My Birthday ROW – Goals Update #7

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What’s YOUR Mission?

From my July 29 750 Words entry: Today, in honor of my birthday, I am going to give my focus to one of my ROW80 goals, one I have been pondering quite a bit, but haven’t yet written anything for…

What I am going to do, once I stop with the procrastination that is really a way of getting myself into the right place…is to draft my Mission Statement – my declaration of what I want to accomplish with my writing, and what I want my writing to accomplish, both for myself and for my (hopefully growing and largely loyal) readership.

And possibly even the rest of the world, who might someday bump into my words.

So, 111 words later, I am centering myself in the place where I can begin (no, this won’t likely be the full or final version, just a beginning – a tossing-down of ideas and impressions….)

But I am also watching the Olympics, so I’ll start after these floor exercises…

My Mission Statement:

  • I will write only from my inner sense of truth.

  • I will write the stories in my head, and those that I dream, letting them flow from me without forcing or contriving.

  • I will write, as much a possible, from a place of kindness, and, failing that, a place of compassion.

  • I will claim the stories of my lives, even when those stories are not pretty.

  • When the stories are ugly, and others have a place in that ugliness, I will present the story with perspective and without blame – because, when people do ugly things, I believe we do them out of wounded places within us.

  • I will revel in my writing.

  • Writing will be my avocation – not a chore or a duty, but a joy and bliss…

  • I will learn myself, and the inner reality of my soul.

  • I will learn others, and the outer world.

  • I will deepen and broaden in the process.

  • When I can, I will present a guidepost along the way, to point others toward a direction they may have been seeking.

  • When I can, I will offer a way to awaken, to see more deeply and clearly.

  • I will question assumptions, including my own, especially those that seem so often to go thoroughly unexamined.

  • I will free my creativity to play in whatever areas most delight it.

  • I will share the magic I find in the everyday, and offer it freely to anyone who wishes to partake of it.

  • I will support others who are seeking or moving in tune to their own deepest purpose.

  • I will focus on the positives – laughter, joy, healing, peace, wonder….and because this is a world of opposites and degrees and infinite shadings, when I must reveal the darker side of things, I will always seek, even there, the hint of light and love and the possibility of better moments ahead.

  • I will be generous with my words and my thoughts, giving much away without asking anything in return, except perhaps to know when my words have touched someone…

  • In my life, I will move toward joy and sweetness and peace, and I will joyfully share the journey.

  • I will stretch and reach and strive, and grow…and that will mean offering my words in more places, and interacting more fully…

I think that’s all I have for now. This one was intended to be more like a brainstorming session, anyway…a rough putting-down of ideas and impressions…

It feels right, or close to right, but I will give it a couple of days to rest, and then look it over and see if it feels the same way after some time apart…

Goals for ROW80 ROWnd 3, 2012

WIP Novels:

Trueborn Series

  • Trueborn:
  • Reread current rough drafts from 1998-9ish and 2000.
  • I have completed the loose-leaf draft, jotting notes and impressions as I read.
  • I have begun rereading the spiral-bound draft. There’s no room for jotting notes, here, so I will add notes in a separate notebook, as needed. As this draft is richer in details, I envision the next draft as being something of a combination of the two.
  • I am currently on page 42 of 341.


  • Triage existing research.
  • I have gone through the research I have, and have loosely categorized it.
  • Over the next days, I will devise a storage system for this research, and implement it.


  • Blood and Breath:
  • Create a flash fiction piece for each story arc point.
  • I have begun, in a small way, by creating the first of my flash fiction pieces.
  • There are many pieces left to write, but, now that the ice is effectively broken, things should proceed much more smoothly.


  • Chameleon’s Dish:
  • Go through each scene to edit, take notes, and list research questions.
  • I have begun the research list with Chapter One, Scene #1, which I reinputted and edited last week.
  • It’s a modest beginning, and still a beginning! =)


  • Complete basic research based upon library books and websites; looking for information to enhance later digging and prevent hugely obvious gaffes).
  • I completed The Colonial Cookbook.
  • I have read 115 of 252 pages in Shakespeare’s England.
  • When I have completed the book above, I will have attained the library book portion of this goal.


Flash Fiction WIPs:

  • Look through all current pieces in my Writing Bullpen files.
  • I decided to work first with “A Splash of Red”, written during last round, which has been submitted and rejected once.


  • Complete/edit/rewrite where indicated.
  • I have made a few very minor changes; mostly, I like this story just as written.


