Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round One, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Two, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom

Finding My Pace:  #ROW80 /#12WeekYear EOW 5

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

January is over, which means I’ve entered my first full month of being a widow – a word I’m still having some trouble attaching to myself or my situation, no matter how accurate it is.

Some things are easier now. I’ve made headway on the administrative tasks, for instance, and gained confidence along the way. The kids and I are settling into a new rhythm, learning as we go, and doing our best to be patient with one another.

Other things, though, stymie me. The odd moments when I’m compelled to run something by Jim the way I used to. The quiet spaces that his sense of humor and his laughter would fill so well. The place in our bed that doesn’t hold his warm solid presence anymore.

It was predawn when I wrote this, and the wind was blowing hard against the house. It’s a time I would have snuggled against Jim, and felt safer. Now, several hours later, I’m sipping coffee and settling into the rhythm of a new day. I’m watching Property Brothers to add voices – Jim and I used to have coffee and conversation together.

I’m finding my pace, but I still miss the man who walked beside me for over 20 years.

Know what I mean?

But now, on to the update…

Blue with Overstrike: Goal Completed.

Green:  In Progress. 

Black: Still Waiting.

Black with Overstrike: 86ed.

Relationships, Family, and Home:


Complete lists of homeschool activities/ update attendance for November. Due Week 2.

  • Progress: 0%.

Facilitate Miah’s driving practice; four times weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • 3/4 –local driving.
  • Progress: 75%.

Move bedroom furniture to better accommodate nurse visits; deep clean as I go; ask for help from kids as needed.  Week 1.

Use one-on-one time to touch base with all family members. Weeks 5-12.

  • Connection with both kids; contacted one of Jim’s sisters.
  • Progress: 100%

Set aside a few minutes five days weekly to arrange facilitation of needs. Weeks 5-12.

  • Planned 3 weeks of Plated orders; picked up reclining loveseat for kids’ game room; plans for updated personal/common spaces/wardrobes: groceries and kindling-wood.
  • 7/7 for this session.
  • Progress: 100%.


Focus on at least ten minutes with some combination of family members in common spaces daily. Weeks 5-12.

  • While hometending; making food; moving furniture; and just chatting.
  • 7/7 for this session.
  • Progress: 100%.

Gather and consider how to make our home a sweeter place. Weeks 5-12.

  • Lots more discussion/brainstorming, and planning.
  • Progress: 100 %



Inventory sauces; get count on what/how many labels needed: Due Week 3.

  • Actual progress! Went through 26 cases; sorted by flavor and whether labeled.
  • Progress: 75%

Go through checking account and insurance policy info; make list of monthly/quarterly bills and due dates: Due Week 4.

  • Progress: 80%

Pay Jim’s back sales taxes; find out how to dissolve business. Due Week 6.

  • Progress: 30%.

Do (or delegate) our taxes: Due Week 10.

  • Progress: 20%.

Create a base family budget for the kids and I: Due Week 12.

  • Progress: 50%

Focus on learning via the courses I already have in progress: Weeks 5-12.

  • Completed final revision for Story Start 5/11; draft and revision 1 for Story Start 6/11.
  • Progress: 30%.

Work on beta projects I’ve agreed to as opportunity arises. Weeks 512.

  • Stained Blood Chapter 6/24. Commented and returned to author.
  • Progress: 100%.

Keep in touch with other writers –  reading blogs; commenting; participating in sprints and blog hops as I am able: Weeks 512.

  • Sprinted Wednesday; skipped Thursday and Friday; 3/5. Read a couple of blogs and commented.
  • Progress: 40%.


Make lists of things we could use help with, as we think of them. Weeks 512.

  • Progress: 25%

Ask both kids for ideas at least weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Happening organically.
  • Progress: 100%

Pair lists with those willing to help at least weekly. Weeks 512.

  • This is tapering off some, as we find or footing and others focus on their own lives.
  • Progress: 45%

Seek out someone(s) with good organizational skills who can coordinate as/when needed. Weeks 5-12.

  • I think I am going to become that person myself, with prompting and help from others who enjoy helping.
  • Progress: 50%

When someone offers general assistance, be ready with ideas. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 100%

Body, Mind, and Soul:


Watch Star Trek: Enterprise whenever possible; join in Twitter live chat at #AllStarTrek. Weeks 5-12.

  • Every night this session.
  • Progress: 100%

Resume taking pictures, beautifying our home, drawing, coloring, singing, and other activities that I enjoy, as opportunities arise. Weeks 5-12.

  • More Home and Garden TV; decluttering/organizing/hometending/for challenge and otherwise; singing; and reading.
  • Progress: 100%

Experiment with Instant Pot weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 0%.

Keep eyes open for likely recipes. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 100%

Use Ninja for food prep once weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 0%

Alternate days of restful focus with more active days. Weeks 5-12.

  • My body and mind seem determined to be sure I meet this goal consistently.
  • Progress: 100%.

Listen to my body, mind, and soul, and follow their leads to adjust accordingly.  Weeks 512.

  • Progress: 100%


Follow a morning routine when possible. Weeks 512.

  • My morning routine has shifted to focus on connecting with Lise, then seemingly away from that.
  • Progress: 75%.

Use quiet moments as they present themselves. Weeks 5-12.

  • I use these as my renewal/planning time.
  • Progress: 100%.

Make a practice of being present- right here, right now. Weeks 5-12.

  • I continue to focus on this.
  • Progress: 100%.

Prioritize time and connection with my beloveds over busy-ness. Weeks 512.

  • Spent time with both kids, just being, as well as tending to their needs.
  • Progress: 100%


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I know this isn’t exactly on topic for this post, but it’s light and fun, and you can walk to it!

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just for Fun!, Kifo Island Chroincles, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Samples

“Mr. Carstairs”: Kifo Island for #SoCS

“Mr. Carstairs”

“Take your medication, Mr. Carstairs.”

“In other words, give my power to you, choke it out while I’m swallowing your control – “

“Mr. Carstairs – “

“My name is Zeke.”

“I’m required to call you Mr. Carstairs.  We’re not allowed to be too familiar with our patients.”

“In other words, they control you.”

“’They,’ Mr. Carstairs?”

“They. The ones we never see. The ones who control everything – only most people never even notice their strings being pulled and twisted.”

“Mr. Carstairs, this is a psychiatric hospital – “

“In other words, a control center. A brainwashing facility. A torture chamber – “

“Mr. Carstairs, you’re alarming the other patients – “

“They should be alarmed! We’re all prisoners here!”

“You’re not. You were homeless and hungry. You’re safe here – but if you alarm the others, I’ll have to isolate you.”

“In other words, I’m a prisoner.”

Will Zeke take his medicine?

Will the hospital employee ever call him by his first name?

Is Zeke right about the purpose of the hospital?

Any guesses?


The above freewriting ties into my rough draft novel, Tsunamis, from my as-yet unpublished Kifo Island series. It may or may not ever become a permanent part of Zeke’s story.

  • To “meet” Zeke, read here.
  • To read more from Tsunamis, click here.
  • To read more Kifo Island excerpts, go here.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill’s blog, Life in Progress. This week’s prompt is the phrase , “In other words,” used at least once. Dip your toes in the #SoCS waters here.