Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

How Do They Live? for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose has a newspaper rose made by a shabbily dressed man whom she finds compelling. As she takes her commuter train to work, she reflects on the experience of meeting him.

How Do They Live?

I hold his rose, and wonder.

How does he survive, alone on the streets? How does anyone? Especially now, with winter stretching for months ahead, and the nights falling well below freezing? Where do the forgotten humans go, when it’s killing cold outside?

How do they live?

Again, my cloak feels like a weighted accusation of excess, of plenty when others have not enough. I’ve remained carefully unaware, pretended not to see, not to notice, not to be either part of the problem, or the solution. But now I hear Jeremy’s voice in my mind.

What will Rose do now that she’s so aware?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do with his rose?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

On Saturday, my Accomplice and I attended a Wine and Food Tasting held by a local Lions Club chapter. It was held in a yacht basin, and he was there to represent the restaurant where he works. His employer also said he could sell his artisanal hot sauces, so I was there to offer those, as he served up fresh-grilled Cajun catfish and dirty rice.

The food ran out in about an hour, and we shifted our focus to the sauces, setting out our samples and signage. We already had our new shelf stocked. We sold seven bottles – that’s pretty good, as it’s a fledgling cottage business that’s only existed for about 3 months.

My Accomplice makes the sauces by hand – it’s a labor of passion for him – but I do all the labeling, signage, platform building, and marketing….and I’ve essentially been learning as I go. It’s keeping my brain very busy (and kept me from getting to as many other #8sunday folks as I wish I was).

And, on that note….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!

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

Crazy-Happy Busy Growth: July 23, 2017

Wow, what a week!

  • Monday, there was a thunderstorm – the farmer’s market was indoors, and I reconnected with a classmate I haven’t seen for 30 years.

  • Tuesday, there was provisioning my son for his first trip to Unschoolers Rock the Campground in Plymouth, Massachusetts without his sister or me. He’s with a friend and his family, but this is still a big step for him.

  • Wednesday, I got my Accomplice’s Facebook shop set up, and now Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces can be purchased online. I also set up our first ad. There’s a long way still to go, but this is big for his blossoming business.

  • Thursday, we met our friends at our area’s largest mall, and Jeremiah left with them. Lise and I went in. She had birthday money, and spent it at teen-geared stores. She bought some fandom items from Five Nights at Freddy’s – a poster, and some pens, and a purple heart key chain. We had soft pretzels and lemonade and explored and hung out together.

  • Yesterday, my Accomplice was working his day job at the Schuyler Yacht Basin Lions Club Food and Wine Tasting event. He made Cajun catfish and dirty rice for the restaurant where he works, The Ugly Rooster. His employer gave authorization for him to also market his hot sauces, so I went to tend to those. We offered many samples, gave out many cards, and sold seven bottles. It’s cool to be finding a market organically, at smaller venues. The business is only 3 months old, and we financed it without a loan during very uncertain financial times. It’s a leap of faith, and it’s my husband’s passion. I love being part of his success for reasons that are far more than financial.

  • Later today, I’ll be heading out to pick up my traveling teen at a local park. And then I’ll get ready for what I hope will be a quieter week of absorbing all this growth!

What have you been up to?

Drafting:

  • CampNoWriMo: Write 66,666 words (average 2,151/day) of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8). 45,379/66,666 words; a bit over 2K from par. Primary goal; behind due to crazy-busy week.

“Because I want to make love with you!” The admission burst out of her. She’d tried to hold that in; but there was no more holding it back. She’d been loud enough that the glances of the people at the nearest tables turned into outright states.

Ophelia didn’t care. Didn’t care whether she’d just been inappropriate; didn’t care whether the other patrons of this restaurant approved or not.

She’d waited twenty-six years – most of it not even admitting to herself that she was waiting, that she’d essentially put her entire life on hold, just to punish herself for something that had never been her fault to begin with –

  • Blogposts: Write new material at least 2 hours/week. Continue on with series in progress/JuNoWriMo words. About 45 minutes? Not quite sure. Secondary goal.

Plotting:

  • Plot/outline blog posts as needed to complete the drafting goal above. I have enough material in development to carry me through maybe a dozen or so additional posts. Secondary goal.

Revising:

  • Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel: Spend 3 hours/week revising “On Any Tuesday Night.” Start once Still Nameless Act One Beat Sheet is complete. Setting aside until August. Primary goal.