  • Explore markets.
  • I have chosen my next market for “A Splash of Red”.
  • I will make my submission tonight (Sunday night) as a birthday gift to myself!


  • Go through old story notebooks for source material.
  • I have gathered the old story materials I have found into two central holding areas – one in my bedroom and the other in my office.
  • Over the coming weeks, I will organize and begin to choose projects I might like to play with in future rounds.


Essay WIPs:

  • Look through all current pieces in my Writing Bullpen file.
  • I chose to work first with an unschooling essay I wrote in June 2011, “Learning From Another Angle”.
  • I reread this piece, and will revise it for posting at The Unfettered Life.


 Administration Ad Infinitum….:

  • Standardized Test for Miah (due Sept.1).
  • The test has arrived.
  • Jeremiah completed his placement tests for reading, language, and math. It was interesting that he did well, with no formal lessons and very little preparation. He has always been a keen Homeschoolobserver and adept at making conenctions and extrapolations, though, so maybe it’s not really surprising that he’s picked up a lot more than I thought he had.
  • Eager to get the process underway, Jeremiah completed the reading test. I scanned through his answers, and he looks to have done very well (I suspect this will be his strongest area; he’s been a fluent and avid reader since he was 7, and often reads for personal research).
  • We have four weeks to complete the test, but it seems we will need far less time.


  • Relax, enjoy, learn, grow, laugh, and … BREATHE!
  • Done! New computer bought for Miah. Annalise inherited the old one.
  • We had some laughter and snuggles and conversation, and just being together, or alone, as we needed.



  • Continue reading books – aim for 7 in July, 8 in August, and 9 in September, but these targets will be flexible – summer is prime traveling time for the kids and I and we have things planned and others we’re considering.
  • The Colonial Cookbook – Completed.
  • the five people you meet in heaven Completed.
  • The Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging (ebook) – Completed.
  • Container Gardening page 192 of 256.
  • Shakespeare’s Englandpage 115 of 252.
  • I have completed 5 of 7 books for this month.


  • Read at least one book each month from my Kindle Cloud Reader, as a learning and experimenting process.
  • I completedThe Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging.
  • I have attained this goal for this month.


  • Continue reading an average of three articles from my To Be Read files, weekly.
  • I have not read any of these this week.
  • I am considering changing this goal to simply going through these files as time, interest, and other projects permit.


Other Writing:

  • Play with flash fiction pieces as the mood strikes; aim for two submittable stories each month.
  • I created the first of the Blood and Breath story arc flash fiction pieces, as noted above.
  • I made a few slight changes to, and submitted, “A Splash of Red”.
  • I have submitted 1 of 2 stories for this month’s goal.


  • Play with essay ideas as desired; aim for three submittable essays each month.
  • I have edited and revised the 750 Words piece I wrote on July 25, and used as the introduction to my last update post.
  • I am allowing this to rest a bit, and have chosen a market for submission after a final edit.




  • Use 750 Words for whatever – flash pieces, essays, venting, ranting, reports, book reviews, etc.
  • I have used the site for flash fiction, essays, storybuilding, lists of upcoming projects, accounts of our days, and to start a rough draft of my Mission Statement.


  • Join in the August NaNo Challenge; write 50,000 words of rough draft of To Be or Not To Be(Jeniah’s life, continued after the conclusion of Blood and Breath, perhaps encompassing everything before the events chronicled in my Solemates stories….
  • This is a new goal.
  • In the next day or two, I will sign up for the challenge.
  • I have begun storybuilding in a very, very general sense. I like to begin very unformed, and let the story be mostly born as I go along….always the most delightful surprises, that way, and almost always better than what I might have planned!



  • The Unfettered Life:
  • This goal has been revised, and now reads:
  •  Post updates, perhaps roughly categorized to make creating reports easier.
  • Begin using this blog in a way that really supports documenting, so that it does double duty as a personal tool for me in the way it once did.
  • I have plans, but have not yet posted. Blogs seem to be taking a backseat to novel WIPs, at the moment.
  • At some point, my focus will shift, and then I will likely be blogging extensively again.


  •  Shanjeniah:
  • This goal has been revised, and now reads:
  • Aim to post, as opportunities arise, non-ROW80 update material. This may take the form of adding to my pages; creating new ones; other challenges, blog hops, etc; writing samples of various types; musings on writing and life; guest posts; photo essays; or whatever else seems relevant at the time.
  • I have ideas, but haven’t enacted any of them yet.


