Saturday, August 25, 2012

28th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 3 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
Note: the current comments begin below the pic of the harnessed cat and are organised like a blog within a blog both at the top and under each goal.

My goals will be very similar to what they were in Round 2 which I joined half-way through.  And like last time I will continue to copy/paste the goals list with new commentary for each check-in.  But I did strip nearly all of the commentary added during the last round leaving only what effects the current goals.  I also added some new goals.



I debated whether to start the check-in count in the post title at 1 for the new round but decided that it was important for me to get a sense over time how the number of total check-ins correlate to progress on all fronts.

Changing a bad habit is  much like harnessing a cat
LESSONS LEARNED LAST ROUND:

Miracles seem to happen when attention is paid to something.

Attention =Attend = serving as well as being in service to



Changing habits in just one area has ripple effects across all other habits.  It is powerful and empowering to realize that if you just take small steps in the right direction BIG things start to happen.


___8-25-12 -   There is not much to add by way of commentary this time as this is the final week of Camp NaNo and of WFMAD and I'm putting my efforts into them in light of the insight I discussed Wednesday.  I'm making messes....


Sandbox Joy
yep that's me age 5ish
___8-22-12 -   This week there was a big payoff stemming from one of the time investment tasks--the reading on craft.  I was reading Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher and he was talking about the role chaos plays in creativity and used a phrase "informational entropy" entropy being a condition defined by the presence of disorder.  The point he was developing being that creativity and innovation occur when there is the right balance between chaos and order.

Now because I'd been working in my messy files for several days by the time I encountered these concepts, my thoughts went there and to the fact that the act of fiddling in my files had already stimulated several minor additions to my notes that came from information out of the files colliding with information coming from memory, or recent encounters in life, online or reading.

And then it struck me that this was not a rare thing but has always happened.  Every single time I finally regain the courage to confront the mess in my files something new is encountered or created and sometime that is a breakthrough in a WIP.

So why do I constantly associate the chaos of my files with shame and fear instead of courting it?

Something to think about.  Maybe write about in my freewriting and maybe eventually in a separate post if I reach any insights.  But meanwhile this current insight is ammo against that resistance toward my messy files--both working with the already existing mess and the fear of creating further messes which is at the root of what I've called my version of writer's block.  Which isn't really writer's block since I've never had any trouble generating words I've just had trouble crediting the words I generate with value when I can't label them as narrative, dialog, scene work, story draft etc and such.

So then.  New goal?  Learn to love the mess like I once loved my childhood sandbox....Send the guilt and shame harpies howling into the abyss.


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
David Castillo Dominici

___8-18-12 -   The new incentivizing plan I developed while composing Wednesday's check-in has worked! I earned my free pass all four days Wednesday - Saturday!

I finally did a read through of my short story and started editing it.  And I started working with my fiction files beginning with a read through of the WhizFolders file that is a master worksheet for the Fruits of the Spirit storyworld containing info pertaining to all stories and novels begun or planned and links to their files, links to online resources, notes to self, character roster and sketches, timeline, research notes and resource lists.  It's a mess!

I also maintained the other goals.


___8-14-12 -  Still a holding pattern. And I'm still struggling to know how much grief to give myself over what I've NOT done in proportion to how much kudos for what I DID do especially the fact that the holding pattern IS a pattern developing into new habits--things I'm doing regularly now that I was doing rarely or not at all tree months ago.  Like the time investment goals: reading craft, exercise, dreaming storyworld, and free writing.  All of which are valuable habits for a writer to develop.

But I'm still disturbed by how I continue to avoid my fiction files and manuscripts even as I continue to create more of them adding to the mess I perceive it to be.

When I joined ROW80 in the middle of round 2 my primary goal for which all the other goals were to serve was to get my first short story published in ebook this summer as an exercise and test flight.  And here it is with two weeks left in August and I'm still refusing to read/revise the chosen short story and put out a request for beta readers.

This egregious omission looms like a vulture over the entire list of accomplishments and makes me feel fraudulent. Since all of the time investment goals that are accumulating long strings of Ys are also becoming enjoyable, I've considered requiring myself to confront the manuscripts and files each day before allowing myself the pleasure of the other tasks.  But I fear that my resistance is so strong on this I would just end up loosing those new hard-won habits.

Of course there are other pleasures I could deprive myself of until compliance or reward myself with after.  I considered crochet but 90% of the storyworld dreaming occurs while crocheting and besides I've already let it slide due to this heatwave induced lethargy I'm fighting.  I considered fiction reading but I've got review commitments.  I don't want to use food as that is a whole other area I'm working on that I don't want to mess with.

That leaves me with video games and video watching and adding to or organizing my ebook libraries.  All of which I've been overdoing during this heatwave.

So new plan or goal or whatnot:  Must earn time with video games and video watching and working with ebook library with time invested in the prep of Blow Me a Candy Kiss for epublishing and/or work on that list of tasks related to my fiction files in the last time investment goal.

See details below at beginning of goal list.


___8-11-12 -  It appears to be a holding pattern as I could repeat the first paragraph of the last check-in word for word.  In spite of fewer life intrusions.  Thus no excuse really.  It's choices, laziness, fear.  And as I write that I'm overwhelmed with self-disgust.  Which I realize is a fruitless and destructive waste of energy that could be better directed constructively.

___8-07-12 -  Did better on some fronts -- the reading, free writing, exercise, and story dreaming time commitments -- but still no progress on any goals related to working with my fiction files.  Although some of the free writing is related to the current Camp NaNo novel and some of it amounts to narrative or dialog snippets.

