ROW80: Sunny Days Are Here!

Happy Sunday, folks! The sun is shining in my part of California, and that always leaves me feeling upbeat and excited. I feel like I’ve got a lot to look forward to. My parents will be in town for a couple of nights at the end of the week, as they’ll be moving my sister out of her apartment in LA for the summer. And I’m getting my 1st tattoo on Friday! I’m filled with all sorts of nervous anticipation (mostly about the pain, ugh), but I really can’t wait.

Before I get to my goals, I want to take a minute to hand out the fantabulous Sunshine award. I posted my response to the requisite 10 questions on Friday (you can find them here). I’m passing it on to the following bloggers:

Now, onto the check-in!

Day Job: The dissertation reading continues. Some days, the reading is hampered by anxiety: I am all too aware that my time in Santa Barbara, and therefore the time I have to figure out my research topic, is rapidly dwindling. I’ll hopefully be meeting with my committee members in the week to come. Their insights and suggestions are always valuable, and hopefully they’ll give me some ideas for wrangling my many ideas into something that makes sense.

Writing: Another slow week with writing. Most of the brainstorming I’ve been doing has taken place during undergrad lectures — lots of scrawled scribbles in the margins of my notebook. I really wanted to treat the first few weeks of this round like my own personal NaNoWriMo, and boy, am I failing miserably. I suppose the goal for the coming week will be the same as last week: to figure out exactly what I am capable of achieving in terms of fiction.

Slightly off-topic, I shared 7 random facts about my writing on Friday. For those of you who expressed an interest in Pierce, I will have you know that it has gone completely to his head, and he is almost too smug to bear at the moment. He would like me to thank you all, as he thinks that maybe now he’ll get bumped up in the in-progress queue (and he is quite compelling, so perhaps he will succeed in convincing me). And, yes, I realize how completely crazy this makes me sound, which is why I’m glad that I am not the only writer who admits to having conversations with make-believe characters.

Exercise: I’m still holding strong here, with 4 workout days this week. I wake up each morning looking forward to my walk, though I think my enthusiasm has been improved by the sunny weather and the fact that my clothes are fitting better. :D

Social Media: I was only able to write 1 blog post last week, but I have 2 scheduled for the week to come.  I’m getting back into the groove to blog reading, which has been so much fun.  I think I made it to 12 ROWers last Sunday, and another 8 or 9 blogs during the week.

Finally, for fun, I thought I’d include a bit about what I’m watching and reading this week:

Films: I saw The Five-Year Engagement on Friday, starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segal on Friday, and it was absolutely brilliant… if you ignore the fact that it basically sums up my biggest fears about my professional life in academia: having to relocate somewhere very cold, dealing with “trailing spouse” syndrome, etc.

Outside of all that, I totally recommend the movie. There are lots of awesome shots of San Francisco (enough to make me crazy homesick, and very happy that I’m moving back in 2 months), many moments of hilarity, and a great ending.

Fiction: I finished His Good Opinion, Nancy Kelley’s lovely retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. For those of you who ever wondered why Darcy falls for Elizabeth, and what’s going on in his head that leads him to make such a lovely transformation by the end of the novel, you should definitely check it out.

Non-Fiction: I’m working my way through Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies for the course I’m taking on gender and religion. The book is a collection of wide-ranging essays that

examine why Roman Catholicism and other branches of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam accepted slavery for so many centuries, and they consider how slavery shaped gender and sexual ethics in these three religious traditions. They also consider how Jews, Christians, and Muslims can draw upon the compassionate values of their traditions to overcome the lingering effects of slavery.

The essays are incredibly thought-provoking and fascinating, and raise lots of important implications for modern-day issues like marriage, employment and labor, the criminal justice system, welfare, and many other social institutions.

So that’s my life at the moment! Be sure to swing by and cheer on the other ROWers this week.

How are things going for the rest of you? Anything fun to look forward to in the weeks to come?

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10 comments

  1. Gene Lempp says:

    My wife and I went to see The Raven last night, a beautiful tribute to the work and life of Poe, well worth the watch if you get the time (that was the fun and exciting thing). We all go through phases of “story building” where it seems like the writing is never going to take off, be patient, for most of us, this is the natural process. J.K. Rolling used to take notes for Harry Potter in the margins of her students papers, just sayin’, you are not “idle” by any means.

    Have a great week, Lena :)
    Gene Lempp recently posted..ROWdate 4~29My Profile

  2. alberta ross says:

    slavery is still with us today – making sense of the past can only happen when the present is accepted: sorry bit heavy but so few people seem to get modern day slavery,.

    You seem to be doing really well after all disertation stuff takes a lot of one’s time yet still have ideas perculating onto page -ok margin:) – not sure my brain could work the two together:)

    all the best for coming week and keep smiling:)
    alberta ross recently posted..Thank you Prudence: alberta’s updateMy Profile

  3. Lauralynn Elliott says:

    You have so much going on! Especially with the dissertation stuff going on. It’s a wonder you even have the energy to write fiction.

    That’s an interesting sounding class you’re taking. As a Christian, I’ve always found the idea of slavery abhorrent. I’ve never understood how Christians could have, in good conscience, kept slaves. *scratches head in puzzlement*
    Lauralynn Elliott recently posted..ROW80 Check In 4/29/12My Profile

  4. Marie Andrews says:

    WOO HOO – sunshine sure does boost the mind, body, and spirit – so glad you’re soaking in some of those much-needed rays! Congrats on the workouts – I feel the change of weather has helped me keep up this goal as well – and always great when clothes fit better. That’s an incentive all its own.

    The writing will come – no doubt – I hear you on scribbling notes during lectures – that has been me last week, only during tests instead.

    I heard good things about that movie – I like Emily Blunt and it’s on my list of MUST SEE movies, along with The Raven and of course The Avengers.

    Keep up the greatness – and thank you so much for the Sunshine Award! Very much appreciated :) *hugs*

  5. Alica says:

    Glad things are going so well, you certainly are busy! Thank you for the blog award! I went and followed the other bloggers I wasn’t following all ready.

  6. Reetta Raitanen says:

    Thanks for the movie and book recommendations. I snatched up the Mr Darcy book right away :) And well done on your goals, especially excercise. Let the book percolate. Good things take their time. *blows a kiss to Pierce*
    Reetta Raitanen recently posted..Dancing in the 80sMy Profile

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