ROWing Through Four Seasons – Final #ROW80 2012 Update

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ROWing Through Four Seasons – #ROW80 Final Update 12/16/12

I had originally intended to do an in-depth analysis of my first year of ROW80, but everything I wrote felt lifeless and passionless in comparison to the actual experience.

So, instead of that, I am going to share my Thankvember 1 post, which delves into what ROW80 has meant to me, this year, and I will also touch upon some of the highlights and lowlights of my challenge.

Highlights of my 2012 A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge:

  • Making friends I feel I know, and one I actually met, through ROW80.

  • Networking on what may become a professional level.

  • Claiming my identity as a writer.

  • Resurrecting an orphaned writing blog with less than half a dozen posts, and ending the year at well over two hundred!

  • Claiming and/or reclaiming physical and virtual writing spaces.

  • Realizing that our unschooling life is perfectly suited to my pursuing my writing passion.

  • Finding wider arenas in which to share my work.

  • Being paid for my writing!

  • Stretching myself into new forms, such as flash fiction and micro flash writings.

  • Rediscovering my passion for poetry.

  • New challenges – one time, ongoing challenges of a formal nature, and those I set for myself.

  • Learning myself.

  • Awards and recognition.

  • Two novel drafts begun.

  • A completed rough draft novel.

  • A cohesive idea for all my WIP novels –  and room for more!

  • Ideas, information, and support.

  • Being a sponsor.

  • Reading and commenting on other blogs.

  • Feedback on my own writing.

  • Realizing I can do a lot less hometending, and ask for help, and the house does not in fact fall apart. ;D

  • JOY!!!!!

Christmas, long ago….


Lowlights of my first year:

  • Challenges I did not meet.

  • Comments left unanswered for far too long.

  • Round 3 – basic loss of contact and failure to meet far too many goals during the busiest season in my family life.

  • Jim’s accident, which wreaked havoc on anything I had planned, writing-wise, including the Platform Building Campaign.

  • Overreaching with social media, and the guilt engendered when I “disappeared”.

  • Sometimes being unwilling to adjust goals that were clearly not working, and then driving myself with guilt and “have-to’s” to try to complete them, to the point where I lost the joy of striving to meet them.

What does all that mean, anyway?

Looking back at those lists, I see many more highlights than lowlights. I also notice that most of the lowlights offer much potential learning, and, with some adjusting, understanding, and experience, they may easily become highlights.

On that note, I will take my final account of my Round 4 goals and progress….

Book love!

December ROW80 Goals (End-of- Round Housekeeping)

Write and post ROW80: Year One in Review.

  • I did not complete this goal before the round’s official end.

  • I hope to get this posted before the end of the year.

Read posts at My Write Spot and Thankvember Blog Hop.

For Thankvember Blog Hop:

At My Write Spot:

  • No new progress for this session.

  • I read a few of the interviews here, so this goal was completed during this round.

  • I still want to read all of the interviews, and visit a few new blogs, at least, so I will continue on with these until I get to them all, hopefully before January 31,2013.

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.

  • This goal was completed before the end of the round.

Hangin on….out on a ledge in Montana, 2000. Photo by Jim Burton.

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 finished the round nearing the end of Chapter Eleven, Scene 1.

  • Although the writing was much less intense in December, there have been some deepening revelations, and the final chapters are coalescing in my mind’s eye.

  • I completed this goal before the end of the round.

  • I will continue to write until I complete the draft, by the end of 2013 Round 1.

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

  • I’ve gotten all the firewood in, restocked the house, and begun tidying what I hurriedly flung into the garage.  I will continue to del with wood for the next few months, until spring warms enough that we don’t want nighttime fires regularly.

  • I completed this goal before the end of the round.

Editing Picasa albums, and sharing them more widely.

  • I dipped into this, toward the end of the round.

  • I began this before the end of the round, and will continue.

So. Much. Joy!

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…)

  • Nothing new on this goal this session.

  • I did not complete this goal before the end of this round.

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

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!)

  • Nothing new on this goal for this session.

  • I did not complete this goal before the end of the round.

  • I intend to have created a habit of at least a brief update each week, before the end of the quarter on January 31, 2013.

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.

  • Nothing new for this session.

  • I did not complete this goal before the end of the round.

  • I 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 have begun, but did not complete this goal before the end of this round.

  • As with the other goals, I intend to have this current by the end of the marking period, although the links may take a little longer.

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

  • Again, I did not make this habit before the end of the round.

  • Again, I will cultivate this habit by the end of the quarter.

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

  • As with the above, I did not complete this goal, and plan to have a habit before January 31.

    Miah, at 8….he invented a sword and shield. =D

Guest blogging catchup.

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

  • I have done many visits, but did not get to all of them during this round.

  • I intend to continue this process until it is complete, hopefully by year’s end.

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

  • I did not complete this goal.

  • I will be doing some researching and exploring during the course of the next year, and will update when I can do it in a fashion I am happy with.

  • 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 sent the essay post off to my friend, but have not yet delved into the flash fiction story I intend to submit to another.

  • This goal is a partial success.

  • I hope to complete this project before ROW80 2013 begins.

My holy grail, residing at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum gift shop.

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

  • I completed this goal in a very modest sense, with the beginnings of a work file, and one essay and one flash fiction piece completed, and another in a completed rough draft status.

  • I intend to revise the rejected flash fiction piece, “The Last House”to this market or elsewhere before the end of the year, and revise and complete the second story before January 15.

  • 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 have completed this goal, and will continue as I move through reading files and blogposts throughout the next year.

  • 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 pursued this goal, and, although I did not submit it to the competition, I have a rough draft to work with. I am calling this a partial success.

  • I will continue with this story.

And my two standing goals, continuing on…

I am serving as a  ROW80 sponsor for this round.

  • I am calling this a success – and not as difficult to manage as I thought it would be, going in.

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

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.

  • No specifics to report…too much time has passed, and I really don’t remember my Wednesday and Thursday activities. I was in Slack Tide for these two days, with perhaps minimal to moderate hometending. I believe I also tidied firewood in the garage, and restocked the house supply as needed.

  • I am rating this goal mostly a success,and I will continue to focus attention on being active and feeling my body fully.

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

  • This goal was a success. I will continue my practice of eating intuitively, eating ample vegetables, protein, and magnesium, and attending more to my daily water consumption.

With a friendly tree at the Butterfly Conservatory in Oneonta, NY. They were 8 and 5, I believe.

And now, a bit about our last few days:

As I mentioned above, things have been pretty quiet here, lately.

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.

Life is good, indeed!

Since I wrote the above, Squeak and I have become friends. Srindi and I have played together. The children have reverted to a more typical sleep/wake cycle, for the time being, and have spent a fair amount of time out in the snow.

Life continues to be good.

Me, very early on Christmas morning…taken and edited with my Kindle Fire…

May the rest of your break be cheery, productive, and delightful!


    • Eden-

      There really is learning, even in the set-backs (sometimes, I find the richest learning there).

      The kittens continue to make themselves more and more comfortable here. And they are very loved! Thank you for parting with such sweet little girls so they could come and be Achoo’s sisters. =)

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