Purposeful Non-Focus: July 10, 2016

Hey there, ROWers and others!

What do you do, when the news from outside is heart-wrenching, but your own life holds cause for celebration?

Senseless deaths, and a twelfth birthday.

I’m feeling so many things, and, as I’ve mentioned, July is already a turbulent month for me.

Maybe it’s not at all surprising that I’m a bit out-of-focus, and that I haven’t written any new fiction words for the last several days. So much going on beneath the surface…

I let myself have that. I needed it – the day spent with my birthday girl, and the deep thoughts that say I need to stand for a better and safer world. The voice that said to write too soon was to take my attention from where it needed to be…in the moment, and in my own deep places.

So I focused on revisions and homeschool administration, and being with those I love. Reading, and writing a bit about the week’s events here and there. Listening to Hamilton. Watching PBS.

Living. Learning. Loving.

I feel words bubbling up now. I’ll be heading to my write-in soon; I’ve planned to dive back into fiction tonight, and there will be words on current events forthcoming as well. First, though, it’s time to account for this session’s progress.

This post lists the July goals I’ve interacted with during this session. This gives me a streamlined overview of where my energy, time, and focus are going, which helps me to adapt as we move through the round, and beyond.


  • CampNaNoWriMo #1: Complete Draft The Far Shore (Kifo Island Chronicles #5). Current count: 19,316/~65,000 words. Scene 8/24 in progress. Behind due to life, hope to be caught up by next weekend. Pacemaker goal.

  • CampNaNoWriMo #2: The IDIC Romance: Finish “Marriage of the Magi” (to the “Big Reveal”). Word-High July Challenge: Write 31 flash fiction stories using Filipino word prompts and my “The Definition of Emotion” theme (about 333 words each). Story 6/31 complete (all longer). Reread “Magi” (~ 15K) to refresh my mind before diving back in.


  • For July CampNaNoWriMo: Complete Planning/plotting for Tsunamis (Kifo Island Chronicles #6), using The Writer’s Coloring Book.  All remaining planning/plotting pages printed/collated; ready for next steps. Pacemaker goal pending.


  • Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles #1): Continue readthrough aloud (record and listen). Rough revisions through Scene 6/24, and submit to crit group. 3/24 in progress; hard copy notations complete for these 11 pages.

  • #WordHighJuly: Revise all 31 stories prior to posting. Story 6/31 in revision.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Answer blog comments and make visits, at least twice weekly. 4/2 for this week.

  • Interact on Twitter at least once a day, four times each week. If you want to chat with me there; I’m @ShanJeniah. 3 /4 so far this week.

  • ROW80: Revise, polish, and submit Round 3 Sponsor Post. Keep visits and updates current. All goals updated; visits made (plus); and sponsor post submitted. Jackpot!

  • Maintain email at below 123 messages; making good use of folders. Mostly; fell behind due to birthdaying.

  • Share my 31 #WordHighJuly story posts. 5/31 posts shared. Still behind; will be caught up by Friday.


  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork (quarterlies; attendance; EOY documentation prep.) Began Lise’s current-year portfolio and drifted through lovely memories; collected a LOT of unsorted raw material. On my way with this part. Reviewed Lise’s First Quarter Report prior to sending. Reviewed First Quarter Attendance logs. Began reviewing Jeremiah’s First Quarter Report; page 4/9. Moving along with formulating of plan to attend to it all. Will be a Pacemaker project.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, four days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life; remind/support the kids in the pitching-in they’ve agreed to do on my Accomplice’s days off. 5/4; book cleaning/sorting; hometending.


  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Birthday outing for daughter later this week, and planning our annual unschooling camp gathering in Plymouth, MA. Considering several movies in the coming months.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Canoodling; walking; wrapping/chatting; opening gifts; conversation. Birthday trip – shopping, mall, movie.
  • Stained by Ashes: Critique two chapters each week; through Chapter Sixteen. Pacemaker plan created. Chapter Nine/Ten completed; page 85/253 complete.


  • Write in Abundance and #onegoodcup journals/and meditate five times each week. 7/5 for journals. 1/5 meditation.

  • Strenuous movement: At least an hour five times this month. Swimming, tai chi, yardtending, etc. I should blow this away while camping; it’s very hilly, and we tent camp, and there’s a lake for swimming.

  • Moderate activity: At least 45 minutes, 5 times a week. Use my timer. 5/5; moderate walk with daughter; hometending; standing desk; birthday trip.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Finish the Kindness Challenge; check out Facebook page. I now know what I want to write about; letting it simmer a bit more before I begin.

  • Oregon bound Burtons: Clean one common and one personal shelf, drawer, bin, or flat surface each week. Cleared books from shelf of bookcase going into Lise’s room.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ goals updates!


  1. Isn’t life a crazy ride. It is so lovely to read good news in the midst of the current chaos. Keep pushing forward and seek what is good, pure, joyful and beautiful.

  2. All those goals and updates–they’re so inspiring, and so beautifully displayed. I read once that creative people should never color code–they get bogged down and forget what the colors mean, or they run out of colors. That’s true for me, but you obviously have the process down pat.

    I envy you that birthday girl. Wish I had one myself.

    • I LOVE color-coding. It actually lets me keep track of all these goals at a glance. I keep the list up all the time in my work processing program, and highlight it in appropriate colors as I go. I save changing text colors until the end, except for blue, because I love blue, and it makes me happy.

      I think there are always people willing to generalize and lump a group together, but we are all individuals, and I don’t pay a lot of attention to what others say I shouldn’t do because I’m creative or female or tall or blue-eyed or left-handed or from New York or anything else.

      I just go with what works for ME, and makes me WANT to engage with my goals.

      And I do have the most amazing birthday girl. She was born following tragedy, and she has brought so much joy to shattered souls. I call her our TARDIS girl, because she’s bigger on the inside!

      If she had met you on her special day, she would have wished you a happy birthday when yours comes. That’s what she did for everyone who wished her one.

      Love that girl! ❤

  3. Looks like you made some good progress despite everything going on.
    Personally, I tend to dive into my fiction whenever there’s something upsetting going on in my life. It may be more avoidance than coping strategy, but I can only handle seeing so much of the disturbing news.

    • I often do the same, but this month….doctor visit done. Vet visit tomorrow with the kitten. And a write-in. I may end up dropping my word count, because I didn’t take the month’s chaos into account….or enough into account.

      On the plus side, I feel things shifting toward a more creative mode, and I can really pile up the words when that happens, so I figure I’ll see where I am by the fifteenth, and figure it out from there.

      We leave for our camping weekend on the 21st. I don’t often get a lot of writing done then, but it IS a good time for revision-y stuff and beta reads, so, if I haven’t caught you up for the month by then, it may well happen. =)

      I also limit my exposure to the news. I want to be informed but not overwhelmed, especially since I tend to feel things like this very deeply.

Comments are closed.