ROWin’ On…ROW80 Update #12

Here I am! Two days off to be kid-busy…Cameron stayed overnight on Friday, and yesterday we took him to the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology. Petted a rat snake, made a weather forecast – Zombie Blizzard! – played with wind turbines and mirrors and a gravity well. Explored tide pools…..then went to McDonald’s for play and fuel, then spent hours at Cam’s house visiting.

So, today, I am tired and restful in a messy house, filled with plans for the one ELance Proposal I REALLY want to write, and moving in that direction. It’s requiring four computers, used intermittently, to do the things I want to accomplish, freelancing goals-wise,at the moment. Jim is generously loaning me his little, basic, but totally not cluttered Toughbook, which I am using now. The tablet can be good for stashing notes and lists of priorities, and quick checks and updates. There is information I want from the old desktop, where I wrote before purchasing the laptop. I want to move those files, but haven’t found an efficient method of doing so yet. And the laptop that was formerly mine is just stuffed absolutely full of so much stuff, I may never again have it clear (unless I replace the whole hard drive and operating system!).

My plan is to purchase a newer, smaller laptop, and then, a few months later, a modern, flash-enabled tablet with full browsing capabilities. Then, perhaps, a smaller, more compact printer. The goal is to have an entire, fully functional home office that can be stored in a very small physical space. This way, I will be able to work from our travel trailer, or a coffeeshop, or anywhere else, and not be using a great deal of space that is soon to become very valuable and will certainly be shared.

But, until then, I’ve decided to move forward on my writing and freelancing plans. I’ve been waiting so long for all the conditions to be just so, and I no sooner solve one issue than I seem to discover another one (or more, sometimes!).

I think a good part of it is procrastination, or fear of having easily what I’ve dreamed about for so long. Lingering echoes from far back in childhood that say this is a waste of time, nothing but a frivolous pipe dream.

Now I am beginning to step up and realize that, no matter the value anyone else ascribes to it, it IS my dream, and I am cheating myself by not taking the time and making the investment to begin, well and truly and imperfectly. And that not only cheats me, but also those closest to me, who will be better served by a more fulfilled me, and also those who might benefit from my talent for the art of language.

So, no matter how I need to jury rig things, how much longer it takes to accomplish even a simple writing task at the moment, I AM beginning. Time to start, to get my feet wet, to make happen what I envision by getting a move on and doing as much as I can.

It may take time to get my portfolio of previous work ready for public viewing, It may take a lot of inventiveness to get things written and submitted in a format that is useful to others.

But lifelong dreams are worth the effort and exertions and growing pains of achieving, and, for every job I DO successfully complete, I will have a ready sample of CURRENT work for that portfolio.

There’s nothing wrong with exhibiting my past masterworks, so long as the quest to do so doesn’t become a means of stalling on creating new ones, of claiming my own personal right to achieve my dreams, or of sharing the gift of my words with others who may find them valuable in their own lives.

I was thinking about that early this morning, after watching Phenomenon. I have taken many leaps of faith in my life: loving Tim, moving across country, marrying a man I had known for less than 6 months, parenthood, travel across country, Elijah’s death, not sending the children to school, moving toward and into radical unschooling. Getting into an airplane, climbing cliffs, scuba diving. I seem to have good leap of faith instincts. And they are telling me now that this is what I am meant for, to distill life and experience, stir in perspective and observation, season with truth and humor and kindness, and release it into the world. Everything in life has led me to this place where I am going to fully and unabashedly live my freedom!

Round 2 Goals:


  • 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.
  • The Shelters of Stone: p 614 of 896  – officially beyond the halfway point.
  • The Natural Child:  Completed.
  • Tuesdays With Morrie: p 39 of  192.
  • I have completed 3 of 5 books for this month.


