A Time of Quiet: ROW80 Update, 7/10/13

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What is ROW80, you ask? Why, it’s Kait Nolan‘s baby, The Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life!

It’s been a soft and quiet two days, and the weekend will be a bustle of activity and adventure. This is the space between – between Annalise and Elijah, between celebration and sorrow, between peace and joyful chaos…

Today, Wednesday, is a day of preparing, of kids antsy and eager for the weekend, of the fatigue that often, for me, comes before intense social interaction.

Sunday’s update may be very brief, or delayed until Monday, or even Tuesday, due to the activities slated to last until Monday…

Mermaid girl at the lake, 2011.

So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to….

Week Two Note:

This is a busy and emotional week, bustling with activity. I’m not setting concrete goals, only options.

I will be writing, and planning, each day, but that may be only a line or two, and may be in a notebook rather than on the computer, because it’s not the type of week when I can easily predict what might happen, or how much time I will have available, and when.

Or, given the birthdays that bracket this week (two children; one living, one not), my emotional ability to shift my focus.

Friends at the lake, 2011.

Warm and happy comments might not be answered, right away, but will be deeply appreciated this week!

Week Two Options are in bolded blue; Week One carryovers in bolded black.


Read some Pocket saves; file for later blogging fodder. Target attained!

  • I’ve read and sorted several, and will likely read more in the coming days

Weekly posts: Wed posts, Monday and/or Saturday. Pending.

  • No posts yet this week.

Catch up on blog comment responses…I’m woefully backed up, due to intense NaNo focus. On target.

Possibly very abbreviated ROW80 updates. On target.

  • Wednesday posts pending at this writing.

Take pictures! Pending.

  • I had a minor camera issue – fixed now!

Sand castle portrait. 2011.

Writing (July CampNaNoWriMo)

Write something on current WIP each day. Target attained!

  • The Stars are Fire: 38,012 words total.

Plot something on either/both WIPs each day. Target attained!

  • Plotting on both WIPs, daily.
  • I continue plotting The Stars are Fire a scene ahead for each POV character.
  • I am moving through rough planning the connecting scenes of Perchance to Dream. I have reached the midpoint, and should have all scenes roughed before beginning the rough draft on or about July 15.

Maintain updates and some social media contact. On target.

  • Update in progress.
  • I’ve checked in on Facebook and Twitter, this week.
Serious Swimmer, 2011.

Business-y Stuff:

Submit sponsor post. Target attained!

  •  Obligation met!

Do sponsor visits. Target attained!

Do ELA stuff for kids’ IHIPs and fourth quarter reports. Pending.

I continue to breathe, expand, and believe! Target attained!

The hole of her focus, 2011.


Celebrate! Target attained!

  • Our birthday girl was well feted!

Honor and remember. On target.

  • Elijah is surfacing in my memory, often this week.

Be with friends. Pending.

  • Our weekend plans include many friends.

Soak it all up. On target.

  • I’m building in time for this into my weekend preparations.

Be present. On target.

  • I am practicing presence, and that’s helping me to take each moment as it comes to me.

Be honest. On target.

  • I am focusing on stating my needs and feelings simply and honestly.

Be gentle with others. On target.

  • Not perfect, but I am consciously tending to my approach to others.

Relax. On target.

  • While busily engaged with writing and time-sensitive weekend plans, I am still making relaxation a priority.

Be gentle with myself. On target.

  • I am treating me gently.

Give myself the space to be, all week long. On target.

  • So far, so good.
SPLASH!!! 2011.

I attained several of my Week Two goals, while planning for a busy weekend adventure I will share the details of next week. I made sure there was space for life and presence in each day.

For me, Week Two is the shifting from joy , to remembrance (Saturday would be Elijah’s 10th birthday, the tenth one he won’t be alive to celebrate).

It’s a paradoxical week, but it has and will be filled with life, and love, and adventure, and then it will pass, and Elijah’s Days will progress, with life being lived richly by those still living…

May July roll sweetly on, for all of my readers!

To peek in on, and/or encourage other ROWers, click here!

Shhhhhh…..children at rest! 2011.


