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.

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Round One Goals 2016

Hello, Round One!

If you are unfamiliar with a Round of Words, or ROW80, click here to read more about it from the creator of the challenge, Kait Nolan. It is a writing challenge that “knows you have a life.”

My life during this first month of the Round is a bit frazzled, so I will be keeping that flexibility in mind.  I have a four-day long conference for the day job, followed a day later by surgery.  I am hopeful that I will have some chance to write and learn during my recovery.

Kait has given me a goal in her opening post by pointing out the need to tack down story structure in order to write good fiction.  She mentions specifically Story Engineering, which was sitting on a shelf not arm’s reach from me as I read her post. I believe in messages from the Universe, so reading Story Engineering more carefully, taking notes, for three hours a week, is my first goal.

I plan to work on a non-fiction project that has been simmering on my back burner for more than a decade. I am so very, very close to finishing, I want to put in a push to get it done.  So, I will write for a half an hour 6 out of 7 days.

I also plan to resurrect a fiction piece that arose from the research for the non-fiction book.  I will write for half an hour 6 out of 7 days.

I plan to return to blogging, posting every check-in for a start.  I would like to expand my topics, but I need to re-establish the habit first.

Finally, I need to continue to take care of myself. The surgery will be a pain, but should help me to feel better by the end of the month.  My plan is to avoid stress at the day job, which can be quantified by working fewer hours.

So these are my goals for the beginning of Round One.  I hope that my reach will extend as the Round continues, and I will continue to grow as a writer.
Please go visit around the other ROWers, whom you can find here.

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Round Four Assessment

Where the magic happens
Writing Desk

My overarching goal in Round Four was to establish habits. I began with very small goals that I hoped to expand during the round. I did quite well on re-establishing habits, although I did have some difficulties getting things finished during the round.


Write for 5 minutes five out of seven days. I really have accomplished this in great part. While a lot of the creative writing was more outlining and plotting, it is very helpful to have regained the habit of sitting down every morning to work on something that brings me peace, and often, joy. Most of my actual writing went into helping my DH with his article, but that’s okay.


With RoWers twice a week, both my assigned folks and others as possible. Not so great. I always visited by assigned folks, but rarely got around to visiting those who commented on my posts, or other RoWers.

Plan blog posts and update of widgets and peripherals. I drafted over 30 posts, but none have been published as yet.

Take care of myself

Walk for 20 minutes at midmorning. Yes, and I made further distances during the Round–up to 40 minutes at a time.  I have been eating better, exercising more, and feel much better.  I have more surgery in January, which should increase my mobility by helping me break less.

Do not eat lunch at my desk, but in a peaceful environment. I did get away from my desk for lunchtime.  I wasn’t very good t taking my lunch, so it was expensive but worth it.

Make and keep doctors’ appointments, schedule all the tests.  Done

Please go visit around the other ROWers, whom you can find here.  Round One starts on January 4th.  Need an accountability group? Think about joining in.

If you are unfamiliar with a Round of Words, or ROW80, click here to read more about it from the creator of the challenge, Kait Nolan. It is a writing challenge that “knows you have a life.” I find its flexibility extremely helpful.
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