If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I can’t remember the last time I had an uneventful week! I seem to be living #lifeonespresso these days (if that’s not a hashtag, it should be!)
Some of this week’s highlights:
It rained. Hard. All Day. We got the remnants of Harvey, not the brunt of the storm. I send blessings to all those who had much worse to contend with than a roof that drips in hard rain. I’m sitting on reasonably high ground in upstate New York; I’m not complaining.
Jim and I went out for a few hours. We did laundry, some preliminary canvassing for a sectional sofa that will hold four adult-sized Burtons, and going out to eat, just the two of us, which still feels a bit like playing hooky! Our son Jeremiah, who turned 16 on Saturday, making him eligible for his learner’s permit. He gathered necessary paperwork, reviewed the driver’s manual he downloaded to his phone a few months ago, and retook some practice tests while we were gone, and had things pretty well in line by the time we got home. He filled me in on what I had to fill in, so to speak. He’s had his sights set on driving since he was 11…that’s a lot of personal motivation! =)
There were a lot of people at the DMV after the holiday weekend, but Jeremiah had everything in order, so it was a breeze. His paperwork was processed, his photo taken, his cell phone turned over to me (I don’t think it would have occurred to him to cheat; he’s a very honest sort), and he went into the testing room.He emerged only a few minutes later, having aced the test – 0 incorrect answers! He said there were no questions that he didn’t see in the practice tests. After, we got pizza – passing a permit test as a 16 year old boy is hungry work, apparently – and he had his first ever experience behind the wheel in a Wal-Mart parking lot. He was nervous and thought he did poorly, but I told him he was pretty good for a first-timer. I don’t think I added any silver hairs. Those are more likely to come from my daughter, who’s more prone to taking risks. =)
Jim’s car was ready at the shop – and our new fridge was delivered! The old one was 2 years old when we moved into our house; and the 16 year old mentioned above was 4 months old then! It served well, but it’s ready for a life of semi-retirement, holding the components forChef Bluebead’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces. Jim and I picked up the car, then went to the Y. I’d planned to use the track, since it was raining again, but it was closed, so I walked in and around the neighboring mall. After, we stopped at a salad place for lunch, then Jim grabbed a few groceries while I bought new running shoes.
Jeremiah and I came back from our walk, an hour before the skies opened up in a potent thunderstorm. After it was over, I found two soggy boxes at the end of the walkway. The base components for our hot sauce gift buckets in the making had arrived, and I set up two prototypes (small and large). Miah observed that they seemed a little too dark. I decided tissue paper and lighter trims would help, along with the magnets I’m still designing. We decided to combine the shopping expedition with a driving practice session. Just as we got to the intersection for the plaza, Jeremiah realized he’d forgotten his wallet, and thus his permit. So we did the shopping, had a snack, then returned home to pick up his wallet and head to the parking lot of the local school. He was more confident and willing to experiment on his second attempt, and is developing a sense of the car’s operations. Just as he was finishing up, another storm rolled in, and we sat and watched the edges of a very low, heavy cloud roiling, breaking apart, and producing rain. It was amazing, beautiful, and a little terrifying. When the storm passed, I drove the few miles home, and saw a double rainbow on the steep hill on our country road. Once we were home, Jim told me that a local country store is willing to carry Chef Bluebeard’s sauces – our first store placement, and a huge step for our tiny little newborn company!
I’m pleasantly achy, since I just finished my final walk in my #couchto5K program (I needed to finish by the end of the weekend, so I’ve done over 3 miles 3 days in a row, twice with my new hand weights and running shoes. It’s slated to be a quieter day, as Jim and I gear up for Chef Bluebeard’s first-ever Tugboat Roundup on the Erie Canal. I love this event, and am looking forward to the unofficial kickoff of the fall festival/craft fair season.
Well, I’ve said plenty, and now I really do want to hear about your week. =) Has it been #lifeonespresso, a lazy Sunday morning cuppa, or somewhere in between?
It’s a brand new month. Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally old enough to drive.
On Tuesday, I’ll be taking him to the DMV to take his permit test. Once he passes, my life’s going to include helping him learn the things he needs to know to be a safe driver.
Which leads me to my mantra for September:
Keep It Simple.
My September goals follow a trend I’ve been practicing for the last several months, as I learn the balance between what I want to do, and what I actually can accommodate in a busy family life, and at the budding stage of our family business.
I’m excited for new challenges, and for finishing those I’m still in the midst of…
So, here we go…on to my Keep It Simple September goals!
