Tag Archives: progress

A Spark of Activity

Starting a new ROWnd always feels a bit… odd for me. Creating ‘rules of engagement’, even with Life itself, doesn’t mesh with the image I have of myself (flawed as it might be).

Good thing there is flexibility built in the ROW80 from beginning to end. I’m going to be changing things all over the map this month. I just feel it. My head is churning with ideas and possibilities all half-formed. I want to jot a few more ideas down and discover where they lead soon. Somewhere not so safe, I suspect, but definitely someplace that will allow me a chance for growth and discovery.

let’s do this:

ROW80LogocopyA Round of Words in 80 Days, as the ROW80 is formally called, usually starts on a Monday with a post about one’s goals for the round and follows on Wednesday with a check-in. This post is both. It’s a bad habit I fell into early on in my ROW80 career. I don’t see myself breaking it anytime soon.

    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: three posts equaling about an hour of time down: one by Jami Gold, a second very apropos one right now from Writers in the Storm and a third courtesy of fellow ROWer Mike Young from the MIT Technology Review
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progresss: have written half a page for the past two days in two stories
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: inconsistent since ROWnd 2; but I’m getting back on track–I really like what this goal has done for my creativity
    • Goal: maintain connection with local critique group and submit excerpts and critiques during NON-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: The ROWnd just started, but we’ve been in CampNaNo since Friday; no submissions, but I will keep working on the two crits I have in my queue to return
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress: I fully intend to start small here; I’m on track for the WIPpet this week: Sunday, I will start by visiting some blogs in the WeWriWa hop, but not posting an excerpt yet. I feel better about giving attention before demanding some for my work
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: first check-in was yesterday, and I’m just posting my own goals and check-in… so, not too good so far
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress: still fighting the emotional drain of the last month, but slowly ramping up; a lot of photography recently
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: French, German on track, missed a day of Latin
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: on track, save for Tuesday, where I squeaked out some movement while re-reading some old stories
  • Temporary! Goal: write and submit my sponsor post
  • Progress: have two (very) rough drafts that I want to explore further (the WitS post above I mentioned in my craft links defines my issue here all too well)

Lastly, because this round officially started on the 4th of July, which is our Independence Day in the US, I thought it only fair to share some fireworks with you all. These were actually taken on Saturday in the town of Waterford after their Steamboat Festival. We didn’t do our usual annual Windham Mountain excursion this year. A good thing too, as someone knocked down a telephone pole and we were still home and able to protect our computers by shutting them down properly (UPSs are wonderful things!). Then, we enjoyed a nighttime dip in the pool while the sky lit with fireworks from a few towns away.

Fireworks over the Erie Canal in Waterford, NY: letting my old camera do things on its own in auto mode

Fireworks over the Erie Canal in Waterford, NY: letting my old camera do things on its own in auto mode

What happened when I took control of the camera (also taken in Waterford)

What happened when I took control of the camera (also taken in Waterford)

Another "controlled" shot

Another “controlled” shot

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.

Check-In #…2 & 5


I am finally back on track this week for my summer writing challenges. Welcome to the second week of A Round of Words in 80 Days and the Sixth Week of the Ready. Set. Write! (fifth for me as I missed one week and updated late—Wednesday—last week).

Here’s how everything is going:
How I did on last week’s goal(s)

  • bring a notebook CHECK!
  • allow myself a space to just relax and look around and observe CHECK
  • write observations down 1/2 Check (mostly my observations tended to become discussion fodder between the Spice in my Life  and I, not story fodder
  • a minimum of fifteen minutes of physical exercise daily (on days I exercise I get much more, but then I flump on other days… consistency is key) CHECK (even when I really, really didn’t feel like it, I made some time for exercise)
  • make a space to write with pen and paper at home again not so ‘Check’, since I mostly wrote wherever I could pull out my notebook, but I would still like a bit of ‘me space’
  • write my ROW80 sponsor post 1/2 Check  wrote First Draft

●My goal(s) for this week

I pretty much have the same goals this week as last week. Took the sponsor post off the list because the first draft is done, and the final draft is being readied to submit this afternoon.

RSW8So I am adding theses as my extra RSWrite (weekly) goals:

  • type in some handwritten work (at least five pages)
  • prepare things for my pending change of blog (create a main page).

●A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Taunting… I have a character (actually several) who enjoy baiting my MC, some more fondly than others. I just finished one of those dreaded transition scenes I’d been working on last night at our local NaNo groups where my MC finally gets the best out of one of these encounters.

●The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)
Ow…. Last week was the week of hurt. Between two migraines, a super-sensitive chipped tooth, and a pulled ligament in my leg, I wanted nothing to do with anything most of the week. I still found time to write though. I don’t know my total word-count, but between the three notebooks I used (three different stories), I pulled out sixteen handwritten pages. I’m happy with that.

Alanii (sort of)

Alanii (sort of)

●Something I love about my WIP

I got to see a new side to my MC this week. He’s a real smart-Alec when he thinks he can get away with it. And… he’s such an idealistic dreamer. The world is not going to be very kind to him (nor will I).

(The picture is a sketch I drew of my MC a few years back…  not perfect by any means, including the eye color, but I think it captures the teen-age aspect of him somewhat.)

That’s my update. How has everyone else been doing with their goals? Not a member of either the ROW80 or RSWrite? You can join in at anytime. Jump on it and get involved with two wonderfully supportive online communities for writers.

The links are: