Submissions, Cleaning and Reading

Even though I had the hardest time getting out of bed this morning and even though it took me forever and a day to stop feeling groggy (even though, I’m still not sure that I entirely do…) and even though I had planned to just veg in front of my computer all day, today ended up being a super great get-things-done day.

Tonight is the last night to get your submissions in for The Erotic Writers Group #WritingChallenges for #EroticWriters. I was determined, no matter what, I was going to put in at least one submission. And, I did!!

I was inspired by one of the #WritingPrompts (this one) and although I totally hadn’t intended this entire piece to be about what it is, I spent 1000 words on Mary’s Nails – the first piece on my writing blog that isn’t technically for a submission to the challenges. Then, I wrote my first song since “The Tree” and have plans to eventually put some music to it and maybe make it a real thing, but for now, it’s just the lyrics. Deeper Into Me was a submission for this week’s #SaturdaySerenade.

Then, I suddenly decided we were going to completely clean the upstairs of our house. Generally, the upstairs stays really clean all the time. The Boyfriend and I have been spending more awake time in our room, so our room was needing a cleaning. The kids started off being pretty terrible but by the end of it, they were working so well that I even got them to do some extra cleaning downstairs.

Now my entire upstairs and living room are clean!

Then, I came back on the computer and got tons more done than I had expected to get done and it all seemed ridiculously easy. I’m hashing out stuff like crazy and I am loving it! It always feels good to get the bulk of your work done in less time than you expected to, especially being that it means I get to spend so much more time doing other things.

At some point tonight, I plan on getting some reading done because I’m very close to done my first book of 2015, Mary Wood-Allens’s What Young Women Ought to Know. It’s being quite the interesting read and more than once have I interrupted The Boyfriend’s gaming to read him passages from the book. My favorite rule presented by Mary is that girls should never run up and down the stairs. It’s been a running joke this week between The Boyfriend and I.

I always hate that he never reads any of the books that I read. But at least he pays enough attention to what I’m reading to be able to have running jokes with me!

Well, that’s my day in a nutshell. What was your day like? Do anything special this week?

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My Kids… Make Me So Proud!

Parent/teacher conferences were today. I spent pretty much all week stressing out about them for really no reason, as I usually do. This time was a little bit different, because they had changed the way you booked your appointment and I was expecting all sorts of bad based on the way the kids have been coming out of school.

For the last week or two, Kaeidyn and Keirnan seem to be fine after school, but Kenzie and Carter are moody and emotional and just plain mean when they get off school. I figured I’d hear lots about how they’re not getting along well in class. Thankfully, I didn’t.

Kaeidyn, as usual and as is expected, is doing wonderfully. Her teachers always have nothing but nice things to say and today was no exception. Some of the other teachers in the school even tracked her down to gush about how much of a big helper she is and how they love having her as part of their school. Even had a parent of another student gift her a blanket for all the great help she offers around the school.

Kenzie is doing really great for the most part, but struggling pretty hard with his reading. They kept saying over and over again, “In Grade 1 and 2, you learn to read. In Grade 3, you read to learn”. Kenzie is still reading at more of a grade 2 level. I knew that was going to be an issue with him, since he struggles at home a lot with his reading. He doesn’t have the patience for it. Also some notes about him needing to slow down and take his time for more legible writing.

Keirnan is making great improvements and his teacher is quite impressed with how far he’s come since the beginning of the year. Like with Kenzie, his reading is quite a bit behind and they think part of the delay there is because of the speech problems. In Grade 1, they told us that it could be an issue when it comes to sounding words out and such – and we’ve definitely noticed that. So, the focus is on sight words. He’s still reading at a low grade 1 level, so we’re definitely going to have to work harder on that, but his teacher is confident that we’ll see him get to where he needs to be by the next report card.

Carter is doing well in terms of his social interactions in class, although his major speech delay is causing him to score lower on quite a few of the tests they’re giving him, so on paper, he’s not doing good. For example, on his letter recognition, his teacher couldn’t understand him at all, so she marked it all as not recognizing the alphabet. When the speech therapist worked with him, she noted that he definitely recognizes the right letter, it’s just very hard to understand him. We knew this would be his biggest issue going into school and so we’re just kind of rolling with it and helping out in whatever way we can.

Like with Keirnan, they are doing what they call auditory bombardment. I personally have negative opinions about this particular form of speech therapy, right down to the agressive name – but I’m also a kid from the phonetics generation, where it was all about sounding it out. In auditory bombardment, let’s say your child’s focus is on the letter “k” and the sounds that letter makes. So, you say a list of words that start with k, like “kite, kitten, etc.”, and then have the child repeat back to you – while making no corrections on the way that they say the words. However, I can’t knock it too hard, being that Keirnan graduated out of speech with it…

After we were all done, the kids wanted to head down to the gym to check out what was going on there. They had a bunch of stations set up for the kids to play at and they all got nice and sweaty doing so. Kaeidyn hooked up with one of the kids she helps out with and played volleyball, Kenzie was playing an intense game of soccer, Keirnan was flirting with a girl and Carter was off on his own, playing by himself. It was the most fun out of the whole day!

Now, I plan on hunkering down in my comfy spot. Hopefully the kids are tuckered out enough that they aren’t too energetic for the rest of the day, because I feel exhausted!

Always with the Planning…

I always forget how much being a few kids short totally relaxes and rejuvinates. You don’t realize how burnt out parenting is making you until you get a break, and then the whole world just feels a ton lighter.

Dealing with one kid instead of four of them is so crazy easy. Especially with Carter at the age that he’s at, where he’s easy to get interested in something. I have spent pretty much the whole day today in complete silence (outside of asks for drinks) and almost completely by myself, because he’s been having fun playing upstairs.