Story A Day September: Create one 333 word story for Trueborn; Solemates, and one 100-word TnT fan fiction drabble each day, to challenge prompts.Day One done; Day Twofinished just past midnight. Primary goal; up to date.
Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week toTrueborn:Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. Secondary goal;after StoryADay completed for day.
Kifo Island Series: Add 3,333 words/week toThe Last House(until draft completed).Stretch goal;after other drafting goals met for day/week.
Story A Day September: Continue call for TnT word prompt lists.Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals.First set of prompts in play; simmering Day 3. Primary goal; good progress.
Trueborn: Solemates: Use daily stories for notetaking, character sketching, outlining, and other materials that will allow me to plot the novel in October. Secondary goal.
Explore Duotrope;compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Choose 5 to research in greater depth. This is self-explanatory.Primary goal;left over from August.
Explore ten of the sites I have in my various email feeds; choose 3 for further exploration.Secondary goal;left over from August.
Fan Fiction: Post stories from Cogenitor/Expanse Limbo Arc to fanfiction.net as revised. Stretch goal; after 5 Duotrope and 3 email sites compiled each week.
Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September.Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.#weekendcoffeeshare posted; #8sunday scheduled.Missed #SoCS (may post Sunday). Primary goal; good progress.
October special features blogpost drafts: Revise, package, and schedule this project. Once I’ve got two weeks’ worth ready, announce the project with schedule (I do better at these things when I commit to a time frame).Secondary goal.
Connecting: Visit at least 3 posters/week from every hop/challenge I participate in. Visit at least two other Story A Day posters/day, on average. Touch base with other social media platforms at least once weekly.Posted a few pics from Miah’s birthday to myInstagram account.Stretch goal; modest progress.
Va-Va-Video Course: Complete the three week session, and keep current with the Facebook Page 3 times/week.Watched first two videos, completed challenge, skimmed Facebook page (1/3 visits)and made my intro.Stretch goal; solid progress.
Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week.1.75/1.5 hours for blended week.
Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least 8 hours physical activity/week, (including finishing Baby Steps to 5K/beginning Run 5K programs); meditate and journal 8x/week.Activity for blended week: 11.15 /8 hours.Meditate/journal:7/8.
Paying It Forward:Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week onbeta projectsSpellfire’s Kissand Stained Blood/related material .Crit group: 15 min/3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3.Betas: 3.5/3 hours for blended week, finished/returned “Patrick and Sarah” Chapter 2; highlighted Spellfire’s Kiss, Chapter 3 for commenting.
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…
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?”
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)??
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?
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…
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.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’re on the final countdown to a major event – the girl I’m watching Gravity Falls with is in on her last month of being a preteen. So, today, once we’re settled in with our beverages of choice, I’d like to take you on a little journey into the life and times of Annalise (who, these days, goes by simply Lise).
It seems like just yesterday she was a baby, wearing the bunting that was mine when I was a baby. Or nine months old, speaking her first words and giving us a hint of how articulate she was going to be in a matter of months. One of her first words was, “happened.” She used it for an impressive variety of purposes. It could mean something was funny, broken, inexplicable to her inexperienced mind, or that she wanted me to think she had nothing at all to do with whatever had gone wrong…
Or she’s fourteen months, throwing herself on the floor while yelling, “I’m FRUSTRATED!” It took me a while to understand that being able to name the emotion she was feeling didn’t mean she had any capacity at all to deal with the emotion rationally.
She might be two, able to quote Shakespeare or repeat anything we challenged her with. She might be giving the chemical formula of DNA – almost: “deoxyribonucleic BACID”. From a very young age, she had a facility for wordplay that has been a constant ever since. She brought me a folded piece of wrapping paper and “read me a story.” And yet, she said, ‘aminal. Algalator. Psghetti.’ like so many other tiny children. The combination was absolutely endearing, and I missed those mispronunciations when they were outgrown.
She might be three, staring up at the airplane that didn’t answer her pleas of, “Wait for me!” The to me, and the words that revealed a broken heart a mommy couldn’t fix. “Mommy, I’ll never really be able to fly, will I?” How hard to have to tell her she wouldn’t. And how surprising to hear her, all alone in her room that same year, spelling out “A-N-N-A-L-I-S-E”, and seeing her writing it – by herself, when no one had “taught” her.
Or at five, taking her first lessons in Parelli Natural Horsemanship, fearlessly leading animals many times her size, or directing them with a stick, learning their habits and how to befriend them.
Or making her first steps into independence at age 6, at an unschooling conference. Losing her first tooth.
