Posted in Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Mindful Monday, Parenting, Writing in Freedom

#Onegoodcup After Another: Mindful Monday

As June slips into July, I transfer my attentions from my second Kifo Island Chronicles novel, Generations, which is a near-future fantasy, to Foul Deeds Will Rise – a straight-up, shapeshifting, otherworld fantasy from my Trueborn Weft series.

Poised between these two projects, I’m going to pause and take a few deep breaths, and ground myself in the present.

Why?

Because all of my creativity springs from within me, in the alchemy of thought, feeling, experience, and perception. So, while the pause in the forward momentum seems a bit – sideways – I feel it’s necessary; a pause to touch base with myself…

How?

By revisiting my writings during the first and most recent days of my own personal #onegoodcup project, and seeing where I was at the end of May, and now, a month later, at the end of June.

The first entries are from my Intentions Journal – a series of prompts intended to stir thought and ideas for life changes.

May 25, 2015

Remember those deep breaths!

  • When I feel overwhelmed.

  • When I’m feeling emotionally charged.

  • Before I say difficult things.

  • When I feel the impulse to escape.

  • When I want to be open.

  • When I want to focus.

  • When I want to relax.

That’s pretty good advice, if I do say so myself. Oh, wait, I did! =D

May 26, 2015

Keep breathing!

No, I don’t mean in a live-or-die way, but an inhalation, opening to the possibilities; exhalation, releasing the past sense.

Although I’m feeling a little pressure, it’s mostly internal.

Let that go, and simply enjoy indulging in life, today.

Why all this focus on breathing? Breathing is essential. Without air, we soon die. Without the breath of life and creativity, we stagnate. That’s something I tend to forget, sometimes, when I get busy pursuing my goals.

Deep, easy breaths. Pauses to breathe, and to be. I might accomplish more, that way – but that’s not my prime intent – balance and centeredness is…

Now, we turn to the last two days, from my #onegoodcup journal – a yoga-centric theme with inspirational quotes and art sprinkled among the pages. I bought this during our Oregon vacation in February, during an a few hours alone at Suislaw River Coffee Roasters. Using it reminds me of the peace of that day, and the joys of that trip with my beloveds…

June 28, 2015

I begin the day with about 1800 words to my JuNoWriMo goal, and three scenes left to write in Generations. Going to get the JuNo words, then do my Second Serving Sunday and Round 2 posts.

Somewhere in there, I’ll scan and save the test documents, so they’ll be ready to mail tomorrow.

Right now, I have a slightly soggy purring cat beside me, a variety of drips from the rain, and Jeremiah and his friend Josh’s Minecraft Skype chat wafting out from his bedroom. Miah is intermittently talking about 90s internet connections.

I’ve got other ideas percolating, but I’m going to let them simmer another day or two.

Sometimes, the thing to do is just simply to pay attention to where I am, right now, and what’s happening around me. It’s not always the best idea to struggle to understand deep things too soon; getting still and absorbing this moment will eventually bring deeper understanding to the surface…

June 29, 2015

I’ve won JuNoWriMo!

Still have two scenes and a bit left to write, and the test scores to mail, and two blogposts to get out today –

And plotting. I’m supposed to begin another novel on Wednesday, but I’m not ready with either of the ones I’ve been prepping.

I’ll get there, or I won’t.

We’ve got a Snowflake Plotting Workshop tomorrow, so I’ll do what I can before that, and try to finish during it.

It’s Jim’s weekend; he’s staying home today. Miah is planning a Skype/recording call with Josh, who lives in Pennsylvania.

These might seem disconnected, but, like the chat Annalise is having with her best friend, Gabriella, I need to consider them…

Because everyone’s needs and desires are important, and we all affect one another in the way we choose to pursue our own and honor (or not), each other’s.

This is definitely one of the ways in which my approach can be a model for my family, or a nightmare…

Gorgeous clouds banked outside my window…they look like an oil painting, over the lushness of the trees. After a very dry May, June has been quite wet…everything is vibrant.

The lawn is getting mighty shaggy, and the lawn mower has ceased to function…something will need to be done…

But I’m anything but a mechanic, so writing about how something will need to be done is about as far as I can go.

