Posted in Life Writing, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Unschooling, Weekend Coffee Share

The Practicing Mindfulness Edition: #weekendcoffeeshare and #SoCS

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I thought I’d get to this post earlier in the day, but that earlier in the day was instead filled with the ever-present Other Things.

You see, my Accomplice is starting a business, I am engaged in goals around that, my writing (it’s July #CampNaNoWriMo, and I’m writing a book without a plot for the first time in a few years, so the writing feels more…vivid than it has of late), and learning about marketing, platform and design. More, my daughter became a teenager a week ago, and my son will be going on a camping trip out of state with friends. He’s visited out of state friends before, but never for camping.

My kids are growing up, and their parents’ horizons are expanding too. For all of us, this is a time of exciting change and shifting. They are becoming adults. Jeremiah will be 16 in early September. He’s been studying the driver’s manual and the state licensing laws already, because he’s a practical, safety-minded person who also happens to love doing research on things that interest him.

We’re at that point where many families are dealing with “teenage rebellion.” As a matter of fact, I was told be a family member, back when the kids were 8 and 5, that “all teenagers rebel, even if only a little.” Because we don’t impose rules on our kids, and haven’t since they were 7 and 4, I was assured their teenage years were going to be disastrous.

And they certainly could be. I wasn’t a very nice mother, before I made a conscious, and very difficult to enact, decision that I needed to become a kinder, gentler, more respectful version of myself.

My kids, shortly after this change, referred to my former self as “Mean Mommy.” As in, “Back when you were a Mean Mommy.”

That hurt, to hear them say it. It still hurts that it was true, even though it’s been years since I lived up to that title.

But that’s a litlte off topic. I wanted to say, that if I had gone on down that Mean Mommy path I was on, I would almost certainly be in big trouble right about now. I’ve spawned a fifteen year old who is about 6’3” tall – and burly about the chest and shoulders, like his father – only bigger.

If I had made myself his enemy, way back then when he was still much smaller than me, I might be in very deep trouble now. Instead, I have an almost-a-man son with whom a maintain a close and connected relationship, even as he stretches toward independence. We don’t just tolerate one another, or have a state of truce.

We enjoy one another’s company. We take long walks together, where he shares his thoughts, and, sometimes, asks me for advice or opinions on his plans for the future. He’s recently discovered an interest in in local history, and we’ve visited several significant sites together.

I know that if I need to tell him I disagree or have serious plans about something he wants to do, that he’ll consider my opinion – because I’ve earned his trust and his respect.

As I said above, it wasn’t an easy change. The life I had as a child offers little in the way of positive examples, beyond that my parents did foster a sense of curiosity and a desire for learning, and they could be goofy and loving.

But the reality includes the shadow of abuse. Physical violence, screaming and shouting, inconsistent and sometimes harsh punishment, emotional manipulation and abandonment, and intentional, systemic humiliation were all a part of my childhood, and, at one point, I was very close to bequeathing them to my own children as their birthright.

I didn’t decide one day to change the entire way I raised my children, and then do it. The process of deciding took nearly a year. That was followed by a great deal of research and learning.

At first, I had to be mindful every moment – every thought, gesture, and word. I made a tremendous number of mistakes and missteps. I relapsed more than once, falling back on those old patterns I’d known since I was a small child.

If I hadn’t practiced mindfulness, I wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t be the mother of two teensI know I can guide without controlling. Whose judgment I trust, within the parameters of the maturity they’ve attained.

When I think about the way life might have been, I’m profoundly thankful that I chose mindfulness instead.

The post is a joint venture of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by Linda G.Hill, and the #weekendcoffeeshare, back at its original home at Part-Time Monster Blog.

Posted in Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekend Coffee Share, Writing in Freedom

The Time Plays Tricks Edition: an #SoCS #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s quarter after 9, Saturday night, and I’m just getting around to setting up this post. I’d say that I wrote it in my journal about twelve hours ago, and that the hours between have been filled with productivity and celebration…in a low key, as befits the wishes of the object of the festivities….but, maybe it’s best if I just pour the drinks, and let you read for yourself…

Age 3 months – already brightening our lives.

