaNo, as desired.

Business-y Stuff:

Maintain sponsor visits. Target attained!

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. On target.

  • Annalise’s  IHIP done.

  • Annalise’s Quarterly Reading added.
  • Reread law for 7th grade IHIP requirements before beginning Jeremiah’s IHIP.

  • Ongoing goal.

Check in with WANA113.Target attained!

  • Finally! Responded to comments, left a message – even saved a few fellow WANA peeps’ posts to read in the coming days.

  • Discovered that there’s a whole lot going on there that I’ve been missing!

  • Read, comment, and share the blogs I saved.

  • Join in on the conversation.

  • Share at least 1 post on the blog sharing thread.

Post to at least one NaNo forum. Target attained!

  • I posted to the “What was the last sentence you wrote?” thread.

  • Post to 3 threads before the month ends!

  • Reply to three posts, also before the month ends.

Image for Trueborn Jottings header.

May July roll sweetly to its end, for all of my readers!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!

The Unfettered Life prototype header.
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Life Writing, Round 3 2013

It’s (not) Learn Nothing Day (here): ROW80 Update, July 24, 2013

 

Curious? Click the icon!

 What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

So, I guess I ought to explain that rather tangly title up there. In the unschooling world , today is Learn Nothing Day – a day intended as a joke/experiment to see if it is actually possible to go an entire 24 hours without learning anything.

It sounds a little silly, maybe, as evidenced by these criticisms, but, in truth, it’s a simple and elegant example of how natural learning works, and, for those of us who were traditionally schooled, it can be a huge eye-opener about how much we really learn each day, and how impossible it is to stop -even for a day.

But here’s the thing.

My kids refuse to play.

Yup, that’s right. They are not willing to even try not to learn, not even just for a single day. They learn every other day of the year, and greedily, they want to learn on Learn Nothing Day, too.

To be fair, they tried for two years, and then they were done. They want to learn, and they see no reason to stop.

So, since they are contrarily actively learning today, I bring you instead pictures from a few years ago, the first year we tried to learn nothing. Enjoy the pictures, and read more about our past efforts, here…

Dead-eye Burton with the Lego gun he created.

If I myself wanted to Learn Nothing today, it might have been better not to have continued with my NaNo effort, because I learned a lot about my characters, their interactions, and the plot. I might also have avoided photo editing, because I learned more about how to use the paintbrush more efficiently, and gained skill in other effects, too.

I could have avoided watching a Peanut Butter Gamer video with Jeremiah, because I learned a lot about MySims Kingdom. I could have happily avoided learning what it feels like to step barefoot on a wooden rhythm stick…but it’s a little too late for that.

Really, I am trying not to learn here…so watching the local news is just a mistake…

Fortunately, I watched PBS just before midnight, so all the fascinating bits I learned about the Buddha, and the potential discovery of his remains, are “safe” learning.

I wish I could say I’ll get through the rest of the day without learning…but my record is not very good, and there are hours to go yet…

And now, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to….in the form of my ROW80 Goals Progress…

Blogging:

Create new blog headers for Trueborn Jottings and The Unfettered Life, using new loglines. On target.

  • I have created a prototype header for Unfettered, but it’s too small, and the blog title was appearing mid-frame. More experimentation is pending.

Prepare Wordless Wednesday Sayen Gardens post. On target.

  • I began editing the pictures using PicMonkey. Progress is slow with the program, so, if the post isn’t ready, I will carry it over for next week, instead.

Write Coffee and Conversation post for July 29 (my birthday). Pending.

  • I have ideas forming in my mind; nothing written as yet.

Young Coquette and book love.

Prep Write a Story With Me post for July 29 posting. Pending.

Keep up with comments and sharing. On target.

  • I have kept up with comments.

  • I’ve shared a little; there will be more of this once I finish my

Writing:

(July CampNaNoWriMo) -Continue writing. On target.

  • NaNo current total: 85,923 of 100,000 words. Less than 15,000 words to go, now!

Continue with Perchance to Dream writing. On target.

  • Current total: 35,471 of 50,000 words. Almost four-fifths of the way there!

Continue detailed planning one scene ahead for each POV character. On target.

  • Planning complete through scene 12.

  • Scene 10, Amanda’s POV, in progress.

Tidy up The Stars are Fire corkboard cards. On target.

  • I updated the status of all scenes. Small beginning steps.

Keep updates current, and interact socially around NaNo. On target.

  • Internet outage in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (prime writing time for me), foiled me…lasted a couple of hours. Updated when the connection was restored.

  • Social interaction was good, via #CampNaNoWriMo and #ROW80, mostly.

Learn Nothing day coincided with a folk-tale puppet show at the historic Schuyler House, Ummm….way too much learning, there!

Business-y Stuff:

Maintain sponsor visits. Target attained!

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. Pending.

  • Nothing yet. After NaNo!

Check in with WANA113. Pending.

  • Not yet. Again, this will be a bigger focus, post-NaNo.

Post to at least one NaNo forum. Pending.

  • Again, not yet. As I get closer to finishing, I will get more involved in this social aspect of NaNo.

 

That’s about it, except to say, that after what seems half an eternity, the heat and humidity have broken, and it is actually cool outside. The air conditioner is off, the windows are open wide, and I am weeding and hometending, with more vigor than I have in weeks. =D

May July roll sweetly to its end, for all of my readers!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2013, Life Writing, Round 3 2013

Reach Exceeds Grasp: ROW80 Update, July 21, 2013

Curious? Click the icon!