Well, I’ve got about half a cuppa left.

Know how I know that writing is what I’m meant to do?

Here’s how:

I’m sitting here writing in this journal, thinking about what I need to do before I can settle in for – yup – a day of writing!

There’s both a joke, and a truth, in there, somewhere…

What’s the point of that passage?

Well, I’m not sure. Maybe something to do with letting my thoughts happen, even if they seem unconnected and trivial. They still matter, and sometimes circle around to something deeper – or, in writing them, maybe I just eliminate a little of my surface mental chatter – an exhalation of the mind, to leave room for more attention and deeper mindfulness…

Have you ever felt this way? Do you keep a journal? Do you ever go back and review things you wrote in the not so distant past? Have you made discoveries or gained insight there?

More Mindful Monday at Silver Threading.

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

So Close, So Far Away… Ready. Set. Write! June 22 -29, 2015 (Update 3)

Are you ready to write?!

It’s already time for Update 3  of Ready. Set. Write! 

I can hardly believe how fast it’s going!

Short description: Ready. Set. WRITE!, is a summer writing intensive that provides an opportunity to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing. We set goals, write like crazy, and keep one another accountable.

On Mondays, I check in at one of the host blogs, Why not hop in and help me spread some summer sunshine to them, too!

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

How I Did On Last Week’s Goals:

Writing:

  • Generations (KIC #2): Complete the final 10 scenes; set aside to percolate. Scene 22/24 nearing completion. I didn’t quite finish, but expect to later today, or Tuesday at the latest.

  • Sea Changes (KIC#3): Complete GMCD or R for each scene; Write beginning/middle/ending summaries for each scene; create Scrivener file and move all relevant materials there; begin drafting one day after Generations is complete. Scene 5/24 moved to Scrivener; 6/24 Summarized; 7/24 GMCD. I was focused on drafting.

Editing:

  • “Slow Jazz Awakening” Reread scenes 12 – 16 and margin comments; make detailed notes and revision plan for Draft 2.5. Scene 12/16 complete. Nothing new here either…you know the story by now, right?

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts, End of Round Two ROW80 update, and one promotional post for another writer, all on time.9/9 features posts and the promotional post completed (3/9 features a few hours late, oops!)

  • Play with one new sidebar widget ; shuffle three elements. Added three, shuffled several, and deleted a couple. I’ll live with them a bit, and tweak as needed.

  • Catch up all blog comments and visits. Not caught up, but getting to these more often.

Homeschool Paperwork:

  • Make records, and submit Annalise’s PASS test. Write Letters of Intent to Homeschool; submit to school district before July 1. Letters of Intent revised and submitted..#2 pencils purchased and answer sheet completed; verification signed.

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup (add link) journal four times. 5 /4. Good stuff cropping up; ideas simmering!

My goals for this week:

Writing:

  • Sea Changes (KIC#3): Complete GMCD or R for each scene; Write beginning/middle/ending summaries for each scene; move all relevant materials to Scrivener file.

  • The IDIC Romance:  Compile 2015 Story A Day May  stories with existing IDIC stories, in chronological order; fix continuity problems in IDIC 2014 stories.

Editing:

  • “Slow Jazz Awakening” Reread scenes 13 – 16 and margin comments; make detailed notes and revision plan for Draft 2.5.

Blogging:

  • Publish 9 regular features posts, and First Friday Photo, all on time, and draft ROW80 Round 3 Sponsor Post.

  • Add challenges gallery widget to sidebar.

  • Catch up all blog comments and visits. This will stay until I get there – your comments are important to me!

Homeschool Paperwork:

  • Make records, and submit Annalise’s PASS test. Later today, I will scan and mail – if you listen, you might here my exuberant cheering ringing through the land!

Selftending:

  • Write in Intentions journal/ #onegoodcup journal five times.
  • Actually visit the #RSW2015 hashtag! =)

A favorite phrase from my story that sums up what I wrote:

  • Generations. It passes down through generations. What my mother lacked, she didn’t have to give to me. What I lacked, I didn’t give to Estella, and what she lacked, she didn’t give to Howard. What he lacked, and Aijo lacked, they didn’t give to Airisu….

