Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Serenity -- Writing Matters -- ROW80/CampNaNo

Abbie Emmons of Writers Life Wednesday.
One of the ways I fulfill my Read/Study Craft goal.
These short vids are so upbeat and info rich.
They are a joy to watch.

It's a good thing ROW80 is about flexibility as much as it is about accountability and effort as much as it is about metrics.  And as its motto says it's the writing challenge that knows you have a life.  If not for all of that I might be getting fixated on all the ways I'm not measuring up to my goals and putting my focus on punishing myself rather than on acknowledging the successes and accepting as legitimate the need to adjust to real life events that were not put into the original calculations when I wrote my goal post.  I was unaware for most of a week but the day I was writing m goal post was the day Mom had her stroke.  The first check-in Wednesday was the first time they took her to ER when she was told it wasn't a stroke but then last weekend she was back at ER and then checked into the hospital where she stayed until Friday afternoon.  It was a stroke and everything is going to change for her and those of us caring for her going forward.  My calculations for my goals no longer apply to my current situation but that situation is still in such flux that I can't really calculate new metrics that I can be sure of being in control of.  So for the time being I'm going to leave them as written and consider them strong aspirations that I will work towards as we figure out our new roles and responsibilities with Mom going forward.  Some things might improve for her over time and if so I may still have reachable goals here well before the end of the round.

Mom can not currently get herself in and out of beds and chairs nor walk unaided even with walkers.  She can not dress or undress herself.  She can't feed herself with utensils.  She takes much longer to get a thought expressed. 

So far my new duties include feeding Mom since that is a sit down job and doesn't put me at any extra risk due to the obstacle course the front rooms have become after moving stuff around to make room for the walker and the transport chair. 

I suppose I could write a whole sitcom episode featuring the follies involved in the blind feeding the blind.  The first couple meals were spooned food and I had little trouble getting comfortable with it but the first time we added fork food to her meal I almost balked.  With no peripheral vision and one eye of little use at all I also have no depth perception and Mom is worse with both eyes than my worst eye.  I was quite intimidated by the idea of pointing a fork at Mom's face and pushing it at the general vicinity of her mouth.  But we figured it out.

She keeps biting her own lips and I told her to tell her teeth to watch where they are going.  She laughed and had trouble stopping for the next bite.  So her mind is still quite capable of enjoying a pun.

It has been my job for years to fix lunch everyday Mom is home and that won't change.  It has also been my job to fix dinner two to three times a week and those duties will likely continue. The new time consuming task is in feeding her.  I used to crochet or read or listen to talking books or pod casts while she ate.  I can still listen to audio.  Maybe.  I can also imagine how that might not work.  You know, my focus issues.

The other big difference in my new role that impacts my writing goals is the need to be alert for a call to drop everything to come help my sister with one version of transport or transferring or another.  She occasionally needs me to spot from behind when she needs to be in front, from the left when she needs to be to the right or from the front when she needs to be in back of Mom or the chair.  Primarily it is about coming when called to set the brake on the transfer chair once they have the chair in position and to unlock the brake once they have mom seated in it again.  This is because the paths and doorways are too narrow to allow anything but the chair and Carri needs to be on the same side of the chair as Mom to help her in and out.  The brakes are in the back.

The way this impacts my writing goals is due to the way my mind refuses to focus if there is the slightest anticipation of interruption.  And the way I tend to never get back to a piece I was writing when I got interrupted.  I am trying to decide if the best way to go forward is to identify a time slot where interruptions are very unlikely or to figure out a way to fix the focus issues or the 'return to task' issues.  Or if not 'fix' them to learn to write anyway accepting that interruptions are inevitable and even incomplete sentences (thoughts) are better than none at all.

Time slots where interruptions are least likely are the hours Mom is in bed approximately 9pm to 9am but my own 7.5hrs needs to be in that same slot.  Which means I either write after she is in bed, as I'm doing for this post, or make sure I'm ready for lights out at the same time as she is and plan to write for an hour or two before 9am when my sister begins the getting up routine for Mom.  I'll be feeling my way around these conundrums this coming week looking for insight.  I know writing itself will help with that very thing. 

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:

Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Unsatisfactory
* Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
* Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream. -- Unsatisfactory
* Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average --  Above and beyond
* Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  --  Above and beyond
* 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Unsatisfactory
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged. --   Satisfactory

* Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  --  Unsatisfactory

The reason sleep got unsatisfactory is because I fudged it during the last several days before Mom's return in my efforts to get the sort project cleared off her bed and then get my other household chores done before her return as well.  I ended up not getting to sleep Thursday night until well have the windows were full of grey dawn light and I still got up at 8 because the timing of Mom's discharge was not known and I needed to be available to receive messages and I still had chores to do including a shower/shampoo.  So I made sure to be ready for lights out along with Mom Friday night and slept most of the same twelve hours she did.

Storydreaming itself is easy.  Its the note-taking part that I keep slacking on.  I fall into storydreaming easily while crocheting unless I'm listening to an audio of some sort.  I fall into storydreaming my storyworld as I'm falling asleep but there is no note-taking nor should there be if I intend to sleep!

The file scavenger hunt and the poem collecting project got interrupted late last week when my computer did a restart and closed all the aps.  I didn't lose anything it is just that having tabs and aps open is one version of my to-do list and I'm more likely to work on a project if all the tools are at my fingertips.  I was so busy with the preparations for Mom's return I didn't have the mental bandwidth to get those projects set back up--open aps, tabs, windows and files and size and position windows just so.  Some of the aps would open back up the way they were when closed but not when the computer shuts them down for restarts.

I really can't conclude anything other than pure procrastination regarding the journal writing that is suppose to be the core of Round 3 goals.  I was soooo committed to that goal when I set it two weeks ago.  All the other goals are designed to foster and found that goal.  I can still remember how positively I felt about it and how motivated I was to get started the day I wrote and posted my goals post.

For an explanation and links to backstory see the ROW80/Camp NaNo Goals post.

2 tell me a story:

Rui Chan 7/20/2020 8:10 AM  

I also enjoy Abbie's videos! And I definitely joined ROW80 because it's about accountability and measuring progress however we want.

Sorry things are still complicated with your mother. I hope you can find balance sooner than later.

Katherine Nabity 7/20/2020 9:44 AM  

With all that's going on, I would be very tempted to ditch the goals, so kudos to you! Best wishes for your mom's continued improvement. Keep her laughing at puns, that's good neural medicine. ;)

I'm intrigued by storydreaming; I'll have to give Butler's book a look.

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