Disjointed: a ROW80 check-in


Spring Break Cookies from above.Spring Break for my son’s (and many other children’s) school(s) ends today.  As usual, a private chaos overtakes the house, and me especially, when this happens.

There are, of course, all the preparations that suddenly need to be made.  Is the homework done?  Did I remember pack an extra set of play pants for the muddy playground times?  Signature on the Friday Folder?  Lunches planned for the week?  Did I remember to buy enough fresh fruit and veggies?

The last one doesn’t just affect us during school time, of course.  The Boodle is an impressive veggie eater, and usually it’s hard for me to get any fresh fruit if he knows that it’s in the house.    It’s just that when we aren’t trying to juggle the 45 minute (one way) commute to take him to school and are able to focus our energy on our needs as a family better.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I remember to buy the mustard my husband asks me to pick up any time.  Grocery lists are not my forté, but I do manage to buy tasty sushi that my son loves to share with me.

No, the end of Spring Break always feels wrong, and it has since we’ve started this school experiment (Winter Break or any kind of long weekend even have similar effects).  So many thoughts…  Is this right for our family?  Why do I miss the Boodle so much when he’s in school (I’m usually the one driving him, so it’s not as if I don’t have more time than my husband does with him)?  Am I throwing him to the wolves (he worries about wearing his pink stuff around other kids now after an incident at the school)?

Yes, yes, Mama Drama.

Fruit Breakfast

Fruit Breakfast (Photo credit: jaredkuper)

It’s my life.

It’s also part of why this week ended up falling somewhat flat for the check-in.

Simply put,  I fell almost flat since Wednesday.  Between fighting the forever rebooting PC (I have many reasons to love my computer; stability is not one of them) and the curse of migraines, I left out a lot of new writing.  I got my sponsor duties done; I wrote my 750 words; I even managed a fair amount of typing and editing.  But the creative spark?  Oh, that was on Spring Break too.

I did find some amazing stuff online to read, and the Mash-Up I could pull out of this week’s virtual journey could easily fill several blog posts.  I’m going to save most of those links for later.  Nothing is so news-worthy that it needs to be passed on this instant.  The truth is, it’s probably better to pass along these tidbits after the original posts have faded from their spotlight.  It’s nice to know that the things we write don’t fade from the ether after the week or month is gone.  (Yes, I know there is an amazing archive of everything posted on the internet out there, but unless you know what you are looking for, posts can stay lost forever.)

So for my “mini Mash-Up” I picked a few pieces that tweaked my creative side:

  • first we have Askers vs. Guessers from Wendy Cheng a.k.a. Xiaxue which inspired a whole bunch of story ideas.  Wendy really is an amazing blogger (there’s no wonder she gets the numbers she gets, although I’m sure a number of people will not like her style as much as I do), and I love her choices of hair color.  Really feeling inspired to make something a blu-ish green lately...
  • following that something that has been stirring in my mind since I started asking for opinions regarding people’s favorite character in the Tuesday Snippets:   Why are we drawn so much to Darkness?  I have to wonder, especially given the characters that I always hear are people’s favorites in my stories.  ‘Listii?  He’s an assassin.  Andy?  He betrays everyone he lives with.  Even in myself, I find I prefer to explore my “bad guys” (who are often my protagonists).  In last November’s NaNoWriMo project, my favorite secondary character was a prostitute who knowingly manipulates Alanii for  her son’s social standing.
  • And, because this is a check-in where the majority of the news was “No News“, I wanted to share this piece about Persistence.  Yes, Joanna  Penn’s focus is more on standing strong in the face of external rejection, but even that comes in more than one form.  Because, sometimes, like last Friday when the computer crashed (actually it just rebooted itself) in the middle of working, bad things happen–I lost three days worth of notes.  What did I do about it?
    1. I did not spend a few hours typing back in the story ideas that were still in my head, or finishing the blog post I’d planned, or so many other things…
    2. I did give myself about four hours of “pity time” and played Neverwinter Nights.  I played the game without any intention of playing well.   I cheat-decked my character by using the game editor to created some ‘extra powerful items for her so she could go beat up the bad guys in her “Teflon bikini’…  I just wanted to bash my way through the mission and not think about the stuff I lost, at least for a little while.
    3. And only after I had wearried of my depression and the house was quiet did I bother to reopen my browser and editors and try to recover anything I could.  I did still lose stuff, but I was able to accept it better then; and I was able to move on and create something different.

Question Mark

I still hate it when my computer acts up, but things like vehicle inspections, trips to see friends who need company, trips to Hoffman’s Playland with the Boodle…. Those are far more important than a few missing paragraphs on a harddrive.

If there is one thing that this week really taught me, it is that I cannot allow myself to be ruled by this machine (or even my wonderful laptop that never has a problem except that it is getting old and slow).