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

  • Car-sharing with my husband. That wouldn’t seem to be a big thing, but it threw me a bit out of sync…

Something I love about my WIP:

  • It’s nearly finished! And the ending is coming together better than I’d hoped!

That’s it for me. Come back next Monday, July 6, to see how I’m doing. Join in or cheer us on! There’ll be Twitter parties (using the hashtag #RSW2015), giveaways and fun (I like fun!). And writing. Lots of that!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Life Writing, Round Two 2015, ROW80 2015

How Did I Do? Round Two Final Assessment

As I began my Expansion Round, I wrote this:

I want to embrace my goals, and nurture them while they nurture me, in a symbiotic relationship. I want there to be more joy, and less stress.

So, I’ve winnowed and shifted my goals, and I’m ready to adapt, if I feel an unnatural pressure forming. This is my Expansion Round, and I’m looking not for rampant swelling, but a more natural growth. Like a plant or a baby, where growth is the order of the day.

With that in mind…off we go, to sow some seeds!

Now it’s the end of the round, and time to evaluate. I feel like I kept true to the spirit of the intention. I made solid forward progress, but in a way that never felt breakneck or white-knuckled. I didn’t achieve everything on the list, and that’s OK. Another round starts a week from tomorrow, with 80 days more to indulge in my passions…

So, here’s the rundown!

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:

Write1Sub1: Draft one story, and submit one, each month, on average. Complete revision and submit “Slow Jazz Awakening” by the end of the round; complete “Peach Liqueur Love” edits through Deep Revision Step 3. CampNaNo Kifo Island Chronicles  novel projects for April and June; 31 new TnT stories for May.

  • Created basic pre-editing plan for “Slow Jazz”. Highlights/comments for Round 3 edits complete; detailed pre-editing notes for 12/16 scenes. Still behind with submitting; made progress with “Jazz” while focused on drafting. Reread “Peach Liqueur” during “Jazz” resting phases.
  • Far ahead on the writing component of this goal, with 31 new stories for May, and a second KIC novel in progress and targeted to finish in June.

Kifo Island Chronicles: Draft 3 novellas, using Cathy Yardley’s  Rock Your Plot. 

  • Transitions (KIC #1): Complete at 58,730 words.

  • Generations (KIC #2): Drafting; Scene 17/24 nearly completion; 47,134/~60,000 words.

  • Sea Changes (KIC#3): Plotting about midway through.

Star Trek Chronology Project:  Rewatch Star Trek: Enterprise.

The IDIC Romance:  Draft 31 new stories for Story a Day May; post stories or excerpts from each, daily.

  • Stories and posts completed; posting one per day,  plus several snippets, “why am I doing this?”, wrap-up, and link page. 

Blogging from A-Z travel posts: Complete all, on time.

  • 26/26!
  • Reflections post.

Trueborn Warp/Weft Series: Select July project and plot, using The Snowflake Method (read this book).

  • Book read; project selected: Foul Deeds Will Rise, a Trueborn Weft Series fantasy novel that will chronicle the coming-of-age stories of Tribed Trueborn twins Niaan and Vaara.
  • Snowflake Step 3: Character Development, 2/4 characters complete.

 

Editing:

The IDIC Romance:  Complete revision and submit “Slow Jazz Awakening”.

  • Preparing for Revision Pass #3; scene 12/16 notes complete.

Write1Sub1: Revise “Peach Liqueur Love”, using Sarah Selecky’s Deep Revision process; choose final short story to revise in 2015.

  • Revision Process in early progress.

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • Posts on track, even in busy times…Coffee and Conversation took an April hiatus, and moved to Fridays. Visits and comments fluctuated, but better.

Blogging Action Plan: Revise plan; overhaul Lovely Chaos sidebar.

  • Several changes to sidebar; more planned.

Share posts – mine, and others’: Share generously as inspired!

  • Sporadic, especially during my drafting marathon.

Explore social media as it fits with life and writing.

  • Not the easiest fit, with writing intensity..satisfied, overall.

