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  • Mrs Chakotay 12:48 pm on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Dream Day Journal, , , LOA, , Morning Pages, NaNoWriMo, , ,   

    October Anniversaries 

    I’m feeling a bit out of sorts today. October is always a bit of a downer. Not only is it Baby Loss Awareness Month, but it is also the anniversary of my own personal loss – of my twins. Thankfully, the weather has not caught up with the seasons, so the bright sun and blue skies takes the edge off. It has been 8 years, so although the grief still comes in waves, they crash a little less often, and a little less powerfully. I’ve been waiting for the event to come up in my Facebook memories, but I may have hidden it. What is harder to hide, of course, is the anniversaries of my friends’ babies’ birthdays, reminding me that my twins ought to be coming up for 8 years old. It’s not just the baby you lose, it’s all their future lives you imagined and hoped for.

    I also received a reminder yesterday, telling me that this is my 8th anniversary of opening my WordPress account. I think that my original blog is now my very neglected Study Notes blog. I seem to remember that I was originally using it as a homeschool diary, but I shuffled the blogs around and the Homeschool diary is now at Ohana Home Educational.

    I wonder if it was a coincidence that I started a blog around the same time as my miscarriage? I don’t remember ever writing about it at the time. Instead, I wrote on Facebook until I was told I was “over-sharing”, at which point I took to Twitter and created what I perceived to be safer spaces there to rant and cry and let it all out. It helped. I remember the most helpful book I read at the time talked about letting grief out creatively. Perhaps writing was not what the book had in mind, but it was my default outlet, and I would recommend it.

    Today though, I don’t feel like doing much. I’m only really writing now because I want to get myself into the swing and habit of writing every day, for NaNoWriMo next month. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s worth reading. Most of my writing is mainly for my benefit – if anybody else enjoys it, or benefits from it in some way, that’s a bonus of course. But if you hate it, or just find it boring, it doesn’t matter. Just getting the practice in, and my feelings out, means it has served its purpose.

    I’m also getting into the habit of writing Morning Pages in the form of a “Dream Day Journal” – that is, I write every morning about my ideal dream day. It’s supposed to be some kind of powerful manifesting tool by Law of Attraction folks. I’m not sure I believe it, but again, it doesn’t matter. It’s just practice, and it’s quite fun so far.

    It can be dangerous to write thoughts and feelings on paper, so I do find that I censor myself. Most of my worst ranty, angry feelings are directed privately to my rant buddy. She’s good to have on my side.

    Where do you vent your feelings? Does writing help, or some other kind of creativity?

    Have there ever been times where social media didn’t feel a safe place to share?

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  • Mrs Chakotay 1:12 pm on October 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NaNoPrep, NaNoWriMo, Planning, Preptober, procrastination   

    NaNoWriMo: On Procrastination 

    I am a terrific procrastinator. I seem to be terribly good at it. I have written a couple of blog posts elsewhere already today, and I have even done most of my housework (which is usually what I’m procrastinating to avoid, ironically) – all to avoid the thing which I am finding the hardest, which is preparing for NaNoWriMo.

    I have previously been a complete pantser – somehow managing, by the sea of my pants, to pull 50,000 words out of a hat without any kind of planning or preparation. A feat I have managed, or nearly managed at least 5 times now! But that’s not really the way I way I want to do it. I have never gone back to my previous projects to look seriously into the business of editing, and I think that is one of the drawbacks of pantsing – you end up with a very disjointed, undisciplined piece of work. I have done anyway, I don’t know how this business works for other people.

    This year I am trying to graduate towards becoming more of a Plantser (a cross between a seat-of-the-Pants-er and a Planner) Perhaps if this all works out, I may have developed into a fully fledged planner by the time of next year’s NaNoWriMo.

    So far I have downloaded a bunch of worksheets, plot outlines, and I’m trying to use the personality profiling tools of MBTI and the Enneagram to create more believable characters. But, oh my goodness, somehow this feels like very hard work!

    How do you do it?

    Are you a Planner, a Pantser or a Plantser?

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 9:59 am on October 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: microblogging, NaNoWriMo, ,   

    Well, okay then! Today it works! In which case, I may well go ahead and do what I said I would do right at the inception of this blog, which is to post small updates regularly. Microblogging, even! (Who needs Twitter?!)

