Trueborn: Complete draft of Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn #2).Target: 3,333 words/week; add words every day I reach my Camp quota, above, Finish by April 30.Modest progress. Secondary goal back-burnered.
Story A Day May:Main Project: Draft a Kifo Island-based exploration story every day during May, using challenge story prompts. Side project:Draft a 100 w0rd TnT fan fiction drabble daily; based on prompt words and advancing the Cowled arc.Tertiary goal COMPLETED!
JuNoWriMo:Write rough drafts of blog posts for future use. Goal: 1,667 words/day, or 2-4 rough drafts. Quaternary goal; will complete during the break before Round Three. No progress.
Story a Day May:Main Project: Create basic sketches for flash fictionstories (999 words/less, with exceptions) exploring July’s Still Nameless:Kifo Island #8, using #StaD prompts. Side Project:RereadCowled arc; create basic sketches for drabbles (100 word stories)based on existing notes and prompt words.Primary goal COMPLETED!
JuNoWriMo:Review brainstormed topic list; add/delete; develop rough outlines for at least 48 posts/5 topic arcs by May 31. Secondary goal; no progress.
July CampNaNoWriMo: Plan/plot using The Story Toolkit /The Writer’s Coloring Bookcombo. Begin in tandem with StaD explorations; complete through Toolkit Step 13/22 (Locations) before end of round.Will complete the final phase during the break between the end of Round Two and July 1;Experimentation complete. Quaternary goal; in progress.
The IDIC Romance:On Any Tuesday Night (was First Contact, With Jazz), Complete lessons2-4 of Holly Lisle’s Revision Course by June 30. Aim for completing 1 lesson each month. may complete Lesson 4 during the break after Round Two.Lesson 3 in progress. Primary goal in progress.
Short Stories: “Miss Spider and Mister Fly”; Complete copy editorApprove line edits if they’re ready this month. Secondary goal.
Gather list of at least 25 possible short story venues for future research by May 31.This will likely go into higher gear toward the end of the month, as some of my primary goals are achieved and ticked off the list…Secondary goal.
#atozchallenge: Confirm scheduling, and add link and branding to each day’s post. Respond to comments daily, and visit 3 other participants at least 6 times/week.Primary goal; progress fair.
May 2017:Begin the2017 Kindness Challenge: complete in June; post daily flash fiction stories/excerpts to #StaD site: complete by May 31. Stalled out.Secondary goal back-burnered.
Blogging Features: Continue biweekly Skywatch Fridayposts, as well as weekly #SoCS, #8sunday,Mindful Monday, WIPpet Wednesday, and Weekend Coffee shareposts. Pre-produce posts where possible; work on this1 hour each on Tuesday and Thursday.Tertiary goal; Progress poor.
Continue adding to Flickr portfolios for this school year.Primary goal; no progress.
Resets/reorganizations: study, family room,bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen, porch, yard, and general hometending. Complete varying 27 thing flings each room, each week (based upon other obligations each month).Secondary goal; solid progress.
My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired.Primary goal on target.
Career Furtherance:Complete Patreon profile and launch site.Draft CV/cover letterand revise.Assist Accomplice with his goals.Some progress.Tertiary goal progessing.
Challenges: CampNaNo: Interact with cabin mates 5/week: attend write-ins andvisit forums once weekly. #StaD and #KindnessChallenge: Visit two other posters for each challenge, at least 5/week.Tertiary goal; Spotty progress.
Journal and meditate five mornings and three evenings each week. Generally good progress. Primary goal; good progress.
Get a cumulative total of at least 111 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly; 123minutes (2 hours, 3 minutes) twice weekly,and 9 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.),by end of round. Again, solid progress.Primary goal; fair progress.
Books: Listen to three audiobooks, and read 6 print or Kindle books by end of round. 2 audio/4 read. Secondary goal on target.
Leaps of Faith:
Website/Blog Development: Make basic sketches of new pages; prioritize; begin implementation. Back-burnered while I took a marketing course.
Intuitive Eating:Reread early chapters; consider how to incorporate into Smart Change;have a sketched list by end of round. Back-burnered; I need more pondering time, and to clear some mental and emotional space.
Smart Change: Reread Chapters 3 and 4/complete/worksheets; create an approach plan by end of round.See above.
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 by end of round.This, too.
As April waxes into May, it’s time for me to evaluate my ROW8o progress. Often, I wait to do this until the month is officially over, and make an additional post for it. But it occurs to me that it might be more efficient to do the major post now, and add any extra progress to the first May update, so I can just use my regular schedule.
