ROW80 Barn in sight

Back in the saddle after missing Sunday’s check-in.  I don’t have a very good excuse, so I will only say, “life happened.”

Writing happened, too.  I wrote a post event report on the World Sexual Health Day, a WIPpet Wednesday post from what has been my “hidden under the bed” project (too near and dear  for me to chance public view until now), and work on more drafts of ideas and characters and on and on.

I still have an excitement hangover from the trip to New York.  Part of the festivities for World Sexual Health Day was a couple of performances of Acroyoga–oh man! The performers showed such strength and agility, I was (briefly) ashamed of my baby yoga, but then got over it and enjoyed the performances.

As always in NYC, there was a lot of good food, accompanied in this case by good company. I love to be swept up in the hum and drive of the city.  I couldn’t live there unless my life depended on it, but I love a jolt of the buzz every so often.

I am massively behind on comments and visiting and encouraging. I do plan to fight my runaway horse, slow down to enjoy the scenery, and pay it forward to all of you who saw me through the past, undeniably rough, year.

Mixed up in all of the above, I am thinking about goals for the next Round. I don’t think I’m ready for sponsorship yet, since the dread, glisteningly sharp sword of Damocles is still overhead. By the end of the fourth round, I will have the first draft of all my paperwork done for tenure, and can return to a semblance of life while I await the imperial thumbs up or down.

My ADD is in full flower in this post (Oh, SQUIRREL), but I will let it stand. Please go encourage the brave ROWers pulling for the home stretch here.

smaller EM


ROW80 Jump Dead Ahead

Tomorrow, Shan Jeniah and I are travelling to the city (around here that only means NYC) to meet August McLaughlin, whom we met through WANA (the brainchild of Kristen Lamb) in a recreation of the City Mouse and the Country Mouse that should prove a growth experience for each of us.Oh, and we will also attend the World Sexual Health Day.

I’m afraid this check-in will be short, as I have already written a WIPpet post on my author blog, and then a post for the 2nd Annual World Sexual Health Day, also on my author blog.  All i need to say, quite honestly, is that the well overflows in a way it has not for so long, and I am beyond grateful. Will this deep, warm, vat of words end up in a story/novel/piece of some sort?  Got me.  *Gallic shrug*  I’m revelling in the rush of nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs, plucking strings of memory and thought as they swirl through me. I feel as though a long-lost love has walked through the door, thrown his hat on the table, gathered me to him, and swung me off my feet.

I am keeping up with the yoga and the meditation, as well.  I tell you, not even the day job gets me down, and that says a lot. I see that big jump on the horizon, where I will commit to this writing of mine, revealing myself to the world, and I don’t even flinch. I told my boss today why I was going to NYC.  Oh my, how the onion peel is sloughing away!

Please, go take a look at the linky here and encourage the ROWers.  In the last stretch like this, it is often hard to slog through to the finish line, and your cheers help!

smaller EM




ROW80 Home stretch ahead

sun through clouds
Hazy breakthrough by Dave R. Farmer, WANA Commons

I’m finally feeling that the light at the end of the tunnel is not the headlamp of the oncoming train, as the old joke goes.  Although some things, like the speed bump in the survey plans at the day job, and my DH taking over my office  (which is mostly okay, because I plan to transform another room into an office) mean it’s a two-steps forward, one-step back conga dance, the progress is still forward. The new office is slow to come together, but I will share a picture when I can.

Centrally, I am writing, both on scholarly stuff at work to gain coveted tenure, and more fun things outside the day job.  Not surprisingly, priming the pump for the day job writing helps the fun writing and vice versa.  This week carries a few bonuses, as we are closed on Monday, so I have an extra day off.  Also, on Thursday, Shan Jeniah and I (and we hope, Eden Mabee) will go to New York to meet August McLaughlin, whom we met through WANA.

I’ve focussed on cleaning out the Augean stables at both places as well.  It was stunning to find that we had stowed things on the top shelves in the kitchen two and a half years ago, that we had stopped seeing in that weird way that clutter becomes part of the landscape. It feels liberating to get of clutter, as many of you commented on an earlier post, and I’m having a lovely time dumping things.

