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

Saturday’s Share: Jeremiah, Straddling the Divide…

Jeremiah,Harry, and a DSi -August 2013. Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

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 Jeremiah, who is days away from turning twelve.

For me, this image encapsulates Jeremiah as he is today, on the figurative eve of huge changes. It was taken by my sisterfriend, Sylvia, at the Northeast Unschooling Conference, just over a week before Jeremiah’s twelfth birthday. He was sharing his newly-acquired DSi with Sylvia’s son, his best friend Harry, who is seven.

Miah, as he finishes his eleventh year, thinks that girls make good friends, and that, just maybe, he might someday soon be interested in them in other ways. He feels it approaching, but he’s not in a hurry. He’s got plenty to focus on.

His big love is science. He’s innately adept at physics, finds chemistry intriguing, and is passionate about technology – particularly, the technology of gaming.

We live on a modest income, and technology is a sometimes expensive passion. When Jeremiah wants something, he researches it, and if the want is worth the cost, he might negotiate for an advance on his allowance, or do some extra things around the house for pay. The summer he was 9, he arranged to work several days for his grandfather. He set up his clothes, lunch, and alarm the night before, was never late, and did as he was asked, taking only the breaks he was offered, and he learned a good deal about building, plumbing, and yard care.

He did this to earn the money for a 3DS, which we had offered as a Christmas gift, but which he was determined to purchase, in-store, in his chosen color, on his tenth birthday.

And he did.

Sometimes, a new acquisition takes a little extra time, because he tends to be generous with his resources, and buys things for his sister and his friends.

Jeremiah is generous by nature – with his time, his affection, his attention, his smiles, and his laughter. He’s willing to help around the house and yard, willing to hug his parents and sister – even in public, even though he’s nearly as tall as me. Tokens of sweetness and love are something he offers daily, and intentionally.

At the conference, Jeremiah had some spending money – most afforded by our budget, along with a little he saved himself. He decided to spend most of it to buy this DSi and a few games from a friend. In turn, he sold one game he didn’t want (along with his generosity, Jeremiah has a keen sense of personal economy!).

Jeremiah is even-tempered, and tends to consider things carefully before acting. After he’s made his choice, he is inclined to look upon his choices in positive terms, and to enjoy what they bring to his life. He didn’t regret the inability to buy other things during our trip; he made peace with his decision at the outset, and spent happy hours playing alone, with friends, and sharing with others.

In the picture, he’s in a familiar role -games mentor for a younger child, being generous with his time, his knowledge, and even his new treasure. His hand on his buddy’s shoulder, invites him in, lets him know he’s wanted and welcome.

Jeremiah does have that way about him, of welcoming others in a gentle, friendly, unassuming way – and making life warmer and sweeter just by being here.

Just as he’s done for nearly twelve years, now.

He’s straddling the edge of the divide between child and man, now. I can hear it in his voice, and in his ideas. I can see it in a leaning-out of his face, and in the ways he chooses to spend his time.

Sooner than seems possible now, he will be a man, a man grown from this right-now boy. So, today, as I smile at this picture, I remind myself to to see him, not as the child he has been, or the man he will become, but as he is right now…

Himself.

Do you have specific images or memories of your own or your children’s growing up, or ones that seem to capture perfectly who they are or were at a certain point in their lives?  I love when readers come to share bits of their lives, because then we all get the chance to know one another better in the sharing. =D


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

A Passionate Ahhhhh: ROW80 Update, August 28, 2013

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

 How do you approach major life events? Do you accept their unfolding, adapting to the unexpected, or do you need to know what’s coming and for things to roll out smoothly?

 Last weekend, the children and I attended the Northeast Unschooling Conference. Thursday, and Culminating in a picnic at Salem Willows Park on Monday, this is the highlight of our social year –reconnecting with old friends, making new ones; a family reunion where we witness the growing of children, parents, and families; long wandering conversations, focused discussions, and informal chats; celebrating passions; learning via presentations, funshops, artisans, and the coolest talent show I’ve ever seen gulp – laid my soul bare in.

See what I mean by clicking the post below….

//

Post by Adam Smith.

