A Passionate Ahhhhh: ROW80 Update, August 28, 2013

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 What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

 How do you approach major life events? Do you accept their unfolding, adapting to the unexpected, or do you need to know what’s coming and for things to roll out smoothly?

 Last weekend, the children and I attended the Northeast Unschooling Conference. Thursday, and Culminating in a picnic at Salem Willows Park on Monday, this is the highlight of our social year –reconnecting with old friends, making new ones; a family reunion where we witness the growing of children, parents, and families; long wandering conversations, focused discussions, and informal chats; celebrating passions; learning via presentations, funshops, artisans, and the coolest talent show I’ve ever seen gulp – laid my soul bare in.

See what I mean by clicking the post below….


Post by Adam Smith.

It’s inspiring, renewing and forty-two kinds of wonderful.

 What it isn’t is restful, tidy, or conducive to routines – writing and life – that seem so natural at other, mellower times…

 I slept little. I wrote even less.

 I laughed until it hurt, listened until I was overflowing, and practiced riding the waves of lovely chaos as they rolled through me…

 Solo parenting through these far-from-home and intense days can be challenging. During this conference, I live in close quarters with both children. We are often going in different directions, feeding different passions, living in different rhythms, each with different priorities, preferences, and needs.

At this, our fourth NEUC adventure, I finally successfully met my goal of not yelling at the children or losing my temper with them. I did get frustrated, annoyed, and even angry, at times. And I took deep breaths and conscious action.

But oh, the sweetness of this trip, of seeing my children thriving and confident away from home, how they, too, were calmer than in previous years (I suspect a connection, there…) and more capable of meeting their own needs, and having agency in their own lives; of the deep conversations we had as we drove home in the dark and through torrential rain…the anonymity of dark feeding the sharing..

Best friends Jeremiah and Harry. Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

There’s so much more I could say, and some of it I will, eventually.

Suffice it to say, my life is rich, wild, and wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade it with anyone!

A few (new) words about my goals:

  • Sunday’s update didn’t happen. Life did. =)

  • For the rest of this round, I am only posting those goals which I made progress on for that session.

  • I won’t add as many new items. What’s on my buffet right now offers many options; I will be sampling and indulging these for a while.

  • My primary focus will be on the childrens’ quarterly reports, due on September 1.

  • Secondary focus is writing, and tertiary focus editing, as I attempt to meet my WIP word count and scene goals for August.

  • Blogging and networking will shuffle to the back. When I’ve finished what’s on my plate, I will prioritize them.

Here’s an accounting of my ROW80 Goals Progress…and what will be next!


Best friends Annalise and Gabriella Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

Keep up with sharing. Pending.

Editing (With Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions🙂 On target.

Chameleon’s Dish :

Take general on-page notes. On target.

  • Complete through Scene #30; page 114/249. Ideas popping and simmering.

  • Ongoing.

Continue list of per-scene attention items. On target.

  • Completed through Scene #26; page 104/249. Under 150 pages to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

Mid-conference snuggle with my best girl! Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.


To Be or Not to Be – Write at least 25,000 words in August. On target.

  • 20,723/ 25,000 words. Less than 5,000 left for the month!

  • 1,311 new words .

  • WIP total: 158,406/ ~200,000 words. Under 45K to go! =)

  • Ongoing.

Adapt/Plan Scene 16; Amanda’s Plot Point #1 (beginning by 8/22). Target attained!

  • Scene mildly adapted. Looking forward to writing it!

  • Write Scene 16; Amanda’s Plot Point #1(beginning by 8/29).

Business-y Stuff:

Maintain sponsor visits. Target surpassed!

Add Social Sciences to quarterlies. On target.

  • Setting aside the IHIPs until quarterly reports are complete; they’re due on Sunday, September 1.

  • U.S. History and Patriotism and Citizenship sections completed for both children.

  • Jeremiah’s Geography section complete – this goal met for him.

  • Ongoing.

Write both Peer Reviews and print (before NEUC). Target attained!

  • Both reviews printed, panel formed, signatures attained. =)

  • Mail reviews to school district.

Have you faced challenges lately? Were they transformative? How do you feel you met them? What worked, and what didn’t? Did you learn anything useful? What can you celebrate about your approach and how you weathered the situation?

I’m so looking forward to meeting the mysterious entity who will become….Follower #105!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!


  1. Love the pictures of the kids.

    My life itself is a challenge lately, but I believe that good things are going to happen. What I did learn this time is that immediately flying into a panic and making huge lifestyle changes is not the way to approach a layoff.

    Thanks for stopping in last week.

    • John,

      They are all awesome kids.

      I am thinking good thoughts for major positive changes in your life situation.

      I’ve been prone to panic in the past, too. So far, it’s never been productive. Hopefully, you can ease into something a bit more moderate and calm.

      It had been too long since I got around to see you. I’ll try to get back sooner, this time.

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