Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, NaNoWrimo, Round 4 2014

A Nestful of Plot Twists: November 9, 2014

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So, here we are – edging up on the middle of November. It’s getting colder here, and our outdoor preparations for winter are intensifying. There may be snow in our not-far distant future, and, for sure, another upstate New York winter is leaning in on us.

It’s been an interesting few days. In my NaNo novel, my characters have started to breathe, think, feel and live for themselves. I love this feeling, where it’s almost as though they’re playing out their lives for me to transcribe, inviting me into their skins, letting me live with them.

And, as always, things are veering from my plans, and I’m loving the changes, and the chance to find out what really happened…

Then there’s real life. My father-in-law has decided that he wants to treat us all to cross-country airfare so that we can come visit our Oregon family. He’s getting older, and his health hasn’t been great these last few years. This might be the last chance we have to visit him.

Airplanes scare me. The idea of them scares Annalise, too.

But it looks like we’ll be heading to tiny little Dexter (not far from Eugene), in February. We’re hoping to get a chance to get out to the coast, and visit our favorite restaurant in Florence, The Blue Hen Cafe, if it’s still there.

We haven’t been to Oregon since I was four months pregnant for Jeremiah, who is now 13. It’s possible that, one day, we may live there, and my writing nest will be on the other side of the continent…

It’s rather a lot to absorb, though, and I’ve only known about it for a few days. For now, one step at a time. Finish the novel. Have a plan to care for our home and pets while we’re away. Figure out travel and budget. Live the days between now and then…

And get this update posted, from my suddenly twisty nest…

New York Country Girl in the Oregon Woods.

See my original November goals.

November Focuses:

  • Complete rough draft of The Earth Doth Move (NaNo 2014).

  • All fitness and nutrition goals.

  • Maintain blogging goals.

Target Attained:

2014 Fitness:

  • Weekly workout at the Y; 4 weight-bearing exercises/machines for arms/legs/core weekly.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

2014 Nutrition:

Maintain existing nutrition goals (smoothies/salads and Greek yogurt; whole grains).

  • Smoothies/Salads: 5/5 (3 salads; 2 smoothie).

  • Greek yogurt: 3 / 2.

  • Nuts: 2 / 2 (pistachios/slivered raw almonds)

  • Whole grains: 4/3 barley (in soup); tortilla chips; corn bread; multigrain crackers.

Eat fresh vegetables other than salads (raw or cooked), and/or fresh fruits at least 3 times each week.

  • 4/3: Romaine lettuce; pomegranate; banana; veggie stuffed eggplant.

Eat vegetable or broth based soup weekly.

  • Vegetable beef and barley.

  • Drink one glass/bottle of water each day.

2014 Fitness:

  • Treadmill: 18 minute mile, walking/jogging; using “Rolling Hills” Program.

  • Build to one half mile walking/jogging on the track each week.

At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

  • More asphalt shingles; moving outgrown kid toys.

Dance, swim, or play physically with kids at least once each week.

  • Annalise and I played with the plant-clipping. As she said, it was a ‘disassembly line’!

  • Kids imitated several of my WiiFit exercises with me.

ROW80 Sponsorship:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

Kelp Monster!

On Target:

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

2014 Writing:

Complete first draft of The Earth Doth Move, as my November NaNo project.

  • Current Chapter: 3/20

  • Current Scene: 10/60

  • Word Count: 36,054/~125,000

  • New Words: 23,149!

  • New Pages: 42!

2014 Hometending:

Complete the family room reset.

  • Began decluttering the area that will become our coat/boot/laundry supplies storage area. There’s a long way to go, still, but I’ll get there.

Continue cleaning my study.

Maintain email Inbox at a manageable level.

  • The level is a little higher with NaNo; my goal is under 333 messages (because I love that number!)
  • Currently: 40/333 – far, far beneath my “acceptable” NaNo parameters.

2014 Lifetending:

Return to exploring Play Jar slips in a playful, FUN way!

Read 2 of the 8 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

Catch up on my FutureLearn class: Exploring Play.

  • Currently 28% through the course; finishing week 2/7.

2014 Fitness:

  • Treadmill: 18 minute mile, walking/jogging; using “Rolling Hills” Program.

  • Build to one half mile walking/jogging on the track each week.

Use Wii Fit at least 3 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.

  • Only once this week, for 12 minutes. Better than nothing.

Before Corki-dog, there was Bunko on the beach…

Not yet:

2014 Hometending:

  • Continue the massive kitchen reset.

  • Continue organizing my study.

  • Take time at least once a week to simply be in my study.

  • Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

2014 Lifetending:

2014 Fitness:

  • Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity.
  • Work up to walking 2 miles, at any speed for the second mile.
  • Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program.
  • Add time on elliptical, arc trainer, and/or rowing machines: goal is 10 minutes on each, at least twice monthly.

2014 Nutrition:

Get a peek at the other ROWers‘ nests here!

Sunset on the Oregon Coast.



I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

9 thoughts on “A Nestful of Plot Twists: November 9, 2014

  1. Gorgeous photos! And yes, an unexpected trip does throw a kink into things. But what a wonderful opportunity for the kids, not only to see their family, but for the new experiences–which, let’s hope, will all be wonderful!

  2. Hey, you’ll be practically in my backyard! (Well, relatively speaking.) Welcome back (in advance) to the Pacific Northwest. I love it during this wet, wild, lonely season. Airplane travel is horrible these days under any circumstances, but hopefully your daughter’s wonder over the cool parts of flying–there still are SOME–will outweigh the anxiety & stress. Safe travels!

    1. When she heard that her cousins have flown, she got a little more excited about it. We’ve also looked at some pictures.

      Hopefully, it’ll be a smooth trip! I’ll wave to you!

      And, if we do eventually move out there, I’ll be looking you up!

  3. Congrats on your progress! I too love it when my characters take on life of their own and all I have to do is watch and record. Lately I’ve been having trouble getting into that space with one of my stories, but I expect it’ll get easier the more time I spend with my head in that world. Have fun writing this week!

  4. How exciting to be able to visit family. I used to fly I lot when i was younger but this past summer I went by myself to Georgia (from Ontario) and I was terrified. But I did it – because I so wanted to go to the writer’s retreat. Great writing progress. Loved your description of how your characters are growing and changing your plans. All the best in all your goals.

  5. Shan, I am always amazed at your goal lists. The fact that you’ve accomplished so much toward so many of them simply blows me away!

    I’m sure you’ll get something set up for your Oregon trip. If I could commute to and from dialysis here in Texas, I’d house-sit for you, but that’s a much-too-long commute.

  6. It sounds like you’re on track with your goals!! Planes used to terrify me, but I’ve gotten used to them I think (thank goodness!). A train adventure could be fun, lots of opportunities to learn new things!

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