#FMF NOW

Every Friday I set the timer for 5 minutes and write what the word Kate chooses spurs in my mind.

Ready….set….go:

Everyone is using the word NOW during this crisis. Funny that it took a pandemic for people to focus on the present. People are worried about the future in a whole new way with a special tint of darkness — but, is it really all that different?

Humans like to fancy themselves predicters of the future — just look at the calendars we kept before we were forced to stay at home. Fear is the anxiety of what might happen that we conjure up in our minds.

The bottom line is we don’t know any more now how the future will look than we did before the pandemic. There is still uncertainty. There is always uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen anymore now than we did before. Some people deal with this feeling every day because of the hardships and obstacles they have in their lives.

We have to just control what we can. We have to pivot when we get new relevant information.

Mother Nature has put us all in a collective time out to think about what we have done. We have all been sent to our rooms. Some people still do not get it. They haven’t changed their behavior, they are still having parties, they are still standing super close and chatting. Will they be the ones that get sick? Maybe, maybe not. There is too much unknown to predict and it doesn’t matter anyway. We cannot control that aspect of the scenario.

Appreciate what you have. Pivot and reflect. Journal, read, write a list, call a friend, make a flexible plan for the next two weeks, but please STAY HOME.

Treasured Memories

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Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the Two Writing Teacher challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

In my life I have been blessed with lots of treasured memories within the different compartments of my life.

The first time my son laughed a real laugh.

The day I met my stepchildren and feel in love with them instantly.

Getting keys to my house.

The gift of Dairy Queen blizzards given to me as a wooing technique.

My school winning a national award and a reading program award.

The phone call that offered me my new job.

My first acceptance of a short story to be published.

Receiving notice I had secured a spot in the Boston Marathon in 2012.

Just making this list makes me feel better today!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Welcome back to Sunday. What a week this has been. How are you holding up? How is the wheel of emotions treating you?

If we were having coffee I would tell you this was the first week I had no school. When I left school last Friday the plan was to have school until at least Wednesday, then the plan changed by Monday. I have enjoyed the time of rest, learning and connecting.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I moved this weekend. It had been a long preparation and I am glad for it now. One more errand to the old house to get some things but 99% of the items are moved.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote every day. I revised a lot and sent pieces out. I connected with several writing groups this week on Zoom which was lovely time spent.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went through my camera roll and was able to reminisce about all the activities we have planned for the kids at the houses we have lived in. American Ninja warrior courses set up in the house, scavenger hunts, dinners, games, picture concentration, and slime. Oh my goodness the slime. We went through a phase where we were making it at least once a week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my writing mentor Caroline Donahue has been sending videos through Instagram that have made my day all week. Friday she talked about using tarot for her writing. It was a great reminder and brought warmth to my heart. I know she isn’t the most comfortable with the format but I appreciate it so much. She is hosting a Zoom call on Sunday and I am looking forward to that conversation.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went for a nice walk yesterday. The sun was shining and the air was chilly. I am considering running again. I will have to work up to the distances I have run before.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am skeptical about it being spring. I know the calendar says it is but it doesn’t feel like it to me. It might be the virus isolation, forgetting what day of the week it is, or just resistance to the transition. I do love winter and the coziness and hygge of that season.

What are you thinking about this week? Do you have any coping strategies for being shut-in?

A Question of Childhood

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Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the Twowritingteachers.org challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

My childhood was not full of trauma and I was privileged. My parents have stayed together which was unusual among my friends. When I was little I spent a lot of time at my maternal grandparents. Every vacation and weekend was spent with them til the summer of my 8th grade year in school.

I also spent the majority of my time from age 2.5 to 5 at my Oma’s house. That is my recollection anyway. I had friends in the neighborhood I played with outside every day. They all thought I lived there permanently. I did too. Whenever I went “home” it always felt like I was visiting my parents just waiting to go back to Oma’s.

When it came time for me to go to kindergarten I was upset that I had to go to school in my parent’s town, not my grandparents.

At this point in my life I wish I would have started and continued my school life in my grandparents town. My life would have turned out a lot differently if I had followed that path. When my friends found out I was coming to school with them, the relationship changed. There was a lot I missed out on being there on the weekends after school started.

I cannot go back to that time and the decision was not mine to make but it would have been interesting to see the trajectory if that was the path had been chosen for me.

Reading and Publishing

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Welcome to Friday!

Today is an exciting one! Big things are happening and my story is published at Storgy! You can read it by clicking the link below.

Artist Folly by Tammy Breitweiser

Throughout the TwowritingTeachers.org challenge (and through the year on Tuesdays) I watch for certain posts to come to my inbox/feed. Here are some of the teachers I read every day:

https://litcoachlady.com/

All three write beautifully and have their own style. Another thing in common is they all are inspiring.

Who are your GO TO follows/reads?

What Do You Want to Know?

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I am up early for #5amwritersclub accidentally. In the first phase of this isolation I am craving books. I am considering ordering this one:

Image result for brevity flash fiction

I am writing and reading every day. I did venture out for a short period yesterday with my son because I needed boxes and paper towels. I interacted with some of my writing friends online. I submitted as well.

There is focus when you are in the middle of a self imposed challenge. You can read more about that here.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

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The obvious answer right now is to know how long this pandemic and the consequences will last. To know how long I will be out of school might be helpful.