  • 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.
  • I am wandering a cow trail throughout my Story a Day May….I have two storylines, one directly involving Tisira, and another that seems to be leaning toward her world, although time may prove otherwise…
  • I have added stories on Thursday and Friday.
  • Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
  • I have pulled five entire  entries.
  • This leaves just a few more  June  2011 posts to go through, before moving on to July 2011’s posts.
  • Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
  • I have a rough draft of a post using these two pieces. I am having a few formatting issues, so will continue the project on Friday.
  • I have pulled another more complete essays, which bracket this post.
  • The fourth essay, about the difficult places in our marriage, I have saved to share with Jim.  I may or may not make it public, in time –  but there is material there that may help to ease the tensions, when they crop up, so it is personally valuable.
  • Create story arc for  Blood and Breath
  • I have added Chapter Seven to the story arc.
  • I suspect that, like Chameleon’s Dish, I am looking at a total of about 25 chapters, with a prologue and epilogue, so I am about a fifth of the way through, at this point.
  •  Input Chameleon’s Dish into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
  • I have moved Original Chapter 10, which will become Chapter 3, to a LibreOffice file in preparation to editing, formatting, and placing in Scrivener.
  • Finish father-in-law letter and send.
  • I edited some of the earlier writing, and adding a considerable amount of nex text.  I am feeling that I am getting a lot closer to the final shape, if not the final version, of this letter.
  • I am letting some things purge, and it feels healing –  like I am clearing out some long-hidden junk, and, in so doing, making more space and light for myself and the life I choose to live.
  • I have come to the place where it is less about addressing my father-in-law defensively, than it is a personal expression on the issues he raised.
  • This feels like an ideal place to write from-  my own vision, purpose, and strength.

  •  Explore She WritesTwitterStoryDamPinterest;and LinkedIn .  Use, develop, evaluate, adjust.
  • I spent about 20 minutes exploring  the Blooming Late group on She Writes.  
  • I returned for another brief visit or two.
  • I’ve decided to keep my explorations there to one group, for the moment, and get to learn the lay of the land…from there, I can expand into other areas as i gain comfort and proficiency.
  • I plan on checking back in the next several days, and more frequently, thereafter.
  • Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
  • I am continuing my efforts on Story a Day May.  So far, 13 days, and 12 stories.
  • I have found what I believe is a point of cohesion between my two storylines, and will continue to play and challenge myself!
  • Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
  • I am doing well at reading, commenting on, and sharing blogs.
  • I have been sharing more of my posts through LinkedIn, but am waiting just a bit to stretch my visibility –  with the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette and Tiny Buddha posts up, I have a bit more than I am accustomed to, and want to absorb it a bit before I widen my view…
  • Do 3 guest posts and  host 3 guest bloggers this round.
  • I have my first guest post!  It’s still in draft form, awaiting minor editing, images, links, an introduction, and a bio.
  • If all the components come together before Thursday night (the kids and I are camping over the weekend, and internet may be hard to come by…), I will present you with a lovely post by Elizabeth Anne Mitchell on Saturday!
  • Although my Tiny Buddha post was submitted in March, it didn’t appear until May, so I am claiming this Rather Big Deal as a guest post.
  • This leaves 2 guest posts to complete for this ROWnd.

  •  Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
  • I have deleted some files already on my Picasa Web Albums.  Just a few more, and this goal will be attained.
  • Watermark all photos that appear on my blogs, and all those I post going forward; begin watermarking favorites not on blogs.
  • I am watermarking photos in batches; very easy to do with Picasa.
  • As for all the ones already on my blogs, I may change this goal slightly in the coming weeks.
  • I will be replacing all the photos on the posts I edit for this round, and will use watermarked versions going forward, but i may not find time or inclination to do all the posts on both blogs before the end of this round.
  • I should know by June 1 whether this goal needs revising.

  • Use Twitter and Tweetdeck at least one day a week.  Learn more.
  • I turned on HootSuite Sunday.
  • For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
  • I have updated, expanded, and formatted my list into an outline format.  I have answered a few of the questions; applied one solution; and have two more ready to apply when the opportunity is right.
  • Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
  • I have relocated this link, which I will continue reading over the coming weeks.
  • Learn what I can do with my domain name.
  • Apparently not much, beyond possibly adding a professional  email account to it.  I have found this link, which might be helpful in the process.
  • Begin research list/research for  Chameleon’s Dish second draft.
  • I have updated, expanded,  and put into outline form my first set of brainstormed questions.
  • I believe the new format will make research easier, as well as help me to move it to appropriate files in my Scrivener binder.

  • Add JOY to every day!
  • Thursday:  Stayed home because I was feeling “off” –  a little sick and a lot growly.
  • Friday: Still feeling off, but a little better. Hung clothes outside to line dry.
  • Saturday: Wonderful day at Hoffman’s Playland with the kids for friend Marcus’s 6th birthday party.
  • Sunday: A distinctly unjoyful day.  I tried, taking it easy, relaxing, hanging clothes outside.  Ultimately, I failed.  The day pretty much sucked.
  • Add movement to every day, too!
  • Thursday: Hometending.   Lawnmower fail.  New mower is on the horizon.
  • Friday: Hometending.  Hung laundry out to dry.
  • Saturday: Minimal hometending.  Lots of walking and moving at local children’s amusement park.
  • Sunday: Hung laundry out to dry.  Moderate hometending.