The heatwave has lifted somewhat.  Only high 90s the last couple of days.  Merlin seems to think it is enough better to warrant reclaiming one of his favorite perches--the cushion supporting my back in my desk chair.  I would beg to differ but will tolerate for twenty minutes or so the heating pad effect emanating off him.  When I've had enough I just squirm a bit until he has enough and gets down.

Life intrusions other than the heat already discussed: Writing up a review and author interview and giveaway for a blog tour this week ate into some of the writing time.  It also contributed to my lateness in checking in.  My sister went into surgery for a second time in a week on Tuesday and I was sick again with a stomach thing on Sunday and Monday.

___8-04-12 - Well, having the dedicated desktop has had some beneficial effects but they were more limited than I'd hoped after life just stomped all over best intentions and plans.  First my sister, Jamie, was in surgery on Wednesday up in Seattle and with us having no phone my only access to status reports was on fb where my sister, Carri, was posting them on her wall, Jamie's wall and private chat with me.  Thus it was not easy to cut the umbilical to the net on that day.

Then on Thursday we got slammed by another heatwave with temps hitting the triple digits--103 and up--on Friday and Saturday and us with no AC.

Then on Friday we lost net connection altogether for over twelve hours between early afternoon and the wee hours of Saturday morning and it has been up and down at unpredictable intervals all day today.  Now you might wonder as does my husband why I didn't just take advantage of the fact there was no net and hop on over to the dedicated desktop and focus on my writing.

Good question and I'm wondering myself why it was so hard for me to give up my obsessive vigilance over the icon for the WIFI on the system tray.  Which leads me to question my dedication to writing itself if after all the work and frustration I went through Tuesday evening setting up a desktop whose primary attribute was no internet access I was unable to accept the lack of Internet access on this desktop as well as a gift, a release from the bondage to all of those proliferating tasks and activities whether important or frivolous that require or are created by Internet access.

Something I need to ponder I guess.

Meanwhile I did do better since the last check-in than between last Wednesday and Sunday when I zeroed out on all goals for the first time.  I got another string of Ys on all of the time investment goals not directly related to working with the fiction files: Daydreaming the story world, freewriting, readings on craft and exercise tho that last has been pretty lame and I gave myself credit for lame somethings because it wasn't nothing at all.

___7-31-12 - Was still stuck in a rut as of late Tuesday evening so I decided it was time to do that thing I'd been threatening to do: set up a separate desktop for writing only.  No admin, no internet, bare minimum of shortcuts.  I just spent two hours setting it up and was so frustrated by the experience I felt like slamming the netbook lid on my fingers.  It would have been more enjoyable.

The main frustration was that it took forever to send dozens of shortcuts to the recycle because without admin I had to get admin permission for every single one which added two extra clicks and several seconds of time to each.  Then I discovered that all of the writing aps: WhizFolders, OpenOffice, Windows Office, Works wanted to be registered which I couldn't do from that desktop since all my codes are in my email or note aps.  So I settled on using Word Pad but then had to dither for twenty minutes on how to save it so that I could access the file from this desktop.  There wasn't any way other than making it a public document which I didn't want so if I decide to actually use the setup I'll have to save to a thumb to bring my work back over to this desktop.

Then I get back over to my regular desktop only to find that all of those shortcuts that I recycled on the other desktop were gone on this one too. Arrrrrrgh!

That makes no sense at all!!!  Why can't any user have their desktop exactly how they want it without their choices affecting the other users?  It was always so before Windows 7!

If it wasn't for the fact that all of the aps that I use regularly had been pinned to the taskbar here I'd have been even more growled out than I am.

I still think it is probably a good idea to follow through on this as I seem unable to self discipline.  The list of things to do accessible from this desktop is longer than my hair was when I was in high school which was long enough to sit on.

 I may have to do without the shortcuts on this desktop in order to make it work and having to save to a thumb isn't such a hardship and not having access to the bazzillion messed up fiction files in Whiz might be a good thing.  If I think of the Joywrite desktop as being for focused writing of rough drafts only--like doing an assignment at my cubicle and turning it in to the boss ie my admin desktop where all other file manipulations will be done.

Could work.

I'll give it a try at least once shortly after I get this posted and the link posted at ROW80 for as I type this it is closing in on midnight which is the starting buzzer of August Camp NaNoWriMo

Hmm.  I just had a thought and tested it.  As Admin I can have access to the other desktop's files and info including their documents folders.  So maybe I won't need the thumb drive.  I just can't access all of my files created from this desktop from the other.  Which is probably a good thing.



___7-28-12 - Lapsed on everything except day dreaming the storyworld and reading for craft again.  The fact that temperatures are back in the mid 90s contributed to this but it was no where near as bad as that heatwave the week of July 4rth and I am acclimated better now so I should not still be babying myself so.

Daydreaming the storyworld actually got above and beyond the goal req as I've been crocheting obsessively all week having laser focused on a new project I am designing on the go--a large crafter's tote for my Secret Santa recipient.  You can read about it in both my Wednesday and Thursday posts.

The first of 9 44in strips is shown beside this paragraph at 24inches after four days.  In the last two days though I've added only another four inches.

I wish I would hyperfocus like that on the writing projects.

Maybe I will when the August Camp NaNoWriMo starts mid week.  My Friday post was about the story I settled on for that event: a sequel to my November 2008 NaNo Novel, Mobile Hopes.  I'm keeping the same title as the working title although the new story is set in 2012 four years after the events in the first one.

___7-24-12 - Lapsed on many things this week--moving, free writing, and file work all took major hits.  Only reading for craft and day dreaming the storyworld stayed steady.  Was not feeling well but have traced that as a direct result of the increase of activity last week which means I need to stay active not baby myself.

