ROW80: Picking Up Steam, and a New Tattoo

Good grief, I can’t believe it’s Sunday already. The last week sort of sped on by, and I feel like I’ve got whiplash. Also, can someone tell me exactly when May happened? Time seems to be hurtling past me.

All in all, it hasn’t been too terrible of a week. Here’s the shakedown:

Day Job: Not much work done by way of research this week, though I took a couple of hours today to take some reading notes and write up a summary of what I’ve learned thus far. I still need to meet with committee members (I’ve been dragging my feet on making appointments), so this is going to be my goal for the week.

Writing: Things are getting a little better here. I’ve logged at least 5 or 6 hours this week on brainstorming, outlining, and world-building. Better yet, I’ve written close to 5k. Not sure how much will survive my next round of edits, but the good news is that Part 1 of PATH TO THE PEACOCK THRONE is finally coming together. Progress is slow, but if I can make sure that it’s steady, I’ll feel a lot better about things.

Exercise: Shockingly enough, I managed to get 6 days of exercise in. Morning walks are becoming second nature, and way too enjoyable to ignore. There’s nothing like listening to a swelling chorus of birdsong and basking in the sunlight to start my day off right.

Social Media: It was another off week for social media. Not much by way to blog hopping, and only 1 post written outside of my ROW80 check-in. I’ve got a few drafts that need to be fixed up and finalized, so hopefully I can get those posted in the week to come.

And once again, here’s what I’m reading and watching this week:

Rufus Sewell as Aurelio Zen

Films: I’m halfway through the BBC Mystery series, Zen, based on the series of novels by Michael Dibdin. The absolutely dishy Rufus Sewell plays the title character, Venetian detective Aurelio Zen, who is one of the few men of integrity, honor, and honesty working in the corrupt Roman police department. Zen reminds me a lot of my detective protag in TELL ME NO LIES, so I’ve been watching Zen with both my writing and “I’m-going-to-veg-out-and-enjoy-this” hats on.

Books: I just finished Jessica Grey‘s novel, AWAKE, which is a modern-day YA retelling of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale. I absolutely adored it, so if you like fairy tale adaptations with romance and magic and lore, I recommend it.

In other news, I got my first tattoo on Friday! It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared (I worked myself up into such a tizzy over the potential pain that I lost sleep for about 2 weeks), though there were definitely moments when I wondered exactly what sort of torture I signed up for. However, I am in love with the final product, and that’s all that counts. The tattoo is on my right arm — my writing arm — and will hopefully remind me of my duty to myself as a writer.

The quote, “Words have been all my life,” comes from POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt, one of my favorite books of all time. The original passage, part of a letter that the fictional 19th century poet Christabel LaMotte writes to fellow poet Randolph Henry Ash, is as follows:

…Words have been all my life, all my life — this need is like the Spider’s need who carries before her a huge Burden of Silk which she must spin out — the silk is her life, her home, her safety — her food and drink too — and if it is attacked or pulled down, why, what can she do but make more, spin afresh, design anew…

Like the fictional Christabel, I am, have always been, and always will be, compelled to write, to create, to spin out words and myths and tales. Writing is something that I must do in order to remain whole, in order to survive. That lesson is one that I learned the hard way during my 2 year bout with writer’s block, when I thought that I could walk away from fiction and submerge myself completely in the world of academia.

So yay for tattoos, and for a bit of writing progress! I’m looking forward to finally seeing The Avengers on Sunday afternoon — I feel like I’ve been waiting forever. I actually had an Avengers-themed dream the other night, where I was some sort of hybrid X-Men/Avengers superhero flying around and solving crime… before I turned back into academic me, taking a midterm of Foucault. My grad school friends have termed this the “supertheoro” (super-theory-hero), and I think that is going to be my new alter ego. :D

Don’t forget to swing by and wish the rest of the merry band of ROWers well! How’s everyone else doing?

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44 comments

  1. EM Castellan says:

    It looks like you’re doing good! You’re absolutly right about slow progress being enough if it’s steady. A little bit of writing each week is better than no writing then a “writing rush”. I hadn’t heard about AWAKE so I might have to check it out. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and congratulations on the tattoo. I would never be able to muster the courage to get one ;) Very brave of you. Have a great writing week!
    EM Castellan recently posted..A Round of Words in 80 Days – Check-in #4My Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      EM, thanks so much! I’m still a little stunned that I actually went and got this tattoo (I spent a couple of years vacillating about it and working up the courage). I’d love to hear what you think of AWAKE, as well. :D

      Have a wonderful week!

