I'm not late.  I'm hurried and a bit overwhelmed because too many things came due on the same day, and I didn't plan very well so ended up having to do a lot of things all at once.  But it's still Wednesday, so my ROW80 check-in is still on time.  So I'm not late no matter how it feels.

I do still have a newsletter to finish up for tomorrow.  I have my critique group meeting tonight and need to stop for cookies because I ran out of time to bake them last night.  I have a painting to finish for an Audubon Society fund raiser (that's due on Friday).  I have a bit more planning to do for NaNoWriMo.  So, busy busy.  I need to stop and catch my breath.  I'm doing so much right now that I literally feel breathless and have to remind myself to slow down.

That's really my check-in today. I've been doing some planning, no actual writing, some fiction reading (mostly for critique group), lots of NaNo work on the forums as people have a million questions as things are getting started.  I checked in with my ROW80 team.

I am looking forward to Friday and a day off of work so I can sleep in and focus on my brand new, shiny novel.  Until then, gotta run!  I'm late, I'm late...




ROW80 time again?  Good!  I have so much to report!



What I did this week:

Writing Goals

  • Do 10 minutes of writing practice from prompts twice a week:  I did a lot of list making and note making for the new story.  I did one writing practice session to work out a chunk of the story line, though.  And I'm feeling like I'm getting a good vision of what this story is going to be and how I can make it work.
  • Read at least one page of fiction at least four times a week:  Plenty of reading this week.  I got a new book, The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith, and I read the whole thing over the past three days.  It was very good, and I feel full of story now.
  • Check in with my ROW80 team:  Yep.  I love seeing what everyone else is up to.  And right now it's exciting seeing lots of us gearing up for NaNo.

Coaching Goals

Revamping these goals because the ones I originally set aren't really workable right now.

  • Check in on the KMCC Facebook group at least once a week
  • Brainstorm for Body Pages at least once a week
  • Brainstorm for Muse Moon at least once a week

Art/Art Journaling Goals

  • Finish dowloading all Life Book 2013  lessons:  On target
  • Continue BOD; finish lessons before Christmas: A little behind but still in good shape to get it done by Christmas
  • Create a place to keep my various journals so I can access them easily: I have a great new craft table in the living room, and as of last night it's all set up and ready for play.  My visual journals are on the edge of it, and I'm hoping that will make it easy to remember to sit down and paint.  I'm not quite ready to call this goal done yet, though.  I want to set up a spot for my written journal and maybe tweak how my journals are set up on the new table to make it easier to have them visible and still have the work space all clear.

A good week all around, and now I'm finishing it out with the apple crisp I made earlier.  Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday evening.  See you Wednesday!



It's ROW80 time again.  And what a few days it's been since the last one!

Turning this plan around
Turning this plan around

I was cruising along, moving forward on my goals, following my plan.  Life was looking good, things were coming together.  And then my Muse grabbed the wheel.

"Look at this shiny new story," she said.  "You could get this ready to write for November," she cooed.  "You know you like it," she wheedled.  And I caved in.

Yesterday I (temporarily) threw all of my other goals and plans out the window, grabbed a new notebook, and started planning a brand new story.  And I'm thrilled and excited and can't wait to finish the post so I can get back to it!  I love this story.  This tiny little seed of a story, really.  I have a character name.  I know how things start.  There's so much more to find out!

Tonight I'm going to do a little more brainstorming and free writing, and then I'm going to use The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot to lay out a basic plan.  And then I'm going to wait until November, and I'm going to write and write and write!

This is crazy, of course.  I don't know how this is going to work with writing for my critique group.  I need to decide if I'm going to continue writing my short stories for my group while also writing a new story.  If not, I need to figure out what I'm going to take to my next meeting (next Wednesday, so still October, so not the new story yet).  I don't know how I'm going to make the group thing work out.  But I know I'm going to write this new story, so I guess I'll just have to let the rest of it sort itself out as I go.

As for my other goals, I'm going to get to the other craft book after I finish doing this plot work.  I've been checking in on my ROW80 team.  My writing practice is brainstorming for the new story this week.  I've been downloading my art journaling classes and getting them in order (there are so many of them!).  I am reconsidering how I want to do the coaching stuff.  I think I'll have some new goals in the coaching category on Sunday.

That's it!  I'm back to my haunted house/witches/creatures in the forest story (it's still a little up-in-the-air).  See you Sunday!




It's late, but I want to get at least a short ROW80 check-in written up.  But I am very sleepy, and the sound of clicking keys seems hypnotic.  I hope I don't fall asleep over my keyboard.


It was a bit of a slow week.  I came down with a really bad cold and spent a lot of time resting.  Still a little tired, but I'm much better now, so the rest was a good plan.

What I did do this week:

  • One writing practice session
  • A journaling session, but not 20 minutes.  It was enough, though, which makes me think I may adjust that goal to just be one journaling session each week.
  • Created a schedule for reading James Scott Bell's Writing Fiction for All You're Worth (my craft book for this round)
  • A few more pages of fiction reading
  • Began an outline for my new short story

I'm hoping to get back on schedule this week.  It should be a fairly quiet week, so I think things will go pretty smoothly.  I am so much looking forward to a quiet week!



Wasn't it just Sunday about 15 minutes ago?  And why does "time is flying by" seem to be a recurring theme?  Those are probably questions for another time and place.  Meanwhile, how about a ROW80 check-in?

Astro Wheel

Since I'm under the weather (another cold, complete with cold sore and sneezes and sniffles!), I'm just going to do the list:

Writing Goals

  • Do 10 minutes of writing practice from prompts twice a week--Once since Sunday, and I used the name of my newest story idea as my prompt (because for some reason the name came with the idea rather than a character coming along).  So, on target here.
  • Do one session of journal writing (at least 20 minutes) once a week--I haven't done this yet.  I am going to pick a time on Thursdays for this and make Thursdays my journaling days.  Probably right when I get home from work.
  • Read (and do any exercises) one craft book--I've decided on a book that wasn't on my original list.  James Scott Bell's Writing Fiction for All You're Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level.
  • Read at least one page of fiction at least four times a week--Most of my fiction reading this past week has been for my crit group, but there's been a lot of it.
  • Check in with my ROW80 team--I'm the roving sponsor this round, so I pick which people to check in on each time.  I've been choosing a number and checking in on anyone whose post link ends in that number.  The hardest part of this is remember which number I'm on!  Other than that, I love the little push I get from being a sponsor to check in and stay connected.

Coaching Goals

I didn't make any progress on any of these this week.  I need to reorganize and possibly to reassess the goals.  For instance, the coaching circle is actually winding up, so it wasn't a useful goal for this round.  I will have better goals set up for this on Sunday.

Art/Art Journaling Goals

Not much progress here either except for my little daily squares (I choose a color and paint the square then do a little doodle and write a word or two to give the feel of my day).  But after crit group tonight I expect to have a little play time, and tomorrow as well.  Most of this work will happen in the Thursday-Sunday time slot.




ROW80 time. It's been a wildly busy week, but the big event I've been working on happened yesterday. It's over, and I am feeling like the way is cleared (mostly) for getting to do the things that are most important to me.  I'm feeling on the verge of a new path, and it's exciting.

Clear Sailing

A couple of writing/life thoughts before I get to my check-in.  I am looking forward to year's end.  I am looking forward to being done with NaNoWriMo.  This will be my last year as a Municipal Liaison--I really need to stop doing things that are other people's "stuff" and focus more on my own.  And doing the ML thing takes a lot of my time.  We needed someone because we were suddenly without an ML four years ago, so I stepped in.  And I stayed because someone needed to do it.  But it's time to wrap that up.

I am also thinking.seriously about whether this will be my last year participating in NaNo at all.  When it gets to be about August I find myself starting to adjust my writing schedule to try to get something new ready for NaNo, and more than once I have ended up seriously sidetracking a work-in-progress because of this.  Now I'm in a writing critique group, and that is making figuring out what to so about a NaNo story even harder to figure out.  I think I may need to just follow my own writing rhythms after this year.  I love the camaraderie, the excitement, the push, but I don't feel like NaNo is furthering my writing life any more.

But that's a decision for after November.  For now, here's a check-in:

Writing Goals

  • Do 10 minutes of writing practice from prompts twice a week--Even with the last-minute craziness that always comes during the week before a big event, I did fit this in, and that felt great.  I think my writing always gets better faster when I'm doing prompts at least a couple of times a week.
  • In non-NaNo weeks, write at least 1,500 words of fiction with a focus on improving my descriptions--I did about 1,200 words, but considering how busy my week was I'm feeling like this is a win.
  • Read at least one page of fiction at least four times a week--I spent a nice long chunk of time on Wednesday reading the next installment of Seanan McGuire's Indexing serial, and I read a few pages of the Ann Rice novel I'm plodding through (The Wolf Gift).  Not bad, and it was enough this week.  I have to make sure to give myself reading time, because I feel better, happier, calmer when I get my fiction reading time, and reading stories leads to better writing.

Coaching Goals

  • Continue participating in coaching circle--I finished my session as a practice coach this past week, and Thursday I'll have my wrap-up as a practice client, and then this goal will be wrapped up until January.
  • Complete at least a sketchy outline for my Body Pages class--Not exactly and outline, but I had an epiphany about what Body Pages is going to look like (it's going to be a blog series), so progress was made on this.

Art/Art Journaling Goals

  • Continue BOD; finish lessons before Christmas--this was the only one of my art goals I had time for this week, but I did do a birthday spread that I really like.

That's everything.  And possibly the best part--it feels like enough.  That's a feeling I don't get very often, so this is really good.  It's good to let what I do be enough (and you should remember that what you do is enough, too).

See you Wednesday!



It's only been two days since setting my ROW80 Round 4 goals, but it's Wednesday and time for a check-in, so here I am.  Actually, I even have things to report.