___7-21-12 - Since the heatwave broke Monday I've gradually increased activity and accumulated accomplishments in the ROW80 goals as well as other goals--like neglected chores.

The increase in activity seems to accompany an increase in creativity.  I've noted the relationship before but seldom so dramatically as during NaNo a few years back when, frustrated by a days' long block, I went out on the porch after dark, in November in the Northwest mind you, to shuffle on the mini-tramp and began 'hearing' the voice of my character Gerta.  Upon returning to the keyboard I wrote this over 1K monologue for her in under an hour.

That is still in my top five favorite pieces and it was intended to only be part of the character sketch notes but I decided I would either incorporate it into the novel or turn it into a related short story.  That also began my practice of writing monologues for my characters but few of them have remained in my good graces more a few days after their spewing onto the screen.

Anyway.  Most of the progress I made this week has been related to incorporating physical activity into my routines and especially into my writing routines.  I hunted out the stretchy bands still packed from the December move and the ankle weights still packed from the recent trip to Mom's and made it easy to switch out my office chair for the big exercise ball and created an alternate work station that raises a surface up to a height I can either type or write with pencil and paper while standing with room to pace.

The point of all that is to make activity easy to begin on impulse.

I don't believe I've brought this up in a ROW80 post before but one of the issues I have that makes impulsive activity a challenge is a visual impairment called retinitis pigmentosa aka RP aka Tunnel Vision which has taken all of my peripheral vision and has encroached drastically into the center vision of my left eye.

___7-16-12 - The heatwave broke Monday!!!  My body seems to be insisting on extra sleep before anything else except maybe activity tho.

___July 13 - Doing a tad better.  Might be acclimating to the heat.  But things that take focus and mental energy are still getting less than.

___July 7 -  July 10 - Very little progress on any front and barely held my ground on most this week as I was sick from Wednesday night of the 4th through Friday evening of the 6th and about the time I started feeling better we got hit with a heat wave here in Southern Oregon that didn't break until Monday the 16th.  High 90s no AC.  Keeping my hands on my netbook's hot keyboard is not one of the easiest things I've ever done.

I've taken to sleeping through the hottest hours--laying down between noon and 3 and waking between 8 and 9pm.  Once as late as midnight!  Regardless it is midnight before the lights come on in my brain.

I owe return visits to other ROW80 peeps because of this so add that to the goals for this next week.

THE GOALS:


___8-14-12 - New plan to address resistance to working with manuscripts and fiction files:  Must earn time with video games and video watching and working with ebook library with time invested in the prep of Blow Me a Candy Kiss for epublishing and/or work on that list of tasks related to my fiction files in the last time investment goal below.

Not one-to-one tho.

  • 30 minutes on one of these earns two TV episodes or a movie or up to 90 minutes of games (my current obsessions are spider, freecell and word with friends).  
  • But once I do the 30 minutes on the other also I've earned my free pass for the day.  
  • But I must earn the free pass before touching my ebook library at all because I know that is the hardest one to quit once begun. 


This means tho that I will have to give up watching videos over my coffee upon waking.  A habit I've developed partly because my eyes don't work well for the first couple of hours I am awake.  But I've been thinking that has been a bad habit to fall into anyway.

I'm making this up as I type but the activities to replace video watching upon waking while I wait for my eyes to be ready for the close reading of the manuscripts and files could include:

  • freewriting since it is really an advantage to not see clearly the words forming under the cursor 
  • doodling
  • daydreaming the storyworld with coffee cup or crochet hook in hand
  • standing/swaying/shuffling on the mini-tramp or playing with the stretchy bands
  • shower
  • meditate
  • housework


Note that three of the other time investment goals are included in that list: freewriting, story dreaming and exercise which leaves only craft reading that must also wait for my eyes to be in the game.


1. Choose 1 of the finished short stories to be the first ebook to publish on Smashwords or Amazon and prep it for take off by the end of June August:

  • read through
  • revision
  • beta readers
  • line edit
  • format
  • convert  

___[Blow Me a Candy Kiss  part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; part 5;] -  
05-12-2012 Yes on choosing the title.  This story is set in my Fruits of the Spirit story world and aspires to be literary.  It has elements of romance in it but that is not the primary focus since the couple involved are already married.  The focus is on loss and grief over infertility and the death of a child/sibling.  Aprox 6000 words.

___8-25-12 -   Maybe half a page more since Wednesday

___8-22-12 -   1200 words into first revision...well not the first just the first in several years.  More like the tenth since the first draft in 1990.  So probably I should expect this to be the last before surrendering to beta readers anyway.  My tendency is to keep revising, editing etc in endless rounds but the point of this exercise this summer is to prep this story for epublishing.  And I think it is more important to get that done then to reach for unreachable perfection.

so beta reader step soon.  and i can feel the resistance building...

___8-18-12 -   The new plan worked!  I finally did a read through and started editing.  The first read through wasn't for editing but an attempt to read for the story as if I hadn't written it myself.  Since I hadn't read it for several years this was almost doable.

Then I started a second read through with editing, including rewriting some paragraphs.  After three days I'm only on page two or say 800 words into the 5500 word story.

When I finish this read/revise/edit pass the manuscript will be ready for beta readers.  I've already received a couple of offers in comments which I've yet to respond to.  Also suggestions as to how to recruit beta readers which I've yet to put in play.

This is another area I'm likely to resist.  In fact it may be the primary reason I resisted beginning the read/revise/edit task in the first place.

