Monday, November 18, 2013

Vulnerability & Self-Preservation

Photo courtesy of Free Artistic Photos

Several months ago, my good friend, Jen, recommended to me Brene Brown's TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability. I jotted down a note to self and fully intended to watch it. But as with so many things that would benefit me, I delayed. But I've been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. I mean, as a writer, we put ourselves out there every day. From the first words we lay on the page to sharing our work with critique partners and beta readers, to querying agents or seeing your words appear in publication. How can we make such a regular practice of something so uncomfortable?

For me, that reason is connection. As someone who's always been incredibly shy, the written word has given me a way to connect with others. Yet, I didn't do any writing last week. I wasn't sure why at first, but I soon recognized the feeling: my old self-preservation response to feelings of vulnerability. I reacted to a positive response to my work. Instead of celebrating, I started pulling away from my projects, separating myself from the work, preparing myself for future disappointments by telling myself that I don't really care and none of it really matters anyway. Yeah, it was an odd reaction that led to a rather depressing week.

"Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." - Brene Brown

Then, Jen reminded me about that TED talk. (I told you she was a good friend.) And this time, I watched it. The timing was perfect. This was my first introduction to Brene Brown, but her words served as a timely reminder to something I learned long ago, and that is, "You can't selectively numb emotion. We can't numb vulnerability without numbing joy, gratitude, and happiness as well."

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity." - Brene Brown

The time I spent last week trying to convince myself that my writing doesn't matter, was time spent kidding myself, trying to become less vulnerable by raising the old walls of self-preservation. In doing so, I was blocking my own creativity. No wonder it was such an uninspired week.

Photo courtesy of Free Artistic Photos

This Monday, I have a better plan. I'm going to take Ms. Brown's advice. I'm going to try my best to embrace creativity, authenticity, and yes, vulnerability.

How do you feel about vulnerability? Have you ever had a negative response to positive feedback? Do you ever hold yourself back in order to avoid possible disappointment?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Homeschool Co-ops 101 by Karen Lange, Book Tour & $25 Amazon GC Giveaway

homeschool co-ops 101
Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families. Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.
  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:
karen langeAbout the Author Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens. You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook. homeschool co-ops 101
Blog Tour Schedule
November 4 ~Ruth Schiffman, ~Robyn Campbell,
November 5 ~Carol Alexander,
~Diane Estrella,
November 6 ~Gena Mayo,
~Marja Meijers,
November 7 ~Sandie Crozek,
~Melissa Brander,
~Cecelia Lester,
November 8 ~Susan Reinhardt,
~Cecelia Lester,
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton,
~Melissa & Tiffany,
~Janette Dolores,
November 11 ~Susan Sundwall,
~Michelle Isenhoff,
November 12 ~Carol Alexander,
~Jeanette Levellie,
November 13 ~Susanne Dietze, ~Sherryl Wilson,
~Anne Payne,
November 14 ~Rhonda Schrock, ~Abi Buening,
~Amber Schamel,
November 15 ~Crystal King, ~Barb Winters,
~Tyrean Martinson,
November 16
November 17 ~Amada Chavez,
~Cindi Clubbs,
~Rebecca Boerner,
November 18
~Carlene Havel,
~Cindy Loven,
November 19
~Karen Loethen,
~Amy Smith,
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada,
November 22
~Sarah Bailey,
~Thumb Updown,
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk,
~Ticia M.,
My Review

One of the things I liked best about homeschooling was the freedom - not being tied down to someone else's schedule. But that didn't mean I wanted to go it alone. For several years, we participated in a local co-op. I wish I had a resource like Homeschool Co-Ops 101 to get me started at the time.

Whether you're looking for opportunities to network with other homeschooling families, looking for social outlets for your children, or hoping to find someone who's good at teaching a subject that you struggle with, there are many benefits to joining a co-op.

Karen packs all the “need to know” information you might be looking for into this easy-to-read 78-page book. And that’s good, because a homeschooling parent is a busy parent!

  The Giveaway Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.