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.



Still mucking out

The study to be
The study to be

The past half week has been one of discoveries.  Work continues apace with clearing clutter from the domicile.  Something about sending the last kid off to college incited a fierce need to rid myself of clutter.  I have been inching toward getting the study reclaimed, which involved moving furniture, clearing closets, and making choices about the importance of material things.  I’m finding myself taking lots of pictures of things, and jettisoning the things themselves.  I’ve also realized that keeping the-next-size-smaller clothing in hopeful optimism is selfish, when a) there are people out there who could use that clothing right now, and b) I can reward myself with smaller clothing when and if I get there. There have been many trips to charity shops to drop off useful clothing. It feels so freeing, even though late summer doesn’t evoke renewal for me.  That’s okay, I’ll take it! The picture above is the putative study the day we moved in, so it looks quite different now, but I will put up a new picture once it is set up.

I’ve also been reducing clutter at the day job. None of our databases will be available tomorrow.  Without any substantive work to do, we are cleaning our work areas.  I hate to file, so a good part of my day will be forcing myself to file.  If I see daylight after that, I will begin on my electronic files. Yippee?!?

I am continuing to do well on my ROW80 goals.  I am writing ideas down by the handfuls, knowing many of them will come to nothing, but enjoying the exercise anyway. I continue to work on the memoir, even though up until a few days ago, I was pantsing it completely, which is not my usual manner, just to have something in rough draft to put up for WIPpet Wednesday.  A comment by K.L. Schwengel (thank you!) set off a light bulb in my head, and showed me the scarlet thread that runs throughout the entire work so far.  I hope to do some serious plotting and development of it for the rest of the Round.

Meditation and yoga have become habits, and even more part of my writing rituals. Music has rejoined my rituals as well, thanks to Barry Koostachin, who helpfully posted a Celtic harp song on my timeline. I find myself playing music constantly now. It feels like renewing a friendship.

Have a lovely week, and please encourage the other ROW80 participants, listed here, if you have a chance.

smaller EM


Still at the track and still on track

As these things tend to happen, life got in the way this past week.  On Monday, our youngest found an apartment within walking distance of his new college, Thursday signed the lease, and by Friday morning was all packed and ready to go. There was a lot to accomplish, as his apartment is not furnished, so I’ve been the proverbial chicken.

It is very strange to have only my husband and I rattling about the house. When we rented this place, it seemed over the top to have three bedrooms.  As it turned out, we had both sons move in temporarily, so it worked out.  Our older son moved last January to go to school, although he has come home pretty regularly.  I know that his brother, the dogs, and the free washer and dryer, explained a lot of that visiting.  Now  his younger brother will be living half a mile away from him–and has a free washer and dryer–so I know visits will diminish. And before someone gently points out the following truth, I do know that it is a good thing that they are moving away and making their own lives.  I am proud of them, I’m happy for them, I’m pleased to get the office I thought I was going to get two and a half years ago, but it is so strange not to have any of the kids around after 23 years.

On the writing front, I was very happy to find another piece of my old writing life return to me. Last Thursday, Barry Koostachin sent me a link to a youtube music video “to jog my muse,” and I am very pleased to report that it worked–after years of no longer finding music inspiring, and feeling jealous of the writer friends who were making playlists and the like. I’ve put the link at the bottom of the post, so you can enjoy it as well.

On to the check-in:  I am continuing to meet the increased word count, faltering some days, but making it up the next.  I have also worked on another blog post a week, beyond WIPpet and ROW80 check-ins. I think I may publish one by the end of this week.

So, how are all of you doing? Also, help your fellow participants with some encouragement. You can find them here.

Here is the music that prodded my muse into action. Enjoy!