Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: It’s Business Time

It’s my 3rd check-in for ROW80, and I seem to be making some progress with my goals! I’m still not completing everything that I’ve pledged to do, but this week was another strange, rather jumbled one. I spent all of Tuesday traveling (that 5.5 hour drive is no joke), Wednesday unpacking and prepping for class, and Thursday and Friday recovering.

One surprise that happened is that I had to drop the one class I was going to take, as it overlapped my TA-ship by 50 minutes and I wasn’t able to get permission to leave early. That means that I will now only be going to campus Wednesday nights for class, and 2 hours Tuesday mornings for office hours. I now have a lot of free time on my hands, and that makes buckling down to a regular routine all the more imperative. Starting this week, it will be Serious Business Time, and I will hold myself to my goals.

Here’s my week in review:

Writing: I’ve decided that for this round, I want to accomplish 2 things with writing: (1) finish a rough draft of TELL ME NO LIES and (2) figure out how PATH TO THE PEACOCK THRONE ends (I want to be able to finish my draft of PPT during Round 2). My goal is to rewrite and edit the first 4 scenes of TMNL, and I got started with that through the ROW80 wordsprints on Thursday and Friday. I wrote 1486 words on Thursday and 1631 words on Friday, which isn’t too shabby at all. I also spent a couple of hours brainstorming and reading more of THE BARBARY COAST for research purposes.

Day Job: I finished the first draft of my thesis last Sunday, and gave my advisor a hard copy on Wednesday, despite technology’s attempts to thwart my efforts (I had to deal with not one, but two, on-campus printers running out of paper, along with a paper jam and other ridiculousness). She’s promised to have it back to me ASAP, so I have more editing in my future (although she tells me that she thinks the changes will most likely be minimal).

I actually have a full plate when it comes to school, including brainstorming dissertation topics, working on a conference paper proposal, and preparing a grant proposal. I’m also a research assistant for my advisor, and so I need to set aside time to do some work for her. Not taking classes is actually a blessing in disguise, provided I can buckle down and get things done. In the week to come, my focus will be on my research assistantship and dissertation brainstorming.

Social Time: I’ve been really good at this! Monday I had a ‘farewell dinner’ of sorts with one of my high school besties, Tuesday I went to a ‘welcome back to town’ late-night happy hour with a couple of grad school friends, and this morning I had a brunch/work/shopping outing. I’m really proud of myself, though, because I invited a few friends out for drinks at my favorite bar tonight. Given that I rarely initiate things (I have been burned in the past by people who say they will come out and instead flake), this is progress.

Exercise: There’s been incremental improvement here. I went for a 2.5 mile walk on Wednesday, and a 4 mile walk on Thursday. I had wanted to throw in a couple of days of at-home Pilates, but going to bed late and not getting enough sleep meant that when I woke up Friday and Saturday, I was less than inclined to work out. The goals for next week: go to bed by midnight, wake up by 7:30, do some form of physical activity at 8 am.

50/50 Challenge: I finished three absolutely wonderful books: HER OWN DEVICES by Shelly Adina, STEAM & SORCERY by Cindy Spencer Pape, and HER DARK BARON by fellow ROWer, Nadja Notariani.

I also got started with a little movie-watching: The Peacemaker starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman (meh), Peter Pan starring Jason Isaacs and Jeremy Sumpter (cutesy, a little cheesy, but Jason Isaacs is really hot), and The Warrior’s Way, which is this absolutely amazing collision of ‘East-meets-West’ — it’s about a disgraced Asian assassin who flees to a tumble-down Wild West town to escape his vengeful clan, and ends up learning about love and life and things beyond murdering people. It’s bloody and gore-filled in a sort of comic book way, but I loved it. Geoffrey Rush has a small role as a drunken former outlaw.


Is everyone else getting down to business time, or are you flailing about like me? To encourage everyone pursuing Serious Business, I leave you with the New Zealand duo, Flight of the Conchords. Their song, “Business Time,” might be one of my favorites. 😀

*insert requisite ‘put-down-beverages’ warning*

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  1. You sound very productive, indeed. While you are getting down to business, I am leaping, mountain goat style, from point to point, before I have time to overanalyze things and scare myself into a state of paralysis.

    Leap, then look. Leap again, look again.

