Posted in April CampNaNoWriMo 2014, Blogging from A to Z 2014, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing

Coffee and Conversation: April CampNaNoWriMo and A Lot to Chew

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 a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

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

Hey there! Ever feel like you’ve maybe taken on a little too much, and as though you’re constantly juggling, in danger of losing track of something?

Yup, that’s where I am right now.

It wouldn’t maybe have been this way -except…

Isn’t there always an except?

Mine is that I spent more time sick during this long hard winter than I usually spend in an entire year. It slowed me down, muddled things up more often than I had hoped, had me scrambling to get back to the place where I thought I should be…

Kristen Lamb talked about this in her post today, and it struck a chord with me.

I’m scrambling, now.

In a little less than three hours, I’ll embark on two marathon writing challenges, and I’ll do another next month.

When I decided to do it, I thought it would be, if not a snap, at least doable. I could draft the A to Z posts ahead, reread the first of the WIPs I intend to complete this year, for CampNaNo -and I could get the house into a better state, and queue some blog posts so that there’d be no pressure while I explored a new project, and wrapped on one I’ve kept waiting longer than I intended.

Only, now there’s only a few hours before the challenge begins, and I’m typing this on one computer, with a novel draft on the other (my attempts to move the file having been thus far fumbling and non-productive- at one point, I even thought I lost it!). My first of 26 A to Z posts is still in revision and hundreds of words too long.

And blogging-well, I have a list of subjects to write about, but nothing written, nothing queued.

Beyond that -I have a family, and a house, and  dishes, laundry, homeschooling, leaky roofs, car repairs, and all the other large and small details that make up a life…

So – am I going to give up? Or lock myself into my study, and write as though there’s nothing else in the world?

No, to both.

For one thing, my study is in a state of unlovely chaos. I began several projects designed to make it more embracing – and left them as other parts of life beckoned.

And, as I said, I have a family. I won’t be writing when someone who depends upon me needs a snuggle, a chat, or a canoodle. I won’t be letting clutter pile up three feet deep – at least, not everywhere at once!

For another – I chose these challenges because they feed something within me, and help me to focus on projects I want to explore, carry on, or wrap up. I choose them because there’s always things to learn in them, and because they feed my creative needs.

So…what’s a woman to do?

Well -I’m going to take a deep breath –

And do what I can, with the understanding that real people come before fictional ones, and that I may not get exactly where I wanted to go.

Will that make me a loser?

No.

Because every word written, every idea explored, will be mine. It will be a commitment to my writing, and to myself. That’s something. If I don’t complete the challenges perfectly, I will still have made an effort, and I’ll have what I create – the words, and the experience of their creation.

And, in the times that I’m not writing, but engaged in a moment of living, the creation will still be happening, in the back of my mind, simmering away while I do other things. Even if the words and ideas come three months from now, they’ll be mine to develop.

And that’s why I’m doing them.

So, here we are. Less than two hours until the challenges begin. I’m finishing up this post, and working on setup, while I watch Castle.

This month of challenges will be what it will be; sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhausting.

Sometimes, I’ll be doing something completely different…

And, in 30 days, I’ll be on the other side, with things learned, and stories to tell…

How about you? Do you take on formal or informal challenges? Why or why not? If so, how do you approach them? Is it an all-or-nothing, pass-fail proposition? Or are you more interested in progress and growth, even if you don’t complete the challenge?

I’d love to hear what you think! I’ll see if I can find some fresh cups, and take break. Let’s chat!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Round 1 2014

Playful Pause: ROW80 Round 1 Review

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Hi, there!

No, you’re not just seeing things, and I do know this is a ROW80 break!

But, since I set annual goals for 2014, I thought I’d take this opportunity to give myself a little break from my A to Z plotting, and evaluate how far ROW80 Round 1 carried me toward my goals.

I made considerable forward progress, especially in the editing and blogging arenas. I’ve started most of my larger projects, and have a couple of things crossed off the list.

A few things will be bowing out in Round 2, to return later in the year, and a few will be given more intensive focus, as I shift more toward writing and planning new material, this round.

All in all, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made…and I’m enjoying a bit of a slower and more focused pace, now, as I gear up for my April challenges…

I’ll be posting my Round 2 intentions next Sunday….until then, may you have peace, passion, and beauty in your lives! =)

My life is rich in blogging inspiration!

