Lovely, Headachy Chaos: ROW80 Update, August 4, 2013

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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!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where things just seemed a little – unhinged? As though you were always doing something, but often not remotely what you thought you would be doing? Where all the things you want to do seem to keep being set aside to do other things, and you don’t quite know why,or how to change it? Like time is something of a black hole, and you are caught in it?

It’s been something of an odd session. I’ve gotten a lot done, but more than a bit of it was not on any of my goals lists, anywhere.

I guess it makes sense. Not only is it the first week of a new month, and the first week of post-Camp NaNo writing intensity, but I’ve been prone to headaches that keep threatening to turn into migraines…and we have a nephew visiting this weekend, and out of state day guests and Annalise’s pool party,being gifted to her by my parents, with whom I am more or less estranged, tomorrow.

Lovely Chaos indeed!

I know things will, as my husband and I said often during a three-mile uphill hike to Lava Lake in the Gallatin Mountains of Montana, “It’ll level off up ahead.”

Lava Lake; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

And, while I repeat that like a mantra, I’ll pretend that the trail didn’t keep on winding its way up the mountain, past the lovely and sloping place where we made our camp!

Here’s an accounting of my ROW80 Goals Progress…and what will be next!


Tweak The Unfettered Life header. On target.

  • I have the adapted logline – in my head. A tiny step forward.

  • Ongoing goal.

Tweak shanjeniah header. Pending.

  •  Hgngj,ghtiuygu87436r48i7tyyyu5ity7uuied – in the spirit if this thread, when I got up todo a hometending sprint, my cat Squeak decided to claim my keyboard. The above is her encrypted message to the world at large, apparently! ; )

Upload photos to Flickr and create two Sayen Gardens posts. On target.

  • Edited 5 more images in Picmonkey ; uploaded to Flickr.
  • Ongoing goal.

Continue editing for more Sayen Garen posts. Pending.

  •  Nothing this session.
  • Ongoing goal.

Draft 2 Coffee and Conversation posts for stacking. On target.x

  • I somewhat accidentally fell into one draft while commenting at length on a Facebook image. Deleted most of the comment there, where it was not likely to get fair reading, and moved it to a LibreOffice file to play with.

Write and post a Saturday’s Share for this week. Target attained!

Create a file for potential stacking, per feature. Pending.

Begin brainstorming ideas. On target.

  • I kept a notebook close to hand, and, while writing, jotted ideas for Coffee and Conversations and Saturday’s Share posts as they came to me.

Rough draft of revised posting schedule. On target.

  • I’ve jotted something I feel is sustainable in my notebook. I will let it breathe for a few days, then tinker and/or post.

  • Ongoing goal.

Keep up with comments and sharing. Target attained!

  • Ongoing goal.

Hoop catches chaos….

Editing (With Cathy Yardley’s Rock Your Revisions🙂 Pending.

  • My printer arrived on Saturday, later than expected. We have company and plans through tomorrow, so I won’t even be opening it till Tuesday. Eager to get started!

Chameleon’s Dish :

Print for reread. Pending.

Begin reading to my beta listeners (Annalise and Jeremiah). Pending.

Take general notes, Pending.

Begin list of things to look at. Pending.

Bounded by a Nutshell:

Print for reread. Pending.

Hurricane simulation of chaos!


To Be or Not to Be – Write at least 25,000 words in August. On target.

  • 4,239 of 25,000 words.

The Stars are Fire – Write or plan one scene each week in August. On target.

  • I reread Scenes 18-21, in preparation for planning Scene 22.

Perchance to Dream – Write or plan one scene each week in August. On target.

  • Reread the last 3 scenes, and the planning for the next, in preparation for writing.

  • Scene 14, Spock’s POV, in progress: 1,494 new words; WIP total: 53,098 words.

Continue planning as POV scenes are completed. Pending.

Liquid chaos, courtesy of Dave R. Farmer, via WANA Commons.

Business-y Stuff:

 Update Long -term Goals, Noveling Action Plan, and all Blogging Action Plans. On target.

 Long-term goals updated. Next, to post.

 Maintain sponsor visits. Target attained!

 Prioritizing the WIPS

  • Ongoing goal.

ELA and Mathematics for both IHIPs and fourth quarter reports (due September 1). On target.

  • After much frustration with mainstream, school-oriented resources, I turned to my local online Facebook homeschooling group – and found an entire seventh grade IHIP to adapt! SCORE!!!!!!

  • Completed Jeremiah’s IHIP Mathematics

  • Completed Jeremiah’s Quarterly Reading 

  • .Ongoing goal. 

Add Sciences to IHIPs and Quarterlies.

  • Annalise’s IHIP Sciences complete.

Read, comment, and share the WANA113 blogs I saved. On target.

  • I read two! And I commented! And I shared! =)

  • Ongoing goal.

