NWSA Round up Day 1

Day 1 of the NWSA conference is coming to a close and I have so many thoughts buzzing around my brain. I’m going to try and grab some of the slower moving ones and share them with you, because the stuff I’m learning is too important not to share.

We got to the conference around 9am and checked in. I had time to go to one session before ours at 11, so I chose Digital Transformations: Scholarship and the Public Sphere which really drew my interest because of this right here. An Adjective and a Noun. I’m always looking for ways to improve the blog and, of course, make it more feminist. 

I learned a lot about digital archiving that I really never knew. As a scholar in the 21st Century, you can imagine how much I use online databases and digital archives for research. I never really thought about how much work goes into those, and the potential politics and special interests that go into “simple” things like categorizing and tagging literature. 

I also spoke with someone from the blog Nursing Clio, which is not about nursing at all, but about feminist history. I encourage you to check it out at Here. I especially liked the post about fleas, because it made me examine something I thought I was sure of, my hate for fleas.

Next was our roundtable discussion, titled Community (Colleges) of Resistance: Revisiting Class in the Intersection of Women’s Studies and Activism. My good friend Jill moderated it while I and 2 other JCTC students answered some questions on activism projects we’ve started in the community. It felt so amazing to sit next to these accomplished individuals and talk a out something important to us– activism. We also had a great turnout, at least 15 people were actively engaged in our conversation, gave thoughtful questions and fantastic feedback. I wish I could say more but honestly, I am not far from K.O. so before my brain turns to mush I am going to bid you all good night.

Stay tuned for another Round Up tomorrow. There’s so much I haven’t shared with you yet!!

✌ Rach

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Hiking Closer to Home

I’ve been missing the forest something fierce since we can’t back from the gorge. Today it has been raining and yucky and I haven’t even been able to use my coping mechanism for wilderness withdrawal: hiking closer to home. Everywhere we’ve ever lived, even the smallest apartment in the slummiest neighborhood, has had a park within a ten minute drive. If there’s a park with actual wooded areas within fifteen, I’ll drive the extra mile.

A couple of days ago, my roommate and I took her dogs for a hike in the park around the corner, called Lapping Park. They have a couple of great hiking trails of varying shorter lengths, one a little less than a mile, one about a mile and a half, and one around three miles long. The longer two follow Silver Creek for a ways and offer beautiful views of the water. 

We elected to take the medium sized hike, due to time restraints. The dogs had a blast, especially when they saw we were collecting sticks (which I was doing for a project I might tell you about another day). We even found some fallen logs and a wooden bridge to work on their agility. It felt so good to just get out and breathe in the fresh air. To be around nothing but trees and not see cars, power lines, and screens everywhere. 

I recommend everyone find their local park and go for a walk as soon as possible. No matter the weather, your bound to find something beautiful to see and the fresh air will certa do us all some good. Here’s some pics of how cute the pups were and how awesome Lapping Park was.

NaNoWriMo 2015

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Today is November 1st! I am so excited because it is the first day of a brand new opportunity. Today is day one of NaNoWriMo and I have fully and compltely committed to completing the challenge this year. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself and to set new routines and goals. I woke at a decent time this morning, despite the debauchery of Halloween night, and felt motivated enough to set my desk up and start my novel. Before three O’clock I wrote over 2000 words, more than my goal of 1,667, the prescribed wordcount on the NaNoWriMo website. I typed these, referring to the journal I’ve been writing in to prepare.
I’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for this moment, this true beginning, the first pages to my novel. I have used Pinterest as a tool to learn about story structure and outlining my novel. I also used it to research some of the history and mythology I was originally inspired by. I loved how I could create Pinterest Boards on several different subjects and I’ve realized in the last few weeks that there is a trick to Pinterest. The trick is to spend some time absently pinning interesting things on a topic, say for example, the Greek Goddess/Titan Hecate. Later, when I am feeling more focused I go back and explore these pins, taking notes or deleting ones that aren’t helpful.

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While the Pinterest research was more interesting, the outlining has been more helpful, for the first day, anyways. I found that when I actually sat down and thought about it I already knew basically where I wanted  to start and who I was dealing with when describing my main characters. I also feel more invested in this story than past novel attempts. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted  the story to go and how my characters evolved and interacted within it. I feel confident in myself, in that if I can keep the habit of actually sitting down and writing every day I will stay on track and not lose focus too much, because I already have a basic idea of where it’s going.
My main goal for this month is to create a habit that I can continue for the rest of my life. If I can write for a couple hours a day every day, I am bound to create something extraordinary sooner or later.
Who out there is doing  NaNoWriMo this year?
Is this your first year?
If not, what are some of your tips for first timers?
First timers, how are you going to make sure you meet your goals?

Happy Writing,
Rach