Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Burn, Baby, Burn

Yes, folks, that’s right. I’m on fire this week, as far as my ROW80 goals are concerned. Overall, I’ve been doing a decent job with structuring my day so that I have enough routine to get things done. My day is now built around early morning exercise and the ROW80 writing sprints (11 am PST!), with something research and/or dissertation-related in the afternoon.

I’ve been keeping my apartment clean, cooking myself meals most evenings, and feeling like a sane, healthy individual. I’m not 100% sure how long this is going to last, but in the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy myself.

Here’s how the week played out:

Writing: I managed to take part in the daily ROW80 writing sprints Monday-Thursday (Friday I was foiled by my dying laptop charger, sadly), and wrote between 1000 and 1500 words each day towards TELL ME NO LIES. I had a minor breakthrough on Wednesday, when it occurred to me to start focusing on individual elements of the novel, rather than try to edit and write linearly. At the moment, I have laid out the major plot points, and I’ve started to fit the milestones for individual character arcs and romance subplots on top of those.

Pulling apart each strand of the novel is proving to be incredibly helpful, as it allows me to do a better job of pinpointing how characters evolve and change, as well as understanding how their problems relate with the larger social context (yeah, that’s the sociologist in me talking). There are all sorts of “factions” in my steampunk Barbary Coast circa 1895: politicians, crime lords, industrialists, moralists, law enforcement… My brash, loud-mouthed saloon singer is caught up in the midst of them, and while it’s her story I’m telling, I can’t ignore the other tensions at work.

In the week to come, I hope to work my way through both romance subplots (as much as I tried to resist, there’s a love triangle in this story), as well as give some thought to the actual murder mystery itself. How do my hero and heroine go about hunting for a killer? I’m actually not all that sure, so figuring it out is top priority.

Day Job: I started brainstorming dissertation ideas on Tuesday, but haven’t had a chance to do more than read through half an article, and thumb my way through a book (actually, it’s the book that I wish I had written, and am kind of bitter that I didn’t) for research purposes. However, I did get a lot accomplished for my research assistantship, which my advisor is quite pleased about. I’ve tracked down a few locations for pertinent archives, and taken notes on a couple of journal articles and books. The gauntlet of grading begins next Thursday, so I will try to get more dissertation stuff beforehand.

Social Time: I’m still going strong here. I went to a concert Sunday night and met up with some grad school friends for drinks Friday night. Even better, I had a chance to visit with my friend, fellow writer, and former high school biology teacher, Eva Gordon, on Friday afternoon.

Eva is writes paranormal romance and science fiction (I’m lucky enough to be one of her beta readers), and we had a great talk about books and writing, as well as all those things she taught in her biology class that still stick with me today: werewolves, forensic investigation, viruses and plagues, and countless other things. It was definitely one of the highlights of my week.

Exercise: I am shockingly on target here. I worked out 5 days this week, and mixed up my routine with a 4 mile walk (Monday), my 50-minute at-home Pilates routine (Tuesday), and thirty minutes on the glider for the remaining three days.

I’ve also been tackling nutrition as well. I took some of the advice that you all gave me last round when I asked for healthy snack ideas. Instead of buying chips, pretzels, or cookies on my last grocery shopping trip, I picked up baby carrots, apples, almonds, and crystallized ginger. Better yet, I’m upping my water intake, having at least one super-tasty salad a day (spinach, strawberries, avocado, and goat cheese is my current fav), and trying to limit portion sizes.

50/50 Challenge: I devoted most of my efforts to research and writing this week, so my reading rates have declined quite a bit. However, I read THE STORY OF THE SISTERS OF MERCY IN MISSISSIPPI, a 1933 history of the order of Catholic nuns and their experiences as pioneers in 19th century Mississippi, along with AGAIN by fellow WANA-ite, Diana Murdock. I definitely recommend AGAIN for anyone who enjoys romance, time travel, and reincarnation, as it was beautifully written and incredibly enjoyable.

No new movies to report on, though I did start watching the 2006 BBC miniseries, The State Within, about terrorism and conspiracies, starring Jason Isaacs in a rare non-villainous role. Better yet, I am off to see the latest Underworld film tomorrow. Nothing like vampires and lycans and action to complete my weekend. 😀 

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21 Comments

  1. Wow, you’ve really been going some this week. Here’s to all the good work continuing 🙂
    Sarah Pearson recently posted..Musical Stories 25: Chick LitMy Profile

  2. Wow! Go Lena! What a fantastic week and huge kudo’s on the exercise.

    Story for ya. Long ago, scientists believed that most of the moons must be like ours, cold lifeless rocks. Then they found Jupiter’s moon, Io. This highly-active volcanic moon had a secret. Caught between the pull of mighty Jupiter and other larger moons it is constantly pulled in multiple directions, super-heating its core and turning it into what it is. Just like your protag in the Barbary Coast project. Find that right spot and behold the power.

