The Adventure Continues…

One Timeline at a Time

by | Jul 15, 2020

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”
-Doug Larson

I would love it if the shitty first draft wasn’t so shitty. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll change shitty to outstanding.

My outstanding first draft. Whoa. I like that.

Just like most writers, I’ve spent less time writing than I anticipated. Instead, I worked in a friend’s garden two evenings since my last post. For those of you who do not know, I am still maintaining the nomadic lifestyle and not having dirt of my own is torture!

I kept my hands to myself the first year after selling my home with twenty acres and was able to talk myself off the ledge of reaching into a flower bed to pull the rogue blades of grass making an appearance. I convinced myself the soil must feel really good there and how could I blame the grass and weeds for wanting to grow there, too. Besides, I’d add the internal reminder I didn’t want to offend the gardener. I know how crazy it’d make me when someone pulled a flower thinking it was a weed in my garden.

This past winter was a different story. I found myself stepping inside… And, lookie there, I’ve wandered off topic. Well, kinda sorta. I do want to gloat and embellish on the container garden I have established on the deck (and overflowing into the yard) of the place I’m currently residing. For a gal who got used to cranking up her stabilizer jacks and driving away every one to two weeks, it appears I’ve set roots here until harvest. (Let’s just hope the host doesn’t boot my ass off her property just before the glorious heirloom tomatoes ripen!)

At this moment (and it could change at anytime) there are eight containers of heirloom tomatoes (with names like Atomic Fusion, Mortgage Lifters, Beaver Lodge Slicer, Mountain Magic), one terra cotta pot with summer squash overflowing and climbing up a trellis, four pots of zucchini, sweet peppers, butternut and honeynut squashes, beets, and all my glorious herbs. Like I may have mentioned in previous posts, I’m a garden-aholic.

The wonderful thing is, the gal I’m helping with her garden has a similar (if not more) love for gardening. She understands my need to put my hands in the dirt up to my wrist and feel the sensation of dirt packed under my fingernails. She has given me permission to come over and help anytime I’d like.

All the gardening has been good for my soul as I write the memoir. I’ve been working on the front quarter of the book in layers: what I remember, blog posts, and journal entries. It’s not been easy revisiting the journals. When the emotions get to be too much, I mow the lawn, use the weed whip and trim around what the mower could not reach, and tend to my container garden. I do something physical to break the recycling emotions.

Interestingly enough, I found myself doing the same physical things while copyediting a book for a client. There are elements of her story that bring up familiar emotions. I can confirm the client’s book is going to tug on the heartstring of the readers. Again, I’m wandering off topic.

My trauma-drama-grievin’-momma memory has me looking up and researching timelines. I found myself mixing elements of 2017 in with 2018. For example: when various issues of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine published, when particular events happened and… oh my! I was simply writing what came to me and wandering all over the place on the pages (see a pattern here?).

I’m back to square one reworking my outstanding first draft and writing better notes in the synopsis and notes boxes of the Scrivener program I’m utilizing. My creative mind is eager to write about the experiences on the highways and trail of tears and giggles I left along the way. One timeline at a time, Cynthia.

Explore the adventures that got me here…

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19 to 75 in Less Than a Week

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Letting Go & Shrinking Spaces

Letting Go & Shrinking Spaces

The Adventure Continues...“How can you write from your heart if your head is busy yelling at you?” ― Barb ParcellsIt's not easy to let go of the critical monkey-mind voice somedays. When I edited the podcast interviews with Barb Parcells and Christin Bjergbakke, I...

Screw Their ‘Be Happy’ Advice

Screw Their ‘Be Happy’ Advice

The Adventure Continues...“Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face - I know it's an impossibility, but I cannot help myself.” ― Nicholas SparksEleven Pearls of Wisdom from a Grieving Mother Turning the...

About The Author

C.K. Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.


  1. Vatsala Shukla

    I think I have to follow your advice and engage in 1 conversation topic at a time, Cindy. Sometimes my mind runs so fast that my family has to ask me when the topic changed!

    • C.K. Kochis

      Only if it feels right to you, Vatsala. I’m blessed to have family and friends that are able to keep up with my wanderings. It’s wild how our conversations stretch over an onslaught of topics and we never miss a beat. We might drop a topic, but it is (as you can imagine) entertaining.

  2. Barbara Parcells

    My dear, sweet, hands-in-the-dirt sister! I am jealous of your container garden as mine is limited to a few pots of herbs and flowers on a tabletop and window sill! I agree that we need to stop calling it a “shitty” first draft although I prefer to call mine a “general” first draft meaning that I’m getting the general stuff down and will go back and re-write it in greater detail. As for wandering, gee, isn’t that what happens in real life anyway? wander all you want. You never know what treasures you will discover!

    • C.K. Kochis

      Sweet, hands-in-the-dirt sister, you’re right! Some of the best treasures found are discovered when we gift ourselves the freedom to wander.

      General first drafts – I like that phrase. It is where we plop stuff on the pages for us to organize, straighten up, and make sense of our ramblings once we complete the first round of brain-dumping.

      Enjoy your garden, Barb.

  3. Laurie Seymour

    I really enjoy reading your flow. And I LOVE using “outstanding” instead of ‘shitty” for our first drafts. Thank you for that!

    • C.K. Kochis

      You’re welcome, Laurie. Thank you for your kind words.

  4. Debra Reble

    I love your “outstanding” first draft! what a vulnerable beautiful expression of your soul’s journey Cindy. You always inspire me with your words and happy you are writing again especially your memoir. Can’t wait to read the rest <3 Much love

    • C.K. Kochis

      I inspire you? My dear friend, YOU inspire me! I look forward to the day I can tell you the book is available for reading. With your background, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about it. Thank you, Debra.

  5. Andrea

    Thanks for the grins and giggles. They’re because I related to so many things. I’ve got our tiny van almost packed up and ready for the road. It has been too long. The garden thing? Oh, my. We are permaculture people. Lots of time in the dirt — and before moving south I never realized how quickly things grow here. (I probably should go out with the weed whacker before we hit the road – lol). And that first draft? Call it whatever works for you — just keep getting words on that screen! Thank you for the updraft.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Safe travels, Andrea. May your heart lead you to amazing adventures. The garden thing, yeah I get it. The soil is my manicurist. And you’re welcome on the update of my draft. I’m enjoying the process of watching the words appear on the screen as they pour from my heart. Thank you for the giggles…

  6. Heather Maria

    Your post deeply resonates as I’ve been there as a writer. Trying to write a memoir, going through old blog posts, needing time away, finding solace in dirt, almost avoiding the writing, but longing to write, wanting to make it good enough. It’s a mind set, it’s from our caring hearts. I found that when I wrote from my soul it was much easier. Sending you many blessings. Love hearing your journey and how it resonates to myself and to others.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Heather Maria. You are an amazing writer and artist. Being creative is a way of expressing what fills our hearts.


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