  1. Sometimes I feel that those I’ve loved who are no longer here remain as a presence. When I think of family and friends, all loved, they are a part of me. I can’t explain why an old piece of silverware has such importance, but it once belonged to my mother and each time I use this beat-up spoon, I remember her. So, too, I hope that the memories you do have comfort you. Every day.

    Your progress is amazing. I especially appreciated how you talked about your plotting a scene ahead for each POV character. So that’s how you work with two major characters! Thank you! May your week go well — peacefully and productively.

    • Beth,

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you…I needed to step away from the emotional edge for a bit.

      I am happy you have sweet memories and things by which to remember your mom. We have relatively little of either, with Elijah. 12 days lived mostly in coma doesn’t leave much, in the physical sense.

      However, I am certain that our lives are very different because he was a part of them, and different in a very positive way.

      As for the characters, this blocking out a scene ahead is new, but seems to be working. I’m making good progress,with a lot less wandering than ever before, and each WIP has three POV characters. One has a single antagonist, and the other two separate ones. To make it just a bit more twisty, the main character is told first-person, and the other two in third.

      So far, this is working very well. =)

  2. Even when your heart is squeezed you manage to collect yourself, organise your time to prepare, your life to not only take the impact, but to come through it having been nurtured by the emotional strain. Take it easy, be a thief of hugs and kisses, and enjoy the celebration. Because as anyone will know who has suffered a tragic loss, even though there are times it seemed unfair, life goes on. Hugs. XXX

    • Shah,

      When Elijah died, Jeremiah was only 22 months old. We couldn’t be depressed to the point of non-functionality, because we needed to give him as normal a life as we could manage…

      And then, three months later, we were pregnant for Annalise. There were several high-risk aspects of the pregnancy, and it was a scary time, until she was actually here, and a year old, and thriving.

      So, right from the start (when Elijah donated his heart valves to a little girl Miah’s age), we’ve tried to find the good, and the gifts.

      If we hadn’t had Elijah, we would understand the value of life less. We’d seethe beauty less often. We would almost certainly not be unschooling, or living peacefully with our children. We would laugh less, and have less joy.

      85% of couples who lose an infant don’t stay together. I think we might have been one of them, without Miah to center us on healing.

      Happily, I don’t have to steal hugs and kisses. Around here, hugs, kisses, smiles, laughter, and snuggles are part of our family culture. I’m typing on my big bed, with Annalise right beside me, playing Minecraft music videos on her Kindle. Miah was here a little while ago (it’s a good thing that Jim made us a big bed!).

      I try not to think about fairness – that’s a trap, for me. I could live there, but it wouldn’t be a good place. Elijah lived only 12 days, and that’s hard, but some moms have stillborn children, and wonderful would-be mothers don’t have babies to cherish and love (so many hugs to you!).

      We are so blessed. We have two amazing and incredibly alive children, and we have one another, and enough money for what we need and some of what we want. I have time to read and write, and our home is usually a peaceful and embracing place. We have friends we love and who love us, and lots of space for our passions.

      It’s a rich and wonderful life, and I am profoundly grateful for it – the light and the shadow, both.

      Thank you for your lovely comments, and much love to you, too!

  3. I think it’s great that you’re giving yourself options. That makes sense if you kknow you have a huge week coming up.
    Can’t believe you’re nearly at 40k for your NaNo novel too. It’s only two weeks into that too. Very well done.

    • Debbie,

      It was have options, or fail, I think, this week. And we like to live option-rich, here.

      Our plans are likely shifting a bit. Outdoors with thunderstorms predicted and a daughter terrified of storms do not mesh well…again, options. We’ll postpone things for a day, while the weather passes…

      I really think the planning has helped tremendously, noveling-wise. When I pants it, I tend to spend a lot of time wandering around, finding my way through. This time, I have a firm direction, and an idea of what needs to happen in each scene. If something unexpected happens, I can adapt it in the planning within a few minutes, and so I haven’t felt more than a little lost, yet.

      I am also really enjoying various Twitter challenges that work well with the short bursts of intensive focus I can manage a few times during the course of the day.

      Thanks for your kind words! =D

  4. It’s so great that you are giving yourself space and flexibility and gentleness. And the goals are looking great, too. Movement even in this time of resting. Much love and some rest when you can get it!

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