  • Blogposts: Revise JuNoWriMo blogposts one hour each week. Setting aside until August. Secondary goal.

Submitting:

  • Miss Spider and Mister Fly”: Complete any details/authorize copy edits needed for publication. Had a bit of a revelation on this; details pending. Primary goal.

Social Media:

  • Blogging: Polish/package/schedule/publish relevant blogposts to return to restore/maintain regular blogging schedule for July. Due to the Crazy-Happy-Busy week, posts were minimal this week. Primary goal; some setup.

  • Other Platforms: Post twice weekly to my Facebook Writer page; and once weekly to Instagram and Pinterest. Complete Patreon profile and launch. Posted to Instagram from Accomplice’s event. Secondary goal; some 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). Tagged in Instagram post; followed; helped with Lions Club Food and Wine Tasting. Big week for Chef Bluebeard! 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. Hometending: 4/5 days.

  • 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.Meditation/journaling 7/8; activity: 3/5; Strenuous: 1/2.

  • Paying It Forward: Finish back business for local crit group; and one chapter/week for Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood. Highlighted another chapter for questionnaire.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Hot Sauces at the Yacht Basin, July 22, 2017.
Posted in Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

It Was Impossible for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet 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 Wrayburn.


Hello there, fellow WIPpeteers – and, to those just along for the ride – welcome! Hop in, get comfy…but don’t leave popcorn in the center seat!

It’s Wednesday again, and, again, I missed most of the other posters, and haven’t answered comments. I keep meaning to do those things, but life has been a whirlwind lately. It’s a little like I’m at a buffet, and someone else keeps bringing me plates of food to add to the heaping one I’ve already got in front of me.

There is just so much going on right now! Most of it is new, and involves a lot of learning how to do things I wasn’t even aware of a year ago. My brain and my mind are full, and so is my life.

I will get back to visiting and answering comments…things are finally getting to a point where I can see them leveling off ahead…after this weekend, there will be an easing, and, within the next two weeks, I’ll have addressed my two biggest and most time-sensitive obligations – the current batch of state-required homeschool reporting, and the short story revision for my contribution to the Dark and Bitter anthology.

Until then, though, things may be a bit hit-or-miss where my visiting and responding is concerned. I ask forgiveness, and patience – I will be making up for the lost time. August is slated to be a much quieter month for me, and I’m not looking for things to fill it up with!

Right now, though –

It’s time for another installment of my finally-getting–sassy-TnT fan fiction story, adapted from Humanity’s Enterprise. It’s a patchwork of stories, written in different styles, at different times, and for different projects. I’m slowly figuring out how to pull them all together into a coherent whole that explores just how and why T’Pol was the one Vulcan chosen to accompany Enterprise NX-01 on her maiden voyage.

I’ve decided to use this story, once revision gets to a point I’m comfortable with, as my initiation into Wattpad. So please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s not working for you – it will make a better story in the long run!

Recap:

T’Pol longs to touch the human called Trip, with whom she has some personal history…but her duty requires that she objectify the humans. Will she give in, or follow orders?

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.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 19, 2017.
  • I have 10 sentences for you today – adding the digits of the date, and the fact that it’s ten days to my birthday. =)

It Was Impossible

She must protect him. She must protect them.

As for what they had shared, it was impossible. Other than an awareness of other Vulcans, and deeper awareness of one’s family, hers was not a telepathic species.

She was not related to this or any human. They had never touched; other than a few words immediately before she returned to the safety of the Consulate, they had never spoken. Those words didn’t constitute a conversation.

Therefore, logically, they had shared nothing but a commonality of location for a brief time on a single Tuesday night fourteen months, three weeks, and five days previously. Her desire to touch her paired fingers to his, to experience the blending of their bioelectric signatures, was illogical, and must be repressed, if she was to fulfill her orders here.

T’Pol turned back toward Jonathan Archer, and clutched quivering hands behind her, the scars on her fingertips still throbbing with the urge to touch the human called Trip.

How will Trip interpret T’Pol’s lack of response?

Will she be able to protect this human crew?

Will they allow her to?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page, or go directly to my Story A Day May drabbles – a loosely-connected serial of bite-sized, 100 word stories written to prompts.