___8-14-12 -  Still resisting.  See new plan delineated above.

___8-11-12 -  Still have not started re-reading it.  It's been nearly three months since I set this goal and prioritized it at the top of the (then) four goals as I began the last round and yet I've still not started re-reading it.  That looks a lot like the RESISTANCE discussed in Pressfield's War of Art.  So I'm tempted to explore that but I sense Pressfield would call that RESISTANCE too--just another way to avoid DOING.  Besides, according to Pressfield, RESISTANCE is always about fear.  What more do I need to know?  At least before I begin.

Decided early in the last round I needed fresh eyes so set new goal:

Find beta readers outside of current circle of close family and friends.
___Not yet accomplished.  I confess I'm not sure how to go about finding/asking for beta readers
___July 31 I have received several suggestions on how to go about this but have yet to follow up

My sister Jamie and my Mom both re-read Candy Kiss while I was at my mom's in May and Mom read my entire portfolio of hard copy stories and snippets and poems.  But that isn't what I need at this point.

The binder Mom read which I call my portfolio contains all of my complete short stories and a number of scenes pulled out of WIP that I deemed worth wasting ink and paper on. There is another attitude steeped in my pesky perfectionism that I need to change and I would have put printing hard copy of all my WIP including the NaNo Novels on this goal list except that my printer is not working.


Camp NaNoWriMmo 2012

___ I intend to join the August Camp NaNoWriMo

WriMos Word Count:  ___8-07-12 -    37755

This post and this one were contemplations on which story to focus on for August Nano.

___8-22-12 -   messy messy.

___8-22-12 -   Time to unleash the mess...

___8-18-12 -   plodding

___8-14-12 -  Somewhat par for the course in all my NaNo wins to be only a quarter of the way at the halfway point.

___8-11-12 -  still far from a NaNo win pace

___8-04-12 - also joined Laure Halse Anderson's Write Fifteen Minutes a Day challenge

___7-31-12 - Beginning in minutes as I type this.

___7-31-12  re what follows: for the first time since I started ROW80 I have registered a big fat N on every time investment goal since the last check-in.

No excuses.  Just choices.  I allowed myself to be consumed by three things: crocheting and streaming Stargate SG1 which I was usually doing simultaneously and manipulating the metadata in my ebook libraries whenever I couldn't stream because the Internet connection was down or my husband was playing his game.

Oh yeah and playing Free Cell and Spider.  Or Words with Friends on fb.

The Time Investment Goals:

2. [New Goal for Round 3] Return to some form of free writing exercise like doodling, morning pages or journaling for 30 minutes daily. A practice I once had that fell away when I began daily blogging which I confess is no substitute and if I cannot keep the very personal free write/journaling up in tandem with daily blogging then the blogging needs to give.  The purpose of this free writing is to develop playfulness analogous to a jazz musicians playfulness with musical tools, vocabulary and grammar.  I've been reading Imagine: How Creativity Works by  Jonah Lehrer which reminded me of the importance of play in creativity.

___7-2-12 - N
___7-3-12 - N But I did clear off my desk and set out several kinds of paper, pencils and pens to entice me to doodle and I opened a free topic in my WhizFolders note ap only to just sit and stare at the blank screen.  Sometimes I wonder if if is mere coincidence that the word 'free' is contained in the word 'freeze'
___7-2-12 - N
___7-3-12 - N 
___7-4-12 - Y
___7-5-12 - N
___7-6-12 - N
___7-7-12 - N 
___7-8-12 - N
___7-9-12 - N
___7-10-12 - N 
___7-11-12 - Y
___7-12-12 - N
___7-13-12 - N
___7-14-12 - Y
___7-15-12 - Y
___7-16-12 - N
___7-17-12 - Y
___7-18-12 - Y
___7-19-12 - N
___7-20-12 - N
___7-21-12 - N
___7-22-12 - N
___7-23-12 - N
___7-24-12 - N
___7-25-12 - N
___7-26-12 - N
___7-27-12 - N
___7-28-12 - N
___7-29-12 - N
___7-30-12 - N
___7-31-12 - N
___8-01-12 - Y
___8-02-12 - Y
___8-03-12 - Y
___8-04-12 - Y
___8-05-12 - Y
___8-06-12 - Y
___8-07-12 - Y
___8-08-12 - Y
___8-09-12 - Y
___8-10-12 - Y
___8-11-12 - Y
___8-12-12 - Y
___8-13-12 - Y
___8-14-12 - Y
___8-15-12 - Y
___8-16-12 - Y
___8-17-12 - Y
___8-18-12 - Y
___8-19-12 - Y
___8-20-12 - Y
___8-21-12 - Y
___8-22-12 - Y
___8-23-12 - Y
___8-24-12 - Y
___8-25-12 - Y


___8-25-12 -   unleashed

___8-22-12 -   messing around and proud of it

___8-18-12 -   holding steady

___8-14-12 -  Here's hoping my new plan described above will address the feelings mentioned below in Sunday's check-in comment.

___8-11-12 -  for some reason I do not feel a sense of success in that string of Ys.  generating words has never been a problem for me.  knowing the condition of the words generated over the last ten years thru the various writing challenges gives me pause.  what good is all that wordage if finished stories do not result eventually?

___8-07-12 - this is where having the dedicated desktop is having the most effect

___8-04-12 - joined Laure Halse Anderson's Write Fifteen Minutes a Day challenge

___7-31-12 -  *hanging head*

___7-24-28-12 - I lapsed shamefully on this one this week.  Free writing tends to trigger resistance in me.  It makes me anxious.  Which makes it even more important that I do it anyway.

