Celebratory ROW – ROWnd 3; Update #2

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I’ve had a head cold the last few days, Annalise’s birthday was Sunday, and we leave for a five-day campout in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Therefore, I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking, this time…..

Goals for ROW80 ROWnd 3, 2012


Trueborn Series:

  • Trueborn:

  • Reread current rough draft from 1998-9ish and 2000.

  • I am still reading the first draft, from the late ’90s.

  • I have read Chapter 11, and discovered that the beginning of Chapter 12, pages 50 and 51, are missing. If they don’t turn up elsewhere, I will recreate them, from what I already have.

  • I am continuing to jot notes and impressions on the backs of pages as I read.

  • I am currently on page 49 of 240.
My office worktable, as I clean and organize!
  • Consider title change.

  • I am letting this idea sit with me, while I explore the story. I figure I’ll learn whether it has the right title, and, if not, a better one will come, somewhere along the way. Sima garo provides.

  • Chameleon’s Dish:

  • Compile a print copy for editing, page count, and to see what it looks like!

  • Although it may not seem related, I am vigorously working on cleaning my office work table (made out of a door from Eden Mabee‘s house; it has recessed panels that I hope will help to keep my papers corralled a little better). I will need spreading-out space for the editing, and so this is a positive step in the right direction.

  • Complete basic research based upon library books and websites; looking for information to enhance later digging and prevent hugely obvious gaffes).

  • I am currently reading Hamlet; Shakespeare’s England; and Colonial Cooking.

  • I am taking notes on the latter two books listed above.

  • I have finished reading the play portion of Hamlet, and will resume taking notes as indicated as I read the accompanying articles.

  • I am reading Shakespeare: His Life and His Works, aloud with the kids. This is a childrens’ picture book, but it is very comprehensive, with quotes from many plays, and the artwork is simply lovely and evocative. We are all enjoying it!

  • I intended to renew these books last week; a Wednesday Independence Day threw me off. I will do so early in the week, before Unschoolers Rock the Campgroundlater this week…

Some of my current reading material….
  • Experiment with removing Tisira’s story as a YA novel, with a potential optional add-on of the fanfic elements….not sure how this will work, exactly, but I think it might be the best approach to have something marketable without sacrificing my vision.

  • I am letting this one percolate until I am ready to print and work on actual paper pages.

  • However, it is working in my mind, and I beginning to see the fault lines where I can perhaps easily separate the stories without losing the character of the Trueborn elements.

  • I find I’m still really excited to see where this project will lead me!

Flash Fiction WIPs

  • Begin compiling a list for possible ebook anthology.

  • Although I haven’t added any stories to the list, I have thought of a few more I would like to add when I am in the mood to play there again…

  • Go through old story notebooks for source material.

  • I have read 568 of 591 handwritten pages of Solemates: The Courage Version. I know there are other portions of this storyline, scattered in different notebooks, and also variations on this theme.

  • Not only is this good material for potential flash fiction; it will greatly inform the various “clean” incarnations of Trueborn, as well.

  • I have found snippets of story pieces in my Writing Practice Notebook – June 2000.

Annalise and her first gift.

Homeschool Administration Ad Infinitum….

  • Begin setting up portfolios for both children – invite them to be a part of this process! =)

  • I have been sorting and photographing lots of projects going back several years. I will have a huge number of photos to categorize, later, but that’s OK…I need to begin somewhere!

  • Annalise has expressed some interest in what I’m doing, and I have explained it to her in a general sense, and let her know she can help if she likes.

  • Relax, enjoy, learn, grow, laugh, and … BREATHE!

  • Oh, yeah – we’re on this one – except that breathing has been a little tricky for me the last couple of days….
Annalise, 8, at the Erie Canal!


  • Continue reading books for the Bookmark Break Challenge – aim for 7 in July, 8 in August, and 9 in September, but these targets will be flexible – summer is prime traveling time for the kids and I and we have things planned and others we’re considering.

  • The Secret Life of Bees Completed.
  • Container Gardeningpage 80 0f 256.

  • Hamlet page 289 of 343.

  • Shakespeare’s England – page 20 of 252.
    Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real education With or Without School
    page 69 of 206.

  • Blogging for Digital Writers (ebook) – 13% – I am still getting used to how this app records progress….

  • I have read 1 of 7 books for this month.

Browsing and buying!

Other Writing:

  • Write 1 book review each week.

  • I didn’t quite finish it, but I have a review in the final stages.

  • I feel that’s pretty good for a busy, sick, birthday Week 1!

  • Play with flash fiction pieces as the mood strikes; aim for two submittable stories each month.

  • I played with a fan fiction piece which will likely become the prologue for the inclusive version of Chameleon’s Dish.

  • It’s not strictly a submittable piece, but it is stimulating creative juices – and bringing me delight!

  • Play with essay ideas as desired; aim for three submittable essays each month.

  • I have taken this one and run with it. In two days, I wrote about 3000 words on a topic I have been turning over for years….what makes one an over- or under-achiever, really? Having been labeled both, for similar activities, but at different places in my life, I have some ideas.

  • The material I poured out was stream-of-consciousness, and will need to be played with more before it’s cohesive.

  • I feel I have an excellent essay or two sitting amidst the words, just awaiting its excavation.
  • Write at 750 Words every day, with possible hiatuses for Unschoolers Rock the Campground (July 12-16); Learn Nothing Day (July 24); Northeast Unschooling Conference (August 23-?); and kids’ birthdays (July 8, September 2).On my birthday (July 29), I WRITE!!!

  • I have written every day. Some of it was deep; on Lise’s birthday, it’s mostly just an account of the day, so that I can remember it… but I am writing daily, and enjoying the return to that habit!

