ROW80 check-in October 9, 2011

Well, despite the fact that I didn’t quite manage to meet all my goals, I’m happy about what I did accomplish.  Last round, several ROWers wrote about writing spaces, Nadja Notariani and Lauralynn Elliott among them, and I mentioned my screened porch, which at the time was more a squeegeed-in-amongst-the boxes writing place than an ahhhh writing place.

So, I have cleared off my screened porch, and bolstered by L.S. Engler’s glee over her new writing space, have included pictures.

screened porch

The porch is where I do longhand writing for the moment, as the table is too high for ergonomic correctness. Note the fountain pens, and yes, the black pen has black ink; the blue, blue ink; the pink, pink ink; the green, green ink. It’s how I edit, and yes, I am easily amused and an unrepentant nerd.


view from the porch

This is the view from the porch; despite how close the neighbors’ porches are, they rarely sit on their porches, and never at 5am. I am hoping to figure out a way to work on the laptop on the porch, but in the meantime, I cleared off the desk in our bedroom,

Writing desk

which has a keyboard tray at the correct ergonomic height, and which had become a repository for loose change, little slips of paper on which I am notorious for writing extremely important notes, and the general detritus of a busy life in an over-cluttered house. It was not being used as a desk at all, so my husband was fine with my claiming it for a writing space. Thankfully, he sleeps so deeply that I will not bother him at 5am; I often wonder how the heck he ever woke up when the kids were little, but he did.

Of note beyond the color-coded fountain pens are the coaster for the coffee mug and the candle. The caffeine is necessary, and the candles have become part of the writing ritual for me. The vintage Big Ben alarm clock, which was my father-in-law’s, provides nice white noise; it actually ticks loud enough that I can hear it on the porch when the bedroom windows are open, as they are this time of year.

Oh, yeah, goals. I have fallen off the wagon on several, sigh.  I hit the mark on the dissertation footnotes; I found that the boring nature of them is a double-edged sword. The first 200 or so were mostly written, with little CHECK THIS! notes here and there. They have to be cleaned up and moved to the new word processing system, but that doesn’t take much creative thought, and can be done when my brain power wouldn’t light up a refrigerator light. It takes a lot more to decipher where the heck the author took the Bible citation, or the quote from Aristotle, since she doesn’t always give the chapter and they are in Latin. So, I’m cheating right now, but hey, it is progress.

The conference paper, ack. It’s coming along, but it’s just pulling teeth. I know that at some point, I will get as excited by the topic as I was when I wrote it, but I am not there yet, sigh.

The book reviews, *blush*.  Although I have a draft, it did not get posted this weekend, so I need to push this to the top of the list.

Walking the dog—most of the time, I did manage twice a day, except for the torrential rains during the best available times.  This dog would happily walk in the gully-washers we have in North Florida, but me, not so much. I won’t melt or anything, but getting drenched on the way to work? No thanks.

So, on the whole, a week that fell on the plus side. Still some settling in to do, but the lack of clutter on the porch and the desk are incredibly calming and mind clearing.  How are y’all doing these nice fall days? Check on everyone else’s progress here.

16 thoughts on “ROW80 check-in October 9, 2011”

  1. Oh, dear, how neat and cleaned up! I couldn’t possibly post pics of my writing space. 🙂 :: applauds ::

    Dissertation footnotes are a b#*$h, and anyone with experience will understand that you fell off the goal wagon on other things while working on them! Maybe emphasize long term goals a bit more so as not to cause worry?

    Have a great week!

    1. Why, thank you, Ruth! *grins proudly* And thank you for understanding about the footnotes! Your hint about concentrating on long-term goals is a good one–I will steal that with alacrity. 🙂

  2. Having a special writing space is so very nice. I do most of my writing in the corner of my dining room that is my office. Because, eventually, I want to write children’s books, two stuffed animals are peeking over my monitor. That’s fun.

