ROW80, WIPpet Wednesday

Round Four, Check-in 22 and WIPpet Wednesday

I disappeared for a few weeks from the Round of Words, due to finishing NaNo (and winning), followed by illness and accompanying overwhelm. Today, I woke in full curmudgeon, having slept badly and not long enough, and essentially grumped through my day.  Some who know me well are thinking, “What’s new with that?”  and I must agree.

The difference is, as I tidied my office at the end of the work day, I was flooded with the urge to write. After days, and weeks, of forcing myself awake in the morning darkness to put pixels on the screen, I carefully fed the kindling to the flame and enjoyed the warmth of the words flowing through me. I do not often write at night, but I am now, and the feeling is simply glorious.

I have been writing prompts and thoughts and just about anything that comes through my mind with the abandon of someone first acquainted with the ability to transcribe one’s thoughts into words. I don’t know if this lovely feeling will last, but it is reminding me of why I get up in the dark to squeeze words out of my brain.

My last post about my goals was about some baby steps I was taking, leaving my comfort zone. I am going to take another baby step today, by posting an excerpt.  I used to contribute to WIPpet Wednesday long ago, and will post something for it here. I hope to continue to write snippets for it.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by Emily Wrayburn. The rules are quite simple–the length of the snippet has a mathematical connection with the date.  For example, for 12/12, I am adding all four numbers in the date and posting 6 sentences. This snippet is set in 14th century Paris, where Christine, a widow running her own copy shop, receives a message.

Christine came into the shop to a buzz among the copyists and illuminators, quickly dulled when they noticed her in the doorway of her office.  Anastasia brought over a folded sheaf of parchment, written in a dense hand. “A new poem from Eustache Morel, on a familiar topic.” Christine glanced at the pages, seeing her own name in the verses. Her mentor would not debate politics with her, but had sent a poem of praise.  Her irritation at being seen as a woman was shot through with the warmth accompanying being seen as a woman.

If you want to read more snippets, go here for the links. Also, if you are a writer, consider joining the group, who are supportive and helpful folks.

As for my RoW80 goals, I am doing reasonably well on the health and organizing goals, but not so well on the writing goals. The day job should calm down a bit, as it is finals week, but I am traveling before Christmas and may be doing all my writing longhand and not online.  I will share in the next Round, I promise.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week. Nope

Write three pages of fiction every week. Yes.

Write five pages of nonfiction every week. Nope.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day. Yes

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day. Yes.

Keep up with medical appointments. Yes, although it really is unpleasant when the medication makes one sick!

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project. Yes, with projects multiplying like wire hangers behind the closed doors of closets overnight.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella. Yes, and beyond!

I’d love to hear how everyone is doing in this space between holidays and sliding into Winter Solstice. I myself can relate to my Celtic forebears begging the sun to return.

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ROW80

Round Four Week Four — Casting My Lot

Last week was still a struggle with my Type-A personality, but I made two baby steps in hopes that they will entice me to spend more time with my writing. I signed up for NaNo, fully planning to be a rebel and not to worry overmuch about word count. I also joined RWA and the local chapter. I think (and hope) that having committed to joining will encourage me not only to go to the programs, but to work on putting what I learn into practice.

I mentioned last week being awash with ideas. This past week I started to write some of them down and put them into idea folders. The RWA program I attended two weeks ago had to do with brand and identity, which I am still contemplating.  In the meantime, at least I have some ideas of what sort of things I want to write. I’ve been thinking about creature comforts lately, looking at the devastation in the Caribbean and the Sonoma Valley. I know better than to promise when these ideas will appear in the blog, but they are in formulation. As for my specific goals, listed below, I am doing far better on health and organizing than writing, but I hope all the thought will eventually pour out in words.

All the best to those NaNo pursuers out there, and words to all.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week.

Write three pages of fiction every week.

Write five pages of nonfiction every week.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

Keep up with medical appointments.

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

ROW80

Round Four, Week Three — More Ideas Than Time

Autumn has remained in our neighborhood far longer than usual, with many trees still in full leaf. Unfortunately, rain and winds are forecast for tomorrow, so autumn may be on its way south. I’m a bit sad to see autumn go, but winter has its charms.

I have really fallen off the blogging wagon the past few weeks. I have swarms of ideas, but they tend to evaporate when I try to grasp them and wrestle them into words. Also, I am far too Type A for my own good, putting too much time and effort into the day job. It is crazy that I do so, because it is not neurosurgery, and no one will be harmed if I don’t do everything perfectly. Even so, it’s a hard habit to break.

Despite the pressures at work, this was a pretty good week, because I did manage to fit in some writing things. Saturday, I  went as Eden’s guest to the local chapter program of the Romance Writers of America. I have been reluctant, due to imposter syndrome, but I screwed up my courage. The program was very helpful, and all the members of the chapter were friendly, so I’m glad I finally convinced myself to go. It felt self-indulgent, but hey, it’s not as bad as chocolate, right?

So, other than falling on my face with blogging once a week, I did pretty well on my goals. I didn’t manage five pages of non-fiction, but I reworked the outline and schedule to make up for getting behind a couple of months ago. which was a necessary step to going forward. I met all my health and organizing goals as well. Of course, last night I managed to think of roughly six more projects so I need to set up folders and profiles for all of those projects as well.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week. 

Write three pages of fiction every week. 

Write five pages of nonfiction every week.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

Keep up with medical appointments.

