Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: A Quickie Check-in

This is a quick check-in, as I’m getting ready to head out to a Halloween party.  Yes, my friends talked me into abandoning my plans to watch scary movies and work on my NaNoWriMo outline, and I’ve somehow cobbled together a “costume.” I’m going as a high-glam version of myself. This involves a cocktail dress (the final decision on which cocktail dress to be made sometime in the next hour), my favorite pair of black patent leather platform heels, a mini top hat fascinator, and lace gloves and stockings.  I’m currently grumbling about how this party better be worth my time, but I know that once I get there and fall into my “yay, people!” vibe, it’ll be grand.

As far as my goals go, I’m coming along fairly well.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Writing: Parts 2 and 3 of my NaNo novel are outlined, and I’ve identified the goals I need to reach for the climax and Part 4 to make sense. I’m hoping to take a little time in the next 2 days to finalize a list of characters and places, a family tree or two (why in the world I chose to write a sweeping fantasy novel that involves tons of royal families, I’ll never know), and to do a few last-minute character profiles.
  • Thesis: I’ve made a “battleplan” for finalizing my first draft by mid-December. I’ve started working on the outline, which is a ton of fun, and I’ve also given the thesis a temporary title: “‘Money Can’t Buy You Class’: Symbolic Capital, Etiquette, and the White Wedding.” Yes, that’s a reference to the absolutely horrible (but addicting) song from “Countess” Luann of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City, and yes, I am going to reference the song in the introduction. *snicker* Gotta make academic writing fun somehow.
  • Exercise: Ugggh, I’ve done so badly here. I worked out 2 times this week, which is nowhere near my goal of 4-5 times a week. I’d like to say that there’s a great excuse for why I wasn’t able to get this done, but it’s really just sheer laziness.  :/

A preview of coming attractions:

As many of you know, I took a little time off from regular blog posts (beyond ROW80 checkins) to reevaluate my blogging strategy.  I’m happy to say that I’ve landed on a schedule that I *think* will work well. I’ll be blogging on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a single ROW80 check-in post on Sunday (unless I find a way to combo my Wedneday post with a check-in; we’ll see how that goes).

I’m still toying with theme days, but at the moment I think I’m going to return to the idea of Monday Inspirations.  Instead of focusing on things that inspire my fiction (the original goal of Monday Inspirations), I’ll be talking about inspiration on a broader level. Wednesdays will involve some form of things I love/like/am currently obsessed with (right now I’ve dubbed them Wicked Wednesdays, in a ‘favorite vices’ sort of way), and Fridays will be Fiction Fridays, where I talk about my WIPs and other writing-related topics.

That’s my week in review! For those of you looking for posts about NaNoWriMo, I highly recommend checking out the latest mashup that Em and I have thrown together. Also, as a reminder, the first check-ins for our Fun Not Fear! gang will begin on Friday. Fellow WriMos, stop by and share your progress; cheerleaders and supporters, swing by and give us a wave.  Finally, looks like the NaNo website has launched the “writing buddies” section. Feel free to friend me, and don’t forget to share yours on our Fun Not Fear! linky, if you so desire.


  1. Hope you enjoyed the halloween party! Well done on the goal progress, shame about the exercise but I think everyone gets that lazy vibe at times, lol, I’m sure you’ll get back into the swing of it! The blogging schedule sounds good, hope it goes to plan 🙂
    Sharon Howard recently posted..ROW80 8th Check-in – One month down!!My Profile

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! Yes, the party was enjoyable — fun to see everyone in costume and having a good time. I’m hoping I can get back on my workout routine tomorrow morning. 😀

      Have a wonderful week!

