And…We’re off! -ROW80 Goals Update, 10/4/12

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A Few Words About Honoring Myself:

 How is your Round 4 kickoff going?  off to a roaring start?  Still gearing up? Revamping? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! 

This is the goal – the only goal – I have set for this round. So, how am I doing?

  • When threads on a Facebook group I belong to got nasty, I tried to defuse the hostility, and had one of my posts reported and deleted. In four years on Facebook, this has never happened before. I was hurt, and angry…my words, carefully chosen and crafted, just gone.

  • I could have held onto it, or ignored the pain it caused. I’ve done both, habitually, in the past.

  • This time, though, I let myself feel the hurt and injustice. And I took action. I wrote to Facebook, and I posted on the group’s page (I believe I was reported by a reactive and hostile group member). I stated that I would not be posting there unless the atmosphere became more peaceful. When the page owner contacted me, I suggested she create standards for appropriate posting.

  • And then, I released it. I decided that with two challenges starting, and all the positive feedback I had gotten from posters to that group, that I had done all I wanted to do, there, for now.

  • Instead of obsessing, I wrote my first poem, commented on sponsor posts, and spent time with my family. Oh, and I watched Castle on the nice flatscreen in the living room, rather than the old analog in our room, which is dying, and has a habit of turning itself on and off without warning, often repeatedly (we’ll be replacing that, when the budget will accommodate it! Until then, it’s, shall we say, an adventure to attempt to watch anything on it!).

Mother and son, July 2011.
  • On Monday, two friends sent me Facebook messages to share poems they’d been inspired to write after reading my posts related to OctPoWriMo. Their poems were things of beauty and truth, and this came on the heels of the deleted post debacle, and so were doubly sweet. How gratifying to know that my words fed someone else’s creative impulse!

  • During a stressful moment on Tuesday, I told Jim that my feelings had been hurt by something he said. He responded in a way that might, in other times, have easily led to an argument.

  • Instead of answering reactively, which would have been easy, I took a deep breath and explained that I need to be able to express my feelings and tell him when I find something he’s done hurtful. I then said that it was only a big problem if he chose to make it one…

  • And then, I dropped it, and went elsewhere. This is huge for me. Jim needs space, and time, to consider these things, but I have a tendency to drill away, trying to force my point home.

  • A few minutes later, Jim came to hug and kiss me, and to apologize, and the stress of it evaporated. =D

  • I am honoring my energy levels, need for food and sleep, convictions, and my creative impulses. It feels good and right.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly in our front cottage garden, summer 2011.

ROW80 Goals Update 10/4/12 (original goals post)

Monday, October 1 – Energy Style:Slack Tide

Me, my girl, and a horse….winter 2005.
  • I wrote and posted my ROW80 goals in Honoring Myself, and shared on the Linky.

  • I read all of my current sponsor team posts.

  • I commented on a goals post, and shared to my Writer Page.

  • I gave some thought to my sponsor post. I know the direction I want to take, but not exactly what and how I want to say it, as yet.

  • I began, in a very nebulous way, to think about projects well-suited to Ebb Tide and High Tide energies.

  • I began to open my mind to King of Infinite Space. That’s a necessary first step for me, as I need time to dream and begin to feel the story moving through me before I can write it with any degree of depth or truth.

Tuesday, October 2 – Energy Style: Slack Tide, moving

Poppy in our cottage garden, summer 2011.

toward High Tide

I began my Ebb Tide and High Tide lists, brainstorming categories of things to work on.

  • Unfortunately, I apparently lost the list, because I can’t seem to find it (at least, not yet) in my DropboxWriting Bullpen files…maybe it’s that I’m very sleepy, and a bit flummoxed about how to work, and it will appear later. If not, having done it once, it will be easier to reconstruct.
  • Either way, the next step will be to come up with at least a few specific projects for each category. I’m not looking for a comprehensive list, just a few options that will keep me moving forward in a variety of areas.

  • I completed my first set of sponsor visits – before my first Wednesday poster. I was hoping to achieve that!

  • I am really enjoying these visits. It was something that fell far, far by the wayside during Round 3, and left me feeling isolated – and a little guilty.

  • I will link the posts I read at the end of this check-in. It’s a fascinating and inspiring collection!

  • I answered perhaps a dozen comments in the backlog for shanjeniah. This, too, has been causing me anxiety, and I am feeling pretty danged terrific about doing something about it!

