Friday, August 07, 2020

My Brain on Books XXVI (#reversereadathon)

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   









5:00PM - I will be reading every moment I can snatch but may not get to update here or social media before Mom is in bed after 9pm.  Mom came home from the hospital post stroke 3 weeks ago today and has not regained enough mobility yet to spend the weekend with my brother's family as has been her habit which left me free for most read-a-thon weekends since I moved in in 2013.

The reverse thon start time is a mite awkward for me due to it being smack in the middle of dinner prep and then there is feeding Mom followed by her bedtime routine.

But I will snatch moments to read.  My books for this time-frame, including the two listed in the Intro Meme, are on a smartphone sans SIM card via Overdrive's Libby ap that I keep in my vest pocket.  I also have the option of dozens of audio books via library of congress BARD for the print disabled loaded onto 5 separate android devices with 2 full battery backups.

The start time is also the end time tomorrow and that means it ends right at the start of the busiest four hours of our day here and thus I can't just put my book down and sleep as I can when it ends at 5am.  In fact I'll have to be not only awake but alert and on duty for another four to five hours after end of thon.  So I can't skip sleep entirely between 9pm tonight and 9am Saturday morning.  I may not insist on the regulation 7.5hrs in my ROW80 goals for this round but I should get more than four and six would be better.

4:44PM - Intro Meme:

1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? And what time is it where you are?
Longview, Washington USA situated in the V formed by the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers.  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River across from Raineer, Oregon approximately 50 miles from the coast and 25 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies but drives about double that.

At my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 (or 1975-78) and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

For Fiction: Night. Sleep. Death. the Stars by Joyce Carol Oates
For Non Fiction: Writing as a Path to Awakening by Albert Flynn DeSilver

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

spicy hot chocolate with a little piece of very dark chocolate

4) Do you have a #reversereadathon plan of attack?

This thon day marks 3 weeks since we brought Mom home from the hospital post stroke. So my plan is: Be flexible and be OK with not reading every minute of the thon.  Be OK with having to get some sleep as Mom's needs come first.

also to follow advice i give to thon newbies and vets alike: 

Stay hydrated!

Get up and move once an hour.  You can read while you pace you know.  i like to stand on my mini-tramp with a ebook or audio book to encourage bloodflow in my legs and brain.

Blink.  Seriously.  Dry eyeballs can't see.  And the hands rubbing them can't hold books

5) Are you doing the readathon solo or with others?

i'm solo for the most part but I may read aloud to Mom for a bit or listen to an audio book with her while feeding her meals.

Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey




Read more...

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Sunday Serenity - Power of Vulnerability - ROW80/NaNo Project

Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity,
Connection, and Courage
by Brene Brown
Between this section and the goals section there is a video of Brene Brown's TED talk on this subject and I encourage all writers/creatives to take the time to watch it.


The good news is I started journaling seriously again this week.  In time to clock in with 5K words on my Camp NaNo Project.  So I wouldn't feel like a zero for zeroing out on my 20K goal.  But I was just over there and noticed that my project, True Joy, is still showing as 'in progress'.  Apparently the new system at NaNoWriMo.org allows you to start projects anytime you want year around and set your flexible goals and have multiple projects going at once.  The catch is if you are participating in one of the annual events like classic NaNoWriMo in November or one of the two CampNaNos in April or July, you must designate so when you create the project.  I didn't check the right box in the form so I created an open-ended personal project the first week of July so I will continue to update that at least through the end of ROW80 Round 3.

The impetus for plunging back into journaling seems to have been a confluence of two events.  The first being the time I'd spent reading the journal entries from 2016 leading up to the time I stopped writing right after NaNo ended and entries from the fall of 2018 where I'd been incubating material for my plan to start blogging again.  From this reading I gained insight into why I stopped.  Why I nearly started up again.  And why I didn't take the plunge. 