Round 4 Goals 2

I already upgraded one of my goals.  NaNoWriMo is only in November, so the goal to complete that won't get anything done on it until then (or after November, either).  I'm going to only check-in on goals I've done something on since my last check-in, so you won't be seeing anything on that one today.  I think that's going to make things clearer.  However, if I've been missing working on a goal for a while I plan to mention it and figure out what's getting in the way.

Writing Goals

  • Do 10 minutes of writing practice from prompts twice a week--I've done this twice already.  That's in part because I'm back to participating in Book-in-a-Week (BIW), and this is the October week so I'm working to meet that mini goal.  I'm also using these writing practices as a warm up to get the words flowing for my writing group and for NaNo.
  • Read (and do any exercises) one craft book (I will decide which one and list that Wednesday)--I haven't done any reading yet, but I have almost made a decision about which book I want to read (The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language by Natalie Goldberg;
    Writing the Wave: Inspired Rides for Aspiring Writers by Elizabeth Ayres; WRITE EVERY DAY: How to Write Faster, and Write More (Rock Your Writing) by Cathy Yardley).
  • In non-NaNo weeks, write at least 1,500 words of fiction with a focus on improving my descriptions--I'm at 1,500 words already today because of my BIW work.  I'm trying not to judge myself about the weeks and months and so on where I haven't done even this much.

Coaching Goals

  • Re-read my Kaizen-Muse™ manual--I'm planning to start this one after October 19.  I am running an event this weekend and teaching a workshop on the 19th, so my schedule is pretty jammed.  This is supposed to be positive stuff, not added stress, so I'm planning accordingly.
  • Continue participating in coaching circle--I've done some e-mailing with my practice partners.  I realized that this round of the circle is wrapping up, and I don't think we're starting another one until after the end of the year, so I may need to remove this goal.

Art/Art Journaling Goals

  • Continue BOD; finish lessons before Christmas--I did a little bit of painting on a spread that I plan to finish in the next couple of days.
  • Create a place to keep my various journals so I can access them easily--I found a good place for my BOD journal but not for the really huge, fat one we made last week in one of the art retreat workshops I was in.  I'll keep working on this.

All in all, not bad for just a couple of days.  I also printed out my goals and glued them to pretty paper that fits inside my calendar so I will see them all the time, and I am starting to write things into my calendar so I have reminders each week.  I am thinking about reorganizing my Google calendar for this so I'll get pop-up reminders which might be useful.

So how's your half week going?



It's time for Round 4 of ROW80.  This is always a very busy round, and a very busy time of year.  I was feeling pretty scattered and unfocused, still not sure as I opened my blog window exactly what my goals were going to be.  Then I read Kait's post to kick off this round.

A result of deliberate practice--I was working on angles and sun flares.
A result of deliberate practice--I was working on angles and sun flares.

She said something that really struck a chord with me: "I’ve grown and learned as a writer because I have practiced my craft with deliberation...In the end, deliberate practice will ultimately outstrip natural aptitude."  I highly recommend that you read her entire post and follow the link she shares for more on deliberate practice.

So the question to ask myself before setting goals for this round:  What do I want to purposefully (deliberately) build, give time and attention to, create? (I know, that's technically a bunch of questions, but you get my point.)  I want to learn more about, give time and attention to, and build my writing skills, my coaching skills and offerings, and my art journaling.  I think I will do this by making three categories for my goals.  And with that decision made, here are my lists:

Writing Goals

  • Do 10 minutes of writing practice from prompts twice a week
  • Do one session of journal writing (at least 20 minutes) once a week
  • Complete NaNoWriMo (November only)
  • Read (and do any exercises) one craft book (I will decide which one and list that Wednesday)
  • In non-NaNo weeks, write at least 1,500 words of fiction with a focus on improving my descriptions
  • Practice novel engaging (at least 20 minutes of planning or 200 words of writing) three times a week
  • Read at least one page of fiction at least four times a week

Coaching Goals

  • Re-read my Kaizen-Muse™ manual
  • Post in the Kaizen-Muse™ forum at least once a week (pick a day, put it on the calendar)
  • Continue participating in coaching circle
  • Complete at least a sketchy outline for my Body Pages class
  • Complete at least a sketchy outline for my Muse Moon class

Art/Art Journaling Goals

  • Finish dowloading all Life Book 2013  lessons
  • Download any other classes I've signed up for that are roaming around out there and organize them into folders
  • Choose which LB 2013 lessons I actually want to do and make a schedule for them (and maybe put those lessons into a separate folder)
  • Continue BOD; finish lessons before Christmas
  • Create a place to keep my various journals so I can access them easily

I think that's plenty.  Some of it requires a little more background planning, especially the NaNo stuff.  I am in the midst of a series of short stories that I am submitting to my writing group for critique.  I'm not sure if I am just going to work on those in November or do a very loose discovery writing draft of something new while slowing down work on my short stories.  Decisions, decisions.

So what are you doing to close out the year?