One of the mantras I live my life by is “Everything is temporary.” I have learned temporary is an amount of time that can feel long but be short or the opposite. Time is a human constraint and Mother Nature has her own ideas about it. I feel the universe is telling everyone to slow down and rest. Life moves forward and I have the choice as to how I frame that time.

Many of my friends are anxious about this whole situation and I feel guilty to admit I am not. I am taking it as it comes in the present moment because I cannot control it. I am honoring this time as the gift it is. I cannot say as time stretches on I will feel the same way. Being told to stay home is not a punishment to me. I know people feel uneasy about this factor but it can honestly be the difference between life and death depending on your health and who breaths the same air as you.

What would you want to know?

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

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Welcome back to Sunday! A lot has transpired this week!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am off school for now for 3 weeks. We will see if it is extended after that time. There is much speculation. I am taking the time as a gift and time to relax and take care of myself and my family.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read more this week. I need to read more now. It is how I cope with stress and also fuels my writing. I read the newest Paris Review yesterday notably a story by Jesse Ball about turning into a mouse. I read several poems too. I have been able to put holds and pick up books I have heard about on my favorite podcasts. One book I picked up is Meander, Spiral, Explode recommended by Kathy Fish during a writing class last year. It is a dense book but smart.

Do you need a refill? Maybe some water? What books are you reading? Do you turn to reading when you are stressed? I am curious.

Please read the rest of this post here:https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/weekend-coffee-share-b3508bfd5ca0

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https://mailchi.mp/5b56d4ab80fb/lifelonglearning

Do You Practice Your Lines?

db4de-slice-of-life_individual

I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. If you would like more information about this challenge click here.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

I do …EVERY SINGLE TIME. I once put a 1 minute telephone call off for over 3 hours because I was trying to muster the courage to dial the phone. I often will write out a script for myself. I do not even like calling for pizza.

As an introvert I always feel like I am going to be caught off guard and be at a loss for words. I am better now about it, but only like talking on the phone to people I am close to and I know won’t judge me.

I prefer to text and order online or chat. I am more comfortable with the words when I can see them. Since I have several groups that use Zoom now I am much for comfortable with video calls since it feels more like a face to face conversation. It is not the same as in real life, but it is better than the phone for me.

I am one of those people that when go to a company website and am thrilled when you have to email or open a chat box rather than a phone number!

A friend a few years ago sent me a meme which sums it up:

Image result for phone calls? I don't use my phone for that meme

Do you rehearse your lines?

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31 Things About Me

Thanks to Dawn who posted this as her first #SOLC post! Here is Dawn’s blog.

Here we go again…

  1.  I have lost count of how many times I have participated in the March Slice of Life Challenge.
  2. My favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla with raspberries and whipped cream.
  3. I met my husband at work.
  4. I’m a morning person…now.
  5. I write every morning.
  6. I am published author.
  7. Birch trees are my favorite.
  8. I have run with an Olympian.
  9. It is a great joy to read aloud to my students and be able to tell them “I met this author” and then tell them something no one knows about their writing.
  10. I am a yoga teacher.
  11. I had scarlet fever when I was 4 and have been scared of doctors ever since.
  12. Orange is my favorite color.
  13. 13 is my favorite number.
  14. I love Jack, tequila, Sam Adam’s cold snap, Diet Coke, ice water, and wine.
  15. I hate me some kale.
  16. I have a scar on my right wrist from burning it taking corn muffins out of the oven in middle school Home Ec.
  17. I swam in high school and went to state.
  18. I didn’t start running til I was in my 30’s.
  19. I have run 10 marathons and several ultras (anything over 26.2) and one 50 miler.
  20. I have 4 children.
  21. When I was a toddler I used to hold my breath and make myself pass out when I was mad. I used to do this over trivial things like not wanting to eat my green beans. My parents took me to a sleep study to find out their daughter was just stubborn. They were not happy.
  22. I am a podcast junkie – I LOVE THEM!
  23. I used to play the violin and doubted my ability the entire time. I was third chair and was recruited to the college orchestra but haven’t played since I was 17.
  24. I adore my online writing community through Storyaday.org
  25. I adore my Mastermind book club hosted by Sam Kimberlie.
  26. I am reading Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller with the Mastermind group.
  27. I read tarot cards.
  28. I am reading Amber Spark’s collection And I Do Not Forgive You
  29. I used to teach bootcamp classes.
  30. I once started tomato plants from seeds and it worked!
  31. I love to teach workshops.

What is one thing I don’t know about you?

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Who Are Your Five People?

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On a creative group Zoom call last evening the idea that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you came up. I have thought a lot about this idea since I heard it about a year ago.

I waver back and forth as to my belief in this statement. I do believe there is a circle of concern for the people that are closest to me. There is also a circle of influence that flows both ways. I influence others and they influence me. (Covey, anyone?)

I do know that I am more creative and business minded with my writing since I became part of my creative group last fall. The women in that group are all over the country and have perspective and know me in a way no one in my real life does.

[As an aside here – Does this phrasing bother anyone else? If my friends are online it is still my real life – I abhor the idea that since I am not in the same room they are not real! I vow to stop using it now.]

I have education people, writing people, creative people, personal people. Only a couple of them overlap.

Do you know who your five people are?

I challenge you to make that list today. Writing it down may surprise you.