The world opening up at 8, when she went from non-reading to reading at warp speed.
At nine, when she wrote her first poem, without really meaning to, and could read pretty much anything.
And then a whirlwind of growing up and up and up, and all the things that happen as girls transform, as if by magic, into women.
Yes – she’s transforming. New curves, a face grown more beautiful than cute, a fresh maturity in the way she sees things….
And yet, she’s still wonderfully a child. Not quite ready to be an adult just yet.
I’ve been here before, in another form. Her older brother is closing in on sixteen, now – but it wasn’t so long ago that he was where his sister is now – just at the threshold to the foyer that leads to adulthood, with all the possibility ahead, and the inner stormy chaos of hormones and physical and intellectual growth that is greater than at any point since infancy.
It’s an interesting and sometimes challenging time. But we all survived it with my son – and learned some things along the way. Even though it’s different, and maybe even more chaotic with all the added extras of impending womanhood, we have learned a few things that are easing the transition for all of us.
And I have the example of that boy, now very near to manhood. He’s – impressive. Seriously. Helpful, kind, thoughtful, and testing out the waters of adulthood in ways that are, well, more and more adult.
No, I don’t think my daughter will be just like him when she moves into her teen years. But she will be her own kind of teen, and, eventually, her own kind of woman.
And there’s a magic in that.
This post is part of the #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by #nerdinthebrain. Clicking the link will take you to more conversations – and please leave a comment in the box below, because it’s not a very good conversation if I’m the only one talking. =)
As you venture out on your way, I wish you a week that’s filled with all the joy you can imagine – and then a little more!
Ever have one of those stretches where the focus has been about nearly everything but your writing goals?
When I first began to approach my writing as a serious life goal, my children were young – 8 and 5. Perhaps naturally, I made a personal oath – my writing was not going to rule the rhythms of my family.
At first, that meant I wrote in little bits and chunks of time when I wasn’t needed. We unschool, which means there’s no curriculum or set lessons – but there’s also no strict schedule or firm artificial structure to the way learning progresses.
The kids are big now. At 15.5, my six-foot-two and still growing son hardly qualifies as a kid, and, as my daughter nears her 13th birthday this summer, she’s growing and maturing so quickly, it’s got my head spinning a bit.
Clearly, they don’t need me nearly as consistently. Sometimes, I have nearly entire days when I’m free to decide just how to spend my time. The kids are passionate about several things each, and they pursue them, often independently.
And then there are the other times…
The times of connection and spontaneous exploration. The lovely morning spent in our suddenly alive front yard beneath the budding lilacs, listening to Rush, R.E.M, Billy Joel, and Melanie Martinez – current favorites for the young people at my house. The trip to the State Museum, and discovering it’s closed for remodeling on Mondays, and the walk around the Empire State Plaze – twice – and visiting a playground with a not-quite-grown girl. Exploring our hometown with my boy, and sharing slices from the local pizza place next to the Hudson River, and a historic replica eighteenth century blockhouse.
CampNaNoWriMo:Draft The Last House (a Kifo prequel). ~65K. Target: 2,167 words/day average to complete by April 30. Primary goal.16,842/65,000 words. I’m behind, but I did flesh out the beat sheets for the last four scenes of Act One. This session had other focuses, so I can accept that. The latter part of the week will be focused on writing, so I expect to catch up, and maybe even pull ahead a bit.
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.I checked the site for news on this year’s prompts; decided to listen to the podcast and see if there’s some news there.
#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.H post up and linked; I up but not linked yet:9/26 complete; visits made for 0/6days.
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. Green posts in progress.
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 fiveGeneral Hometending rounds per day, 5 times/week. Secondary goal. Hometending rounds2/5 for the week.
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. Welcome to Night Vale “All Hail” Live Show with daughter; local outing with son. More outings planned for the next weeks.
CampNaNo: Interact with cabin mates 5/week: attend write-ins andvisit forums once weekly.Secondary goal.I passed on the write-in this week; it was a busy Friday -Monday, and Sunday was my slightly headachy, full-moon sleeplessness, recharging day. 2/5 Cabin visits.
Career Furtherance:Patreon:Complete profile and launch site. Draft CV/cover letterand revise.Assist my Acomplice in his efforts to launch his cottage industry.Tertiary goal. More labeling stuff for my Accomplice.
Journal and meditatefivemornings and three evenings each week. Primary goal.Morning: 1/5 complete;evening0/3 complete.