July 8, 2017 –

In less than an hour, now, my daughter will be a teenager.

It doesn’t quite seem possible.

Wasn’t it only a couple of years ago that we brought home our sleepy little yellow-tinged bundle, and laid her in her bassinet in the living room?

Where, shortly after that, her brother, not quite three, almost smothered her because he thought she needed a pillow, and couldn’t figure out how to get it under her head?

Has it really been twelve years since her first birthday, when she’d just (finally) gotten her first tooth, and could speak in complete sentences?

Eleven years since the doctor’s question, “Can she say at least six words?” came only a few days after her question,”Mommy, what kind of medicine is this?”

 

Christmas time silliness with her big brother.

Ten years since she could tell you what DNA stood for, and even make a joke of it – “deoxyribonucleic BACID!” – and could quote Shakespeare, but still said, “aminal”, “Psghetti”; “allgalator”, and “NimM’s”?

Nine years since she turned four, and first met Sheet, who would be her constant companion for years to come?

Eight years since she proved herself a natural horsewoman in the making (who later outgrew that passion)??

A day at the races; age 5. Can you tell she had a good time?

Seven years since she lost her first tooth, and made a new best friend?

Six years since she launched her first cottage industry, selling art with her best friend at our local unschooling conference?

Five years since she learned to read – naturally, and quite suddenly?

Four years since she wrote her first poem, largely by accident?

Three years since she attained her first decade, and rediscovered her passion for Littlest Pet Shop characters?

Sometimes she needs to stop and smell the irises….

Two years since she got her American Girl doll, Grace, after half a lifetime of choosing something else at the last moment, when the opportunity came?

Already a year since she started blossoming into the first flush of womanhood, expanding her horizons and refining her passions?

Time plays tricks, I tell you.

Here’s this girl who comes up to my eyes now, who is lovely and mature and silly and moody and still the Force of Nature she’s always been…

Self portrait of a lovely young woman in the making, in her last days of being twelve.

And I know how she got here, and I can do the math….she is 13.

But, somehow, the time elapsed between her arrival at 9:33 on a Thursday morning in 2004, and this moment – 9:02 on a Saturday morning in 2017 – seems like a sustained, mostly happy blur, carrying us along as time works its tricky magic.

Today. Lise is 13 years old – and I am a proud, amazed, and slightly bewildered mother, shaking my head at the perfectly normal tricks time plays.

This post was written for Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday  where today’s prompt is “ick” – by itself or as part of another word. And #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by Emily at Nerd in the Brain. To learn more about either challenge, click on its title, or the associated icon to beam on over.

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writing Samples

“Hey, T’Pol?” for SoCS

Here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I don’t make money from them; I just love them, and I tell the stories they give me as well as I can.

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Mind if I join you?”

“No.”

“What are you reading?”

“I have a new language lesson from Ensign Sato.”

“Well, you look a little confused.”

“I am. Your language is most imprecise, Commander.”

“Tell me about it. On the other hand, don’t.”

“I already have. I can’t undo the action now.”

“You could if you talked to the Cap’n’s friend, Daniels.”

“That is illogical. The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible.”

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Yes, Commander?”

“Wanna know something?”

“If it is something of significance?”

“Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.”

“What did you wish to tell me, Commander Tucker?”

“I’ve determined that the Vulcan Science Directorate having a single imaginative thought between them is impossible.”

“It’s not their duty to pursue imaginary thoughts, Commander. It’s their duty to advance scientific theory.”

“Whatever you say. You want help with the lesson?”

“I’m uncertain that will be possible.”

“Are you criticizin’ my command of my native tongue, Sub-Commander?”

“Not at all. You seem to communicate well with your fellow humans, despite what Ensign Sato has intimated.”