If there is one thing to regret not accomplishing this break, it would be the fact I did not take my day off from working on the computer.  I had all the excuses: with the Boodle home, I wasn’t going to get as much time as normal; I missed a full two days from feeling sick; I needed to look up something and since I ‘was already online”…  The truth?  I just wasn’t making time for me.  And that has to change.

8 responses to “Disjointed: a ROW80 check-in

  1. Not being a mother cannot comment on your blues taking your child to school – it is of course delivering him to other peoples hands , others who may not quite understand him, or who may steal tiny peices of his heart and mind from you – i think possibly this could happen in other situations – whenever one has to say goodbye into another world/situation – I wonder sometimes if enough people realise how big/scary/exciting a thing being a child is – one has to worry for them – so brave they are but so small

    on another note altogether – great links – am way behind schedule now having visited them all:) thanks


    • I agree with all your ideas/reasons, Alberta. There is definitely some of that involved. But it goes deeper too. And shallower… It always seems that we’re just getting in the groove again when it’s time to send him back to school.

      I’d love to say I’m sorry for the links, but really, I’m not. They did their share of distracting me… I had to share the wealth. 😉

      Thank you for visiting, Alberta. Nice to see you here in my plot of cyberspace.


  2. Breathe…….feel……..be. Sometimes that’s all there is to it.

    I think I would hate the end of school breaks, too. Even thinking about that shift going on in so many homes around us can bring me down….

    Nearly 5am, now. Lise went to sleep a while ago, after looking at “books about space and anatomy – that’s what I really love right now”, and perhaps while watching “Hogs Gome Wild” or the NatGeo dog genetics show (she wants a saluki and a wolfhound, now), or the Allosaurus “Walking With Dinosaurs” episode….

    Jim’s been asleep since 2 – his first full week of work since the accident was very busy, tiring, and more than a little painful.

    Miah just showed me an uncut page of cards for a “Pokemon rip” game he is creating. He wants a laminator to protect the cards; he has quite a stack already, using a Pokemon card as his template. Point values, special skills, magic cake and doom guns…he’s watching The Cleveland Show while he creates.

    I am exhausted, sitting in my new space with both order and chaos all around me –

    And I know that I am just where I belong, doing just what I am meant to be doing.

    May your life soon settle into a place where you know that, too, at least most of the time.

    And may your migraines be feel and non-nausea inducing.

    I love you, and the Boodle. In pink or any other color, always. =)


    • It’s odd, but I see so many people who seem to covet this transition. I cannot. I love spending time with the Boodle.

      The energy in you house, while it shares it’s own chaos always seems more honest. I didn’t become a mother to say “Okay…Bye!” And while I know some people need a little extra human involvement to help them with their family situation, I am blessed with a wonderful husband and a great extended family even… I can do this. And I want to…

      Thank you for visiting, Sys. I’m glad you took the time to visit given how busy you’ve been. Please pass on my love to your household. 🙂


  3. Computers can be our best friends or worst enemies, but you seem to have a solid attitude in place to temper the frustrations. I always recommend (and do) backing up all writing material (and irreplaceable programs) to a USB drive (flash or full external). The small ones are very inexpensive and can save a world of PC hurt when systems stop functioning.

    Hope that the coming week is a good one. Stay strong, Eden 🙂


    • Hi, Gene. Thanks for stopping in, and for the good advice of making backups… Normally I have stuff backed-up via Dropbox (yes, I know, it’s not perfect, but it’s served me well), however, this particular time I had been piling notes into Notepad (not even Notepad ++), and worse yet, I forgot to hit CRTL-S every once in a while…. And it’s my fault as well, since I’d been leaving the machine running for a few days (I often remote login to it when I’m out). I should have known I was pressing my luck.

      It’s always when we’re most careless and have the most to lose. One would think we’d learn, but….

      Have a great week, Gene.


  4. It is so interesting as a teacher to read the ‘other side’ to the story. I can imagine it is hard and as a Nursery teacher I do an awful lot of work around separation and the issues it can cause.

    Great job this week, you still achieved ALOT! I hope you find the rest of this week easier.


    • Oh, Em! I’m sorry if I sounded as if I don’t appreciate my son’s teachers. I do appreciate them (well, most of them…there is always one, and even she is a very kind woman, just has dome doctrinal ideas–she told my son he shouldn’t be surprised that another child teased him for having Hello Kitty underwear because ‘boys shouldn’t wear pink’). And, although it isn’t the same, I have done day care work, so I have experienced a little of the ‘other side’ as well. It’s less about the teachers or the schools and more about personal balance and what fits our family. ASnd about giving too much credence to my mother who urged me to start my son in school when he was three…

      Long story.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence and the smile. I loved your post too.