And I've let my desk get covered in craft clutter over the top of the writing materials.


3. [New Goal for Round 3] MOVE!! 15 minute per day minimum: walk, mini-tramp, pace the house with weights on legs, exercise ball, exercise elastic bands, dance/sway to music.  ANYTHING counts as I've gotten so sedentary which I've re-learned recently has very negative impact on creativity and energy.  It doesn't have to be VIGOROUS yet.  Maybe later after the daily habit is established I'll add that requirement for 3 days per week and up the 15 minutes to 30.


___7-2-12 - N But I did get the box of stuff still needing to be sorted and put away after my recent trip out from under the tramp which made it impossible to be impulsive about stepping onto it.
___7-3-12 - Y Paced the floor in the house for about twenty minutes but didn't put the weights on.  Oh and at a separate occasion I played with the cat quite vigorously with dangly toys and balls.  Anyone with a cat knows that they don't generally fetch back the tossed toys.  They chase them while they are moving but then stop and stare at them waiting for them to start moving again.  So I did a lot of moving in order to retrieve and toss, retrieve and toss.... Who was playing with who I wonder.
___7-4-12 - Y Paced the floor a few minutes and a few hours later paced the porch.
___7-5-12 - N sick
___7-6-12 - N sick
___7-7-12 - Y Paced the floor and the porch in two separate sessions.
___7-8-12 - N
___7-9-12 - Y stood on mini-tramp for several minutes.  this is how I must begin after long hiatus until I get balance and strength in calf muscles back.  just standing on it gives whole sets of muscles and ligaments from ankle to abdomen workouts.  might not seem like much but it was a major overcoming of intimidation for me.
___7-10-12 - Y tossed balls and other toys for Merlin for several minutes (see @ 7-3 above) 
___7-11-12 - Y paced floor several minutes while still cool before noon.  
___7-12-12 - Y did some chores involving lots of moving about.  
___7-13-12 - Y stood on mini-tramp for several minutes
___7-14-12 - Y did 'push-ups' against door frame several times.  about 5 to 8 ea time; played with Merlin
___7-15-12 - Y the heat broke!!! did two hour kitchen clean-up--unload dishwasher & reload, complete counter and stove-top scrub, organize fridge
___7-16-12 - Y 2 hours of sorting, organizing and putting away from December move & recent trip. involved much walking from one end of house to other
___7-17-12 - Y played with Merlin; stood and swayed on mini-tramp several minutes.  balance still too poor to lift feet
___7-18-12 - Y played with stretchy bands.  one of them made from surgical tubing broke on me having rotten where a knot had been tied in it.  so glad I was not standing on the mini-tramp when that happened
___7-19-12 - Y housework and more sorting and unpacking from the December move.  I do believe I can count the folding and hanging up of clothes as exercise.  my arms agree
___7-20-12 - Y played with Merlin; stood on mini-tramp several minutes.  not feeling so much like I'm going to fall when I let go of the wall
___7-21-12 - Y Played with Merlin; housework
___7-22-12 - N
___7-23-12 - Y Played with Merlin; stood on mini-tramp
___7-24-12 - N
___7-25-12 - N
___7-26-12 - N
___7-27-12 - N
___7-28-12 - N
___7-29-12 - N
___7-30-12 - N
___7-31-12 - N
___8-01-12 - Y played with Merlin
___8-02-12 - Y played with Merlin
___8-03-12 - Y paced the porch from dusk to dark
___8-04-12 - Y played with Merlin; played with stretchy bands
___8-05-12 - Y played with stretchy bands
___8-06-12 - Y played with Merlin
___8-07-12 - Y stood in doorway hung on to casing with one hand and leaned out as far as my arm allowed and pulled myself back in slowly.  About five times per arm
___8-08-12 - Y gently push/pull against both sides of door casing while standing in the doorway.  a kind of standing up pushup
___8-09-12 - Y stood on minitramp.  balance not good enough for lifting feet
___8-10-12 - Y paced porch
___8-11-12 - Y paced inside house
___8-12-12 - Y paced inside house and on porch while visiting with husband
___8-13-12 - Y stood on minitramp
___8-14-12 - Y paced inside house and on porch while visiting with husband
___8-15-12 - Y paced inside house and on porch while visiting with husband
___8-16-12 - Y clutter patrol thru house--lots of walking, bending, lifting and reaching
___8-17-12 - Y played with Merlin
___8-18-12 - Y stood/shuffled on mini-tramp
___8-19-12 - Y kitchen chores and vacuuming
___8-20-12 - Y curls and leg lifts while laying on the now clean carpet
___8-21-12 - Y played with Merlin and paced porch.
___8-22-12 - Y played with Merlin; paced in house and on porch; kitchen chores
___8-23-12 - Y played with stretchy bands
___8-24-12 - Y stood/shuffled on mini-tramp
___8-25-12 - Y gently push/pull against both sides of door casing while standing in the doorway.  a kind of standing up pushup.  arms still sore from crash into wall the other day but pushing past that


___8-25-12 -   Not quite so feeble anymore

___8-22-12 -   It's quite possible all the recent 'feeble' efforts helped create the conditions that led to my epic crash yesterday.  Because I'm developing muscle and balance and confidence I was moving faster than I would have been a few weeks ago.

The heatwave broke we're only in the 90s this week so if I don't let the aches and pains of last night's jarring derail me I should be moving beyond feeble now.

___8-18-12 -  holding steady.  still in triple digit heat so efforts are still on the feeble side.  have been pushing my sleep further into the afternoon and not waking until dusk or full dark.  So my days are starting between 9 and 10pm and ending between 2 and 4pm.  I sleep with a frozen water bottle inside a sock inside my shirt.