Read one, all, or anywhere in between – these are the seeds of longer stories to come, and each one has its own tiny little twist.

And, as always, clicking the little blue froggy above will carry you on to other WIPpet offerings from our talented and diverse group of writerly folks. You can even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

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 A Round of Words in 80 Days, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, July CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Round Three 2017, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Growth’s Expansion; July 16, 2017

Hi there!

This week has felt both calm and chaotic, restful, and productive.

Know what I mean?

If you do, you might be better at deciphering paradoxes than I am….or maybe you’re just a bit more removed from my brand of paradox…

I know that at least some of this is due to the huge, inescapable month-long paradox that is July. Just over a week ago, we celebrated our daughter’s entry into the world of adolescence…and then, Thursday was the fourteenth birthday of our second son, Elijah, who lived his entire 12-day life in July 2003.

So here we are, in the thick of what I’ve come to call Elijah’s Days. Things will be a bit emotionally fraught for me until the 25th, which marks the anniversary of his death. Then, only four days later, I will be 48.

July contains more than it seems any month should be able to, and that tends to affect the way I experience it.

So, until we move through this emotionally potent month, I’ll be riding the waves of paradoxical growth.

What does July mean to you? 

Drafting:

  • CampNoWriMo: Write 66,666 words (average 2,151/day) of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8). 35,622/66,666 words; about 1K from Monday’s goal, and haven’t written yet Sunday at the time I typed this. Primary goal; On target and then some.

Excerpt:

She threw back her head, closed her eyes, and laughed.

When she opened them again, she was in the pottery shop she’d seen on the Kifo Island website, and in front of her was a beautiful, anatomically perfect walnut-sized heart – except that it was missing one very important piece.

She took up the wooden sculpting tool, and etched an L into the surface.

  • Blogposts: Write new material at least 2 hours/week. Continue on with series in progress/JuNoWriMo words. 2 hours. A much better week; not quite back to regular schedule, but much closer than previous few weeks:

WIPpet Wednesday:

“I’ll try to remember that,” she said. It would be most agreeable to tell him that she hadn’t forgotten it for a moment of the last fourteen months, three weeks, and five days.

Combined #weekendcoffeesshare and Stream of Consciuousness Saturday:

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.

#8sunday:

I burst up, nearly upsetting the latte before Jeremy rescues it. I try to look back, but the other commuters are jostling and pushing for the car entrances, a tsunami that sweeps me away from him.

Secondary goal; great progress.

Plotting:

  • Play with fan fiction as desired; because Trip and T’Pol say so. Wrote 12 new sentences for WIPpet Wednesday (see above for excerpt). Stretch goal.

Social Media:

  • Blogging: Polish/package/schedule/publish relevant blogposts to restore/maintain regular blogging schedule for July. Not quite back to regular pace, but closer. 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. A very good week! 1/2 FB page; saved a batch of pins, and posted to Instagram once. Did some learning and reviewing my existing Patreon info; simmering changes. Secondary goal.

  • Continue in Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad) if/as desired. All chats and sprints; time on Quora and Wattpad. 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). Discussed/researched banners and displays. Secondary goal; some 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; 6/5.

  • 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: 5/5; Strenuous: 2 /2 hours; Meditation/journaling 7/8.

  • Paying It Forward: Finish back business for local crit group; and one chapter/week for Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood. 1/3 chapters for crit group member, contact w/ SK author re:timing of crit.

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 #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Sharing the Wind for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:

Rose has just made a confession to Jeremy, but then is afraid to hear his response. We pick up from that point…

Sharing the Wind

Can’t bear to risk that his ‘perhaps’ means ‘no’. I burst up, nearly upsetting the latte before Jeremy rescues it. I try to look back, but the other commuters are jostling and pushing for the car entrances, a tsunami that sweeps me away from him.

I get the last station-side window seat – nearest the door, and the cold wind that will enter every time it opens. But I don’t mind that – I’ll be sharing the wind with Jeremy, and I’m dressed more warmly than he is. I find where the thinning crowd leaves a bench in solitude, and there he is, watching me as he sips his latte. He lifts the mug in silent salute, his smile wide and crinkling the corners of his blue eyes. He mouths something. Fellow human, I think.

Will Rose ever see Jeremy again?

Does Jeremy want to see her?

What’s next for these two?

Any guesses?

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link, or the icon below!

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

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.