Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, The IDIC Romance, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom, writing prompts, Writing Samples

Momentous Growth: September 6, 2017

Hey there!

I wrote this on Sunday: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally old enough to drive.

Today, I’ll add: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally able to drive.

That’s right. Jeremiah fulfilled a years’ long dream, and earned his New York State learner’s permit. He didn’t miss a single question on the permit test, and he did most of the prep work of gathering, printing, and filling out the required forms – made his mom’s life pretty easy, and learned a lot about administration. He even made the decision to sign up as an organ donor. Since his dad and I have both made the same decision, this makes me very honored to be his mom. He’s always been a generous soul – but this is generous on another level.

My boy is growing up, becoming a man, and outgrowing the need to be parented. It’s exactly as it should be – and somehow, it’s heart-filling and amazing when it’s happening to this boy, whose lifetime has been so permanently and intricately bound up in my own…

It feels momentous, and more than a little staggering.

Has anything staggered you, lately?


Now, on to my Keep It Simple September goals progress!

This barbaric, bellicose side of you is a bit disturbing.” He’s got a split lip, and Trip grins savagely as Malcolm starts to circle, feeling him out more cautiously this time.

We’re just sparring.” Trip lunges in with a stiff-armed drive he’s seen T’Pol use, and Malcolm goes down again.

When did you morph into a barbaric tyrant, Trip?”

  • Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week to Trueborn: Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. 1,072/2,222 words. Secondary goal; just under halfway to target.

Even that was nay enough to put fear in the man’s scent, or his manner. He simply sat, his acceptance like another garment over those he wore.

  • Story A Day September: Continue call for TnT word prompt lists. Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals. Drafting in my head and on the fly; it’s working thus far. Prompt words coming in a few at a time. Primary goal; on target.

  • Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Choose 5 to research in greater depth. Renewed subscription; did first search; base exploration turned up 5/25 markets. Primary goal; one-fifth through primary step.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November. Sunday #ROW80 posted Monday; #8Sunday (The Thorn) completed (excerpt follows). Primary goal; mostly on target.

The thorn is made of money.

Not the twenty I gave you, Jeremy, please!” My whisper rasps through the quiet. I meant the money to offer him comfort; I don’t want it now, if it means that he’s hungry and cold.

  • 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. Visited all posters on the #ROW80 Facebook page for Sunday update. #8sunday/ #weekendcoffeeshare and StoryADay still pending. Stretch goal; 25% completed.

  • Va-Va-Video Course: Complete the three week session, and keep current with the Facebook Page 3 times/week. Skimmed Facebook page; read through; interaction; and Challenge Two still pending. Stretch goal; very modest progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week. 30 min./1.5 hours for blended week. 33% of goal.

  • 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: 2.25 /8 hours. Meditate/journal:journal; 3/8; meditate 4/8. Just over 25% of activity goal; a bit under target for journaling; on target for meditation.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood/ related material . Crit group: .5 /3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3. A little slow to reach goal.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Jeremiah Burton, first time (parking lot) driver!
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Story a Day, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom

Growth’s KISS: September 3, 2017

Hey there!

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!

What growth do you plan for this month?

  • 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 Two finished just past midnight. Primary goal; up to date.
  • Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week to Trueborn: Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. Secondary goal; after StoryADay completed for day.
  • Kifo Island Series: Add 3,333 words/week to The 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.

  • Other Star Trek Enterprise TnT Fan Fiction: Enterprise Early Days Arc and Cogenitor/Expanse Limbo Arc (may include new writing). Continue revisions on these projects any day I choose, if I’ve completed an hour of HTRYN. Stretch 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 my Instagram account. Stretch goal; modest progress.

  • Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces: Assist my Accomplice with his business 15 hours each week. 11/15 hours for blended week.Primary goal; good 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 on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and 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.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Weekend Coffee Share, Weekly Features, Writing in Freedom

Growth Reflected Upon Over Coffee: #ROW80 August Final and #weekendcoffeeshare for September 1, 2017

If we were having coffee…

I’d thank you for meeting me for a cuppa on the run. There’s lots going on, and I’m combining indulgence with business today. I’m glad you’re still willing to get together!

August is over, and September means new challenges: Story A Day September and Va-Va Video career development for my writing, and for our blossoming hot sauce business.

Tomorrow, our firstborn turns sixteen years old. He and I are headed out to eat and do things he wants to do – a walk in a local park, and a stop by a lumber store, because he wants to make himself a desk. Sixteen is legal driving age in NY, but since it’s Labor Day Weekend, I’ll be taking him for his learner’s permit test on Tuesday. It all happened so fast!