It’s inspiring, renewing and forty-two kinds of wonderful.

 What it isn’t is restful, tidy, or conducive to routines – writing and life – that seem so natural at other, mellower times…

 I slept little. I wrote even less.

 I laughed until it hurt, listened until I was overflowing, and practiced riding the waves of lovely chaos as they rolled through me…

 Solo parenting through these far-from-home and intense days can be challenging. During this conference, I live in close quarters with both children. We are often going in different directions, feeding different passions, living in different rhythms, each with different priorities, preferences, and needs.

At this, our fourth NEUC adventure, I finally successfully met my goal of not yelling at the children or losing my temper with them. I did get frustrated, annoyed, and even angry, at times. And I took deep breaths and conscious action.

But oh, the sweetness of this trip, of seeing my children thriving and confident away from home, how they, too, were calmer than in previous years (I suspect a connection, there…) and more capable of meeting their own needs, and having agency in their own lives; of the deep conversations we had as we drove home in the dark and through torrential rain…the anonymity of dark feeding the sharing..

Best friends Jeremiah and Harry. Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

There’s so much more I could say, and some of it I will, eventually.


Suffice it to say, my life is rich, wild, and wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade it with anyone!

A few (new) words about my goals:

  • Sunday’s update didn’t happen. Life did. =)

  • For the rest of this round, I am only posting those goals which I made progress on for that session.

  • I won’t add as many new items. What’s on my buffet right now offers many options; I will be sampling and indulging these for a while.

  • My primary focus will be on the childrens’ quarterly reports, due on September 1.

  • Secondary focus is writing, and tertiary focus editing, as I attempt to meet my WIP word count and scene goals for August.

  • Blogging and networking will shuffle to the back. When I’ve finished what’s on my plate, I will prioritize them.

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

Blogging:

Best friends Annalise and Gabriella Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

Keep up with sharing. Pending.

Editing (With Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions🙂 On target.

Chameleon’s Dish :

Take general on-page notes. On target.

  • Complete through Scene #30; page 114/249. Ideas popping and simmering.

  • Ongoing.

Continue list of per-scene attention items. On target.

  • Completed through Scene #26; page 104/249. Under 150 pages to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

Mid-conference snuggle with my best girl! Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

Writing:

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

  • 20,723/ 25,000 words. Less than 5,000 left for the month!

  • 1,311 new words .

  • WIP total: 158,406/ ~200,000 words. Under 45K to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

Adapt/Plan Scene 16; Amanda’s Plot Point #1 (beginning by 8/22). Target attained!

  • Scene mildly adapted. Looking forward to writing it!

  • Write Scene 16; Amanda’s Plot Point #1(beginning by 8/29).

Business-y Stuff:

Maintain sponsor visits. Target surpassed!

Add Social Sciences to quarterlies. On target.

  • Setting aside the IHIPs until quarterly reports are complete; they’re due on Sunday, September 1.

  • U.S. History and Patriotism and Citizenship sections completed for both children.

  • Jeremiah’s Geography section complete – this goal met for him.

  • Ongoing.

Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC). Target attained!

  • Both reviews printed, panel formed, signatures attained. =)

  • Mail reviews to school district.

Have you faced challenges lately? Were they transformative? How do you feel you met them? What worked, and what didn’t? Did you learn anything useful? What can you celebrate about your approach and how you weathered the situation?

I’m so looking forward to meeting the mysterious entity who will become….Follower #105!

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, Challenges and Contests, Round 3 2013

One More: ROW80 Update, August 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!

For me, this is the session of One More.

One more day:

 The Northeast Unschooling Conference  starts tomorrow.

One more follower:

 This little blog o’ mine now has 104 WordPress followers. My goal for this round is to see it to 105. So, one more…This post itself is One More…the 400th post I’ve published on this blog. 

There is light, and shadow –  we have a potential One Less, too…

 We may have one less cat than we did. We have not seen Srindi, the most feral, still, of our three formerly feral felines, in a few days. She tends to hang close to my office, and hadn’t been going outside much.

 It’s possible she’s in heat, because she’s the one of the three who hasn’t yet been spayed. Or she may have decided that living outside, as she did for the first several months of her life, suits her better than the bustle of the house. She may come back, or not. We hope she does.

