Muscle memory

Zaimu Challenge
If you don't use it, you lose it. People say this often about second language learning, and really, most everything except riding a bicycle. It's true, too, about blogging. For years I had a regular blogging practice, changing format, tone and location whenever I was ready for a change. In the past couple of years, my blogging has gotten more sporadic after dramatic shifts in my daily routines. Sometimes I miss it, but I'm not quite sure what to say. So I think about blogging, but leave the page blank. Beginning April 28, I started a blogging challenge. My goal is to blog something every day through early June. The early going has proven as challenging as I expected it might be. I do expect as time goes on, I'll write…
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It’s #NaNoWriMo Day…

Personal Narrative
Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month. The competition, commonly hashtagged as #NaNoWriMo, encourages creative writers to draft 50,000 new words (a "novel") in the month of November. I've decided to participate this year, and I've set my own goal as I did when I wrote in 2013. My goal then was 30,000 words. Though that bar will be more difficult to accomplish this year, that's my goal for 2015 as well. Yes, I create my own rules! I've done more pre-work this year. Well, more isn't saying much as I did none at all in the past. I'm very excited about my ideas in progress. They are a culmination of seeds long ago planted, and I can't wait to tend to them. Deciding on my project was a tug-of-war.…
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In the home stretch

30 Day Blog Challenge
It's always an interesting exercise to blog every day for 30 days. As the month wears on, it gets alternately easier and more challenging. Mostly easier. I look back and realize there were a couple of interesting posts in the jumble of freewrites, last-minute entries, and comments on other people's writing. That's nice to see. I have a little over a week in this particular challenge, and as usual, I'm thinking about my public vs. private writing. The things I want to write about and the things I end up blogging are often different. I have mixed feelings about this. But as this is my fourth time engaging in this sort of daily blogging practice and my findings have been the same each time, I'm going to act on the…
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Give me my 10s

Personal Narrative
This was a milestone week for me in many ways, including the fact I finished two 10Ks! One was in miles and the other was in words. On Sunday I was feeling, as they say, "froggy." Out of the blue, I declared to myself that Monday I'd run 6 miles for the first time. This has been a goal of mine for a long time. I know many people who've done it, and my personal long was 5.55 miles, from a year ago. I've only run five miles or more a handful of times in life, and the 10K/6.2 mile mark seemed scary, quite honestly. On my days of high energy, I'd think about tackling it, and it just seemed a touch too far. Rather than drown in a sea of…
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On clarity and sabotage

30 Day Blog Challenge
The clearer you are about what you're supposed to be doing, the harder it is to do something else. #random — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 24, 2013 This has been a year of transition.  Every season thus far has boasted some sort of change, and that remains true with the advent of fall. Recent professional shifts have left me considering next steps, which, in many ways, will be a return to previous steps. As I checked in with self about my current professional path, the thought above came to me. When I say "supposed to be doing" I don't mean according to some external metric.  These days it's easy to be swayed by the expectations of Big Brother. We're a surveillance-happy society, wherein we've virtually relinquished self-control and self-expression…
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What to ask an author

30 Day Blog Challenge, Writer's Craft
Today, Tayari Jones is interviewing Khaled Hosseini, the author of Kite Runner. She's been compiling and polishing questions to pose: When you go see an author, what types of things would you like to hear discussed? — Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 21, 2013 Over 500 tickets have been sold for the event, so I want it to be informative and fun. — Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 21, 2013 First of all, I love Tayari's approach to life. I really enjoyed meeting her in person during the release of her novel, Silver Sparrow. She was vibrant and full of encouragement. I follow her musings and world traveling via social media, and I always find her updates authentic, thoughtful, or inspiring. The tweets above are no exception.  She realizes Hosseini may be…
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Today at lunch…

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative
I mentioned my plans to transition out of K-12 and into reading/writing/teaching about women's issues. I highlighted rape culture and sexual violence and fibroids by name, although my net is cast a bit wider than these. The woman who inquired about my goals made the raised eyebrow/pulled down lips/impressed face and nodded. "Wow. Good for you. What got you moving in that direction?" Who knows? It brings to mind a similar question asked of Angela Davis. In a lecture recorded as The Prison Industrial Complex, she discussed her activist beginnings: "What made you decide to become an activist? What was that pivotal event in your life? And for years and years I thought about it." She went on to mention the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little…
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Settling. Not yet still.

Personal Narrative
I've missed this space. I'm finally settling into my house. I haven't spent much time there yet, and we can now add renovating to the purging, reorganizing, unpacking mix. Seems it's time for a new roof. Lots going on, suffice to say. Cousin Big Sister and my SO, Blue, have been amazingly supportive. I love and appreciate them. I'm excited about  my Creating Room. I'm not sure that name'll stick, but it's basically a thinking/collaborative space. Or it will be. It was most recently known as the Everything Room - a dumping ground for miscellaneous or mislabeled boxes, and soon-to-be-purged items/furniture. It's clear now, except for the closet, and after a fresh paint job and some intentional (inexpensive) furniture selections, I think it'll be my new favorite place. I'm getting…
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Love, violence and transformations: A recap.

30 Day Blog Challenge
March was a great month of endings, beginnings, and transformations in general. I updated this space every day while in the midst of a whirlwind. The high energy and nonstop pace is in full swing for another couple of days, but I wanted to take a breath to share the top posts from last month. So I just moved. And I don't know about you, but for me moving is a special process full of resistance, excitement, and everything in between. I was slow to get started, but eventually, I did start packing. I've only spent one night in my new place, so no, I'm not settled yet. I'm always fascinated by narratives and the power of story, and maybe some of you are too? This blog about knowing your family's narrative,…
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