  2. I feel your pain on the thesis front. My supervisor is breathing down my neck for a completed draft of mine by Monday next week, and since I have an exam, a tutorial to teach and several full day shifts at work, that’s going to be an… exciting challenge lol I admire you for at least getting some NaNo work done; I haven’t even touched my novel in about a month, but I’m looking forward to getting into NaNo once I’ve finished my thesis. Have fun at the party 😀
    Rebecca J Fleming recently posted..ROW80 Round 4 – 3rd UpdateMy Profile

    • Rebecca, I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one in this boat! I know that juggling routine well — hang in there! I’m sure you can get it done. 😀

  3. Have fun at the party, do plenty of dancing to make up for the exercise goal, and congrats on all the progress you’ve made. Best of luck with nano.
    Katy Bennett recently posted..Row80 – Round 4 – Check in 8My Profile

    • Dancing, what a wonderful idea! Sadly, this was more of a mix-and-mingle party, but I should be back to my workout routine tomorrow morning!

      Have a wonderful week, Katy. 😀

  4. Enjoy the party. Well done on the writing goals. As for the exercise, there’s always next week 🙂
    Sarah Pearson recently posted..Musical Stories 17: FantasyMy Profile

  5. hope the party was fun fun fun – good luck over next few days with that thesis deadline – and looking foward to seeing you on nano – all the best

  6. I did not meet my exercise goals this week either, Lena. We’ll get there next week, right? Ha. I’m going to cook and bake today, so I’d better get my butt in gear on the walking!

    Scaling back on the blogging makes sense with all that you have going on in academia. Better to limit yourself so that what you do endeavor gets your absolute best. ‘Things done by halves are never done right.’ – ha!

    I have to finish up my NaNo planning – well actually naming – today and tomorrow. I’m really excited…and a bit anxious, too. lol. I’ll try to ‘add’ some friends today. So far, I haven’t been able to figure it out. Sigh.
    Nadja Notariani recently posted..Getting It Together…My Profile

    • Yes, next week will be a better one! I’ve been gorging myself on Halloween candy, and I made the tactical error of buying a box of peanut butter cookies yesterday (they have since been dumped in the trash can, lol). But tomorrow the workouts begin again, and I’m hoping that they’ll be a good time for mental centering and some brainstorming.

      I’ll find you on the NaNo website! When you look at someone’s profile, there should be small text to the right of their name that says “add to buddy list.” Click on that, and they should get added.

      Good luck with the naming!

  7. I titled today’s check-in “Motoring Along.” It sounds like you’re doing the same. Good stuff!

    I’m finding working out with my daughter is keeping us both accountable. One of my personal training clients and I walked at our local arena yesterday. I brought handweights so we got a good upper body workout too. Any of your friends want to partner up to exercise?

    All the best with NaNo…and your other goals.

    Have a great week.
    Stephanie recently posted..Motoring AlongMy Profile

    • I’ve been kicking around getting an exercise buddy, though it’s a little difficult these days — all of my friends are on dramatically different schedules, and so finding time to get together can be challenging. I’m going to try really hard this week to get myself out of bed early so I can get my workout finished and done with, so hopefully all the poking and prodding from my ROW friends will help. 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. I know what you mean about parties — the grumbling before, and then being grateful for human contact after. I can get ridiculously caught up in my own world sometimes. (No way!) Your blogging strategies seem quite robust, especially in contrast with my complete lack of strategy. Maybe that’s something I can improve in 2012. Good luck this week, Lena!
    J.R. Pearse Nelson recently posted..Vessel Revised!My Profile

    • I’m SO glad that I’m not the only one who views social events this way. And we’ll see how the blogging business goes — I am notorious at changing my mind, but I promised myself I’d take a month to try things out.

      Good luck to you as well!

  9. I hope the party was worth it 😉 You’re doing great with the writing. Don’t let the lazies get you down. There’s always this week 🙂 Good luck!

  10. Sounds like you had a great week. Glad you made a decision on your blogging schedule. I think you’ve picked good days. And great job on the NaNo outlining. Have fun at the party – you deserve the break:)

    • Stacy, thanks so much. Yes, I think the MWF schedule will be a good one for me — balanced enough so I won’t get *too* overwhelmed with coming up with content.

      Hope you have a great week!

  11. I also hope you enjoyed the Halloween party! Sounds like you had a productive week. Your thesis sounds TOTALLY AWESOME, by the way.

    • Squee, the thesis, the thesis! I actually like it now that it has a title — funny how that happens. Yes, the party was quite lovely, and I am glad that I went out… but now I’m looking forward to hunkering down and tackling NaNo. 😉 I am an impossible homebody.

      Thanks for stopping by, Annalise!

  12. Hope you had fun at the party 🙂

    Sounds like a great week Lena! Keep it up and good luck with NaNo.
    Raelyn Barclay recently posted..Sunday Summary & #ROW80 UpdateMy Profile

  13. I’m not participating in NaNO, but I check out your mashups anyway – there’s a lot of good links there, even for people now joining that party. Thanks for sharing those.

    • Lynnette, I’m so glad you’re checking them out. I was hoping that non-WriMos would peek at them as well, because Em and I have been trying to throw in some general writing-related links as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Sounds like a productive week–Congratulations! I love, love, love the Fun Not Fear site. I can’t say enough how awesome it is and the links you guys have posted are so helpful (especially since I only just got into the planning, or well my version of planning, which is scattered to say the least!) I have to figure out the writing buddies list thingy on NaNo cause so far, all I am is a bit confused about that. Good luck this week!
    Kat Morrisey recently posted..Sunday ROW80 UpdateMy Profile

    • Kat, you’ve totally made my day — I’m SO glad that you’re enjoying the site. Em and I are really excited about starting up the check-in posts, too, so we’ll look forward to seeing how you’re doing on Friday.

      I’ll look you up on the NaNo website. When you view someone’s profile, there’s smaller text to the right of their name that says something like, “add buddy to list.” If you click on it, it’ll add them.

  15. Two days to go!!! Eeeeeek!
    I hope you had a great time at the party and you let your hair down. Let’s face it, November will not be a big party month, well the 30th November hopefully will be!

    Great work on the planning and I hope the next day and a bit of plotting time goes well for you! Fun not Fear! Will be mumbling that in my sleep!
    Em recently posted..ROW80 Check-in 30th OctoberMy Profile

    • Oh gosh, I can only imagine what the end-of-NaNo party will look like! We really are going to deserve a glass of bubbly (or two) to celebrate taking part. 😀

  16. Ooooh, I want pictures of that final Halloween costume!! I love your progress and I can’t wait to enjoy NaNoWriMo with you. 🙂
    Jenny Hansen recently posted..6 Easy Tricks To Increase Your NaNoWriMo Word CountMy Profile

    • Thanks, Jenny! We didn’t end up taking many pictures last night, but if I can find a non-grainy, non-blurry picture, I’ll post it up next Sunday. 😀

  17. Howdy, ROWsista! It sounds like you’ve got the NaNo planning well underway. I will definitely stop by on Fridays to cheer everyone on. I love that you have a “battleplan” for the thesis.

    I’m thinking about the blogging right now, too. I like your categories, but I promise I won’t steal them, lol.

    Now, I wouldn’t be a good ROWsista if I didn’t chastise you (just a little) on the exercising. Just like getting out into the real world (like Jenny, I want to see a picture!), the exercise will make you feel better, give you more energy for NaNo and the other things on your plate. Okay, enough said. You go, girl!
    Elizabeth Mitchell recently posted..Christine de Pizan’s Letter of OthéaMy Profile

    • ROWsista, feel free to use any variation of my blogging categories! They’re definitely not copyrighted. 😉

      And the chastisement is duly-noted! I think the exercise is probably my weakest point in terms of willpower and self-control, etc., so I need all the gentle prodding I can get. 😀

  18. Love your ideas for the new blog focus. Looking forward to reading MWF in addition to ROW80 updates. I usually incorporate a more regular post with ROW80 on Wednesdays, but sometimes it’s a stretch. 😉

    My newest goal: being the best darned ROW80 NaNo cheerleader around. Sending all my best *rahs* to you! 😉
    Tia Bach recently posted..The Results Are In: ROW 80 Check InMy Profile

    • Tia, I’m happy to hear that you find the MWF schedule to be a good idea. And I am LOVING your NaNo cheers — definitely give me momentum to keep writing each day!