Today has been a more restful day for me, between finishing up my April challenges, and moving into new ones tomorrow…
CampNaNoWriMo:Draft The Last House (a Kifo prequel). ~65K. Target: 2,1q67 words/day average to complete by April 30. Primary goal.65,090/65,000 words. I’m not calling this a complete win, because I still have a third to a half of the story left to write. Lots of progress, and I’m still eager to finish, so this is a success. =)
Trueborn: Complete draft of Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn #2).Target: 3,333 words/week; add words every day I reach my Camp quota, above, Finish by April 30. Secondary goal. While I did add words intermittently throughout the month, I never quite reached the weekly goal,and the book is only modestly closer to being finished. Minor success.
Story a Day May:Main Project: Create basic sketches for flash fictionstories (999 words/less, with exceptions) exploring July’s Still Nameless:Kifo Island #8, using #StaD prompts.SideProject:RereadCowled arc; create bbasic sketches for drabbles (100 word stories)based on existing notesand prompt words. Primary goal.Cowled:Read 6/12 existing stories; added 7 “placeholder” scene slots with general description as base for new drabbles. It’s a beginning…I couldn’t do as much as I wanted with this goal, since I was expecting a prompt book in advance of the challenge, but there wasn’t one this year. A bit of progress; a bit of success.
The IDIC Romance:On Any Tuesday Night (was First Contact, With Jazz), Complete lesson 2 (Promises) ofHolly Lisle’s Revision Courseby April 30. Aim for 20 pages/week analyzed. Primary goal.Well…20 pages a week was laughable, really. It never got close to happening, but I did move forward several pages, and have printed more worksheets, organized the materials, and purchased a huge new 3” binder to expand into. Modest success.
Short Stories: “Miss Spider and Mister Fly”; Confirmcopy editing if they’re ready this month; take any other necessary steps.Secondary goal.Still waiting.
“Miss Spider and Mister Fly” (for Dark and Bitter anthology):follow up with editors as/if needed. Primary goal.Waiting.
#atozchallenge: Confirm scheduling, and add link and branding to each day’s post. Respond to comments daily, and visit 3 other participants at least 6 times/week.Primary goal.All posted on website: 26/26. Shared and linked throughW;23/26 complete(wrapping that up later today). I fell down a little in the sharing and the visiting, due to the busy, busy month and new format. A modest success.
Blogging Features: Continue biweekly Skywatch Fridayposts, as well as weekly #SoCS, #8sunday, Mindful Monday, WIPpet Wednesday,and Weekend Coffee Share posts. Pre-produce posts where possible; aim for one hour every Tuesday and Thursday.Tertiary goal. The prep stuff and regular blogging were spotty. I managed WIPpets every week. Moderate success.
Continue adding to Flickr portfolios for this school year as circumstances warrant.Primary goal.I took some new pictures during outings, but didn’t edit, Flickrize, or tag for albums.. Moderate success.
Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Complete two 27 thing flings each room, each week. One 27 thing fling on porch and in yard each week. At least five General Hometending rounds per day, 5 times/week. Secondary goal.Didn’t hit every mark every week, but solid progress despite an extremely transitional month.
My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired.Primary goal.Chatting, videos, business stuff, planning. Tai chi/salad date with my Accomplice Thursday afternoon.Plans in the works for some upcoming travels (and a newer car more suited to those adventures). Calling this goal COMPLETED!
CampNaNo: Interact with cabin mates 5/week:attend write-insandvisit forums once weekly.Secondary goal.Cabin visits:5/5. I didn’t visit the forums the last two weeks, but calling this solid progress based on doing well everywhere else.
Career Furtherance:Complete Patreon profile and launch site. Draft CV/cover letterand revise.Assist my Acomplice in his efforts to launch his cottage industry.Tertiary goal. Conversation, dreaming, simmering, brainstorming. I decided to put off joining the workforce, since my Accomplice needs a good deal of help with his business setup and working out a marketing plan – and, as a bonus, this helps me learn these skills for my own future writing plans. A solid if adapted success.
Journal and meditatefivemornings and three evenings each week. Primary goal.Mornings were a bit more hit-or-miss; it was an active month.Evenings – well evenings didn’t happen. Moderate success.
Get a cumulative total of at least 99 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly; 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes) twice weekly,and 7 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights,etc.).Secondary goal.Began theBaby Steps to 5K10 week program; also using the Samsung Health app on my new phone. Not a perfect month, but a new mindset and commitment makes this solid progress.
NEW GOAL! Blogging from A-Z Challenge 2018: Gather links and sketch out base idea for these posts. The links are about half gathered; simmering base ideas. Solid progress.