“Let’s come back to what Hoshi said about me later. If you don’t think I’m incompetent, why don’t you think I can help you?”

“Because my difficulty is with the illogical nature of the material, not with your proficiency. You can do nothing to alleviate that problem.”

“Wanna bet?”

“If you’re proposing a wager, Commander, you must first name the terms.”

“Looks like you’re almost out of tea. If I can’t make some sense of whatever’s got you stymied, I get the refills.”

“And it you are able to provide clarification, Commander?”

“You put the PADD down when I bring the next round, and we just talk until it’s gone.”

“Your wager is acceptable.”

“Okay, then. Show me the part that’s tripping you up.”

“It is this: ‘Rain. Reign. Rein.’”

“I can see why that would be tricky – honestly, that one got me a lot when I was a kid, too.”

“I’m neither a young human, nor an immature member of the goat family, Commander Tucker.”

“Yeah. I know that, but that’s a whole different thing. I’m not ready to start working out idioms with you. That would be like pulling your eye teeth.”

“I wouldn’t advise attempting it -”

“You don’t say.”

“I just did.”

“Forget it.”

“Unlikely.”

“I mean let’s change the subject, before you give me a headache.”

“Are you unwell, Commander? If so, there’s no need to attempt to assist me. Perhaps you should return to your quarters and rest.”

“I’m fine – it’s that damned language barrier again. Or the brain barrier. I’m not tired; I need something to figure out. So c’mon. Hand it over. Hmmm…so what is it about those three that’s catching you?”

“The words are each spelled differently, and have different meanings. I further suspect that there are nuances of meaning, in each case, which I don’t understand. For instance, rain. Your language database contains a remarkable diversity of words to define liquid precipitation, all of which are essentially variations on several easily quantifiable conditions . Would it not be more efficient to identify the forms by those measures?”

“Well, I guess that’s true enough – but that’s just not how we do it. It wouldn’t be useful to me unless I was conducting some kind of experiment.”

“Why not?”

“Let’s circle back to that one – I need to think it over a little. How about the other two?”

“I would rather focus on precipitation now, Commander. It seems likely that Ensign Sato will be able to adequately explain my difficulties with the other versions of ‘rain/reign/rein’ when I next consult her.”

“Okay, so what do you want to know about rain? I mean, what can I tell you that you don’t already know first-hand? Defining rain by measurable variables doesn’t say anything about the way ir feels on your face, you know?”

“No.”

“No, what?”

“No, I don’t know. I have seldom felt rain in that manner, and have never had the leisure to explore the sensations associated with it.”

“You mean you were never an adorable tiny little pointy-eared pixie with great big eyes turned up to the sky in a rainstorm? Not even once?”

“No. It seldom rains on Vulcan, Commander, and virtually never in the region where I was raised. When rain occurs, it never reaches the ground.”

“Never? What – is the whole planet a desert or something?”

“No. One point six percent is not.”

“And so you never felt rain when you could just be there with it?”

“No.”

“Well, then – that’s why all our names for rain don’t make sense to you. You don’t have a frame of reference.”

“That is unlikely to change.”

“Now, wait a minute. We can’t exactly just step outside and take a walk in the rain, but there’s a way you could get an idea why we have so many way to describe rain. Play with the adjustments on your shower; Starfleet assigned something pretty dull, but I went all out and made sure every shower head on this ship has enough variety to simulate at least a few dozen types of rain, more or less – you’re not saying anything.”

“I’m considering the concept, and devising an experiment to test the theory.”

“Well, while you do that, I’ll get the refills. It’s up to you now – did I win my bet, or not?”

Trip grinned as T’Pol set her PADD to the side, decisively. Now all he had to do was not let on how much he was fighting imagining her in the shower.

This post is for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is rain/reign/rein, one or all, used any way we like.

Wade into the Stream of Consciousness right here!


Posted in Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Signing it Over for Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Yes, that’s right. We’re ready to sign it over. It can mean lots of things, but, in this case, it refers to my car – an elderly-and-then-some 1998 Subaru Outback. Oh, and it also means our almost-old-enough-to-qualify-as-an-antique Dodge Ram ¾ ton truck, Gus.

My Outback had just over 288,000 miles on it when a control arm snapped Tuesday night. Oh, did I mention that it happened at about 55mph, on an interstate? Or that the resultant “equal and opposite reaction” sent us skidding across all three lines of the highway before I was able to get enough control through steering into the skid and gradually braking?

I just about wrestled that car back across the three lanes and then as far off the shoulder as I could get us. The control arm was dragging and scraping the entire way.

Did I mention that “us”, in this case, was me and my not-quite-sixteen year old son?

He was impressed at my calm, and my getting the car off the road. He is an even-tempered, safety-conscious, level-headed kind of young man – but this made an impression on him, I think, that no amount of lecturing or studying the driver’s manual could. It was sudden, unexpected, completely taking over the evening.

There were no other cars on our stretch of interstate throughout the trip over and back. Given that we were passed by at least twenty semis once we got to the side of the road – whether it was divine intervention, or just a matter of extraordinarily good timing, we didn’t collide with anyone else, or endanger anyone. Fotunately, I got my license here in upstate New York right around the begiining of the winter when I was 20 – I learned quickly how to handle skids and slides.

We were lucky. But my car?

Not so much.

I did mention that it’s a 1998 (yup, from the last century!)? And that it was edging in on 300,000 miles? I don’t think that I mentioned the significant rust, the phantom electrical gremlins, the transmission whine….

In short, it’s become a more feasible financial decision to sign the title over to the garage it was towed to. As my Accomplice said, it was hard to imagine a new car in a driveway that already held two cars….

Oh, and it also holds that old vintage pickup – the one at least three men have stopped by to see if we were willing to sell.

My Accomplice had been determined to keep old Gus. You see, Gus is, in some ways, the symbol of our relationship. He was the first thing we ever bought together, back at the Grand Canyon, before we were even married. My roommate told me I was making a mistake. I didn’t know this guy very well, after all.

Gus is also our history. We used him for traveling to backwoods places to camp – and then to pull our two travel trailers – the 21 foot one we bought for our first home, and the 30 foot replacement, where our son came home four years later. Between those events, we used Gus to drive around the country three times.

And then we drove back to upstate New York with our newborn baby boy in the wake of September 11, 2001, and parked Gus at my parents’ until we bought our own home up the street.

Gus never went far, after that, and, for the last eight years, he’s been at the foot of the driveway, undriven, and needing work we kept saying we were going to get around to, someday.

The shift that came with the loss of my car cast our rather precarious recent financial situation into potentially becoming disastrous. And, at the same time, the nature of our marriage is shifting in the way some do, when women in our mid-to-late forties realize that we’ve been complicit in our own unintentional subjugation.

My car is gone. For the moment, then, I have less freedom than I did a week ago….

And yet, it’s also liberating.

Gus will go, sooner or later, to someone who wants to take the time and spend the money needed to make him spiffy and roadworthy again (but we’ll keep his Wyoming plate). With him, we release a physical symbol of our relationship’s beginning, as we muddle our way through this transition – our youngest child soon to be a teen, our eldest only a few months from being old enough to drive…my Accomplice’s hot sauce business taking its first tentative steps into the world, and me learning more and more about how to help him, and how to turn my writing from a passion to a business I can call my own.

So, we’ll sign some things away, but there will also be room for growth, and change, in the signing. And that’s something of a sign of the times.

Have you ever found liberation in something that at first seemed like a setback?

Please share your experiences in the comments – life’s more fun when we share!

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: “sign,” used any way we like.

 

If you’d like to dip your toes in the Stream of Consciousness, click the prompt link or icon above.

