Posts Tagged ‘nerdlution’

Slice of Life Day 6.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 6. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

It is day 6 of the Slice of Life Challenge and Day 38 of Nerdlution. Time to reflect a bit. I am sitting on what we call “the boyfriend bed” in the study writing while my dog, Charlie, and cat, Mimi, nap nearby. This is how I spent most of the last two days, taking it easy on a break from school and nursing my cold.

writing with Charlie and Mimi

My nerdlution to exercise did not happen. I used my cold inside and the cold outside as my excuse.

However, my nerdlution to write happened in the form of Slice of Life blog posts and poems for Laura Shovan’s Pantone poetry project. Take a moment to read the wonderful poems about Jewel Blue and Peacock Green. We all did research before writing. I used the ghazal form for my poem. This project has kept me focused and creative.

The last nerdlution goal was to be more responsive to my One Little Word Open.

open tulips

I reflected on my week to see how I was Open. Then I remembered my Saturday walk (before the cold front came in.) I walked with a friend who lives a few blocks away. I took a chance that she would be home. Not only was she home, but her husband had gone hunting, so she was free to take a walk with our dogs. We had a great time sharing experiences of grown daughters. I took pictures of blooming flowers and blooming trees thinking spring was on its way. I Open myself to creativity, spirituality, and also to friendship.

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Slice of Life Day 5.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 5. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I am an Episcopalian. We do Lent. I will go to church later and have ashes put on my forehead and hear the familiar words, “You are from dust and to dust you will return.” If you think about it too much, it’s kind of scary. But I like the humility of it.

I have been reading a number of blog posts by teachers and by students. Yesterday, I read a student’s post about being yourself. Even as a grown-up this is hard to remember. I want to compare myself to all those other blogging teachers out there. I want to look at myself and wonder what I could be if I just made a decision and stuck with it.

Sometimes, though, it comes down to just being the best of the you you were made to be. I think that is the purpose of Lent. Lent’s not so much about the brow beating, guilt wrenching suffering of giving up. It’s more about sitting with God and adsorbing all the love he has to give and then living your own life. Not the life that you think you should be living, but the one you have. To the fullest.

Before I get too preachy, let me set my goals for my Lent. I did New Year’s resolutions that lasted a few weeks. I signed on for Nerdlution at the end of January and pledged to exercise, write, and be Open (my one little word for 2014). Now Lent. I’ve decided to give up sweets and not for the usual reasons. I want to loose a few pounds and I don’t want to diet, so practically speaking, giving up sweets may be all I need to do. (And exercise more, #nerdlution continues…)

Photo by Jennifer, Creative Commons, Flickr

Photo by Jennifer, Creative Commons, Flickr

The real practice for Lent will be my “take on.” I want to take on random acts of kindness. I have been inspired by Michelle Haseltine at One Grateful Teacher. Michelle set this goal for her Nerdlution. I have enjoyed reading about all her kind acts and amazed at how really easy it can be.

Now I am committed. I’ve made the pledge publicly. And I threw away a not quite empty bag of mint chocolate M&M’s! Tragic.

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Nerdlution Week 4

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

My nerdlution goals: 1. Exercise 2. Write 3. Open

Discipline is a good thing. My body now knows when the alarm clock will ring. I usually wake up about 4:45 and look. Ah, 15 more minutes. Then I start my day. Coffee, then Centering Prayer.

Two weeks ago I opened myself to Centering Prayer, a practice of meditation for 20 minutes. I am loving this special time alone, in silence. Yet, I find I am so comfortable here that I don’t want to get up. I am avoiding things that I used to spend time doing, like reading blogs and Facebook. I am avoiding tasks that need me to plan and be organized. I am happy to be random and free, not pinned down to ideas and plans. Is this good? A friend, who is also trying the Centering Prayer practice, told me just to go with it and see where it takes me. Open, Ok.


My writing is also not taking me where I think it should. I am feeling lost and like I can’t find the right words, or the words I am “supposed” to say. I was participating in Laura Shovan’s Pantone color prompts at her site Author Amok. I got stuck on the color Dubarry. I spent quite a while researching and found out about Madame duBarry. I wrote notes and tried them out in three different poems, even a limerick, with dismal results. Discouraging, but I know it’s all part of the process, right?

So I power on for 25 more days.

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Michelle Haseltine is gathering the Nerdlution round-up at her site, One Grateful Teacher.

