ROW80 check-in October 27


Since last check-in, I’ve been down to Manhattan and back, seeing both my surgeon and my internist.  My days of lolling about the house are slowly drawing to an end, as I will return to the day job on November 4th, half-time for the first week. I do better when I have some structure to my life; while I often envy those of you who write full-time, I recognize that I would need to create more structure in order to succeed in following your lead.

I have undergone a sea change, however.  I enjoy my day job, and am good at it. The days spent in ICU, however, made me focus on what I find rewarding about it, which is mentoring and supporting my staff and students.  I have been guilty of working far too hard–skipping lunches and breaks–and have resolved not to do that anymore.  My work does not hover on the line between life and death, as it is neither rocket science or brain surgery.  Why then do I expend so much time and effort on it? I suppose, in part, the Puritan work ethic is responsible, as it seems to imbue corporate America.  We live to work, rather than work to live. The more I want to smell the roses along the way, the less I feel the satisfaction of working evenings and weekends.

So, as a brief recap of my goals: I still owe replies to comments made on my Round Three sponsor post (blush), but then I will be caught up.

I have been reading non-stop, looking at story structure and thinking about my own writing.  I get on author jags, as is evident in the last few things I’ve read.  Alys Clare wrote the Hawkenlye mysteries several years ago.  I started the first one, Fortune Like the Moon, and put it down, not finding it engaged me.  While in the hospital, I started her new series, the Aelf Fen mysteries, which I enjoyed greatly. There is a small amount of paranormal which works well with the setting of post-conquest England.  Sadly, my public library does not own the newest two or three. Sigh. I got brave and read one of the later Hawkenlye mysteries, which I greatly enjoyed. I plan to return to as many of the earlier titles as I can find in the library.  But thank goodness for Kindles!  Mine saved my sanity many times in the last several weeks–as have public libraries with downloadable Kindle books.

I also went on a romance spree.  I read a lot of Madeline Hunter and Stephanie Laurens.  Both are obviously doing something right, given their popularity, but to be honest, I found myself second-guessing the twists and turns too often for my liking.

While I have no plans to join NaNo officially, I hope to join some sprint writing with the ROW80 team sprinters on Twitter. I am still stuck using pen and paper to write.  This check-in is being typed laboriously one-handed,

Please go visit the other ROWers, whom you can find here.


10 thoughts on “ROW80 check-in October 27”

    1. Yes, Ruth, I’m still barrelling through the ebooks at my public library. I don’t sleep well at night, so I’m often reading in the wee hours on the couch in the living room, with a dog at my feet. The dogs seem to have worked out a night nurse schedule, because I often finally fall asleep with one on my feet, and wake up with the other one there!

  1. Reading is a great escape. Good for you for turning to it and for taking advantage of the learning opportunities too. You’re lucky for many reasons and one of them is enjoying your day job. Hope you enjoy this last week at home. Have a great one.

    1. Thanks, S.J. I have hated so many day jobs in the past, I am very aware of how lucky I am! I do love to disappear into the reading; I’m so proud of myself that I’m still able to look at structure and enjoy the story!

      Have a lovely week!

  2. It sounds like you have a good perspective on returning to work. I wish I could take that attitude into my office everyday. Why is it that everyone else gets a lunch except me? Am I working inefficiently? No, I do twice as much work as everyone else. But enough of that!

    Good luck with your goals, take it easy and if you can’t jump in with both feet (both hands), it is ok to wade for a while.

    1. Ah, Chris, I’ve been in your position with the day job so many times in the past. In fact, I almost quit my last day job to write, but ended up taking this one, which seemed to fit so well with my skills and what my husband wanted to do. I hope you can find some peace and satisfaction in yours–or get the heck out. 🙂

      I hope to take it easy–that’s not natural for me, but I’m trying! Your point about wading is a very good one–I’ll be repeating that to myself tomorrow!

  3. In some ways, working with students is all engrossing because teachers can really make a difference, regardless of how old the student is. But you’ve been in ICU which led to lots of reading and reflection. So maybe you will see your way through to more balance between your work (which gladly you enjoy) and your writing (which fuels all else). Even within the structure of ROW80, there’s lots of flexibility. I hope your November is good to you.

    1. Thank you, Beth. I am truly hoping to find a way to balance the two without needing to be two people.

      I was talking a few days ago with my younger son, who mentioned some of his favorite teachers from elementary and middle school, which, since he is 20, was many years ago. I would consider myself a huge success to have any of my students talk about me that way, and have been lucky enough to have reunited with a few who seem to do so.

      I love the flexibility of ROW80 and plan to use it to its fullest. Have a lovely November!

  4. Slow and steady Elizabeth. Don’t over do it 🙂 Good on you for identifying what you love about your job and what can slide so you can smell the roses. May you find a happy medium. All the best with your goals.

    1. Thank you, Raelyn–and the same to you! The rubber will hit the road tomorrow when I show up for the first time in a month–my desk will be buried, and my students and staff will be waiting in line for decisions. I’m still hopeful I can walk that middle path!

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