Return of the fugitive–first check-in 2019

My Round One goals reflect the fact that I never stop to sharpen my saw, which I believe comes from Steven Covey. I should be the poster child for the person who is too busy cutting down trees to stop to sharpen the saw, and therefore gets slower and slower at cutting down trees. The Round One plan is to put some time and effort into organizing and planning. I tend to rush into writing without thinking things through.  While there are many people who can do that successfully, but I am not one of those people. Therefore, I am going to pull back and try to go more slowly.

Grounding mantra: Organize, plan, contemplate

Organizing Goals:

  • Work through Susan Bischoff’s blueprint series, which is based on Randy Ingermanson’s snowflake method (It starts here if anyone is interested in it)
  • Continue to organize the dissertation files, which I swear reproduce at night.
  • Report to my accountability partner every week.

Writing Goals:

  • Write 750 words a day, whether musings, character profiles, or back story.
  • Edit three pages a day of the dissertation.

Health Goals:

  • Walk at least forty minutes a day.
  • Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.
  • Keep current with medical appointments.
  • Meditate daily.

Creativity goals:

  • Draw once a week.
  • Knit for at least a half-hour daily.

As always, these goals may well change as the Round continues, which is the beauty of the challenge. If you’re interested, you can find out more here.



Round Two Sunday Nine Rolling with a Flat Tire

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks, and not as productive as I would have liked, but I did make progress on some of my goals, which is the important thing. And spring has peeked its head into upstate New York, although the thermometer today might cause one doubt.

A couple of weeks ago, I felt under the weather, so I went to the doctor, where I was found to have a stubborn infection. The strong antibiotic I was given makes me quite ill, and I fear I am not yet done with it. I had another test run on Thursday, but I don’t feel over the infection yet. Sigh.

Finally, I have been trying to resolve my problems with the knee I injured last January in a fall. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon two weeks ago, and had an MRI last Friday. It turns out I do not have a torn meniscus, which was a real possibility, but a severe sprain, which requires rest, ice, compression and elevation. Thank goodness for laptops!

I need to make some new goals for the rest of the Round, and certainly for Round Three. I have mapped out the sabbatical project with an outline that has deadlines at every division, which is helping immensely. I want to transfer that organization to other things in my life, like organizing the home office and the electronic files. I became so frustrated the other day trying to find the latest version of something I was writing amidst the chaos of my cloud drive–not a good feeling at all!

Some other goals may be reading and craft projects–I enjoy seeing what other RoWers are reading and I have been able to unearth some of my knitting projects for the summer. I will continue striving to check-in twice a week, as well as to continue to read criticism for the project.

I hope everyone has a productive week. Please visit the other RoWers hereat the hashtag #row80 or in the ROW80: A Round of Words in 80 Days FB group.


Round Two Sunday Seven — New Leaves

Medieval Writing, by Hans Splinter, WANA Commons

Today was undergraduate graduation at my institution of employment, which makes me think about change and plans, and the intersection of the two. I enjoy graduation, even though I know only a handful of graduates every year. Beyond getting to dress in academic regalia, which I like far too much, I feel the energy of all these young people on the cusp of change. It makes me think about changes I want to make, turning over new leaves.

The last few days have been productive, so I am feeling pretty happy about that. I am toiling my way through the boring stuff that has to be done–proofreading, checking citations, editing, and the like. I’m finding that I may not enjoy the work, but I truly enjoy having it done, so I press on.

I am still behind on organizing the sabbatical space, although I did spend an hour or so getting things set up last Thursday. I realized today when the temperature was close to 80 in the library that the campus has begun its summer shutdown, so there will be no air conditioning for about 10 days until summer classes start. I might concentrate my organizing on the home office and the electronic files that proliferate among my various cloud services.

My other prize from campus was bringing home some readings, so that I can make up my lost goal of reading criticism for a half-hour. I had scanned some articles last week, only to find out that the scanner at work guesses at the size of the page, and cuts off whatever bits it pleases. Of course, I didn’t find that out until I was home.

Although I haven’t made it all the way to walking at least 1 hour a day, I am building up to it. I’ve done more than a half-hour the past two days, and think I can up the ante tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a productive rest of the week. Please visit the other RoWers here, at the hashtag #row80 or in the FB group.


Round Two Sunday Six Strange Freedom

Happy just-past-midpoint of Round Two, everyone. It is a strange Round for me, in that I have worked every May since my youngest was a year old, and that was 24 years ago. It is a strange, but lovely, freedom. I wake up at 5:30 and start editing or writing, and fight the feeling that I am forgetting something.