I am clearing my mind as well, meditating first thing and last thing every day.  One interesting benefit is that I am now remembering more of my dreams, and find fodder for emotions and descriptions, if not for plot. I sometimes become frustrated with the way my mind works.  I tend to work on a lot of things on a rotating basis, so I have nothing to show for my work for a long time.  Then, as if by magic, many things fall together at the same time, and a lot gets finished in the same day.  I think some of it is tied to a fear of success, which Lena Corazon outlined very well in her post.  Lots to think on there.

Writing the memoir has made me think about my life more than I have for a while, and although some of it is difficult, I’m glad that it is happening.  I had some great comments on my last check-in, and hope to respond today or tomorrow, since several of you made me think–always a good thing!

So I enter September on a reflective note, which fits the shorter days.  I hope the home stretch goes well for all of you.  I hope to make the rounds of the ROWers, won’t you join me?  The blog hop linky is here.

smaller EM


Leaving the Cave ROW80 3/9/2014

sun through clouds
Hazy breakthrough by Dave R. Farmer, WANA Commons


It has been a long time since I checked in. Although I managed to stir myself into replying to my sponsor post, and even wrote a post for August McLaughlin’s Beauty of A Woman BlogFest, I have been hibernating. However, I’ve come to realize that I need to get back into this community. I have crawled out of my cave, though it is still winter in my part of the country, and the sun only a promise.  My thoughts have been rife with doubt and uncertainty, which I find paralyzing.  I retreated to the safe shores of academia, and gave up creativity.   Surfeited with facts, my muse rebelled–so here I am, jumping back into the fray.

For now, I will continue with my original goals.  I will change them if they are not working for me the next week or so. I have a lot of work to do, as I have only succeeded in following numbers 4 and 5. with occasional bursts of gratitude.

  1. Meditate for no less than ten minutes a day. 
  2. Find gratitude for at least one thing every day. Occasionally.
  3. Return to the daily habit of at least 250 words a day.  
  4. Never sit when I can stand, never stand when I can pace.  Stand for at least 5 minutes every hour; pace for at least 5 minutes every hour; walk for 5 minutes every 2 hours. Yes.
  5. Contact every extended family member on their birthday. Yes.
  6. Reply to comments on blogs within two days. 

I’m glad to be back.  I’ve missed all of you, as the community is such a crucial part of ROW80. Please go check out some of the other participants here.


March 14 checkin The deep versus the surface

I’m not convinced that it makes a whole lot of sense for me to check-in, but I think it’s worse not to show up, even if all I can say is “not much.”

The house is coming along slowly; we don’t quite have wireless yet as our router decided to go into the great beyond somewhere in Delaware.

I spent yesterday buying work clothes, which was difficult as I hate to go clothes shopping.  I was a full-blown anorexic as a teenager, and although I joke that I recovered far too well, the truth is that I never really recovered from the skewed self-image. I avoid mirrors, so trying on clothes in the three-sided mirror is torture.  My husband was along for some necessary cheerleading–he has a good eye for clothes that will flatter me, and is honest without being brutal about how things look.

I have a character that does not much like herself, so my muse was taking notes on how I was feeling through the several-hour process.  Something good needs to come out of it!  Seriously, I did get several good work outfits for my new management role, where I can’t dress as casually as I could in Florida.

I start work tomorrow, which has me rather nervous.  I am hoping to be able to use the test mile to work out some of that fear, which the logical part of me knows is unwarranted.

What I accomplished: I did manage a couple of days of journalling with the test mile.

What I learned: The anorexic is only dormant.  I have to find ways to get healthy and lose weight that do not bring the anorexic back to full tilt.  Several ROWers are doing some very good series on health, like Marcia Richards; I am also finding August McLaughlin‘s blog, especially her honest post on her own eating disorder, very helpful.

On a happy note, I met fellow ROWer Eden Mabee for tea and an indulgent pastry at a very dangerous shop in Albany.  It’s interesting to meet someone in person that one has known online for a while; there’s so much in common, and yet so many topics that don’t come up in the on-line writer community environment.  I had a lovely time, and garnered many good suggestions on everything from historical places to check out to good grocery stores.

It makes me think about Kait Nolan‘s post about not having any writers nearby.  I certainly felt much that way when I lived in Florida; I met C. M. Cipriani a couple of times, but we were the only writers I could find in the area.  I am looking forward to meeting more of the writers I have met online who live in the area.

Also, maybe by Sunday’s check-in, I will actually have done some writing!  It would be nice to come into the end of the Round with some writing, no?

Please go encourage the rest of the ROWers in the final stretch here.