  2. Tameri Etherton says:

    Your tattoo is gorgeous! I love the quote and the color, wow. I have to check out that Rufus Sewell series. He usually plays a bad guy, so to see him in a good guy role always makes me happy. He is totally dishy. When I’m done checking him out, I need to read that book, Awake. Totally my cup of tea.

    Great check in this week! Don’t stress the blogging stuff, you’ve got a lot happening outside of the blogoshpere. Enjoy Avengers. It totally rocked!
    Tameri Etherton recently posted..Crush of the Month ~ The AvengersMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Oh gosh, I can’t say enough about how awesome it is to see Rufus Sewell as the hero. The other thing that is fantastic about Zen is, like all BBC miniseries, each episode is 1.5 hours, so there is lots of him.

      And thank you for the tattoo love! It’s so much bolder and bigger than I had initially planned, but I am completely enamored with it. :D

  3. Steph says:

    Love this entry. What a great idea to include what you’re watching and reading. I may have to steal this (and give you credit, of course).
    Congrats on all your victories this past week and all the best for the coming week.
    Very nice ink, by the way.
    Enjoy the movie. My hubby and I will be seeing it before too long.
    Steph recently posted..May 6 ROW Check-inMy Profile

  4. Jennette Marie Powell says:

    Your tattoo is beautiful! I never liked them until I met my husband, and saw them as real artwork for the first time. This is the same top-notch quality his guy does! Congrats! And good job getting the words down and the prepwork for more. Have a great week!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..ROW80: New BeginningsMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Jennette, thank you! And I know what you mean about seeing tattoos as artwork. It took me a long while to appreciate them, and now that I’ve gotten my first, I think I might be *slightly* addicted. :D

      Have a wonderful week as well!

      • Donna says:

        hopefully that tat isn’t the real deal most Maori and Samoan people frown on ouiedtsrs doing real tribal tats because the tats are spiritual and tell a family history. It is really disrespectful to their culture its kind of like a white guy wearing black face. But there are some symbols and designs that can be used without offense.

  5. Nadja Notariani says:

    Love that body art, Lena! And the quote, too. My two oldest (both daughters..now 22 and 20) each got a tattoo of their choosing (oldest got a heart with a tree growing out of it – next darling daughter got two anchors on either hip connected with a chain- newly accepted into Annapolis!!) but they got a matching quote that I like…It goes something like ‘All of those feelings, those yesterday feelings….’ Anyway… your quote reminded me of that.
    Nadja Notariani recently posted..Eleven Random Questions And Writing A BookMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Awww, your daughters have matching quotes? I LOVE that idea, though I’m not sure I could talk my sister into doing it — our tastes are way too different.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nadja!

  6. Lynnette Conroy says:

    Love the idea of a tattoo on the writing arm. And what a perfect sentiment for a writer to wear. Sounds like you’re having a good week, and I hope the upcoming one goes as well. Take care!

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Thanks so much, Lynette! I knew my writing friends would be able to appreciate the quote (my family has been kinda scratching their heads over it, trying to figure out exactly what it means, lol). Hope your week to come is wonderful as well!

  7. Gene Lempp says:

    Lovely tattoo, the peacock feather is a beautiful touch. Great job on the writing front as well, so obviously the tattoo is working its magic.

    Have a fantastic week, Lena and best of luck with setting up your committee meetings :)
    Gene Lempp recently posted..ROW of EightMy Profile

  8. Lauren Garafalo says:

    HOLY COW, I didn’t know you were getting your tattoo already!! It’s absolutely gorgeous! Glad your week went so well. Make those darn appointments so we can all celebrate with you when it’s done – you’re almost there! Awesome that you shared what’s been entertaining you because now I have new things to add to the to read/to watch lists! Wishing you a lovely week with ALL the productivity :D
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..Too Young for MargaritasMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Aaaack, I know, I feel like I waited soooo long for the tattoo appointment, and it finally showed up, and bam! And I’m glad to know that the reading/watching lists are useful. I’ll be sure to keep adding them. :D

  9. Kat Morrisey says:

    First, great job on your goals and all that writing–yay!!!!! *cheers and throws glitter* Second, the tattoo is gorgeous! You are so brave–I’d have cried like a baby…and that would be before I even made it to the tattoo parlor!! :) I will have to check out that show, Zen, and the book! Cause I need more on my to be read list of course, lol! Good luck this week with your goals!
    Kat Morrisey recently posted..I Can See The Light….My Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Seriously, I think I had nightmares for 2 weeks straight before the tattoo appointment because I was so ridiculously stressed out, but I’m glad I just went through with it. And you MUST watch Zen! The ‘behind-the-scenes featurette on the dvd is amazing, because they show all these gorgeous shots of Italy.

