Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80 Check-In: Chilling Out

Many, many thanks for all of the responses to my last check-in post. All of the support, advice, and hugs were most appreciated. You are all incredible!

In more blog award news, Gene Lempp and Heather over at My Demon Spirits passed the Liebster onto me, and on Monday I also received Appreciated Follower award from Marie Andrews.  Both Gene and Marie have been wonderful friends over the past few months that I’ve participated in ROW80, and I’m quite grateful to them both. Heather is a new friend that I’ve made through the Writers’ Campaign, and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.

I love seeing all of these blog awards going around — it gives me a really lovely sense of community. Gene’s latest post provides an excellent discussion about the importance of blog awards, which I highly recommend checking out. In addition, Marie’s latest short story, “Iron Butterfly,” is available over at Nevermet Press, so swing by and read that as well. Finally, Heather’s delightfully creepy flash fic for our Campaign challenge is up, and you all must check it out.

I have done my best to chill out over the past few days. Not focusing on the WIP has helped me to feel a little less pressured, though I will admit that I am starting to go through withdrawal. I peeked at TELL ME NO LIES the other night, and had one of those lovely serendipitous moments where I thought, “Wow, I wrote this?” It is raw, it is unpolished, it is a bit like a diamond in the rough, but I might be able to get a decent novel out of it at some point. 😀

Here are some other things I’ve done this week:

  • Spent time with family. Monday was Labor Day, and my aunt and uncle’s 30th anniversary, so my dad’s entire family went out for lunch at a local Asian buffet. I was able to nourish the Filipina in me with lots of tasty food and good times with the fambam, who I rarely see since I’ve moved away.
  • Blogged. I think I am finally getting into the swing of this blogging business, and I feel like my voice is starting to come through. It looks like my Monday Inspirations posts are going to be steampunk-oriented for the next few weeks, as I explore various aspects of steam technology (this is a weakness in my current WIP, so the blog series doubles as a way for me to get some research done). Yesterday’s “Things I Love Tuesday” was devoted to my favorite hot men of history, and I think next week’s will focus on my favorite hot men of literature. I plan to devote my Friday Free-For-All posts for the next few weeks to the various trends in Fall fashion, because I love clothes, and I need to do some research before I start shopping for my fall wardrobe. So, again, killing two birds with one stone. It’s all about efficiency, people! 😀
  • Wrote some flash fic. Still haven’t finished my entry for Dice Games, but, “Broken Promises,” my wee 200 word drabble for the Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, is up.  There are over 250 entries at the moment (!!!), so there is absolutely no way that I will have time to read them. I’ll be cheering on my various groupmates, as well as my ROW80 friends, but I’ll have to cut things off there or else I’ll spread myself way too thin.
  • Did some reading. I finally finished reading Lindsay Buroker’s “Ice Cracker II,” a free collection of short stories I picked up on Amazon (the Kindle app on my Windows phone is seriously the best thing ever). Better yet, I read Nadja Notariani’s Claiming the Prize, which I loved. I’ll be posting up a review on Goodreads in the next few days, but I thought it was a great read — excellent fight scenes, tender-hearted romance, and steamy sexytimes.

Less than two weeks remain before I head back to school, so I’ll be focusing on fixing up the thesis in the hopes of getting closer to finishing my first draft. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell was wonderful and pointed me towards an academic writing group that’s starting up a new challenge. I’m hoping that the weekly check-ins will keep me motivated to get my thesis finished and defended by Christmas.

Plans to adopt my pen name are still in place, and will take effect sometime in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got a tumblr account ready to go (where I will post pretty pictures and things that inspire my work), along with a new Goodreads account and G+ profile (Facebook is coming along). The only slight awkwardness I’m grappling with concerns my twitter account, as I still have a handful of sociology folks following me. Not sure what they will think when they peek at their feed to see “Lena Corazon” blabbing about novels and writing. On the other hand, abandoning my current account and starting a new one feels like so much work.  Meh.

Finally, I offer this absolutely hai-larious video of the “next big thing” since planking and owling: Batmanning. *snickers* I think these guys over at Purdue have way too much time on their hands.

Hoping that all of my U.S.-based friends enjoyed Monday’s holiday, and that everyone else is doing well.  Not too long to go before Round 3 is over, so swing by and wave hello to the other ROWers here!


  1. Oh, that’s such a great feeling – when you step away from your story only to come back and find you love it. Yay!

  2. Doing great on your goals, Jamila. Batmanning looks hilarious, never ceases to amaze me the ways people will come with to entertain themselves. Thanks much for the mentions, I’m still surprised at the feedback I’ve gotten from my awards piece, mostly positive (which I’m glad for).

