ROW80 Round Two: “Eyes Scanning The Horizon”

I’m still in the process of absorbing what the my first ROW80 round meant to me,  and how it has affected the way I approach my writing goals.  I expect that the process will continue for quite some time.

I feel more ready to explore it in writing, though – and this seems a very good time and place to begin….

Since Round 1 ended, I have been busy, but in a somewhat more flowing and less driven way than was prevalent the last few weeks of the challenge.

I’ve been finishing up and getting around to bits and pieces and projects that I laid aside as I worked on attaining the last few goals:


  • I have posted my topics schedule for the Blogging From A to Z April Challengeand I am working on this post, although there are likely several more sessions to go before it’s completed.
  • I have the A and B posts in rough draft form.
  • I am in the process of claiming the  three blog awards bestowed on me during the course of the last round.
  • I have been setting up and gathering materials and ideas for the next round.

    Annalise and Gabriella, post plaster puppy making.....
  • I have finished two books, and begun a third.
  • We have, as a family, visited friends in an adjoining state, a trip meant to take place the weekend immediately following Jim’s accident. There was, of course, packing and unpacking at both ends, and much joyful chaos between….
  • I’ve written three 500 word blogposts – for a giveaway to celebrate my 50th fan of my Facebook writer page.
  • I have gathered and edited pictures, and made some collages.
  • I have written  my blogpost for this month’s Unschooling Blog Carnival.  I intend to go back and add more, as I work through these projects.
  • I have posted a book review, and have a rough draft of another.
  • I have downloaded Scrivener (thank you, Eden Mabee!), installed, read a little, and peeked timorously at it from a for-now safe distance (I tend to need to ease into these new technological tools).
  • I have cleared space on my hard drive, and Jim’s (prior to the arrival of my Sweet L’il Lenovo at the end of last November, I worked most often on Jim’s Panasonic Toughbook, and I have left too many files and programs he doesn’t use on it.  It’s a bit of a mission for me to clean it up for him as I am doing hometending on my own machine…..
  • I’ve printed up a couple of forms Jim has needed for accident-related stuff.
  • And, of course, there has been homtending and parenting and learning facilitation and just being together and shopping and and and….
Studying the effects of plaster....
The time since the last round ended has seemed to just flow as an easy, floating time of very mellow productivity…..with a few torrents of activity and emotion thrown in for seasoning.
I’ve taken a lot of time for enjoying myself.  I have relaxed.  I have sat in Sylvia’s sunny kitchen, and watched girls make and later paint plaster puppies, and watched boys make slime worms and sour ice cream…..There was time for conversation, and snuggles, and fun, and treasure hunting.  There was time to play outside while the weather was nice.  Time for hot showers and quite a bit of TV.  And yet, all of that up there got done, too…….And that may be the second coolest thing I have gotten from A Round of Words in 80 Days…
The certainty that it is indeed possible to write – a lot and well-  while still honoring my energy level, my needs and those of my family, having as much of a social life as I desire, and living a rich, joyous, and passionate life.  It is possible to set goals I truly wish to attain, and to move toward them, and attain them, even when life becomes incredibly complex.
And so, with that fact firmly in mind….

Here are my goals, arranged in categories for this round:


  • Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
  • Read at least 3 articles a week from my To Be Read files on computer, and categorize those I choose to keep or share.
  • Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
  • Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for  Chameleon’s Dish.  Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.  
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • Find all chapters of Blood and Breath.  Input into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
A new type of toe touch......

  •  Explore She Writes; Twitter: StoryDam; Pinterest; and LinkedIn .  Use, develop, evaluate, adjust.
  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • Do 3 guest posts and  host 3 guest bloggers this round.
  •  Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
  • Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
  • Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
Two happily plastered girls!
  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • Learn how to watermark pictures.
  • Watermark all photos that appear on my blogs, and all those I post going forward; begin watermarking favorites not on blogs.
  •  Explore marketing articles on my Facebook Writer Page.
  • Add useful articles to my shanjeniah 
  • Marketing Articles page.
  • Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
Happy Plaster Zombies!
  •  Get Scrivener  downloaded; begin learning by inputting first an essay, and then Blood and Breath.
  • Use Twitter and Tweetdeck at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • Learn what I can do with my domain name.
  • Begin research list/research for  Chameleon’s Dish second draft.
Just plastered.
  •  Edit all 2009 posts on  The Unfettered Life.  Consider layout and design changes.
  • Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
  • Input Blood and Breath and Chameleon’s Dish to Scivener.
  • Clean up computer downloads, documents, photos, and other clutter – move it or lose it!
  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Add self-deorating to every week!
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!

Plastery joy! =D
Administrative Stuff:
  • Write and submit third quarter reports for both children.  These are due on June 1, 2012.
  • Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
  • Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
  • Take critters to the vet; renew Corki’s dog licence.
  • Pay remaining balances for summer trips to Unschoolers Rock the Campground and Northeast Unschooling Conference.
Cleaning up......I love those two heads. =)
So, now I have a new set of goals.  As with the last round, they’re based on what I want to learn and do, so working on them will be not a chore but a joyful avocation.There’s a lot of variety here, so, whatever I’m in the mood for, I should be able to find something on this list to tickle that particular fancy….
I feel good about these goals, and how they will form the skeleton of my body of work over the next 80 days….I’m eager to delve in, and happy I have other projects and activities to keep me busy over the intervening few days, as the Round 2 countdown ticks down.
Before I go, I want to take a moment to acknowledge some of last rounds ROWers who have inspired, amused, informed, intrigued, and even become friends.  There’s no particular order here –  I love you all!
Washin' and a-grinnin'!
Rebecca J. Fleming (and Judgmental Dog,  of course!)
And, of course, my first friend, my syster, the one who tempted me into Simon and Garfunkel, Star Trek, a-ha, Middle Earth, and this challenge….who knows exactly scary and dysfunctional and un-nice I can be, and who loves me anyway. =)
I am sure there are a few of you who have slipped my mind….and more I will meet in the course of this round.Now, I gather myself, shake myself off, tidy up the matters-in-progress, and take a moment to look behind, at where I have come from. Then, I breathe deeply, until I am relaxed and flowing with the energy of my own soul, and look to the terrain ahead, the new, hazily beautiful horizon….
Early Springtime Tree.....

As Annalise, almost 8,  so aptly said, last night, “I’m made of bravery…….and water.”

I lower my hand, and step forward, into that new vista.

What vistas await the other ROWers? Find out here!



  1. Oh wow! I love what you said here: “The certainty that it is indeed possible to write – a lot and well- while still honoring my energy level, my needs and those of my family, having as much of a social life as I desire, and living a rich, joyous, and passionate life. It is possible to set goals I truly wish to attain, and to move toward them, and attain them, even when life becomes incredibly complex.”

    That is such an incredible discovery. Hurray!

    • Kimpdx –

      It really is.

      I am in a state of chaotic wonder about it.

      And I love that as the children are growing beyond the constant need for me, I move more into my own passions….

      And that seems to make us all happier.

    • I have a simple formula that works for me. I only do what brings me joy. Since I started doing that a year or so back, I have found that I stay productive without feeling harried or like I’m squeezing things in nearly so often.

      Sometimes, it takes a bit of effort to find the joy in the necessary and perhaps onerous, but I always find it worth it. =)

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