 ___8-14-12 -  Must not dump on self for 'feeble' attempts as the current heatwave makes even feeble effort true effort.  And as I've said before.  IT IS NOT NOTHING which would be so easy to justify with the heat and the smoke hazed air.  105 to 107.  No AC.  I'm sleeping through the hottest part of the day, waking around 6ish which is an hour or so before it is cooler outside than in and safe to open up the windows.

I woke at 4pm today in a room imitating a sauna with a raging thirst.  Drained my room temp water bottle and got a frozen water bottle out of the freezer and took it back to bed with me.  Literally in the bed with me.  Was cuddling it as I fell back to sleep and woke occasionally to sip the melted water out.

___8-11-12 -  i guess it is still good that it is not nothing.  but I know I'm not doing my best.  the inertia is so strong.  like paralysis.  just lifting my arm, breathing itself all feels much like it does in a nightmare. I've also stopped crocheting as of 8 to 10 days ago and that represents as much loss of activity as the string of Ys above represents gain.  not sure if that is a fair exchange.  not sure how much credit to give the heat as I do feel much less leveled by it than I did a month ago.

___8-07-12 - still pretty lame.  but not nothing which is the inertia I'm trying to fight right now.  not to mention the heat

___8-04-12 - like i said at top, lame.  but a lame something is not nothing.  and there was the heatwave..

___7-31-12 - *hanging head*

___7-28-12 - Tsk Tsk.  Not doing well on these first two at all.  If I was the boss of me I'd have to fire myself.

For the last three days the mini-tramp has been covered in beads and buttons and other crafty stuffs that I was sorting.

___7-24-12 - lost some of the omph I had last week over the weekend was feeling weak and dizzy and achy.  Was frustrated and mystified by it.  Then I remembered that this is typical whenever I start moving again after going sedentary for weeks or months.  Especially when getting back on the mini-tramp after a long hiatus.  I suspect it is the stirring up of the lymphatic system which is finally able to start moving toxins toward elimination as I always start feeling like I'm coming down with a virus just as I start getting into the rhythm of the activities..  Which makes it most important to keep it up.

4. Spend 30 minutes or more per day reading a book or quality web article on Writing or Publishing or work habit/organization from my ever growing TBR of books and/or blogs or websites with professional level content on those subjects.  Will compile list for future updates.  (hmm no list yet)

Instead of a list of TBR titles I will start including the titles of books and articles and websites that I spend the time with between check-ins.  This week it was the same three books I've been working my way through since the beginning of my ROW80 participation.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua am reading this online this week

___7-2-12 - Y
___7-3-12 - Y
___7-4-12 - Y
___7-5-12 - Y 
___7-6-12 - Y
___7-7-12 - Y 
___7-8-12 - Y
___7-9-12 - Y
___7-10-12 - Y
___7-11-12 - Y
___7-12-12 - Y
___7-13-12 - N
___7-14-12 - Y
___7-15-12 - Y
___7-16-12 - N
___7-17-12 - Y
___7-18-12 - Y
___7-19-12 - Y
___7-20-12 - Y
___7-21-12 - Y
___7-22-12 - Y
___7-23-12 - Y
___7-24-12 - Y
___7-25-12 - Y
___7-26-12 - N
___7-27-12 - Y
___7-28-12 - N
___7-29-12 - N
___7-30-12 - N
___7-31-12 - N
___8-01-12 - Y
___8-02-12 - Y
___8-03-12 - Y
___8-04-12 - Y
___8-05-12 - Y
___8-06-12 - Y
___8-07-12 - Y
___8-05-12 - Y
___8-06-12 - Y
___8-07-12 - Y
___8-08-12 - Y
___8-09-12 - Y
___8-10-12 - Y
___8-11-12 - Y
___8-12-12 - Y
___8-13-12 - Y
___8-14-12 - Y
___8-15-12 - Y
___8-16-12 - Y
___8-17-12 - Y
___8-18-12 - Y
___8-19-12 - Y
___8-20-12 - Y
___8-21-12 - Y
___8-22-12 - Y
___8-23-12 - Y
___8-24-12 - Y
___8-25-12 - Y


___8-25-12 -   Got my hands on another copy of a book I once owned The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler this week.  Have only dipped in a bit into the intro and early chapters but that triggered memories.  I'm looking forward to reading those chapters again and then finally finishing the book maybe after more than a decade.  I'd probably made it less than 200 pages into the nearly 700 pages before loosing it in our 2001 move.  But I'm going to try to finish up a couple of the books already in the list above before adding this one to it.

___8-22-12 -   This week's breakthrough came out of this task.  Sparked by comments in Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.  See comments at top for this date.

___8-18-12 -   holding steady.

___8-14-12 -  Why is that once something becomes not only the habit I hoped for but enjoyable rather than congratulating myself I start to think of it as something I need to curtail like a bad habit?  Surely only good can come of this time investment as long as it doesn't completely replace the writing itself.

___8-11-12 -  so the habit is getting stronger and goes beyond 30 minutes most days.  But I can see how this can easily become a substitute for the writing itself.

___8-07-12 -  :)

___8-04-12 -  more like it

___7-31-12 -  *hanging head*

This goal had become a habit by the end of Round 2 and I kept it up during the break.
Was even able to keep it up while sick tho the 30 minutes was an accumulation of smaller chunks of time between the waves of nausea and headache.  The heat was harder to beat tho.

