Posted in Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Travel

Zzzzzzzz….: #atozchallenge, Day 30

So, can you believe that this is it?!

We’ve traveled our way through the alphabet, on a grand loop of adventure – I’ll admit that I’m more than a little surprised at some of the places this trip has taken me – into my memories, into new ideas and connections, into new stories and goals…

This foray into a time that so easily gets swept away in a fog of the everyday life I live today – a life filled with home and husband and children and pets and and and – has been a time of renewal and re-energizing for me…

At the same time, as I write this last post from the guest bedroom of my dear friend who lives only one state and a 5 hour drive away, I’m tired. Ready to pause in pulling forth the pearls from our traveling years and examining them…ready to move on to other projects, and absorb what this month and this project has brought me.

But before I do that – one more time, for an even 26.

I mentioned way back during S that I had a couple of funny stories about sleeping under the stars. I promised I’d get back to these for my Z post – and now it’s time to deliver on that promise.

I enjoy an Arizonan desert campfire with Gus the Wonder-Truck, fall 2000. Photo by James B. Burton.

Both of these stories happened in Arizona, or maybe the far southern edge of the Utah desert, and both happened at night.

We traveled one weekend to the town of Wickenburg, and then, on the way home, stopped in the former mining boom town of Crown King, which is isolated on the top of a mountain. When night approached, we found one of those many fire rings scattered throughout the west, and made camp there.

We were bedded down and asleep when we were awakened by a sudden noise that didn’t fit. In wild places, people tend to react more instinctively, and we were sitting up with flashlights aimed into the scrub brush around us in a matter of seconds, preparing to defend ourselves against whatever threat presented itself.

The threat turned out to be real – a javelina  – a small but potentially aggressive little tusked beast. This one was alone, and staring right at us!

We shone lights in its eyes, and made “Move along; nothing to see here” noises. Thankfully, the nocturnal visitor left without any altercation (of course, from the javelina’s point of view, we were likely the unwanted guests!).

Crown King General Store, Crown King, Arizona…1997. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

But the funniest sleeping under the stars story – the one I still giggle about nearly 18 years later – happened before we were even married, on the night before our visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We’d ridden the motorcycle a good part of the day, and found a place in the nearby desert to sleep for a few hours, until it was light enough to explore.

We were laying there, side by side, when all of a sudden, my Accomplice (who, by the way, looks more than a little like Henry VIII, and is built like a linebacker) jerked away from me and made a sound that can only be described as girlish.

“There’s a tarantula on me! There’s a tarantula on me!”

This is a Texan tarantula, not an Arizona one – but still…you get the idea, right? Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

My response? Laughter!

He subsided, and stared at me angrily. “Why would you laugh when I said there was a tarantula?”

I was laughing so hard at this point that I couldn’t explain in words. I tried another tactic –

There really is a tarantula on me!”

Finally, I was able to explain – no tarantula, just a feisty fiancee who thought a flirty tickle in the ribs might lead in other directions than arachnophobic ones (especially since it was rather cold and dark for tarantulas to be out and about). I don’t think I truly understood how much my Accomplice dislikes spiders, or how differently our minds work, until then…but I still laugh at how that innocent little tickle became a dangerous threat, and how he must have felt when I laughed at his terrifying predicament!

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For more zany or not-so-zany “Z” posts, click the banner.

And there we have it…an entire journey through scattered, geographically far flung bits and pieces of my wandering life…yes, we’ve slept outside in many places, including beside lava tubes, amongst Joshua trees, on mountains…in tents, and under the stars, in a bed my Accomplice made for us, and at friends’ and families’ homes, in hotels and motels, and in the bed of old Gus…and now, from a bed 230 miles from the one my Accomplice is in, I bid you all good night, to the tune of one of my all time favorite lullabies!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, April CampNaNo 2015, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, JuNoWriMo, Life Writing, Round Two 2015, ROW80 2015, Story a Day May Challenge, Writing in Freedom

Gearing Up for a Lane Shift: April 29, 2015

ROWin’ on toward those promised May flowers!

So, here we are, already to the end of April…Friday is May Day. That will mean a goals shift for me, as I transition from CampNaNoWriMo  and Blogging from A-Z April Challenge to Story-A-Day May.

I’m slowly shifting from novel drafting to preparing for a month of revisions and short story writing. We’re back from our weekend in New Jersey, so the next two days will be about hometending and writing…reviewing April goal progress, and setting May goals that move me closer to the Round 2 and 2015 goals. 

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.

Writing:

Complete April CampNaNo 60K goal with Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles #1 completed; and Generations: KIC #2 plotted and in progress.