Me and my Mobile Muse. Iggy Jingles doll and photo credit: Robyn Coburn.

We hope that she’s alive and well. She is a nice cat, shy and reserved, and, during the last week or two, she seemed to have been warming up to us at last…

In the meantime, I’m writing, and packing, and wrapping up weekend preparations. I’ve had several story breakthroughs, and a part of my wants nothing but to hide away, explore these new twists and depths, and write…

A few (new) words about my goals:

  • Sunday’s update may be extremely short, or even nonexistent, depending on the flow of the next few days.

  • For the rest of this round, I will only be posting those goals which I made progress on for that session. I’m hoping to make my updates tighter and easier to prepare and read.

  • I won’t be adding many new items for a bit. What’s on my buffet right now offers many options, and I will be sampling and indulging these for a while.

Natural art funshop….so many things to learn and do at NEUC! Photo credit: unknown.

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

Blogging:

Continue uploading photo batches to Flickr, post-editing. On target.

  • Last Sayen photos uploaded..

  • Ongoing goal.

Post Wordless Wednesday and WIPpet Wednesday posts. Target attained!

Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • Ongoing.

“Dream a Little Dream of Me” – Performing with unschooled musician Julian Baptista. Photo credit: Adam Smith.

Editing (With  Rock  Your Revisions): On target.

 Chameleon’s Dish :

Take general on-page notes.

On target.

  • Major epiphanies, and scenes that will be rewritten almost wholly. I’m so excited, I almost want to do it right now, even though I know I haven’t gone deeply enough!

  • Complete through Scene #28; page 109/249. Under 150 pages to go! =D

  • Ongoing.

Continue list of per-scene attention items. On target.

  • Completed through Scene #22; page 93/249.

  • Ongoing.

Writing:

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

  • 19, 392/ 25,000 words. Less than 6,000 left for the month!

  • 2, 576 new words .

  • WIP total: 157, 074/ ~200,000 words. Under 45K to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

Perchance to Dream: Write Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV. Target attained!

  • 1,239 new words.

  • WIP total: 58,130/~100,000 words.

  • Adapt/Plan Scene 16; Amanda’s Plot Point #1 (beginning by 8/22).

After-performance songs from my boy. Photo credit: Adam Smith.

Business-y Stuff:

Maintain sponsor visits.

Target surpassed!

Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC). On target.

  • Both reviews proofed and ready to print today.

  • Ongoing.

Visit and post to three WANA tribes. On target.

  • Visited and read all comments at Writing to Heal. Will process, then introduce myself.

All in all, a good One More session. Things are humming along, and I will take some down time from conference intensity to play with words and ideas….

Who will be the One More that brings me to my goal? Could it be….you? If you haven’t followed yet, and like what you see here, it might be!

I appreciate all my followers, and am so looking forward to meeting the mysterious entity who will become….Follower #105!

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

Ladies who NEUC: Jean, Robyn, Ren, Julie, me, Trinity, and Debra. I don’t remember who snapped this – sorry!

 

 

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

Tricksome Time: ROW80 Update, August 18, 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!

Time sometimes plays capricious games with me. Our life is more a thing of flow than of rigid schedule, so hard-and-fast commitments can sneak up on me and catch me off blithely doing something else.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I had a flash of realization.

The Northeast Unschooling Conference starts on Thursday.

I somehow thought it was at least a week further away. I am not mentally, emotionally, or physically ready…

So that’s what the next few days will be about – getting ready for a hugely social weekend, solo parenting (being married to a chef means very few weekends off!), massive amounts of learning, and travel.

A  few words about my goals:

These aren’t do-this-now-or-fail propositions. My goals offer me a fine buffet of choices, awaiting my pleasure. I have so man I always have options, whatever the nature of living.

The next few days, and, to some extent, the rest of the month, my focus will shift strongly toward one type of goal or another. There is homeschooling paperwork to submit in the early parts of September. I’ve been neglecting blogging for months, as I pursued noveling. Lately, I’m feeling a strong urge to be back to at least thrice-a week blogging here, and maintain my weekly specials at the other two blogs, by the end of the round.