  • Use 750 Words for whatever – flash pieces, essays, venting, ranting, reports, book reviews, etc.

  • In the last several days, I have used it for: a book review, a two-day introspective rant, and journaling family events.

Scenes from the farmer’s market…


  • Aim to post at least twice a month to The Unfettered Life. Make one of them an update, perhaps roughly categorized to make creating reports easier.

  • I posted about our July 4 activities in An Unschooly Fourth.

  • Begin using this blog in a way that really supports documenting, so that it does double duty as a personal tool for me in the way it once did.

  • I feel that the above post did that very well.

  • I hope to keep on in the same vein.

  • Aim to post, at least weekly, non-ROW80 update material on shanjeniah. This may take the form of adding to my pages; creating new ones; other challenges, blog hops, etc; writing samples of various types; musings on writing and life; guest posts; photo essays; or whatever else seems relevant at the time.

  • I came close. My book review in progress isn’t quite ready to post, although it may be soon after I post this.

  • Consider and perhaps experiment with creating a blog for the Trueborn series. This could contain excerpts, bits of what I am working on (character sketches, research, flash fiction, story arcs; inspirational images and quotes, etc. Its purpose would be specifically to share the process of creating the series, from the beginning on….in a way, a window into my world and my mind as none of my other spaces are….

  • I haven’t added anything, just yet, but I have been considering ideas for the three WIP novels in the series (Trueborn; Blood and Breath; and Chameleon’s Dish).

  • I am also considering going WAAAAAY out on a limb in August, and starting a NaNorough draft for one of the other two novels I have in the concept stages…that way, I could write the fifth in November, and have all five novels in various stages of progress!

Hanging out with Elsie!

Organizing/Tootling my Horn….

  • Continue inputting June 2000 Writing Practice Notebook.

  • I am currently on page 80 of 120.

  • I am not moving forward quickly, but I am moving forward.

  • Continue reading marketing and ebook publishing sites and articles.

  • I am reading The Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging.

  • Set aside time each week to winnow email. Read items being saved for later reading, sort or dispose as indicated.

  • I am doing well on this one. Currently, there are 685 unread messages. Scanning the top of the list, I see many that can go away unread – from busineeses or sites where I seldom read.

  • I spent some time changing my preferred settings for WordPress and Yahoo Groups. I love all the wonderful bloggers I follow, but getting an email every time one of you posts adds up to a LOT of email – more than I remotely have time to read. Now, I will get a digest on Mondays, and maybe can spend a bit of time Tuesdays, browsing through.

  • I will continue my weekly winnowing sessions, and also ferret out more places where I can unsubscribe or receive less email.

  • It’s an ongoing process I am still near the beginning of, but I feel good about taking control over what reaches my Inbox!

Live action Annalise!
  • Be bold and daring in commenting, sharing, and submitting. Declare myself, learn, grow, and sometimes do things that make me uncomfortable. Open and blossom!

  • I am being a bit bolder about commenting, and I am contemplating new venues for sharing and submitting….stay tuned…I tend toward wee-hours leaps of faith!

Celebrating Life!

  • Add some form of specific motion (t’ai chi, swimming, hiking, biking, skating, dancing, etc) to each week. Keep track of what, where, when, for how long, and how I felt during and after.

  • I did some hometending every day but Sunday.

  • On Sunday, I walked along the Erie Canal, and carried heavy produce bags a quarter mile or so to the car…we parked on a side street.

  • I had planned to swim with the children, but was not feeling up to it, due to a nasty phase of my head cold.

  • I am hoping to spend more time swimming and engaged in physical activity during our upcoming camping weekend!

Birthday blueberry turnover bliss!
  • Fill us all up with joy, and continue cultivating family peace.

  • Loving this goal. Sometimes joy is the farmer’s market, or a tub of neon gummy worms, or truly present lovemaking…we are finding it in many ways…

  • We continue learning about conflict resolution and accommodating one another. We are evolving…

  • Spend time cleaning and beautifying my personal internal and external spaces each week.

  • I have made considerable progress in the bedroom, and have resumed organizing my office space. I have finished cleaning my work space, and now have a place where I can work on hard copy editing.

  • I have been writing introspectively, and practicing presence.

  • Embrace and be present in all my moments.

  • I am learning this one.

  • It’s amazing – I notice things like the lone seagull skimming the sky, and they seem rare and lovely in that moment.

  • I’m feeling very relaxed, and that is helping the overall peace and joy in our lives.

Erie Canal life….
  • Allow my emotions to be as they are. Practice expressing them calmly and reflectively.

Being more conscious of this. As I move through the space between Annalise’s birthday and Elijah’s, I will be as present as I am able, and gentle with myself. I know I will miss being with Jim (although the anniversary isn’t the same for him as for me), but being amongst many other unschooling family will bring a special type of warmth, joy, and solace.

Images from our walk to the car….that’s a hummingbird moth!

For those who want to learn more about the hummingbird moth…with a pretty video.


  1. Karen – I know just what you mean….for instance, when I spotted the hummingbird moth, I had a heavy load of produce and treasures, we were in the sun, I was sick, and it was HOT.

    Another time in my life, I might have kept going, even though I didn’t know what it was called and am captivated by it.

    It was so worth the time to experience it, and also to get the camera and snap a few pictures – and share its beauty with Lise on her special day…

    I choose to spend days very differently than I once did, since I began to practice presence.

    I love reading about your days, too! =)

  2. How you spend your days is so full and always interesting to read. I know this is a full month for you in so many ways; thus, I know you will be exploring your emotions in many moments and some, unexpectedly so. Like you, I find that experiencing the moment for what it is–without judgment–allows me to lean into what that moment requires of me, and it is a richer moment, indeed.

    Best to you in this round and always.


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