Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Anyone Have a Time Turner I Could Borrow?

…anybody? Bueller?

August is zooming past like some crazy high-speed bullet train, and while I have some things to show for it, I would be quite grateful if it would slow down just a little bit and allow me to take a breath. Or two. Would three be too many to ask for?

I’ve been wandering around in the hangover-like daze that too much caffeine, not enough sleep, and non-stop writing can produce. I am skittish around loud noises. I avoid bright lights. I am more than a little cranky and somewhat anti-social, though of course Napoleon has remained in my good graces.

Napoleon offering his moral support.

The upside to all of this is that I have successfully banished the Doubt Monster using the soon-to-be-patented Doubt Monster Defense System ™. In case you would like to create one of your own, you will need the following supplies:

Glitter bazooka, 1

Bubble gun, 1

Photos of cute animals (like this puppy dressed as a lobster), unlimited

The result? The Doubt Monster’s pure and utter ruin, as Lauren Garafalo proclaims:

So I can happily say that I have words in my head, which is a welcome improvement from the yucky bout of writers’ block with which I was contending at the beginning of the month. But there are not enough words, or I am not writing them down fast enough, or time is passing far too quickly for me to finish… It is complex.

At any rate, here’s what I’ve accomplished since the last check-in:

Day Job: I finally finished my Very Very Large Paper, otherwise known as the “comprehensive exam,” one of two requirements needed to advance to doctoral candidacy. This was a revision of a previous paper I wrote on the history of Catholic women religious in 19th century America. There was lots of editing, lots of rearranging and rewriting, and I am happy to say that the final product was about 41 pages, as compared to the original 27. Still waiting on feedback from my committee, but I have my fingers crossed that it will be positive.

I have another, much smaller paper, to complete by the weekend. Have I touched it? No. Instead I have been obsessing over my dissertation research, which is taking me into the archives of a half-dozen religious communities in the Bay Area. The highlight of the past few days has been seeing the historical annals of the Sisters of Mercy, dated 1854-1885, written in the hand of Mother Mary Baptist Russell herself. Russell led a small group of 6 sisters from Ireland to San Francisco in 1854, where they started countless social services, including the first private-run hospital in San Francisco. These archives are located on the campus of my old high school, so getting a chance to dig into this old history is exciting on both a scholarly and a personal level.

This week’s goal: Finishing the dreaded paper; typing up and organizing all my handwritten notes; working through the never-ending stack of reading on my shelves.

Writing: The day job has taken precedence over my CampNaNo goals, but I am slowly but surely catching up. I’ve written almost 10K in the last week, bringing me up to a little over 13K for the project. If I haul butt and write 2171 words each day, I’ll be able to finish out the month with 50K… we’ll see how that goes. Since I’m participating as a NaNo Rebel this round, the total count for STRANGE BEDFELLOWS is actually 28K, which isn’t too shabby.

This week’s goal: 2171 words each day, every day. *feels breathless just thinking about it*

Social Media: I’ve been lurking around the blogosphere for the last few days, reading and commenting on blogs when I have a spare minute. And I started drafting a few blog posts, including my first-ever book review. Now all I have to do is find some time to type them up (seriously, is there a time turner in the house?!).

This week’s goal: More blog reading/commenting. More tweeting. Polish up the book review to post next week.

Exercise: I’ve been averaging 2-3 days worth of exercise each week, which is still down from my goal of 4-5 days, but least I’m moving. I may have developed a really terrible habit of stashing mini peanut butter cups in my desk drawer. And, um, maybe almond biscotti? Also whole wheat saltines. I may have to work on cutting back… *twiddles thumbs, looks around innocently*

This week’s goal: At least 2 more workout days, more salads, fewer peanut butter cups.

Whew, and that’s it for the moment! I am looking forward to mid-September, when I advance to candidacy and can cool it a little with all the paper-writing. In the meantime, I hope everyone’s having a great week! Don’t forget to visit all the other brilliant ROWers here!


  1. I’m in Camp NaNo Hades too! If you happen to get your hands on a time turner, let me know where you got it. 😉 Good luck with getting things back on track.

  2. Wow – you’re doing A LOT and your post made me smile. I feel pretty crappy too, so you RULE! Good luck for next week. 🙂

  3. A time turner would be so useful right about now! Your research sounds so interesting, I am glad you are enjoying it. When I read your posts I always want to sign up for further study…inspiring!! Well done with your NaNo wordcount as well! I hope you make your word count each day, you can do it! On that note I better go and try and hit mine…..

    Have a great rest of your week!

  4. Everytime I read your checkins I’m impressed. How can you do so much?? I would be pacing around, desperate, and not knowing where to even start!
    Doing well on CampNaNo and exercise 3x per week is great. Like you said, at least you’re moving.
    Here’s to a few breaks so you can catch your breath!

  5. I’m simply blown away by everything you’re packing into such a short period of time. Makes me feel depressed about how little I normally accomplish. You’re so awesome!

    Good luck on catching up with Camp NaNo. I fell behind in NaNo last November, but only a couple days’ worth of words, so while I felt the pinch, it wasn’t too bad. You can do it!

  6. Nadja Notariani

    August 16, 2012 at 9:12 am

    While busy – and maybe a tad flustered – you sound satisfied. There’s no better feeling. :}
    I am still laughing over your newly patented invention – and glitter? I’m in. Investor at the ready! Ha! I can ‘hear’ Lauren’s assurances that the glitter will stick. *laughs like a ninny*
    All the best as you drink your ‘high-test’ coffee and steal moments of writing amidst your day job’s demands.

  7. Pets are so helpful at offering moral support (or at least sitting on your keyboard while you’re trying to write hehe). Great work on finishing your paper and keeping up with your writing goals. Hopefully now your paper’s out of the way, you’ll have more time for the fun stuff 🙂 Good luck for this week!

  8. There’s nothing quite like digging into primary sources to get the juices going, and mid-19th Century women? Perfect! I hope your committee says, “Bravo!” and you can sail right to your next writing project. Congrats also on Camp Nano. I participate in the annual nanowrimo. I never worry about total words or making the goal, but I’m always thrilled by the end of the month for the whole experience helps me generate/flesh out/draft so well. May the rest of your week go well!

  9. Lauren Garafalo

    August 18, 2012 at 5:13 am

    That pansy…who is allergic to glitter?! At least we have weapons! Napoleon is SO DARN CUTE. He’s always sleeping in some so-cute-it’s-distracting manner. I know this tactic well….we fall victim to Cali’s puppy naps quite often 😀

    I’m so proud of you!! Your school work always sounds so fascinating. Great work getting all of that tackled. I hope you hear good news soon!

    Bravo on both CampNano and exercising…you’re doing wonderfully!

  10. Love the picture and the Doubt Monster Defense Sytem. Made my day. Glitter. If only I’d known. I live in a house of glitter, thanks to three daughters. Now I’m armed!

    Sounds like great progress. So happy for you. I’m cheering for you to reach that 50k!!

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