    Have a wonderful , businesslike next few days. =)

    • Oh gosh, I know all about scaring myself into a state of paralysis. I’ve been trying really hard to make crazy lists that detail everything that needs to get done, but I’m terrified that I’m going to forget something, and the whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down around my head…

      Keep leaping, my friend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Sounds like you’ve had a good week! Does dropping a class mean you have to do another one next semester? Well done on finishing your thesis draft at last 😀
    Rebecca J Fleming recently posted..ROW80 Round 5 – 3rd UpdateMy Profile

    • Yeah, I’ll have to take two seminars next quarter instead of one. I’m hoping it won’t be too crazy (2 classes is considered a normal load, but it can get a little difficult when adding in a TA-ship, which I’ll have). Still, I’m really grateful to have the extra time. 😀

  3. Awesome week there Lena! Glad to see you got the thesis off your plate, bet that was a huge relief. Keep at the exercise, I had a few false starts and stutters at first too, but it pays off in the long run if you stick with it.

    All the best for the coming week 🙂
    Gene Lempp recently posted..ROWdate 1-15 & On Writing ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks, Gene! I’m really hoping I can just get into a rhythm with exercising. It’ll be so much easier when it’s a habit, rather than something that I *have* to do. 😀

  4. Wow you are one busy girl. Like you said I think having that extra time will come in handy. I’m also trying to finish a draft of my WIP this round. Hopefully we can accomplish these goals together. Have a great week.

  5. like the song very much -:) nice to have more free time – don’t let it go to your head ! will you have to do more time at Uni next term?

    all the best for coming week
    alberta ross recently posted..Brrr Abode: ROW80My Profile

    • Thanks so much, Alberta! Yes, I’ll have to take an extra class next quarter, but if I can get a lot of work done this quarter, it shouldn’t be too terrible. 🙂

      Have a wonderful week!

  6. Wow, you had a great week! Every time I have printing issues I picture that scene from Office Space, the one where they steal the fax machine and beat it to a pulp. Oh how I wish I could do that! And how you found time to read not one but THREE books I don’t know. If I don’t finish my current one in the next two days I’ll be behind on my 50/50 challenge. Must…read…faster! Plus I should really list it in my goals like you did. Thanks for reminding me.
    Melinda recently posted..ROW80 UpdateMy Profile

    • Oh god, I wish I could do that so badly! There are currently signs up in the department copy room which read, “If you have a paper jam, please ask the staff to clear it.” Those signs were posted the day after I broke not one, but two copy machines, trying to print off handouts for class. :/

      Have a wonderful week, Melinda!

  7. I am totally flailing about. You seem to have a better grip on things than it feels like I have lately, though, and I bet the free time is going to be a real blessing and, somehow, it’ll feel like it’s not there at all. That’s how it usually is with me, anyway.

    Keep up the great work! And it’s always nice to have a little extra Flight of the Concords in my life. : )
    L.S. Engler recently posted..RoW80 Check-In: January 15th!My Profile

    • Here’s to finding a way to managing the flailing! It’s so funny — on paper, it looks like I’ve managed to do more than I actually *feel* like I’ve done. Hopefully the trend continues. 😀

  8. Wow! Lots of productivity in a very busy week. I don’t know how you juggle the thesis with school and working on two books. Major props for that. Good luck for this week!
    Stacy Green recently posted..Row80 Check-In 1-15My Profile

  9. I totally have to get myself on a schedule. Lately, I’ve been doing much of my socializing at the gym, which may be an inappropriate form of multi-tasking. Also, Jason Isaacs is the BEST bad guy and super hot. I can’t wait to watch Awake when in it premiers in March.
    fakesteph recently posted..ROW 80My Profile

    • Haha, I love it! I don’t go to the gym because I get really intimidated by everyone on their cardio machines, and I feel like a dork when I can’t figure out how to use them, lol. And yes, Jason Isaacs is like the best bad guy EVER. I am dying to see Awake!

  10. Even if it feels like flailing, sounds like you still got plenty done – especially reading (I’m envious!). Having to drop that other class is probably a blessing in disguise – now you have a couple more hours/week to devote to writing or one of your other goals. Good luck!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..ROW80: Test Mile SuccessMy Profile

    • Yes, it really is a blessing. I peeked at the syllabus right before I dropped, and it was a lot of work — weekly response papers, a symposium presentation, and a sample syllabus, not to mention at least 1 book to read each week.

