Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Starting Fresh With Strength, Courage & Wisdom


January 7th marks the start of a new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days, “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.” For those of you looking for more information about the challenge, you can find it here.

I’m waving a wildly enthusiastic hello to all my old ROW80 friends, and offering the warmest of welcomes to all the new folks joining in on this round. This community is one of the most supportive and welcoming that I’ve found online, and is one of the reasons that I’m participating in my 7th (!!!!) round.

For anyone who may have missed my first post of the year, I’ve declared that 2013 will be my year to “stop the cray.” I’m pulling the plug on negative thinking, nasty energy, and all the habits that cause me to sabotage my own success.

To aid me on this journey, I’m blasting my anthem song for the year, “Strength, Courage, and Wisdom,” by India.Arie. As she sings,

It’s time to step out on faith, I’ve gotta show my face
It’s been elusive for so long but freedom is mine today
I’ve gotta step out on faith, it’s time to show my face
Procrastination had me down but look what I have found

With a little strength, courage, and wisdom in my life, I’m launching myself towards two giant goals for the year: (1) completing (at least) one novel and (2) finishing the first draft of my dissertation.

I won’t lie. Just typing those giant goals makes me want to do this:

supernatural-shockBut if there’s anything I’ve learned with ROW80, it’s that identifying small, achievable goals goes a long way to helping me conquer seemingly insurmountable tasks. With that in mind, here are my overall goals for Round 1:


  • Finish dissertation proposal and have quarterly meeting with committee
  • Complete preliminary archival research at 4 out of 6 locations
  • Continue to write rough sketches of research memos based on collected data


  • Write 2-3 poems each week
  • Revisit TELL ME NO LIES and THE PEACOCK QUEEN; identify what needs to be tweaked/fixed/written in order to finish first drafts
  • Figure out Ultimate Editing Battle Plan (and which novel I feel like hanging out with–or if the answer to this question is “both”)


  • Write 1 ROW80 check-in post each Sunday, along with 2 non-ROW80 posts each week
  • Respond to all blog comments
  • Use weekends for catching up with Google Reader, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Visit 10 blogs each week to read, comment, and promote posts


  • Journal daily
  • Read 1 novel each week
  • Unplug when necessary

So there you have it, folks! Is everyone feeling rested and ready to go? Anything special y’all are looking forward to this year?

Tell me all about it in the comments, and be sure to swing by and wave hello to everyone else participating this round.

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  1. LOL at the gif! Love that!

    You seem to have a great plan to get where you need to be for your year end goals. And I love your theme song and such a fantastic message! (Have listened to it over and over (and over!) already this morning! 🙂 ) Good luck and have a great week!!
    Kat Morrisey recently posted..And We Begin At The BeginningMy Profile

    • Bwahaha, I am in LOVE with that gif. It is one of the things I just watch on loop if I’m in a bad mood–after a couple of minutes, I’m laughing so hard that I’m usually able to forget what I was upset about. 😛 And I am so glad you like the song! It was one of those things that dropped into my life unexpectedly, and I realized that it was the perfect thing to get me into gear.

      Have a great week, Kat!

  2. That gif is the best!
    Stop the cray … now, that’s a thing!
    Sounds like you have all under control 😉 Good luck!
    Juliana Haygert recently posted..Author Spotlight: Renita PizzitolaMy Profile

    • I was just telling Kat above that I kinda stop looking at the gif. So. Much. Goodness. Supernatural has my heart forever and ever.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Juliana!

  3. Love the song! Love your goals. Love the last: unplug when necessary. Think I’m going to do a bit of unplugging myself this round. I definitely feel rested and ready to go and hoping for completed drafts on two of my novels this year.

    Wishing you all the best in this round and in 2013!
    Melanie recently posted..Back in the Groove…My Profile

  4. Lena –

    There is so much good here, Lena, and I have little doubt that you can do it, in a way that avoids the cray, and makes you even more vibrantly YOU in the process…and I will be here, cheering you on…..and finding inspiration, too! =D
    Shan Jeniah Burton recently posted..WinterludeMy Profile

  5. I should apologize ahead of time, but after seeing that gif, and knowing how nervous I am (and would be even moreso in your place) to make new “commitments” (even ones to myself) after some of the stumbling in the past year…

    Well, Dr. Seuss took over and made me write this to reassure us all:

    In the deep dark woods of Fray
    lives a tremendous beast called the Cray
    whose howls can be heard all night and all day
    coming from everywhich direction
    even this way and that way.