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Getting Emotional for #SoCS and #StaD May; Day Six

Hello there, and welcome to my Story a Day May “Show My Work” post! This is where I give you a sneak peek into how I’m creating two (very short, and very different) stories, every day this May. Yep, that’s right; less than 24 hours from my first reading of the prompt to a committed story, even if I’m not quite that fast at posting them!

Ready to read?

Well then, what are we waiting for?

Story A Day May 6 prompt,  by writer, writing coach, and international speaker Angela Ackerman:

Emotional trauma is an experience, or set of experiences, that can change your character in fundamental ways, altering their personality, embedding fears in their minds, affecting their ability to connect and trust others, and steering their needs and desires during your story.

Write about a wounding experience from your character’s past that changed them into who they are today.

HINT: most wounding experiences involve someone close to the character as it is the people closest to us who are able to do the most psychological damage.

For emotional wound ideas, try this list.

Additionally, this is my entry into Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday for this week. This week’s prompt is “inter”, used however we wish.

I’m doing things a bit differently this week. I have two stories linked from this post; both fit the prompt, so I’m submitting this master post, so that you can choose one, both, or neither, as you wish!

Main Project Premise:

  • Marilyn goes outside to smoke a cigarette – she’s messed up again and wants out of the strangling, smothering house – and finds her mother dead on the front porch.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Marilyn is on a great trip, and she wants a cigarette. But Mom forbids smoking, and the damned cook can smell it anywhere in the house, and she’ll tattle to Mom any chance she gets. So Marilyn heads outside with her clove – and opens the front door to find Mom sprawled there – cold and dead.

Favorite Bit of Trip Interrupted:

Here, with a mother who wants nothing to do with her, because, “You remind me of that ass I married, who thought tropical waters were just fine to take a dip into.”

She wished Mom wouldn’t talk like that, when she was little. But, now – now that she was growing up, Mom said she looked just like her damned father, sounded just like her damned father.

How is she supposed to not be like a father she can’t remember even ever having seen? A father who was gone out of her life before she was three years old?

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Side Project Premise:

  • Soval is a young man upon the Forge when, offered Vulcan’s rarest gift, he hesitates, and the opportunity is forever lost.

Word List:

  • Serenity

  • Magnetic Resonance

  • Obsidian

  • Sandstone

  • Superfluous

  • Entropy

  • Tantalize

  • Taboo

  • Intercede

  • Withdrawal

This story follows directly after the previous Soval chapter, “Put Your Eyebrow Down”. And there’s no premise development because, when I went to write one, I ended up writing the drabble instead!

And so I offer you...Logical Withdrawal, in its entirety:

“You believe the accusations false.”

“It doesn’t square with what I know about him.”

“There is logically much about any individual that remains unknown to others.” Soval remembered – The serenity of night on the Forge, T’Khut a magnetic resonance above, reflections diffracted by obsidian; absorbed by sandstone.

Superfluous beauty, because he feels the plant germinate, and he is compelled to the place where the entropy grows to tantalize him. The moment taboo; alien to logic, unchangeable once committed to. Will he choose to intercede in the life cycle, and take the nectars?

He pulled his hand back, in logical withdrawal.

To see the drabbles in sequence, as they post, visit my fanfiction.net page!

And, if you’d like to learn more about Julie Duffy  and Story A Day May,  click the links and learn away!

Posted in #8Sunday, A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Round One 2017, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekend Coffee Share, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

Building From a Revised Blueprint: February 5, 2017

Hey there!

It’s a new month, and that means updated monthly goals for me. This is the complete list; from this point, I’ll only list those goals I engage with each session.

There’s a lot here to cover, so I hope you won’t mind if I just get right to it.

Writing:

  • Kifo Island: Write 5,000 words/week The Far Shore (KIC #6), until complete. Primary goal. Scene 20/24 in progress. 2,768/5,000 words; 57,250 /~65,000 total.

  • Patreon Posts Complete February and March offerings. Secondary goal. Completed first month drafts of flash fiction piece and poem.