Website/Blog Development: Make basic sketches of new pages; prioritize; begin implementation.Did some work for my Accomplice’s commerce pages – learning, designing, and implementing. Resounding success!
Smart Change: Reread Chapters 3 and 4/ complete/worksheets; create an approach plan, going forward.Simmering. Moderate progress.
Intuitive Eating:Reread early chapters; consider how to incorporate into Smart Change.Simmering this one, too.Modest progress.
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.No progress whatsoever.
There’s a lot of “no” in my kids’ lives. No school, no curriculum, no chores, no rules, no punishment….does that mean that nothing is being learned, or tried, or explored?
If you’ve been here before, I suspect you’ve already got an idea about that. If you interacted with one or both of my kids in person, you’d know for sure…
Zero enforced education doesn’t equate to “zero learning.”
What it means is that they have the free time to devote to their own pursuits. Sometimes these are avid and obviously rich in learning. Other times, it’s so subtle no one besides them might see what exactly it is they’re doing.
Something that seems increasingly absent as kids are in school, after care, extracurriculars and enrichment, is the time and space just to BE – to dream or stare into space or meditate or watch the clouds. It’s the time to hug, to sing and dance, to explore new ideas, to play…
To learn who they are, and how the world is, and how those fit together.
These aren’t generally part of a school curriculum. Many things that can’t be quantified aren’t. And giving the children in school too much free time can lead to “distraction” and “disruption.” A lot of school depends upon adequate crowd control – with an adult in charge, and the kids acquiescent to that authority structure.
My kids may never become great order-takers. But, so far, neither seems inclined to live a life based on taking orders. They have a moral sense of right and wrong that’s been nurtured with discussion and experience, an awareness of the rule of law, and the time to work out how that applies to them… and, to me, these are more valuable gifts. Of that, I have zero doubt.
Can you think of a time when nothing turned out to be something amazing?
Are you open to what lies within the oval of a zero?
Zero is NOT the number of other Z posts! By now, you know what to do – click here, or on the icon below, to zip right on over to the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge Highway one last time.
Well, that’s it!
This is the final post on my April calendar, and the last letter in the alphabet, too. But this isn’t the end of the #atozchallenge. There will be a reflections post, so stay tuned!
(Random Pick): Lannet: except it’s got two extra lines!
Sometimes in life you don’t know what is next
When the sailing seemed smooth, the rapids sweep
you away flailing to sharp rocky drops
Plummeting, no one hears your frantic cries
You’re drowning in deep trouble; you might die.
You realize the truth you couldn’t see
It’s possible to be your own hero.
Easier if you’ve lived in swift waters
Of thought, desire, and possibility.
Why do we live this life of rich freedom?
It’s our way of making our children strong.
While they still have their parents to lean on.
They can navigate rapids and shallows
Rivers of joy, sorrow’s bitter oceans
It’s learning only learned in the living.
Strong oar and rudder to steer them to shore.
You never know what life might bring.
None of us do.
Once, I was pregnant, about to give birth to our second child. It had been a textbook pregnancy, and my water broke four days before my due date…and that began a slow-motion trip to limbo that lasted until our 12 day old son died in my husband’s arms in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Never saw it coming. No way to prepare in advance for the death of a baby all the textbooks said should have been perfectly healthy. No way to prepare our children for the fact that they will always have a brother who died as a newborn, before our daughter was even born.
That’s a rather dire example, but a valid one. In all kinds of ways, large and small, life brings the unexpected. And, in ways large and small, my kids are preparing for that, everyday.
By having lives that already embrace the “you never knows.” They aren’t in a classroom, being given predetermined assignments, lab exercises, projects, and research papers, the same as a couple of dozen other kids in the class. Their lives are more fluid, more in keeping with the rhythm of their growth. They have a great deal of freedom to determine the course of those lives, and the backup of two parents who can offer guidance and support. Every day, they live “you never know” lives, in safe ways, and that prepares them to do it on their own.
Do you feel your childhood you navigate the challenges life presents?
If you’re a parent, can you think of ways to better prepare your children for the uncertainties of their futures?
Yes, I know. You want more y posts…so you can click here, or the icon below, and you’ll be zipped over onto the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge highway!
And, can you believe it? Tomorrow is April 30, and time for our Z post….and then, there’s no more …that’s right. Zero….zilch….but will that be all there is to it? Stop on by and see!
Xavier and the Xylophonists were a band of zenophobics –
No, I didn’t misspell that!
They were afraid to relax and just let themselves play –
they didn’t want to fall flat!
