A Pregnant Pause – #ROW80 Update 12/16/12


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Here we are, at the beginning of the final week of my inaugural year of ROW80.


I’m finding it a little hard to believe that it was just about at this time last year that I began seriously considering undertaking this challenge. I had no idea than how it would shift my thinking, focus my energy, inspire new friendships, and expand me,as a writer and a person…but I will have more to say about that next Sunday.

It’s been a mellow penultimate week here. Since shortly after our trip, both kids and I shifted to a nocturnal schedule. I was faster to begin the return shift than they have been, so the last three days have offered several hours each of daytime quiet for writing, which is rather unusual.

I’ve put the time to good use: catching up on comments, doing setup, reading, and writing. Oh, and resting, and hometending, and a very mellow beginning to our seasonal decorating – Annalise enjoys being a part of it, so I am waiting to really get going until out schedules are more in sync again.

I am still in the process of wrapping up my 2012 projects, and prepping for 2013 (yes, I have a focus, and some ideas about my goals and their structure). I am feeling mellow, relaxed, and productive in an easy and unstressed manner.

Life is more than good!

Art by Annalise Burton, age 8, using the Picasso app on a Kindle Fire.

How about you? Are you moving calmly toward the year’s end, eager for the next – or is this last week destined to be a frenetic charge to the finish line, with the new year breathing down your neck? Please share in the comments!

December ROW80 Goals (End-of- Round Housekeeping)

  • My original goals for this round.

  • My Thankvember NaNoROW80 goals

  • My informal schedule for December (not used during this session).

Write and post ROW80: Year One in Review – four seasonal posts, one for each round of my first year.

  • I’ve reread what I have written thus far, in preparation for adding the concluding passages..

  • This goal was moved to the back burner over the last session, as I caught up on other goals left untended while we traveled.

This goal is changing. The time element means that, rather than four separate posts, I am going to combine them into one “A Year of ROW80” post. I will also be shifting the focus, as what I have thus far written doesn’t inspire and isn’t saying what I intended.

Read posts at My Write Spot and Thankvember Blog Hop.

For Thankvember Blog Hop:

At My Write Spot:

Jot some notes for ebook/hard copy poetry book, Queen of Infinite Spaces, which will use my 31 OctPoWriMo 2012 poems.

  • I have reread the notes I wrote last week, and don’t feel the need to add anything to the prep list at this time.

  • I have begun to work on the list by gathering the poems from my LibreOffice files and adding them to my Scrivener binder for this project.

  • I have collected two poems, so far. Another small step; another small beginning.

Continue writing Sima Garo Provides, throughout December.

  • I plan to use Rachel Aaron’s process on this story, noting what I plan to write about before each session, even if it’s only a short one, and time-tracking.

  • I reread my notes and Chapter Ten,Scene Four, realizing that it is complete.

  • I’ve done no new writing, but I feel the story building for Chapter Eleven, and will be taking notes in the coming days. Perhaps writing will also commence.

Moving firewood into garage, stacking, and stocking house as needed.

  • I’ve restocked the house supply, and will next be tidying what I tossed into the garage to avoid it getting wet. I’m glad I did, because the next week is expected to be raining. =D

Picasso Art by Annalise Burton, age 8.

Editing Picasa albums, and sharing them more widely.

  • I began by adding a description and making public this small album of the kids’ recentish stuff….

  • Another small beginning here – do I hear ice cracking? =)

Add reports and sections to kids’ reporting blogs, and organize blogs.

  • I began the reporting period, last quarter, with one idea for these blogs, but, as is so often the case, living with it led me to some fairly major shifts.

    Now, I will be working toward adjusting the setup to match what’s really working for me, and making sure all of the first quarter report sections are public – I will use this if I need quick proof, or to refer a concerned family member to evidence of “what we do all day” (even though, very often, we are likely to be doing it all night, instead…)

  • I intend to have all of these done before the end of the quarter – January 31, 2012.

  • Nothing new this session – will be a priority for the next.

Weekly update posts to both reporting blogs.

  • I am thinking that these will just be roughly sorted into categories – a sort of laundry list of the cooler parts of our week (Monday sounds like a good day to do them!)

  • I edited a small album of kids’ projects, in preparation for adding to the kids’ portfolios.

  • I have fallen behind on this goal, but I am beginning to think that it is OK to relax a little and hit the high points. My reports have been extremely detailed; and there is no real need for that.

So, my new focus will be just on getting some things down for each objective before the quarter is over…and I will allow myself to breathe around this one.

  • I also intend to remember that this goal is intended to simplify my lie, not complicate it! =D

  • Categories may be as simple as “Doing”/”Seeing”/”Making”/”Playing”/and “Talking About”, and may include pictures and/or links.

  • I haven’t done anymore on these projects. I’m OK with that, and will make it a priority in the coming days.

  • I may also categorize using an initial code system, so that the “subject/s” an item fits into will be clear at a glance.

  • In the coming days, I will be adding these items to the appropriate categories on their pages, from which the next report will be created.

  • Nothing new to report, here.

  • From there, I will move them into their “subject” and “objective” on the IHIP.

  • I have done nothing toward this goal in this session,but plan to have both children’s first updates categorized before I post their third updates.

Guest blogging catchup.

  • I will be doing a round of checks on previous posts, to answer comments as needed.

  • I have completed responding to the comments onmy guest post at Elizabeth Anne Mitchell.

  • Next up, I will be visiting my ROW80 sponsor post.

