Monday, March 04, 2013

74rth 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.  A week ago 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.  The last week has been all about getting it all organized with a view to my goals.

This check-in is late because I dedicated Saturday night to a seriously overdue catch-up sleep.

This 600 odd mile round trip to Phoenix OR 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 this Sunday Serenity which expands on it all a bit more.

Last Wednesday was another significant step on this path when I saw my new councilor at the clinic and she sent me home with an article from the Mayo Clinic on bi-polar to prep for my interview with the psyche nurse who'll be prescribing my meds.  It's not an official diagnosis yet but they are looking hard at the possibility.  I'm a bit freaked after reading the list of meds used for it as so many of them seem to damp the mental spark and I fear for my creativity.  But the current disorganization of my mind and disregulation of my moods does not do much for creativity either.

My extended stay here has ramifications for my fiction writing which I went into in great detail in previous 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.  Have yet to establish that habit.

Flexibility flexibility flexibility.

All the Ns I've collected in the spreadsheet the last week have been due to the time invested in getting a second van full of my stuff integrated with the first one and the disruption in my workstation as I reorganized and created a second one in the junk room across the hall from the room I share with Mom.  That's where I expect to get FICTION FILE work done and I think I got it ready for serious use.

Workstation pics:

The workstation in Mom's room on my side of the bed.
Pic taken my first weekend here in January
I will continue to use this workstation for reading (both tree and ebooks), crochet and other crafting, sorting papers and craft misc., research and reading involving notetaking and anything that needs room to spread out. Will also continue to use it for emailing and surfing and other online activities before 8pm unless I didn't move the netbook back when I came to bed.  I like to bring it back in order to read an ebook and/or gaze up this pic of me and Ed  as I wait for sleep and to be able to check for his email as soon as I wake up but already I've come to bed twice without bringing it with me.

The new workstation is where I'll move in the evenings as Mom prepares for bed and is where I'll do most FICTION FILE work as well as anything audio/visual on the netbook after Mom is in bed and anything with the printer/scanner as I won't move it back and forth.

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 last Tuesday.
Have made a few adjustments since.
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 was not yet unpacked when the pic was taken but I have most of it in place now and ended up not needing all the shelves so I removed the top two and put one on the desk to the right of the printer and the other on my other desk.  And I put a boom box on the now lower top of the stack for music to exercise with.  

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 do 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.  I also put board atop that file box to create a surface for writing by hand and looking up stuff in reference books which are now sitting on the edge of that card table.

Indoor Workout Space
I've been on the mini-tramp several times a day since I set it up here last Tuesday.  It helps that I have to walk across it to get in and out of my corner and having it so close I often get up and get on when I'm feeling restless and irritated by the stationary chair that I can't get comfortable in.  I find it helps me to think.

A couple weeks ago 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.

1 tell me a story:

Shan Jeniah Burton 3/05/2013 8:51 PM  


I just sent back your file, with my thoughts.

It sounds as though things are coming together, at least in some ways, and you are adapting to your reality.

I hope you find methods that help you to feel better and more stable without dampening your creative energies.

I'm also curious whether you could clean out more of the junk room, to make yourself a more spacious private area.

May the coming week bring more certainty and writing!

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