That being said, I do miss the older ones. Boy was it ever a good thing they left when they did, because that night we got a ridiculous amount of snow and the roads have been horrible. They’ll be coming home Sunday night, assuming that the roads aren’t absolutely terrible, so that will be nice.

Sometime this weekend, I’ve gotta go do some grocery shopping. I was supposed to go last weekend but kept procrastinating all week and now it needs to get done! When it’s cold outside, I’d rather just stay in my house. Unfortunately, that’s not really practical. So, I’m hoping tomorrow, I will get up the motivation to go out and get my grocery shopping done. I always hate doing it without The Boyfriend, but I gotta suck it up.

Then on Sunday, big house cleaning. I want to get so much done that it’s a little bit ridiculous and I’m sure that I’m not going to get it all done, but I’m hoping. I really want to clean my bookshelf again, because Carter absolutely destroyed it looking for a specific book. Now all my organized work is unorganized…

Plus, I’m only a few chapters away from the end of Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf, so I’m hoping this weekend will be the weekend that I finish it. Such a good read and I love how after every session of reading, I feel like I’ve learnt a little bit more about myself – even though the story is more of a autobiography of life as a girl in San Francisco during the ’70s (and I am only one of those things…), I’m finding a lot of it to be good conversation fodder. Just a few more chapters 😉

Well, now that I’ve unleashed my to do list on you, what are your plans for this upcoming weekend?

Exploding Head Syndrome

I hate that I didn’t spend more of my teenage life reading. I mean, I read quite a bit during those years. Probably just a little bit more than the average teenager, but looking back on it, I wasn’t reading the right books.

Now, not only do I have a buttload of books that I’m trying to read and want to read but I also have all these blogs that I want to read, all these FetLife posts that are super important to read, all this information to consume. And there just simply isn’t enough time in the day.

Yesterday, we went down to visit my Mom and she decided a trip to Value Village was necessary. The kids were all so excited and my thoughts immediately went to books. The last time we were at VV, I got something like 6 books for $12 and one of them was my epic Sherlock Holmes (which I’m still in the process of reading). I love the book section here. Wouldn’t you know I found more books. So now, my bookshelf which is already so full you can longer see wood, has two new-to-me additions (plus a few more kids books), Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf and ManifestA by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards.

I started with Promiscuities because I read The Beauty Myth back in highschool. I’ve always loved Naomi Wolf’s style as a writer and find her writing to be so easily consumable.

It now takes the number of books I’m reading (and this does not include any I’ve started online – except Flatland) up to 8 – 8 books at one time! Which also wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I am certainly not dedicating enough of my life to all this reading. After realizing all this during a migraine last night and a grumpy wake up this morning, I have decided that I need to get some stuff in order.

I need to set aside a certain time each day to read my offline books – like an hour or a chapter of reading one of these 8 books every night. Then, I need to set a certain time each day to read all my online stuff – and this could potentially get up there in time, because there is just so much!

I haven’t even begun to actually follow blogs yet, just followed my followers back. I’ve taken no time at all to get comfortable with WordPress’ “Reader”, so that I can successfully do what I need to do with all the great stuff I’m reading. Everything’s just a little all over the place and I need to figure out what I need to do to change that.

I have all these plans and ideas. I want to get The Erotic Writers Group back up to full-steam by January, I want to blog about this and that thing and I want to post this and that, and I just have no focus with all these ideas bopping about in my head.

My head just feels a little bit like it’s going to explode. So much I want to do, so much that has to be done, so not enough time in the day or enough energy. Need to make some changes!

Sick and Trying to Write

First week of school done, first snowfall of the year and everyone is getting sick! Carter started two days ago with a runny nose that has now turned into a full-out cold. Kenzie started last night and I woke up this morning with a very prominent tickle in my throat. Which means that by tomorrow, I will be incapacitated to my chair under a big fluffy blanket and the most you’ll get out of me is a cough here or there.

I hate getting sick. It’s just about the worst thing. They’re always worse than you think they’re going to be, they always make you feel gross for days and just when you get over one, another one is just around the corner. It’s very depressing.

And that’s right, I said above snowfall. That dreadful white stuff, which we weren’t supposed to get, started falling and ever since the weather has been some slushy rain coldness. Needless to say, it’s been freezing cold and none of us were prepared for it. Stupid Alberta…

Not too much else has been going on. I got through another bunch of chapters of Brave New World and am enjoying the story immensely so far (also started a story inspired by it…). The Boyfriend and I worked our butts off the other day to get the kitchen clean, even pulling out the fridge – which was definitely needed! Other than that, it’s mostly be computer time for me.

Lots of The Sims 3 being played, tons getting done for The Erotic Writers Group and have spent the last couple of days testing out Scrivener. It was suggested by the group and so far, I’m liking it for organizing story pieces. I’m still setting up all my folders and backend stuff, so that I get into the crunch of writing some of The Brighton Tales, because seriously, I am so ready for this story to be out of my head, on paper, for consumption.

I’m having a really difficult time on choosing a name for the female slave in this story, which is making the writing much more difficult. Up until now, I’ve mostly just referred to her by pronouns and when I’ve written something that requires a name, I’ll just little brackets, because I’m not exactly sure what I want to call her. I know that I want her to have a normal “Brighton” name (although, what is that even?!?) and then she gets called the same thing as all the other slaves once she’s ritually taken by Atticus. What to call her, hell, even what to call the slaves – haven’t quite figured that out yet…

Slaves are even the wrong word to use for those in service to the Kingdom of Brighton. I hate when the words trip you up on the writing!