Although I am checking in, I do feel I am letting my blogging and social media lapse. Yesterday was the May meeting of my local RWA chapter,  which included a lovely presentation on branding and an author platform, which, if you glance at Elizabeth Anne Mitchell, you will see needs some of my love and attention. I garnered some great ideas from the presentation, and want to try some of them out.

I also had a heartening chat with the chapter president after the meeting, where she had some suggestions in response to my whining about being such a nerd. I hope to overcome my discomfort with some of social media I tend to avoid, and try some of her suggestions as well.

As for my goals,  I have fallen down on my organizing the sabbatical space, as well as my reading criticism for a half-hour.  I had eye surgery on my right eye last Friday, and babied it for the day. However, I plan to make myself read something this evening, since I spent most of today updating my bibliography, and found a few articles I actually want to read.

I am not sure when I will get back to the office on campus, since finals continue most of this week, and campus will be nearly uninhabitable. I am working on my study space at home, making small improvements.  

Finally, since it seems our May cold snap may have ended, *speaking softly so it doesn’t return to spite me,* I will add a goal of walking at least 1 hour a day. I am spending even more time crouched over a keyboard than I do at the day job,  and I am feeling it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, productive week. Please visit the other RoWers hereat the hashtag #row80 or in the FB group.



Round Two Wednesday Six Slightly Obsessed

My thought this afternoon was How in the world is it Wednesday already? However, here it is, and here I am. I’m feeling slightly guilty this week, because I have not written my reflection post for the A-Z April Blogging Challenge. Honestly, I am having trouble balancing life and sabbatical project, and not in the way I expected. I am having a lot of trouble doing anything but the project, and have spent more than 10 hours a day on it since Sunday. Therefore, I must thank Eden for dragging me out of my hermitage for live classical music and lunch yesterday, and more importantly, for keeping me slightly sane about the project.

So, it is painfully obvious that I am meeting the write or edit at least five hours goal, to the detriment of the other goals. I did spend an hour Monday organizing the sabbatical space, but I have not touched it since then. I have not read criticism for a half-hour, but I have not given up on either the organization nor the criticism, but I am pushing them back slightly. I have been thinking about the reflection post for the A-Z April Blogging Challenge, and may write it whether I meet the deadline or not. It was an interesting experience.

Today was the last day of classes, and campus has been a nuthouse, even invading my quiet corner. I have a regional library annual meeting “do” to go to tomorrow, and have surgery on the right eye Friday morning, so I am going to take it easy for a bit.

Here’s to a lovely, productive rest of the week. Please visit the other RoWers hereat the hashtag #row80 or in the FB group.


Round Two Sunday Five Deep Dive

Ready to write

The past week has gone by quickly, but it has been a good week. I managed to finish the A-Z April Blogging Challenge, and plan to write the relection post tonight or in the morning.

I have also managed to Write or edit for at least five hours five days a week. I took Friday off, because I had eye surgery that morning. After a self-indulgent day of listening to audio-books, I was feeling much better yesterday, and have worked more than fifteen hours between yesterday and today. The plan for the sabbatical was to do the boring stuff first so that I would build steam rather than run out before the time was over. To my surprise, I have dived into checking citations and fixing footnotes that I have not had the patience to address for months. I am even taking great pride in proofreading.

The new short-term goal (Find the most efficient, and least obtrusive organization for the sabbatical space) needs some refinement, so I will amend it to Spend one hour the next four days finding and implementing efficient organization for the sabbatical space.  I am also going to add another task, Read criticism one-half hour a day. I am stunned, but very grateful, that I am enjoying these nuts-and-bolts tasks.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Please visit the other RoWers here; at the hashtag #row80, or in the FB group.



Round Two Wednesday Five Borrowed Digs

Although I may seem over-confident, I am checking in today, my sabbatical has started, and I think that I can keep up with check-ins for a while. Goal One, done. My A-Z blogging challenge got off to a rocky start, when I wavered about doing it this year. However, after catching up by C or D, I hit the mark all the way to Z. I’m looking forward to writing the reflection post next week.

Sunday and Monday were still under the old Write or edit for at least two hours five days a week goal. Although I spent about four hours packing my former office on Sunday, I also spent two hours transcribing notes. Monday was blessedly less busy than last week, with only one short work meeting, and a couple of staff wanting to say goodbye, which was nice. I managed to get in two hours as well on Monday.

Tuesday was the first day under the revised Write or edit for at least five hours five days a week goal. It took some time for IT to move and set up my computer in the office I am borrowing for the six month sabbatical. I also spent some time to move the books and pens and other writing accoutrements. Even so, I managed to edit for five hours, despite there being no chair (!) in the borrowed office.

