Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: A New Name, and Some Plotting

ROWers, the end of Round 3 is almost upon us! Here’s my short recap for the past few days:

  • The Grand Name Change happens at midnight! If you see “Lena Corazon” pop up on your Twitter feed, don’t be alarmed — it’s just me. In order to ease the transition as much as possible, I’ll be using WordPress’s site redirect service. This means that anyone who heads to jamilajamison.wordpress.com will automatically be sent to the new site (which should be lenacorazon.wordpress.com, unless someone steals it from me before midnight). So hopefully people don’t get too confused, but I’ll have a sticky announcement up on my front page with an explanation, just in case. For my Writers’ Campaign folks, I’ll send an announcement to Rach so she can put it on Friday’s announcement board.
  • I’ve returned to edits for TELL ME NO LIES in earnest. I plan to dig into the suspense and thriller aspects of the novel, tweaking the murder plot and adding in the details of the police investigation (this involves research into 19th century forensic techniques — fun!). I’m also putting on my sociologist’s cap, trying to consider the larger political and social ramifications presented by the novel’s main conflict: a serial killer is preying upon “ladies of the stage” in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. While these ramifications will play out in the background of the tale, they will, of course, have a major impact on my protagonists and their attempts to hunt down the killer.
  • I continue to make time for reading. I’m about halfway through Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, a book that seems to defy genre. I’ve heard it described variously as “post-cyberpunk,” “futuristic steampunk,” and “math fiction.” I’ll just say that it is speculative fiction at its best, and presents a futuristic world where nanotechnology is the norm, nation-states have been replaced by a proliferation of tiny city-states/semi-sovereign communities, and “Anglo-Americans” have returned to elements of Victorian culture in the form of dress, aesthetics, and etiquette. Stephenson is one of the most amazing masters of world-building, so I am simultaneously taking notes, marveling at his skill, and, of course, enjoying the story.
  • Finally, I’m obsessed with The Civil Wars, an awesome folksy music duo that’s making some gorgeousΒ music. Adele apparently went to one of their concerts and declared that it was the greatest live show she had ever attended. I’ll have a chance to test this claim, as they’re coming to Santa Barbara in November. They’re offering one of their live albums for free download, along with their first single, “Barton Hollow,” is available for free download, but I’m going to share “To Whom It May Concern” with you. It’s my favorite song off the album (the lyrics resonate with my inner hopeless romantic), and I’ve been listening to it non-stop.

I’m also considering the slate of fall writing courses that have surfaced online, including Tiffany Lawson Inman’s The Triple Threat Behind Staging a Scene, and Kristen Lamb’s class onΒ Blogging To Build Your Brand. I’d like to do them both, but I’m trying to be careful with what I add to my plate, since this is going to be a busy fall quarter. But we’ll see! It’s hard to pass up two incredibly amazing opportunities like these. πŸ˜€

That’s about it for me. Check in with the rest of the intrepid ROW80 cohort here, and cheer them on as we enter the final stretch of this round.


  1. Jamila -ooops I mean Lena πŸ˜€ what a lovely update. Plotting for ‘Tell Me No Lies’ sounds like fun, certainly seems it will keep you occupied -as does the online course you are looking into -I’ll be doing the class Tiffany Lawson is tutoring in October -would be great to have you as a classmate -albeit across the ocean! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing The Civil Wars, I really enjoyed that.

    • Glad you liked the song! And yes, I am definitely considering Tiffany’s class. I could use all the help I can get when it comes to building conflict and tension in this story. πŸ˜€ Looking forward to chatting about plot twists and such with you and the rest of the iCrit girls.

      Have a lovely week!

  2. Good luck with your name change. Sounds like you have your ducks in a row. πŸ™‚

  3. Sounds like you are still going well with you and I will try to get used to Lena! The research for TELL ME NO LIES sounds great. Hope you have another great week!

    • Thanks! And I have no preference for being called either Lena or Jamila. I’ll of course refer to myself as Lena around the blogosphere, but feel free to choose either one. I’m not too picky. πŸ˜€

  4. So, do we call you Lena from now on? The book you’re reading sounds fantastic btw πŸ™‚

    • I highly recommend the book! It’s definitely an adventure, and Stephenson has a very wry, humorous tone that I enjoy. It’s something that really shines through in this book, as one of the characters is a young girl who is physically abused. While he doesn’t trivialize her experiences, he takes the dark stuff and uses it to propel her forward, if that makes any sense.