Hometending:

Continue with near-daily decluttering/beautification projects; begin shifting some energy and focus to the yard.

  • Progress in all bedrooms; family; living room; and front porch; raking and decluttering yard; planting, weeding, and mowing. This one’s a HUGE win!

Homeschool Administration: Complete third quarter homeschool reports for both kids, due June 15. Letters of intent filed. Annalise’s standardized test ordered, administered, and returned by July 1.

  • Reports and letters submitted; testing phase completed, and pulling-together phase has commenced. Expect to have this ready and in the mail by Tuesday the 30th, at the latest.

Photo digitalization: Scan Arizona travel photos; save in organized files with backup.

  • Some Arizona; some others, as needed for posts.

ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date.

  • I consistently did very well with this.

Lifetending:

Kindle ebooks by authors I know: Read 1, and write reviews for 3.

  • This was a bust; too much drafting. Next up:Plan to make this a secondary focus for August and September, which are revision months for me.

NNWM local group: Continue attending write-ins whenever possible; interact regularly online.

  • I love my group – this was easy! =D

Meditation: Experiment with guided/unguided meditation twice a week.

  • Becoming more natural and varied; making the goal every week. Big win!

Starfleet: Fill out application and attend at least one USS Albany group meeting.

  • Not yet. Seems I have something happening near the end of each month, and time slips away…

My beloveds: One on one time with each, at least four times per month, doing something of value to us both.

  • Exceeding – Usually, a few times a week for each. I rocked this one; family harmony and connection multiplying exponentially! ❤

Fitness and Nutrition:

Workouts: at the Y or a strenuous activity at least twice weekly.

  • Mostly; not perfect.

Practice: Resume t’ai chi or yoga classes by end of round.

  • T’ai chi has become a regular part of my schedule. Postponing yoga at least for now.

Intuitive Eating: Read and begin considering.

  • Nothing new read. Pondering.

These goals are a part of Kait Nolan’s

ROW80 Writing Challenge

the writing challenge that knows  you have a life!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, JuNoWriMo, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Second Serving Sunday

The Light at the End of the Tunnel Edition: Second Serving Sunday

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead,

from my little corner of the blogosphere!

Are you ready?

Life Stuff:

Last Week’s Edition: New Jersey

  • Click the link for my recent posting history!

It’s been a week of writing and plotting, family connection, hometending, deep thoughts, and inspirations beginning to rise to the surface in a series of exciting little bubblings-up. It’s a little like a Yellowstone mud pot of the mind.

I’m heading toward the light at the end of the tunnel, three scenes from the end of the most emotionally difficult novel I’ve ever drafted, and I’ve got a fairly firm sense, now, of how it’s all going to come together (as usual, my characters, once plotted and released to their own lives, went off the plan in ways that were unexpected and far more real than what I envisioned!).

Sometime in the next few hours, I will complete my JuNoWriMo challenge, with 50,000 new words (As I type this, I’m at 48,458; given my activity pattern, I’ll probably reach the goal before this is posted).  I expect to finish this novel sometime today or tomorrow, which means I will be stepping up my plotting for Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #3) and  Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn Weft Series #2), which will both be receiving some drafting treatment in July…

July, which is a deeply emotionally charged month for me, and the final month of this four-month creative marathon. Although I’ve loved the challenges and the results, there will be a certain quiet joy in shifting, at month’s end, to the quieter world of revision and reflection…

What does July mean to you?

Last week’s features:

ROW80: The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life.

  • Just Add Water: The penultimate update finds me at poolside, a state away from home, with the kids, soaking up friends and fun before a long drive home.

Eight Sentence Sunday: An eight to ten sentence fictional hors-d’ouvre!

Ready. Set. Write! (updates on Mondays, from 6/15 on)!

Mindful Monday: A weekly foray into self-awareness and intention.

  • On the Horizon: Parenting with Intention Part 4: For the past three weeks, we’ve explored the past and present of my journey to mindfulness in parenting. Now, for the fourth installment, we bring out the crystal ball, and peer into the future…

WIPpet Wednesday: A date-related snippet from a WIP (Work in Progress). Get it? WIPpet!

