Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, Nature and Outdoors, Parenting, Unschooling

Suddenly Tangled Up In the Blue: #JusJoJan Day Thirty

Welcome to Day Thirty of Just Jot It January, where the theme is: “blue.”

Okay, I’m running really late – so late, it may be, on this penultimate day, the first time I don’t have my post, in some form, completed before midnight….but now, let me just say that I love blue…no, scratch that!

I am PASSIONATE about blue.

And today, when I took the Boyo for a vaccination and we had lunch together at my Accomplice’s new place of work, I saw some….and I’m sharing it with you, hopefully before midnight!

tangled up in blue – bob dylan from me.greg on Vimeo.

Posted in Mindful Monday, Occasional Features, Social Consciousness

The Spear of Dichotomy for #MindfulMonday

 

It’s Mindful Monday again, and, with the current state of national affairs, I’ve been thinking about the value of life, and the perhaps unseen consequences of minimalizing people. This is largely stream-of-consciousness as I try to resolve all the thoughts and emotions running through my mind right now…

That’s a Vulcan koan. Of course, it’s not, really; I know that Vulcans are fictional. This koan was written by author Diane Duane in the novel Spock’s World. She’s as human as you and I.

Those facts make it no less true.

The current administration in America, and others elsewhere in the world, seem to be inordinately fond of casting all of us into the dichotomy of “us vs. them.”

“Them,” of course, is anyone who isn’t like “us.”

We’re being told that it’s okay, maybe even necessary, to treat “them” differently.

“They” aren’t like us, after all. They’re different.

Dangerous.

But…

Because they followed a different faith, four million people were exterminated in an attempt to wipe them off the face of this earth we all share. That wasn’t so long ago, and there are still people alive who somehow managed to survive those atrocities against humanity.

What did we lose, with those deaths? Aside form the suffering and anguish, and the results of the wars that accompanied it? What potential was lost, in the murder of four million people?

Who were they, and what might they have offered to the rest of us, had they lived instead.

  • There were men who had careers and businesses before the extermination.

  • There were women of learning, many of them wives and mothers; some of them pregnant or nursing.

  • There were young people – newly adults, those about to be, smaller children, infants, and the yet to be born with all the potential of any generations of humans.

What did we lose, as a species, when a race and a faith and an entire race were targeted for extinction?

What great discoveries, medical advances, art, music, and joy was snuffed out, unborn or unrealized, among those four million lives?

We have some clue. We have survivor accounts, and the diary of one young girlwho might have become so much more than she was allowed to be, because, instead, she was made the Other. And for that she was forced away from her life, into hiding, then into torture and starvation.
 

We’ll never know who that young girl, or any other of that four million, might have been, if they’d been allowed to live their lives unimpeded.

We won’t know because these people were marginalized, made other, and murdered. Anne Frank was one life among many.

She was equally as human as you and I. She died because another human deemed her life to be without value. That human was elevated to a position where he could act upon his prejudices.

The current American administration is in its infancy, but it was clear before it began that the focus would be on cementing the “us vs. them” dichotomy. So far, it seems as though the “us” is a very narrowly defined group, and “them” is anyone else. It’s easier to belong to the first group than the second.

That’s the problem with this dichotomy. There will always be winners and losers, and those in power are not going to make sacrifices for those whom they’ve deemed of lesser value. They may not hesitate to deny basic rights, and they may orchestrate situations where they can do so. There may be reasons stated for this which seem reasonable, or even necessary. They’ll be defended. As long as it’s “them” and not “us,” there are people who will accept it.

But….

The problems with that is that, as noted above, it’s easy to become “them.” It takes very little to shift, and there might not be anything you can do about it, if it happens to you. But there’s more to it than this. It’s a question of decency, and humanity. If any people are minimalized or denied, then, in some sense, we all are. We’re poorer of spirit, and poorer in resources of the kind that can’t be renewed, because each of us is unique and irreplacable.

I’m going to leave you with some words from  my friend, Ren Allen.

Find more Mindful Monday here….
 

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, writing prompts

History in Brief….#JusJoJan Day Twenty-Nine

Welcome to Day Twenty-Nine of Just Jot It January, where the theme is: “history.”

History will teach us nothing….

That’s the first thing that popped into my head when I read today’s prompt.