  • Transitions: Complete!; 58,730/~ 55K words.
  • Generations: Scene 2/24 in progress; 3,794/~50Kwords. I’m slowly getting into this story, and past my resistance…
  • Total word count: 62,524/60,000.

Rough plot the 31 Story a Day May  Trip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts.

  • Notes for 6/31 stories transcribed/revised. This will be my primary focus until completed. Next up, notes for the remaining 25 developing story ideas; the list for the undeveloped ideas breeding like tribbles; and beginning to assign prompts/dates to stories.

Editing:

Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit.

  • Reread Rock Your Revisions. Highlighting and comments for Scene 2/16. Next up, complete highlighting and comments for remaining 14 scenes, then create to-do list for next revision pass.

Blogging:

Complete ROW80 Sponsor Post and all sponsor visits on time.

  • Done and done.

Complete the A-Z Challenge with all posts on time.

  • Posted/scheduled through 4/29 (Y); Drafted through 4/30 (Z). Next up, schedule Z. This will be a secondary focus until scheduled – by the end of Wednesday.

Clean up/update blog sidebar.

  • Next up, a more complete overhaul! This will happen in the bits of space between revision and story plotting, once A-Z posts are done.

Hometending:

Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering projects.

  • 2/5 days. Unpacking and a little laundry on Monday. A little laundry on Tuesday.

Lifetending:

Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends.

  • Conversation with son and daughter; couples’ time with my Accomplice; blogs; and now waiting for our final April CampNaNo write-in to commence. Sunday dinner with New Jersey friends.

Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing.

  • T’ai chi, and added a walk; allowed myself a little extra randomness.

Selftending:

Continue increasing physical activity and exercise.

  • T’ai chi with a walk to and from.

Resume either t’ai chi or yoga with at least one class attended.

  • T’ai chi on Tuesday – two weeks in a row! =D

Attend Y or do strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 1 /2; see above.

Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly.

  • 0 /2: Intentions Journal – update.
  • 3 /2: Meditation…t’ai chi; 5 minute pre-travel stress release; 5 minute breathing meditation on Tuesday.

All in all, April flowed fairly smoothly even if I didn’t quite ever get very far ahead of the A-Z posts, and didn’t get as much of the May planning as I had wanted to. I haven’t had a great deal of stress, and some sweet memories were unearthed as I traveled through the alphabet, and the minimal planning for Story A Day May has led me to a shift of ideas that I think might lead to both greater creativity and increased productivity, not to mention a lot more flexibility. More on that, and other May things, on Sunday.

How did April treat you? Did it bring new growth, or settling in? Revelations, or certainty? Something completely different? I’d love to know!

Want to ROW along the ROW80 Blog Hop River or join in? The icon is your portal!

 

 

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Sexuality and Erotica, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing in Freedom

“Never Give Yourself Away”: WIPpet Wednesday

C’mon….you know you wanna share! =)

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

Today’s WIPpet is brought to you by CampNaNoWriMo

I’m sharing from Generations; the second novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-the-making. The Kifo Island stories takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 29, 2015.
  • I was born on the 29th day of another month, and I’m 45 years old.
  • I subtracted the date from my age, and so we have 16 mostly short sentences today.

Last week, we meet Gladys, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s Disease; Howard, her grandson; and Iris, Howard’s young stepdaughter. Today, we skip forward a scene. Howard has left in a snit, because his grandmother is kind to the child he sees as insolent, leaving Iris alone with the aged woman. Now we begin to see into the silent little girl, as she contemplates what’s next…

Disclaimer for possible triggers…I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of abuse and its impacts. This scene involves a child who knows more than most about the workings of the adult world.   Therefore, it may not be suitable for all audiences…

Siberian Irises. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton, 2013.

She would have let herself feel relief that he was gone –

But sometimes johns came back. That was always worse.

And she would not forget – no, not ever! – that that is what he was. Not Howard George, as Grandermother called him. Not Father Howie.

Never that. It was a mantra she sang, in those moments when his cruelty broke over her. Never, never, never.

He was a john.

Well, little one, it’s just us, now. What will we -?”

Iris had been watching the door, in case the john returned, but the broken sentence dangling in the clean air made her look at Grandermother instead –

She was frozen where she stood, her hands gripping the walking frame, her mouth still open on the last word.

Iris looked at the door again – what if he came back now, when Grandermother wasn’t able to protect her? – and took three long soft breaths, the way Hahaoya had shown her, for when she was frightened by what the john was doing.

You must never give yourself away, Airisu.”

Will Iris try to help Grandermother? Will Howard come back? What was this child’s life like, before Howard came into it, and how did that happen?

I’m going to keep you guessing…in part because this is, so far, the most difficult novel I’ve embarked upon. So many triggers…

Also, the kids and I were out of state from Thursday-Sunday, and I used most of the writing time I had to move my A-Z posts along. I’m behind on getting around to visit other WIPpeteers, but hope to remedy that, at least in part, today. If I don’t get to you, I apologize – I expect to do much better at that this week!

Need more WIPpet Snippets? Something a little less angsty, perhaps? Well, hop onto the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, and lengths of WIPpet lily-pads to choose from! =D

 

Posted in Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Travel, Writing in Freedom

Yellowstone and the Shape of Our Lives: #atozchallenge, Day 29

Has your life, or that of your family, been shaped by specific places?

As we near the end of the alphabet, I look back and see a long list of places and events that have sculpted not only my life, but also that of my family – even before our children were born, the lives my Accomplice and I lived as a couple built the foundation and structure of the life we live as a family…

In a very real sense, traveling has given us that family.

We were living at the Rocky Mountain Campground in Montana, just outside the famed North Gate of Yellowstone National Park, in 2000, a little over three years into married life, when we knew we were ready to seriously consider expanding our family beyond the array of furry companions we harbored (at the time, three cats and one large shaggy dog). We were both working in Mammoth Hot Springs, where my Accomplice oversaw training and operations of the nine Employee Dining Rooms throughout the park, and where I was a waitress at the restaurant, often with trainees of my own.

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Roosevelt Arch , Gardiner, Montana. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy of YellowstoneNPS, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

All of my early appointments to deal with prenatal health and preparation were at the medical facilities there.

It was while visiting my family in New York, two days before we returned to Yellowstone, that we learned that we were going to have a baby.

Part of our agreement for working the winter season was that my Accomplice would return to his position to work the summer season, as well – and our baby was due August 13 – which meant that we’d become parents in close proximity to Yellowstone.

It was nearly an 80 mile (126 kilometer) to our midwife’s, through Craig’s Pass. In June, our appointment was canceled because there was a blizzard, and the pass was, well, impassable.

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Uh, yeah. No midwife today. Craig’s Pass and the Continental Divide, snowbound. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy YellowstoneNPS, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

It was a hot, dry summer, and we lived at 6000 feet above sea level. I was so uncomfortable, and, because we hoped for a homebirth, nervous that the baby wouldn’t wait till 36 weeks to be born – the legal point for midwife attended homebirth in Montana. There was no cause for the worry – my due date came and went, as I sweated and lugged my increasingly massive belly around with me, everywhere I went. I jokingly told my Accomplice that the weather would break the day we had the baby.

Throughout the pregnancy, we took pictures of my growing middle by Kepler Cascades.

Pregnant by Kepler Cascades, summer 2001.

Finally, we tried to naturally induce the baby – this was done at a cabin that welcomed homebirths, where there was live music, someone building a straw bale house, and a wildfire just a couple of mountains away. Our baby – stubborn, even before birth. Our child wouldn’t be coaxed out until good and ready, thanks all the same!

Finally, on September 2, Jeremiah finally made his appearance – by C-section, at a hospital. The best laid plans…

We brought him home on the 5th. He crossed his first state line that day, too, on his first day in a car, when we took him five miles up the mountain into Wyoming to meet the folks at his Daddy’s office, who had been eagerly awaiting his long-delayed arrival. It was so hot that day, we had him in just a diaper, once we got home. By the next morning, he was in fleece from head to toe- I had been right about the weather changing!

He toured Yellowstone’s Grand Loop at the ripe age of two weeks, because we had friends throughout the park to introduce him to, and because we knew that would be our last season. He nursed in the restaurants at Mammoth Hot Springs, the posh Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and our former home, the Old Faithful Inn.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Detail of the Theodore Roosevelt quote, Rooosevelt Arch, North Entrance, Gardiner, Montana. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy of YellowstoneNPS via Flickr.

 

We arrived at Yellowstone as newlyweds – and left as new parents. There will always be a special warmth in my heart for the place that saw us through that transition, and, even though our Montana boy, now 13.5 and taller than me, with an emerging man’s voice, hasn’t been there since he was five weeks old, he will always, in my mind, be tied to the place that was his first home. And someday, hopefully within the next couple of years, we will offer him the chance to reunite with the place of his birth.

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For more Y yarns, click the banner.

Yellowstone embraced us during our transition to parenthood. Is there a place that did the same for you? Are you still there? If not, have you been back? Would you like to?

 

 

Posted in Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Travel, Writing in Freedom

X Marks the Spot: #atozchallenge, Day 28

So, tell me – has this ever happened to you?

