Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, Parenting, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

J is for Juxtaposition of Joy and Sorrow: #atozchallenge Day 10


Departed With Honor

I feel his loss with every breath

I know my love has departed

Departed from this earthly plane

Departed from our home

Home could now be a somber place

Home could be wreathed in endless sorrow

Sorrow deep and rooted in this grave loss

Sorrow an oppressive ominous thundercloud

Thundercloud bringing rains of tears

Thundercloud lifts and thins out and away

Away and apart letting the sun shine in

Away goes the gloom in comes magic

Magic of light reflected through raindrops

Magic and promise of the rainbow

Rainbow paints the sky in wonder

Rainbow born of the deepest loss

Loss of my mate and my kids’ dad

Loss of the life that went before

Before we can grow we must absorb

Before we grow we must evolve

Evolve into a new way of life

Evolve into something that has space

Space for what was precious to us

Space for new life and new joys

Joys are the treasures we seek

Joys of the living and the loving

Loving the memory of beloved lost

Loving possibilities held in each breath

Breath and heartbeat hold new potential

Breath of fresh air with the coming of spring

Spring brings the softening of frozen places

Spring brings the time of rampant rebirth

Rebirth into a life that grows and changes

Rebirth as a new kind of family

Family is a matter of heart

Family is a matter of soul

Soul hungers for laughter and singing

Soul yearns to remember old laughter

Laughter is worthy of protection

Laughter is ever the best medicine

Medicine perfect for healing deep grief

Medicine that blends the then and the now

Now we cultivate laughter in ourselves and each other

Now we seek out moments of happiness

Happiness is what he wanted for us

Happpiness is a way to do him honor

Honor the loss of a singular love

Honor the future as we move beyond




I’m running a bit later than I wanted to be, today – because I took time for joy. I met my dearest, oldest friend at a local library where her son was taking a class, and we did some catching up – she and her family will be moving out of state in the coming months, and so time together is more precious these days. We also did some writing, then went to Toys R Us so her son could spend gift cards before the store goes out of business.

I bought some Littlest Pet Shop things for Lise, because the income tax refund left us some extra breathing room, and then, when I went shopping, I supplemented the modest list we’d created with some favorites – a bit of a celebration of spring’s potential, and a surprise the kids weren’t expecting. Before heading home, I stopped at Panera because they have French onion soup I always enjoy, and my favorite salad is back for the summer.

Giving ourselves joy isn’t always about spending money. Sometimes it’s just hanging out together, or watching a rainbow, or hugging.

There’s so much sorrow we can’t avoid – but we look for moments of delight wherever we can find them.

When Jim was alive, we laughed a lot – and we want to keep on laughing. More, that’s what Jim wanted, too.

And so we grieve, and we laugh – and sometimes, we do both at the same time.

Join us again tomorrow for Kids and Kitchen – as a chef’s widow learns new ways to feed her offspring.

Jog on over for more juicy J posts!

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

Settling Into the Now:  #ROW80 Round 2 /#12WeekYear 3 MidWeek 2

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

It’s Wednesday – time to list out my Week 2 Action Plan, and current progress (Here’s my Week 1 progress). 

These goals are more specific than my Week 1 goals. I’ve refined things; made them more measurable and specific. Some of these may take a few weeks to complete, so they’ll be here a while.

And that’s okay.

I’m reminding myself of something I’d lost sight of for a while. NOW is the only time I have, no matter how much I might wish it was otherwise.

What are you doing with your now?


  • I post my Weekly Action Plan on Wednesdays, and Weekly Wrap-Ups on Sundays.
  • I review/adjust my Round 2/12 Week Year 3 after weeks 3, 6, 9, and a final one after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike: 86’ed.
  • Red: Goal Change.

Relationships, Family, and Home:

Family Stuff:

I facilitate Miah’s driving at a pace that’s comfortable for him.

I facilitate kids’ social travel and time with friends as desired, and check up on Unschoolers Rock the Campground.

  • Nothing posted for URTC yet.

I spend 11:11 gathering materials for each child’s third quarter homeschool reports.