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

ROW80

Round Four, Week One –Autumn Thoughts

Last week was one of those where I wish I was not an administrator, since I had to run a strategic planning meeting with some staff, to get the grassroots level input. As most of them had been there for a long time, the cynicism was thick and cutting. I could not disagree, but contained my remarks to getting the discussion done and over with, so that we could all go back to getting our jobs done. Once I had to report the results, I found that most of our discussion was about objectives, not goals. Sigh. I am all for to-do lists, and planning, but moving the course of  a university library makes steering the Titanic around the iceberg look easy. The way scholars do research has changed completely with the rise of internet and instant communication, but some staff find it very hard to step from their comfort zones.

So that was the day job. Personally, I was hit with autumn allergies on Monday. Luckily, I felt better by Wednesday when I went to New York City to see my doctors. It was a mild, pretty day, and my husband and I sat in one of the parks drinking coffee and observing the wildlife, both human and non-human. While I slept most of the train ride down, it was a glorious ride back in the afternoon along the Hudson, the sun shining and the wind whipping the river into whitecaps. One can track the arrival of Autumn as one comes further north, the colors of the leaves intensifying along the route.

I did participate in a “Six Words” post that came out  last week. It is always nice to stretch myself with a different prompt like that. While it was not a great week for words, I thought through the plot points of the war bride novel and delved more deeply into the backgrounds and insecurities of the main couple. I am toying with creating a pinterest board for the novel, as well as a playlist. I do like to see and hear what the characters would have seen and heard. I have tomorrow off, so I may take a stab at those projects.

I hope all of you are doing well and still feel the excitement of beginning a new Round. Enjoy your week.

ROW80

Round Three Week Four Feeling Energetic

This was actually a short week for me, since I had a stubborn migraine early last week. I managed to get a lot of things done in the few days left after the migraine finally took its leave. I spent most of yesterday decluttering my home office, emptying three large boxes of paperwork and files.  Some needed to be filed, but most needed to be shredded or tossed. It was quite freeing. Today has been more of a push with electronic decluttering, although I did find a file of handwritten edits that I need to combine with the latest electronic version of the non-fiction book. I also spent some time with the websites, although I still need some help from my niece. I’m getting there, though, and will be able to turn my attention to posting on the new, shiny, sites.

The day job was a bit much the last two days of the week. I’m still adjusting to the new boss, and not quite sure how to read her. I hope it’s just the first settling-in sort of thing. I’m also adjusting to a new medication, which seems to be working well, but tends to mess with my sleep. It should settle in the next week or so, but I tend to be cranky when I’m tired. Let the world be forewarned!

If you have a chance, I encourage you to check out the RoWers on FB and on the blog. Excelsior, everyone!

Writing Goals:

One blog post per week.

Five sentences of fiction a day.

One page of writing on the book per day.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Keep track of hydration.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

 

ROW80

Round Two, Weeks Ten and Eleven–Cars and Boats

June is a tough month for me, and not because I’m in JuNoWriMo, although I am trying valiantly to keep writing and working on good habits. It is the worst month in the day job, because I have two conferences, one at which I often present, and the other with attendance and note-taking demands, as well as a 6-7 page annual report. On the personal front, June contains several family birthdays, and two death anniversaries. I will gladly see June in my rear view mirror.

Last week was consumed by a conference on Long Island where I had a short piece of a group presentation. We took the scenic route through western Connecticut and then a ferry across Long Island Sound. We managed to sneak in some sightseeing of the historic areas in the Setaukets and Stony Brook, which was fun, and the ferry ride was a nice break from the driving.  On the way back, we cut over into New York and took the Taconic north to its terminus. Driving the Taconic was on my father’s bucket list, and I remember how pleased he was a few years ago when I told him we had driven on it.

Luckily, the next conference will fall between the Rounds, so it shouldn’t greatly affect my goals (fingers crossed). I appreciated Eden’s comments on the ROW80 blog about what goals are Attainable (the A in SMART goals), but I hope that Round Three will bring some surcease at the day job.

Speaking of goals, how did I do these past two weeks?

Writing:

Two blog posts per week–Sunday check-in and one other. Only one the first week, since I missed last Sunday’s check-in. Two this week, with a Father’s Day post and this check-in.

Five sentences of fiction per day. Yes, sometimes an average over a few days, but often I write every day.

Editing one page per day. No. The past two weeks I have been preparing to apply for a sabbatical to finish this book.

Wellness:

Walk ten minutes per day. Yes, easily. I will increase this goal in Round Three, since ten minutes is too easy.

Hydrate and keep track of it. Yes.

Balance exercise every morning. No. I managed to keep up 80% of the time, but not when I was away, and sometimes on cazy stressful mornings, which are sadly the exact times I need the exercises!

Planning:

Plan every day the evening before, and schedule time for all the above. Not every day, but about 80% of the time.  Next Round, I want to add more work on preserving the times I set. I let work situations affect me far too often.

Happy Father’s Day to all who are fathers, and to all who have fathers.  May the rest of the day be relaxing and restorative.

ROW80

RoW80 Week Nine — Improving

It was a mixed week.  While I got a lot done,  I fell behind on responding to comments and on journaling,  which wasn’t one of my official goals, but one that I may add. I find a morning ritual of journaling,  and working on a positive plan for the day, helps my mood. I’m heading into another busy week, so planning is important.

So how did I do on my goals:

Writing:

Two blog posts per week–Sunday check-in and one other. Yes, just barely, because the second one was just a cute Standard Poodle, but yes.

Five sentences of fiction per day. Yes

Editing one page per day. No, but did some research every day that made up partly for it.

Wellness:

Walk ten minutes per day. Yes, a third week of going beyond, walking at least thirty minutes a day. Also, worked in the garden for about two hours.

Hydrate and keep track of it. Yes.

Balance exercise every morning. Yes.

Planning:

Plan every day the evening before, and schedule time for all the above. Not every day, but most of the time.

I hope everyone has a good, productive week.