Monday, October 30, 2017

NanoWriMo 2017 starting in 2 days

I'm NaNoWriMo-ing again this year. National Novel Writing Month for those unfamiliar with the term) I haven't won in a very long time, and I really, REALLY want to win this year. Yet I'm no less overwhelmed and overscheduled than I usually am, so we'll see how things go.

This year I'm writing with an outline. As my novel revisions are going very well so far, my NaNo novel will be the sequel to that one. The story so far is fresh in my mind, and I'm excited to continue it. I already know the characters fairly well (although new characters will be introduced). So all this is to my benefit I think, as far as quick word counts go.

Logistically, I'm also trying some new things. My laptop has been slowly dying for awhile now. It takes ages to power on, an off, and is just old and sad. Since I'm too broke to just go get a new laptop, and I have a wonderful pocket computer anyway (aka a smart phone) I decided to get a bluetooth keyboard and write on my phone.

I'm trying out the program yWriter, but so far can't quite figure out how to use it both on my phone and on my desktop. It seems like there is something to do with saving to Google Drive, but I can't figure out how to do that yet. So I have two days to get my learning curve finished with this program, or I guess I'll just use Google docs.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Homeschool Literature Project - Watership Down

From the above guide, there was a suggested activity to draw a specific scene from the novel, Watership Down. I think there were 4 or 5 choices. My 9th grader chose to draw Bigwig after his fight with Woundwort, and my 5th grader chose to draw the Black Rabbit of Inlé.

Then in a different section there was a recommendation to write a poem. I don't remember the particular styles they assigned, but they didn't fit with the drawing prompt to my mind, and I liked the idea of having them write a poem to accompany their drawing, so I asked them to write a haiku about the scene they drew.

Earlier in our Watership Down until study, I had the 9th grader recreate a scene from the book in comic format. She is taking drawing lessons and I really like how it came out, although the drawings are very small and I couldn't get a good photo. I liked the project enough that I'm planning on having her draw other scenes from other books in the future.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Compassion Fatigue

I work in veterinary medicine. Compassion fatigue is a serious problem that can lead to burnout and people leaving the field. I have to assume it must be a problem in human medicine as well. I've taken continuing education classes on it and how to deal with the effects, how to hopefully prevent it in yourself and your coworkers if you see the symptoms.

I feel that we, as a nation, are in the throws of compassion fatigue. More and more people are telling me they can't watch or read the news anymore. When it feels like there are near daily heartbreaking tragedies that need out donations, support, or other emotional energy, and we just don't feel like we have anything more to give on any of those fronts. I'm there for sure. I was trying so hard to be a better citizen, staying better informed and writing or calling my representative more often, but like so many others I'm hitting the limit of what I can take.

How can we go on like this? Just responding to tragedy after tragedy. Doing nothing to prevent, or to overcome. I feel small and helpless and sad. I'm going to cuddle kitties and kids now. 

Monday, October 2, 2017


I'm a big ole introvert. So is my husband. Under normal circumstances, we are enough company for one another. October is not normal circumstances. We have three family birthdays in October. There is Halloween and with that comes Pumpkin patch visits, Halloween parties, Harvest festivals, and so forth. We already missed the local Octoberfest because we had too many other things happening this weekend.

I was feeling like an ungrateful brat the other day as I was juggling our schedule and realized that I'd planned something on the same day we had another event already. It was at least the third time this week we hit a major planning conflict in October, and we hadn't even gotten our daughter's birthday party scheduled yet. So I was grumpy. But when I stepped back - what was I grumpy about? Ohh poor me, who is invited to too many fun things. Then I felt like a jerk.

Yes, juggling a busy social schedule is not something I'm great at. Yes, all the extra festivities around the holidays (and beginning in October) do wear at me a bit to keep track of. But, hey - I have family and friends who want me around. Who organize fun things for my kids to do. Who provide us with so many wonderful memories that we will cherish for years. So I think I will learn to deal.

And that's the real problem. If we actually didn't want to do these things or spend time with these people we could just say no and keep out days open and free. But we DO want to do all the things! But all the things are happening at the same time, and my poor little simple brain implodes just a bit. I'll be okay. I will have an amazing time, and hopefully still manage to be productive. If, however, you notice nothing on this blog again until January you'll know why.

Have fun out there!