ROW80 Check Ins

That’s How it ROWs

cat on a bench
I see you up there, goals. I will get you.

You know how, when your foot falls asleep and goes numb, then wakes up with that horrible pins and needles sensation? You know it’s going to pass, but it drives you nuts until it does. You just have to remind yourself, it will pass.

At the moment, that’s what I’ve got going on with my motivation and enthusiasm. They’re waking up, so that’s good. It’s just not the most comfortable experience.

Add a nice bit of jury duty (still ongoing, by the way) on top of all that, and it makes for an interesting week, goal-wise.

Anywho, let’s see how much go there’s been in my ROW* since last check in:


Last Week


Yup. Not even a little bit.

This Week

Do I dare set a goal when I still have jury duty?

Nope. I think I’ll leave it open-ended this week.


Last Week

I worked on a  new fingering pattern for the passage I’m learning. I thought I had that puppy down (not at full speed, but still), but bombed in my lesson. I can chalk at least part of it up to being tired all week during practice, but I also think there’s a few things going on with my bowing and fingering.

Part of my difficulty is tension. The passage is so fast, I tense during the especially swift portions. I didn’t notice that I was tensing until after I made a complete mess of the music during the lesson. I thought fatigue had caused the mess, but it’d really just exposed it. Once I was able to sit calmly at home and evaluate things, I saw that I was holding tension in both my bowing hand and my fingers (especially my left pinky…deadly for the triplet I have to play).

This Week

My strings teacher suggested I slur the bit of the passage containing the triplet. While this didn’t work in lesson (I was completely spent by that time), it seems to be helping now. Knowing I don’t have to make tiny, quick bow changes allows me to relax a little more. Now, I need to work on relaxing completely. If I can nail that, I’ll work on upping the temp.


Last Week

I managed all three workouts. Yay me!

This Week

Same as last week. Three workouts.


Last Week

We binged some Netflix together. Does that count?

This Week

We’re still getting sorted out. Probably no official family game or movie night this week. We’ll just wing it.


*ROW80, also known as a Round of Words in 80 Days, is an opportunity for us to set goals (for writing and/or other areas) and share them with a community ready to keep us accountable and cheer us on. If you’re interested in ROW80, you can find more info here and the latest check in post here.

Photo Credit
Lilah Cat, mine. Available on Flickr. | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

ROW80 Check Ins

Every ROWse Has its Thorns

Cactus Flower

For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling to keep my productivity up. It’s partly a (temporary) lull in motivation, partly some minor life upheaval, and partly creative fatigue. I’m thankful things are beginning to turn around. The effects of the minor life upheaval have dissipated, motivation is beginning to revive and the creative well is (slowly) refilling. I’m looking forward to regaining a happy momentum…the sooner the better.

This experience has reminded me that I need to plan for dips in motivation and creative fatigue. Both are normal parts of any goal-oriented journey. And I’ve realized that I can’t always rely on momentum alone to keep me going. Friction, my friends, is the enemy of perpetual motion machines and mental processes (different kinds of friction, I know…but, whatever).

Now, I just need to put a plan together. No problem, right?


In the mean time, let’s see what’s been going on with my ROW* since last check in:



Last Two Weeks

Still working on the TTG. It’s been a bear because it’s a big exposition scene. I’ve worked through several versions of this scene and haven’t been happy with any of them. I’m searching for the right balance between action and revelation. I don’t want any of the necessary backstory to bog down the story. If I could cut it, I would, but the main characters desperately need this info.

This Week

I’m tempted to skip this scene for now and move on to the next, which needs virtually no backstory and is mostly action. The next several scenes are like that. I might be able to work through all of these this week…if I could only leave the TTG alone. Yet, I don’t want to have to wrestle with it later either.

In short, I’m not fixed on a writing goal this week. I’ll either finish reworking TTG or temporarily abandon it.

I’m also up for jury duty this week. I’ll need to be flexible with all my goals.


Last Two Weeks

The week before last, my practice hours dropped significantly, but I’ve brought them back up.

My (infinitely patient) strings teacher informs me I’m improving. I’m still working on bringing up my tempo on the passage I’ve been working on. I’m about 70% of where I need to be, but that’s up from something like 40-50%, where I’d been stuck for weeks.

This Week

Bring my tempo up to at least 80%. Smooth out string crossings and bowing.

No set practice hours. I want to see how I do on that without a specific goal.


Last Two Weeks

Averaging three workouts a week. I’ve brought up the intensity and have noticed improvements in strength and endurance.

This Week

3 workouts. Maintain intensity.


Last Two Weeks

We haven’t had game or movie night the last couple of weeks, but we’ve spent time together for outings.

This Week

The school year is underway, and religious education is starting up again at our church. We may have to be much more flexible with family nights for the next few weeks, until we get back into a rhythm.


*ROW80, also known as a Round of Words in 80 Days, is an opportunity for us to set goals (for writing and/or other areas) and share them with a community ready to keep us accountable and cheer us on. If you’re interested in ROW80, you can find more info here and the latest check in post here.

