The month for lightbulbs

I know, long time no post. I did mention back in August (I think) that I wouldn’t be posting
as often because of school and such. Life is still as crazy and busy as ever. However, I thought I would take a moment to let everyone know what I am working on. It is for school but I think it will have added benefits by the time I am done.

I didn’t come to that conclusion by myself, mind you. It took a comment from one of my classmates to make me see the potential. Thanks again Emily.

lights-1088141_640“…You could add links to your possible ideas and rough drafts so others can get an idea of your writing style and interests!”  I read this will drinking coffee
and the thoughts exploded in my brain like Christmas lights coming to life. I’ve had some complaints here and there that I don’t write enough about my writing. There are several reasons for that.

One is because I often use this blog to empty my brain of all the other things that get in the way when I try to write. It is my freedom space. All of those thoughts or ideas that have to go some place usually go here, with exceptions of course. This blog is me talking to myself in a crowded room. Yet, no one looks at me funny because if you are reading this you came here to see me talk to myself.

Now I have to create a new blog for school. I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I mean I 6a00d8341c630a53ef013488af5745970c-800wihave this one, amazontwitter, a facebook page, and I have a web page. I don’t update those anywhere near often enough. Why would I want to add one more to the mix? Why would I want to do all of that work for just a grade?

Then Emily commented on my post in our discussion area, (I am going to MTSU online) and it was like the scene from Dead mc2_robinwilliamsPoet’s Society when Robin Williams stands on his desk to gain a different point of view. My eyes were opened to the possibilities. I have needed a place to stash links to things I find online that I want to revisit. I am focusing on History and Literature at school, which is pretty much regular life for a grade and a bit more structured.

(I seriously should get my kids to guest post aboutIMG_20160409_144243004 how many museums and historical sites I drag them to and the documentaries we watch.)

So, coming soon: Back Stories: History in Fiction. It will be on blog spot because I like to spread myself around like that and it is something new to poke at. I will post a link here when I get it up and running.

 

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Be Still

walnut-tree-stormI’ve been stressed. I woke up this morning knowing I have to go to work, I have to pay the electric bill, I have to get the kids up, feed them, and make them do their school work. I have to write the other four or five pages of an essay that is due by midnight and I have to learn enough about the Philippine War in order to write a paper about it as well. That one may also be due today. I honestly can’t remember. I am so far behind in my other two classes that I am afraid to look at the due dates.

So my life has been one massive “I have to”. I woke up this morning and realised I can’t bigger-viewremember the last time I read a book for enjoyment. For me, that is like waking up not remembering when I breathed last. Before school started I would read several books a week.

As I lay in bed watching the ceiling fan, I did a playback of this week. It has been extra crummy. I was late to work yesterday. Wednesday a customer got me mad enough that I walked around the grocery store for awhile before coming home. (I had to do grocery shopping anyway.) The list goes on, but this moment of introspection made me realise something. I haven’t had many moments of introspection lately either and that is something I need.

red-treeI need to decompress. I need a few moments of silence away from computers and textbooks. Watching a thirty-minute tv show or going to local county fair may be fun, but they aren’t what I am needing. I think I am taking time out doing those things but really I am just providing more for my over-stimulated brain to take in.
What I really need is a few moments with a cup of tea on the front porch watching the leaves change. I need a hot bath to soak in and to just be. I need a walk in the woods. I need to let my brain download and file away all the things that are daily crammed into it.

If I take that time everything else usually falls into place a lot easier.

Making Mistakes

Recently I was applying a thick coating of antibiotic cream to an abrasion my eldest error-101407_1920achieved from doing something she realized (in retrospect) was a bad idea. It was while listening to her hiss in pain as she attempted to hold still that I was struck with a thought. Kids are a second chance to learn from your own mistakes.

You see, the thing she did was something I easily could have done once upon a time. I have even considered it before. However, by that time I was old enough to think the idea all of the way through and realise what the end result would probably be. She is still at the age of: “I have an idea! Let’s try it.”

Being a parent of really creative children is a joy and a challenge. They come up with some wonderful insights but they also find their fair share of trouble. Sometimes they find that trouble earlier than they are prepared to deal with it. Mostly it is because they simply haven’t learned to think things through. It can be a hard lesson to learn. Some people never learn it.

doctor-1015624_1920Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and embarrassment help encourage us to look ahead to possible outcomes. This is a good thing for self preservation but it can also be a bad thing if you only weigh the negative outcomes. There is a balance that has to be learned. Sometimes it is worth it to take the chance. Sometimes it is not. The important thing is to think about things before you do them.

I would like to say this is a lesson I know well, but that would be a lie. In some things I am good at looking ahead and going “Nope. Bad Idea. Okay, Plan B…” In other things it never occurs to me. (Hence the three novels currently being worked on all at the same time.) Sometimes I see the mud puddle and jump it without look to see what the ground is like on the other side. That is a good way to lose shoes. (I know from experience.)

If my daughter had thought things through she wouldn’t have gotten hurt. It is a lesson she has learned and will not repeat soon. It also reminded me of my own mistakes and the things I learned.

Parents like to repeat: Look Before You Leap. There is a reason. It is cliche but it is ancient silhouette-1082129_1920wisdom we try to pass on. We try to warn our offspring. Often they don’t listen to the warning and end up making their own mistakes anyway, just as we did.

One day they will grow up and pass that phrase on to their own children, who will roll their eyes and make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. However, if the same mistake keeps getting repeated over and over then the lessons aren’t getting through and it may be time for extra guidance. (Unless you are trying to make something. Then those “mistakes” turn into “drafts” or “experiments.”)

Only a test

It’s that time of year again. Time to see how well my little fish can climb a tree. That’s right it is standardized testing time!

I am a bit nervous this year because this is the first year I am the teacher. Homeschooling has been fun but now it all comes down to one test. If my son does well, yay for him and yay for me. If my son does poorly…well then I am a crappy teacher. That’s the way it works right?

It doesn’t matter how much he knows about Faraday cages or The Black Ships if they don’t ask questions about those things. Some how I don’t think the fact that ancient Egyptians tossed the brain during mummification, because they didn’t think the brain was important, will come up.

These are all things we learned this year right next to long division and adding decimals. However, this is standardized testing. Usualy it is only the numbers that matter.

Cookies in the Moonlight

Good morning all. *yawn*  Just to warn you I am writing this B.C. (Before Coffee)

I slept in this morning because I didn’t get home until close to 2am. Last night, the total lunar eclipse was interesting despite the fact that it was too overcast to watch with our own eyes.

lunar eclipse

The Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA was open for the eclipse, so the kids and I took a trip.  We got to go into the observatory and watch a feed of the eclipse on a television screen. Nothing could be seen through the telescope because of the cloud cover.

My daughter was typical “moody teen force on a family trip“. My son loved it. He learned toby gearsthe phases of the moon with cookies and got to play with gears in the kids section.

All in all it was a good trip. We had a late night but a fun one. Museum memberships are handy things to have.

A Historic Weekend

jonesboroghHistory seems to be a running theme with me lately. Mostly the mid to late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s. This Saturday I went to Jonesborough, Tennessee. It is the state’s oldest town and the storytelling capital of the world. Every year, during the first week in October, Jonesborough hosts the National Storytelling Festival.  I have never been but I have heard that it really is something special.

We took the walking tour of Historic Jonesborough and learned a lot. Jonesborough was the birthplace of one of Roosevelt’s rough riders, and at least three U.S. presidents stayed there for awhile. In the 1800’s it was the last post of civilization west.

The old Inn still stands, where men were packed as many to a room as would fit. That teameans in the bed and in the floor. You didn’t get a room to yourself or even a bed. We were able to look around upstairs at a few of the rooms that had been restored to the Victorian era. I knew about the Victorian fondness for wallpaper but it is different seeing it up close; with the bright blue patterns on the wall and the pink circle patterns on the ceiling.

Jonesborough is a place of interesting shops like Paul’s Pens Odds & Ends where I bought a new writing implement. I can’t call it just a pen because the cartridge is removable and has pencil lead which can take its place. Each item in the shop is crafted with awe inspiring talent. I loved the dragon pens and the ones made from 30,000 year old wood.

Jonesborough was a interesting trip through time. However, on Sunday I took another trip which was just as interesting. The kids and I drove over to Red Clay State Park which was the last seat of the Cherokee national government before the Trail of Tears. This weekend for the first time in 176 years, three of the recognized tribes met at the ancestral council grounds.

cherokee 2015My children got a chance to see a piece of the past. Like many in the area, we are descended from Cherokee. The Irish and the German in our bloodline hides the native blood behind blue eyes and light hair, but it is still there.

My son really enjoyed it. He got to hear how the water spider brought fire to the Cherokee basketspeople and how the Eagle carries prayers to the creator. He got to touch soap stone and see how it is carved. He got to see baskets being woven. We had a fun weekend and we all came away with a bit more knowledge.

In The End, Everything Is A Tale

Watson Story Quote-800wiI love to learn new things. I think that is why I like to read so much. Even in fiction, there are truths to cherish. History and Science fascinate me the most. One is a story of what was and the other is an unraveling tale of what will or could be.

History and Science don’t always give us happy endings but there is still the encouragement to keep dreaming. We know if things didn’t work out well in the past when we did this or that, then that thing is to be avoided in the future. If we experiment and the experiment doesn’t do what we expected, well that experiment failed but what else can the end result be used for?

Shakespeare said:  “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;” 

This is true only because a play is another way to spin the yarn and tell the tale. Sanderson Quote-800wiWe are made up of words and colors, but that is just the medium used to impart meaning. Storytellers are amazing people because not only do they share stories but, because on some level. they realize that we are all connected by the tale.

Writers, poets, artists, actors, playwrights, historians, scientists; they could just as easily be called monks or priests. History tells a story. Science tells a story. We are all just one paragraph in a giant universal tale.

…And that is my deep thought for today.