You’re talking with a traveling companion about your past experiences, remembering favorite moments – only you can’t recall exactly where the event occurred?

Happens to my Accomplice and I all the time – a combination of having been to a great many places, and the filling-up of memory capacity, and the perhaps inevitable jumbling that comes with advancing age and experiences…

“Do you remember that time we got caught in the middle of the cattle drive – ?”

“Oh, yeah! When the cattle broke through the fence, and there were actual cowboys on horseback, trying to round them up and put them in another pasture?”

“And that bull bumped into Gus, and dented the hood?”

“Yeah – where was that?”

Idaho – I think. But where in Idaho?”

“Somewhere near the Atomic City….?”

“And where was that really bad diner….?”

“Oh, yeah! We had to park out back, down a dirt road, and it was the worst food and service we ever had -”

“But where was it?”

“….somewhere…”

AXAXA Art by Annalise S.Burton, at age 5. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

It might be embarrassing how often this happens – except that we did have the experiences, and we have the heart of the memories, at least, and the warmth and wonder of sharing even our inexact collections, and the time together that created them…

In the rich tapestry of our nearly two decades together, there are a few snags and loose threads and frayed places where the picture isn’t so clear anymore.. but I think those times add texture and character – or at least that’s what I tell myself when the where of a place won’t come, and we’re left with a mysterious “X” to mark the elusive spot….

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For other eXisistential. xylophonic, and potentially xenophobic posts, click the banner.

Now it’s your turn! Does your personal or relationship history include spots marked with an “X”, because you can’t remember where something happened? What parts of the memory stand out crisply, and which has time obscured? No need for an “X” to mark this spot – comments go in the box below!

Posted in Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Travel, Writing in Freedom

Wyoming and Wild Things: #atozchallenge, Day 27

Have you ever heard a whistle pig? Seen a wolf in its native habitat? Do you know what a wapiti is?

If not, then maybe you’ve also never been to Wyoming, that wild and wonderful state….

So let me tell you a bit about it – serve as your tour guide, if you will…

The first question is a bit of a trick. Whistle pigs don’t whistle. And, furthermore, they’re not even pigs, or exotic. In my part of North America, we refer to the same member of the rodent species as a woodchuck. In other places, and across the United States on February second, it’s a groundhog….

Nature can sometimes be confusing, but not as confusing as humans attempting to label it! =)

Personally, of the three names, I like whistle pig the best. It’s got character.

Kind of like Wyoming.

There was a time when wolves had been exterminated from this land. Then, Yellowstone National Park began a re-introduction program with 14 Canadian wolves in 1995, and 17 in 1996.. It was a process, and some of the early wolves were shot by nearby ranchers afraid for their livestock, but eventually the wolves began to reclaim their former place in the ecosystem, and to reproduce, and now there are about 300 (check these facts and figures before posting!) wolves in the park. They can often be seen in the Hayden Valley, which is a haven for many species of Wyoming wildlife.

And now, about the wapiti –

Wapiti is Shawnee (check that) for the animal currently known in English as an elk. These large ungulates are abundant in Wyoming, and not just in Yellowstone. There is an elk refuge (need the name), near Jackson Hole – a resort town where you can ski, snowmobile, whitewater raft on the Snake River (although maybe not in a thunderstorm that churns those Class 2 rapids you were anticipating to a much more than you bargained for Class 5 – because I might just be able to tell you that that’s more than a little terrifying, and could lead to a foot injury….not that I know anything about that….). Jackson Hole also has a park whose entrances sport arches made of elk antlers cast off by the bulls after the September rutting season – and, speaking of the rut, there is no sound more lustful to me than the bugling call of the bulls….

Of course, no wild Wyoming post would be complete without mention of Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show. Buffalo Bill is long gone, along with Annie Oakley (Little Miss Sure Shot), and the other performers who brought their brand of American Western culture out into the world. But Cody, the town he founded, is still there, and, along with the Cody Nite Rodeo, which still espouses the spirit of the west, there is the Buffalo Bill Museum, where you can learn a great deal – not just about Bill Cody, but about corsets and telegraphs and the history of guns and diseases and Western period art. My Accomplice and I spent a day wandering the museum, and still didn’t see it all…but we had a rodeo to go to!

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For more wild, wacky, weird, and winsome posts, click the banner.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of all that wild and wonderful Wyoming has to offer. Want to know more? Why not go see for yourself? Where would you go, if you could go anywhere in the world?

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Two 2015, ROW80 2015, Story a Day May Challenge

Travels and Tribulations: April 26, 2015

ROWING to the end of April….and beyond!

Ummmm – wow, is it Sunday already?!