      It’s been really liberating to take some time out each day and just plow my way through a novel. I pretty much stopped reading for fun when I got to grad school, and I definitely regretted it. It’s good to be back on track again. 🙂

  11. Fabulous first week back on campus and getting ‘down-to-business’. Here’s to minimal editing on your thesis, too! Have a great week, Lena.
    Nadja Notariani recently posted..Back To The Land Of The Living…My Profile

  12. You seem to be very busy… keep up with the great work on your goals. 😀

  13. You sound like a busy bee but glad you are thinking of a timetable and a way to make more time for social activities. I found myself noting things down my friends were saying this weekend…so many ideas for storylines come out of conversations with friends! Although I have to be careful I don’t incriminate them! Have a great week and keep up the great work!
    Em recently posted..ROW80 Check-in 15th January 2012My Profile

    • You’re totally right – social situations are some of the best sources for inspiration! There have been some crazy relationship stories that I’ve heard over the past few days that may have to make their way into a story one of these days… but heavily edited, so the guilty parties aren’t too embarrassed. 😀

  14. You sound like you’re totally rocking right now. Great plans…great progress. Good luck this week!
    Lauralynn Elliott recently posted..ROW80 Check In 1/15/12My Profile

  15. You’ve been busy! It sounds like you’re putting some others of us, (er, me?) to shame! Congrats on your hard work.
    TeacherWriter, Suzanne Lilly recently posted..Tips for Writers – What Use is a Storyboard?My Profile

  16. Wow, excellent work on your goals, and what ambitious goals they are! I wish you all the luck in the world in aligning academic and fiction writing goals — I was never able to get that figured out. 🙁

    I’ll skip any references to the exercising challenge, as lazy as I’ve become in my old age. *g*

    Keep up the good work and have a great week!
    Ruth Nestvold recently posted..Results of KDP Select Promotion: Yseult #20 in Historical FantasyMy Profile

    • Thanks a lot, Ruth! The juggling act is a little taxing, but at the moment, I seem to have a decent amount of focus — I’ve been doing a little academic research and a little fiction writing each day, and so far it’s working. We’ll see how it goes for the rest of the round.

      Have a wonderful week!

  17. I hope the extra time goes to good use. You sound way busy! Good job on balancing it all as well as you have. Have a great week 🙂

  18. Hope this week goes better for you. I know how things can unexpectedly change our plans. Glad to here your thesis is moving along. Funny, I watched Peter Pan with the family just last night! 🙂 Keep it up Lena, it will work out.
    Debra Kristi recently posted..FROGS? – Checking in on the Row80 Party Tour 1/15My Profile

    • Thanks a lot, Debra! I’m looking forward to all of the excitement from vacation receding. As much as I like celebrating and seeing friends and family, I miss the quiet and the focus that comes from being alone during the quarter.

      Have a wonderful week!

  19. It sounds like you’re really getting organised, which is good as you’re going to be busy 🙂

    Me, I just can’t seem to get started this year.
    Sarah Pearson recently posted..Musical Stories 24: LiteraryMy Profile

    • It’s so hard to get motivated! I’m a little surprised that I’ve managed to get it somewhat together, but sometimes it’s better to slowly build momentum. Don’t worry, Sarah, you’ll get there!

  20. Wow, you’ve done a lot! And God, you read fast!
    Loved Warrior’s Way 😉
    And endings to novels are complicated … there is one manuscript of mine that I rewrote the ending 3 times (about 10k each time), and all 3 versions were completely different lol Hope you figure out your ending faster than that.
    Have a nice week!
    Juliana Haygert recently posted..Can You Hit A Perfect Pitch? Contest!My Profile

    • I seriously think that grad school has made me some insane reading robot. I was always a bit of a speed reader, but these days it’s just a little ridiculous. I pick up a book and I can’t put it down.

      I’m trying to prepare myself for the journey of figuring out the ending to this novel… well, for both of them, actually. I thought I knew how my steampunk story was supposed to end, and now I’m not 100% sure if I like it. But I’ll get there eventually!

      Have a great week, Juliana!

  21. I do not think you are flailing around at all girl! My GOSH you’ve got a lot on your plate and I think you are doing amazing to juggle and balance it all. You are making GREAT progress and with some goals to improve your fitness area, I have no doubt you’ll see progress. Keep up the GREAT work! Woot woot!
    Natalie Hartford recently posted..My quit list!My Profile

  22. Great work, Lena. Any week when you get some writing in counts as a good week to me. Hope this week goes is going well.
    Bridgette Booth recently posted..Row80 Update #4: Foolish LessonsMy Profile

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