      Also, feel free to call me either Lena or Jamila. I’m not particular either way. πŸ˜€

  5. Sounds like you are doing very well. This is an encouraging post. Congrats on the progress of the pen name. That is exciting. Enjoy the research, sounds very interesting! And thanks for sharing the music. It is nice and calming. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Wendy! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the song. It’s been really good writing/study music for me, because it’s pretty unobtrusive. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  6. Nice update. I just finished Kristen’s class and it is fantastic. Definitely try to fit it in if you can.

  7. Do I get to keep calling you Jamila? Probably not. :: pout :: But Lena is a ditzy pop celeb here in Germany …

    Good luck on filling out the crime aspects of your novel. Sounds like fun. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week!

    • Nope, feel free to keep calling me Jamila (especially if there is a ditzy pop star named Lena dashing about in Germany) if you prefer.

      Thanks for swinging by, Ruth!

  8. Hi Jamila~
    I just added you to my blogroll, so I’ll be sure to update to your new wordpress address as soon as it comes up.
    The Civil Wars song was beautiful. I’m going to send my daughter (who is in FL in the Navy right now) a text telling her about it. She will adore this song, I’m sure.
    You make these classes sound so interesting/building/stretching that I want to join! But I need to be careful. I have a terrible tendency to overwhelm myself with ‘busy-ness’ until I’m getting no joy out of any of the things that I love. I think I’ll have to tell myself no.
    Good luck with your edits and research this week. ~ Nadja

    • Perfect! The site redirect should be in place for 12 months, I think, so that gives you time to switch up the blogroll address. Thanks for adding me on there.

      I know what you mean in terms of overwhelming yourself. I think I’m going to hold off on signing up for things until I have syllabi for all of my courses in hand, and have a better sense of what I need to do this quarter. There’s no use in over-burdening myself right now, because I’d like to actually be able to enjoy the next few months. πŸ˜€

      Have a lovely week!

  9. Sounds good, all of it! Thanks for the update vis a vis the name change – I’ll be sure to update my favourites list.


  10. Why the pen name? Seems to me like the alliteration of your real name would sell well and be easy to remember?

    • It was a hard decision to make, especially because I really like my real name. But given my professional life, and the fact that hiring committees are google-searching applicants more than ever, I figured I should keep my two personas separate, at least as far as the internet is concerned. ‘Sides, I also work with college students, and I’m not 100% sure I want everyone knowing what I’m up to when I’m, say, supposed to be grading papers. :/

  11. I am so proud of you, Jamila!! And delighted that I don’t have to stop calling you that. πŸ™‚

    You are making leaps and bounds every single time I check on you…GO, GIRL!!

  12. You are doing fantastic, Lena (may take me a bit to smooth that out because I immediately think the other name; creatures of habit).

    The Diamond Age sounds interesting. I love when books defy genre, or at least some marketers OCD desire to categorize everything. I will have to give it a look.

    Have a great week. All the best πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for dropping by, Gene, and please, feel free to use either name.

      Stephenson is a great example of someone who’s been able to write books that just sprawl all over the place — in the best of ways, of course. But he does this amazing job with worldbuilding, and weaving intricate plots, and crafting vivid characters. Makes me a little jealous. πŸ˜€

  13. You are very busy- and getting stuff done- I just feel busy and my to do list doesn’t have much scratched off of it.

    • I know that feeling well. All of this playing about with websites and blogs and whatnot is really only a side note on my to-do list. There are ALL these other things I should be doing instead, sadly. So you’re not alone, Alica! Hang in there!

  14. So how do you make time for reading? What do you give up in order to do that? (Dying to know!)
    — Kate, Beginner Blogger campaigner

    • Haha, I have to admit, lately it seems like I’ve been giving up on sleep, which I don’t recommend. I’ve also, er, been less than diligent when it comes to getting my schoolwork done. Once my fall semester starts, though, I think I’ll be back on a normal schedule. One of the tricks I tried last school year was to read something fun each night before bed, even if it was only for 30 minutes. The nice thing was that it helped me to unwind, but the downside was that I usually ended up reading for longer than 30 minutes, and (once again) not going to sleep.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kate!

  15. I have trouble remembering names – can recognize faces – but your name had a nice soft look to it – shame it’s going but as long as you keep your face there i’ll find you – like listening to civil war but she’s swaying too much for me to watch made me sick sick – but listen oh yes grat background esp if writing softer scenes – all the best for this week

    • Thanks for stopping by, Alberta! Yes, I think I’ve succeeded in streamlining my photo on all my various social networking sites, so you should still be able to find me.

      Have a wonderful week!

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