Abundance…what the next days offer!

In October, I will be planning my November NaNoWriMo novel, King of Shreds and Patches – more on that in the coming weeks.

So, focus shifts, and life goes on…

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

Blogging:

Revise biography. On target.

  • First step: I tracked down various bios and placed them together in one document.
  • Reread, colorblock and mull.
  • Take notes for deeper focus.
  • Freewrite at least once.

Continue uploading batches of 15 to Flickr, as they are edited. On target.

  • Ongoing goal.

Continue editing for more Sayen Garden Wordless Wednesday posts. Target attained!

  • 11 images to finish these.

Sometimes life imposes boundaries…

Complete second Coffee and Conversation post, and schedule. Pending.

Draft 2 more Coffee and Conversation posts. Pending.

Draft 2 Saturday’s Share  posts by Friday, August 16. Target attained!

  • Colorblocked existing draft for the first;

  • Wrote a wandering draft for the second.

  • Schedule both posts by Wednesday, August 21.

  • Post Wordless Wednesday and WIPpet Wednesday posts.

Gather links for Sunday Sampler – 3 per category. Pending.

Create a file for potential stacking, per feature. On target.

  • Ongoing.

Continue brainstorming post ideas, adding features over time. Pending.

  • Ongoing.

Create sidebar “menus” for all blogs, and post. Pending.

Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • Ongoing.

Editing (With Cathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Revisions🙂 On target.

Chameleon’s Dish :

Hoping to keep sight of the forest and the trees.

Take general on-page notes. On target.

  • Jotted color-coded notes through Scene #18 (leaving blanks for Henry’s pending scenes) – Page 83/249 – chugging along! =D

  • Ongoing.

Continue list of per-scene attention items. On target.

  • Notes and set up for goal/motivation/conflict/disaster (with blanks for Herny’s pending scenes) through Scene #14; Page 60/ 249. Over a fifth of the way there.

  • Ongoing.

Bounded by a Nutshell: Pending.

Print for reread. Pending.

  • Saving for September, unless I finish the first run of Chameleon’s Dish sooner.

Writing:

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

  • 16,816/ 25,000 words. Less than 9,000 left for the month!

  • 3,257 new words .

  • WIP total: 154,498/ ~200,000 words. A little less than a NaNo to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

I’ll embrace moments of relaxation.

The Stars are Fire: Adapt plan for Scene 23, Vaara’s Pinch Point #1. Target attained!

  • Plan adapted to suit writing to-date.

Perchance to Dream: Write Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV. On target.

  • 2,628 new words.

  • WIP total: 56, 891/~100,000 words.

  • Ongoing.

Business-y Stuff:

Update all Blogging Action Plans. Target attained!

Maintain sponsor visits. Target surpassed!

  • Ongoing.

Add Social Sciences to IHIPs and quarterlies. On target.

  • Jeremiah’s IHIP completed.

Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC). On target.

  • Annalises’s Peer Review Form drafted.

  • Ongoing.

I might find a moment of Zen…

Add Sciences to IHIPs and Quarterlies. Target attained!

  • Jeremiah’s quarterly Sciences completed -which finishes this goal! =D

  • Add Visual Arts to IHIPS and Quarterlies.

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

  • Ongoing.

Comment on Wordless and WIPpet Wednesday posts (at least 3 each). Target attained!

  • Visited WIPpets, commented (except for one – WordPress wouldn’t let me!), and shared to my Facebook Writer Page.

  • I visited three Wordless Wednesday posts.

Visit and post to three WANA tribes. Pending.

Visit Pinterest – it’s been a while! Pending.

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

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

Creative Time Travel: ROW80 Update, August 14, 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!

 Ever wonder how people lived during specific historical periods? We do.

 On Sunday, the kids and I enjoyed Eighteenth Century Day at the Schuyler House, a local landmark rebuilt in 1777, after the British burned it down, and our area was reclaimed during the “Turning Point of the Revolution”, the Battles of Saratoga.

 We witnessed traditional sheep-shearing, weaving, spinning, and quilling. Annalise tried her hand at feeding a calf, dipping a candle, and stiltwalking. Jeremiah and I spoke to soap and beer makers, and visited the apothecary exhibit, where I took pictures of live leeches that would have delighted Dr. Phlox.

