Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Current Events, Just Jot It January, Social Consciousness, writing prompts

A Hawk for Peace: #JusJoJan Day Thirty-One

Welcome to Day Thirty-One – already the final day of Just Jot It January, where the theme is: “detritus.” It’s been a delicious adventure, and I want to keep on. I’ve even gotten this crazy idea to follow John Holton’s example, and blog every day this year. At any rate, I’ll be participating in Ritu’s impromptu #Loveuary, where I’ll be bringing back my favorite fan fiction couple, and letting them offer you a tiny little snippet of their stories each day.

And here’s the fun part:

If you want to be part of my fun, you’re welcome. All you have to do is lead me a word or words, and I’ll add them to the pool I’ll use as writing prompts for the month. Bonus points if you pick something that might not seem easily reconciled with a science fiction story.

If you add words, I’ll let you know when I use any of yours!

But enough about next month; it’s now time to finish out this one. The following was jotted in my journal at about 11:30AM today:

A Hawk for Peace

There’s a hawk inside the dove; a hawk for peace.

The above is the beginning of a poem…I don’t have the rest yet, but it’s taking shape within me, like a baby gestating in its mother’s womb.

I am a fertile seed, and the detritus of hatred, rage, and pride without merit are the rich soil I’m growing in.

Because there’s a power in despair, in seeing something happening that menaces and dismantles decency, and in knowing that there may not be a way to immediately stop it, or even to slow it down.

We know there will be fallout (and we hope it won’t be nuclear).

We know there will be human casualties – of body, mind, and spirit.

Kindness doesn’t enter this picture; the humane is subverted; it’s drowning beneath the slogans, rhetoric, code words, and lies.

Together, they form a thick sucking sludge that wants to tear away what is good and sweet and decent in us, and make it something other.

But we don’t need to become hopelessly mired in the muck…

Because that muck, that stinking waste already spewing forth?

It’s fertilizer!

All it needs are pockets of opportunity, hope, and potential.

I am a seed of humanity. And I am not alone.

We can plant ourselves thick in that soil.

Add some soaking rains of nurturance; the sunlight of warmth and fellowfeeling, and the attentive care of conscious intention.

From this excretment will grow something both beneficial and meaningful.

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, Nature and Outdoors, Parenting, Unschooling

Suddenly Tangled Up In the Blue: #JusJoJan Day Thirty

Welcome to Day Thirty of Just Jot It January, where the theme is: “blue.”

Okay, I’m running really late – so late, it may be, on this penultimate day, the first time I don’t have my post, in some form, completed before midnight….but now, let me just say that I love blue…no, scratch that!

I am PASSIONATE about blue.

And today, when I took the Boyo for a vaccination and we had lunch together at my Accomplice’s new place of work, I saw some….and I’m sharing it with you, hopefully before midnight!

tangled up in blue – bob dylan from me.greg on Vimeo.

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, writing, writing prompts

A Klingon Runs Through It: #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Seven

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot It January,  where the prompt is incomplete,”  used any way we wish.

From today’s journal entry:

January 27, 2017 –

11:54 AM

Many of my dreams are incomplete; which sounds like a metaphor, and maybe it is…

My life is incomplete (at least, I hope it is!) Why should my dreams be any different?

They sometimes roll out in waves and overlapping themes. Sometime in the early hours of this morning, I adopted a large, white, smiling pit bull and named him “Klingon.”

Klingon kept running through other dreams. He was sweet and irrepressible.

He was, maybe, a combination of our beloved red pit bull mix, Corki, who died this past September 11, and Lise’s kitten, Ami, who is mostly white, sweet, and immensely irrepressible.

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Just Jot It January, Parenting, writing prompts, Writing Sample

“Valuable, but Small”: #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Six

Welcome to Day Twenty-Six of Just Jot It January, where the prompt is: “extraordinary,” used any way we wish. 

It often seems, in our globally-connected, sensation-seeking modern world, that a simple life isn’t worth much.

“I lead a small life,” Kathleen Kelly said, in You’ve Got Mail. “Valuable, but small.”

At the time I first saw the movie, I sympathized with that sentiment. I felt that, I, too, lived a small but valuable life, and, like Kathleen, I chafed and longed for something….

  • More?

  • Bigger?

  • Flashier?

In short, I wanted to replace “valuable, but small” with “huge and extraordinary.”

I was much younger then, and there were many things I hadn’t yet learned. Like the way I would grow into this “valuable, but small” life of mine. How I would marry, and become someone’s wife. How we would travel the country, mile by mile, working in national parks, seeing other parts of it in the spaces between seasonal employment. I made friends from around the world, and across a range of diversity I’d never imagined, when I first saw that movie.

My horizons were wider, but I still found my life “valuable, but small.”