    My life is currently consisting of trying to keep up with housework (not my forte), and essentially procrastinating the rest of the time. If I can get myself together, I will do some NanoPrep next, before I have to go and pick up my kids from college.

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 10:03 am on October 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NaNoWriMo, , ,   

    Writing Again? 

    Hello, I just thought I would write a quick update to say that, since my circumstances have changed again for the better, I plan to restart blogging and writing generally. I am also planning to write for NaNoWriMo as well though, so don’t expect daily posts or anything!

    As you can see, I have updated the theme to something streamlined, which I thought would tidy everything up (since I made the mistake of importing all my other blogs here, and then changed my mind because all the new pages messed it all up. I can fix it, but it would take a lot of work).

    However, the super streamlined interface on this theme does not appear to be working. If anybody has knowledge of this, please let me know – is it something I’m doing wrong, or is the theme outdated?

    So I’m currently using the original WP Admin interface, which I prefer, but I see that WordPress are advertising a new, new editor (is it a brand new one, or are they trying to push the new one they brought out a few years ago? I hate that one). If the new editor is good, please let me know! And let me know if I can try it and change my mind, since it appears that is my thing. Changing my mind.

    Am I mad to have so many different blogs? Can I possibly maintain them? I don’t know.

    Let me know if there are any topics you would like me to address.

    LLAP – Kathryn x

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 8:54 am on November 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , NaNoWriMo,   

    Dream Fury 

    I’m not really here, I’m really writing NaNoWriMo, but for some reason, my dreams at night are running rampant, so I thought I’d share them!

    lady-in-black-cloak

    I woke up so furious from a dream, I felt as though my blood were boiling. For some reason I was back in [that other place], and offering to do an arts and crafts workshop on pens! I packed all my various sets of pens and laid them out to show a certain person who once ran the children’s group despite her own child having grown up years ago (who shall remain nameless), and she vetoed the whole thing, and said it wasn’t ‘viable’. So I packed my pens angrily away into my holdall, saying “don’t worry, I was just thinking of doing it in somebody’s home, I’ll organise it myself.” But she started saying something along the lines of that being quite impossible (as though she controlled what went on in other people’s homes!) I packed even more angrily, and she accused me of stealing some cardboard or wooden crap of her own, which I hadn’t done, I just moved it out of my way, which I told her and said it was ridiculous, why on earth would I want to steal her rubbish? So then I stormed out (storm in a teacup, remember? Bitches!) and I stormed through the market, bumping into everybody. Everybody seemed to be wearing black, and I think I was wearing a big black cloak with a hood. I wonder what on earth prompted that, after so many years.

    A second dream, I was somewhere up north, I don’t know what I was doing but have a feeling I was in a hospital for some reason. Husband was supposed to be coming to meet me but he kept sending messages saying he was delayed, so I decided to drive myself. Another girl persuaded me to take her with me, and she was supposed to be going to Nottingham, but she didn’t want to go home, so we decided to just abscond together, no idea where we were going. Strange, eh?

    And there was another (I think these dreams are actually in reverse order). This one may well have been set in a hospital, it was definitely some kind of institutional building, and as usual, I was on the run, rushing through the building trying to escape and eventually I hid in somebody’s bed, but we were discovered, and we rolled off the bed on to the floor and both started running again.

    That last one seems to be my typical dream format. I’m always on the run or being pursued, I have no idea why.

    Perhaps I’m just crazy enough to be a writer?

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 8:31 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NaNoWriMo, Prepper, Prepping, SHTF   

    Zombie Apocalypse? 

    I woke up in a cold sweat again, this time I dreamt that the Zombie Apocalypse, or something, had happened – I didn’t see any zombies, in fact I had no idea what had happened in this dream scenario, but something had.

    I was with my family (not my real family, these were people conjured up out of my imagination – a husband and children I didn’t actually recognise) in a house in the middle of a housing estate, not here. (Actually it looked like Milton Keynes) Hardly anybody else was left, houses were empty, there were no cars.

    The husband wanted to go out to look for food, and I said that I wasn’t comfortable staying in this house – I didn’t think it was secure enough because the lock on the front door was broken.

    So the men went off to look for food, and I went with the children and our dog (a staffie or something – again, not my own, in fact a dog I would never choose in real life, but probably a good fierce guard dog) to look for a better place to stay. I remembered that I had bought a posh new house but not yet moved into it! We found an oldish couple there, who knew the house belonged to me, and they reluctantly agreed to let us join them.