  • #atozchallenge: Write theme reveal post. Tertiary goal. Wrote an introduction for the daily posts that will serve as the jumping off point for this goal.

  • Fan Fiction: Draft one new chapter each for “Cowled” and Love and Loss. Side goal. I’m using my #Loveuary posts to explore the LAL arc, in preparation for writing.

Plotting:

  • Rose and Jeremy novella: Complete Planning/plotting of “Tuesday Afternoon Tea” using The Story Toolkit and existing notes. Develop one-paragraph sketches for remaining 3-5 stories. Primary goal. Romance arc: page 7/7 completed and filed in project binder; sketches for future stories will be based on this arc.

  • Kifo Island: Flesh out AeonTimeline. File remaining/new series bible materials. Complete steps 1-8 of The Story Toolkit for April novel. Secondary goal. All existing printed novel materials have been moved to series bible (three others waiting to be printed).

Revision:

  • Kifo Island: Sea Changes: Continue rough revision for crit group; scenes 7-10. Tertiary goal. Pulled chapter pages for read-aloud.

Submission/Publication:

  • Miss Spider and Mister Fly” (for Dark and Bitter anthology): follow up with editors as needed. Primary goal.

  • The IDIC Romance: Submit A Backdrop of Stars chapters 1-7; and Chapters 2 for “Arachnid” and “Beagle” to fan fiction sites as completed. Tertiary goal. Chapter 1 for ABOS submitted.

Blogging:

  • Blog Hops: #Loveuary : Write a daily drabble focused on the next chapters of Love and Loss, using a prompt pool from my fans (yes, you can help!); visit other posters as I can. #atozchallenge: Sign up for the challenge and complete any loose ends and unfinished businessby the end of the month, all posts should be finished and scheduled (to both website and blog). Primary goal. #Loveuary Drabbles: 4/28 complete: “Weren’t You Listening?;  “I’ll Want That Back”; “He’d Been Wrong”; and “Don’t You Know?”; #atoz: Visited site; awaiting a “big announcement.” Week Two: B-G posts proofed and moved to website blog template for finishing. Week One: Wrote basic intro paragraph; formatted A post and added/edited images.

  • Blogging Features: Continue biweekly Mindful Monday posts, as well as weekly #SoCS, #8sunday, WIPpet Wednesday, and Weekend Coffee share posts. Add biweekly SkyWatch Friday posts. Develop rough schedule to pre-produce April posts Secondary goal. #SoCS, #weekendcoffeeshare, WIPpet; and #8sunday complete.

  • Website/Blog Development: Make basic sketches of new pages; prioritize; begin implementation. Tertiary goal.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Draft second quarter reports, due March 15. Create Flickr portfolios for this school year. Primary goal.

  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and kitchen. Complete three 27 thing flings each room, each week. Bedroom, living room, and bathroom: two 27 thing fling each room each week. 29 General Hometending rounds weekly. Secondary goal. All completed at new levels! WAHOO!
  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and back up all designated fiction files. Maintain Blogging/ Homeschool directories. Sort and delete excess mail Homeschooling, and Transactions in Progress folders. Make files at gmail account. Tertiary goal.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan 27 travel photos per week. Side goal. Photos placed on printer – yup, that’s as far as I got.

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Primary goal. Lunch; conversation; food prep; television; canoodling.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Secondary goal. Workout/shopping/lunch with my Accomplice; plans to see Allegiance with my son, and Welcome to Night Vale Live Show with my daughter.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group. Tertiary goal. 1/3 crits in the queue complete. Another is highlighted, but has been pushed back, as I rushed one for that member earlier in the week. The third is downloaded; it’s next.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Side goal.