The second thing was the fact that I’m currently listening to Alexander Hamilton, the comprehensive biography by historian Ron Chernow, and the book upon which Hamilton: An American Musical was based. Listening to the early years of our nation, it’s impossible not to draw certain parallels to our current reality, which will, one day, be history, as well.

The third thing is that today is an interesting day in my personal history, as well, as it’s my half-birthday. I stand poised on the point of being halfway through my forty-eighth year.

And that’s about all I have to say about history, so…I’m history!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Round One 2017, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Impromptu Building: January 29, 2017

Hey there!

We’re rolling into the last three days of the month as I write this, and I’m like a midwinter firefly, flitting from here to there, dabbling in this, toying with that, diving into something else.

As is true most months, I won’t finish everything on my goals list this month; but, as I contemplate my intentions for February, I see that I have finished a lot, and gotten even more underway. It’s been a month of solid, focused progressed interspersed with other things – like a nation yawing from steady, thoughtful leadership to something….that’s not exactly that, or close, from early indications.

I’ll be carrying some goals over to next month, and not adding as many new ones, as I get ready to ramp up for CampNaNo in April – I know it seems like there’s plenty of time to worry about that later, but there’s never as much as there seems like there would be, so….

For the rest of this month, more diving and toe-dipping, and more progress, await. But for now, an update.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island: Write 5,000 words/week The Far Shore (KIC #6), until complete. Secondary goal. Scene 19/24 in progress. 5,138/5,000 words; 54,242/~65,000 total.

Plotting:

  • Rose and Jeremy novella: Plan/plot “Tuesday Afternoon Tea” using The Story Toolkit and existing notes. Develop one-paragraph sketches for remaining 3-5 stories. Primary goal.  Supporting Character Worksheets. 4/4 complete; step 7/22. Printed Character Arc worksheets; 7/7 pages. Working through these: 3/7 complete. Simmering Wednesday sketch.

Revision:

  • Kifo Island: Sea Changes: Continue rough revision for crit group; scenes 58. Secondary goal. Scene 5 and 6: Revised and submitted. Finally some movement here!

  • The IDIC Romance: Progress with revisions for First Contact; With Jazz. Review A Backdrop of Stars 1-3 (already posted) and revise 4-7 for posting. Tertiary goal. ABOS: Began a final pass of Chapter 1 (page 3/4 in progress). Chapter 2 simmering for secondary revision pass; considering a more comprehensive rewrite for this piece.

Blogging:

  • Blog Hops: Just Jot It January: Write 333 word stream of consciousness vignette for each day’s topic; complete guest posting duties as assigned. #atozchallenge: Complete any loose ends and unfinished business, move all posts to blog interface. Primary goal. #JusJoJan: 28/31 complete.

 

Submission/Publication:

  • A Splash of Red”: Complete final revisions and edits/polishing passes; work with Jaz on cover art; make front/back matter checklists. Secondary goal. Played a bit with this.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Gather materials for second quarter reports, due March 15. Create Flickr portfolios for this school year, for both children. Primary goal. Expanding bullet list to Lise’s English Language Arts; 1/11 sections; rewrote template intro for the current report.

  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and kitchen. Complete three 27 thing flings each room, each week. Bedroom, living room, and bathroom: one 27 thing fling each room each week. 27 General Hometending rounds weekly. Secondary goal. General: 24/27. Study: 1/3; Living room:1/1. Not a great cleaning week; activities away from home and not feeling great.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan 27 travel photos per week; save in organized files with backup. Side goal. 30/27 for the week. Goal Adapted: I’ve made one general directory, but will wait to organize until I’ve finished the travel photo scanning.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Primary goal. Conversation; shopping; assistance with Accomplice’s business paperwork.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Secondary goal. Shopping with son; couples’ workout; extra impromptu write-in, and shopping planned with daughter.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group. Tertiary goal. Prioritized completing one member’s upcoming piece, as she’d like to submit it by end of month. Attended an impromptu write in with other group members at a local cafe.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Side goal. One crit group piece completed; three more in the current queue.

Selftending:

  • Journal six mornings and three evenings each week. Meditate five mornings and two evenings weekly. Primary goal. Morning journal: 5/6; meditation: 5/5; Evening journal: 2/3; meditation: 1/2.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly, and 6 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.) monthly by end of round. Secondary goal. Moderate: 5/6. Strenuous: 8/6 hours.

