ROW80 Goals Update #9 -“Live Writing”

Here we are, half a week into the month of February.  Life has been more outwardly oriented over the last days, and I’ve had the complication of having a somewhat nasty head cold, and the persistent fatigue that accompanies it.

Birthday Party Chicken Soup in a Peekaboo Kitty Bowl.....Yummy, and restorative!

And I have been reading, and writing, and moving forward on my goals.  I won’t say it’s been seamless, or that there hasn’t been some degree of frustration or things  left untended….but then, there always seem to be those.  Perhaps they are the unavoidable side-effects of a life filled with rich and varied experiences.  Also, because something  is left untended to today, that does not mean it must be untended to tomorrow, as well…..

Still, I am finding that writing is becoming much more a part of the fabric of my days, and my family is (perhaps just a little grudgingly, at times), learning to respect my stepping forward to claim my new comittment to my lifelong passion.

Scenes From Our Living Room, This Week....

For my part, I am making it a focus to renew another commitment –  my commitment to each of them, to make room for the things they value in life, too, and to help them to have enough of these things in their own lives.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in our unschooling life –  which necessitates parents working, not as the shapers of their children but instead as partners with them – is that, the more I embrace my childrens’ and husband’s passions and dreams and desires, the more space I create for my own passions, dreams and desires.

Fulfillment begets fulfillment, it seems…

Trampoline Fun at Lochlann's Tenth Birthday Party!

So, now, on to the goals (my personal fulfillment of passions, dreams, and desires, and then an accounting of our last days, as a family (my tending to the fulfillment of the passions, dreams, and desires of those I love)…..

Round of Words 80 Goals – Round 1, 2012:

I will write at least 10 essays and/ or photo essays, and post them   publicly. 

I will complete all necessary homeschool reporting (2010-2011 end-of-year assessments; fourth request for approval of 2011-2012 IHIPs, and Second Quarter Reports-  all items for both children).  These will be completed and submitted as follows:
 2010-2011 EOY Assessments  –  January 31, 2012

2011-2012 IHIP Approval Request – February 15, 2012

  • I added the dates and other necessary information (and realized, in the process, that this is the FIFTH request, not the fourth!), and emailed the letter to the Superintendent, his secretary, myself – and the Board of Education. Hopefully, this will result in prompt action on the district’s part.
  • In the meantime, though –  This goal has been attained!
2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012