2014 Blogging:

  • Focus on layout and design aspects of my Blogging Action Plan. Setting aside, awaiting Kristen Lamb’s Jedi touch later this spring.
  • Add all useful bits, templates, links, etc, for each feature to Master Resource File. A success!
  • Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely. Becoming a habit, keeping for Round 2.
  • Brainstorm what I want in a website; move The Unfettered Life to a spiffy new home. Again, setting this aside, for a while. Other ideas are emerging; more are sure to come.
  • Visit five writing websites; consider what I do and don’t like about them. Informal, here-and there success.
The very first words of a spanking-new adventure!
The very first words of a spanking-new adventure!

2014 Writing:

  • Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream. Not much this round. More focus in Round 2.
  • Draft two more novels in the Trueborn double series, as NaNo projects. Some basic groundwork laid for the first. Plotting will be a Round 2 focus.
  • Freewrite on the ideas I’ve had for the unwritten portions of the story.Did a little; Round 2 will include plotting the first, and early development of the second.

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May.

  • Create basic plan for the Last House stories (2014 A to Z April Challenge).Moving along; obviously a major early focus for Round 2.
  • Create basic timeline for Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May).Also moving along.I’ll finish prep in April; write in May.
Cozily editing….

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

  • Work through Chameleon’s DishPre-Revision Action Plan by March 1. Done, and into the revision process. Carrying over to Round 2 as a secondary goal.
  • Check out NaNo Now What Months features in preparation for MarchNaNoEdMo.I got what I needed, there.
  • Complete pre-editing notes for Bounded by a Nutshell. Done! Next step in Round 2 or 3.
  • Reread Blood and Breath silently .Completed! Read-aloud later in Round 2.

Revise all poems for QOMIS, until satisfied with the results. Not much happened here; will reappear in Round 3, when some larger things are completed.

Complete Deep Revision process with my three short story WIPs. Same progress.in play; revisiting in Round 3.

Life in progress on the family room desk…

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

  • Continue the family room reset. Moved forward; visible progress made. Carrying forward to Round 2.
  • Spend time daily in my study. I did well, early on. The room is now the embodiment of Lovely Chaos. Carrying forward into Round 2, adapted.
  • Clean up homeschooling files by February 15. Some progress. In the mix for Round 2.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity. Yes, and no. Reshaping my concept of ‘organization’ during Round 2.

  • Experiment with play project schedule. Target attained! I have ideas to carry forward to Round 2.

Research small business establishment /administration.

Some things are really important!

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

  • Select and complete projects from my Play Jar. Resuming in April, even if slowly, for Round 2.
  • Make plans to meet with at least 1 person on my get-together list; get in touch with at least 2 more to express my wish to reconnect.No, not so much. Revisiting for Round 2.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

  • Choose one playful motion for each day in January; do it several times throughout the day, with a spirit of adventure. This goal shifted with each month, as intended. Adapting a new version of this goal for Round 2.

That’s it for me!  Round 2 starts April 7.  See you there!

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

Saturday’s Share: Dem Bones!

 

Hanging out with a deceased friend!

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, I hearken back a ways, to the first time I was brave enough to take the kids on an overnight trip without bringing backup (my husband or a friend who didn’t yet have children.)

It was also our first unschooling adventure – a gathering of a few families on a former dairy farm – camping in a meadow, celebrating an Orthodox Shabbos under a full moon (even though our family isn’t Jewish, we were welcomed to join in); playing with chickens, goats, and each other…

And then there were Dem Bones.

Our host family found them when exploring their new property, and left them there for visitors to discover.

They are the bones of some unknown horse…and, when Annalise found them, during a game of Explore the Forest with her new friends, she fell passionately in love.

That was no surprise:

  • For her third birthday, she asked for….intestines! No lie. That’s what she wanted. Telling her she already had them didn’t help – she wanted intestines she could explore and play with. Anatomy was an early favorite interest of hers.

  • She’d recently shifted her favorite animal allegiance from gorillas to horses, and she had a fondness for puzzles and mysteries.

In a single day, she visited these bones 5 times. Each time she lingered, and explored. She had many, many questions:

  • Are these bones plastic, or real?”