The second event behind the impetus to start journaling again was listening to the Brene Brown audio course on Vulnerability which according to the blurb in the entry at goodreads.com is a bringing together of everything she learned and wrote about in her first three books.  I linked the caption above to the entry at goodreads.com because I want to encourage all writers/creatives encountering this post to go take a look and seriously consider either getting your hands on the audio and/or the books because the things she discovered that has relevance for writers/creatives is that the source of creativity is vulnerability.

The bad news is that I'm all shook up, riding an emotional roller-coaster feeling like an open wound and seriously wondering if I might need to restart the prescription mood meds again.  But according to Brene Brown that is actually the good news and what I need to do is stay the course, feel the feelings and bring them into the light of consciousness.

The events in 2016 and 2018 leading up to the lapse in my writing practice and surrounding the failed attempt to jumpstart it again were of two kinds: personal and political.  The Personal was the arrival of my husband, Ed, who'd been living apart from me in the Rogue Valley Oregon since January 2013. He'd got evicted again and moved to Longview into a tent in Mom's back yard in March of 2016.

Before this current rereading of my journal I was convinced the main reason I stopped writing was that I was spending all my free time with Ed and sharing my writing space with him. I'm sure the time, privacy and space issues were big contributors but those same factors existed during the decade we shared a tiny bedroom in his folks mobile home from 2001-2011.  And you can see from the record of my blog entries between 2004 and 2011 that I managed to fit the writing in big time.

My insight regarding the personal aspect behind my letting writing fall away is that I'd given up my personal integrity by being unwilling or unable to speak the truth I could see and unable to even be conscious of most of it.  I'm sure at some level I was aware that writing itself even in my journal would force me to see things I wasn't ready to see.  For I'd known since my late teens that that was one of the reasons I wrote: to figure out what I knew and who I was, to process information so as to make connections I was unable to make in real time.  I know now this was both autistic behavior (graphomania) and a coping mechanism I'd developed to compensate for the sensory and information overload that makes my every waking moment a cacophony of sound, image, scent, and body sensations mixed with emotions and memories triggered by them.

The truth was my marriage was extremely dysfunctional and had been from the beginning.  I can't say much more about that right now.  It's not the time or place but even if it were I'm still not clear on where the line between truth and illusion is for the entire 45 years of our relationship going back to the beginning of our high school friendship in 1975.  By the time we were engaged in 1978 I had convinced myself he was my best friend and continued to believe that right to the end of May this year.  Meanwhile all my friendships that existed before our marriage had fallen away and I'd never created any close friendships afterward.  I'd never developed any close relationships inside his family with anyone over the age of 13 and relationships inside my family were strained to the breaking point and beyond. 

This inability to establish or maintain any intimate relationships outside of that with Ed may have been partially due to the difficulty the autism imposes on social encounters but only partially.  For the most part tho other relationships became untenable for the same reason I quit writing.  I couldn't tell my truth to myself most of the time but even when I could I couldn't speak it to anyone outside our dyad and there were only certain truths safe to say inside it.  I had to censor myself carefully around his family and acquaintances including landlords, bill collectors and bosses in case what he'd told me did not jive with what he'd told them.

So by ending my relationship with Ed I gave up my only remaining 'friend' and the only person I'd been able to talk to about 90% of the topics I have a strong interest in including everything that would be considered taboo to even think about by the evangelical/fundamentalist church I was raised in and thus most of my own family.  Politics is one of those topics and in 2016 politics and every topic tangential to it became my obsession again as it had been from 2000 through 2008.  For the same reason: my fear that the very fundamentalist mindset I'd escaped from in 1996 was about to be imposed on the entire country.

When I zero in on a topic (obsess) I research as tho preparing for a term paper or dissertation: reading, watching vids, listening to podcasts, taking notes, creating bibliographies, musing and ranting in my journal.  It can't be an accident that this latest plunge into all things politics all the time began about the same time I suddenly couldn't find the time to blog or continue writing in my storyworld.  And I suspect why: I'm terrified of conflict and the whole social media sphere including the blogs just got ugly in 2016. 