Chef Bluebeard and I will be at the Waterford Harbor Farmer’s Market on Sunday, and have Monday off. Planning a mellow family day with a fire.

Well, lovely as it is to see you, I’ve got to get back to work, which means final accounting for my August ROW80 goals.

What’s on your weekend agenda? Another cuppa?
Find more #weekendcoffeeshare here!


  • Trueborn Series: Add 3,333 words/week to Foul Deeds Will Rise (until draft completed). 3,472/3,333. Primary goal COMPLETED for this week! Added 11,284 words for the month, and am into the climactic scenes of the novel. Solid progress.
  • Kifo Island Series: Add 5,555 words/week between Still Nameless and The Last House (until drafts completed). 461/5,555 words this week. 2,642 words added this month. Secondary goal; a bit of progress.

  • Story A Day September: Choose themes for main stories (Solemates, my November NaNoWriMo project) and TnT fanfiction drabbles; plot to the degree possible. Put out general call for word prompt lists. I’ve requested words as part of the Author’s Notes for “Highly Classified Mission,” and received one batch. No plotting to speak of. Primary goal; good progress.
  • Kifo Island Series: Plot as needed for SN, using hybrid form of The Writer’s Coloring Book and The Story Toolkit. Secondary goal; no progress.

  • Enterprise Early Days Arc: Continue revisions on this project for my WIPpet Wednesday posts. This week’s post: It’s All Yours Secondary goal COMPLETE for week/month!

Submitting:

  • Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Choose 5 to research in greater depth. Primary goal; no progress.

  • Explore ten of the sites I have in my various email feeds; choose 3 for further exploration. Secondary goal; no progress.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for August/ September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.. WIPpet done; simmering weekend posts, and September schedule. Primary goal; good progress.

  • JuNoWriMo blogpost drafts: Organize and schedule raw material for completion and revision. Spend 1 hour/ week on this project. Secondary goal COMPLETED for this week! 2/4 weeks completed; some progress.

  • Other Platforms: Spend 3 hours/week with my Facebook Writer page; Instagram Pinterest, and Patreon. Continue with Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad, etc.) 1 hour/week. 1.5/3 hours; mins/1 hour; Quora. Stretch goal; some of each major throughout the month; good progress.

  • Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces: Assist my Accomplice with his business 11 hours each week. 11/11 hours; worked on website. Primary goal COMPLETED for this week; good progress for the month.

  • Personal professional Development: Finish reading/exercises from Prosperity for Writers. Complete my writing business plan using this excellent article by Angela Ackerman as a guide. PSW: 73% read; 58% exercises, which take a bit longer to complete. Business Plan: Step 4/7 in progress from June. Secondary goal; good progress throughout the month.

  • Unschooltending: Draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans), due Friday, August 4, and draft fourth quarter reports (due September 15), since those are easier to do in conjunction with each other; submit Lise’s test results, which got lost in the hustle. Sent fourth quarter reports a month early; mailed Lise’s test scores. Goal COMPLETED!

  • Hometending: Complete 1 hour of hometending/week. 1 hr, 30 minutes/1 hr. Goal EXCEEDED for this week; solid progress through the month.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at six hours physical activity/week, (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity 7.5/6 hours; Meditate/journal 5/8. Solid progress this week, and for the month.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group; and 2 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood. Crit Group: 2.5/ 3 hours. Finished Chapter Two of SK, sent to author; 1.5 /2 hours. Modest progress throughout the latter third of the month.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

September 4, 2001 – or was that just yesterday? An uncertain young mother and a giant (10 pound, 2 ounce, 22.5 inches!) baby boy named Jeremiah, in Livingston, Montana. 16 years, in the blink of an eye – and now he’s a giant (6’3″ and growing!) young man. Tempis fugit!
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Kifo Island Chroincles, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

The Aftermath of Growth: August 30, 2017


Hey there!

After last week’s frenetic pace, this week has been less intense.

We’ve had our Sunday and Monday markets, and I slept well every night. Tuesday morning, I went for a 3.31 mile walk with my almost-16 year old son. We discussed tentative plans for his Saturday birthday and a radical feminism blog he’d read from and wanted to critique for some ideas that weren’t exactly based in reality….to say the least.

Honestly, it’s still Tuesday as I’m typing this – it tends to be a restful and recuperative day, and it’s better if I don’t try to take on too much. But Wednesday will be devoted to shopping with my daughter, because, while the aftermath of business growth may be a more restful period, the aftermath of my children’s growth is that they need larger clothes! I took Jeremiah shopping for his “standard uniform” – grey cargo pants and blue T-shirts – in July, before his camping trip, but Lise needs new cooler-weather clothes to fit a body that’s considerably more womanly than it was as last fall approached. Her taste in bedding has changed, too, so there will be some major updating of her overall “style.”

I’m growing, too… but in ways that are a bit less concrete or easily put into words. A bit ironic for a writer, isn’t it?

How have you grown lately?

  • Trueborn Series: Add 3,333 words/week to Foul Deeds Will Rise (until draft completed). 2,514/3,333. Primary goal; good progress.

He watched the man and the child as they talked, standing there by the pyre that still smoked faintly. The child poked a stick into the embers.

When the last one dies, Lasu will be forever gone.” He had the thickness of tears in his voice. Lasu had been huntmother to many; was she to a child who would nay ever be a hunter? Truth, she had a softness in her soul that would permit such a thing.

  • Story A Day September: Choose themes for main stories (Solemates, my November NaNoWriMo project) and TnT fanfiction drabbles; plot to the degree possible. Put out general call for word prompt lists. I’ve requested words as part of the Author’s Notes forHighly Classified Mission,” Checked site and signed up on the list for prompt posts. Primary goal; good progress.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for August and September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.. WIPpet in progress; simmering #weekendcoffeeshare and #8sunday. Primary goal; a bit of progress,

  • JuNoWriMo blogpost drafts: Organize and schedule raw material for completion and revision. Spend 1 hour/ week on this project. .1 hour; began prepping two posts for Chef Bluebeard’s blog . Secondary goal completed for this week.

  • Other Platforms: Spend 3 hours/week with my Facebook Writer page ; Instagram, Pinterest, and Patreon. Continue with Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad, etc.) 1 hour/week. 40 min/3 hours; mins/ Stretch goal; good progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 1 hour hometending/week. Adapted goal; .5/1 hr.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least six hours of physical activity. Catch up Baby Steps to 5K; meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity 4.25/6 hours. Meditate/journal 3/8. Solid progress.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group; and 2 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood. Crit Group: .25/3 hours. Finished Chapter Two of SK, sent to author; 1 /2 hours.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, CampNaNoWriMo, CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Challenges and Contests, July CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Life Writing, Round Three 2017, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Growth and Its Opposite: July 26, 2017

From my journal, July 25, 2017:

Fourteen years ago right about now, we were leaving for St. Peter’s Hospital NICU. I’d called earlier in the morning, as I had every morning since my discharge, to check in on Elijah, our baby boy, who suffered a profound brain injury at birth.

He had been stable.

By the time we reached the hospital a little of an hour later, he was dying.

The time after that passed in a blur – we were aware that the NICU was being cleared out. Someone I later learned was Jeri, with whom I’d attended school, and who would later lose her baby girl, took Miah, who was only 22 months old. The chaplain came, offered to baptize Elijah, and we accepted. We’re not religious, but there hadn’t been much chance to commemorate his arrival, and it seemed fitting.

Around 2 o’clock, Elijah James Burton, 12 days old, stopped breathing, and our lives changed forever.

His heart valves open and close in someone else’s chest, and that reality is the seed of my current CampNaNoWriMo novel. There’s a certain catharsis in writing it this month…and the reality is close to my heart.

Hug your children, if you can, for some of us can’t.

Drafting:

  • CampNoWriMo: Write 66,666 words (average 2,151/day) of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8). 55,182/66,666 words; a bit above par after a week below. Primary goal; On target and then some.

That made Serrah laugh. She suddenly realized that she’d laughed very little in her whole life….well, not her whole life. The little girl she’d just gotten to know – the little girl she’d been long ago – that little girl had laughed a lot, before she got sick.

  • Blogposts: Write new material at least 2 hours/week. Continue on with series in progress/JuNoWriMo words. 55 min. Secondary goal.

Social Media:

  • Blogging: Polish/package/schedule/publish relevant blogposts to return to restore/maintain regular blogging schedule for July. Slow, gradual start; posted to WIPpet Wednesday. Primary goal; some progress.

  • Other Platforms: Post twice weekly to my Facebook Writer page; and once weekly to Instagram, and Pinterest. Complete Patreon profile and launch. Posted my walk, with a photo of the sky, to Instagram. Secondary goal; a bit of progress.

