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

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:

Writing:

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

Five sentences of fiction per day.

Editing one page per day.

 

Wellness:

Walk ten minutes per day.

Hydrate and keep track of it.

Balance exercises every morning.

 

Planning:

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.

 

ROW80

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!

 

 

ROW80

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.

Musings, ROW80

RoW80 June arrives

My father holding me, with my sister beside him

 

Yesterday was my father’s birthday, so the above picture of him holding an unhappy me early in my life is in his honor. The house in the background is one where I lived for only the first eight weeks of my life, so I know I am younger than that age.  My sister, who is peeking into the frame, is four years older than I, and a daddy’s girl, so it is not surprising to see her in the picture. She was never far from him. This year is the first that my sister will celebrate her birthday later this week without him, without the joint celebration my father and she enjoyed with birthdays only four days apart.

Since I have finished with the course I had to take for work, I may be able to fit some writing on the memoir into the month of June.  My World War II novella has a better framework, as do the scholarly articles calling out for attention, but the memoir may offer some salve to the losses of the past few years.

Yesterday was filled with words and stories, not all written down or tied to a certain piece, but I’m comfortable with that. I managed to make my word count for JuNoWriMo, but not easily or early. Sometimes the words need to fling themselves into the void, and perish in the effort, but they create paths for the next venture.  Words, even those tossed aside, are not wasted.

I also spent most of yesterday cleaning so that the property manager can take pictures of the house. I tend to scrub harder when I am perturbed, so everything is quite clean. 🙂

I’m off to write more words.  Have a lovely day, and please go encourage the other RoWers here.


smaller EM

 

 

 

 

ROW80

RoW80 Check-in Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and I want to thank everyone who has served in the military, and to remember all those whose service cost them their lives.  Both my husband and I have many family members in the services, including my nephew who is in Afghanistan right now.  My father, my brother, my brother-in-law served in the past; my niece, my nephew, and his wife, are currently serving in the military.  Thank you all.

The last few days have been busy, in an unsurprising way. I am finishing up an eight-week course that I just despised.  I figured that I would have known some of what would be in the course, but as it happened, I learned nothing new.  Nothing from my 40+ hours of work over the past eight weeks.  I’m terribly disappointed.  Oh well.

The packing continues apace–the property manager for the rental came over to fix the dining room ceiling, which was badly patched from the leak earlier this year. He reiterated that we need to get the boxes out of the house for it to be shown.  I suppose it is good that I am not the person dealing with this situation, because my husband can be more polite than I would be. (He’s of German heritage, while I reveal my Irish heritage often). I can only partially blame the incredibly hot weather that is visiting the Capital District this week, and the lack of air-conditioning.  Sigh.

There are several positive things about the past few days.  We went through some stored clothing, and gave away four large trash bags full. I have continued my flurry of cleaning my work files and filing things I have to keep, with a result of emptying three drawers of a five-drawer filing cabinet.

Even more exciting is that I am continuing to write in the tiny spaces of time that I have in my day.  I will have several more hours available now that the course is over, and I plan to spend at least part of it writing. Since my current WIP is set in World War II, it is only right that I spend part of Memorial Day writing it.

I hope everyone finds time to write today and tomorrow.  Please go encourage the rest of the RoWers here.

smaller EM

 

 

ROW80

RoW check-in First World Musings

Fair warning–this first paragraph is a rant! My throat is sore, my nose is running, and I am feeling extremely sorry for myself. I’ve been fighting this dreck that has hit most of my staff.  Sadly, although I have been begging them to stay home when they are sick, there is some weird corporate culture here that it is better to come in when they are coughing and sneezing on everyone.  What is up with that?  I sometimes have to go in because I used a lot of my sick days on fun things like surgeries and days in Intensive Care, but these staff of mine have more than two or three months worth of sick leave.  Doesn’t anyone know how fast sickness skates through cube farms?  STAY HOME!

Okay, you’re safe now, gentle reader. I’ve also neglected my writing the past couple of days, although I am writing this as part of a group sprint, so thank you, Eden, again. I have also been planning, drawing, thinking about the world and how things like getting water and food work in that society.  I am very bad about posting check-ins–feeling meh, and not like I have anything interesting to say.

All household members have been madly packing the past several days–ever since the weekend, and it is coming home to all of us 1) we hate packing 2) we keep too much stuff 3) we are actually forcing ourselves to do it right this time, no matter how horrible it is to do so.  We bought more trash cans, and recycling bins, and have filled up donation bins nearby with clothing and other usable items. It makes me feel better, but I am swearing to live less cluttered in the future.

I have also been on the other end of the first world spectrum, needing help to clothe and feed my family, so I am happy to pay it forward.  It is part of what I have taught my kids as well, and I am pleased to see how much they are donating as well.

First world problems, I know. I thought the other day of how precious paper was when it first began to replace vellum and parchment, and how amazed (and appalled) 16th century people would have been at the hordes of paper that invade our homes.  It is a different perspective on all the stuff we have, to think about the people who had one good dress and one work dress for most of their lives, and who wrote letters on every available space, since paper was so dear.

I’ve been thinking about the way that I take so many things for granted–the light that allows me to type this at night, the electricity that powers my laptop, the gas that heated my water for tea, the water that comes from the tap.  I planned a series of blog posts about that awhile back, but it slipped off my radar.  I’m beginning to think about it again.

I want to do better about check-ins, too.  I feel very cut off when I don’t check-in and read and comment on other RoWers’ posts, so I just need to schedule it and do it, right?

Please go check out how all the other RoWers are doing here.

smaller EM