Yes, I can hear you chuckling…but seriously, I’m a bit in a tizzy, because it seems like forever since last Sunday, and yet, at the same time, this week has just seemed to whizz by.

Ever been there?

Part of it is that it’s been a momentous week for me, writing-wise. At Tuesday’s write-in, I achieved my 60K CampNaNoWriMo  goal – and finished Transitions, which means I said farewell-at-least-for-now to Barry, Terrance, and Corinne – and hello to Gladys, Howard, and Iris, the focal characters for Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2.

New characters always take some settling-in, but this story is different. It deals with child abuse, bigotry, and some other things that are likewise unsavory. My friend Sylvia, asked, while I was shedding tears for what I know is coming in this story, whether I ever resist writing what the characters show me.

I answered that I’m resisting this one. I know where the characters want to take me – and some of it is very intimately related to painful personal history. I know why they want to take me there- but it’s not easy, or especially fun, to make this journey…which is, of course, why I know I have to see it through, for myself at least as much as for anyone else…

Know what I mean?

Speaking of Sylvia, the children and I embarked upon a five hour drive on Thursday, to visit with Sylvia and her family here in Central New Jersey, where tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths are blooming in abundance, so that Saturday morning brought me this treat:

She Bloomin’ Loves Me! ❤

So, what did I manage to do, writing-wise, with my primary focus on enjoying time with friends we only see a few times a year? Read on…

For clarification, here are my Round Two and overarching 2015 goals .

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.

Writing:

Complete April CampNaNo 60K goal with Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles #1 completed; and Generations: KIC #2 plotted and in progress.

  • TransitionsComplete!; 58,730/~ 55K words.
  • Generations: Scene 1/24 in progress; 2,279/~50Kwords. I’ve been focused elsewhere; this session, and resisting. Dipping my toe in more than immersing myself…
  • Total word count: 61,009/60,000.

Rough plot the 31 Story a Day May  Trip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts. I’m making this a primary focus beginning on Monday. Next up, transcribe handwritten rough notes for 30 stories; list out the ideas T’Pol’s been whispering not-so-subtly in my head, and roughly assign prompts and days to story ideas.

Editing:

Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit.

  • Reread Rock Your Revisions. Highlighting and comments for page 1/28. Next up, complete highlighting and comments, then create to-do list for next pass.

 

Blogging:

Complete ROW80 Sponsor Post and all sponsor visits on time.

  • Done and done.

Complete the A-Z Challenge with all posts on time.

  • Posted/scheduled through 4/25 (V); Drafted through 4/30 (Z). Next up, schedule W-Z. This will be a secondary focus until all posts are scheduled – hopefully, by the end of Tuesday.

Clean up/update blog sidebar.

  • Next up, a more complete overhaul! This will happen in the bits of space between revision and story plotting, once A-Z posts are done.

Hometending:

Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering projects.

  • 3/5 days. Lots of pre-trip laundry on Wednesday. This goal being put on hold for the rest of the week, due to travel.

Lifetending:

Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends.

  • Some of Nature: Animal Homes (puffins!); chatting; art and play with daughter. MLP episodes and conversation with son. Couples’ time with my Accomplice before we left.

Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing.

  • Mostly in ways that are internal and difficult to quantify in words, but no less real. But then, there was also this…my very first time trying something I’ve been interested in exploring for years, now.
My very first Zentangle!

Selftending:

Continue increasing physical activity and exercise.

  • Not so much. Still 1 /2 for the week.

Resume either t’ai chi or yoga with at least one class attended.

  • T’ai chi on Tuesday!

Attend Y or do strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 1 /2; see above.

Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly.

  • 1 /2: Intentions Journal – update.
  • 2 /2: Meditation…t’ai chi; 5 minute pre-travel stress release.

I feel like this was a good session – I accomplished some writing things without sacrificing this time with friends, and there was plenty of conversation over coffee, tea, and a White Russian; a trip to the thrift store with the kids to find some new treasures, time outside, and a lovely visit to Barnes and Noble, just Sylvia and I, because her husband took all four kids to a pizza place that has free vintage arcade games. Most of the time, we visit amidst the lovely chaos of these young people, so a lingering just-us time was a rare treat of a different sort.

We’ll be heading home later today, full of creative cameraderie, laughter, and fun. And I’ll gt back to Gladys, Howard, and Iris…even though their stories are unsettling.

How about you? Have you ever reacted this way to a project, writing or not, that you know is worthwhile, but strikes just a little too close to home? What did you do?

Want to ROW along the ROW80 Blog Hop River or join in? The icon is your portal!

Wishing the novel were this smooth and lovely!