Tuesday, February 26, 2013

73rd ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.

Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.

I continue to loose Ys this week in READ CRAFT and FICTION FILES but to a good cause I think.  Last Thursday my sister drove me down to Phoenix OR for an overnight visit with my husband and to pick up stuff I anticipate needing in the next three to six months--ARCs, reference books, notes and research for my storyworld, important papers, fiber art misc, and my spring/summer wardrobe.  This week has been all about getting it all organized with a view to my goals.

This 600 odd mile round trip made in under 40 hours was the latest episode in the personal crisis I'm calling a lifequake which I touched on in the last several check-ins and detailed in the ROW80 #69 check-in.  I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins just link back to #69 whenever the background is needed to understand the particular context of a current check-in.  There is also my latest Sunday Serenity which expands on it all a bit more.  Tomorrow is the next significant step on that path as I'll be seeing my new councilor at the clinic.

My extended stay here has ramifications for my fiction writing which I went into in great detail in the last week's check-ins coming away from them with the plan to dedicate late evenings and part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to FICTION FILES.  I selected evenings and weekends when Mom is gone for the chunks of time most likely to be free of interruption.  To make them available I'm supposed to be getting my posts prepped earlier in the day.  But that was another goal that took a hit this week

Flexibility flexibility flexibility.

I refuse to feel too bad about the Ns in FICTION FILES tho as my time and effort this week has been in its honor as much as anything as its gone towards getting my stuff organized with a view to my goals and creating a second workstation to accommodate the needs of dedicated fiction writing: privacy, quiet, time free of the threat of interruption and freedom to move about and make a bit of noise.

I shifted boxes and papers and notebooks that were my Mom's as well as my own as I rearranged the room that used to be her office and has morphed into a junk room in the years since her stroke.  It is the room where I keep my clothes and some of my crafts while here and now I am also going to have a second workstation in here so that I am not limited to the hours Mom is awake to do the things that make noise--printer/scanner, audio books, video, podcasts and such.  Including the steady typing that serious writing entails.  I can type nearly silently if I go slow but that's no fun. :)  And it stifles the flow.

Workstation pics:

The workstation in Mom's room on my side of the bed.
Pic taken my first weekend here in January

Workstation in Mom's Room today
with the printer and computer gone
and showing the extra books from home and library
and the bag of crochet

Workstation in Mom's office tonight.
This is the cubby behind the stairwell with a shelf installed by the previous owners for a TV so it is several inches higher than the average desk.  About the height of a kitchen counter.  So I'm using the chair that was my dad's shower chair when he had cancer with its adjustable legs extended to the max and a rubber air-filled exercise disc on the seat for a cushion and extra two inches. And a step stool under my feet so they don't hang.  I hate that I can't move the chair while sitting in it--no swivel, no roll, no rock back.  But I will manage I think.

The system of shelves with baskets and trays on the right side is set up to accommodate the things you might find on and in a writer's desk.  Most of the stuff that will go there is not yet unpacked.  The attache case and the file box it sits atop behind the chair are also mine.  There are more files in the box on my desk in the bedroom.  I hate that they are split like that and will probably doing a lot of tweaking to the system until all items find homes at the station they will be used the most or are in some sort of easily transportable container.

Indoor Workout Space
I spent an hour on the mini-tramp twice this week.  Quadruple the minimum to get the Y in Move.  Not to mention all the moving involved in shuffling boxes and bags from here to there and elsewhere.  While I was organizing the office I made room for the mini-tramp to be in here when it is raining as I was tired of finding odd corners to set it up and then put it back behind the couch again.  One of my sessions was out on the front porch which is my preference because it is so zen out there but it's been raining too much to count on that.

Last Wednesday night I finished the edit for Blow Me A Candy Kiss, the short story I'm planning to use as the experiment in self publishing.  This was on my original Goals when I first joined ROW80 last April.  It is now ready for beta readers.   Anyone interested can say so in a comment or email me at the email in the sidebar.  A link to an earlier draft can be found in the ROW80 Goals page linked under the spreadsheet above.


Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff  I just lifted the strikethru I put on this the week I left home in January as I brought it back with me this week
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.

Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last fall and wrote an overview of it for that check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.

2 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  2/27/2013 7:31 AM  

I've found that there's a distinct advantage to having a chair that doesn't swivel or move: I feel a lot more stable and as a result get more done. But maybe that's just me. How did you like Imagine?

Shan Jeniah Burton 3/03/2013 9:18 AM  


It sounds like you are finding answers to your particular dilemmas, and that makes me happy for you!

I will have your story back, with comments, by Wednesday (it's been busy, here, and I haven't gotten back to it, yet).

It seems like a few 'N's" are a small price to pay for spaces that will ultimately give you greater ability to reach your goals.

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