Round Two Sunday Five Deep Dive

Ready to write

The past week has gone by quickly, but it has been a good week. I managed to finish the A-Z April Blogging Challenge, and plan to write the relection post tonight or in the morning.

I have also managed to Write or edit for at least five hours five days a week. I took Friday off, because I had eye surgery that morning. After a self-indulgent day of listening to audio-books, I was feeling much better yesterday, and have worked more than fifteen hours between yesterday and today. The plan for the sabbatical was to do the boring stuff first so that I would build steam rather than run out before the time was over. To my surprise, I have dived into checking citations and fixing footnotes that I have not had the patience to address for months. I am even taking great pride in proofreading.

The new short-term goal (Find the most efficient, and least obtrusive organization for the sabbatical space) needs some refinement, so I will amend it to Spend one hour the next four days finding and implementing efficient organization for the sabbatical space.  I am also going to add another task, Read criticism one-half hour a day. I am stunned, but very grateful, that I am enjoying these nuts-and-bolts tasks.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Please visit the other RoWers here; at the hashtag #row80, or in the FB group.



September 20 Final Check-in Summer Growth

First, thank you all who wished my brother well, with good thoughts and prayers.  We heard that none of the 15 samples they took were malignant, which is a huge relief for all of us. I am again grateful for the kindness and caring of this community.

So how have I done on my goals this Round? Like many of you, I had a bit of a mixed bag this summer.  I did achieve some habits and managed to spend more time living with my characters and plot, with a subchannel playing over scenes in my head. I managed to have a clearer separation of time spent doing for others and for myself.

I have some plans over break, but I don’t want to weigh myself down too much.  I think I need some time to let things continue to simmer.

Did I accomplish everything?  Not by a long shot, but I have a clearer, calmer path.  There is no reason on earth I should believe in myself more than I did at the beginning of this Round, but I do.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful, restful break before coming back with new goals for Round 4 on October 1st. See how everyone finished up the Round here.

Interested in joining the ROW80, or just wondering what the heck I’m on about? Read about it here.


  • I will write at least one half-hour a day. Updated to one hour a day. If one counts thinking, planning, plotting, yes, I met this goal.

  • I will continue to refine my main author blog, which may involve combining the Lapidary Prose blog with Elizabeth Anne Mitchell. Many good thoughts and plans here, and even some plans for themes.


  • As I’ve returned to being a sponsor, I will visit all my 8’s twice a week. Actually, I ended up doing well on this goal. Unfortunately, it meant I didn’t always visit and comment on folks I wanted to continue to follow.  I need to think about this as well.

  • I will catch up with Facebook, Twitter, and my other sites for no more than an hour daily. I met this goal; I didn’t connect as well as I would have liked, so that is something to consider in the future.

  • I will reply to all comments on my blogs. Often I was a day or two behind, but I met this goal.


  • Walk at least 1,000 steps a day, preferably 2,000, tracked by a pedometer. Updated to 5,000, preferably 7,000. While I was far from making this goal a habit, I kept plugging.

  • Use the stairs going upstairs; if I want to, I can cheat going downstairs. Definitely a habit.  I don’t even think about it anymore.


  • I have let many dear friends fall off my radar these past few months.  I will stay in contact with the group daily, if only briefly, and weekly individually. Again, something in work on in the future.  I was so-so about this goal.

  • I will stay in better touch with my daughters on Facebook or by phone.  My sons are back home, so my only trouble connecting with them is that they have vampire schedules. Same as above. I managed to connect pretty often with the sons, but need to work on better communication with my daughters.


June 17 Round 2 Progress and Wrap-up

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, and to my own father, even though he is allergic to computers and will never see it.

I continued with Jeff Goins’ 15-day challenge, outlined here, which has some seriously scary steps.  I reposted a couple of pieces that many of you had critiqued, but by putting them on my main blog and “publicizing” them, l left myself open to a lot more critique.  Eep–that was very scary!

I’m still getting up early to write, even though a lot of the writing is more of a data dump, just getting ideas and scenarios down before I forget them.  I want to move to the next step, of using the time to finish something–that was one of the steps in the 15-day challenge.

