Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Spring Break is (Almost) Here!

Happy Sunday, ROW-ing loves! I trust everyone is doing well?

After my big ol’ thesis win, I sort of unintentionally dropped off the radar. I went from prepping for the defense to prepping for a guest lecture the following week — my third of the quarter, and the first time ever that my advisor has seen me present (no pressure, right?). It went really well, and I even got a chance to show a short clip from Kate and Leopold — fitting for a lecture on “Love, Commitment and Ambivalence” in American films from the 1970s to the present-day.

Once all was said and done, I was a little exhausted. I’ve spent the last week and a half doing nothing but grading papers, playing Mass Effect, and streaming television shows on Netflix. So far I’ve learned that Downton Abbey really IS phenomenal, that Friday Night Lights is just as brilliant as all my friends promised, and that I should’ve been watching Supernatural since the day it premiered in 2005, because it was MADE for me. Supernatural is kinda like crack, and I can’t get enough; I watched the first season (21 episodes, folks) in under a week.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester (left) and Ja...

Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) are my new favorites. Image via Wikipedia

But it’s the end of the quarter, and once I finish grading term papers, spring break begins! Better yet, my mom is coming to visit me next weekend, and she’ll be here for a week. We will embark on our usual adventures of shopping, drinking, and eating out, along with a trip to see my sister and head to DISNEYLAND. [Insert major squee here]

Anywhoo, here’s a review of my goals from the last couple of weeks:

Day Job: I’m on track to have final grades finished by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. I’d like to do a little dissertation research/thinking/planning over spring break, but I’m not sure how realistic that goal is.

Writing: I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t have a full draft of TELL ME NO LIES finished by the end of this round, which was my original goal. One of the hardest things about all of this is the fact that I am trying to learn how to write a novel, and that sort of thing takes time. I’m trying to push myself, to make sure that I am moving forward and not wandering in circles (I realized a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been rewriting the same 3 scenes over and over again — whoops). However, I’m also trying to be patient with myself and enjoy the process.

In the past week, I’ve taken time for (1) brainstorming and plotting, (2) research, and (3) character development. I’m really excited about #3, because I’ve finally taken advantage of the character profile pinboards in Scrivener.

Squee, so pretty! One of the best things that I can say is that I think I am achieving greater depth as far as this story is concerned. There are growing layers of complexity, and both my characters and the plot are getting more interesting (in my opinion, anyway).

Exercise: I actually fulfilled my exercise goal and used my glider 4 times this week.  Yay!

Social Time: Last weekend was the department’s “recruitment weekend,” so I had way too much social time: dinners out and movie nights and a department beach bbq, among other events. I’ve been hiding out the past few days, and it has been lovely.

50/50 Challenge: Last weekend I saw John Carter (fun, and better than I expected), as well as Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, starring Gerard Butler, Tom Hardy, Thandie Newton, and a host of other amazing actors (abso-freaking-lutely awesome). I also read two books: Maggie Stiefvater’s Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception and Gabrielle Kimm’s His Last Duchess

I have lots of fun things to look forward to this week, like the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. And I just might get myself a tattoo next week, ’cause my mom finally gave me the green light (!!!). My current idea is to have the phrase, “Words have been all my life” (from A.S. Byatt’s Possession) tattooed on my right forearm, with a peacock feather quill… but we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you all posted. 😀

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35 Comments

  1. Very exciting ROW80 update Lena. Its sooooo great that you finished the thesis!! Whew. I also didn’t finish my WIP either. At least we are in the same boat. Now go have fun shopping and playing in DIsneyland, you deserve it!
    Nicole Basaraba recently posted..Review of the Round – ROW80 check inMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Nicole! I’m seriously still over the moon about this thesis “win”, especially because I spent all day Friday filling out the the final pieces of paperwork, formatting the stupid bugger, and submitting the whole thing to the university. Now I’m “officially” passed. 😀

      Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t finish the WIP, but I think we’ll have a ton of great work under our belts for the start of the next round.

      Have a great week!

