Week Six — Rocks and Flowers

My week was somewhat disjointed, in that I went to a conference in Burlington, Vermont, on Thursday and Friday. It is nice to travel shortish distances to these things, so that one can enjoy the landscape on the way. It was Commencement weekend at the University of Vermont, where the conference was held, so we stayed in Stowe, Vermont, a 45-minute drive away. Burlington is a very nice small town, with lots of local shops and restaurants right downtown.  It is on the shores of Lake Champlain, and one can see the Adirondacks across the water in upstate New York.  

Stowe, a small village that I’m sure balloons in population during ski season, is on the flanks of Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont, topping out at 4,393 feet. It was nice to be there during spring, with verdant fields and rhododendrons bursting with blooms. We were lucky that the forecast rain did not show up until this morning as we were leaving, so we did a fair amount of exploring yesterday.

Rhododendron in Stowe, VT
Boulder very near road on Mount Mansfield, VT

Time away from a routine is also very clarifying for me. I have been thinking about the rounds when I have had health and wellness goals, and I think the holistic approach is good for me. I will give my revised goals at the end of the post, but first, how did I do on my goals this past week?

One blog post per week. Last Tuesday, I posted a music video, and today a Mother’s Day tribute, both on Elizabeth Anne Mitchell.

Five sentences of fiction every day. Yes, but just barely.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. No, so it is definitely  time for a change.

New Goals:


Two blog posts per week–Sunday check-in and one other.

Five sentences of fiction per day.

Editing one page per day.



Walk ten minutes per day.

Hydrate and keep track of it.

Balance exercises every morning.



Plan every day the evening before, and schedule time for all the above.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and Happy Day to all of us children.



Week Five — Decluttering and Thinking

How are we halfway through this Round?? I find it hard to believe how quickly time goes. It was another crazy week at the day job, so I’m still recovering from that. Also, Wednesday was tough, as it would have been my brother’s 69th birthday. Even so, I did make some progress, so I am feeling good about that.  I also saw my doctor on Thursday. She was delighted that my calcium and Vitamin D was normal, for the first time in the three years I’ve been seeing her. And, she was happy that my recent breaks did not require surgery, which echoed my relief.

Yesterday was a day of attacking the boxes in the garage. It felt good to get some of the stuff out of the way, to declutter by recycling and tossing.  We had enough recycling to have to fill the car with cardboard and head out to the local recycling center. We cleared enough space to put up the bike racks in the garage, to Son Number Two’s delight. I found some books that have been long buried, but best of all, I found the Claddagh door knocker that my parents brought back from Ireland for me.

On to my goals:

One blog post per week. Last Thursday, I posted the history of the word husband on Lapidary Prose, as well as a funny dog video on Friday. I’m starting to get back into the swing of posting.

Five sentences of fiction every day. Lots of research, which led to five sentences, but not directly writing.  Still progress, however.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. This goal is evading me every week.  I need to think about whether to, and how to change it.

I hope all of you are enjoying the spring, or the coming of spring.  I plan to go take pictures of the flowering trees in the neighborhood today.  Have fun this week!




Week Four–Organization and Planning

Where the magic happens
Writing Desk

My mood lifted slightly this past week, because: I posted on Lapidary Prose again, the first in a series of explorations of word history, with the word fee; I also posted a video on my Elizabeth Anne Mitchell site; I edited my Father’s Day post; Son Number 2, DH, and I worked for a few hours yesterday in the garage, with a lot of things recycled or rediscovered, and space reclaimed. I especially rejoiced to unearth my iron and my sewing machine table, so that I can revive my sewing along with my neophyte quilting skills.  I have been eyeing the clothes steamer, wondering how easily I could iron seams, so I am very happy to find the iron.

I also finished physical therapy last week, and while I appreciate greatly the work of physical therapists, I am glad not to have someone cranking on my arm three times a week. I made a few doctor’s appointments, and have another one to call tomorrow, so I am taking care of myself there as well.

Another series of planning and organization awaits me.  I filled up my cloud storage, so I will have to archive some earlier versions of the book, and deduplicate what I can. Also, all my WordPress upgrades came due, so I need to figure out where I want to head with them.  I think I will keep all three, but I may tie them in more than they have been in the past.  I have lots to ponder.

So, how did I do on my goals:

One blog post per week. Some weeks this will probably be my account of how I progressed on my goals, but I hope to expand to other posts. I have posted short pieces this past week, as I detail above. Neither the video nor the word history things garner a lot of attention, but I am thinking about that, and figuring that it will take time to find my audience.  I will post the Mother’s and Father’s Day posts on the Elizabeth site, since Lapidary Prose is more language/writing, and Leavekeeping is almost entirely ROW80. (Not that any of that is bad) I need to tie the sites together without making them all the same.  

Five sentences of fiction every day. More will be cherished and coddled, but five is required. Writing in the mornings is helping, certainly.  I am writing more than five sentences, although most of it is background work that may or may not end up in the novella.  It’s still writing, and I feel much better about the progress I’m making

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Yes, it’s not always pretty or fun, but necessary. I took the plunge this past week and started editing at the day job.  Writing is supposed to be one-third of my mission,  but when push comes to shove, administrative duties and committees are given precedence.  So I am testing the water, and disappear from my office to write (well, edit, in this case).  So far, so good.

Have a great week, everyone. Happy May!