  • What do you think the horse looked like?”

  • What part of the horse is this?”

At one point, she decided to try to put the pieces back together. She was very focused on this process, although most of the skeleton was missing. She spent about 20 minutes arranging and rearranging, narrating her thought processes as she went along.

She was five years old, but she’d already had years of practice on the mastodon skeleton puzzleat the New York State Museum by that point, and she was confident. Eventually, she got that collection of skull vertebrae, ribs, leg, and a partial pelvic bone sorted out and arranged.

She opened the jaws as wide as they would go (considerably wider than the horse would have been able to). She talked to it, sang to it, counted teeth, and checked their condition when I told her that horses’teeth got longer as they grew older. She wondered what the horse had been like, how old it had been, and how it had died.

As the time to go home neared, she cried, because she wouldn’t be able to take those lovely bones home with her. So I took some pictures, so that she would have them to look at later.

I was reminded of this last night, when I took the kids toJourney Through the Body, an annual event held at a local mall. Annalise is still interested in anatomy, although not as intensely as she was at five.

She still likes the bones, but she was more fascinated, by far, at the safety tent and the giant colon. Best lines of the night? “Look, Mom! I’m advanced colon cancer!” She said she was hanging out with her colon friends (yrs, I took a picture, but I haven’t edited it yet).

One gentleman volunteer chatted with her, then looked at me and said, “Future doctor.”

I shrugged, and answered, “Future happy person.” I mentioned several of her other lifelong passions – fashion, wildlife, art, storytelling, and performing. No telling yet which will flourish and blossom into a way to make a living, or which combination. It might even be one she hasn’t discovered yet. And we aren’t inclined to push any over another – her life is her own, and we trust she’ll decide what she wants, when she’s ready. She’s nine, and there’s absolutely no rush.

The gentleman looked at me, then past to where Annalise had moved on to another exhibit, and was laughing as she chatted with someone else. There was something new in his eyes.

“Current happy person, “ he said, with a smile.

And yes – that’s the point of creating a life with time for noodling with newly-discovered bleached horse bones, or a giant inflatable colon, or supplying a nine-year-old with makeup so she can satisfy a passion even when I don’t wear makeup and don’t really understand it.

That’s why we do it; why our lives are arranged around our passions. Engaging freely in passions makes happy people, no matter their ages.

And happy people make a happier world.

What do you think? Do you make time in your life for indulging your passions? Did your parents nurture your passions, or treat them as frivolous? If you’re a parent, do you make space in your life for your childrens’ passions, as they grow?

I’d love to hear your stories and opinions! After all, Saturdays are for sharing!

See more of Annalise and Dem Bones!

See more of last year’s Journey Through The Body event!

 

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Round 1 2014

A Not-So-Playful Wrapup: ROW80 Update, 3/26/14

 

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Hi there! I hope this finds you well and happy, indulging in things and people that delight you!

Here we are – time already to put ROW80 Round One in the record books, and ramp up for Round 2. My, that first quarter of the year went fast!

On Sunday, I will be posting my progress on my annual goals. But for today, I give you my final Round 1 update

I’d hoped to get more done, but…

Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes unexpected things happen (and, in the odd perimenopausal place I’m in, ‘often’ can be substituted for ‘sometimes’). Sometimes, decades after puberty, I get clusters of acne. Sometimes I get them in places I never had them before…and sometimes, that’s incapacitating in the way childbirth was, or that time I fell on the hot wood stove because I didn’t want to step on the dog…

Enough said. Monday and Tuesday were days of excruciating pain, and I am happy to report that today is much, much better. I can move and sit, stand and walk, just like a regular person! Hooray! =D

 

I lost some time, during those two days, and so, for the rest of the month, I’ll be playing catch-up:

  • Write and schedule five A to Z posts, to cover Week One.
  • Write my guest post for my friend Flo Gascon‘s lovely blog, and my ROW80 Sponsor Post for Round 2.
  • Queue some blog posts to cover the April creative bonanza without ignoring my followers.
  • Move To Be or Not to Be to Dropbox, and reread in preparation for April CampNaNoWriMo.
  • Set my intentions for Round 2.
  • Indulge myself, and gear up for the creative surge of April and May.
  • Continue revisions for Chameleon’s Dish, and plotting for “The IDIC Romance” stories.