    I stood looking out of an upstairs window down at the local shop below, and saw friends of ours, happily buying food and chatting with people there as though nothing had happened.

    What looked like the house I grew up in stood empty opposite, windows open and the breeze blowing through it. I saw a plastic purple chair, and purple curtains and wondered who had lived there and where they were now.

    So then we set out across the court to go and find the men and tell them we had found a new place to stay and hide out, but suddenly there was an explosion and I woke up.

    When I woke up, I was scared to put the light on in case people should realise we were here. Funny how the feeling of the dream carries on into real life sometimes.

    I couldn’t put into words exactly what it is that is worrying me – money troubles, lack, general disquiet, scary weather, pole shift and the impending return of the Annunaki? (Something I came across when researching giants for a story I’m writing*).

    Are there symbols here I’m missing? (Why were the chair and the curtains purple?)

    I had friends years ago who furiously prepped and stored food and water (and guns!) for the Y2K disaster that never happened. I often thought that I would like to start preparing for any eventuality, but have never been in a position to start – all the food we can afford to buy gets eaten, we have no land, no storage space, no idea really how to even begin.

    How would normal people survive a ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ or whatever the ‘End of the World as we Know it’ might consist of? I don’t think we would last very long, so I suppose most people try not to think about it (and hopefully of course it won’t happen).

    Well, as long as the Annunaki don’t come back in December 2015 as predicted, hopefully we’ll have a few months before the zombies are upon us.

    • NaNoWriMo
     
  • Mrs Chakotay 12:56 am on January 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 12 Steps, , , , , decluttering, , , , , , NaNoWriMo, , , Philip Yancey, , , resolutions, self-care, The Secret   

    Rounding Up the Year – 2014 – It’s been a weird one. 

    2014 has not been the greatest year, but it certainly hasn’t been the worst year by a very long mile.

    We had only just moved into this house (in November 2013) with mixed feelings – not the home I had hoped for, we’re still renting with no end in sight, but relieved to be out of the hell that was the previous rental. But on the home front I have spent most of the year battling the agents over a long list of problems, not least of which the intermittent hot water, which thankfully was finally fixed in time for Christmas.

    At the beginning of the year, I set out meaning to read one book a week for #Read52 but I doubt I have even read one a month. I can’t remember another year when I have read so little in fact. I started off the year with lots of energy and did several courses – an OU course, DD101, an introduction to Social Science, as well as several MOOCS, and I also volunteered with Scouts and Guides AND Boys / Girls Brigade. By the beginning of the summer holidays I had totally overdone it and had a relapse which kept me almost housebound over the entire summer and well into September. I have been getting better since then but I have had to pace myself and I haven’t resumed any of my volunteering again so far.

    In the Spring – also when I was feeling healthy and strong and on top of the world – I put myself forward for Ordination. I had two interviews and was informed that, although it was considered that I had a ‘call’, I wasn’t quite Anglican enough yet and needed to do several things before coming back to them. Although I know it was the right decision, I did experience that as a kind of rejection that has made me feel quite miserable and frustrated since. This Spring I will need to decide whether or not I want to pursue it. I have a feeling that it may be an uphill struggle, and it’s a funny kind of mirror of the struggle one has to go through in order to convert to Judaism – you can expect to be sent away and persist several times before your wish to convert is taken seriously.

    And then the other big issue of 2014 was the beginning of a possible adoption journey which so far has consisted of a lot of reading (mainly of blogs – see the blog roll to the right for recommendations) and attending information meetings with the Council and an agency, but not much else so far. I have been lucky enough to discover the amazing adoption community on twitter which, since mostly anonymous, is able to be very open and honest about the reality of adoption and they have been kind enough to answer my questions.

    Oh and finally, I did successfully complete my second ‘novel’ for NaNoWriMo in November. I haven’t started editing yet…

    Overall, 2014 has been something of a weird and unusual year – not good, not bad, but a lot of new stuff and big stuff being contemplated which could possibly lead to big changes.

