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 check-in Life Happens

Birthday flowers
Birthday flowers

All right, we are two weeks into the Round.  Life happened a lot this last week, both at home and at the day job.  Last Sunday was the first anniversary of my mother’s death, so it was tough to get through that, especially as it was my younger son’s birthday as well.  Our Weimaraner is having seizures due to a brain tumor, and many of them occur at night.  The nights they happen, I find it hard to go back to sleep, and difficult to get up and write.

I got some goals done, and got some writing done for the day job, which does count as non-fiction under my alter ego’s name, I guess. I still have some work to do protecting my time, but the main problem this last week was exhaustion.

The work on reducing clutter in the electronic files is helping to clear my mind, which is helpful.  I also need to daydream and doodle a bit to coax my muse out of the corner where she is sheltering against the footnotes and bibliographies. It is very helpful that my dissertation bolsters the fictional world, so the resonances and research work for both.  

After a flirtation with Spring, upstate New York is featuring a return to crummy weather over the next week and a half.  At least I will be inspired to stay indoors and write!

Please support and encourage other RoWers by visiting the linky

smaller EM


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


August 1 Check-in Working Behind the Scenes

I noticed when I went to publish this check-in, that it is my 100th post for ROW80.  I have a few more on my other blogs, but this is still a milestone for me.  Thank you all who support and encourage me!

The last few days have been rather productive, in a behind-the-scenes kind of way.  Although I don’t agree with everything Stephen Covey taught in his books, there is one phrase that resonates with me.  It is “sharpen the saw.”  While chopping down trees, one has to stop to sharpen the saw in order to be efficient.  I have ADD, so left to my own devices, I would start with whatever file caught my eye when I logged into the computer.  It is an act of will to stop, think about what I plan to do, and not let the ADD magpie coax me off-course.

Several colleagues have mentioned how neat I keep my cubicle at work.  Little do they know that it is self-preservation.  There are files I need to keep somewhat present, current projects simmering on the back burner, but everything else has to go away, or it will continue to sing its siren song to my magpie.

My home office is the same.  Right now, I am sharing a desk, tucked in a corner of the master bedroom, with my eldest son.  He and I need the same sort of clear surface, thank goodness, and we have worked out a schedule of sorts.  He works away while I sleep, and has usually gone to bed about an hour before I get on the computer at 5am.  Luckily, my husband sleeps through both my son’s time and mine.  I suppose I am veering off-course, here, but my point was that I have been organizing my files on the computer (huge thanks to Eden who gave me a tower to replace my ailing laptop) as well as paper files that have been unearthed in the recent troll through the garage.

I have been working on a logline and an antagonist for my novel.  Oh, it gives me shivers to write that.  A novel.  Oh boy, that is just scary. The logline is close–I just need to strip away a few more clauses to get it in shape.  My antagonist is not a person, but a culture.  I know the culture well, having studied it for, well, more years than some of you have been alive.  My current task is  to hone the features of the culture that are crucial to the antagonism toward my protagonist.

I’ve started to sketch the outline of scenes and conflicts as well.  I find that I need to research some things, which is always dangerous for me.  Since an aspect of my ADD is hyperfocus, I can dive into research and follow all the little rabbit trails until I surface hours later.  Again, I have to plan and outline what I need to find out before I can hope to spend only my lunch hour in the stacks.

I have learned a lot in the past week about how I work and how I need to plan. Among several good suggestions, AmyBeth Inverness suggested that I plan on a larger frame than a day, some things needing a week, some a month.  I am working though that suggestion; it is an appealing thought to plot out the large goals, then break it down into bites. I keep the large goals in mind, but I haven’t ever put them into a structure.

My post on how important this ROW80 community is to me went up on the blog last Monday.  It is a great group, who would appreciate your support and encouragement.  You can find the list of participants here