Today, I wheeled my chair from the former office to the borrowed office, sat down, and sighed contentedly. I have done at least five hours today, and plan to go back to it after I finish this post.

And the last goal is also accomplished. Plan the move into the sabbatical space, for at least an hour a day for the next ten days, can now change to a short-term goal: Find the most efficient and least obtrusive organization for the sabbatical space.

Have a productive rest of the week, everyone. Visit the other RoWers in the FB group or here.


Round Two Sunday Four: Freedom ahead

Where the magic happens
Writing Desk

The old saying, pride goeth before a fall seems relevant at the moment. I did not post last Wednesday, the first check-in I have missed since I started this Round. Why did I miss it? The major reason was last week was off the rails. Everyone at work suddenly realized I was going to be gone May 1st, and panicked. I had back-to-back meetings last Wednesday from 9am through 4:30pm, with a 20-minute break. Someone actually asked to meet with me in that 20-minute stretch, but I took joy in telling them I planned to eat lunch and I was not going to meet during my lunch. Even so, I was completely exhausted, and couldn’t even muster the strength to put a comment on FB. I fell short of the Work toward more consistency in my check-ins goal.

However, I did post T-Y in the  A-Z blogging challenge this week. I looked at my draft for Z, and decided that I needed to find a different subject for Z. I wrote the post yesterday, and it is scheduled to go up tomorrow. Therefore, I did meet the goal: Post the A-Z blog challenge posts.

Despite the ridiculous work week, and a day spent in medical appointments, I continued transcribing handwritten notes into the sabbatical project, meeting the Write or edit for at least two hours five days a week goal.

As for the goal, Plan the move into the sabbatical space, for at least an hour a day for the next ten days, I finished that packing last week, and got most of the packing for the permanent move done as well. I am going to my office today to finish up what is not going to the sabbatical space.

Finally, I will be able to increase my writing goal on May 1 to Write or edit for at least five hours five days a week.

Have a lovely week, everyone. Please visit the other RoWers here or in the FB group.



Round Two Sunday Three

Wow, folks, I am on a roll. Here I am checking in again. I am still posting more consistently, even beyond the A-Z blogging challenge. Since all the posts were 90% written before April started, I can’t count them as proving consistency now. However, I am checking in more consistently than I have since, oh, 2016 or so. I have to tweak Y and Z, but T through X are scheduled.

After a rocky start last week, I did manage to write or edit for at least two hours a day Wednesday through Saturday. A lot of it was transcribing handwritten notes into a piece, but no one was going to magically do it for me, so it counts.

On the theme of life finding reasons to give one perspective, I looked back at the goal I set last Wednesday: Plan the move into the sabbatical space, for at least an hour a day for the next ten days. My perspective was altered by my boss, who told me Thursday morning that I have to vacate my current office by close of business April 30. Although my current office is a cubicle, it is a large “Head of Department” cubicle, with floor to ceiling windows. I have to move to a cubicle about half the size, with no windows. I regret even more how much I have accumulated in this office over the past six-plus years.

Need I say that I am looking forward to my sabbatical? I met my goal of planning for the move today, after 7 hours of packing. I am now going to concentrate on maintaining my writing goal: Write or edit for at least two hours five days a week, and increasing it on May 1.

Excelsior, everyone. I had to learn Longfellow’s poem of that title in third grade–imagine my surprise when I moved to New York State and saw the motto on the flag: Excelsior. Have a lovely week. Please visit the other RoWers here  or in the FB group.


Round Two Wednesday Three


Here I am for my second check-in since posting goals. Therefore, I am meeting my first goal, of posting more consistently. The A-Z blog challenge posts are posted (today P was posted) or scheduled (Q-S are scheduled tomorrow through Saturday).

Unfortunately, I did fail to meet my third goal, of editing or writing for two hours a day. I managed to get at least one hour a day, so the habit is still there, but I spent most of my writing time pulling together the books and papers I will need for the sabbatical. There are many in my office at work. And those I do not need, I want to return so that I don’t get notices to return them. While I will be in town most of the time, I do not want to keep traipsing into my office to get things I forgot. Since I realized that I had so much preparation to do, I am going to add another goal for the next two weeks: Plan the move into the sabbatical space, for at least an hour a day for the next ten days.

I am going to keep my writing goal, (Write or edit for at least two hours five days a week) for now, in hopes that I can adjust my schedule to allow for both goals. I think I was caught by surprise by the amount of books, articles, and the like I have squirreled into my work office.

I feel confident that I can keep to my other goals of posting more consistently, and of completing the A-Z blogging challenge.

Have a lovely rest of the week, everyone. Please visit the other RoWers here or in the FB group.