  • Add self-decorating to every week!
  • I wore my pasta bead necklace on Saturday, and allowed the sun to begin turning me my summer color, a midrange coffee with a generous dollop of cream).  Someday, I would like to have my DNA analyzed, to see where this skin comes from, paired with blue-grey eyes…).
  • Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
  • Thursday: Writerly stuff.  Mellow home day with family.
  • Friday: Writerly stuff. Hung laundry outside.  Time with kids. Lovemaking.
  • Saturday: Writerly stuff.  Day out with the kids. Photographed kid projects.
  • Sunday: Writerly stuff.  Hung more laundry outside.

  • Add all these for my beloved others, too!
  • Annalise: I said yes  to: a dolphin pillow pet; a third giant stuffed snake; a 3D chalk kit; mint scented bubbles; walks, snuggles; and play.
  • Jeremiah:  Yes to amusement park freedom; arcade quarters;  spending money; air hockey; making lemonade and French toast; and snuggles.
  • Jim: Lovemaking.  A peaceful home to return to, most nights.  My not freaking out when he rode the motorcycle to work –  yes, I wanted to.

I was going to polish this off with a couple of sweet paragraphs about the last days, and the glow of motherhood…but I am not in that place right now, and I don’t believe in hypocrisy.

So I will just say that I have had many days far more wonderful today, and that this is a new moment, and things can get sweeter.

It’s all a part of living, even the days you long to have done, and hope do not repeat.

If tomorrow is sweeter, I will return, end this on a better note, and add the pictures.

May you sleep well –  and may tomorrow be better than today….


  1. What a great check-in! I love how much you are doing. You are welcome to do a guest post for my blog if you would like to get another one ticked off? 🙂

    • Sharon –

      Can we talk in early June? I feel a bit swamped with in=progress things just now – finishing the kids’ reports is a big, time-intensive affair, and other things get pushed aside….

      By June, though, I expect to have cleared a few things off the horizon, and then I plan to be guest posting and hosting in earnest!

          • Sharon –

            I am so sorry it has taken me this long to get back to you. I tried to load on far too much work last round, and buried myself in it!

            I will email you at some point soon, when I really feel I have the time to give you the attention you deserve – although I will also completely understand if I flaked out too much for you, too! =D

            I feel like I lost touch with pretty much everybody last round. Something I am really enjoying this round is the breathing space to go visiting, and answer those who visit me, too. yours is definitely one of the blogs on my “must visit” list for this round!

            Again, thank you for the opportunity, even if it no longer exists.


          • No problem, I am still happy to share a post if you would like to do one. I’ve been out of the loop a bit myself not being in the rounds at the moment, I’m sure I will be back at some point though 🙂

          • Sharon –

            I am glad you’re taking a break you need. I’ll be in touch within the next week or so – I have two other posts to finish up, before I can turn my attention to a new one…

            Hoping life is treating you well!

          • Life has continued to throw stuff at me but I continue to battle against the tide and am finally in a much better place than I was and the break has been much needed! I look forward to your post when you are ready 🙂 Hope you are doing well!? x

          • All well – growing, busy, and getting ready for winter. A cozy, cocooning feel to our days.

  2. You had me clicking the “Like” button well before I finished, solely for the joy I felt at reading this:
    “Now I am beginning to step up and realize that, no matter the value anyone else ascribes to it, it IS my dream,…”

    If I’d read nothing else in this post, I would have still found myself feeling a touch of breathless joy and deep comfort. I’ve known how much writing has meant to you for so many, many years. Well before I realized how much joy I could find in writing as well as reading, YOU were the writer. You were the one to whom words were worn like a second skin, decorating your presence like crystals in Rococo-ques frameworks….

    It’s a good thing. And yes, I can only imagine how much your heart leaped into your throat as Jim drove out the driveway on his motorcycle. I can almost perfectly imagine your home and it layer of present chaos. And I know that you would never change the people in your life solely for your comfort…

    Lots of facets and prismatic glimmers on those crystals there.

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