I am a total nerd and am embracing this nerdlution for 50 days. So how many days has it been? Eighteen, I think. I’ve had to cut my goal of exercise every day to exercise 5 days a week and I’m counting dancing as exercise. My husband and I invited some friends out for Zydeco dancing to Chubby Carrier on Sunday afternoon at Vermilionville. We love these Sunday afternoon gigs. One hour of jitterbug, waltz, and Whiskey River, and I checked off exercise for the weekend.

flickr image by Wally Gobetz

flickr image by Wally Gobetz

My second goal, writing every day, has gone OK, too, if I don’t worry about word counts. I have been journaling more and not really writing anything that anyone else will read, but practice is the important thing, right?

Staying Open, my One Little Word, is easier than I thought it would be. New things are available and happening all the time. On Saturday, I learned the art of Centering Prayer. I wrote about it on Tuesday for Slice of Life. I have kept up the practice every morning. The only downfall is that I resist the gotta-get-something-done mode. I get so calm and zoned-out that I want to stay in that moment. How many of you would love to live on a yoga mat? I know, it’s not very practical.

I got an appropriate fortune in my fortune cookie last night. “Don’t ask. Don’t say. Everything lies in silence.”

Laura Purdie Salas posts a 15 Words or Less poetry prompt every Thursday. This morning I wrote “Snow Cloud.” To see other poems in response to her picture prompt, visit her site.

Snow Cloud

Each time you
open yourself
to the world,
miracles happen
like snow from
boiling water.

My 15 word journal, a gift from my husband.

My 15 word journal, a gift from my husband.

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Another week into the nerdlution and I’m falling behind in one of my promises to myself. Exercise! Ugh! It’s always a challenge for me to fit. it. in. And the cold weather hasn’t helped. But this week has been better; I made it to Curves Monday and Wednesday mornings, Yoga class on Tuesday, and Zydeco dance lessons on Wednesday night. I’m even feeling a little sore. Learning to do the alligator walk does a job on your calves.

My attention to my OLW Open is working out pretty well. I try to attend the Acadiana Wordlab each week. On Saturday, the workshop leaders were two young actresses from an Improvisation Group, Silverbacks Improv Theatre. These girls were amazing actresses! We played the craziest games. In one of the games, we each added a line to a story; In another, we could only add one word. I participated even though I felt absolutely ridiculous and totally out of my comfort zone. As always in Wordlab, the writing was unique to the writer and wonderful.

And that leads me to my third nerdlution: writing every day. This has been easy with Laura Shovan’s daily color prompts. At her site, Author Amok, she is posting different color swatches from Pantone colors to prompt poetry. If we send her our poems, she posts them the next day. I have been feeling so famous all week as she daily posts one of my poems and tags me on Twitter and Facebook. Some other blog-friends are playing along, too. (Linda Baie and Diane Mayr) Please take a look at her post for today as it features one of my poems from my book Illuminate.

Let the nerdlution continue. Thanks to Michelle Haseltine for hosting the nerdlution round up every Thursday. Click here to read more.

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In the cyberspace, a new revolution is surfacing. It is called “Nerdlution.” Nerdlution Round 1 started sometime back in early December. I read some blog posts and Twitter tweets about it, but I was a bit confused about this goal setting thing before the new year even started. Then earlier this week, on Sunday to be exact, I read this blog post by Chris Lehman. This thing made more sense and here they were, these nerdlutors, starting round 2. Dare I join in? Set your own goals for the next 50 days with a community of bloggers to cheer you on. Why not?

It was easy to join. All I did was hop on over to Nerdy Book Club with Colby Sharp and set my goals in a comment. Here are my goals:

1. Connect to my OLW for 2014, Open, and try one new thing each week.

2. Write daily. I am not going to count words, so even a simple blog comment or FB post will count, but I’ll try to commit to some kind of writing every day.

3. Exercise daily. This will probably prove the hardest for me because I like to find any excuse to not work out.

My cyber-friend, Michelle Haseltine has started a blog round-up at her site, One Grateful Teacher, to check in on Thursdays.

Nerdlution started Monday, and we had Tuesday and Wednesday off of school for winter storm Leon. I found it pretty easy to fit in my goals in between laundry, cooking, and throwing the ball for Charlie.

The new thing that I tried was introduced to me by my sister on Facebook. Beth has been posting some cool pictures that she is creating using an app called “Sketch Club.” I had to call her to get more instructions on how to use it. My sister is a practicing artist. She was using her own paintings as background and layering a sketch on top.

Boy by Beth Gibson Saxena, all rights reserved.

Boy by Beth Gibson Saxena, all rights reserved.

I bought the app, only $2.99. Then I started playing. This is really the best way to learn a new app anyway. I made this layered image using a gel print, a collage, and a photograph. It symbolizes my OLW Open and my commitment to the practice of writing.

nerdlution open

It’s not too late to join in the new revolution. You can read about more nerdlution commitments at Michelle’s blog.

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