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 Four 2017 Goals

My Round Four plan is to put some time and effort into organizing and planning. I tend to rush into writing without thinking things through.  While there are many people who can do that successfully, but I am not one of those people. Therefore,  I am going to pull back and try to go more slowly.

Grounding mantra: Organize, plan, contemplate

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week.

Write three pages of fiction every week.

Write five pages of non-fiction 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 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.



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!


Prodded and Posed

Well, I fell off the map last Wednesday again.  I was in the big city from Sunday through Tuesday, getting poked, prodded, and posed.  Why is it that x-rays require impossible ways of holding oneself? I remember several years ago being asked to move my broken arm into some sort of origami, which took all my early lessons of politeness to weather.

On the plus side, I did get a chance to do some window shopping for furniture, especially for something to give us more counter space in our original 1960 kitchen. I am unpacking slowly and deliberately, and still getting rid of a lot of stuff, which continues to feel liberating.

I have also done some thinking and scribbling down of those thoughts, but have spent a lot of the last week trying to stay cool, relaxing and reading. I have some added incentive to finish a scholarly article for a new journal that asked for submissions by the end of August, so I plan to pull something together by that time. I also have to update Pacemaker, which fell off my radar, since I do have some progress on the projects.

Please visit the other RoWers here if you have a chance–the accountability is a key piece of the challenge. If you are interested in joining the RoW80 challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

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Trains and tests and doctors, oh my!

Last Wednesday’s check-in came and went without a post from me, partially because one of my doctors called at 4pm on Tuesday with a last-minute cancellation for Wednesday. It was a bit of a scramble to get the trains set up to get there and back, but it finally worked out. Although I have more tests in the next few days, I did well not to wait another month for my original appointment to see this doctor, as I seem to have done more damage than I thought when I fell in April.

I managed to get some writing done on Friday, thanks to a writing sprint (thank you again, Eden) and got my minimum goals on Saturday and today, but concentrated on unpacking and cleaning on Saturday.

Also, I was reminded by Karen in a comment that it’s okay to be tired (and thank you for the reminder). I tend to think I should be able to get things done more quickly than I can, but doing this move correctly means getting rid of things I don’t need, and finding a place for things I do need. I am making progress, and need to work on my patience–not my strong suit by a long shot!

If you are interested in joining the RoW80 challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.
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Round Three Goals


*I try to slip into the back row of the room, hoping no one notices that I am late for the Round.*

Kait offered quite the challenge on Monday, bundled with a “geek’s delight” tool, for which I fell completely. If you’re interested in the tool, it’s here. Kait’s post made me think on the slow but sure progress I managed for several weeks in June, and how much it cheered me.

So I have put together three projects on Pacemaker. Feel free to question this tortoise’s sanity. The first is 15,000 words of fiction, which is roughly 192 words a day.  The second is 250 words a day of blog posts, hoping to resurrect my rather moribund blogs. The third is 6,000 words on a journal article, which is about 77 words a day.  I really enjoyed the research and the subject of this article, but it just well, dropped off the radar.

I have some life goals as well, which are still rather amorphous–get in better health, continue to organize the new house (it is day 5), but I will add those as they begin to hold a shape and be measurable.

Check out the goals of other ROWers, which you can find here. If you’re interested in joining the ROW80 challenge, the FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

smaller EM