  • As I move through this process, I will make certain that myWhere on the Web is Shan Jeniah? page is up-to-date, and possibly prettied up a bit…

  • I have played with my screenshot app, and think I will replace it with something else. It doesn’t seem to be working as well as I had hoped.

  • I will be sending a completed post to a friend, to see if she would like it, and another where I can send a nifty little bit of flash fiction I wrote a few months back, and contacting another friend where I planned to write during the craziness that was Round 3.

  • I have sent the essay to my friend, and will wait for her decision as to whether she can use it.

Prepare items for submission.

  • I’ve been planning to send some things out into the world, but haven’t done so since the early part of summer. The reasons have been various, and now it’s time to offer up some of my words in exchange for a bit of disposable cash flow…

    I’ll begin small -just choosing a thing or two to spruce up and let go….and take it from there. My Writing Bullpen is chock full of potential – time to bring out some new pitches! =D

  • The Last House” has been submitted. =D

  • This piece was rejected, with specific criticisms and references. I will read, revise, and resubmit to this market or elsewhere.

  • I will continue to do this as I read, so that I will have a selection of items to prepare, without any extra work.

  • I’ve saved my flash fiction category to my Read Later file. There are good pieces there….

  • I am toying with the idea of rewriting a story I wrote in 2000, Morning Coffee, for the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition.

  • I have written over 300 words of this story.

  • This is a small beginning, but I expect the writing to flow quickly from this point.

  • Even if I do not finish in time for the deadline, which is midnight, I will still have a story I can submit elsewhere.

My favorite Annalise art.

And my two standing goals, continuing on…

I am serving as a  ROW80sponsor for this round.

  • I have caught up on my responsibilities, and am happy to be in good standing again.

  • I have volunteered to serve as a sponsor again next round – I love this gig!

  • I’m up on the sponsor list! Yippee! =D Hope to be seeing you all again soon!

Fitness Goals – I will focus on eating before I am hungry (and getting protein and magnesium into every other time I eat). I will be active enough that I can always feel my body and muscles. I will add more fruits and vegetables to my diet, and be more attentive to how much water I am drinking.

  • I will be recording my progress here, along with my energy levels for that Sunday – Tuesday or Wednesday – Saturday period.

Wednesday – Ebb Tide

Moved firewood, minimal hometending, worked on update and other writing, resting

Thursday – Ebb Tide

Moved firewood, moderate hometending, answering comments and other writing, submitting, resting

Friday- Ebb Tide

Moderate hometending, pet tending, answering comments and other writing, resting

Saturday – Slack Tide

Moderate hometending, firewood stocking, beginning holiday decorating setup, update and other writing, including short story.

  • I have been following a more intuitive and natural approach to eating and drinking, and allowing myself to feel my body’s wishes.

  • I continue to do well with this goal, intuitively eating more in the way of vegetables, protein, magnesium, and attending more to my water consumption.

Experimentation by Annalise.

And now, a bit about our last few days:

As I mentioned above, things have been pretty quiet here, over the last few days.

A side effect of this is that the quiet house has inspired Squeak, one of the semi-feral kittens, to come out and play. She’s still avoiding direct human-initiated contact, but will come close enough to me to sniff my hand, and she isn’t in nearly as big a hurry to hide from me.

Yesterday and today, she’s done a little dance in front of me, tail curled and back a little arched, as though she wants to be friends but can’t quite trust me yet. She’s let me touch her a few times, very briefly…she is soft and sleek.

Her sister Srindi is a little less adventuresome, and a little less interested in being on the floor when I am. She’s still hanging mostly in my office, but is getting less shy about being out on the table while we are near.

Both girls like Achoo, our little kitten from the woods. She’s still sneezy, but growing well, and active. Hoping things clear up for her, as they are better than when she first arrived.

Achoo moves happily between her two big sisters, snuggling with Srindi, and playing with Squeak.

As for me, I am percolating with new awarenesses and ideas.  It’s one of those deepening times where everything seems just beneath the surface, and just beyond words, a cresting wave preparing to break over me…

We’ve talked about the emotions brought up by this week’s events, and shared hugs and gentleness and gratitude that we have found an alternative to school.  There are no guarantees of safety for any of us, but there is a certain peace in our being together, in the knowing that our lives are filled with wonder and love.

Until then, I will move along, wrapping up my goals, and enjoying this quiet space…the kids were both up after 5pm today, so I feel that they are shifting back to a more typical pattern…

May your week be cheery, productive, and delightful!

More by Annalise, from last Christmas, when she was 7.

It’s a BLOG HOP!


  1. Shan – you achieve so much and give so much. It’s been a real pleasure to have found you through ROW80. I look forward to riding the GOAL bus with you next years too. X

  2. It’s amazing to think another year has come and gone. Not to mention all the changes! Work is the only thing still in chaos (just still too busy). Everything else is moving in the right direction. Whether you know it or not, I appreciate your comments through out the year. You’ve been the only one who’s said “Stop. Relax. Breathe. Listen.” It’s something I rarely do and I need to do more of it. Thanks 🙂

  3. Wow, you have sooo many goals! But you’ve accomplished a lot, too. I’m going to be a ROW80 sponsor next round – glad to hear you’ve found it rewarding enough to continue. Have a great rest of the year!

    • Jennette –

      So embarrassed that I only just now found this comment buried on the page…

      I hope you are enjoying sponsoring. I really do love it, because it gives me a structure for visiting other bloggers; something I find challenging on my own.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. 2012 has been quite the year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and the great pics!). I’m so glad I met you through ROW80. I wish you many blessings in 2013, and I hope we have lots of interaction. 😉

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