Lookee! LEECHES!

The time period is about 150 years later, and in a different place, than the setting of my Shakespearean England YA fantasy, Chameleon’s Dish, currently in early revisions, but I left with more of a flavor for the reality of that time, too.

 I rounded out the session by spending a lovely, rich wedge of Tuesday with Eden Mabee. We’ve known each other since we were 4, so there is so much that never has to be explained. We went for a swim and a soak at the Y, then she helped me shop for some desperately needed new clothes. I am now richer by two skirts, a pair of yoga pants, and a rockin’ black dress that seems to lavish all my generous curves with just the right amount of attention.

 It was such a great visit that the rainstorm-induced power outage, fire alarm, and emergency crews that put a hasty end to a delicious dinner scarcely phased us!

 Neither of us wrote much, but sometimes, connection is the thing. The words will come, later.

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

Woven loveliness.

Blogging:

 Tweak shanjeniah header. Target attained!

 All blogs now sport new headers, and I will save potential retweaking until Round 4.

  • Revise biography.

 Continue uploading batches of 15 to Flickr, as they are edited. On target.

 One batch of 16 uploaded, for this Wednesday’s post.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Continue editing for more Sayen Garden Wordless Wednesday posts. On target.

  • Fifteen images edited.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Have one post ready to publish on Monday, August 12. Target attained!

When you set your dipped candle down before it’s hardened, curvy things can happen.

 Draft 2 Saturday’s Share posts by Friday, August 16. Pending.

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

  • Gather links for Sunday Sampler – 3 per category.

 Create a file for potential stacking, per feature. On target.

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

Continue brainstorming post ideas, adding features over time. Pending.

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

Create sidebar “menus” for all blogs, and post. Pending.

  • Nothing this session.
  • Ongoing goal.

Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • I answered all comments.

  • I shared my Monday post.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Editing (With Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions:) Pending.

Soapmaking in progress. I think Henry and Tisira need to make some soap.

Chameleon’s Dish :

Take general on-page notes. On target.

  • Jotted color-coded notes for Scenes #8 and #10 (leaving blanks for Henry’s pending scenes) – through page 50/249 – one fifth of the way! =)

  • Ongoing goal.

Continue list of per-scene attention items. On target.

  • Set up a page (still blank), for Henry’s pending Scenes #5 and #7.

  • Notes and set up for goal/motivation/conflict/disaster. Scene #6,: Page 38/ 249.

Bounded by a Nutshell:

Print for reread. Pending.

  • Saving for September, unless I finish the first run of Chameleon’s Dish sooner.

Writing:

Traditional sheep-shearing.

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

  • 13,558/ 25,000 words. A bit beyond halfway.

  • 2,609 new words this session.

  • WIP total: 151,241/ ~200,000 words. A little less than a NaNo to go! =)

  • Ongoing goal.

The Stars are Fire – Write Scene 22, Konii’s POV. Target attained!

  • 3,420 new words.

  • WIP total: 53, 872 /~ 100,000 words.

  • Adapt plan for Scene 23, Niaan’s Pinch Point #1, beginning August 15.

Perchance to Dream – Plan Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV. Target attained!

  • Write Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV, beginning August 15.

Business-y Stuff:

Getting an old-fashioned lift in life.

Update all Blogging Action Plans. Pending.

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

Maintain sponsor visits. Target surpassed!

Pawprint weaving.

Complete Jeremiah’s ELA and Mathematics for fourth quarter reports. Target attained!

  • Add Social Sciences to IHIPs and quarterlies.

 Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC). Pending.

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

Got Milk? Indeed I do!

Add Sciences to IHIPs and Quarterlies. On target.

  • Added to Annalise’s Quarterly. Her Sciences are now complete.

  • Ongoing goal.

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

  • Nothing this session.

  • Ongoing goal.

  • Comment on Wordless Wednesday and WIPpet Wednesday posts – at least 3 each.

Join in on the conversation. Target attained!