  • I have updated the Attendance Log for these reports, and, in so doing, discovered that Jeremiah and Annalise have at this point exceeded the 900 hours of attendance required by New York State.  When informed of this, and told, jokingly, that they could legally stop learning until August 1, they both replied,”Who cares?  We’re going to keep on learning BECAUSE IT’S FUN!!!!!”  I really do lead an amazing life! =D
  • Since the quarter is finished, and the reports are mostly written, I will very likely have them submitted considerably earlier than the March 1 due date.
  • Once these reports are turned in, all paperwork on our part will be complete and current.
 I will submit at least one essay or photo essay apiece to Tiny Buddha and Sunday Surf.
  • I moved the “paragraph points” I highlighted for the Tiny Buddha post to a new word-processing program, where I could see and consider them more clearly.
  • I added notes, and shifted the focus of the article to more fully reflect the message I am attempting to convey, which became clearer in the process of note-writing and assessing what I have already written.
  • I created the various collages for the Sunday Surf  essay, “A Tale of Two New Years”, and imported them into the proper places in the photoessay.
  • I added a few paragraphs, proofed, and added captions for the post.
  • I added it to the Sunday Surf linky list .  It’s published and submitted to the list. …so….
  • The Sunday Surf goal has been attained!
I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.
  • I have written 3174 words in Chapter 17,  “Never Doubt I Love” .
  • Writing has seemed to stall a little, but not really in a stuck way.  More of a feeling-my-way-through way.
  • I read a delicious bit of Spockerotica _  “Rihanssu” –  from another writer, at Archive of Our Own.  This may be the perfect place for me to post my own stories, once they are ready.
I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.
  • Wrote a rough draft of the ad blurb for my independent writing enterprise.
  • Added style and font options.
  • Next, I will be adding samples for each style, setting prices, and taking an icon picture.  Then I will announce the service, on my blog and on The Unschooler’s Emporium.
  • I expect that the service will be up and running within the next two weeks.
I will update, keep current on a weekly basis, and add writing samples to my Facebook Writer Page, and I will  update, edit, and post to both of my regular blogs on at least a weekly basis.
  • I have posted at least a few links and updates of online writing and 750 words updates to my Facebook Writer Page  nearly every day this week.
  •  I am considering creating a poll, and/or inviting others to post things they think I would like to me at that page, to increase its interactivity.  Right now, it seems to be a very passive medium, and I would like it to be more lively.
  • I posted  to “The Unfettered Life“, with the Sunday Surf post mentioned above, “A Tale of Two New Years”.
  • I have posted here twice since Wednesday: on Friday, I posted a new page for  Bookmark Break Challenge 2012.  I will be adding to this page throughout the year; as I add new reading material, complete books and add them to my roll of read material; and as I write 500-1000 word reviews for each book I finish.
  • On Saturday, I posted Flashin’ on Saturday!, a photo prompted flash fiction piece I meant to do on Friday, but didn’t get to till after midnight.  I am really enjoying these forays into tiny stories and descriptions!
  • And, before I sleep, I will have posted this update essay, for three posts here, since Wednesday.  Awesome!
Annalise, "The Fire-Breathing Kid"
So, that takes care of goals progress.  Now, it’s time to chat about the last few days, because I’m finding it useful to frame my writing progress in concert with the life we’re living….
  • We attended our homeschool co-op, where we were  invited to Lochlann’s tenth birthday party on Saturday, and Annalise began learning how to finger-knit.
  • Both Jeremiah and I have had a head cold since Tuesday night.  We headed home right after co-op.
  • I did a little hometending, but was too fatigued for much.
  • I created a running list of goals-related accomplishments in my word-processing program, so that I can more easily post my progress at updates.
  • I read for my Bookmark Break Challenge.
A Grand Old Tree Perfect for Fun!
  • I did some Bookmark Break Challenge reading, and created a page for it here.
  • I did some moderate hometending, taking frequent breaks when I felt drained.  It was the worst day of my head cold.
  • The kids and I went to Target, 10 miles away, to purchase birthday gift stuff and some other items.  We were gone about 2 hours, which was about as long as I  could handle.
  • Annalise and Jeremiah enjoyed a game of Match-It Time.
Jeremiah and Devin Enjoy the Trampoline; Annalise Finds a New, Unpleasant Taste
  • I wrote and posted my flash fiction piece, “43 Weeks”.
  • Attended Lochlann’s party at 1pm.  I got some nice photos (I think the tulip shadow on the tablecloth is going to be my favorite).  Kids enjoyed balloon and Nerf Gun play, video games, Zombie Tag and trampolining in the yard, seeing friends (Lochlann, Ethan, and Devin) and making new ones (Seb and Elijah).
  • After we came home, Jeremiah asked me to watch Drawn Together and Life’s a Zoo, his latest fascinations in the “raunchy animation” field.  He and I watched on my laptop, on my bed, via Netflix.  Lise joined us for part of the time, but the content was too mature to hold her interest for long.
  • Jim and I watched M*A*S*H together, something we’ve been doing since our dating days 15 years ago.  He’s been missing ol’ Henry Blake, lately, and we are working our way through Season 3…..which will end in  tragedy with “Abyssinia, Henry”.  Like Spock’s death scene in The Wrath of Khan, it never gets easier.
  • I began Last Child in the Woods for the Bookmark Break Challenge.
  • I also read the wonderful fanfic Spockerotica story, “Rihannsu“.
More Trampoline Fun.......
  • I woke in a leisurely fashion after a restorative 10 hours of sleep!  A backache from being in bed longer than normal was a small price to pay for feeling well-rested for the first time in days.
  • I  had my first cuppa coffee in bed, did my morning reading, and then Annalise and I took Corki  for a short walk.  It was chilly, but not especially cold, and we had a pleasant conversation.  She was even lucky enough to collect a small feather, possibly from a pigeon or a mourning dove, both common here.
  • Meanwhile, Jim and Jeremiah played two games of chess.  After, he and Lise played one.
  • I did some minor hometending, but am uninspired to do more, at the moment.
  • Jim took the kids out for a few grocery items and to pick up pizza for dinner.
  • I spent the time mostly finishing “A Tale of Two New Years” for Sunday Surf, my 750 words on Chameleon’s Dish, and this goals update post.
  • Miah cut his hair…..went from long curly locks to what he calls a ‘fuzzy buzz cut”.    Its….interesting.  Very punk.  =)
  • The kids enjoyed a game of chess together.
  • Now Jim and I are watching M*A*S*H again, and I am about to upload and edit some pictures to add to this post………
Annalise, Corki, and I Go For a Walk
New Goals
  • Since I am moving right along with my existing goals, I thought it would be a good idea to add three  new goals into the mix, to keep myself moving forward and honing in on my goals.
Full Set of Armor at the Top of a Play Structure
I will write at least one book review,  and a rough draft of a letter to my father-in-law.
  • I plan on writing reviews for each book I read for the Bookmark Break Challenge.  I haven’t written a review before, so I will keep the goal at one and complete that as a “test mile” , before deciding if I want to add more to my goal.
  • Tuesday, when we got home from the waterpark, we found a letter from Jim’s dad.  It was intrusive and reactive and based on a lot of inaccurate  hearsay from a telephone conversation with my family-of-origin, which is rife with abuse and emotional manipulation.  This letter will change our long term plans of moving to his area in ways we haven’t quite worked out, yet, but my letter mostly will deal with his misperceptions, and how we in this family deserve and expect to be treated.  I don’t like dealing with this type of conflict, and, when I feel I must, I am determined to do so thoughtfully and non-reactively.
  • So I will pour forth my emotional responses in as many drafts as  I need to get to the heart of the matter without reactivity.  The first one is likely to be the longest, and the most wandering, and probably not something I will show to anyone but, perhaps, Jim (who is writing his own letter).
  • I expect that the process will bring me, and therefore, by extension,  my family, a greater sense of peace.
This Lovely Bouquet of Tulips Drew Me Again and Again
I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.
  • I want to do this now, while this blog is still relatively small, because I have learned a lot about WordPress as I have gone along, and doing it now will be much simpler than later.
  • This is intended to be my professional blog, and, as such, I want it to present a professional and polished image that is still a true characterization of my personality and writing style.
  • I have some things as pages that I don’t want that way, and challenges I’ve posted nothing on.  I want to correct these oversights.
  • I want to continue to develop my ability to use this amazingly versatile tool.
I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.
  • Eventually, I would like to get rid of my untidy stacks of handwritten notebooks, collected over a dozen or more years, where many nuggets of goodness are tucked away, lost.
  • Having those words in a workable online format will make it easier to mine those nuggets and share them.
Well, that’s it for me, this time……how was YOUR week?
See more of the ROWers here..


