ROW80 Round 4 2013 – Weaving a Writing Life

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Time again for ROW80! How exciting!

How was the break for you? I spent time with my husband – talking, romancing, and watching Enterprise – we’re at the beginning of a wild ride; a 15-episode story arc that takes T’Pol, and the rest of the crew, where they’ve really never gone before.

I’ve hung with my kids –flowing with all the things that impassion us – geodesic dome blanket forts, forgotten in the rain. William Carlos Williams poetry, Minecraft. Doctor Who, My Little Pony, Creatures of Olympus. Budgeting,scheduling, planning, dreaming. Snuggling, cooking, and deep conversation negotiation. Two trips to the Y, a mother-daughter day. Hometending, laughing, negotiating. Learning, growing.

I’ve done some things just for me. I’m not quite ready to share them yet – I’m absorbing the warm glow and deeper meanings, holding them close until I’ve grokked them better.

And…I’ve been writing. Quite a lot. I have a blog queue building, WIPS growing, ideas brewing, and a rhythm that feeds the different areas of my life. I’m weaving the pattern of my writing life, and that’s my theme, this round.

Even when things don’t turn out as expected, they can still be awesome!

Round 4 Goals and First Steps:


Focus points:

  • Queuing posts.

  • Offering a sustainable schedule of features.

  • Sprucing up blogs.

Use Blogging Action Plans – smaller steps to reach larger goals.

  • Post 4 non-ROW80 posts weekly: two at shanjeniah; one each at other blogs – October 15.

  • Maintain this level throughout round.

  • Write/Revise Mission Statements for all blogs – October 31.

  • Five posts queued for each Regular Feature: Coffee and Conversation; Wordless Wednesday; WIPpet Wednesday; and Saturday’s Share November 1.

Develop professional image; reflect in blogs.

  • Strive for high-concept posts for shanjeniah Regular Features.

  • Post updated Features Buffet Menu, in sidebars of all three blogs – October 13.

  • Clean up obvious visual clutter on all blog layoutsOctober 25.

Weaving goals, weaving words, weaving life….


Focus points:

  • Noveling-in-progress.

  • Essays.

  • Flash fiction and short stories.

  • Submitting to paying markets.

Use Noveling Action Plan -smaller steps to reach larger goals.

  • Write or Plan one scene weekly for The Stars are Fire and Perchance to Dream, through October.

  • Sign up for NaNoWriMo 2013 October 20.

  • Complete To Be or Not to Be rough draft: ~200,000 words total – October 31.

  • Plan King of Shreds and Patches (A Trueborn Warp Series Star Trek fan fiction novel, companion volume to Sima Garo Provides – NaNo 2012 WIP);complete planning exercise/ scene-by-scene outline – October 31.

I submit to paying markets, garnering an income that allows for more yes-saying and necessary maintenance.

  • Create WIP Story fileOctober 10.

  • Move pending stories into files – October 20.

  • Find 3 freelance article and/or essay markets – October 31.

Finding the natural beauty in living…


Focus Points:

  • Continue pre-revision process for two novels

  • Revise poetry collection.

Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp Series):

  • Complete on-page editing notesJanuary 1, 2014.

  • Complete scene-by scene revision notebook – January 31.

Queen of My Infinite Spaces (poetry from OctPoWriMo 2012):

  • Highlight all 31 poems for revisionOctober 31.

Pulling the pieces together, and finding the patterns….


Focus point:

  • Tidying and beautifying my physical, virtual, and interior spaces.

Create career building; action plan; join a professional writer’s organization.

  • Ponder . Brainstorm, discuss, freewrite, percolate.

  • Research writers’ organizations choose 3 for further exploration – October 31.

Develop a plan for pursuing greater business knowledge: record-keeping, billing, shipping, tax records, and other administrative matters.

  • Investigate beginning small-business info. Make list for further exploration – December 1.

Create peaceful, inspiring creative spaces throughout our home; continue organizing and clutter control efforts in common and personal spaces.

  • Arrange “office” lightingOctober 20; decide if it’s sufficient.

  • Door covering hungOctober 25.

  • Decorate bulletin board, take down maps (moving to family or living room).

  • Hang ribbon board.

  • Minimum of 5 minutes, twice weekly, organizing and cleaning the space.

  • Minimum of 10 minutes, twice weekly, being in the space.

  • Find a name that suits my vision of this space – I resist the term “office” and its connotations….hmmm…

  • Continue the “greatroom” living room refit.