One of the last pieces I worked on seriously before I jumped into this round of ROW80 was my own #MeToo stories two years ago during the Kavenaugh hearings.  I came very close to posting it here but in the end I lost courage and I'm near certain that's when I began to choke on my words.  I started adding to it and reworking it this week and the words started flowing again but I doubt I'm any closer to taking it public.  But I'm pretty sure that it will become necessary to share it somewhere, somehow with someone as part of the healing.  Because as Brene Brown points out, shame is the gremlin that prevents vulnerability and vulnerability is the only thing that makes healthy relationships possible.  And I suspect that includes the relationship with yourself.




The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo Project goals check-in:


Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Satisfactory effort
Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Satisfactory effort
30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Satisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Satisfactory




For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

Read more...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

According to the Measure of Thy Desire -- ROW80/Camp NaNo

dat is a big bad wuntz


In yesterday's post I shared a classic poem that had given me the insight that defeat is not always, if ever, something to be despondent over or even unwelcome because there is always a lesson to be learned from it and sometimes that lesson may be trying to show you that you are striving for the wrong thing. 

In the last check-in I'd settled on the insight that maybe all that unraveling needed by my WIPs was showing me that loving the process was just as important if not more so than the finished product.  Combining those two insights led me to remember how much I love wordplay of all kinds and how it would often prime the pump and thinking along those lines I remembered how much I used to love to make LOLcats; especially those that touched on the themes of reading and writing and fiber art which I used to illustrate my posts with.  I started avoiding the site where i made them after loosing our Merlin

So I headed over to explore thinking I might try to create a new one for this post but then I found this one in the collection of my past efforts whose theme resonated with the themes from the last several posts so well I didn't think I could do any better in the time I have tonight. 

Tying it all together: Defeats must not defeat you nor be feared or perceived as punishment as often they are reminders to reassess our expectations in light of a change in our resources maybe with an eye to adjust our goals, motives and investment. 

But sometimes it can be a matter of changing how we name all of these elements which is related to how we perceive them.  Sometimes the goals we delineate are not in sync with our actual desire. 

Desire will always be boss even when it is not a conscious desire.  Which could explain some of those defeats as desire takes off on tangents committing sabotage of well laid plans.  If that desire is of the ego then it is not likely to serve either the Work or the Self and the Self must assert its ownership of Desire in full consciousness and rename the goals in that light.  Naming is the power of ownership as every toddler learns.

I haven't quite worked it all out yet how all this relates to my own dilemma but I have an inkling that it has to do with the subtitle of my blog: Story is my joy.

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:


Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Satisfactory effort
Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Satisfactory effort
30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Satisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Unsatisfactory




For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

Read more...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Kahil Gibran: Embracing Defeat as the Source of Wisdom



Kahil Gibran's poem Defeat gives me a new perspective on making mistakes, not measuring up, not meeting expectations: Defeat is our teacher, our companion on our path who reminds us the path is the point not the destination which may on any given day prove to be nowhere we want to be anyway.

Defeat can remind us that some destinations are not what they seem when we fix on them, that if we persist in directing all our efforts toward them they will prove to be desolate or worse, desolating of our souls: Perfection, fame, praise, awards, power, recognition, riches, to name a few, are glittering prizes with empty or decaying centers if pursued and grasped for themselves.  If you make them the point the path itself is pointless.

This has reminded me that the theme of my storyworld --the fruits of the Spirit--is supposed to be the point of the whole project.  The vision was to have these fruits embodied in the characters.  But somehow I've lost, or in some cases, never gained, the ability to embody them in my own life.  I forgot to make Spirit my own destination.  With that dereliction I've turned my project into an empty exercise of ego.  No wonder the words have wearied of me.

Love, joy, peace, hope, faith, mercy, patience, justice, grace to name just a few of these blessings of Spirit must grow in the compost of defeat as the ego has no need for them.

