ROW80 Goals Update#10 – “Expansion and Immersion”

English: Music in Movement, Photo Essay
Image via Wikipedia

My life has been deep and diverse over the last days.  I’ve stretched in several different directions, and life itself seems to be shifting toward new revelations.

I’ve learned not to talk to much about this process while I’m in the midst of it –  that can interrupt or end it before the new awareness breaks over me and fills me….

So, here is an update of what I’ve been up to, with my writing:

Round of Words 80 Goals – Round 1, 2012:

I will write at least 10 essays and/ or photo essays, and post them publicly. 

I will complete all necessary homeschool reporting (2010-2011 end-of-year assessments; fourth request for approval of 2011-2012 IHIPs , and Second Quarter Reports-  all items for both children).  These will be completed and submitted as follows:
  •  2010-2011 EOY Assessments  –  January 31, 2012
  •  This goal has also been attained!
  • 2011-2012 IHIP Approval Request – February 15, 2012
  • This goal has been attained.
  • 2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012
  • I have finished updating Annalise’s report.  I am considering formatting it as a bulleted list, and still want to proof, revise as necessary, and add links (I appended asterisks to remind me) and resources.
  • Next, I plan to begin rereading, revising, and perhaps reformatting Jeremiah’s report.
  • I remain considerably ahead of schedule with this goal. =)
  • Once these reports are turned in, all paperwork on our part will be complete and current, until third quarter reports are due on June 1.

 I will submit at least one essay or photo essay apiece to Tiny Buddha and Sunday Surf.

  • The Sunday Surf post has been completed and posted at my unschooling blog, The Unfettered Life.
  • I have reorganized the “paragraph points” for the Tiny Buddha post, and fleshed out where it felt appropriate.
  • Looking at the fragmented piece for an extended period was becoming mind-addling, so I have set it aside for a day or two, in order to be able to read it as one piece when I return to it.

I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.

  • I am still on Chapter 17, “Never Doubt I Love”.  Current word count for this chapter is 5775 words.
  • One event that was crucial to the climactic scenes has now occurred, which I would say means that I am closing in on the end of the middle, with the beginning of the end just a little ways, maybe, over the horizon….
Finally we are in France, in a town called Rom...
Image via Wikipedia

I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.

  • I wrote a 554 word flash fiction erotica draft for possible  submission,    
  • I will be trimming the piece to under 500 words within the next few days.
  • I will also be beginning to create the writing samples for my independent writing enterprise within the next several days.

I will update, keep current on a weekly basis, and add writing samples to my Facebook Writer Page, and I will  update, edit, and post to both of my regular blogs on at least a weekly basis.
  • I have added writing samples, links, and a poll to my Writer page.
  • I have edited the Sunday Surf post on The Unfettered Life.
  • I have edited the “Live Writing” post on this blog, added some widgets, a link, and added to and updated  pages.
  • I posted a One-Minute Writer post on Tuesday.
I will write at least one book review,  and a rough draft of a letter to my father-in-law.
  • I have written a 665-word rough draft of my first review for the Bookmark Break Challenge 2012.  I will let it settle for a day or two, then reread and revise.  At the moment, it’s maybe more negative than I’m really comfortable with.  I would like to come back to it ready to add more of the things I actually liked about the book.
  • I have spent some time talking with Jim about his father’s letter and both of our thoughts and feelings regarding it.
  • In addition to expressing ourselves, we’ve also been mulling over what this means for our future plans, and considering that out future may very well have shifted from the direction we had been taking.
  • This has also led to brainstorming the points I feel I need to touch upon in my letter, and I will be creating at least a rough list within the next several days, when I can do so in a more or less relaxed manner….
English: The platform at Metrotown Station in ...
Image via Wikipedia
I will edit, revise where necessary,  and properly categorize all posts in this blog.
  • I added a widget link to The Unfettered Life, for ease of sharing between blogs, and am also considering adding a page to post links to specific posts at The Unfettered Life that I wish to share here.
  • This should eventually lead to being able to quickly make many of my favorite posts there available here, as well.
  • I’ve begun to investigate adding a custom header to this blog.  I will be considering photo options over the next several days.
  • I have made several changes to the sidebar, in an attempt to streamline the appearance of the blog and to make the sidebar an efficient and user-friendly navigation and inspiration zone.
  • I have begun updating  my pages, and getting a clearer idea of how I can best utilize them.
  • This remains very much a work-in-progress, with me more or less feeling my way and learning as I go.  The organically evolving blog appeals to me, though.  And it will, hopefully, reflect my organic growth as a writer.

I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.

  • I have done well on this.  I randomly chose from midway down my stack of completed writing practice notebooks, and ended up with December 1999, which I began on November 30.  It was two years after our marriage, when our late dog Bunko was a puppy and the children hadn’t been born yet.
  • I have transcribed 16 pages, so far, and found a couple of passages I may come back to clip for development.
  • It’s been fun getting to know my 30-year-old self again, seeing the things she was certain of that I still am, where I have totally changed my mind, where she had no clue.
  • I may understand myself better, at the end of this notebook, and I will definitely see more clearly where it is that I have come from.
Cones of tiny Buddhas
Cones of tiny Buddhas (Photo credit: Johnsyweb)
So, there’s the surface of what I’ve been up to.  I have also been reading for the Bookmark Break Challenge (I’m about a third of the way through the book), and I have written a rough draft for a possible collaborative venture with another ROWer. Join the ROW80 Fun!  It’s a Blog Hop! 