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    • Ruthie –

      Not needing to sleep much on a regular basis helps greatly! =) I tend to write in short sprints, combined with hometending sprints, during the day, and to be very willing to take time off to do things with my family and friends.

      I stay up all night to write a few nights most weeks – a habit that got its start when I wanted peace and quiet in a volatile childhood home, and the wee hours were the only way to find it….

      I’m glad you found it inspiring – that gives me all the more reason to write! And, as for the fun photos – they’re easier to get when joy and fun are huge components of living….and when I happen to live with two photogenic and hammy children, and their far-from-camera shy friends!

  2. I love the pictures you’ve included with your post. I homeschooled our three until they were in Grade 9. Even though they’re grown, I still encourage them to discover and pursue their passions.

    Congrats on your progress. May it continue.

    • Steph –

      It was a good week for pictures! I had a few on my phone, of co-op finger-knitting, but couldn’t figure out how to get those into the post.

      I love our life, and sincerely hope neither child ever decides to go to school. Being right in the thick of their rampant learning is exciting, and urges me gently to keep learning myself.

      I believe that if everyone were encouraged and given the support they need to find and follow their passions, from the time they were young, we would live in a far more peaceful and joyous world…..

      It’s taken me 42 years to unapologetically claim my passions and my dreams.

      I want my children to grow never doubting that this is what’s important!

      I am – finally! – living a life that fulfills me deeply. Progress means hours spent doing things that fire my passion and make me feel younger than I’ve felt for years, and wiser, too. That makes me a better wife, mother, and human to be around, I think…

      May you continue to move toward your goals, as well, and may you enjoy those passion-seeking grownup children of yours! =D

  3. Lots of gentle thoughts and healing energy from me to you…. And just good old General Energy too. (He’s that one in charge of the Animation Corps 😉 with lots of privates at his command and Major Issues always handing him extra paperwork.)

    But seriously, glad to see you’ve got your plan and you”sticking to it” so to speak.

    • Sys –

      Hmmmn…Wonder how General Energy will get along with General Chaos, who seems to hold sway here….. =)

      I hope Major Issues stays away – New York gives me all the paperwork I need!

      I really am loving that I do have a plan, and that there is enough in it to allow me to flit from thing to thing as mood, energy level, time, and focus allow. There still is so much more out there than I can get to, but now, it’s the feeling of wide-open vistas before me rather than as a quagmire I could never find my way into, let alone through….

      I am wishing bountiful energy and rampant health for a certain love-filled home in Westerlo!

  4. wow you sure are busy… 🙂 I like that you and your hubby enjoy M*A*S*H together… I also hope you are feeling better.
    I have Penzu and I love it. I write all kinds of thoughts and life stuff in there.
    Good luck this week with your goals. 😀

    • Darlene –

      I believe in being joyfully busy!

      M*A*S*H connects us to those early dating days, when all was a whirlwind of passion…..and to all the days since. =)

      I like Penzu. I only have the free version, at the moment, but think I will probably upgrade soon, if I continue to use it regularly.

      May your week, too, be filled with joyful doing! =D

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