So they spent twelve years in rehearsals for the show ahead –
but never beat the high hat!
When all the years of study were done, they found their passion gone –
And all their dreams went splat!
I thought this poem wasn’t going to rhyme, when I first wrote it. I also just had Xavier and the Xylophonists pop into my head as a title, and, of course, X is one of the Dreaded Letters on the journey from A to Z.
But it turns out that there is in fact a rhyme there, and even a reason…yes, the band’s story is an allegory of sorts. They’re not unlike school children, spending a dozen years, and sometimes more, practicing and preparing for life in the “real world.”
And meanwhile, the “real world” is out there, all around, the whole time, beyond the walls of the school building. It’s all but invisible from inside, but, if you’re not contained in that reality, it’s just….life. Readily available, in every breath.
Xavier and the Xylophonists are endlessly preparing and rehearsing…they never make it to the big time, because they’ve worn themselves out with all their practice. They’ve burned out, and come to the big show passionless and uninspired.
Too often, this is the reality for young adults coming out of school. They began at age 5, or sometimes younger, and spent more than a decade going through the lessons and lectures, doing the homework, taking the tests, being graded and assessed. If they were passionate about something they learned there, it might be only a day or two of their year, before they’re required to move on to other things, because the curriculum demands it.
Maybe there’s a benefit to that…for sure, there’s a tidiness in being able to look at a diagram of all that has been or will be covered, and point to the precise place where one’s child is in the process.
My own children have something that isn’t tidy, but which I feel is invaluable. They still have their passion. It hasn’t been trampled or trammeled in the quest to get them properly rehearsed for the real world they’ll someday inhabit. Instead, they’re living in the real world, every day, on their own terms.
Maybe they wouldn’t fit in with Xavier and the Xylophonists, but that’s all right with me.
Have you ever spent so much time preparing for something, that you were exhausted by the time the prepared-for something arrived?
X marks the spot for more X posts by clicking here, or the icon below – exit onto the Blogging From A-Z April Highway Highway!
Y’all come back tomorrow, when you never know exactly what will happen….
the knowledge of where, how, and why; who, what, and when?
Or perhaps we will never know
And wonder will expand and grow
A brilliant new conflagration
Will we end another day searching, confounded still?
Failing to grasp heart’s desire – or perhaps we will.
These questions are a beginning
To make the workings of mind sing
The answers matter so much less
Than willingness to take a guess
Follow intuition, reach for the furthest star.
Impetus becoming more than these questions are.
So often, it all begins with a question. Questions open the mind to possibilities, to wonder, to potential avenues to learning something new.
Questions ignite the mind and the imagination. Questions give us a path to engagement and conversation. The “what ifs” of life are in the questions. Innovations begin with asking if there’s a better way, or a new way, to do something.
Can we get there from here?
How long will it take?
Where will we stay?
What will we do when we get there?
Why should we go?
Whom should we go with?
Questions can be simple:
Can I have a hug?
Would you like to come with me?
Want to watch this video I found?
Have you heard about….?
Questions can be complex:
Why did our brother die as a baby?
Do you think there’s a heaven?
Is world peace possible?
Some are just silly:
Are you an armadillo?
Can I eat your arm?
But every question contains potential that goes beyond the simple answers, and leads to….?
If you have children, how do you answer their questions?
How do you answer your own?
What are you questioning right now, as you read this?
Do you want more questing, quiet, or questioning Q posts? A quick trip to the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge will surely quell your longings! Click here, or on the icon below!
You can X today off your calendar, but you’ll need to pop back here tomorrow if you want to know what an unschooling mom does with the Dreaded Letter X!
Variety is the spice of life…and it’s also the key to natural learning. It doesn’t work so well to unschool, if a child’s reality is just a tiny slice of all that’s possible. There needs to be diversity, and the opportunity to explore where inspiration and experience lead.
It can mean an afternoon at the Saratoga National Historical Park, walking the trails and listening to the audio tour, while chatting and taking in the view. It could be making Littlest Pet Shop videos that require the creation of tiny costumes, props, and sets. It could be learning Latin and the layout of a Roman city so that Clash of Clans makes more sense, or how bacterium spread, or what lungs feel like. It could be the state museum, or a walk at dawn, or a day at a lake.
It could be each of us in our own spaces, doing our own things, with our orbits intersecting from time to time – or not intersecting, and just living alongside one another.
Whatever form it takes, variety holds immense potential for learning, and the results play out moment by moment, every day of our lives.
What kinds of variety inspire you the most?
When was the last time you sought out something different, apart from your routine?
How can you add some of variety’s spice to your life today?