  • Did It?  After a frightening incident with her stepfather, Airisu runs away to consider whether it means what he said it did. Another excerpt from Generations.

Coffee and Conversation: In which we explore personal realities, over a cuppa!

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday): A freely-written, unedited (except for typos), passage.

Variety’s Spice: Extra seasoning to add diversity to life!

What’s Next:

As June prepares to roll into July, I’m wrapping up some of these goals. None finished, quite yet, but several teetering on the edge, just waiting for that good gust of focus…that’s what the next few days will be, for me – blowing gusts of focused energy at various projects, to see what I can complete before I run out of month…

June Focuses:

This week, on the blog:

  • #8sunday: Eight to ten new sentences from….well, I think I’ll keep that a surprise for now.
  • Next week’s Second Serving! Exciting blogposts! Story excerpts! Bits of life as I know it! How could we go wrong?
  • Ready. Set. Write!: My Week Five Update! I intend for this to be filled with new projects, and much progress – and fun! =D
  • Mindful Monday: A #onegoodcup update: I’ve been having my cuppa for a couple of months now, and some things have happened…
  • WIPpet Wednesday: New stuff for April – July. I’ll be sharing whatever I’m writing, when I get to planning Wednesday’s posts. This week….something else. Yup, that’s all I’m saying about that!
  • Coffee and Conversation: And here comes July…my own personal emotional roller coaster of a month…I explore the heights and the descents as they commence…
  • Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS): A post based on the weekly prompt, TBA Friday. Might be fictional, or non, depending on how and where the stream flows…but probably fictional through July – the last month of my four-month creative marathon!

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

  • Unregrettable:  Some thoughts about living with regrets – and a call to just ditch the nasty little buggers!

 

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, JuNoWriMo, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts

It Wasn’t the Knife: Generations (KIC#2) for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

The Quill is mightier than the Sword (at least on the weekend.

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday! 

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 05/30/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 05/31/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

It’s a second chance to share a small snippet of my current writing. Most weeks, I tie them back to my WIPpet Wednesday post, so reading both can give a deeper peek…

This snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Did It?”

This excerpt comes from Generations , the second novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles near-future fantasy series.

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?

I’m offering eight sentences today. Airisu has run away, after a troubling interaction with her stepfather. Now, she’s pondering his parting words, and their implications.

Caution – Potential Triggers….

It Wasn’t the Knife

But Airisu had known; she could tell. He was dangerous, just like all the other johns who came to Aijo.

No.

He was the most dangerous of all.

She couldn’t tell. She wouldn’t. Because of his words.

“Whores don’t have friends, Iris; you’ll lose them all, if they know…”

It wasn’t the knife that had frightened her; it was the blade of those words.

 

Is what Father Howie said true?

Will he find out that she’s run away?

What happened to Airisu, and will she be safe?

I’m only 4 scenes from the end of this novel, now, so all will be known (to me), by the end of the novel. Everyone else will have to wait a while….

Want more #8Sunday? The icon is your portal!

 

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Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, JuNoWriMo, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Sexuality and Erotica, Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Something to Say: Kifo Island Chronicles for SoCS

Writing my way down the Stream of Consciousness! Badge by Doobster @Mindful Digressions.

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: the words “some/sum”, one or both, as they are, as prefixes, or suffixes – whatever

I used both words (bolded for your reading pleasure), in several ways (but not as suffixes), in this free-written snippet from my current novel-in-progress, Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2.

Gladys has been hospitalized, and, while recovering, encounters another patient – Terrance Acosta, who interrupted the wedding reception in last week’s SoCS post, “Like a Fork Screeching on Bone China”. He’s more charming when he’s sober, as it turns out, but still prone to sudden flashes of revelation…

Something to Say

“You were at – at the wedding,” said the tall man with salt-and-pepper hair. “I remember you, sitting there all alone, watching – “ He ducked his head, seeming, suddenly, like a very small boy -like Howard, those few times when he’d actually been sorry for the things he did. “Watching, while I made the biggest ass in the universe of myself.”

