Tag Archives: achievements

Making Up

I wish I had more to share with you today than… oh, wait!  I do have more to share than my bucket list of goals and the incremental progress I’ve made since Wednesday.

So…  more flowers, more pictures!

These are about two weeks old now.  Just before the rose garden in Schenectady’s Central Park  finished its season, we made a family outing to enjoy the flowers.  I’d remembered my parents bringing me there as a child (back when you could still used paddle boats in the park lake, so…  yeah, that dates me just a little) and how beautiful it was.  Thing was, after college in the 90s, I tried going back and sharing the memory with friends only to have it gone.

It was heartbreaking.

No more.  The local community took up the charge, and it is now gorgeous again, a place to enjoy even on a very hot, very sunny Sunday in June.  Please enjoy some of my favorite images:

The gardens from the trees

The gardens from the trees

I like contrasts

I like contrasts

One of several fountains

One of several fountains


The Boodle and an Arbor


Art and Shadow

I love seeing the stages of a flower

I love seeing the stages of a flower

No rest for the buzzy

No rest for the buzzy

ROW80 Check-in & assessment

I could have hoped to make more progress on my goals this week.  Or rather, I wish I had prioritized my goals a bit better this week so that that I got through the bits that are weighing most heavily on my head now (can anyone say “sponsor post!”).  I love deadlines…

    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: I ended up at about 2 hours of online articles, mostly plowing through Marcy Kennedy’s blog
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progress: I’ve actually done great on this.  I needed to focus on my sponsor post these last few days, so of course my characters have wanted to talk up a storm with me.
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: Averaging 3.5 pages a day; the extra pages however relate to drafts of the sponsor post
    • Goal: maintain connection with local critique group and submit excerpts and critiques during NON-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: July CampNaNo, so no submissions, but I did finish the second pass on a crit I’m doing for one of our members last night
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress: I’m “okay” on the WIPpets, but I haven’t got the brainspace to work in the WeWriWa people yet.
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: on track enough…  I never start a check-in’s worth of visits until I submit my post, so I need to finish this to move to the next stage
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress: Too much sponsor post writing and re-writing.  The high point in my creativity involved figuring out the limitations of my old iPhone 4 in a GSM network (quite a few, for the record).  It was a kind of giddy feeling though, seeing the old beast bluetooth with the car today and call home as well as hotspot my laptop last night during our Denny’s Write-In
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: on track enough; I think I may take back up the Memrise Chinese First 500 Chinese character’s app again, solely for the drawing practice
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: squeak, squeak… creak, creak
  • Temporary! Goal: write and submit my sponsor post
  • Progress: Big NO.  So many drafts, so many rough starts…  nothing “feels” right.

That’s it.  As usual, it’s a mixed bag.  But that’s life.

Just a comparison shot...  My husband took this with his new Sansung Galaxy phone (the others I took with my 14 year old Canon G5).   Preferences?

Just a comparison shot… My husband took this with his new Sansung Galaxy phone (the others I took with my 14-year-old Canon G5). Preferences?


Nothing to See Here


I’m posting today to do my final check-in for the ROWnd, but I have very little to say of show beyond that.  There are a lot of pictures on the camera(s—I used the iPhone as much or more than the Canon this week), but they need processing (pictures on the Canon are all in RAW form and need to be converted to something the web can use; the iPhone pictures are… questionable).

Forward through the Narrows

Forward through the Narrows

Remember way back when we were just happy to capture a picture that showed the moment?  It didn’t always have to be framed right.  Who cared if the colors were a bit off, over-exposed, etc?

I kind of miss those days.

Of course, when one considers some of my iPhone shots, that’s what one would think was the case.

So since this is about my ROW80 progress and assessment,

let’s do this:

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: not much; this past week was our anniversary week and I took some time off from goals; read some at the Writers in the Storm and Jami Gold’s neat set of posts on Unlikable Characters
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: a “failure” but also a success— it encouraged regular exploration of writing-related things.  Next ROWnd, will rewrite and adjust accordingly
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress no change—I’ve done first reads on the two pieces I have to review and have a piece waiting for commentary in the queue
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: the group pretty much dies down to a dull crawl during WriMo’s; will rewrite goal to reflect this
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: so-so progress for this past week
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: this goal has been wonderful for me—instead of filling notebook after notebook of pages that just sit in a stack beside my desk (or worse, scattered about the house), I am now making a second, electronic copy that can sit about the various computers in the house 😉 ; seriously though, just the act of typing these old thoughts and pieces in has provided so many story insights and new perspectives on old ideas.  Definitely keeping this!
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress a pretty dead week so far, but then I’d planned for this week to be off; I think it bothers me more because this slow week followed right on the heels of last week’s grim progress and emotional backlash.
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: even though I know it’s good for my writer’s soul to write everyday, I still struggle with setting aside that emotional space to do some handwritten words; thing is, I also KNOW how much better I feel after doing it.  Keeping this goal and amending it to note it as a handwriting piece as well.
  • Added Goal: something creative every day
  • Progress: not so good—have been feeling creatively drained
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: I need to work on this; I feel better when I play with creative projects, but the key thing is to play.  So having it as goal seems counter-intuitive, but if I don’t, I find myself falling into a slump of weeks and months of just ‘bleh!’ I don’t want that either; keeping this goal, but seeking a better balance
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on these again)
  • EoROWnd Thoughts: will be adding this as a goal next ROWnd, though without any Russian or Spanish; the language of the moment is Latin, which the Boodle and I are working on together in 5min bits daily.  Just pronouncing the language has been fun for us

