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

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:

Writing:

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.

Wellness:

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.

Planning:

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.

 

ROW80

Weeks Six and Seven–Back on the Horse

I missed last week’s check-in, sorry to say, just out of general meh. The day job continues to be stressful, and I am not learning how to disconnect from it fast enough to suit myself. Upon my return to work after the conference in Vermont, I found that we had no air circulation or air conditioning in the building, because “annual routine maintenance” was being done. Last week, the air handlers were turned off for “annual shutdown,” because there were no students on campus last week. While great for anyone wanting to write about the feeling of living in central Florida in June in the 1800’s, it was not very conducive to getting anything done.

The highlight of the two weeks was graduation, however. I never turn down a chance to wear my academic regalia, and marching through the rows of family and undergraduates to the platform is a lot of fun.  Their enthusiasm and happiness is contagious, even if I turn a little jealous hearing about summer plans from those who have the summer off.

Also, on a brighter note, I managed several phone calls for self-care and some reading, neither of which I had done in the longest time. Eden mentioned on the check-in sharing what we are reading. I am several books into a series that Eden recommended to me, Anne Perry’s William Monk series, which I am enjoying greatly.

So how did I do on my goals:

Writing: Two blog posts per week–Sunday check-in and one other. Sadly, no.

Five sentences of fiction per day. Yes

Editing one page per day. Yes.

Wellness: Walk ten minutes per day. Actually, I did meet this goal and beyond, walking between 24 and 64 minutes a day.

Hydrate and keep track of it. Yes.

Balance exercise every morning. Not every day, but some days.

Planning: Plan every day the evening before, and schedule time for all the above. Yes.

I hope all my friends in the States enjoy their Memorial Day holiday, and a good week to all.

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 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!

ROW80

One Week In–Skimming the Wave

So, one week in, how am I doing on my goals?

One blog post per week. I posted a funny video on elizabethannemitchell.com this past Friday, but I don’t consider that a blog post. This one counts, though! 

Five sentences of fiction every day. On the whole, this was a win. Sometimes, it was more than five sentences, especially when I was writing character backgrounds or planning ideas for further scenes.

Half an hour of editing the non-fiction book every day. Only two days this past week.

Perhaps because it has been one of those weeks at the day job, I have been inundated with ideas for blog posts. I am swept away by ideas that I want to explore. Not having time to draft anything, I have been packing these ideas into drafts or making lists of things to pursue.  Crazily enough, I am even thinking of things to write for next year’s A-Z challenge. The fiction has been coming along slowly, but that is better than stalled, so I am comfortable with that. The non-fiction has stalled, because I made the mistake of planning to do it during breaks at the day job, which vanished like fog in sunlight. I didn’t get away from the veal-fattening pen for lunch or coffee, much less writing. I will carve out more of my “before day job morning” to dedicate to the non-fiction as well as the fiction.

The months of this Round are tough for me, containing my brother’s birthday, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and the anniversaries of both my parents’ deaths. I have often hidden away in depression and silence, but I feel I can write this year. I am glad to be back this Round, and hope to begin visiting participants’ blogs more regularly.