I facilitate both kids’ learning as needed.

  • Lise checked the weather around the world, with some suggestions from me. We discussed climate and geographic features which influence weather.

Home Stuff:

I facilitate home and yardtending, asking for assistance as needed.

  • Made a deal with Lise – a sinkful of dishes traded for an order of fries.
  • Bedrooomtending; laundry; dishes; yardtending (raking leaves; decluttering).

I post three items (already selected) on a local yard sale site.

  • I’ve taken photos for these posts.

I rough draft a schedule for hometending as a baseline for action.

I touch base with Lise about next steps in baking/selecting a mop she wants to use.

  • She’s comfortable with prepackaged cookie dough for now, but may want to experiment with mixes soon.
  • We agreed that I will find a few potential mopping solutions for her to choose from.

Relationship Stuff:

I schedule lunch/coffee dates with two friends.

  • Tentative plans to meet Eden Mabee (best friend since almost forever; we were little, little girls!) on Wednesday.

I send thank you notes to Jim’s sisters, and contact them via text to touch base.


Writing/Revising Stuff:

I complete the first revision pass of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” (short story), and return to publishers.

I collect materials, organize, get beta feedback, apply, finalize layout, and submit my Secret Project.

  • I have my base materials, and have secured 3 beta readers (3 more to ask).

I use April CampNaNoWriMo to complete the rough draft of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8).

  • 18,277 new words; 5,668 this week.

Blogging From A-Z April Challenge: The Alphabet of Grief complete 26 posts.

I check in at Story A Day, catch up on recent podcasts, and begin collecting story sparks for this year’s stories. If there is a way to get advance notice of the prompts, I utilize it.

  • Made a quick survey; selected some follow-up items.

Learning Stuff:

I complete Pixels to Platform, and complete Module 1.

  • Began intro video rewatch: 30%.

I complete organization for How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck, evaluate my current progress, and complete one 11:11 learning session this week.

  • Organization 95% complete; evaluation 50%

I complete organization for How to Revise Your Novel.

Networking Stuff:

I serve as an DIY-MFA Pixels to Platform Master Class Ambassador.

  • Checked in regularly with private Facebook group; class is now live.

I answer blog comments and visit other blogs on my current informal schedule.

  • Several #atozchallenge visits. #babysteps.

I complete current chapter of Stained Blood, return to author, and highlight next section for revision.

I touch base with author next in my queue, and another possible beta author regarding manuscript schedule.

I post current goals and Dark and Bitter reading video/transcript to Patreon, and update Facebook Writer page and blog sidebar.

Family Financial Stuff:

I go through current receipts.

I set budget for groceries, eating out, and monthly expenses, using receipts and bank statement as guides.

I contact insurance agent (re: business insurance).

I read at least one article or blogpost on a financial matter.

I talk with both kids about what prosperity means to them.

  • Opened a discussion with Lise. It was enlightening, and showed how she’s matured in the last several months.

Body, Mind, and Soul:

I return to tai chi on Thursday, and swim afterwards.

I reset my 5K training; prepare to restart next week.

I make chicken and rice soup; steel cut oats; a pasta bake; and steam sweet potatoes in Instant Pot.

  • Bone broth for soup and steel cut oats.

I meditate and journal daily, and twice daily at least three times this week.

  • Meditation (Insight Timer at 2:22) and journaling each morning; extra journaling Sunday night (1/3).

I read at least one spiritual growth article this week.

  • Read Strip Away Stress and How to be Kind in a Rude World from the Real Simple Find Your Balance special issue.

I allow myself sufficient time for rest, recreation, and reflection, without guilt.

  • Rest was rocky until Tuesday, but others are solid. Coloring, meditation, journaling, and pondering in abundance.

I share my experiences with others as I am inspired.

  • Through blogging, and in person.

I create art that allows me to explore and express my emotional state.

  • Singing, writing, and coloring

I memorialize Jim’s place in my life, and makes changes as I am moved to, without guilt.

  • Through writing, and in life.

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

Just a bit of now-themed silliness! =D