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.


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.



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?


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.


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!


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 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:


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.


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.


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.



Weeks Six and Seven–Back on the Horse

I missed last week’s check-in, sorry to say, just out of general meh. The day job continues to be stressful, and I am not learning how to disconnect from it fast enough to suit myself. Upon my return to work after the conference in Vermont, I found that we had no air circulation or air conditioning in the building, because “annual routine maintenance” was being done. Last week, the air handlers were turned off for “annual shutdown,” because there were no students on campus last week. While great for anyone wanting to write about the feeling of living in central Florida in June in the 1800’s, it was not very conducive to getting anything done.

The highlight of the two weeks was graduation, however. I never turn down a chance to wear my academic regalia, and marching through the rows of family and undergraduates to the platform is a lot of fun.  Their enthusiasm and happiness is contagious, even if I turn a little jealous hearing about summer plans from those who have the summer off.

Also, on a brighter note, I managed several phone calls for self-care and some reading, neither of which I had done in the longest time. Eden mentioned on the check-in sharing what we are reading. I am several books into a series that Eden recommended to me, Anne Perry’s William Monk series, which I am enjoying greatly.

So how did I do on my goals:

Writing: Two blog posts per week–Sunday check-in and one other. Sadly, no.

Five sentences of fiction per day. Yes

Editing one page per day. Yes.

Wellness: Walk ten minutes per day. Actually, I did meet this goal and beyond, walking between 24 and 64 minutes a day.

Hydrate and keep track of it. Yes.

Balance exercise every morning. Not every day, but some days.

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

I hope all my friends in the States enjoy their Memorial Day holiday, and a good week to all.


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!