  1. Shan, you amaze me with how much you seem to pack into your days? How do you do it… ? If you decide to share that prices do let me know. I know I need a booster up my butt to get everything done. But I’ll be soooo much better off when the in laws get gone! 🙂 Loving you progress, keep it up. X

    • Shah –

      I have clearly missed some comments along the way, and am sorry this is one of them.

      I’m not sure I have a secret I can share..except that I try to honor myself, work when I can be happy to, and not try to force anything.

      I’m learning to respect my energies, and to plan in an open-ended way, leaving options and space for things to evolve, while giving me a focus when I come to the keyboard, whether for a few minutes or several hours.

      I take many mini-breaks, to oxygenate, refuel, stretch, connect with loved ones, and exercise other parts of my brain.

      I’ve got a few experimental ideas going now to increase my joy, focus, and productivity, so I will see how they work out…

      So happy I finally saw this!

  2. Congratulations on the achievements! You’re really moving along on things.

    What an interesting idea, inputting your old, handwritten journals–and it’s so very cool that you have a whole stack of notebooks!. I wish I had been more organized and still knew where my old writing books are. Next time I’m back visiting my mother I will have to go digging to see if any of them have survived. Not sure I’ll take on the inputting thing, but now that you’ve talked about it, I think it would be really interesting to see what I was writing about before I moved to Oregon in ’99.

    • Kim- I went with goals I really want to achieve, so getting to the computer to work on them feels like I’m treating myself to something really worthwhile…

      Which I am. =)

      The notebooks stopped for a long time when Jeremiah was born. They are Natalie Goldberg-inspired writing practice notebooks – generally, one a month. I think there might also be some that are story-related, too – but these are stream-of-consciousness, some to prompts that Jim wrote for me.

      There’s a lot of random goodness tucked away in those pages, and i would like to resurrect the treasures, and learn more about myself along the way….

      Ironically, this notebook was written in 1999. And we were living in Oregon. =)

  3. Sounds like you are keeping what is important to you on track. It is true that sharing our process can sometimes dissipate the energies but sometimes it is in the sharing of our process that we discover another or deeper piece to it. I guess it comes down to trusting your gut and only sharing with those you trust will be supportive and not draining.

    • Morgan –

      It’s starting to peek out, in the things I’m writing. I think it’ll be some time, though, before I understand it, and more before I grok it……

      It’s OK. No hurry, no worry. Sima garo provides. =D

  4. Like you, like Karen, I’ve been thinking and dealing with the “shouldn’t discuss process”. It almost ruins it with a been there, done that regret left over. It may be a curse of being a pantser-style writer as opposed to a planner. Neither one of us is high on the planning scale.

    As for the rest… WOW!

    • Sys –

      This is more a “major life epiphany” transistion. You know – the ones I used to go on and on about for three hours while you stared at me with NO idea at all what I was babbling about (because I was trying to force it to conform to words, when I always get to these places through images and senses, and because you couldn’t crawl into my head, although you can come a lot closer than most).

      Yeah, one of THOSE. The kind that has me taking trains across the country with $50 on me, or leads me to marry a guy I’ve known less that 6 months or go from a tyrannical mom to an unschooling one…..

      Something’s deepening and stretching, and, like Morgan’s monsters who might not be, I can’t make out the shape, just the movement.

      It’s invigorating, and writing helps bring it on. So does being outside, and cooking. So I plan a little more outside time tomorrow, then to make some soup over the weekend, when it’s cold.

      In the meantime, I am capitalizing on the feelings and their energy by writing. As much as I can manage.

      Because it’s good on so many levels!

      Wanna try again for Java’s on Tuesday, or are you too close to the sick, still?

  5. Impressive work on your goals. Congratulations! Like you, I’ve learned not to “talk” too much about my process or I leave it all in the ether, sort of loses its shine. Again, I admire how much you accomplish.

    • Karen – I’m glad I’m not the only one.

      I especially need to protect the emerging life epiphanies. I think that’s what this is – it feels like it.

      Various diverse ideas, events, and attitudes are swirling around, becoming more and more cohesive.

      There aren’t words, yet – just that swirling energy, starting to narrow and form what Annalise calls (achingly beautifully) a “whirledpool”.

      As for the accomplishing – I think our life makes it easier. There aren’t many rigidly scheduled things in our lives. Each of us follows our own sleep/wake, activity/rest, and eating patterns. I tend to write in short bursts between hometending and being with my family during the daytime. Then, a few to several nights a week I stay up when everyone else has gone to sleep, so that I can have a longer stretch of time where I can really focus.

      It helps that everyone in this home likes ample time to themselves, and that everyone has many interests to pursue and lots of time to pursue them in. Because we all have that; mine is more or less just taken for granted.

      It also helps that I can write while watching anime or PBS Kids, and while chatting with children. My Sweet L’il Lenovo is supremely easy to move around the house (or elsewhere!).

      Mostly, though, I think it’s that i finally decided to stop talking about it and write already, and that I have decades worth of ideas churning around in my head, waiting to get out. =)

    • Darlene – Do you use the free or paid version? i would love the ability to change fonts or use formatting…..wonder if the premium has that?

      I know it would let me have a current journal AND the past notebooks, too…..

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