Week Three–Digging In

It was a meeting-rich week at the day job, and the sort of meetings that leave one absent a brain at the end of the day. At some point during the week, my husband sent me a picture of socks which said “This meeting is b***s**t.”  Later in the week, I saw a similar pair and other wonderful ones at a book/gift shop next to where Eden and I met for writing time. It is always dangerous for me to enter a bookshop, because I am so torn between getting ALL the books, and being guilty about buying any books that I cannot justify sitting down to read. I do listen to audio books, and read e-books, but I find it difficult to sit with a print book and read for pleasure.  I hope this inability passes soon, since I usually love to read physical books.

I am not in the best place with the day job right now, in that I am constantly pulled away from the work that matters to attend meetings about things that do not matter. The good thing is that my muse sometimes performs well under stress. Thus I am at times madly writing in my head, jotting down a phrase or two so as not to forget what I was thinking. On the negative side, I am starting to slide back into the Slough of Despond. I plan to investigate medications and/or therapy again, to see if I can moderate the slide before it gets too entrenched. 

So, how did I do on my goals:

One blog post per week. Some weeks this will probably be my account of how I progressed on my goals, but I hope to expand to other posts. Last Friday I went back to my Lapidary Prose blog, and posted a very short piece about hope. Most of my former followers have unfollowed the blog, and I don’t blame them.  I plan to continue to post there and put the links on Facebook and Twitter, slowly building followers again. I have a Mother’s Day post written, and a Father’s Day post drafted.

Five sentences of fiction every day. More will be cherished and coddled, but five is required. My return to the day job disrupted my daily writing routines, but I am slowly getting it back. Thursday I met Eden after work, and ironed out more details about my hero and heroine in the World War II novella, figuring out where and how they might have met, and further details about their backgrounds. I’m still struggling to find a good time to work on the daily writing. After brainstorming with the husband, I am going to try a different approach and write in the mornings before the day job.  I’ll report on my progress next week.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Yes, it’s not always pretty or fun, but necessary. This editing did not happen every day, which was disheartening.  I had planned to do it during lunch break at the day job, but I sometimes get pulled into meetings so that I don’t get a lunch break.  I am involved with an academic writing group that keeps me somewhat on task for that sphere of writing, but we are on a break right now, and I don’t have the incentive to keep up as much as I do when we are reporting every week. 

Have a great, fruitful week, everyone!




Week Two–Still Writing

Two weeks in.  Happy Easter, happy Passover, happy April 16th, however you may be inclined. I’ve been doing well on my goals, so I’m in a pretty good mood. Last night, I wrote 2916 words on a set of blog posts for next year’s A-Z challenge.  Yes, I know that’s a year away, but I find I should write things when I want to write them.  Well, I write every day, but I sometimes let inspiration guide what I write.  I also wrote 643 words yesterday on a different blog post that should go up reasonably soon, and last Wednesday I wrote about 300 words for a Mother’s Day post (handwritten, so harder to count) and spent a lively few hours discussing my characters in the World War II novella with Eden.  It was good to discuss and share on such a bittersweet day–Wednesday was the third anniversary of my mother’s passing, as well as my youngest son’s 24th birthday.  It was also very good to write.  

I am clearly still awash with blog post ideas, but hope to dust off my story toolkit/outline/coloring book even further after the discussion of the characters and their respective backgrounds. I took notes like mad as we talked, but I know I can refine some things when I type them in. I’m glad to be back writing and thinking about writing on a regular basis

Oh, and because I saw an interest in writing spaces mentioned on Facebook, here’s the writing space I had in the last house (we moved in July 2016).

Pen cases
Left side of the writing desk

As for my goals, which I will probably start monkeying with now that they seem attainable:

One blog post per week. Nothing posted this week except for this one.  I do have seven more in draft that I hope to post soon.

Five sentences of fiction every day. Yes, most of it on Wednesday, but I’ll definitely take it.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Four days this week.

I hope everyone has a great week.


One Week In–Skimming the Wave

So, one week in, how am I doing on my goals?

One blog post per week. I posted a funny video on this past Friday, but I don’t consider that a blog post. This one counts, though! 

Five sentences of fiction every day. On the whole, this was a win. Sometimes, it was more than five sentences, especially when I was writing character backgrounds or planning ideas for further scenes.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Only two days this past week.

Perhaps because it has been one of those weeks at the day job, I have been inundated with ideas for blog posts. I am swept away by ideas that I want to explore. Not having time to draft anything, I have been packing these ideas into drafts or making lists of things to pursue.  Crazily enough, I am even thinking of things to write for next year’s A-Z challenge. The fiction has been coming along slowly, but that is better than stalled, so I am comfortable with that. The non-fiction has stalled, because I made the mistake of planning to do it during breaks at the day job, which vanished like fog in sunlight. I didn’t get away from the veal-fattening pen for lunch or coffee, much less writing. I will carve out more of my “before day job morning” to dedicate to the non-fiction as well as the fiction.

The months of this Round are tough for me, containing my brother’s birthday, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and the anniversaries of both my parents’ deaths. I have often hidden away in depression and silence, but I feel I can write this year. I am glad to be back this Round, and hope to begin visiting participants’ blogs more regularly.


Round Two 2017 Goals

I’m amazed (and saddened) to see how long it has been since I have posted on this blog.  I didn’t meet all my goals in the Round of Words challenge, but I did get a lot more words down when I participated than in the past many moons.  So here I am with my modest goals for the upcoming Round.

One blog post per week. Some weeks this will probably be my account of how I progressed on my goals, but I hope to expand to other posts.

Five sentences of fiction every day. More will be cherished and coddled, but five is required.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Yes, it’s not always pretty or fun, but necessary.

I have some life goals as well, which are not yet measurable, but will be added when they begin to hold a shape and be measurable.

If you’re interested in joining the Round of Words in 80 Days challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.