“I’m quite certain there have been far bigger asses.” Gladys wheeled the chair closer; he looked like he needed company, and maybe absolution, and she needed a purpose. “And I’ve lived long enough to tell you some stories that would make your moment of assiness feel very tame, by comparison – moments fueled by a lot less, in the way of anguish, than learning that your spouse wanted to be with someone else -”

The man stuck out a hand, weakly. Gladys wasn’t much stronger as she took it, and the man sketched something that would certainly have been a bow, if he were healthy. His hand, though, was strong, and callused in a way that said plainly that those hands had once been integral to his work. “I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced, although I’ve seen you out and about with that little bird of a girl. My name’s Terrance Acosta – Barry Kelmore’s husband, at least on the record.”

“Gladys Marietta -”

“Damn,” the man breathed softly, and it turned into a light cough. “I thought you looked familiar – like someone I’d seen a long time ago. You were the stuff of an embarrassing number of my youthful fantasies, ma’am.” He looked at the hand that still held hers, and then his eyes lifted to her study her face. There was humor there, as irrepressible as life. “Maybe I shouldn’t be touching you with this hand, considering -”

“There’s nothing new under the sun, Mr. Acosta.” She remembered saying the same thing to Barry and Corinne, that first time she’d seen them together. “And you can call me Gladys. My movie star days are long and happily behind me, and it’s been far too long since I’ve danced.”

“Well, that can be arranged, if you’d like. Terrance was a lovely dancer, or so he tells me.” Another man strode into the room, to the other side of Terrance’s chair, and leaned in to kiss him with obvious passion. The hand that had held Glady’s slipped away, reaching up to cradle the face of the newcomer.

When they broke away, Terrance sighed happily, then said, “Sometimes, the most beautiful things can come of the most catastrophic choices. If not for my hedonistic weeks, and that revelation -wait – I just thought of something – I need to speak to the authorities. Right away!”

The outburst brought on another fit of coughing; it seemed to intensify rather than fading out. “Here, sip some water – slowly.”

Gladys watched, and considered. She thought of the man who’d fought his illness and what was clearly a miasma of drugs – the sum total of whatever his ‘hedonistic weeks’ had contained – to make his statement, and his stand, for his marriage. Yes, he’d been wrong, but people sometimes were, and the conviction to do it said that he wasn’t going to give in now, either. He had something to say, and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from saying it.

“No- time – get them -”

“I’ve already pressed the call button, Mr. Acosta. Please relax, and breathe.”

“Miss Marietta makes good sense. Please, Terrance; don’t exhaust yourself. We have so much left to live together, and so little time left to share it. Have some water – it will help.”

Gladys retreated a little, to the bank of plantings that surrounded the windows, which were screened in, and ran nearly from floor to ceiling, reminding her of the screened-in porch at her own grandmother’s house, where she had often spent her days in play, dancing with her ragdolls- did children even have ragdolls anymore? – reading, and watching old dance movies on television- no, television they didn’t have, anymore, she was sure of that one…she smiled to herself, the mens’ conversation, murmured and soothing, like the sounds of the evening birds, or the morning ones, when she fell asleep out here…she sank into the memories, as though she were only a girl again, and this the sum of her reality…

“All right, sir – if you’re feeling up to it, I’d like to read over a summary of your statement, to be sure that we’ve recorded all the salient points, before we go any further with our investigation.”

“Sure thing, Officer. I’m not going anywhere, and I want the bastard who did this to be caught, before he does it again.”

What did Terrance remember?

Will ‘the bastard who did this’ be caught?

Will Gladys learn what all this is about?

This is all there is, until I write something more, so I’m going to leave it to your imaginations, which I’m sure are awesome!

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing?

Come join in – there’s just a few simple rules.

Get more SoCS right here!

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Posted in Coffee and Conversation, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Uncategorized, Unschooling

“Are You Their Parent, or Their Friend?” Coffee and Conversation for June 26

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.

The title question is bandied about in mainstream society to the point where it’s accepted, almost without question, that there’s no way to be both, and “the parent” is the only acceptable response. Seriously, 223,000,000 responses to that search, and not a one on the first page that suggests being friends to your children could possibly be a good idea.