    Have a great rest of the week and my best wishes for your thesis 🙂

    • Thanks, Gene! It’s so funny — the only thing I can think whenever I see that Batmanning video is “that looks really dangerous.” Needless to say, I am not much of a daredevil.

      Hope your week has gone well!

  3. Isn’t that wonderful feeling, when you realize it all isn’t just a pile of smelly stuff after all, like you were feeling about halfway through? *g* (That’s what invariably happens to me at least!)

    Good luck with the new goals and have a great rest of the week. 🙂

    • Yes, exactly! By the end of August, I was really convinced that everything was terrible and would have to be thrown out. Right now it looks like I’ll be able to keep most of everything, albeit with lots of polishing, but that’s better than nothing.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ruth!

  4. You know, I love those little moments that you spoke of when you read over something you wrote and you think: “Hey, wow – this isn’t half bad!”

    Sounds like you had a relaxing few of days. Good for you! Best of luck on your thesis. Also? Your efficiency is awesome! I look forward to learning more about steam technology right along with you! 😉

    • Yay, glad to hear that you’re excited about the steampunk posts. I’ve been learning lots of really fantastic things about steam-powered and clock-powered robots for Monday’s post, so I am looking forward to sharing.

  5. Congrats on your blog awards, they are fun, aren’t they? And they do inspire a sense of community, which is really what blogging is all about.

    Sounds like we had similar weekends with the family get togethers. And it sounds like you made great progress this week!

    • It’s so funny — when I started blogging, I was hoping to be able to interact with people, but I really underestimated the bonds that I would make along the way. I’m definitely grateful for ROW80 and the other communities that I’ve fallen into.

      Hope you have a great weekend, Erin!

  6. Wait! I somehow missed a ‘hot-men-of-history-post’? I’ll be searching that out! Ha!
    I just have to say, your pen name is fantastic. Lena is such a great name, and paired with Corazon, well, you’re sure to be easily searchable.

    About four months to go in thesis prep, I see! You’re almost there! As for your ‘Free-For-All-Friday’ posts that are upcoming – I can’t wait! Over the last year, I have worked toward some fitness goals, which lured me to start adding new clothes to my wardrobe! I didn’t really lose any weight, but I lost about 5 inches! My oldest daughter calls it ‘sass-i-fying’ my wardrobe…ha! All of a sudden, I like buying clothes/shoes/shoes/oh, wait, did I mention shoes….and boots!
    I cannot say how much I appreciate your taking the time to read ‘Claiming The Prize’ so quickly after I published it! I’m certain that with school/thesis/writing/blogging/family/life…you are so busy. Being shortlisted on your TBR pile was great. And, of course, I am so glad you enjoyed it! (Grins like Ralphie’s father from ‘A Christmas Story’ when he discovers he’s a ‘major-award-winner’) Ha!
    I read your review of ‘Ice-Cracker II’, the collection of short stories. I may have to add that to my TBR pile…heaped though it is. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jamila! ~ Nadja

    • Ohhhhh, boots. Those are definitely my downfall. I’ve got a pair of purple, thigh-high ultra-suede boots that I am in LOVE with, and I have been eyeing more. I am trying very hard to work off the extra weight I gained over the past few months (when I was, er, supposed to be losing weight), so hopefully once I shed a few inches, I can go a little wild in the stores.

      It was such a pleasure to read your book! Also, I definitely recommend “Ice-Cracker II” — it’s pretty short, but there’s lots packed into each mini-tale.

      Have a great weekend as well!

  7. Congrats on staying focused on your goals. I love those moments where I read my MS and find myself really enjoying it.
    Batmanning- very funny but how do they get up their?

    • Thanks, Alica! And I have to admit, I’ve got no clue how those guys manage to get themselves up there. I keep thinking that someone’s going to fall down and get seriously injured. :p It is the overly-responsible, maternal side of me, lol.

  8. Looking forward to getting through the academic writing group with you, Jamila! And thank you for the mention!

    The Batman video is hilarious–it scares the heck out of the maternal side of me, but still I have to chuckle. Too much time, indeed!

  9. Congrats on the blog awards. Isn’t it lovely to have someone recognize your blog and ask you to go recognize others. I love it! And the best part of writing is when you have the wow-I-wrote-that moments, so congrats.

    I loved the Campaign flash fiction challenge… way too many to read, though. I jumped over and read yours… so sad. You did an amazing job with 200 words.

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