One resource that I have found very helpful, despite its seemingly narrow focus is Writing Your Journal Article in 12 weeks, by Wendy Laura Belcher. A “write in as you go” workbook for the academic writer having difficulty, Belcher’s book has given me a lot on insight into my fiction writing as well as my writing for the day job.  She points out that talking about writing is almost taboo for academic writers: “One of the reasons that academics do not talk about writing is that it involves talking about feelings.  Academics tend to be more comfortable with the rational than the emotional.“ Belcher, 2.

I remember all too well feeling frustrated in my graduate studies when everyone postured about writing being cerebral. Writing has never been cerebral for me, not even once I had wrung all the emotions and senses out of my academic prose.  Although I would not be able to use Belcher’s book as fully in its Kindle incarnation, I would suggest downloading a sample if it sounds at all interesting to you.

What I have learned: I have to learn more courage.

I have to learn more self-confidence.  

I need to take a more rounded approach to the goals for Round 3–oh, I didn’t see that pun coming!  I need to put exercise back into the mix, more reading and other down time with friends and family.  

To prove that I can see myself in a positive light, I am a good cheerleader and supporter. Therefore, I will be a ROW80 sponsor for Round 3, and will see you around the interwebs.

Shout-outs: I want to alert you to several of the people who are now following my blog. Check them out if you don’t already know them. 

Ellie Ann at

Kathy at

Yatin at

Dale at

Janice at

Lisa at

Christy at

Shah at

Kate at

Templar Forum at

Jess at

And as always, please cheer on the rest of the ROWers here as Round 2 ends on June 22. Round 3 begins on July 2nd–take a look here to see if you are interested in joining.



June 10 Writing, by gosh!

Following the theme of last week, I have continued to make baby steps. Yesterday, I managed to post Shan Jeniah’s guest post on kinship here. I have also spent the past week slowly getting more involved with old friends and new through Facebook and Twitter, but also through WANA International, a new venture by Kristen Lamb and Ingrid Schaffenburg, which looks exciting with classes from several of our ROW80 crew (Jenny Hansen and Kait Nolan, for example) and other luminaries.

I also joined Jeff Goins’ 15-day challenge, outlined here, which is forcing me to take some scary steps–all to the good. I admitted to a colleague at the day job that I wrote things other than academic articles, and was pleased that she didn’t laugh outright.

I went back to getting up early to write, something I had let fall by the wayside in the past few weeks. Further, I made myself stay off the internet for the first part of the morning, so that I could actually write–create rather than react.

What I have learned: I have ideas about what to write. Not having anything to say was one of my greatest fears in coming out of my corner–people laughing at me being one of the others. But I found in the early morning hours that not only was I managing to come up with ideas for blog posts and themes (sheesh, finally), but I was coming up with ideas that had plots and characters, somewhere to go and things to say.

I also learned what a wonderful, giving, supportive cast of characters the writing community holds. I never had to worry about anyone laughing at me in the ROW, or in the other groups I’ve joined in my travels these past months.

Penultimately (sorry, but I love that word), I want to shout out to the people who have followed my blog in the past month. I’m not going to try to catch up in one swell foop, but here are some people who are worth checking out, if you don’t know them already.

Janet at

Ruth at

Eric at

Kourtney at

CK at

Tune in next week for the next installment 🙂 In the meantime, please go encourage the rest of the ROWers here as we try to redline it for the last weeks of Round 2. There are some wonderful people in this group 🙂


Goals for Round 1 of 2012

A Round of Words in 80 Days is a writing challenge that “knows you have a life.”  Click here to read more about it from the creator of the challenge, Kait Nolan.My goals for ROW80 reflect what I have learned in the 3rd and 4th rounds of 2011. One stable factor is that I am not a friend of word counts, so I plan in discrete time slots and goals measured in different ways. One change in 2012 is that I am going to work on fiction, not the non-fiction required by my day job.
  • I will spend one hour a day writing book reviews until I catch up. When I have caught up, I will spend one hour a day creating a blueprint for the fiction works languishing in my file drawer.
  • I will spend one hour a day reading and annotating craft books.

  • Comment on at least five blogs per week.
  • Work on my Facebook page for one hour per week; when that is updated, use this hour for my author platform.
  • Catch up with Twitter for a half-hour per day.
  • Check on the ROW80 Facebook page daily.

  • Walk at least 5,000 steps a day, tracked by a pedometer.
  • Use the stairs whenever I am not carrying boxes.

  • Contact my closest friends at least once per week.
  • Contact my children at least once per week.