My main focus areas (other than pain management) :

  • Revising Chameleon’s Dish;
  • Preparing for April and May’s intensive writing projects.
  • Preparation for ROW80 Round 2.
A break in the clouds….

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Answer comments regularly, across all blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. On target.

  • Behind, due to pain affecting focus – oh, and happily, more comments these days!

Make at least two return visits every other day, on average.  Target attained!

  • I think so. A little foggy.

Maintain regular posting schedule;queue one post for each regular feature. On target, mostly.

2014 Writing:

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May.

Create basic plan for the Last House stories (2014 A to Z April Challenge)On target.

  • This will be my major focus, until completed.
  • I will begin posting stories on Tuesday, April 1.
  • Hope to have 5 stories (for the first week) completed by then.

Create premises for all stories; write POV character’s GMCs . On target.

  • Premise:12/26 Completed; nearing the halfway point at last!
  • GMC:11/26 Completed.

Write brief character sketch for each MC.  On target.

  • 9/26 Completed.

Set Plot and Pinch Points for all stories.  On target.

  • 3/26 completed.

Write story summaries. On target.

  • 1/26 completed.
  • Write story Cheat Sheets. Pending.

“The IDIC Romance”Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May):Create premise, GMC, and character sketches for both protagonists by April 1On target.

Write character sketches/bios for both POV characters. On target.

  • Completed Habits and Mannerisms.
The promise of spring.

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.  On target.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • In progress: 8/60

Spend at least 60 hours (2hours/day average) on this pass during MarchTarget exceeded!

  • 3/23: 1 hour; 30 minutes.
  • 3/24: 50 minutes.
  • 3/25: No revising.
  • Month to-date: 63 hours, 20 minutes.
  • This will be a lesser focus through the remainder of the month.

2014 Hometending:

  • There was little that could be called hometending this session. I was in debilitating pain.

2014 Lifetending:

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body. Uh, no – not after Sunday.

  • Marching in place; yoga sun salute.
  • Does “seek out ways to move my body that don’t involve excrutiating pain” count?
  • No workout or walking yet – those were impossible, before today.

Sponsor Visits:

 

See what the other ROWers are playing with this round!

I hope the close of the round finds you in a place of joyful productivity. What are your plans for the coming days? For the new season? Will you be part of ROW80 Round 2?

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging from A to Z 2014, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Challenges and Contests, Coffee and Conversation, Life Writing

Coffee and Conversation: Blogging From A to Z – Big Reveal and an Announcement

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 a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

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

Why hello there! How’s the weather where you are?

Here, in upstate New York, spring is coming in fits and starts. It was a deep winter, and the transition is much longed for this year. The softening of soil and warming of air, the return of birdsong to the mornings and evenings, awaken me, renew me.

As the first buds appear, and our lawn reveals its first touches of green, a surge of creative energy is sprouting within me. It’s a perfect time for me to take on new projects, and to wrap up existing ones.

This April, I am signed up for two challenges:

And there’s another in May:

I am also continuing with the revision process for Chameleon’s Dish.

It’s going to be a creative spring!

And, with that in mind, I’ll be on a blogging semi-hiatus for April. Coffee and Conversation will host some visiting posts from my unschooling blog, The Unfettered Life. I thought it would be fun to revisit some days and posts gone by, and share them with folks who might have missed them the first time around.

Next week, I’ll talk more about my plans for CampNaNo.

This week, though, I’ve got a Big Reveal that stretches from A to Z…

May I have a drum roll, please?! (add drum roll video here!)

The theme for my 2014 A to Z Challenge posts is: “Kifo Island Stories”.

Last year, I wrote about “The Last House”, a secluded hut on a tiny tropical island, where a couple had gone to make a very special final journey together.

The idea stayed with me, and I expanded the concept, and eventually the plot tribbles gave me the premise of a hospice in the form of a no-cost tropical island, where people could come with their loved ones to live as fully as possible, before they died.

I imagine a collection of stories based upon those who came to die, those who came with the dying, and those who worked on or inhabited the island.