  • I got very brave! I joined several new tribes, posted a comment and a status update, made three friend requests, and considered potential changes to my WANATribe page. Yay, me! =D

  • Visit and post to three WANA tribes.

  • Visit Pinterest – it’s been a while!

Historical still life.

Do you have dear lifelong friends? Have you time-traveled lately?

Are you reaching for your life goals? I love comments and chatting!

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

And, a bonus – no leeches, but Regulan bloodworms. =)

Posted in Coffee and Conversation, Life Writing

Coffee and Conversation: On Shaming Children

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

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

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.

Public shaming of children has become something of a trend, in the last few years. Television and the Internet are filled with images and videos of kids made to wear signs proclaiming their “crimes” in their own handwriting. Parents are posting shaming punishments on their kids’ social media profile pages, for the sole purpose of embarrassing them.

I was shamed in private throughout much of my own childhood, and, on occasion, publicly, too. There was no social media, then, so I was spared these incidents “going viral” (a phrase that didn’t exist, in that sense, yet).I can still hear the things my parents used to keep me from getting “too big for my britches”. I still feel their sting, and the self-doubt they fostered.

Kids, unshamed.

I was intended to trust my parents, and to believe what they told me:

“Hoe can you do something so stupid when you’re supposed to be so smart?”

“You’re just existing.”

“That’s a pipe dream.”

“You have no common sense.”

“You can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

“You do everything backwards.”

“You’re lazy.”

Maybe these don’t seem so bad. It’s likely I’m not the only member of my generation who heard these indictments so often that they became the background of our lives. I’m probably not the only one who still hears them, in my parents’ voices, see the scorn and anger in their eyes. Even at 44 years old I can still feel the sharp stab of them.

For years, I believed them, or fought not to, and the belief and struggle kept me from forming my own beliefs about myself, framing my own journey, and accepting that I am imperfect, flawed…and so is every other human. It’s taken nearly my whole life to love myself as I am, and see myself as worthy.

Shaming children in public ways reminds my of the pillory, the stockade, The Scarlet Letter. We no longer use these techniques on adults, in America, presumably because they’ve been deemed inhumane. It may bring about resentment, bitterness, rebellion, perhaps even estrangement, as the wedge it creates drives parents and children away from one another.

I knew I was being manipulated, that my feelings were being cast aside or wounded so that I would do as my parents wanted me to. There was something in it that wasn’t honest, denying me the right to express my own perspective. It was minimizing, and assumed that their position was the only correct one.

I want something different for my own children. I want them to listen and consider my viewpoint because they trust me, and understand that my experiences and perspectives might give them valuable insights. I want them to trust themselves, too, to know their own strengths and understand that we all have things we aren’t naturally good at, and to know where their path diverges from mine.

When they hear my voice in their heads, I want it to be reminding them that they have spent a lifetime developing their judgment, that they are competent and capable of learning, that they are as worthy as anyone else, and that they can ask me for help without fear of being shamed.

I don’t have that, with my parents. Shaming remains a part of their interactions. They still try to control me with it, and seem not to understand that my goals are not theirs. That’s put a rift in our relationship that might be beyond healing. I go elsewhere for honest, rational consideration and advice. My parents aren’t interested in trying to understand what I value, and why.

That’s not the relationship I want with Jeremiah and Annalise. I’m not interested in controlling them, or in making sure they obey me. I want them to use their own judgment. and I see my role as helping them learn to do that. I facilitate this by giving them information and insight they may not have, with the benefit of wider experience and deeper perspective, and by helping them to understand social conventions, laws, courtesy, and acceptance of others.

Honesty and mutual respect help us to accomplish this. Shame and control would be heading in the wrong direction.

What about you? Were you shamed as a child? How did it feel? Do you use shame in your parenting? Why do you, or do you not? Do you have an opinion about the current trend of public child-shaming? I’m interested in all views, so long as they are respectfully expressed, and do not demean children. Please join in the conversation!  

The relationship I want….with two amazing people.
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Life Writing, Round 3 2013

High Creative Tide: ROW80 Update, August 11, 2013

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

I’ve got a lot to say, at this update – but most of it will be said (well, more likely written), in places other than here.

Yup, it’s high creative tide, for all of us, here, and I am riding the waves: writing, editing, blogging, taking care of business, hometending and beginning to reorganize, playing with words, images, ideas, and emotions in many ways.

I’ve been joyfully productive, and, even as I type this, at 4am Sunday, my time, I am feeling eager to rush back over to the buffet, and serve up a few more favorites so I can nibble at them before I sleep…

A single,artful bloom.

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

Blogging:

Tweak The Unfettered Life header. Target attained!

  • Redone, for now. Subject to adaptation.

 Tweak shanjeniah header. Pending.

  • Ongoing goal.

Continue uploading batches of 15 to Flickr, as they are edited. Pending.

  • Ongoing goal.

Continue editing for more Sayen Garen Wordless Wednesday posts. On target.

  • Fifteen images edited.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Draft 2 Coffee and Conversation posts for stacking. Target attained!

  • 1000+ word draft of second post. May be a series of posts on aspects of the same theme. I am excited to own my convictions, and I hope to inspire thought on a topic of deep importance to me.

Have one post ready to publish on Monday, August 12. On target.

  • “On Shaming Children” color-coded, pondering revision.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Draft 2 Saturday’s Share posts by Friday, August 16. Pending.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Create a file for potential stacking, per feature. On target.

  • Master list created.

  • Brainstormed ideas from writing notebook added.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Continue brainstorming post ideas, adding features over time. Pending.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Rough draft of revised posting schedule. Target attained!

  • My Blog Buffet Menu is in rough draft, and I am pleased with it.

  • Create sidebar “menus” for all blogs, and post.

 Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • Ongoing goal.

These colors make me swoon.

Editing (With Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions:) Pending.

  • New printer is functional! =D

 Chameleon’s Dish :

 Print for reread. Target attained!

 Once I got everything working together, printing went quickly. Still in negotiations with the paper loading tray…

 Begin reading to my beta listeners (Annalise and Jeremiah). Target attained!

 Read-through completed wee-hours, Saturday.

  • Much discussion – writing, plot, related things. Annalise drew a favorite scene in her sketch pad.

  • They want more! Like, right now! =)

     Take general on-page notes. On target.

  • Jotted color-coded notes on first four scenes – to page 38/249.

  • Ongoing goal.

 Begin list of things to look at. On target.

  • Designated a notebook for this project– 1 page per scene.

  • Onep age of general, scene-by-scene items to look at.

  • Notes and set up for goal/motivation/conflict/disaster. Prologue (writing pending), – scene #3,: Page 19 / 249.

  • Continue list of per-scene attention items.

 Bounded by a Nutshell:

 Print for reread. Pending.

  • Saving for September, unless I finish the first run of Chameleon’s Dish sooner.

Merchant’s Road Inspiration.

Writing:

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

  • 9,449 / 25,000 words.

  • 2,951 new words.

  • WIP total: 148,132 / ~200,000 words.

The Stars are Fire – Write Scene 22, Konii’s POV. On target.

  • 3,132 new words.

  • WIP total: 53,584 /~ 100,000 words.

  • Adapt plan for Scene 23, Niaan’s Pinch Point #1, beginnimg August 15.

Perchance to Dream – Plan Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV. Target attained!

  • Scene was already planned; minor adjustments made.

  • Write Scene 15; T’Pol’s POV, beginning August 15.

Business-y Stuff:

Skipping along a creative path..

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

Maintain sponsor visits. Target attained!

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports (due September 1). On targe

  • Annalise’s Quarterly – Mathematics completed. This goal has been attained for her IHIP and reports.

  • Jeremiah’s Quarterly – Writing/Spelling complete.

  • Complete Jeremiah’s ELA and Mathematics for fourth quarter reports (by September 1).

  • Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC)

Add Sciences to IHIPs and Quarterlies. On target.

  • Added to Jeremiah’s IHIP.

  • Ongoing goal.

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

  • Read more, commented, and shared.

  • Ongoing goal.

Join in on the conversation. Target attained!

  • Two comments made.

  • Ongoing goal.

Have you ever been swept away on a Creative High Tide? Was it exciting, terrifying, or a little of both?

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

Unfettered Life Header