I’ve been asked this question, more than once, usually in a derisive tone by someone who has seen or read about the way we live, in our family. But I have certain deep-seated mistrusts, issues – with the either/or paradigm. Too often, it sets up an unnatural or even false dichotomy.family.

Something I’ve noticed about those who advocate “being the parents” is that their definition of what a parent is, and, for that matter, what a friend is, differ significantly from my own.

Google offers these definitions:

par·ent

noun

1.

a father or mother.

“the parents of the bride”

synonyms:

mother, father, birth/biological parent, progenitor; More

verb

1.

be or act as a mother or father to (someone).

“the warmth and attention that are the hallmarks of good parenting”

synonyms:

raise, bring up, look after, take care of, rear;

hand-rear

“those who parent young children”

 

friend

noun

1.

a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

synonyms:

companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate,workmate; More

2.

archaic

befriend (someone).

I find ‘typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.’ interesting. In this age of ‘friends with benefits’, the sexual component can coexist with more platonic elements. It also seems to imply that, if you’re related to someone, you can’t be friends…

But my Accomplice and I were friends before we dated. As a matter of fact, I’ve been friends with most of my lovers, first – one for a decade! With many of them, the friendship outlasted the fleeting sexual relationship.

Over eighteen years ago, we made the decision to become a legal family. On the day we married, did we stop being ‘companions, soul mates, intimates, confidants, playmates, playfellows, and workmates?’

There’s a reason I call him my Accomplice. We’re still friends. Becoming husband and wife didn’t change the fact that, we ENJOY one another’s company. We learn and grow, separately and together. We honor each other’s being, listen to hopes and dreams and problems. We agree, and we disagree. We get mad at each other, sometimes, and we work it out. The fact that we share a home, a marriage contract, children t, a bed and lots of fun stuff we can do in it (besides sleep, which is also pretty fun!) doesn’t stop us from being what we began as – friends.

Our children are friends, too. Each has their own room, and enjoys time alone in it, and yet, nearly every day, they also hang out in one of their rooms together. They watch DVDs and YouTube, play Minecraft, read fanfiction, and invent games. They go for walks. They have their own inside jokes, and usually resolve their own conflicts. Even with the choice to be away from each other, they still choose to connect on a daily basis.

Maybe the confusion about it being a bad idea for parents to be their kids’ friends comes from this ‘family exclusivity’ –

Friendship can be silly!

Or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s how people see parents and friends.

To me, being a parent is NOT about:

  • control
  • rules
  • punishments
  • chores
  • bedtimes
  • getting them out the door to school on time
  • making sure they eat their vegetables
  • forcing them practice the piano
  • allowing them less than an hour a day on the dreaded screen time
  • badgering them to brush their teeth…
Friendship can be birthday dinner to celebrate a new teen – with an onion ring tower as a centerpiece.

For me, being their parent IS about:

  • sharing information and my experiences
  • knowing theirs won’t be the same
  • giving advice or opinions when they’re wanted, or when not giving them might mean disaster
  • providing a safe and nurturing environment
  • answering their questions
  • sharing hopes, dreams, and passions
  • opening up possibilities and horizons
  • being OK if they choose not to explore them
  • helping them achieve their goals, not ones I impose on them
  • helping them navigate growing up and getting along with others
  • trusting them to figure some things out
  • making room for what’s important to them
  • exercising the parental perogative only when it’s the only tool left
  • being patient – growing up isn’t consistent or tidy
  • being willing to change plans
  • making their happiness, security, and joy priorities in my life
  • liberating them to make their own choices
  • supporting them as they organize their lives
  • helping them deal with mistakes without making them feel badly about having not been perfect

It’s about being with them- not as a supervisor, a drill sergeant,

or even as a benevolent despot – but as human beings.

And isn’t that what a friend really is?

So, to that question, “Are you their parent or their friend?” I proudly answer, “Both.”

What are your thoughts? Can parents be their childrens’ friends? Should they be? Were your parents your friends? If you have children, are you their friend, their parent, or both?

I’d love to hear your thoughts – anyone up for a refill, while we chat?

Friendship in every moment – even the slightly awkward ones!

Friendship in every moment – even the slightly awkward ones!