    There seems to be a lot of pressure to make resolutions and have a ‘new start’ for the new year. But ‘New Year’ is an invented non-entity. The winter solstice has already passed and there isn’t even a new or a full moon – there is no astronomical reason to say that the year turns on this day or night and yet somehow we imbue this date with significance that give it a kind of magic. Whatever. Every day can be a new start. I would love to resist it, but I find myself – as I often seem to do – in the position of being very unhappy with where my life is and feel the need to make some decisions about the direction it is taking. In that sense I would like to avail myself of the opportunity to make a new start. but on the other hand, I feel as though there is very little within my control that I can change.

    I have realised that I perceive myself as a victim in many areas while often seeing everything as being ‘all my fault’ – all of which results inevitably in misery. in other words, my thinking has become rather negative and unhelpful.

    I have made some painful realisations recently, the details of which I won’t go into in any depth but they revolve around needing to rely on myself for what I need. This is nothing new really – when I did the 12 Steps back in 2010 in working through grief and did a ‘life evaluation’, it became clear that my life was very strongly characterised by disappointment. What has taken me a little longer to take on board is the fact that it hasn’t just been ‘bad luck’ or that I just need to wait for hope to be realised around the corner. No, it is that my expectations (of God, of marriage, of family, of friends, of church, of community, of neighbours) were wildly outside what they were prepared to give or be to me. (The book ‘Disappointment with God’ by Philip Yancey, that I read many years ago springs to mind. Worth reading, although it doesn’t resolve anything, and I seem to remember wanting to throw it across the room! But it very eloquently explores the theme and I do recommend it.)

    So the crux of the matter, I think, is that I need to change my thinking. I don’t mean that I need to ‘think positively’ – I have had an earful this year about ‘the Secret’ / Law of Attraction from people who have a ridiculously easy life because they’re selfishly and thoughtlessly living at others’ expense but believe they have ‘attracted’ their good fortune by thinking positively while all the dreadful things that have happened to other people were also somehow ‘attracted’ by them. NO, NO, NO! Although that philosophy may be ‘attractive’ (pun intended) it really is the most offensive claptrap when you think about it in any depth. So as my Dad (of blessed memory) used to say, “Take the meat and leave the bones” – if it helps you to think positively, that’s great! Please just don’t let it be a weapon to bash yourself or others when disappointment, failure and disaster happen. It’s not your fault. It’s not my fault. And if you’re successful while others aren’t, it’s not their fault. Really, people, as a philosophy LoA is severely lacking. It’s not that simple. Life is (and people are) complex, multi-faceted, inter-connected and unpredictable.

    What I do mean is that I need to start thinking of myself as capable – capable of providing for my own needs without relying on anybody else to make me happy, capable of making my own decisions, capable of making the life that I want for myself without relying on anybody else to do it for me.

    So, 2015…

    My main goals are always along the same lines – get healthier, enjoy life more, be a better person, be more disciplined. This year though, I would also like to learn better how to look after myself (knowing now that nobody else is going to do it). That means, in the first instance, forcing myself to go to the hairdresser’s. Its such a small thing but I have developed something of a hairdresserphobia. I have probably only been perhaps three times in the last 15 years or more. I know that, if I manage to get there, I will feel better for it, but I really do have to force myself to do it.

    I am intending to sign up for some new courses. My OU account is still apparently having funding problems, so I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll be able to do the course I had intended (I wasn’t able to sign up for anything in September but I was assured it had been sorted in time for the spring term, but it seems not…), but I have signed up for a Ministry Course with the deanery and a free Archaeology MOOC, and I may do some other things, depending on finances.

    I have been extremely frustrated with my de-cluttering efforts over the holidays so far. I was hoping to be able to have the house spic and span with a view to finally registering for Stage 1 of the adoption process. (It has been around 8 months now since we first enquired with the Council about adoption). So now I’m not sure whether untidy house is an insurmountable obstacle. I have got rid of nearly 50 books along with old furniture and lots of other junk including 20 years of magazines! But the place seems ten times more untidy that when I started so it’s obviously going to be an ongoing project.

    I do know that, for the purpose of adoption, I need to do some work on building up a bigger and better support network, since any that I had before we moved down here is now completely non-existent, and developing a new one down here has not come easily.

    I may come back with some more specific goals linked to specific times and dates because I think the deadline aspect is a crucial layer of accountability that causes resolutions to fail when they’re not included.

    So finally, wishing all (any?) readers a happy new year and, as ever, I hope to be more consistent 🙂

     
    • tropicaltheartist 10:59 am on January 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reading this, I think you achieved an amazing amount last year!