  • Continue in Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad) if/as desired. Stretch goal; good progress.

Business:

  • Assist my Accomplice with his labeling/branding/platform/marketing (if this is scary for me; it’s completely alien to him). Made labels, posted to his page 2/3 times, answered comment, posted to Instagram, started exploring other markets, worked local market. Secondary goal; great progress.

Tending goals:

  • Hometending: Spend 30 minutes at least 5x/week in mindful cleaning and/or yardtending; draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans); complete testing submission and reporting; deal with subscriptions and other business that tends to get pushed aside. After last week’s Crazy-Happy-Busy, more rest was in order…Hometending 1/5.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least one hour of physical activity 5x/week, and two hours of strenuous activity weekly (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity: 1/5; Strenuous: .5 /2 hours; Meditation/journaling 3/8.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, CampNaNoWriMo, CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Challenges and Contests, July CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Preparing for New Growth; July 19, 2017

For the last twelve years, I’ve not-so-secretly dreaded July 13-25.

In 2003, the year Elijah was born and died, life was in limbo. We were afraid for our baby’s life, and didn’t yet know how significant those 12 days would become – that they would mark out an extremely abbreviated lifetime.

In 2004, Lise was 5 days old when those days started. Needless to say, I had other things on my mind and in my heart than the calendar.

Since then, though…

It’s been hard, every year.

Until this one.

It’s not that I don’t miss my baby who never had the chance to grow up. I’m aware of this 12 days, and I know what they mean in my life…

But I’m alive. WE’RE alive, as a family…and we’re an especially busy family, right now:

  • It’s homeschool reporting time. I’ve got Lise’s test scores to send to the district, and IHIPs to draft and finalize this month.

  • In addition to the weekly local farmer’s market where we have a table this summer, this weekend Jim and I will be working a charity food event for his employer, and we’ve secured permission from him to also offer his sauces, which will open another new market for us.

  • I’ve got a short story to revise and submit by month’s end, and, as always, writing and fitness goals, and a home to tend.

It turns out that when life is full of things that nourish myself and those I love, there’s less space available for dwelling on the tragedies that are part of life.

I’m just too focused on these various leaps of faith to sink into the deep well of anguish and “what-ifs” for which there never have been answers…my focus is more on the here-and-now of life.

Is this what acceptance feels like…knowing that some things can’t be, that they will affect me more powerfully at some times than others – and still going on with the daily stuff of living, simply because I and the rest of my beloveds are alive?

What do you think?

 

Drafting:

  • CampNoWriMo: Write 66,666 words (average 2,151/day) of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8). 38,798/66,666 words; a bit less than 1K from Tuesday’s goal. Primary goal; On target plus a bit.

Naomi’s regard was intense, and a little threatening; Ophelia went back to staring at the pizza, her stomach twisting as though Pandora’s creatures were whizzing around in there, banging against the sides and stirring up the acid.

  • Blogposts: Write new material at least 2 hours/week. Continue on with series in progress/JuNoWriMo words. 15 min/2 hours. Secondary goal; progress.

Revising:

  • Blogposts: Revise JuNoWriMo blogposts one hour each week. Secondary goal back-burnered till August.

Social Media:

  • Other Platforms: Post twice weekly to my Facebook Writer page; and once weekly to Instagram, and Pinterest.  Complete Patreon profile and launch. 1/ 2 FB page. Lots of pinning! Secondary goal; good progress.

  • Continue in Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad) if/as desired. Stretch goal; good progress.

Business:

  • Complete my writing business plan using this excellent article by Angela Ackerman as a guide. Step 4/7 in progress from June. Primary goal.

  • Assist my Accomplice with his labeling/branding/platform/marketing (if this is scary for me; it’s completely alien to him). Got the PayPal Business account and new email/Google identity set up, all sauces in Facebook Business Page Shop; which is now open for business! Also set up Pinterest/Instagram accounts, and failed at setting up Twitter. Dipped toe into website/blog. Secondary goal; a dizzying amount of progress!

Tending goals:

  • Hometending: Spend 30 minutes at least 5x/week in mindful cleaning and/or yardtending; draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans); complete testing submission and reporting; deal with subscriptions and other business that tends to get pushed aside. Hometending: 1/5. Received Lise’s test scores in mail Tuesday; will copy and send to district this week.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least one hour of physical activity 5x/week, and two hours of strenuous activity weekly (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity: 1/5; Strenuous: .5/2 hours; Meditation/journaling 3/8.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

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.