Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: In Which Lena Vanquishes Her To-Do List

Yup, you read that right. My massive summer to-do list has been conquered. Given that it’s been almost a month since my last check-in, it’s really exciting to have good news to report. Here’s the Awesome List of Success:

This is what happens when I am stressed and trying to procrastinate, and the cat decides he wants to distract me.

Day Job: I wrote my Very Big Paper, which ended up being 45 pages on the history of Catholic sisters in the United States during the nineteenth century. Next, I finished the Paper From Hell, a 16 page paper on conduct literature that included lots of social theory and more big words than you can shake a stick at. And Tuesday night I hammered out a 3.5 page dissertation mini-proposal, complete with some preliminary research questions and a tentative chapter outline. Add in the 6 hours of archival research I’ve been doing each week, and you have one very, very vanquished to-do list.

Now that all the hard work is out of the way, I can head back to Santa Barbara and meet with my dissertation committee next week for my “little conversation,” the final requirement that I need to advance to doctoral candidacy. Accomplishing that means that I’ve jumped all the institutional loopholes — coursework, papers, and all that jazz. In other words, the only thing standing between me and my PhD is the dissertation.

Writing: I didn’t get a chance to talk about this, since I’ve been stuck in the writing cave for the last few weeks, but I did end up winning Camp NaNoWriMo. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS is the poster child for the zero draft, with plotholes wider than the Grand Canyon, inconsistent characterization, and a million other problems, but I think there’s a fairly strong skeletal structure underneath it all. And, you know, it’s like 66k long, and I can’t complain about that.

For fun, and to keep up my writing momentum, I thought I’d try out my first round of Fast Drafting with a nugget of an idea that’s been nagging at me for a few months. (Yes, I am an overachiever. And yes, I am quite clearly a glutton for punishment.) I’ve fallen off the Fast Draft train over the last couple of days, derailed by migraines, the Paper From Hell, and my dissertation mini-proposal, but I am going to try to get back on track over the next day or two. Right now this little project (tentatively titled SOMEWHERE IN THE WEST) has a little over 17k — nowhere near my original goal, but still pretty awesome.

Exercise: I really fell off the wagon in terms of eating well and exercising, but my mom and I have a new plan that we have been implementing for the last couple of weeks. We are now walking 5 days a week, a minimum of 2 miles each day, and we’ve eliminated all the sweet, sugary things from the grocery list. I’m seeing a tiny difference, which will hopefully become a much larger difference in the weeks to come.

Social Media: My blog reading and commenting has been sporadic, I’ve been pretty quiet on Twitter, but I’ve been hanging out on Facebook a little more often. I’ve got a few blog posts drafted, so I might be able to start blogging again in October. This, of course, depends on whether or not I can have some time to unwind and chill out.


At the moment, my most immediate goal is to deal with my “little conversation” next week, and then to spend the rest of September doing nothing but gorging myself on novels, naps, and video games. I will also be carving out time to blog-hop and respond to comments, something that has been next to impossible with my brain all messy and overwhelmed, and my internal settings set to so-anxious-can’t-even-breathe.

Once again, Napoleon is my mentor in the art of leisure.

So yay! How is everyone doing? I’ve missed you all a ton! This ROWnd is winding down, but I’m hoping to wave at all my fellow ROWers in the days to come.

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  1. Wow, Lena, you’re kicking some serious butt!
    Congrats on winning CampNaNo, that’s awesome!
    Keep it up!!

  2. Speaking of NaNoWriMo… I just realized that November is just over a month away! I must finish my WIP by then, because NaNoWriMo works really well for me, and I want to write the NEXT book in the series for NaNo. But if I’m not actually done with this WIP… well, it will be seriously derailed.

    • I’m in the exact same boat, AmyBeth, especially because I want to use October for pre-plotting and planning and whatnot. Good luck speeding through your current WIP!

  3. Congratulations on getting all your goals accomplished for this summer! I hope some of the blogging you are talking about doing in October is writing poetry for #OctPoWriMo. I too am planning on doing NaNoWriMo and I am thinking I should begin planning for that now because my September is looking pretty busy. Glad to be on this writing journey with you!


    • Yup, #OctPoWriMo is totally on my October radar! I think I might end up posting my poetry over on my tumblr blog, just so it doesn’t interfere with my Flights of Fancy schedule. Can’t wait to get started! 😀

  4. I meant my October is looking pretty busy. Hahaha this cold is kicking my behind.

  5. Congrats on your ongoing progress and success, lady! So stoked for you, and can’t wait to hear more as you forge on. And how CUTE is Napoleon?!? 🙂

    • Thanks, August! This is such an exciting time–it feels good to be able to share all the little victories along the way to the big one. And YES, Napoleon is such a precious creature. He’s definitely one of my favorite things about being back home. Don’t know how I lived 4 years in Santa Barbara without him. 😛

  6. Yeah on the paper and Campnano! Go for it, Lady! Wish you all the success in the world in keeping your academic and creative goals aligned. 🙂

  7. You are kickin’ it, Lena! Enjoy your time off, and good luck with the dissertation commitee!

  8. You’re like my hero…

  9. Nice work on conquering your to-do list! Now, come over and attack mine lol Good luck for your committee meeting, I’m thinking about starting my PhD next year but I still need to come up with a topic :S Great job on winning Camp NaNoWriMo, sounds like you’ve got a good headstart on that project 🙂

  10. No wonder you’ve not blogged when you’ve had so much on. You certainly deserve the rest of the month off!! Well done on CampNaNo too 🙂

  11. Wow! Sounds like you accomplished a lot. You definitely deserve a break. Your plan of novels, napes and video games sounds great to me. Good luck next week with your ‘little conversation’!

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