Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Date: February 4, 2012

ROW80: Taking Stock

Whew, it’s just been one of “those” weeks, one where I feel like I’m racing along on the hamster wheel, only to find that I haven’t actually tackled all those things that really need to get done. I’ve done well on the exercise and eating well goals; written consistently each weekday with the #ROW80 sprints; graded a ton of papers and lectured in my prof’s absence on Wednesday (we’ll ignore the anxiety attack I had beforehand, and the caffeine-induced freakout I had afterwards); and watched 3 movies (Haywire, The Woman in Black, and the 2006 version of Jane Eyre) and read 1 book (Lindsay Buroker’s awesomesauce steampunk/fantasy novel, The Emperor’s Edge) towards my 50/50 challenge goals. Oh, and I wrote some flash fiction, too.

Given that we’ve completed a full month of Round 1, I thought I’d do a bit of a pause-and-reflect to consider what I’ve learned and where I’d like to improve in the weeks to come.

STUFF I’VE LEARNED

  • Sloths are amazing. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
  • Working out in the morning makes the rest of my day better, partly because I just feel better about myself, and also because I end up with more energy.
  • Eating well also makes me feel better. Strawberries and spinach belong together, goat cheese is magical, candied ginger is the best candy replacement ever, and I actually think I’d rather have baby carrots than potato chips (shocking, I know).
  • Creating a to-do list each night helps me to evaluate what I’ve finished and what I need to tackle the next day.
  • Reading a good book almost always makes things better.
  • When I feel listless, crabby, oddly emotional, or like someone’s gummed up my brain with a bucket of molasses, I almost always need a nap. Naps are good things, and I am going to stop feeling guilty about taking them.
  • Hanging out with my #teamsprinty buddies each day has manifold benefits. Even if I’m not 100% thrilled with my output (quantity and/or quality), I always finish the hour with a giant smile on my face from all of our antics. If you ever need to be entertained, make yourself a #ROW80 column on your Twitter app of choice, and watch the nonsense flow. Last week we all took a trip to space on a book-shaped rocketship (powered by Dr. Pepper), accompanied by paper bags and vodka and chips. Good times, folks, good times.

STUFF I CAN DO BETTER

  • That to-do list I mentioned above? I’ve faltered on that one big time, and I’m really feeling the pinch of not being well-organized. I need to get back on track with prioritizing my tasks and making myself a loose schedule.
  • My research assistantship, not to mention my dissertation brainstorming, have fallen by the wayside in the past couple of weeks. I have to push both of these projects back up on my priority list (there’s that list again…) so I can make sure that I get things done.
  • Writing blog posts has also been challenging. I know exactly what I want to post for the rest of the month, and I even have some half-finished drafts sitting around… but finishing and posting them is proving to be close-to-impossible (Exhibit A: My Hugh Jackman post that was supposed to go up on February 1st, which is almost done, but not quite, and is currently collecting dust in my drafts folder). My perfectionist streak must be rearing its ugly head, because I keep scraping everything I try to write because it is not exactly perfect. Pfft.
  • I’ve been utterly pathetic at making the blog rounds, and at responding to comments on my posts, which makes me feel all icky. But I have a really hard time marshaling my thoughts to say anything that intelligible when I’m tired, and lately my brain has been like a fifteen-ring circus on Red Bull, with too many thoughts whirling around for me to get much of a handle on anything.

So… yeah. That’s where things stand at the moment. Now that I have a few of my goals seemingly under control, I’ll be concentrating on everything in that second list. Hopefully in the weeks to come, I’ll find a way to at least somewhat manage everything. 😀

Don’t forget to swing by and see how the other ROW80 participants are doing!

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#DearValentine: “Abandoned”

It’s been far too long since I’ve tackled one of ‘Timony Souler’s flash fiction challenges, and so when I heard about her #DearValentine event, I signed up immediately.

Over the next 4 Saturdays, my fellow participants and I will be posting short 300 word drabbles based on the challenge prompts.

Week 1’s prompt is simple: A note, a photograph, the docks.

My entry is exactly 300 words long, and is part one of my still-unnamed four part series. Feedback is always appreciated. Finally, be sure to check out the other participants’ work.

-oOo-

“Abandoned”

The ship was a speck against the horizon by the time Pierce arrived at the docks. He was too late.

He could still smell her fragrance lingering in the air, the faintest trace of jasmine and lavender. It taunted him, an unsettling reminder that even he, with his speed and strength and near-prescient senses, was capable of failure.

The cynic in him said that he deserved heartbreak. He had rejected his carefully honed instinct for self-preservation when he decided to pursue her, and all for what? A pair of haunting violet eyes, a sinful mouth, and the most luscious curves he had ever seen? A woman more intelligent, more passionate than any he had ever known?

Self-reproach was useless, for Wyng was perfection. He had been helpless against her from the start. More importantly, she had loved him. He would never believe anything less.

He couldn’t look at the photograph she had left behind; they were too in love, too blissfully happy. Rather, it was her final note, little more than a crumpled mess of smeared ink, that he clenched in his fist.

I’m no good, Pierce. I’ll only bring destruction upon you if I stay.

That was a lie. She had restored him to life, reminded him that there was a world beyond violence and hate.

Forget me, and don’t try to find me.

How could he ever manage such a feat? His chest heaved, as though some imaginary string tied their hearts together and pulled taut, stretching beyond endurance. He couldn’t allow it to snap.

With a curl of his lip, he tossed the note into the wind and climbed onto his motorcycle. The engine revved to life at his touch, and within moments, the docks were behind him.

He had never been very good at following directions.

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