Read more...

Monday, July 27, 2020

Unraveling - ROW80/Camp NaNo


This is my first attempt at making a six foot scarf.  My specialty over the last several years has been skinny scarves that hang no further than the collar bone and won't wrap around.  They are decorative rather than useful.  This one is also nearly a foot wide. I want it long enough to wrap around more than once or alternatively to fold it in half and wrap it around looping the ends through the fold. I'm crocheting with lace yarn that has a thread of tinsel in it, using a 2.5mm hook. 

I stopped to take this picture after I'd unraveled several of the 40 some rows that needed to come out to reach that red stitch saver that marks the first of the mistakes that created unintentional decreases that had narrowed the width by nearly an inch (4 meshes) by the time I realized it.  This is the second time since beginning the scarf three weeks ago that I've had to take out significant parts of it.  The first time I'd reached nearly two feet in length and had to take it back to two inches.  This time I had to take out about eight to ten inches after nearly reaching the halfway point of three feet.

The weird lighting is due to the lightbox it is laying on which I like to have under my work as I crochet to help me see the silhouette of the stitches.  It was probably because I kept moving away from the lightbox so I could more easily glance up now and then at the video playing to my right that set me up for skipping stitches.

Visible in the light on the right edge is a long loose chain which my preferred method for frogging.  I used a 9mm hook to work it and let it fall into the bag on top of the skein as it lengthens.  I find that working off this chain allows for more control of the tension as there is no tugging on a thread wrapped around the outside of a skein.

Unraveling seems to be the theme of my life. Not just one area of it either but nearly every aspect of it.  It feels like it is all coming unraveled or more precisely I'm being faced with having to unravel something about my life or self every time I turn around. 

When I gave up on my marriage two months ago and wrote the poem Who Am I Without You, I had no idea how that same sentiment was going to echo across several other aspects of my life within weeks:  Who am I without my Mom?  Who am I without my vision?  Who am I without the time to devote to the things that make me who I am?  Who am I when words fail me?  Who am I when all the mirrors in my life that showed me myself are missing or broken?

Sigh

I finally got the aps open involved with scavenging my creative writing files for 'good enough to print' words. One of my ROW80 goals.   I'm focusing first on my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld files as that accounts for most of my ROW80 and Wrimo novel projects going back to 2004.  This was a project I began several years ago as an attempt to figure out once and for all if I have a single epic multi-generational novel or a series or a storyworld proliferating stand alone stories with common characters.

As I was perusing the roster of characters I realized one of my major POV characters from one of the earliest stories (the first version was begun in the 1970s when I was in ninth grade) has a name that may no longer serve the purpose I intended because of current events.  I may have to find another name that conjures up the concept of caring, loving and kind because Karyn no longer does and who knows how long that meme is going to reign.

This is making me feel like my storyworld itself is unraveling.  Naming my characters is not a casual thing.  Either the etymology of the name itself or meanings conjured up by the sounding out of the name must relate to the theme the character's arc is playing out.  So I just spent two hours I don't really have on Think Baby Names and none of the alternatives are doing it for me.  Who is my character without her name?

Time to put on my thinking cap.

Cloche Hat

It took me 2.5 days to crochet the cloche hat before starting the matching scarf with the same skein.  This gave me hope that I could do the scarf in a week.  That is until Mom's stroke changed all such calculations.  Even then I was sure I'd be done before the end of the month.  Not likely now.  But I'm learning to love the process.  And that seems to be the attitude I need to cultivate about all my WIP including my Self.


The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:


Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Satisfactory effort
Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Satisfactory effort
30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Satisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Unsatisfactory




For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

Read more...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I Want to be a Woman of Courage Using My Words Like This -- ROW80/CampNaNo



The power I felt coursing through me as I listened to Congresswoman AOC is what I had been hoping to find in myself via my writing this round of ROW80 and July Camp NaNo.  This is why I chose journaling and editing my poetry portfolio as my project for these summer months and thus my goals for the writing challenges.  