5. Spend 30 minutes or more per day daydreaming in the story world with pencil and pad at hand


___7-2-12 - Y
___7-3-12 - Y
___7-4-12 - Y
___7-5-12 - N sick
___7-6-12 - N sick
___7-7-12 - N habit bending under pressure? No longer sick enough to explain it.
___7-8-12 - N it's the heat...continue to daydream story but not keeping notes so no Y
___7-9-12 - N ditto
___7-10-12 - N ditto
___7-11-12 - Y
___7-12-12 - Y
___7-13-12 - N
___7-14-12 - Y
___7-15-12 - Y
___7-16-12 - N
___7-17-12 - Y
___7-18-12 - Y
___7-19-12 - Y
___7-20-12 - Y
___7-21-12 - Y
___7-22-12 - Y
___7-23-12 - Y
___7-24-12 - Y
___7-25-12 - Y
___7-26-12 - Y
___7-27-12 - Y
___7-28-12 - Y
___7-29-12 - N
___7-30-12 - N
___7-31-12 - N
___8-01-12 - Y
___8-02-12 - Y
___8-03-12 - Y
___8-04-12 - Y
___8-05-12 - Y
___8-06-12 - Y
___8-07-12 - Y
___8-08-12 - Y
___8-09-12 - Y
___8-10-12 - Y
___8-11-12 - Y
___8-12-12 - Y
___8-13-12 - Y
___8-14-12 - Y
___8-15-12 - Y
___8-16-12 - Y
___8-17-12 - Y
___8-18-12 - Y
___8-19-12 - Y
___8-20-12 - Y
___8-21-12 - Y
___8-22-12 - Y
___8-23-12 - Y
___8-24-12 - Y
___8-25-12 - Y


___8-25-12 -   Applying the messing around concept even here.  Trying not to censure ideas too soon.  Asking myself a lot of off the wall, out of the box questions about characters, motive, ect hoping this will help me break through that sticking point that every one of the FOS novels has stalled out on.  I've discussed this extensively over the last five years or so and this is not the place to go into detail.  It's about the fudnamentalist cult that touches most of the characters lives one way or another and could be considered the primary antagonist in nearly all of the stories.  I've never managed to clarify it's character.  And of course it is unsurprising considering my own history that I meet a lot of resistance every time I try to look too close at it.

___8-22-12 -   easy breazy

___8-18-12 -  holding steady

___8-14-12 -  Maybe the angst discussed below will be addressed by the new plan discussed above?

___8-11-12 -  I used to think that the fact this was becoming so second nature meant something.  That maybe like charging a battery the energy and thought invested into dreaming the story world would soon manifest in something of more substance on the file work fronts--clean-up, word count, revision etc.

Today my doubts of this are overwhelming.  I'm trying to sort out how much of that is due to my tendency to create high expectations and see only failure in all efforts to meet them that aren't complete success.

So I ask am I cutting myself too much slack or not giving myself enough credit for what does get done?

Sure those strings of Ys on all but one of the time investment fronts do look good and make me feel good but there is a part of me that knows that I am not putting my best efforts into what I say it is I want.

___8-07-12 -  :)

___8-04-12 - better but not as assiduous as in the early weeks of last round

___7-31-12 -  *hanging head*

This was the habit that really took during the last round and yielded astonishing things.  Late in the round I added a new goal related to this one: to develop the habit of keeping the note taking implements with me at all times because as the habit of dreaming the stories developed it didn't always confine itself to when I was near my netbook or crochet where the means to record them were available.  Developing the means is a bit tricky for some cases but I'm working on it.

6. Spend 30 minutes or more per day on one or more of the tasks in the list below:

[as the round progresses check-in updates will accumulate in this spot which will push the list itself down]

___7-2-12 - N
___7-3-12 - N
___7-4-12 - Y
___7-5-12 - N sick
___7-6-12 - N sick
___7-7-12 - N ? no longer sick enough to esplain the N
___7-8-12 - N its the heat.  zaps energy.  also netbook is like mini heater
___7-9-12 - N ditto
___7-10-12 - N ditto
___7-11-12 - Y can't call it more than dabbling but its something and not nothing
___7-12-12 - Y
___7-13-12 - N
___7-14-12 - N
___7-15-12 - Y
___7-16-12 - N
___7-17-12 - Y
___7-18-12 - Y
___7-19-12 - N
___7-20-12 - Y
___7-21-12 - Y
___7-22-12 - N  
___7-23-12 - N
___7-24-12 - N
___7-25-12 - N
___7-26-12 - N
___7-27-12 - N
___7-28-12 - N
___7-29-12 - N
___7-30-12 - N
___7-31-12 - N
___8-01-12 - N
___8-02-12 - N
___8-03-12 - N
___8-04-12 - N
___8-05-12 - N
___8-06-12 - N
___8-07-12 - N
___8-08-12 - N
___8-09-12 - N
___8-10-12 - N
___8-11-12 - N
___8-12-12 - N
___8-13-12 - N
___8-14-12 - N
___8-15-12 - Y
___8-16-12 - Y
___8-17-12 - Y
___8-18-12 - Y
___8-19-12 - Y
___8-20-12 - Y
___8-21-12 - Y
___8-22-12 - Y
___8-23-12 - Y
___8-24-12 - Y
___8-25-12 - Y


___8-25-12 -   Just playing....  took the focus off of organize and put it onto looking at what is there and allowing that to spark new thots to add without shying away from 'adding to the mess'

___8-22-12 -   Sandbox joy.....

___8-18-12 -   :)  Due to the new plan I've started reading through and fixing, organizing and adding info to the WhizFolders worksheet file for my FOS storyworld.