  • I wrote and posted my OctPoWriMo poem for October 2, School Bus Paradox, and, to this point, have answered all the comments it has received.

  • I read, but haven’t yet commented on, another poster’s poems, linked below.

  • I took a moment to post a status update on my Writer page.

  • I chatted with a ROW80 friend, Charis Maloy, via Facebook chat.

  • I moved a fair amount of firewood into the garage before the rain. I stacked some, but mostly tossed it into an empty place to stack anytime.

  • The woodpile, currently, is more like a scattering, so, if the weather permits, I will be gathering it in, where we can tarp what won’t currently fit into the garage. The weather is expected to be unseasonably warm and humid for the next several days, so we aren’t likely to burn any wood for a bit.

  • I took a little time to get to know our new-to-us car, while Jim and the kids enjoyed washing and waxing, and Jim did a few maintenance and repair projects on it.

A younger me at Catskill game farm, lovin’ on some baby goats.

Now, for my thoughts on the specific projects I listed in my goals post:

  • I am serving as a sponsor for this round.

  • As noted above, I completed my nines, and did so before today’s first posted.

  • I met some fascinating people, and have found interesting tidbits to follow up on.

  • I found at least as much inspiration as I may have given – and maybe, that’s part of the point?

  • I am treating this as a gift to myself….and I love it!

  • I plan on beginning my sponsor post tomorrow or Thursday. I was a little late with my bio, so I would love to get this to Kaita bit early, and ease her mind a bit.

  • I know the basic idea I wish to explore; the shape will hopefully emerge through freewriting.

  • I am participating in the OctPo WriMo Challenge throughout October.

  • As noted above, I have completed two poems.

  • I like both, and am enjoying the realization that I can write happy, peaceful poetry. I spent years thinking I could only write poetry when life was tangled and angst-ridden.

  • This, too, has proven to be a gift to myself – a way of attending more deeply to moments in my life, and of celebrating this life, and myself.

  • I am awed by some of the other poetry I am reading, and realizing that I need more of that in my life.

  • I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at least 50,000 words of another novel in my Trueborn series, King of Infinite Space. I might plan or sketch out parts ahead of time, or I might just leap in blind, with only the vaguest sense of where I am headed, which tends to work out for me.

  • I have begun the nebulous process of letting my dreams play with the base ideas for this story, as I currently envision them. This is a process, for me, which I hope will reveal some degree of direction and form before November.

  • I stumbled into a really terrific timeline idea, and, since I will be needing two timelines for the Trueborn series, I think I will be giving it a try during the next weeks.

  • I will be answering a rather embarrassing backlog of blog comments that have, in some cases, waited for months…it’s time – actually, far past time – to attend to these, acknowledge those who took the time to comment, and, in the process, enrich myself.

  • As noted above, I answered perhaps a dozen…some, over two months old!

  • I have kept up with new (since the round started) comments, as well. I figure the two-prong approach will keep me from building a new backlog while I work my way through the existing one.

  • This works well with the sponsor visits, because I like to read posts, then mull them for a while before commenting. I can fill in some of the space between with answering my own comments, and it seems to have a synergistic effect.

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, near where Jim proposed to me.

What’s coming up, during the next days..?

  • In addition to the projects above, I will be adding:

  • Moving firewood, as weather permits

  • Editing and adding photos to my Picasa albums, and sharing these more widely.

  • Assembling the IHIPs and other paperwork for the school district (due October 12)

  • Moving ahead with the reporting pages project on The Unfettered Life.

Jim and I, August 23, 1997….the birthday of our family. ❤

And lastly, my reading list…:

Lovers on the Metro -headed into Washington, D.C. – September, 2008

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  1. I like how you are doing energy tides rather than trying to function at a steady energy level. Be it creative juices or plain old get up and go, we as humans aren’t one steady stream (at least not me and my friends). I wish you the best with this round, OctPoWriMo, and NaNoWriMo. And, naturally, thank you for stopping by my blog. 🙂

    • Gloria –

      Thanks for stopping by!

      The energy tides idea seems to be working very well for me. In previous rounds, I have had huge lists of complicated and inflexible goals. It took a lot of the fun out of the challenge, and added more pressure than I need in life.