  2. Your acedemic work sounds splendid – not surprised you chilled out for a bit, having said that it’s apparent you weren’t really being idle well done on goals and hope this week continues to work well – then your holidays sound like fun so come back refreshed and ready to go:)
    alberta ross recently posted..Help please with Parallelism! Alberta’s check inMy Profile

  3. Great job, Lena! And have fun with the tattoo. 🙂
    Darlene Steelman recently posted..It’s ROW80 Time!My Profile

  4. Great work on the goals, and on the thesis (I must have missed your last post, but getting the thesis out of the way would have felt awesome; I speak from experience :D) I think one of the hardest things for a lot of us is as you say; we are trying to write a novel at the same time as trying to LEARN how to write a novel, so it’s a lot harder and more time consuming than it would be otherwise. Still, at least you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied next round 🙂
    Rebecca J Fleming recently posted..ROW80 Round 5 – 16th UpdateMy Profile

    • Wahoo! Yes, we’ve both gotten the thesis-beasty out of the way. 😀

      I have this idea in my mind that maybe one day the novel-writing (heck, AND the academic writing) will get a little easier once I figure out what the heck I’m doing. But in the meantime, I guess I’m not really on a deadline, save for any personal ones I may try to give myself, so I might as well chill out and enjoy the learning process. 😀

      Have a wonderful week!

  5. Fantastic round Lena and it sounds like Spring Break is a well deserved break indeed. Congrats on getting through your thesis and defense! I still haven’t used the character piece in Scrivener to its fullest but gotta say seeing all those lovely pictures pinned up on the board is inspiring.
    Raelyn Barclay recently posted..Sunday Summary & #ROW80My Profile

    • Seriously, Spring Break couldn’t come sooner. I’m am SO done with this quarter, and so ready to blow off some steam. 😀

      I didn’t realize how AWESOME it would feel to have those character photos pinned up, but wow. Almost makes me feel like I have a legit story. 😀

  6. I wondered where you’d been. 🙂 Glad you’re just busy! You may not have gotten the wordcount you wanted, but you’re learning! I’m in that stage now too, doing a workshop on writing a series. It’s hard to produce new material while in this phase. Glad to see you back!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..ROW80: Slight Change in PlansMy Profile

    • There’s a lot to be said for forming skills, isn’t there? I’ve been thinking lately about how darn HARD it is to write a novel, and it makes me feel a lot better to know that I’m the only one in this boat. As badly as I want to move forward and finish my draft, I also am trying to remember that the time I spend honing my skills will be time well spent, and not a waste at all. 😀

      Have a great week, Jennette!

  7. As usual, you’re one busy woman, Lena. Congrats again! I took last week off, too. My daughter was home on leave – and we found out that she’s been accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy. Induction day is 28 June! It was an emotional visit, because my husband – her father – was a Navy man, and both her grandfathers were Navy men – so there was a lot of celebrating and grown men getting teary-eyed.

    You sound terrific! Have a great week, Lena.
    Nadja Notariani recently posted..An Interesting Question…And Sharing TalentMy Profile

    • Huge congrats to your daughter! That’s such an amazing accomplishment, especially given your family’s naval history. You must be one proud momma. 😀

      Have a great week, Nadja!

  8. Sounds like you’ve had an amazing week! Make sure you enjoy your spring break, and the novel will be there ready and waiting for you like a good friend 🙂 *hugs*

  9. Wow! It sounds like you needed a break. That is a lot going on! I, too, am looking forward to Spring Break! Yay! I’m jealous that you’ll be spending it in So-Cal, though. It’ll probably rain here. Congrats on all your accomplishments! And now I have to look around your site and figure out what the 50/50 challenge is. If it has anything to do with Taylor Kitch, I’m in! heehee
    Emma Burcart recently posted..Pants On FireMy Profile

    • I agree – spring break in SoCal will hopefully be awesome. We’ve had our share of rain over the last few days, though, so I am crossing my fingers that the sun comes out and we get some high temperatures.

      The 50/50 challenge is basically a challenge to read 50 books and watching 50 movies in 2012! I am finally jumping on the Taylor Kitsch bandwagon, so expect to see more movies from him. 😉

  10. Lena, you are perfectly right to have taken some “time off” even if it slowed down your progress on your WiP. The mind, as well as the body, sometimes needs these little pauses to refresh and reboot itself. And it sounds like you were going full force for a long time.

    BUT!!!! Now it’s time to get back to that keyboard, put your fingers to the keys and get cracking. 😉 BiCFoKWoS (Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, words on screen)
    Eden Mabee recently posted..Tuesday Snippet and Twitter ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Yeah, I don’t think I quite realized exactly how much I was doing (okay, I never seem to figure all that out till after my body decides it’s finished and would like to go on strike). But I have to say, I am DYING to get back to the WIP. I am hoping that the time off, and the extra brainstorming I’ve done, will help to catapult me into extra productivity. 😀

  11. Hi Lena! Wow, you’ve been busy!! 🙂 Hope you have a great spring break–enjoy!
    Coleen Patrick recently posted..On Luck and My Dorky Teenage OptimismMy Profile

  12. Disneyland, tattoos and the Hunger Games oh my! How exciting all your plans are!

    Glad you have been taking some time but I do love how ridiculously productive you are! Very inspiring! Love the character pinboards, I think I need photos for my characters as I swear I describe them slightly differently even time a feature is mentioned *head in hands*

    Have a great week and enjoy all the fun!!!
    Em recently posted..ROW80 Check-in 18th March 2012My Profile

    • Squee, isn’t it all so EXCITING?! I am going to have to wait till the beginning of May for the tattoo, but oh man, The Hunger Games. Thursday night can’t come fast enough.