Join in on the conversation. Target attained!

  • Ongoing goal.

August has been a surprise package for me, so far!  May it delight us all with its mysteries!

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

A chaos of paper cranes.


  1. Now see your notebook for blog topics is another thing I need to return to but that vortex you just described is delaying the implementation, LOL. And despite that vortex, you had a very productive week. Keep up the fabulous work 🙂

    • Raelyn,

      I’ve gotten a lot better at dancing the vortex, these last few years. It helps to roll with it rather than resisting it or trying to impose too much order in times of chaos. Anyway, they feed me in other ways, and there’s always a surge of creativity, after.

      I tend to go through phases of notebooks. They’re better for brainstorming, because they’re easier to access than computer files, when I’m just jotting an idea or two.

      I’ve decided to assign a notebook to each of my WIPs as I begin the process of revision. I don’t want to clutter up my Scrivener files with every thought, so I will use the notebooks for the early passes, until I’m ready to start the in-depth planning.

      I’ll have a better idea of how things are going in a few months, but, so far, I am liking it.

      Thanks for your well-wishes, and I return them to you! =D

  2. At least you got some things done – even if it wasn’t what you intended.
    Well done for surviving Camp. Are you going to take part in the November one too?
    As always I’m standing in awe of the amount of varied things that you do – and I’m really curious about your star trek stuff.

    • Debbie,

      A lot of resetting and preparing for company. I will be reorganizing several rooms this fall, so this was a good beginning for that.

      I will be doing NaNo again in November, when I am planning to write an entire ~100k-word rough draft. I will plot the novel October. I arrange my year’s writing around the intensity of NaNo months – that works well for me, leaving the other months for editing, blogging, and other things.

      I like a buffet of things to do, with nibbles of this and that, all with a purpose.

      If you would like to read my Star Trek stuff (a universe I’ve been playing in since I was 13!), you can find it here: Happy reading!

  3. Most weeks for me tend to be like the one you described. Kids, family, pets, and the legion vast of random events straying through our daily lives. This is why notebooks (kudo’s on keeping one) or note taking software is so important for those of us with dynamic lives. The battle of course is training the mind to work in the eyes of daily storms, to seize moments of calm to write, create, and revel in the wisp of freedom. You are doing great, stay the course, it levels off ahead.

    Have a fantastic week, Shan. 🙂

    • Gene,

      We have a lot of right-here spontaneity, but, since we’ve embraced a way of living and learning that needs those, I value that.

      My family of origin, though – that’s different. In order to heal myself, i have had to take many physical and emotional steps in directions other than toward them, so the party was a personal challenge of a pretty high order.

      We survived it, fun was had, and I have far greater clarity on my own commitment to the life I choose to live. The day had difficult people and dear friends, and the weather was lovely.

      It may take a day or three to get back into the swing of things – I would like to say I’m free of the headaches, but at least they have eased some, today. They’ll pass, and it will level off ahead, even if the Lava Lake trail never did! =)

    • Shah,

      I did groan – just a little. And Squeak is an awesome cat. She’s my personal panther-girl. It’s hard to believe that she’s the same feline who, when I first met her last fall, was crouched behind her mommy, afraid to get anywhere near me, and, when she came to live here, would scarcely come out from under various things long enough to be seen.

      I’m glad she’s happy here, now, and living the life of a family cat. Seems to suit her as well as it does me!

      PicMonkey is delicious!=D

      Trust me, I am going to keep going. As the kids need my direct focus less, I am delighting in reclaiming things I set aside when they were little, and their need was so much greater.

      It’s been slower progress this session, due to the family stuff. By the time we were done, I was too exhausted to focus, with the headache intensified to migraine status. I expected it, so it’s not a setback; just a lull. Today, I will gather myself and putter back into a rhythm for the rest of the week.

      I’m happy to have it behind me, and that Annalise got to enjoy a lovely day with her usually-faraway, best friend and her young cousins. =D

  4. My week’s tend to be calmer than weekends. I’m starting to refer to summer weekends as my personal introvert’s nightmare. 2 family reunions 2 weekends ago, a trip to amusement park this past weekend, daughter’s birthday party and another picnic next weekend. I need the quiet weekdays just to recover. 🙂
    It seems like you’ve still gotten a good bit done even with the chaos. You always seem to. Hope you have a great week!

    • Fallon,

      Some time ago, the kids and I realized that, after a spate of intense social activity, we need a space of cocooning. I’ve learned to build that into our plans, because it helps everyone to weather that much connection.

      I wish you strength through that massive list of social engagements, and peace and calm and a little solitude at the end of it!

      Yesterday was….interesting. It reminded me, many times, of why I choose to be largely estranged from certain members of my family of origin. It also showed me something pretty cool about myself, something that will be the topic of an upcoming blogpost, I think.

      I’m not in any hurry to enter another social engagement like that one. =)

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