Instead I find myself woefully lacking in courage, my jaws locked and my throat spasming as I choke on the words I won't let myself speak or write. I find that a good portion of the fear blocking my words is fear of being found out by those in my life with similar attitudes toward women as that of Congressman Yoho whose verbal abuse of AOC was caught on camera on the grounds of the congressional buildings and whose later inadequate and insincere apology on the floor of Congress sparked this retort by AOC.  

There are many still in my life from the 'church' I was raised in whose relationships I don't want to loose but whose respect I can only keep if I keep quiet about how far my personal philosophy has deviated from that I was raised in.  Many would be shocked to learn that I consider AOC my heroine, that I find the platforms of feminism and progressivism completely compatible with my concept of Jesus and that if not for my disabilities I would be out on the streets with the protesters demanding dignity and justice for all.

Oh, none of those I'm thinking of would speak to me with the crass words and obnoxious tone that Congressman Yoho spoke to Congresswoman AOC but they would ground their exception to my beliefs in the same doctrine and in the name of the same God and express their 'disappointment' in me and they would pray for me that God would show me the error of my ways and thoughts and they would 'share' their concerns for me among each other via conversations, phone calls, prayer chains, text messages and emails.  When I've found myself the focus of this form of 'love' bullying in the past I have felt like I was smothered in marshmallow cream and as unable to resist as I would have been if subjected to a choke-hold or the weight of a body kneeling on my throat.  

Thought police come in many forms and some of them apparently live inside you.

It has been less than two months since I ended my marriage of four decades because it was no longer physically or emotionally safe for me to remain in that relationship and now I'm faced with the prospect of risking nearly every other significant relationship in my life or voluntarily smothering my own soul.  

No wonder my words are rotting in my craw.

I want to be a woman of courage using my words with power and conviction like AOC.

Or so I say.

Why can't I follow thru?



The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:


Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Satisfactory effort
* Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
* Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
* Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Satisfactory effort
* 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Unsatisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

* Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Unsatisfactory




For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

Read more...

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Serenity -- Writing Matters -- ROW80/CampNaNo

Abbie Emmons of Writers Life Wednesday.
One of the ways I fulfill my Read/Study Craft goal.
These short vids are so upbeat and info rich.
They are a joy to watch.

It's a good thing ROW80 is about flexibility as much as it is about accountability and effort as much as it is about metrics.  And as its motto says it's the writing challenge that knows you have a life.  If not for all of that I might be getting fixated on all the ways I'm not measuring up to my goals and putting my focus on punishing myself rather than on acknowledging the successes and accepting as legitimate the need to adjust to real life events that were not put into the original calculations when I wrote my goal post.  I was unaware for most of a week but the day I was writing m goal post was the day Mom had her stroke.  The first check-in Wednesday was the first time they took her to ER when she was told it wasn't a stroke but then last weekend she was back at ER and then checked into the hospital where she stayed until Friday afternoon.  It was a stroke and everything is going to change for her and those of us caring for her going forward.  My calculations for my goals no longer apply to my current situation but that situation is still in such flux that I can't really calculate new metrics that I can be sure of being in control of.  So for the time being I'm going to leave them as written and consider them strong aspirations that I will work towards as we figure out our new roles and responsibilities with Mom going forward.  Some things might improve for her over time and if so I may still have reachable goals here well before the end of the round.

Mom can not currently get herself in and out of beds and chairs nor walk unaided even with walkers.  She can not dress or undress herself.  She can't feed herself with utensils.  She takes much longer to get a thought expressed. 

So far my new duties include feeding Mom since that is a sit down job and doesn't put me at any extra risk due to the obstacle course the front rooms have become after moving stuff around to make room for the walker and the transport chair. 