As my Challenge entry, I will explore the stories of 26 men, women, and children who reside, permanently or temporarily, on Kifo Island. Sometimes separate, sometimes interconnected, they will live and die throughout the month. There will be sunshine and shadows, love and loss, and some quirks. There might even be a bit of autobiography, and a statement or two, for those who are into those things.

It will be a journey of the everyday, the extraordinary, and the magic of each.

A month of letters...and possibilities!
A month of letters…and possibilities!

Right now, I’m still plotting out the stories, so this month will be an adventure for me, too.

 

Look for my A to Z posts here, beginning on Tuesday, April 1, and every day except Sundays, all month. And why not up the adventure quotient and visit some of the other challenge participants, too?

 

I’m excited to be giving this long-simmering idea room to play. I plan to supplement with some local travel, hometending, growing things, and getting outdoors regularly.

 

What are your favorite spring pastimes? Do you enjoy a creative challenge, or just taking some time to breathe in the greening air? If it’s easing into fall, where you live, what do you love about that season?

 Pull up a seat ( I’ve provided outlets for our laptops), and I’ll pour you another cuppa!  

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Life Writing, Round 1 2014

Playful Preparation: ROW80 Update, 3/23/14

Curious? Click the icon!

Why, hello there!

 Well, here we are, at the second-to-last update of the round. It seems like we just started – but, no, that’s the first hints of spring playing tag with the patches of snow left over from a memorably wintry winter.

Yes, we may get more snow next week, but the air and ground are softening. Robins and rabbits are frolicking in our yard, the ducks and geese are back at the local pond.

The cold can’t grip us as it has the most of the winter…

 And yes, it means that the first round must be nearly done.

I’ll be posting my end of round evaluation on Wednesday, and an interim plan on Sunday (I like to keep the rhythm of these twice-weekly updates…and, although I do tend to relax during breaks, I don’t stop writing altogether – it’s too much fun).

But, for now, we’re still in Round 1, so let’s get on with it.

My main focus areas :

  • Revising Chameleon’s Dish;

  • Preparing for April and May’s intensive writing projects.

  • Continuing with home embetterment.

  • Continuing with life embiggening.

  • Preparation for ROW80 Round 2.

Something brand new….Pandora’s box, perhaps?

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

Answer comments regularly, across all blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. On target.

  • After several days off, while I learned my new computer, I’ve gotten to some comments on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Caught up both main blogs over the weekend. There may be a few strays; I’m happily getting more comments, of late. =)

  • I’ve popped in at both Twitter and Facebook this session, and responded to some comments at each.

Make at least two return visits every other day, on average.Target attained!

  • Yes. For now, visiting immediately after responding is working well.

Maintain regular posting schedule; queue one post for each regular feature.On target, mostly.

Shiny. New. Powerful…and pretty!

2014 Writing:

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May.

Create basic plan for the Last House stories (2014 A to Z April Challenge). On target.

Create premises for all stories; write POV character’s GMCs. On target.

  • Premise: 11/26 Completed; nearing the halfway point at last!

  • GMC: 9/26 Completed.

Write brief character sketch for each MC. On target.

  • 6/26 Completed.

Set Plot and Pinch Points for all stories. On target.

  • 1/26 completed.

  • Write story summaries. Pending.

Sign up for the challenge! Target attained!

  • All signed up; with the banner and badges page tagged in my Pocket file for later use.

“The IDIC Romance” Enterprise fan fiction (2014 Story-a-Day May):Create premise, GMC, and character sketches for both protagonists by April 1.On target.

Write character sketches/bios for both POV characters.On target.

  • Both Personality sections complete – with some background stuff, too.

In the beginning…

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

Complete first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish. On target.

  • Completed scenes: 7/60

  • In progress: 8/60

Spend at least 60 hours (2hours/day average) on this pass during March. Target exceeded!

  • 3/19: No revising.

  • 3/20: 4 hours, 5 minutes.

  • 3/21: 3 hours.

  • 3/22: 40 minutes.

  • Month to-date: 61 hours.

Artful clutter….or, life as I know it.

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Continue the family room reset.On target.

  • I’ve emptied the cabinet that will become the pantry.

  • Next up – giving it a thorough cleaning.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

  • I’ve been busily learning my new computer. Soon, I’ll begin a major organization of what I’m moving, and begin the process.

Our long and winding road..well, not so much long as steep!