      Like

    • kathrynhf 6:58 pm on January 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I hope you manage to have a good and positive 2015 and to overcome the hairdresserphobia 🙂

      Like

    • orthodoxmom3 8:54 pm on January 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You are a very busy person. I can’t imagine trying to declutter over the holidays! However, I sit here with all the red boxes out, dusting off holiday decorations and trying to determine… Do I REALLY need to keep all this stuff or are there some things I could get rid of and eliminate some of the holiday clutter? Hmmm…. well- I’m determined to select a few things to toss, but it probably won’t amount to much. But then the boxes will be put away and hopefully I’ll get back to decluttering a bit. I read a book not long ago on decluttering with kids. Or is it Clutter Free with kids? Something like that…. it helped my mindset.
      Anyway- sounds like you had an eventful year and you need to give yourself some slack on the goals. Imperfect progress is what I say…. as long as you’re making progress….how much and how perfect is just not the point. 🙂 Happy New Year!

      Like

      • lillbjorne 6:00 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank-you! I am tempted to look for that book… but with so many books, perhaps I’ll ask at the library! Happy new year to you too! 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  • Mrs Chakotay 9:24 am on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: astrology, astronomy, , celts, , , , , NaNoWriMo, neolithic, , prehistorical, Stonehenge,   

    Moon Child 

    harvest-fullmoon-stonehenge

    Just a quick post to tell you a little bit about my new NaNoWriMo project this year.

    I am writing what is evolving to be a mixture of murder mystery, adventure and tragic love story, all set at the end of the neolithic age, and covers the height and breadth of Britain, and of course it does feature some of the most prominent neolithic sites such as Stonehenge.

    “The high king of Albion is murdered, and his daughter must solve the mystery, apprehend the murderer and sacrifice her greatest love to take on the mantle of her father to lead her people into a new era.”

    I am taking rather a lot of liberties, and now that I know what it is, it might even qualify as ‘speculative’ fiction, since I am speculating that the people of the late neolithic age allowed almost equal status to women as to men, that these people were basically Celtic, though from an earlier wave of Celtic immigration than the Celts we know, and that they remembered their ancestors right back to Noah and the Ark. So I am using the traditional names and ideas from Geoffrey of Monmouth and others of the early inhabitants being known as the Samotheans, after their founder Samothea, and the island being known as Albion after the ‘giant’ who invaded the island but who was later defeated.

    It is obviously not a ‘Christian’ novel, as it pre-dates the Christian era considerably, and it has quite a different feel to the novel that I wrote in 2012, which was very religious in content by the end of it, but that really was a cathartic process for me and included autobiographical elements – the loss of babies, moving to a new land, the depths of disappointment and despair and finding hope and new meaning and purpose in God. (That last part, to be honest, was rather speculative itself.) I did not like that book when Nanowrimo was finished, and I have not yet gone back to edit or complete it; actually I suspect it may need a complete re-drafting, and I have never showed anybody what I wrote. It was just a little bit too deeply personal and painful.

    This time, hopefully, I am writing a book I would enjoy reading. It has the similar themes of tragedy and triumph, but this time I hope to enjoy the adventure a bit more.

    I am downplaying the pagan elements, so it may not appeal to everyone – there is no human sacrifice, nor do the people worship the celestial bodies. These are a people who know that the sun and moon are created bodies, that there is a creator, but they know nothing of him. I also speculate that these early people did, contrary to accepted notions, have a written language, but that they used leather to write on and therefore we have no record.

    So anyway, I am having a bit of fun with pre-history, basically.

    I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I won’t have time to post regular updates on how I’m doing, though I may post again at the midpoint, and I will be posting word updates to twitter.

    Here is a little excerpt, to give you a taster. After the murderer has committed the main murder, he then goes on to kill both the witnesses:

    “Almost instinctively, he had reached for his dagger and had slain the second man before he had even consciously known that he had the dagger in his hand. But now Zaidar had lain Franek down, covering his eyes one final time, and stood to face the foe. The two men stood still for a moment, opposing each other in the moonlight, and the stranger knew at that moment that he had a choice – if he allowed this man to run and raise the alarm at the settlement, he would have no hope, no chance, no future. He knew that he only had one choice: kill the man and escape.”

    Let me know what you think! Are you Nano-ing? What is your genre?

     
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