___8-14-12 -  String of sad Ns again.  Hoping the new plan will fix that soon.

___8-11-12 -  It's this string of Ns and the resistance to prepping Blow me a Candy Kiss that is fueling the self-disgust

___8-07-12 -  :(

___8-04-12 - *hanging head*

___7-31-12 -  *hanging head*

___7-24-28-12 - Major lapse here.  Primary cause was the switching of my focus to that big crochet project but it didn't help that I did a restart Sunday and haven't got around to opening up WhizFolders, my writing ap, again since.  Several times in the last three days I've hovered the cursor over the taskbar where I have the ap pinned only to find it not yet open and then deciding to wait because I didn't have the patience to wait for the application to open up all of the windows and files that I left open when I closed WhizFolders for the restart.  Whiz remembers what is open and window position which is very handy but when I close it with lots of windows and tabs open it takes several minutes from the moment I click to open the ap to the moment I'm able to use it.  By lots of windows and tabs I mean over a dozen files represented by tabs in one window and two or three editor windows with multiple tabs representing specific sections of a file being edited.  I use Whiz for many things besides fiction writing.  It is my primary writing and note ap, link bookmarker, reading journal and task and project organizer. 

I solved this problem once.  Ostensibly.  The concept was to create a few files that contained links to everything else I might need--files, applications, urls, etc.  A project file, a master task list, a web map file, and the worksheet file for my WIP.  Actually if I did it right I could get by with only the master task list and the web map.  But for the concept to work I have to be willing to close all of the tabs and windows I opened except those two before closing the program.  Probably I should refrain from keeping so many open in the first place, closing the ones not related to whatever project I'm working on then I wouldn't be faced with needing to close fifteen tabs and windows when I'm in a rush.

That would be a hard habit to break.

This must all sound like a lot of irrelevant blather but it speaks to my efforts since joining ROW80 [which was right around the time I began reading The Power of Habit and returning to Allen's Getting Things Done principles] to engineer my environment and my routines to encourage productivity in those things that matter the most to me. So I've been making a habit of noticing how I do things and how what I do either works or doesn't work towards my goals.


I did not keep this up during the break and that is probably why I am having trouble reintegrating it into my days.
  • Input any material from the daydreaming session into it's appropriate file or task list.  ___  this is a developing habit begun during last round
  • Clean up the Fruit of the Spirit storyworld worksheet.  ___  this is where most of the dabbling for last round occurred.   
  • Create a master task list in FOS story world worksheet file and add any actionable task that comes to mind while working with the files: research and fact check, character development, scenes needed etc.  Future goals can be taken from this list.  ___ the master task list was created soon after I started the last round but using it is a developing habit  
  • Create topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet file for every character from every existing story and novel finished or in progress that is set in this story world. Add any of the characters known life events to the master timeline. ___ have added a few and added info to existing ones as well. Much of my file dabbling occurred in these character notes
  • New task --06-11-2012 : collect character info for all the Faye's Strays from out of all the stories and files they are scattered through into it's own section in the FOS worksheet file.   ___ this is where the work mentioned in the line above was happening during last round
  • Re-read the incomplete short story Home Is Where the Horror Is and consider returning to work on it with an eye toward finishing it this summer.  This is one of the Faye's Strays stories so work on it will count toward the WriMos word count.   ___ have not reread nor written new scenes yet but have jotted many ideas for the the missing scenes, did some new character sketch work some of which I may count towards the WriMos which end tomorrow
  • Do a line edit of all of the completed short stories
  • Blow Me a Candy Kiss
  • How Does Your Garden Grow
  • Running In Circles
  • Of Cats and Claws and Curiosities
  • Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes
  • During the line edits consider whether any significant revision is still needed--scenes to add or delete, rearrange or rewrite; timeline issues, facts to confirm or to change--and create an actionable task topic in the file.   ___ am using the master task list in the storyworld file mentioned above and then linking to the appropriate story file.  This is what I love about WhizFolders as my story writing ap.
  • Choose 10 POV level characters from FOS and write a first person rambling monologue for them. 
  • Write fresh scenes whenever a spark is lit by any of the work on this list or the daydreaming or reading.
  • Clean up the 8 NaNo novel files: quarantine the mess, create work space for new writing, and create a system for  storing the material salvaged from the mess in such a way as it can be found when needed. i.e. linking it to appropriate topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet.
  • ____ The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009
  • ____ Mobile Hopes 2008
  • ____ Storyteller's Spouse 2006
  • ____ Spring Fever 2007
  • ____ Brooding Instinct 2005
  • ____ Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • ____ Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
  • ____ A Trick of Light 2011
  • Read and notate the scene text of the 8 NaNo novel files 
  • ____ The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009 
  • ____ Mobile Hopes 2008
  • ____ Storyteller's Spouse 2006 
  • ____ Spring Fever 2007
  • ____ Brooding Instinct 2005 
  • ____ Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • ____ Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
  • ____ A Trick of Light 2011 
Some of the work of these last two tasks can be done concurrently so I was tempted to collapse them under one task and have just one list of the WIP but they are very different tasks when you look close with this last one being more about the writing and the other about information organizing and story outlining.  I could conceivably do the work of one task with one novel while doing the work of the other with a different one.  The two tasks require different frames of mind.

2 tell me a story:

MedievalABD 8/26/2012 1:43 PM  

I'm very familiar with the sort of synergy you describe when going back through your files. That sort of thing happens to me all the time.

It sounds as though things are coming together for you. I hope you have a lovely week.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell 8/26/2012 1:45 PM  

Ah, Blogger picked the wrong identity for me--I'm Elizabeth Anne Mitchell on ROW80!

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