2014 Lifetending:

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

Choose two playful activities per day; walk at least one mile each week: workout at the Y or with a video at least once a week. On target.

  • Moving firewood; t’ai chi breathing; light in-house jogging; walking with kids and dog.

  • Used my new pedometer, and added

  • Y workout done on Tuesday.

Sponsor Visits:

See what the other ROWers are playing with this round!

C’mon, spring…we won’t make you jump through hoops!
Posted in Life Writing, Saturday's Share...

Saturday’s Share: Am I a Computer Cheater?

The “Other” computer in my life….

 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!

Ahhhh, change.

Some people thrive on it. Others avoid it at any cost (Sheldon Cooper, for example!).

We all have our place in the comfort spectrum of change, maybe.

I fall somewhere in the middle. As a family, we live a life that is more about flow than schedule; being open to possibilities rather than planning each day out ahead of time. I’m reasonably able to roll with punches and shift gears. Having lots of options in my personal plans means I can flit or linger as the spirit moves me.

But there’s change, and then there’s CHANGE.

I am in the midst of all-big-letters personal CHANGE

And I’ve spent the last week or so a little overwhelmed, in general.

The odd thing is that, from the outside, it probably doesn’t seem like a lot of change. Surface stuff, maybe, but certainly nothing like having a baby, getting married, divorced, or the death of someone beloved.

Or is it?

As the picture up there shows, I have a brand-new computer in my life.

I know. #firstworldproblems, right?

It doesn’t sound like a very big deal, or a tricky change to adapt to –

And certainly not a moral dilemma…

Except that my computer is a huge part of my day-to-day existence. I use it for writing, homeschooling, managing, editing, and sharing photos, blogging, gaming, shopping, connecting with friends all over the world, keeping track of things, sharing things, learning things…

My Sweet L’il Lenovo was my companion for over two years. It was the instrument of my shift from “I write things, and I wanna be a writer”, to “I am a writer, and I write -need proof?” It helped me to create several novel drafts (pantsed and plotted), more than 30 poems, a dozen or more short and flash fiction stories, and hundreds of blog posts.

My former life of domestic contentment….

It was instrumental in my forming many valued online friendships – some of which have become in-person friendships, too. It’s allowed me to lend an editing eye to a writing friend in the United Arab Emirates, and beta-read a novel draft for another in Australia.

It was there for many of the most dramatic inner changes of my life…

I could find the keys I wanted almost without looking, even in very low light…my fingers knew the way…knew it so well, in fact, that the character symbols were worn off more than one oft-used key (oh, ‘A’, I did love you once….).

I knew what to expect, generally how long things would take, how to navigate the increasing quirks that I always forgave it for…

Because it was my buddy, my partner in my writing crimes…and just a part of our lives, here.

How can I do this to the children?!?!

And then the folks over at Microsoft decided to stop supporting Windows XP – and my Sweet L’il Lenovo was ready for retirement, and a new Lenovo Yoga 2, equipped with Windows 8.1, came into my life.

So, here’s my question:

If I’m in love with my new computer, does that mean I’m cheating on my old one?

Because I LOVE my new computer. There, I said it.

It’s flexible (I can use it as a laptop, a tablet, in tent or stand modes.). The operating system is smooth, and, as I get the hang of it, it’s increasingly intuitive. The keys are a better fit for my hands – already, I’m learning to touch type – not as quickly as I could with my Sweet L’il Lenovo, but getting closer all the time, with fewer mistypings and missed letters.

It can do so much that technology couldn’t, a few years ago. Its touchscreen is a smooth, sweeping vista , and my documents look lush and crisp on it – a treat for my forty-something eyes.

I’ve been a faithful wife for 16 years and then some, but I imagine this feels something like cheating on a spouse might. The terrain is new, different, exciting, enticing. I feel as though I could spend forever in getting to know my new Binary Companion...as though this fascination will last for all eternity –

And like I’ve left my old love to sit alone in the shadows, loveless and forlorn.

Computers are soulless collections of cards and circuits and components….so it can’t be cheating.

Right?

What do you think? Am I a computer cheater? Do you ever feel this way with a new device?  Have a story, advice, or confession of your own to make?

What do you think? I’d love to hear your stories and opinions! After all, Saturdays are for sharing!