  19. So glad you had a good time at the Halloween Party last night! I’m sure it was a great release before the excitement coming this week. The FUN NOT FEAR mash ups have been great – I really enjoy them! How do we “check in” on Friday? Leave a comment? I’m so excited and nervous about Tuesday, but it’s going to be a blast! Here’s to battleplans…
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..A Day to Scramble – ROW80 Check In 10/30/11My Profile

    • Yay, I’m delighted to hear that the mash-ups are useful! I have to say, pulling them together is great for me as well — I stumble upon all sorts of awesomely useful posts. 😀

  20. Kudos on the progress you did make this week, Lena! The outlining, thesis and blog retooling sounds like it is exactly what you needed to do. As for the exercise, it is easy to fall away/behind. If you have a day you miss, plan to go on the next one. I missed one of my exercise days this weekend and will aim to get it in this week. Glad the party was fun and that your friends got you out and about and social. 😉
    Barbara McDowell recently posted..Sharing is Caring: My Weekly FindsMy Profile

  21. Aww, Halloween parties are fun! But I know how that goes, when you have PLANS OMG for writing, and they’re completely upended. I’ve come to accept those as necessary “evils,” especially since I usually get back from them charged up and a little refreshed.

    I like your proposed blogging strategy, too! It sounds really effective and also really interesting, so I’ll look forward to some of those posts! Your writing goals seem to be coming along well, too; I’m a sucker for big epic fantasy myself, so I’ll be interested to hear how the NaNo goes! Have a great week, Lena!
    L.S. Engler recently posted..The 100 Books Project: You Only Live Twice.My Profile

    • Haha, yes, they truly are “necessary evils.” I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised — when I was in junior high, I started skipping out on watching television in the evenings so I could write poetry and stories, which my parents definitely didn’t understand. :p I’m trying to be more flexible with my time.

      Hope your week has gone well, L.S.!

  22. I am a fan of the Monday/Wednesday/Friday update schedule.
    David A Ludwig recently posted..Happy Halloween!My Profile

  23. I’m having trouble juggling the blogging time, too. With two Row 80 posts, and wanting to do regular posts as well, I don’t want to be a “pain in the neck blogger” and have something pop up too many days in a row. I’m looking for balance as well.
    Jennifer M Eaton recently posted..ROW80 check in 10-30-2011My Profile

    • Oh, I totally know what you mean, Jennifer. I have some weeks where I’ve participated in extra flash fiction contests and whatnot, and I find myself publishing anywhere up to 5 or 6 posts in a week… and I sort of want to bury my head and hide a little, ’cause I’m convinced that people are like, “What in the world is she doing now…?”

      Still, I think for me, 3 non-ROW80 posts, plus a Sunday check-in, is a decent compromise. We’ll see how it goes!

  24. Hope you had fun at the Halloween party! You are so organized…I’m impressed. Wish I could say the same for myself. I want to thank you again for the mash-ups. They’re a big help!
    Michelle @ The True Book Addict recently posted..ROW80…Late Check-In for 10/30/11My Profile

    • Thanks, Michelle! It’s so funny, but I always have to laugh whenever anyone says that I’m organized. I feel like I’m just making things up as I go along, and trying to juggle like crazy… but I’m getting *some* things done, anyway, and that’s all I can really ask. 😀

  25. You should have a wonderful time in the party. It seems to be so funny. So we could put down all works and tasks, just for enjoying the only best time.
    Sophia recently posted..Forex Robots Are DangerousMy Profile

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