  10. Juliana Haygert says:

    Gorgeous tattoo! I have two tattoos and plan on getting a third one that is writing-related whenever I sign my first contract or get published ;)
    6 days of exercise! Way to go!
    Great check-in. And, even if you weren’t online that much, that’s fine. Actually, I think it’s great … sometimes we need a break from the online life.
    Here’s to another great week!
    Juliana Haygert recently posted..#ROW80 Check-in 05/06My Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Great plan for the 3rd tattoo, Juliana! I had had this fleeting idea about waiting till I published a book, but I realized I was way too impatient. :P And you’re right about unplugging a bit here and there — definitely a necessity.

  11. Kate C. says:

    I’ve never read those books, but the fact that you’d get a tattoo in honor of them, makes me want to read them. Just to see what all the fuss is about!

    So are the peacock feathers in honor of your book?
    Kate C. recently posted..I Must Have Been HighMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Yes, that’s right — there’s all sorts of peacock imagery in the fantasy novel that I’m working on, so I wanted to invoke that. And I really do recommend POSSESSION. There’s so much to it, and it really is beautifully written overall.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Jayrod Garrett says:

    Wow, I love the Tattoo and the idea behind it Lena. I think that is awesome. By the time you read this you’ll have seen the Avengers and know how completely awesome it really is. It was worth waiting for and I think there are some really awesome storytelling that we can learn from in that movie too.

    Good luck with your goals for this week. You’re making great progress so keep it up!
    Jayrod Garrett recently posted..Religion Interviews #1: A Modern SaintMy Profile

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Thanks so much, Jayrod! And yesssss, The Avengers! I am DYING to see it again… and again… and again, lol. I think the storytelling and the script are absolutely amazing (and how can you go wrong with Whedon?). Good stuff!

  13. Karen McFarland says:

    Hi Lena! Wow girl, you don’t fool around. You really did it! And you sound so happy that I’m happy for you! Things are falling into place for you and you are achieving your goals. That’s fantastic! How did you know that I like Rufus Sewell? Absolutely handsome! Just don’t tell me that he’s taking the place of our beloved Hugh! :)

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Haha, I can’t believe I did it either! But I’m seriously in love with it.

      Rufus Sewell is one of the “alternates” on my list of favorite men, but Hugh will always have the top spot. :D :D

    • Lena Corazon says:

      Thanks, Marcy! I’ve been trying to figure out spots for my next tattoos as well. The spot I’ve chosen for this one isn’t *too* overt, and I can hide it with long sleeves if need be, but I have to stay somewhat inconspicuous (although I do have colleagues with large chest and neck tattoos, and really large piercings).

  14. Claire says:

    You sound so happy that I’m happy for you! Things are falling into place for you and you are achieving your goals. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Claire recently posted..Tips To Get PregnantMy Profile

  15. Gisele says:

    The tattoo is just unique! I have never tried having a tattoo for myself and I am planning to have one yet I am not sure what and where to have it..

  16. Rudrajit says:

    “There’s nothing like listening to a swelling chorus of birdsong and basking in the sunlight to start my day off right.”

    I agree with you in this one. There is more to it than being able to exercise by hitting the road early in the morning.

  17. Chris Kelworth says:

    Fun stuff! I’ve been doing pretty well, working on my ‘How to Revise a Novel’ course, trying to get some new short stories out, getting ready for Camp Nanowrimo and the CSSF Writer’s workshop this summer.

    I’m also starting an interview series for Dojo Ninjas, and I’m looking for some ninja writers to interview for my Ninja spotlight series. If you’re interested, go to http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/im-looking-for-a-few-good-ninjas/ to find out more!

    Is there something wonky with the ‘recently posted’ links? A lot of the ones I see in the comments above seem to be spam that don’t have anything to do with the lovely writers who’ve been commenting. :(
    Chris Kelworth recently posted..When you play this game, you win or you dieMy Profile

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