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. 99:2/5; 111: 1/2. .5/7 hours strenuous; hiking.
Leaps of Faith:
NEW GOAL! Blogging from A-Z Challenge 2018: Gather links and sketch out base idea for these posts. Continued filling in links for planning base list; about 2/3 complete with information-gathering section; simmering how to use this material.
There are so many things I could write about concentration – but I’m pretty worn out today. Why?
Well, because yesterday (Friday) my daughter turned twelve, and she and I spent the day out together, doing some light shopping, eating croissants and sweet treats (a cake pop for her; a slice of pumpkin bread for me) at Starbucks, then hanging at the mall and going to see The Secret Life of Pets on a very crowded opening day. After that, we hung out eating food court pizza, then grabbed a few grocery items before finally heading home.
I always try to make my kids’ birthdays special, and I feel it’s important to concentrate on making them special in ways the kids want them to be. But I am not fond of shopping or hanging at the mall for myself. So I’m a bit tapped out today.
It was probably more important this time around. Next year this girl will be a teen. This is like a magical threshold year, when she transitions from, as she describes herself, my “medium kid” to a big one.
And then there are the things happening in my country, things that hurt my soul and make me wish for a magic wand that lets all people see beyond bigotry, that gives better conflict resolution, that gets right to the root of what’s wrong, so that it can be untangled and set to rights. I have words to write about that, but they need time to rise to my surface.
For now, though, I’m just going to concentrate on the sweetness in my life, because I think, somehow, that there is power in it.
So here are my pictures, and a few words to go with them. Maybe they’ll offer you some sweetness, too.
Did you enjoy this dip into the Stream of Consciousness waters? Come join in – there’s plenty of room, and just a few simple rules. Check out the #SoCS hashtag, or get more SoCS!
Welcome toWIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.
Okay, just a quick note – this is my fourth blogpost of the day. It’s almost 10:40 pm, and I’m still running later than I want to be on more projects than I want to think about.
On the other hand, I’m not as far behind as I was this morning, and I’ve managed it without being stressed out. Went for a nice walk and sat in the yard with my two-days-to-twelve girl. Sorted some books. Listened to some Hamilton, and watched some documentaries (Making North America: Lifeand 9 Months That Made You.) But there’s still a lot to tend to, so let’s dive right into the WIPpet and rejoin Donovan Nash and Ava Garcia in Sea Changes(how’s that for a bad segue? You’re welcome.)
Donovan is one of my favorite Kifo Island characters. He had a major supporting role in both of my previously drafted Kifo stories. Now, he gets his own (well, shared with Karina and Ava, but still, he’s finally the star he was always meant to be!)
In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?
This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan beginning in August as the 24 scenes pass through my local crit group. Until then, I’m focused on new writing.
Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!
Today isJuly 6, 2016
I‘ve got 12 sentences today, for my girl, plus one for luck (and because it fits.)
Ava is tired, and plans to nap in her chair while Donovan reads her medical records.
A Perceived Injustice
She ended on a huge yawn, and her eyelids dropped low, revealing long thick dark lashes. She’s going to be a beautiful woman one day soon, he thought, and then realized that, if she was right about her condition, she never would realize the promise held in her face and bearing.
That made him want to cry, but he pushed the impulse back, to save it for when he could be alone, and weep at the perceived injustice of a life taken so soon.
It was only a perceived injustice, a sense that everyone needed to grow to adulthood. Donovan knew that, in reality, people could die at any age at all – even before they were born. Fairness had little or nothing to do with who lived and who died.
“I’ve authorized you to have access to all my records, already,” Ava said, in a voice that was a thready and fatigued almost-whisper. “I figured it would be easier to revoke it if you didn’t end up taking my case- anyway, they’re all available, and there’s a terminal in the corner, if you need it.”
She sounded lucid, but was asleep within moments. Donovan watched her for a moment, marveling at how trusting she was, how willing to put her well-being and safety into the hands of a man she’d only just met. Of course, he wouldn’t have any idea how thoroughly she or her legal representatives had had him vetted unless she told him – she might know more about his work history than he even remembered. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Will Ava be comfortable with Donovan there?
What will her records reveal?
Will her nap be restorative?
Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more of Donovan’s story.
To read Donovan’s scene in its entirety, just follow the links:
If you’re enjoying my Kifo Island posts, and would like to see the evolution of my two upcoming WIPs, The Far Shore and Tsunamis, I’ll eventually be posting an index for my Story a Day May 2016vignettes. Until then, clicking the link will take you to the category, where you can play.
Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!