    Anyhoo, congrats on the goals you’ve accomplished so far. And…keep on pluggin’ with the ones yet to be accomplished.


    1. I love the stuffed animals, Stephanie–that’s a great touch. I have a plastic tortoise that a friend gave me when I began my dissertation, but it is on my desk at work. I’m going to bring it home and put it on my desk. Thank you for coming by and offering encouragement. I appreciate it!

    1. It is amazing how much easier it is to write with a shiny, new writing space. I even got up at 5am, right on time, despite not getting to sleep until about 1; I could hear the writing spaces calling to me!

  3. I like your writing space. It looks to be a peaceful one with nice scenery. Sadly, my space is my bed. The husband is always watching tv or playing video games in the living room so there just aren’t many other options in an apartment.

    Hope you get further in your goals this week. Just stay focused!

    1. Susan, I was in that exact situation for years until my youngest son left for college in late August. I called my home Testosterone Palace, and the living room was a total man-cave (I have two sons who are ten years younger than my daughters, so the feminine influence had long moved on). I have great sympathy for Virginia Woolf–I always wanted a room of my own. This is my very first writing space, and I have been writing for decades,so hang in there–there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

      1. I’m sure my day will come when I finally get that writing space. At least the bed is comfortable. Hubby just doesn’t find it amusing when he comes to bed and finds notes and papers scattered across his side! He’ll figure it out eventually that I need my own space 🙂

        Hope you have a wonderful week too!

  4. I just adore that screened porch, Elizabeth! That looks fabulous for early morning coffee and writing/reading. Too bad winter has to come and spoil it all for a few months. But it will make you appreciate it all the more come late spring! (I’m on countdown already…sad, I know) I tell my husband that genetically speaking, I was created for warm-all-year-near-the-water living, and that his love of mountains and cool/cold weather/four seasons is killing my mojo. He doesn’t listen. Ha!

    You have so many projects going at once! It’s a wonder you can keep up with them all. You’re doing great – even with the goals that fell by the wayside. Keep plugging along.

    I now light candles, too, when I write. I find them soothing. ~ Nadja

    1. Ah, I’m not a four-seasons girl either. I lived in southern Indiana for a decade or so, and thought the snow and all was bad until I lived in northern Indiana. Brrrr! I hope I don’t make you feel worse, but I will only have to abandon the porch for about 6-8 weeks for the winter. I do live in northern Florida, so we do have the trees change about Thanksgiving, and it does get cold for a few weeks *ducks whatever Nadja has thrown at me* . If it’s any consolation, I can’t sit out there after about 6am in July and August, so I do have my cramped indoors time as well. Also, I’m in the middle of the state–an hour or so from water, sigh!

      Thanks for the encouragement. I sometimes feel I should concentrate on one goal, but I am such a flighty thing, I get bored easily! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  5. Hi, and thank you for coming to visit me over on my bloggy Blogger site. You are very busy, but it all sounds good. I have a bit of a problem letting my “off” time or missed goals discourage me too much. I need to learn how to manage it better as you do and make some of a correction and just keep going. I really like your writing space on your porch. I use my laptop sometimes. We have wifi set up in our home and I can take it put onto the patio if I want. But, usually, I write on my iPad, and where ever I am, rocking chair, patio or Starbucks. I would like to take on a bigger project, a story that would require some research. But I just don’t think I am there yet. I think I need to get a better mastery of what I’m just trying to do now. I am looking forward to getting to know you better this round as well. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for returning the visit! Believe me, I get discouraged at times, but then I try to remember what I have gotten done, so as not to think overmuch about what I haven’t. I would like to have something small like an iPad, so I could be more mobile–that’s my next purchase, I think.

      Don’t worry too much about doing big projects. If you’ve been visiting other ROWers, you’ll see people doing massive wordcounts and writing novels, but don’t feel like you have to match them. I’m writing small things, and others are also working on their craft, so we span the continuum, as well as the globe!

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