Photo Credit
Cactus Flower, mine. Available on Flickr. | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


ROW80 Check Ins

Wherefore Art Thou, My ROW?

O ROWmeo, ROWmeo…

It’s not really my ROW I’m searching for, it’s my motivation. It snuck out in the middle of the night. Probably to party. I expected it to come slinking home just before dawn, shamefaced at abandoning me and ready to get back to work. Alas, my motivation has stayed away.

I keep standing in motivation’s yard, calling up and getting no response.

Right now, I’m working (not very well) on fumes.

Despite the drag I’m feeling from lack of enthusiastic motivation, I keep on keeping on. I’m sure, pretty sure anyway, that I can coax motivation back if I just keep going. Continue reading “Wherefore Art Thou, My ROW?”

Friday Share · Life and Stuff

How Do You Make Love Last?

Have you ever wondered how to make love really last?

The couple below, married 70 years in the first video and 75 in the second. Their advice is sweet, funny and very real.

*They might be the slightest bit questionable for watching at work, just so you know. 


Here’s the updated video from this year:


What’s your favorite thing about this couple? What advice do you think is the most helpful?

ROW80 Check Ins

You Win Some, You ROW Some

relaxing husky
Whaddya mean the finish line is still three yards away? I’m comfortable here.

Here we are again, another Sunday ROW80* check in.

I’m a little disappointed in my progress this week. I didn’t miss by much, but what I did miss was due to poor time management. I’ll be working on that this week.

You can see last week’s goals here and the updated writing goals here.

Here’s where I’m at now and where I’m going:


Last Week

I finished the STO2 and M scenes and worked up editing notes for LLF and the scene that comes right after (let’s call it NA).

I should be pleased, as I hit my updated goal. Still, I’d like to be faster and more efficient with these scene rewrites. My problem is that I’m often putting my writing off until the end of the day, when I’m tired and short on creativity. I need to put the writing first…even if it means getting up a little earlier. Continue reading “You Win Some, You ROW Some”

ROW80 Check Ins

ROW the Line

tight rope balance
It’ll all about balance…

Welcome to another Sunday ROW80* check in. Time to see if this week’s progress balances the goals or is ready to fall to its doom.

I’m calling this week another win even though I’m more tired than enthused. I hit all of my goals…or will by end of day.

Let’s see where we’re at, shall we?


Last Week

The scene I’ve been working on forever the last couple weeks has been the bane of my existence (although I’m quite sure there will be others…and probably very soon). You might think, because it’s a rewrite, it would be no problem. It was definitely a problem. Continue reading “ROW the Line”

ROW80 Check Ins

ROWmancing the Goals

It’s that time of the week again, folks. Yes, I’m talking about the Sunday ROW80* check in. Time to evaluate the progress so far and decide whether to continue in the same direction or chart a new course, if necessary.

Your goals are right through there. Head on in.

I’m calling this week a win. I fell down on some of my goals (mostly because I didn’t think about balancing everything I needed to do last week), but I made it through my biggest challenge.

Let’s check in, shall we? Continue reading “ROWmancing the Goals”

ROW80 Check Ins · Uncategorized

ROWses Are Red…

…Violets are blue.  We all know setting goals is good for you.

Roses Red

It’s been a very long time since I participated in ROW80 and a recent post by Nicole Evans detailing her progress on her long and short term goals inspired me.

The current ROW80 round began July 3, but folks are welcome to jump in at any time. So here I go.



Long Term Goal: Complete the “official” first draft of my WIP manuscript by the end of this year.

Short Term Goal: Finish the scene I’m currently reworking (let’s call it STO) and begin the next.


I’ve got a strings camp coming up next week. My daughter, who plays the violin, and I are both participating. She’s been playing for 2.5 years, and I’ve been playing for 2.5 months, but the camp is for all levels. We’ve both been working on the music for several weeks now, and most of my cello goals revolve around gaining the skill necessary to make it through the camp and the finale performance. Continue reading “ROWses Are Red…”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Is Minecraft Taking Over the World?

My kiddos have a secret language.

It bears a certain resemblance to our native English, involving words such as Creeper, Enderman, Ghast,  slime and Steve, yet remains exceedingly difficult to decipher. After exhaustive research (i.e. I asked my lovely children what the heck they were talking about), I have discovered what this language is…

Minecraftese:  (noun) a modern, rapidly evolving language spoken by cult members players of the video game Minecraft, sometimes referred to as Minecraftian or Mine Latin. Continue reading “Is Minecraft Taking Over the World?”

Killer Thursdays

What Are You Thankful For?

Oh yeah? Happy Thanksgiving to you too, buddy.

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays around the Medeiros house. There’s my father-in-law’s secret ingredient turkey, so tender, juicy and delicious (pssst, the secret ingredient is not an ingredient but the cooking method, roasting in a brown paper bag…don’t tell anybody). There’s the pumpkin pie, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, rolls, kimchi, sweet potato casserole, cranberry green beans…


Whoa. Sorry. Food coma. And that’s just from writing about it. Continue reading “What Are You Thankful For?”