      I totally know what you mean about character descriptions. My weakness is names — my minor characters have maybe 6 or 7 different name variations in each scene. I realized I needed to actually write them all down, and make them stick, lol.

      Have a wonderful week, lovely!

  13. Wow Lena, you’ve had a mixed bag of things going on girl. But I’ve missed you. And with all the pressure from school, it’s hard to focus on other things. Especially as big of a project as a novel. And your right. Learning takes time and you don’t want to rush it. You will get the story out in its own time and it will be great! Keep up the awesome attitude Lena and enjoy your visit with your mom next week and Disneyland. 🙂
    Karen McFarland recently posted..ROW80: Alive and KickingMy Profile

    • I’ve missed you too, Karen! I’m definitely dying to jump back on the blogging/social media bandwagon — I’m going through withdrawal.

      Have a wonderful week!

  14. academics are so time consuming, particularly if you’re going to do them well. hang in there – you’ve got lots of time to learn to write. and it does take time.
    Louise Behiel recently posted..The Lost Child: Finding The Way Back from EmptinessMy Profile

    • You’re definitely right, Louise. I’ve realized that I’m trying to learn to do a lot of things all at once, and it’s just going to require patience and hard work until I finally feel proficient at them. So I’m trying to settle in for the long haul, lol.

      Have a great week, and thanks so much for stopping by!

  15. Lena, I can’t wait to see a pic of your tattoo. Will you be posting a photo?

    Don’t you just love the character pinboard in Scrivener? I use yWriter, which has something not quite as cool, but exciting nonetheless.

    I just saw John Carter today, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. How exciting that you get to go to the midnight showing of Hunger Games. I can’t wait to see it. It sounds like you have a fab week planned for Spring break. Cheers!
    TeacherWriter, Suzanne Lilly recently posted..Tips for Writers, Specific Details Spell SuccessMy Profile

    • Yes, there will definitely be a picture of tattoo coming! I have an appointment for May 4th, and I am eagerly counting down the days. 😀

      Scrivener has so many features that I haven’t tapped into yet, but the ability to add photos is one of my favorites. The other one that I enjoy is being able to add websites to my folders — it’s so useful for both fiction and academia.

      Wasn’t John Carter surprisingly good? I’m not sure if it’s because I had really low expectations, but I think it is because the plot and writing were pretty tight. I’ve realized that the films that I can’t take are the ones where the writing is terrible (shocking, right?).

      Have a wonderful week!

  16. Amazing few weeks of hard work are totally paying off. Girl you rocked it out! Celebrate WELL with your Mom and Disney (sooo jealous)!! You’ve earned some FUN in the SUN and a ton of laughs. Take pics of the new tattoo…squeee!!
    Natalie Hartford recently posted..Happy Birthday to ME!My Profile

    • Thanks so much, my friend! It’s been 2 years since I’ve been to Disneyland, and I CANNOT wait.

      The tattoo is coming on May 4th — I just made the appointment! Rest assured that there will be many photos posted. 😀

  17. You always amaze me, Lena. How are you able to do it all? Wow.
    Have a fantastic time with your family. Oh, Disneyland! I love it there.

    If you get that tattoo, I want to see a picture. I’m planning to get one too but the hubby hates the idea, sigh.
    Angela Orlowski-Peart recently posted..I’ve Been Tagged. The Lucky 7 Meme plus Kreative Blogger Award.My Profile

    • Haha, half the time I don’t know how I get things finished, I have to admit. But my body reminds me now and again that I have to take a pause, and I’m trying to learn how to listen. 😉

      There will definitely be a picture of the tattoo posted (May 4th is the appointment!). And maybe your hubby will change his mind. My mom was adamantly against the idea, but over the last couple of years totally loosened up. Now I’m trying to talk her into getting one herself. 😉

  18. Lena, if you get time for lunch or a cup of coffee even while you’re in Orange County, let me know! I’ll try to work out my schedule to swing by. 🙂

    Congrats on this round – what a fantastic Party Hostess you’re going to be on the 4th!!

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