Selftending:

  • Journal six mornings and three evenings each week. Meditate five mornings and two evenings weekly. Primary goal. Morning: 7/6 journal; 7/5 meditation. Evening: 3/3 journal; 2/ 2 meditation.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly; 99 minutes twice weekly, and 8 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.). Secondary goal. 90 minutes: 6/6; 99 minutes: 3/2; Strenuous: 1.75/8 hours (tai chi class; 600 meter swim).

  • Smart Change: Reread early chapters/worksheets; create an approach plan. Side goal.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Complete CV, and apply at Panera for part-time work. Working on CV.

  • Go through Publication email folder.

  • Finish up Patreon page and post.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re on Facebook!

And now, back on the ROW80 blog, too!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekend Coffee Share, Writing in Freedom

Raise a Glass to Freedom: #SoCS, #weekendcoffeeshare, and #JusJoJan Day Twenty-One

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m not exactly sure why I chose that title up there. It could be as simple as the fact that Hamilton lyrics have been my constant if variable earworms since last spring, and this is the one that’s been running through my head since I first read the Just Jot It January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday  prompt for today, “glass.” Linda assured us we could use the word as we see fit, or even use an object made of glass as our theme.

But I keep hearing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s plaintive, dubious little “Raise a glass to freedom,” right before he famously throws away his shot, and the mood feels – right.

So does this little post I wrote a year or so back, and titled “Schrodinger’s Glass”  – you know, the one that’s always either half-full, or half-empty, depending on how you look at it, or your nature, or your current mood…because, really, it’s both.

I’m thinking I may not be making much sense, but that’s also kind of how I feel, right now, so maybe it fits. I’m a bit like shards of broken glass, and a bit like fine glasswork that steals breath away even as it inspires. I’m aware of the dangers of sharp-edged, jagged fragments, and yet I’m filled nearly to overflowing with the beauty and potential I see, the grace that moves through everything.

Once, I wrote a story where one character destroys a handmade water service gifted to another character. It was a thing of irreplaceable beauty – the maker had learned, practiced, and developed her skill in the art to honor the recipient and his family. The owner of the service carefully gathers up every shard, although they slice his fingers, and carries them a great distance, as treasured items. Later, he fashions them into a symbolic piece of art that gives them a new and deeper meaning.

I feel like that – like that’s maybe where we are, as a nation.

It’s possible that some don’t know it yet. It’s possible that the crashing and shattering happening now is music to some people’s ears, the dream they’ve held dearest to their hearts.

But for many, it’s the kind of shattering that sets you back, makes you re-evaluate…

I’ve been doing that, quietly, for over a year, now. Threads of different things braiding or weaving together, fraying, coming together again in a new form – and yes, I know I’m mixing metaphors here, but, somehow, that, too, seems appropriate.

I’m becoming something different- evolving. In Sequoia National Park, so long ago that I wasn’t yet anybody’s mother who wasn’t feline, my Accomplice and I learned that the seeds of the giant trees need fire to germinate properly. There’s a scientific name for this, but that’s not as important, to me, right now, as that truth – the magnificent sequoia, which holds such majesty and tenacity as it stretches to the sky on a widely-flung, shallow collection of roots, springs from the destruction of its landscape. Only in the charred aftermath is it set free to fulfill its magnificent destiny, in the company of its scarred and surviving parents, who have the ability to withstand the flames.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this is how I feel, today…like there’s been a shattering, a scorching, a fraying – but that it hasn’t destroyed me, or the light of grace and mercy and simple, loving kindness in the world. I’m scarred, but still, I stretch, and soar, and grow…and I know that I’m not alone.

We are a strong forest, together. Will you grow with me, and find the beauty that comes after the flames?

Before you go, I will ask you if you have a story you want to share, or words of wisdom? Gouts of flame, torrents of sorrow, jolts of fear? Hope and a way forward that will embrace us all?

I’d love to hear from you. We’re all strongest when we have a voice, and use it to speak our truth. Please come back anytime you need to use yours, and, in the meantime, visit Diana at Part Time Monster Blog, and find some other places you can enjoy the #weekendcoffeeshare