Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday ROW80 check-in: Reboot, redirect, recharge!

Trust me. Retirement is not an island of tranquility. As my hubby gets ready for surgery that will basically require three months of recovery, I've decided I can't quite find what I need in my office. Yes, I'm grateful to have 'a room of my own,' but the books on three bookshelves no longer reflect what I read, and research is vamping up on Rivers of Stone.

Princess Padme Amadala (Wikipedia)
Garage sales brought me two small file cabinets ($5 each), along with a collector's edition of Princess Amadala from Star Wars and a mermaid Barbie. (I did say distractions abound this week!) 

I'm finally ready to let go of resources I used for teaching. Some will stay. Who doesn't need an illustrated collection of William Blake? Robert Hughes' American Visions? A history of Egypt, Greece, and Rome? But I'm easily distracted when my office is not organized. So de-cluttering is today's priority. 

I'm as scattered with research, casting a wide net. Today I found fascinating discussion of the Hudson's Bay Company language of master/servant, and I've begun reading Peter C. Newman's Caesars of the Wilderness

One opening story recounts an old fur trader who wanted to be buried on a hill so he could piss on the HBC fort below. Also discovered Anne Frances Hopkins, who married a Hudson's Bay Company officer and traveled with him in Canada in the 1860's. Her paintings of the voyageurs are critically acclaimed today and wonderfully detailed. Too bad she's just two decades too late for my story.

Voyageurs by Anne Frances Hopkins (Wikipedia)
ROW80 goals for the week:
Writing: 1,500 words on Rivers of Stone. Final changes on Reaching. Dig into research for ROS.
Community/Marketing: Prep workshop on creating a writer's toolkit for monthly writers' meeting. Contact 2 bookstores. Schedule coffee house launch party for Rivers of Stone -- with violin music.
Other: Finish de-cluttering office (and e-mail) and organizing all! Quilt some. Watch football with hubby. Remember to breathe and let go! Cherish each day. 

May you have an outstanding week for writing, reading, and reflecting.

Question of the day as summer winds down: If you had just one hour to remove clutter, what would you do?


  1. I'd clear off my desk. I hate it when it's cluttered. Sounds like you learned some interesting things. ;)

    By the way, I read The Mermaid Quilt and loved it.

    1. Thank you, Erin. My office is now 75% organized . . . and it took more than one hour. I couldn't start with my desk as that was where everything got piled! I'm glad you liked The Mermaid Quilt. That's how I learned to self-publish. May your writing go well.

  2. I ~just~ got finished with holding a yard sale, due to moving to a much smaller apartment and being pretty much required to declutter. And it still seems like I have too much stuff, lol. The only books I managed to get rid of was a kid's book and a book about the Titatic. Oh well, I guess it's just a sign that I'm meant to keep them. Mwa ha ha.

    Great job on your goals! Doing a coffee shop signing sounds like fun...I should look into something like that...

    1. Those books are the hardest to let go. This time I got rid of a box. A whole box! But in addition to those three bookcases, there are four more boxes in the closet. Last time I looked, I just closed them up. I'm just not ready to let go of those wonderful books about the Mayans, and they have nothing to do with my current research (or even immediate past). And we've already downsized. BTW, the coffee signing was fun, especially as my daughter plays the violin and entertained. Hope you try this.

  3. Oh, man... Clutter. I hate it. As hard as I try to ignore it--housework, any kind, isn't among my inclinations--it encroaches on my subconscious, and eats at my concentration. With one hour--which is more than I dedicate to it even on a weekly, or monthly, basis--I'd probably be able to fold and put away about a third of the clothes piled up on a bedroom chair. Yes, that bad :D

    Happy Sunday, Beth!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Guilie. If only I could be more disciplined . . . but the key here is doing just what creates that sense of harmony and gives me the ability to disconnect from the everyday to enter my writing world. And not have all my plants die! If the task that remains undone is talking to you, then even 10-15 minutes can restore order (more or less) -- or remove distraction! May your week go well.

  4. In one hour, I could do very little. Just walking--just existing--takes all my energy. If I only had an hour to do what I pleased, I'd write. That's what I love, and while I'm occupied, I forget about the nagging problems that face my husband and I. He's undergoing vital tests all this week. I hate the thought of losing him. But it might not come to that. We need to remember what we love about life in times like these.

    1. Dear Francene, We have been blessed with good years. Now comes the time that poets write of, when we need all of our courage to live with grace and hope. We do write. All the cliches and platitudes we try to avoid come home now to ease each day. I wish you well this coming week.


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