So here is my post, a bit late.  Just wasn’t here on Wednesday.  But Wednesday came with hibachi and an onion volcano, Thursday came with a cruise on Lake George, Friday was just us as a family time…so I’m totally unapologetic.

On our way out

On our way out

We won’t talk about Saturday.

By Her Majesty’s Decree


The Queen and the Sheriff of Nottingham (sort of)

Busy day for us here at Chez Mabee, at least for me.  Somehow I got posted to the JuNoWriMo hosting schedule for sprints twice on Sundays (feel free to jump on Twitter and join me if you need some writing boosts–you don’t have to be a June WriMo member to participate), two four hour shifts: from 6-10am and 7-11pm.  We also went to the New York Capital District Renaissance Festival today, which (for anyone who has attended such things) took a lot longer than we expected it would.

This awesome soldier (Trojan--he'll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

This awesome soldier (Trojan–he’ll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

It was the Boodle’s first “real” renfaire (there is a little one that occurs every other year at a church in the center of Albany*, but that doesn’t have the space for many of the activities that make up such an event).  For a while we weren’t sure if it wouldn’t be his last.

We shouldn’t have worried.  There was a Shakespeare-inspired skit going on at the Vixens En Garde stage.  After that…  we had no fear of leaving early.  In fact, we stayed well past the ending bell for the Queen’s Blessing and dismissal.  And during the parting wishes, the Boodle was calling out “Huzzah” right along with the crowd.  He wants to go again next year and has asked if we can look into going to one of the other big faires in NYS (Sterling or Sterling Forest) before summer is over.

The Boodle wasn't quite as keen on trying to fire the ballista

The Boodle wasn’t quite as keen on firing the ballista

A big change from the kid who didn’t know if he was even interested.

He has even expressed something of an interest (though I’m unsure how strong it is) in planning a costume for next year).  If he does, cool.  If not, equally cool.  There is plenty of time to get involved more fully such activities.

And with his love of the Bard, who knows…  maybe someday he will be one of those on the stage someday!

In all, it’s been a good day.  A tiring one…  but worth it.  Even if it did make me dream of England again…

Now, ’tis time for my weekly assessment and…

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyWriMos are tricky things.  They tend to consume more energy than they feel like they should.

I mean, really, if I normally hit between 750-1000 words a day, and somehow manage to goof off a bunch, then it stands to reason that a bit more than doubling that shouldn’t really be an issue.  On an average day, I can usually pull out 750 words in a half-hour.

I’ve been lucky to achieve 400 +/- these last few days in the same amount of time.  And when I’m hosting sprints, my actual wordcount drops even further.  I am a host after all, and as a host, it is my responsibility to mingle and interact, answer questions, provide  support.  It’s fun, but it’s very disruptive to the muse at times.

How does this work with my goals?

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: nothing—shifting, broadening focus from now on
  • Not-progress, but… this was the week of reading twice daily a writing blog article for more craft ideas
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress:  I submitted a piece the other day
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: typing away madly
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I’ve been fighting myself for this handwritten work these last few days–some stuff going on at the house that just has our heads a bit filled (my hubby’s more than mine, but he needs his partner around when Life is giving him this kind of stress, so it’s a mutual thing)
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on these again)
Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he's been everywhere!

Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he’s been everywhere.

And that’s pretty much it.  I’m overtired; have dealt with two migraines and a slew of sinus headaches this week, two power outages (which almost ruined out file server because it tried to do updates between outages!), “Stuff”, my SiL’s father died suddenly…

I keep saying I’ll add to these goals, but Life doesn’t seem to want to work that way lately.  Maybe it’s just as well that the ROWnd is almost over.   I will be ending things on a “I DID it” note instead of scrambling to reach ever newer and brighter stars.

There is something kind of cool about that too..

Thanks for stopping over!  If you’d like to visit other ROWers and cheer them on, follow this linky here.

* this isn’t the main site, but there is a funny story in this piece, since the cathedral was never completed and a stop-gap roof was installed so the building would be usable