    Have an excellent week, Lena 🙂
    Gene Lempp recently posted..A Book Review, an Award & ROWdate 1-22My Profile

  3. Sounds like you got a ton done this week! Good luck keeping it up! 🙂 And, sigh, Jason Isaacs.
    fakesteph recently posted..ROW80 Check InMy Profile

  4. Amazing week, Lena! Jealous of your exercise time. I really need to incorporate that into my goals. And so glad to hear you had such progress during the sprints. Great job!
    Stacy Green recently posted..Row80 Check In: 1-22-12 Rowing AlongMy Profile

  5. Dang girl, you’re right on target! Great progress.
    Nicole Basaraba recently posted..Overheard on the #ROW80My Profile

  6. You’ve had an AMAZING week! Glad to hear you’ve had such nice epiphanies on Tell Me No Lies – it’s always fun – as long as you don’t need the heimlich LOL! Fantastic job juggling it all. Have a wonderful week 😀
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..January 22, 2012 – ROW80 Check InMy Profile

  7. Absolulety stellar week Lena!!! You rocked it out on all fronts. My week was a bit lack luster so I’m using you as inspiration to really kick it up this coming week. Woot woot!!! Here’s to enjoying the ride – may it be long lasting! 🙂
    Natalie Hartford recently posted..ROW80 – Round 1 – Check-in #6My Profile

  8. You’re an inspiration, Lena, especially to us who didn’t have a good week.
    Great work! Keep it up! I’ll join you for a #wordsprint this week.
    Fabio Bueno recently posted..ROW80 – Update 5 – The Lost Week EndsMy Profile

  9. Woo hoo! I am going to totally think of you as my exercise guru as I only managed to exercise once this week 🙁 But next week will be better!
    Glad you are juggling everything so well and that things are going well in all areas of your goals.

    Meant to ask you, are you still possibly coming to Europe for work?
    Em recently posted..ROW80 Check-in 22nd January 2012My Profile

  10. i envy your amazing progress! and i think exercise contributes to having energy and motivation and focus. fab job!!
    Gina recently posted..Row80: The Checklist ReturnsMy Profile

  11. Sounds like quite a productive week. I’ll have to check out the writing sprints one of these days. Happy Sunday!
    Robin McCormack recently posted..Sunday Salon: Editing and emoting!My Profile

  12. Cool, way to go! Burn up those goals, baby! *g*

    I really have to get back to the ROW writing sprints again. When I did them, they were amazingly productive, especially given my normally slow wordcount, turning every word over three times before I commit to it. 😐 (That’s what academic training will do to you it yo let it!)

    Congrats again and have a great week. 🙂
    Ruth Nestvold recently posted..Marketing is Eating my Brain: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ebook RevolutionMy Profile

  13. Uh WOW Lena! You’re definitely Rocking it girl! You had an awesome week. I bet you’re feeling better too. And good for you going out and having a great time. You deserve that. Well, you’re a wonderful example of setting goals and keeping them. Thanks Lena and keep it up! 🙂
    Karen McFarland recently posted..Row80: Kicking and Screaming!My Profile

  14. Keep up the great work, Lena!
    August McLaughlin recently posted..Does Dirt Have Calories? — My StoryMy Profile

  15. Wow, Lena, you’ve had an amazing week. Keep on going strong. You are an inspiration. 🙂
    Sheila Seabrook recently posted..He Said, She Said What?!My Profile

  16. OMG!! You’re writing 1000+ words a day??? You are AWESOME! I’m totally jumping up and down in my kitchen for you. My husband thinks I’ve gone wonky…
    Jenny Hansen recently posted..Triberr Part 2: How Do I Splash In The Triberr Kiddie Pool?My Profile

  17. Wow! I’d say you’ve been busy! Sounds like it’s going well for you. That’s good to hear. And thanks for the reminder to go out and get another Pilates DVD. Mine disappeared awhile back and I miss it. I can remember most of the workouts, but it isn’t the same.

    And congrats for all the encouraging association. It always helps to visit with writerly people.

    Keep up the great work!
    Wendy recently posted..#Row80 1/22 Check-InMy Profile

  18. You are doing fantastic Lena! Way to push ahead. You’ve inspired me!
    Debra Kristi recently posted..Launch Needed: Row80 Check-in 1/22My Profile

  19. Great week, Lena! In particular, your word counts are terrific, and the exercise is likely giving you needed energy to push through your to-do list. I must say that I love goat cheese; it takes second place behind feta on my salads. Here’s to another great week! Best wishes on your dissertation and all of your ROW80 goals!
    Julie Glover recently posted..Team YA and #ROW80My Profile

  20. Wow, fabulous progress! Keep going and inspiring all of us, Row-ers.
    I love Diana’s Again – such a fantastic, well-written story.
    Angela Orlowski-Peart recently posted..I Will Not Be Blogging Tomorrow – Please Read Why!My Profile

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