  • Organizing/Tootling my Horn…
  • Choose a new notebook; input into Penzu.
  • I am on page 11 of 140 in my October/November 1999 notebook.


  • Continue reading marketing and ebook publishing sites and articles.
  • I completed The Digital Writer’s Guide to Blogging, as noted above.


  • Draft a loose Mission Statement to guide me through the rest of the ROWnd, and carry me forward into the next.
  • It seemed fitting to begin this on my birthday, and so I did. It’s not complete by any means; more of a brainstorming session.
  • I will return to this in the coming days.


  • Set aside time each week to winnow email. Read items being saved for later reading, sort or dispose as indicated.
  • I have kept my Inbox below 50 messages.
  • I have unsubscribed from two more sites I don’t currently read at – more keep cropping up, so I will continue doing this periodically.
  • I have filed or deleted most of the remaining unread emails from last week.
  • Be bold and daring in commenting, sharing, and submitting. Declare myself, learn, grow, and sometimes do things that make me uncomfortable. Open and blossom!
  • I’m not sure I was especially bold about it, but I did respond to several comments at shanjeniah.
  • For this week, I will focus first on the many comments awaiting responses over at my Tiny Buddha guest post. Those have been there a while; I was feeling overwhelm at the response…but now, it’s far past time to dive in, so here I come!


  • Celebrating Life!
  • Add some form of specific motion (t’ai chi, swimming, hiking, biking, skating, dancing, etc) to each week. Keep track of what, where, when, for how long, and how I felt during and after.
  • I have done a few hours of hometending, a few minutes of weeding in my raised bed, and a few minute each day of dancing. I’ve also been more focused on long stretches.
  • I have been a little achy (it’s rained some,here, lately), and my knees have twinged some, but not much.
  • I’m feeling a little burn in my quads, glutes, abs, and biceps, which I am taking as a good sign.


  • Fill us all up with joy, and continue cultivating family peace.
  • It continues to be a time of both closeness and friction between the children. Both are going through some major growth right now, and that tends to leave them feeling out-of-sorts and off-balance far more often than in more stable periods.
  • A year ago, I would have reacted much more quickly. Now, there is a little space, and I tend to think before I address things, and to simply be present more rather than trying to direct the children toward peaceful resolutions.
  • This approach is keeping the explosions more contained, and that helps them to pass more quickly and with less residual damage.
  • I am also being far gentler with myself, which is helping through the last days of July and my most hormonal days. =D
  • As for joy, there will be a birthday party for both children this weekend, and Jeremiah will soon have a new Lenovo laptop (early birthday gift), and Lise has inherited the old Acer, just as she is becoming able to read well enough to really navigate.


  • Spend time cleaning and beautifying my personal internal and external spaces each week.
  • I have spent a bit of time in my room, and a bit more than that tidying in my office.
  • I have continued to allow myself the space for the inner ponderings and wanderings that are so much a part of my life, right now.


  • Embrace and be present in all my moments.
  • I am finding this a bit easier to do as time goes on. I still forget for parts of each day, but I have noticed that life flows better and more joyously when I remember.


  • Allow my emotions to be as they are. Practice expressing them calmly and reflectively.
  • I’m doing very well with this. Often, I find myself yelling often during the hormonal 48 hours, but I’ve barely raised my voice the last few days, although I have had irritation and annoyance in it.


  • Tend kindly and sweetly to myself and others. =)
  • To the best of my ability!



  1. Happy Belated Birthday! Thank you so much for sharing your Mission Statement. It’s very powerful. I can see that all your goals are in alignment with your highest, deepest self. I was particularly struck by “I will write only from my inner sense of truth” and “I will learn myself and the inner reality of my soul”. I admire your courage.

    • Andrea –

      I’m sorry it took me so long to respond – August was a hugely busy month for us.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my mission statement. A few wekks after this, I finally made it “official”.

      I am still learning. Writing about some things requires a very fine balance between truth and compassion . That’s not something I learned growing up – and I think maybe it takes a lifetime of practice.

      It seems that a good way to move forward is to write the intention, and then live up to it.

    • Monet –

      Thank you for stopping by, and I am sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Life got a bit crazy-busy, in August…

      Did you read the book? And did you enjoy it? I found it touching and moving, and it left me wondering what lives I have changed, without knowing, and who my five people would be….

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