    For many a season and many a day,
    the beast has prowled on and caused much dismay
    to the hardworking and thoughtful people of Fray.
    It feasts upon dreams,does the the beast called the Cray
    it gorges on those, but never on hay

    The people of Fray have found a way
    a treacherous path, through dangers unbounded they say.
    A way to avoid the Cray, at least during the day…
    At night you need sugar and coffee and things to create on
    You need to build dreams and place to play,
    you need to be strong to hold back the Cray.

    Eden Mabee recently posted..I must have blinked…My Profile

  6. Emily Jean Roche

    January 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Yes! What a great, inspirational song. Music really helps inspire my writing, too.
    Emily Jean Roche recently posted..A Round of Words in 80 Days: GoalsMy Profile

    • Isn’t it, Emily? And I agree–I am ALL about making the perfect playlist to fuel my writing. Nothing like good music to get me in the zone. 😀

  7. Good luck for the coming round. Some great goals there. I love the song too. I am my own worse enemy and can self sabotage like crazy so that song is being added to my playlist. 🙂 x
    Laura recently posted..2013 – A Round of Words in 80 Days – Round 1.My Profile

  8. Great goal post, Lena!! I’m glad to see you have a plan. I have somewhat of a plan and am working on making it a real one lol. Perfect song!! And seriously, Eden’s poem, you need that on your wall <3 So happy to be row80ing and #wipvanquish ing with you again this round!!
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..Something New For 2013My Profile

  9. I took a break from Facebook and Twitter over the holidays, along with some time off the day job. It really did help relax me – I even had fewer headaches that week and a half!

    You have some ambitious goals this year Lena, and I’ve no doubt that you’ll complete them! You’ve done a great job breaking them into baby steps for the week, and you know how much I love those. Good luck!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Blasting off for 2013My Profile

    • Oh, I am so happy to hear that you gave yourself a social media break, Jennette. There is nothing like unplugging for a bit to get us centered and relaxed again.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a good week!

  10. Yea on emphasizing positive thoughts! Working on my way of thinking has helped me so much — good luck!

    Have a wonderful 2013 and a great Round of words!
    Ruth Nestvold recently posted..A new round of goals for the new yearMy Profile

  11. very positive – like it – cray is new to me but I get the idea from Eden’s splendid poem:) hadn’t heard the song before but those lyrics should be on all our playlists – all the best with those goals:)
    alberta ross recently posted..Hopeful Goals for 2013:alberta’s over reaching.My Profile

    • Seriously, I think Eden’s poem is the best comment I’ve ever received. 😛

      Thanks for stopping by, Alberta. Hope you’ve had a good first week of the round!

  12. Lots of goals from you chica but I would expect nothing less! Carefully thought out and achieveable so I have no doubt you will succeed!

    The cray. Love how this is becoming a thing and that gif is amazing! Makes me giggle every time I look at it! Have an amazing week!
    Em recently posted..ROW80 2013 Round One GoalsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, lovely! And I knowwwww, with that gif at hand, I feel like I should never have to feel sad ever again. 😛

      Hope your week has gone well!

  13. It is always grand to read you. You inspire and delight me always. I love the novel goal. I read novels VERY rarely. I almost put a novel goal on my list but chose poetry instead. I did the whole word drunk thing at the library – talk about cray cray cray by imbibing on not one not two but three collections of unfamiliar poetry. :~)

    I love that intention, too, stopping the cray. My daughter, Emma, would especially love it!

    Looking forward, as always, to row row row with you!
    Julie Jordan Scott recently posted..The Importance of One on One Time with Your Children – Special Days: Long Ago and NowMy Profile

    • Ah, Julie, that means so much coming from you! And yes, the novels, I think, are a necessity for my mental health… The only problem is that once I start, I find it very difficult to stop reading. I am trying to hold myself back, but my self-control has never been very strong. 😛

  14. That gif cracked me up 🙂 (even though I don’t watch the show lol) Those sound like pretty good goals (and I can relate to the terror of the academic goals haha) but I reckon you’ll make it. Good luck 😀
    Rebecca J Fleming recently posted..Art Supply Testing: Watercolour PaintsMy Profile

  15. Your list of goals sounds good and your gif made me laugh 🙂 Looking forward to sprinting with you on Twitter! And best of luck with your goals!
    EM Castellan recently posted..ROW80 Round 1 – Goals!My Profile

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