I suppose I could write a whole sitcom episode featuring the follies involved in the blind feeding the blind.  The first couple meals were spooned food and I had little trouble getting comfortable with it but the first time we added fork food to her meal I almost balked.  With no peripheral vision and one eye of little use at all I also have no depth perception and Mom is worse with both eyes than my worst eye.  I was quite intimidated by the idea of pointing a fork at Mom's face and pushing it at the general vicinity of her mouth.  But we figured it out.

She keeps biting her own lips and I told her to tell her teeth to watch where they are going.  She laughed and had trouble stopping for the next bite.  So her mind is still quite capable of enjoying a pun.

It has been my job for years to fix lunch everyday Mom is home and that won't change.  It has also been my job to fix dinner two to three times a week and those duties will likely continue. The new time consuming task is in feeding her.  I used to crochet or read or listen to talking books or pod casts while she ate.  I can still listen to audio.  Maybe.  I can also imagine how that might not work.  You know, my focus issues.

The other big difference in my new role that impacts my writing goals is the need to be alert for a call to drop everything to come help my sister with one version of transport or transferring or another.  She occasionally needs me to spot from behind when she needs to be in front, from the left when she needs to be to the right or from the front when she needs to be in back of Mom or the chair.  Primarily it is about coming when called to set the brake on the transfer chair once they have the chair in position and to unlock the brake once they have mom seated in it again.  This is because the paths and doorways are too narrow to allow anything but the chair and Carri needs to be on the same side of the chair as Mom to help her in and out.  The brakes are in the back.

The way this impacts my writing goals is due to the way my mind refuses to focus if there is the slightest anticipation of interruption.  And the way I tend to never get back to a piece I was writing when I got interrupted.  I am trying to decide if the best way to go forward is to identify a time slot where interruptions are very unlikely or to figure out a way to fix the focus issues or the 'return to task' issues.  Or if not 'fix' them to learn to write anyway accepting that interruptions are inevitable and even incomplete sentences (thoughts) are better than none at all.

Time slots where interruptions are least likely are the hours Mom is in bed approximately 9pm to 9am but my own 7.5hrs needs to be in that same slot.  Which means I either write after she is in bed, as I'm doing for this post, or make sure I'm ready for lights out at the same time as she is and plan to write for an hour or two before 9am when my sister begins the getting up routine for Mom.  I'll be feeling my way around these conundrums this coming week looking for insight.  I know writing itself will help with that very thing. 

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life


Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:


Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Unsatisfactory
* Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
* Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
* Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Above and beyond
* 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Unsatisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

* Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Unsatisfactory


The reason sleep got unsatisfactory is because I fudged it during the last several days before Mom's return in my efforts to get the sort project cleared off her bed and then get my other household chores done before her return as well.  I ended up not getting to sleep Thursday night until well have the windows were full of grey dawn light and I still got up at 8 because the timing of Mom's discharge was not known and I needed to be available to receive messages and I still had chores to do including a shower/shampoo.  So I made sure to be ready for lights out along with Mom Friday night and slept most of the same twelve hours she did.

Storydreaming itself is easy.  Its the note-taking part that I keep slacking on.  I fall into storydreaming easily while crocheting unless I'm listening to an audio of some sort.  I fall into storydreaming my storyworld as I'm falling asleep but there is no note-taking nor should there be if I intend to sleep!

The file scavenger hunt and the poem collecting project got interrupted late last week when my computer did a restart and closed all the aps.  I didn't lose anything it is just that having tabs and aps open is one version of my to-do list and I'm more likely to work on a project if all the tools are at my fingertips.  I was so busy with the preparations for Mom's return I didn't have the mental bandwidth to get those projects set back up--open aps, tabs, windows and files and size and position windows just so.  Some of the aps would open back up the way they were when closed but not when the computer shuts them down for restarts.

I really can't conclude anything other than pure procrastination regarding the journal writing that is suppose to be the core of Round 3 goals.  I was soooo committed to that goal when I set it two weeks ago.  All the other goals are designed to foster and found that goal.  I can still remember how positively I felt about it and how motivated I was to get started the day I wrote and posted my goals post.


For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

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