Clean up computer and email files. Sort, delete, file, spruce up.

  • Clear out email inboxOctober 10.

  • Clear out main Documents folder- organize and delete. – October 20

Prepwork for homeschooling reports.

  • Create and maintain base form; add items regularly.

  • Practice fitting this into my writing rotation, so it doesn’t eat up chunks of life later.

Making time to smell the…irises!


Focus points:

  • Relationships.

  • Exercise and Movement.

  • Passions.

Writing dovetails with my priorities – being with my children in these last few years of their dependence, and continuing to build my relationship with Jim, so that it is an entity readying for the eventual emergence into life as parents of grown offspring.

  • Make time and sweetness for Jim, in ways that are meaningful to us both, and in ways that are important to him.

  • Do the same for the children, individually and together.

  • Make time for connecting with friends.

  • Immerse myself in writing, living, and being with my family, striving for presence.

  • Regularly evaluate; adjust as needed.

I attend to my own passions, caring lovingly for myself.

  • Practice movement daily, for at least a few minutes.

  • Work out at least once a week.

  • Get outside for at least a few minutes each day.

  • Allow time and space to indulge my passions.

I offer assistance to other writers.

  • Complete beta reading by October 20.

  • Read, comment, and share others’ posts and links.

  • Tend sponsor duties promptly.

  • Find other ways to help.

  • Connect.

Want to read more ROW80 writiers?  Click here – it’s a blog hop!

crossing the bridge into the future….


  1. Wow, your goals are exactly what Kait calls for – specific and measurable. I’m very impressed!
    Also awed by the fact that you manage to have a blog queue! If I could do that at least around Christmas time, I’d be very happy.

    • Deniz,

      I’ll confess to using most of the queued posts so that I could focus on NaNo planning. Problem is that I wanted to have a whole month’s worth, if not a little more, so that my posts would go out during NaNo (I hope to complete a 100k drat net month).

      So, for me, the next few days will include a serious blogging prep session or three, to at least keep a leg up.

      I like to have a variety of short and long term goals in each area, so that, no matter my mood, focus, or timeframe, there’s something that fits. It probably helps that I’m a wide-angle kind of person, and I like doing a bit here, and a bit there.

      As for blogging, I really cut back my schedule for the summer, because that’s a big travel and social time for the kids and I, and Jim’s busiest season at work. That gave me time to explore ways to build a queue without ignoring my WIPs.

      What has been working for me is to have several posts in various stages of development, and work through them in a cycle. That way, I regularly have new posts starting, ones in development, and ones I can polish and queue.

      I’m still learning how to dance between writing an blogging, but it is a lot easier than it was last year at this time.

      Sending you hopes of fertile and stress-free holiday blogging! =D

    • Ruth,

      I do relish a challenge – and I tend to see the goals as ongoing rather than an 80 day dash. Any forward (and sometimes sideways) momentum is a plus, getting me that much closer to where I want to be. Even the “failures” help, because I always learn from them – so, in the end, they really aren’t failures at all.

      Haven’t worked on the beta-reading for a few days, since I was first grabbed by blogging, and then by stories. But I will be getting back to it, and likely finishing, in the next week or two (unless you need it sooner, in which case I will move it up, happily.).

      Best of luck with your goals, this round and beyond.

  2. What a great list of goals! I like your action plans a lot–I’m very fond of small steps. I also love that image of weaving your writing life. That’s really appealing.

    Best of luck!

    • Kim,

      I keep thinking that someday I will take up weaving – maybe even this winter – winter is a grand time for that type of creative pursuit, here.

      At any rate, I do tend to see life as a weaving of threads of varying colors, textures, thicknesses, and patterns…and that allows me to do a better job of flowing with whatever the prevailing pattern is – a decided plus when living with children who are ever growing and changing…

      The action plans have been a tremendous asset in helping me to focus. I have a restless and active mind that wants to go off in many directions. Having next steps set up for all my various trails means that I can pick up where I left off whenever I am inclined, and my wandering nature is an asset rather than an obstacle. I’m evolving ways to expand these to include essays, shorter stories, and poetry.

      I hope your round is delightfully creative! =D

    • Shah,

      Thank you, and the same to you!

      There will be no tackling involved. =) Just me and a lovely buffet of choices, dancing together, parting, seeking other partners, and returning to one another again. Tackling really isn’t my thing.

      May you find much delight in your goals, this round and always.

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