  • Smart Change: Reread early chapters/worksheets; create an approach plan. Side goal. Downloaded book for rereading/goalsetting.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Apply at Starbucks and Panera for part-time work. . Adjusting: Will save Starbucks as a secondary option. Read job description.

  • Reading: Finish listening to Alexander Hamilton audiobook; read two other books; write four reviews. Audiobook:67% complete.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
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Posted in Uncategorized

Would You? With a Woodchuck? #SoCS and #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Eight

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot It January, where the prompt is: wood/would,” https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-2817/ used any way we wish. It’s also the Stream of Consciousness Saturday https://lindaghill.com/category/stream-of-consciousness-saturday/ prompt for today.

When I read today’s prompt, a tongue-twister popped into my head, but that’s a little too easy. So, instead, I thought I would share a few thoughts about (fire)wood, woodchucks, and other things.

https://flic.kr/p/e4up9a

Would you like that? Well, since I can’t hear you, guess I’ll knock on wood.

  • I learned the tongue-twister listed above at age 5 or so.

  • At some point soon after that, I went for a walk with my father. We explored the hayfield next door to our new home, and I twisted my ankle in a woodchuck hole. I asked my father why they were called woodchucks when they lived in holes in the ground. Even as a child, I would get frustrated by inaccurate wording. I thought groundhog was a far better name for the animal.

  • It would be many years later, when I worked in Yellowstone National Park, that I learned that they’re sometimes also called whistle pig. As evidence of my personal paradoxes, I like this inaccurate name better than either of the others.

  • We have a pair of woodchuck/groundhog/whistle pigs who reside in the woodpile outside our garage. The kids have dubbed them, interchangeably, Wiggy and Jiggy, for reasons that have faded into obscurity. We theorize they may have little Figgys, Tiggys, Liggys, and Miggys we can’t tell from their parents.

Well, that’s about it for now. Did you know my take on wood would turn out this way? I didn’t!

https://flic.kr/p/eaHEK7

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", fantasy, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Writing Sample

His Hands Grow Brave: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

As I type this on Friday night, I have to confess – I still haven’t visited any of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.* hangs head in shame * On the other hand, I am pulling this post together on Friday, at 8:30pm, rather than at 11:30pm on Saturday, so that’s something.

And, once it’s done, I’ll be answering comments, and making visits. Really. =)

In other news, my Accomplice has a new job, and has spent the week learning a new menu and moving forward in his small business plans – he’s getting close to finishing all the administrative details needed to launch his hot sauce business….if deliciously flavorful sauces are your thing, keep your eyes on this website, because I’ll have links once everything’s legal.

But I don’t think you came for hot sauce today, so let’s get on with the real reason you stopped by:

“Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:

A young commuter has offered her coffee to a poorly dressed man who seems reluctant to accept a gift he hasn’t paid for.

His Hands Grow Brave

“You’ll be doing me a favor, Jeremy.” I dare to wave the travel mug a little nearer, and he sniffs involuntarily. “My train will be here soon.”

His hands grow brave, and finally wrap around the mug, brushing my fingertips. His touch jolts me – it’s undeniably and indefinably male. He sighs, and studies my face, our hands still touching. I make certain that Jeremy’s grip is secure before releasing mine. Yes, that’s the reason – so that the mug won’t be dropped and the sweet drink wasted. Not because I don’t want to end this touching, however accidental.

Will Jeremy enjoy the coffee?
Will he insist on paying?
How?
Will Rose make her train?

Any guesses you’d like to share?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler.  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.

Want more #8Sunday? Here’s the link for you!

And now, a gratuitous plug for my favorite local coffee!

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, writing, writing prompts

A Klingon Runs Through It: #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Seven

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot It January,  where the prompt is incomplete,”  used any way we wish.

From today’s journal entry:

January 27, 2017 –

11:54 AM

Many of my dreams are incomplete; which sounds like a metaphor, and maybe it is…

My life is incomplete (at least, I hope it is!) Why should my dreams be any different?

They sometimes roll out in waves and overlapping themes. Sometime in the early hours of this morning, I adopted a large, white, smiling pit bull and named him “Klingon.”

Klingon kept running through other dreams. He was sweet and irrepressible.

He was, maybe, a combination of our beloved red pit bull mix, Corki, who died this past September 11, and Lise’s kitten, Ami, who is mostly white, sweet, and immensely irrepressible.