What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

I set my Week Three Goals on Thursday, post-camping. Unfortunately, my mind was insisting, since I was setting weekly goals, that it was Sunday, and, as a result, I gave myself more goals than I could possibly meet in three days….

Oops.

So I’ve decided to, for the most part, carry these goals on into Week Four, with a bit of tweaking. If I’ve attained quite a few of them, come Wednesday, I will add more. If not, these will suit me fine for the last full week of CampNaNo, as my focus will definitely be on making that 100k word count!

The photos for this post are from our trip to Saratoga Race Course in 2009.  Since” the track’, as it is affectionately known  around here, is celebrating its 150th season, and opened on Friday, they seemed appropriate.  Read more about our day at Saratoga.

Happy at the track. Annalise, age 5.

So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to, and what’s on tap….

Week Four Goals in bolded blue; Week Three Goals in bolded black.

Blogging:

  • Keep up with comments and sharing.

Create new blog headers for Trueborn Jottings and The Unfettered Life, using new loglines. On Target.

  • I edited the image I will use for The Unfettered Life. I will next add the text, and add it to the blog.

 

A winner cools down….

Write Saturday’s Share post. Target attained!

Prepare Wordless Wednesday Sayen Gardens post. Pending.

Catch up on comments. Target attained!

  • Comments are up to date once more. I will now be focusing on maintaining my posted comment schedule.

Return to sharing posts. On target.

  • Not in a huge way, but I have shared this week’s post to two Facebook groups and three hashtags, and may share it more, as time allows.

Do long-term, blogging, and noveling reporting, and post. Target attained!

La Mousse. Lise and I were in love with her.

Writing:

  • Continue with Perchance to Dream writing

  • Continue detailed planning one scene ahead for each POV character.

  • Wise eyes, evocative face.

    Tidy up The Stars are Fire corkboard cards.

  • Keep updates current, and interact socially around NaNo.

(July CampNaNoWriMo) On target.

  • NaNo current total: 71.184 of 100,000 words.

Continue with Perchance to Dream writing. On target.

  • WIP total: 20, 732 of 50,000 words.

Continue detailed planning one scene ahead for each POV character.

  • Planning complete through scene 9.

  • Scene 7, Amanda’s POV, pending.

Tidy up The Stars are Fire corkboard cards. Pending.

Keep updates current, and interact socially around NaNo. On Target.

  • I updated after each writing session.

  • I participated and #wordmongering and #ROW80 chatter.

Swirling flocks of birds, and Old Glory.

Business-y Stuff:

  • Maintain sponsor visits.

  • ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports.

  • Check in with WANA113.

  • Post to at least one NaNo forum.

La Mousse, fourth of twelve.

Catch up sponsor duties. Target attained!

  • All caught up!

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. Pending.

Check in with WANA113. Pending.

Post to at least one NaNo forum. Pending.

May July roll sweetly on, for all of my readers!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!

Silly summertime siblings at the track!
Posted in Life Writing, Saturday's Share...

Saturday’s Share: Me, On the Edge

At an abandoned rock quarry, somewhere in Montana..Photo credit: James B. Burton

 

Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

Today’s Share is of me, out on a ledge.

It’s a very symbolic picture to me, because it represents many things that have had significant meaning in my life.

The picture was taken in 2000, somewhere near Lewis and Clark Caverns, in Montana. Jim took the picture, at the quarry where we camped on a road trip to Missoula, during our Yellowstone days. We hiked the quarry, and I took some cool pictures, and then Jim suggested that we do some climbing, and got me perched there on the ledge, as a kind of tribute to my bravery.

It may not show when you look at this picture (although I can clearly see it), but I am terrified of falling. It was a narrow ledge, and too close to the road for comfort, and I was nearly frozen into that position I had crept into. Once the photo had been taken, it took minutes longer for me to wiggle my way to a safe spot.

Remembering Jim’s encouragement, while he accepted my fears without pooh-poohing them, and seeing that big and wild Montana sky framed by craggy rocks behind me, remind me that we’ve had adventures, even before we began having children, and how Jim brings out a type of bravery in me I never knew I had, before him.

It reminds me too of a younger version of myself, thinner – and less deep in living- than I am today.

When I was that woman, just about 31 years old, I didn’t know yet that, just a little over a year later, I would become a mother, and that, about three years hence, I would become a grieving mother, and the year after than, again in the summer, I would give birth to a daughter who would make our family as complete as it can ever be.

I also didn’t know then that I was far from finished with going out on ledges, if not literally, then figuratively. I would, in the ensuing years, make my tentative way along the ledges of home ownership, homeschooling, and later, unschooling. I found myself on a relationship ledge, and that my path forward would lead to separation from some members of my family of origin, and creating a new, chosen family that relates in ways that make me feel happy and supported, and able to give happiness and support, as well.

The last two years, I have been edging along another ledge – the ledge of my lifelong dream to write, and to share my writing. It’s been a challenge, at times, and I’ve frozen in place a time or two. And still, just like that young woman I was, on that Montana ledge, I’ve met the challenge, and kept moving.

I wonder what it will be like, to think back on this ledge, a dozen or so years from now?

Do you have pictures of yourself that still speak to you? What do they say to you?

How about literal or figurative ledges? Do they scare you, energize you, or something else? Do you face their possibilities, or stay safely within your comfort zone?

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, too!