      Living as we do, watching my children learn and grow naturally, has made it clear that energy levels can vary greatly from day to day. It’s definitely been helpful already to take that into account when deciding how to spend my writing time. And, as I learn more about the ways my own energy flows, I believe that it will become more and more useful. =D

  2. Honoring yourself IS important. We’ll be right there with you on this journey 🙂 I’m sorry that you were on the receiving end of such negative behavior but focusing it elsewhere into something more productive and beautiful was exactly what you needed to do. Kudos 🙂

    • Ryan –

      Thanks for stopping by, and my apologies for not getting to this comment sooner – you got caught in the backlog!

      Some time ago, someone I respect suggested to me that it’s good to turn away from darkness and toward light. That’s become very important in my life.

      I’ve been practicing that every time someone tries to dump ugly into my life. There are plenty of positive places on the Internet, and I can easily and happily go there!

      So happy to be on this journey with such amazing people! =D

  3. Sounds like you’re doing well, Shan! I’ll also be signing up for NaNo this year as well, and I’m soooooo excited. I’ll be working on a project that’s been sitting in my head for the last year, and so far it’s shaping up to be lots of fun (at least in my brainstorming sessions, lol).

    Have a great rest of the week!

    • Lena –

      Before Round 3 got really crazy, I set up a blog for my Trueborn series (a blend of fanfic and original elements), and realized there was a way to disentangle the fanfic elements without losing the flavor of the story.

      It was hugely liberating, and I realized that there were at least five books in the series, and potentially several more.

      My August CampNaNo has over 80,000 words, and is bogged down in the middle. I’ve set it aside for the next two months – I feel that the change of direction of OctPoWriMo, then beginning King of Infinite Space next month, will help me to clarify the rest of the story.

      And I will have another rough draft begun…

      I love when the time comes to work on something that just feels right, and I am looking forward to sharing another challenge with you! =D

  4. Making good progress there, on writing and beyond. Yes, it can be difficult to step away from what we now call “Trolls” (those who just want to hurt because they feel safely anonymous online) – but in general it is the correct response. Life is short, why waste it on fools and the divisive of nature.

    I’ll be in NaNo this round as well. ROW had a very nice internal NaNo group last year and I’d bet the same will happen this one. All the best for the coming week 🙂

    • Gene –

      It took me many years to overcome the childhood pattern of assuming all responsibility, and feeling guilty about what was not my doing.

      It’s a huge relief to be able to let go, and turn instead toward those places where I can offer freely, and where I find inspiration and acceptance. =D

      My first round was in January. I did NaNo in August, last November, and in 2009. Having a ROW group during NaNo would definitely ice the awesome cake, for me! The tricky part is that we have quarterly homeschooling reports due on December 1, so I am attempting to do most of the legwork before November, so that all I will need to do during NaNo is update every few days (taking lots of pictures of the goings-on will help a lot, there.).

      My simplified goals are inspired by your post last round on prioritizing. I feel much freer and unburdened than I was last round. Thanks for the lifeline, and the visit! =D

    • Ruth –

      It’s far shorter than my previous lists!

      And, as for writing time, I tend to write a few minutes at a time during the daytime hours, and for longer sessions at night. It helps that I really don’t need a lot of sleep to function, and that I love writing and am eager to squeeze some in wherever I can….I like to do hometending and firewood moving in sprints, too.

      I am continuing to make forward progress, and that is what I am looking for!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Ruth –

      Writing is my bliss, and my favorite leisure-moment activity. I can do a lot in little bursts throughout the day, and I tend to dance between several projects, some writing -related, some physical. And the nature of our life means that my time is largely unscheduled, so I can do what I like when I like a good deal of the time, now that the kids are fairly independent…

      Some days, though, are better than others. =)

  5. This post is quite inspiring – I know I definitely need to learn to let go of things before they drive me crazy. Easier said than done, though!

    • Emily –

      Thanks for stopping by!

      It’s taken me 43 years to get as far as I have in the process of letting go. It is definitely not easy – I come from a family that takes holding on to stuff to epic proportions – but it is so very worth it. Although things don;t always go well, and sometimes things like this happen, there is far too much stress involved in hanging on to them.

      I have better and happier things to do…so I will keep practicing letting go. Maybe I’ll never be totally Zen about it, but it is getting easier as time goes by.

      The first and most important part of making any change is coming to know a change needs to be made. So, you are well on your way. =D

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