Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring (disgusting or not!) Fever may! ROW 80 Too!

Wow.  I sure wish I could say I managed to squirrel away to SXSW, or had a quiet artistic retreat, or went on a family get away. 

I REALLY wish I could say I quietly lowered my nose to the grindstone and whipped everything and everyone of my literary concerns into shape, the horrid short, the Winter works, the grim apocalyptic tornado poem.

Since I can't say any of those things, I'll tell you what's REALLY been going on in the Orchid House.

1. Spent an UNGODLY amount of time laughing at this "All Hockey Hair Team, compiled from the MN State H.S. tournaments"...EPIC! ..and G rated, don't worry :-)

2. Explored the Sprawl of America with my 3 yr old.  Even bought clothes there that look like something purchased post-2008

3. I have begun to repeatedly deploy the "...and if you don't want to follow the rules, you are welcome to play in someone else's yard" threat.

4. Home, from scratch, cooking has been happening at Least 5 nights a week. Some baking has made the schedule too!

5. More housework.  Once we get THIS much sunlight, it is AMAZING how much dust you can see.

6. Massive guilt-wallowing for putting the writing on the back-burner.

Here's the deal though.

I have had housework and physical family interaction on the back burner for MONTHS while I recovered from surgery. Just guess Which variety of guilt I feel worse about!!

So, to the below PHENOMENAL fellow ROW-80'ers - thanks for all the encouragement. OF COURSE I'm signing up for Round 2.  Since I jumped into this challenge (late) I'm 2/3rds of the way through my (finally) plotted short horror story.  I wrote about 9 pages, thereby almost doubling it - most certainly doubled it if you count all the stuff I cut with my 'de-crapify' button.  I've been writing poetry for awhile, but this is my first short story, and an opportunity to participate that only came about due to my foot surgery.  I'm excited to discover that when I can shell out the time to write, I'm not a Very awful fiction writer.  Now, in the next round, I look forward to finishing more of the story, heck, maybe the whole thing! Who knows, I could even make it to the 'begin the editing' process.

What I've learned (knowing that I'm going to come in at the beginning) is that my schedule - with two young children - has to be flexible, but more consistent.  And my goals have to be tempered with realism and honesty.  Until I start trying the medication for my hypersomnism, I'm going to have days of struggle. Holidays are coming, activities for the kids are going to fire up, and life will (happily) continue to happen.  Writing will have to be my reward for keeping the rest of my life rolling.

So, hats off to ROW 80, and the below writers, from whom I have learned so much.  Thank you!!

Stop by next week for more updates - life's been getting fun ;-)



  1. "Peroxide Jesus, we're gonna bleach it up" LOL

    Don't feel guilty- you had surgery! Plus it looks like you are getting important things accomplished regardless. See you in the next round!

  2. well done for acheiving with all of life and illness around you - it is good isn't it this ROW80 meeting and hearing from others - keep smiling and see you in april - have been noticing the windows now the sun has come out!!!

  3. Oh, I am so pleased you checked that link, Ms. Stewart - it's hard to find 'clean' humor THAT funny! It's better though if you know someone with a midwestern 'delivery'. I truly got to learn a lot about myself in this challenge, and SO much about writing from the rest of the gang! See you in round 2!

  4. Hi Alberta! (you know, I've kind of been dreading looking Too closely at the windows - at least until it warms up enough to clean them!!) Thanks so much - you are so kind!

    I agree with you - meeting other writers at such varied stages in the game is so good - you never know when you'll meet someone cool, inspire someone else, or just get a gentle push when you need it. Truly, without the ROW 80 - I'd not have something close to an actual story!

    I'm happy my routine is finally settling in, it's been 2 weeks since I've checked in with anyone - and I don't believe how much I missed you all! See you soon, and thanks for coming by :-)

  5. Sounds like you did great to me--you made the best use of your time given your circumstances. We should all aspire to making the decisions we look back on and say 'yep, that was the right thing to do at that point in my life'. Good for you! See you in round 2.

  6. I'm so glad you are going to be around for Round 2! I always enjoy reading your posts!

    You certainly had your plate full (I can totally relate to the houswork part) but you managed to accomplished so much!

    What is your email? I'd love to take you up on your offer. claudia.lefeve[at]
    And yes, I'll certainly be up to returning the favor!

  7. Hiya Claire! Your posts (like so many of our talented fellows) are always encouraging, I'm so pleased you will be on board for round 2! I think this challenge was one where you get way more out of it than you even put in! (or, er, maybe that's just me...) Your progress is always inspiring to me, so I'm feeling pretty honored in this company. Thanks so much!

  8. Why Claudia, I'm blushing! I'll send you the email address post-haste ;-) I think it is grand that you are on board for round 2 - I learn a lot about steady progress, and the necessity of cheering even little victories from you!

    I want to thank you for your generous input,and I'll be quite proud to have you give the story a read-through, not to mention delighted to help you as well. Rest up before round two, talk soon!

  9. Life happens, but writing is a choice. Look at all you've accomplished by choosing your priorities to suit the way you live. Congrats & see ya next round!

  10. Good morning, Cathryn! Exactly! One of the more inspiring things for me is seeing more experienced authors (like you!) deal with life - as they make their choice to write. It's pretty humbling for me (in a good way!) but so encouraging. Thanks so much for your posts - I've really enjoyed seeing how you got through ROW 80! Congrats to you as well :-) Very much looking forward to seeing you next round!

  11. Dude, baking? My kids wish you could be their Mammy. :) Look at what you have done, don't even touch that stinkin' guilt!

    I'm delighted to see you're sticking around for the next round.

  12. Claire, you're totally my hero. If the poor darlings want home baking though, I'd make that your family time event - 6 baking sheets, one bowl per batch - you would need a LOT of hands to make enough cookies for your clan! (my brother in law has 6 kids aged 5-21, and anything they do is Very.....illnesses, baking, presents, playing. I have a feeling you can relate!

    Seriously, all the ROW 80 encouragement has changed the way I see myself and writing. I love seeing how everyone else manages it, too! I appreciate the time you take to encourage so many of us - thanks, truly :-) Off I go to get dinner hopping!