Then I became a parent. To my baby boy, I began as all things – maybe something more than a god. I was more than valuable to him, while he was gestating and then nursing.

I was essential, and enormous. I was almost the sum of his universe, although, as he grew, I shrank.

I didn’t see my own value to him, except in that perfect perspective – hindsight. I continued to think of my life as “small” but the value – it got buried in the mountains of things and concerns from having a small child –

And then, the mountains of grief and complexities that come with having a child who is alive, and one who is not – and then another who is. 34 months and a few days separate the ages of our eldest and youngest children. For many families, this is a normal space between planned children – but, for us, there is an empty space between – the space that can never be filled. It’s a small and valuable place, one that might have been occupied by a second, thriving son – but is instead the paradox with which we all live.

My living children are growing toward adulthood now. Our son is 15, and our daughter newly 12.5. I can see the end of their dependency, and so can they. After ten years focused on their homeschooling and upbringing, writing as the opportunity arose (which it didn’t with any measurable regularity until they were 8 and 5), I now have ample time for my own pursuits.

Soon, I will be taking a part-time job, and expanding my horizons again…because I feel that it’s time. The kids need that time, to be independent, to test themselves while they still have a parental framework and support system, and to prepare for their eventual, but not as distant as it once seemed, separation from that support system.

But I’ve learned something; something that means that it doesn’t matter if I never write The Next Great American Novel, or work anything more than simple service jobs (besides, I like people, and making them happy, so, if I’m going to work at anything besides parenting, spousing, and writing, it’s going to be exactly that type of job).

I’ve discovered that, very often, simply changing a single word can change the entire meaning of a phrase, and my perception of it.

I no longer agree with Kathleen Kelly. I’m not living a “valuable, but small” life. I’m living a “valuable and small” one!

And that’s what makes it an extraordinary one.

Posted in #1linerWeds, Just Jot It January, writing, writing prompts

Distraction: #1LinerWeds and #JusJoJan Day 25

Welcome to One-Liner Wednesday and Day Twenty-Five of Just Jot It January.

Today is a Day of Distraction – so many diverse things happening, so many wonderful things to read, and, from the kitchen, the tantalizing smell of a roasting chicken.

Posted in Just Jot It January, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

Limbo Lifting: #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Four

Welcome to Day Twenty-Four of Just Jot It January, where the prompt is: “elusive,” used any way we wish.

Limbo Lifting

Everything shifting and changing

Limbo lifting, schedule rearranging

Unsure and fumbling

Stumbling, bumbling

Inventing new rhythms

Varying our living

Elusive and exciting


Not sure why I thought to write an acrostic poem for today, except that it fits. I’ve been up all night, and might be up all day.


Those who’ve been reading here or at my WordPress blog might know that it’s been a leaner time here since mid-July. My Accomplice was released from a job he’d had for over nine years, so that the owner of the restaurant could hire his son. He found a new job in October, and, at first, he loved it…but, within weeks, he was seeing problems. When he’d been there less than a month, he had seniority in the kitchen.

The next week, they hired two new employees, and then two more, and my Accomplice was fired.

Restaurants can be rough places to work.

But now he has a new job at a small but well-regarded local restaurant – a restaurant where he’s wanted to work since the first time he ate there a year or two ago.

One little thing…he’s been working evenings for decades, and, today, on his first day, he had to be there at 5:30am – a serious adjustment for our largely nocturnal, homeschooling family.

Oh, and another thing. Late last evening, the storm that wreaked havoc and caused death in the South arrived here, bringing snow, ice, and sleet. Thankfully, we have Subarus – ancient, but extremely sure-footed.

I wandered off to do Other Things – namely, time with my most beloveds – and now it’s after 9pm. My Accomplice is home, and enjoyed his first day. More, if all goes well, the pay should be comparable to what he was making at his nine-year job.

After many lean months, a little elusive security would be most welcome!

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Commentary, Just Jot It January, writing prompts

Going Somewhere for #JusJoJan Day Twenty-Three

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Just Jot It January, where the prompt is: compromise,” used any way we wish.

From my journal:

January 23, 2017 –

Yesterday, I wrote about contempt. Today’s prompt is “compromise,” and it’s been rolling around in my mind for hours now, with tattered pieces of thoughts attached to it.

I think in many ways, contempt makes compromise impossible.

Can true compromise exist in concert with contempt? (And could I find a way to use more ‘c’ words in a cohesively coherent sentence?)

I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.

I’m also thinking about what I don’t want to compromise:

  • My family

  • My children’s autonomy

  • Joy

  • Peace

  • My voice

  • My principles

  • My convictions

I feel like all this is going somewhere, and it would be a mistake to try to force or rush the process.

So I’ll compromise with myself, and stop here.