the grid

the grid

Sunday, 17 June 2018

June-August Journey Week 2

Many of our cruise passengers (or gardeners, if you wish to extend that metaphor) are facing personal or professional stormy seas, whether moving house, changing institutions, or dealing with ongoing institutional change at institutions more used to moving with ponderous gravity. Others of us are seeking to define our personal or professional journeys in the midst of these rapid, often unsought, changes.

In our short summer session, there were gardeners who planted with a precise plan in mind, while others let the seeds fall where they wanted to go, and enjoyed the fruits of serendipity. In the fiction writing world, the former are often called “plotters,” and the latter “pantsers,” as in “writing by the seat of.” I’m interested in how the plotters and pantsers among us handle uncertainty, and what suggestions you may have for the group. Do you have Plans A through E all lined up one behind the other? Or do you see what happens and adjust accordingly?

Please answer the prompt if it speaks to you. For the rest, please report your progress on your weekly goals, with an analysis of what went well or badly, and set goals for the coming week.

Welcome to all new and returning travelers. I’m happy to see so many among us, and look forward to co-hosting with Dame Eleanor this session.

Shorter term goals:
Do a short project for our Women's, Gender, and Sexualities Program.
Practice the violin! I'm working on shifting, vibrato, and double stops especially, and on the second piece in the fourth Suzuki book.

Dame Eleanor Hull:
Regular stretching and exercise; return to doing knee push-ups (50?).
Regular language and translation work.
Stay flexible: be ready to show the house, or to make the most of time if people don't rush to view it.

Elizabeth Mitchell:
Register for writer's retreat.
Finish grant.
Write an average of 6 hours times 7.
Unearth dining room table.
Finish shawl.

Good Enough Woman:
1) Clean linen closet
2) Clean out freezer
3) Do SF class homework, decide what kind of piece to submit next time (revision or something new)
4) Be reasonable about which and how many books to take on the trip.
5) Do push ups, walk the dog a few times.

Heu mihi:
1) Read 2 books
2) Very rough draft of Impatience
3) Clean the damn house
4) Take some time to do whatever I want at least for a while every day
5) Sit x 6

1 Finish and submit Jewel
2 Find pdfs for Overlooked lit review
3 Write review of book I read during spring break
4 Finish other review book
5 Shop for bookshelves

1) finish all exams related paperwork that is in my control
2) do paperwork and send emails related to third summer visitor
3) have longish Skype meeting with FormerPDF (former post doc who now has a faculty job elsewhere) about Problem Child Redux (we have to redo most of last summer's work, we are grumpy but at least we should avoid some mistakes. No doubt we will make new ones).
4) prepare for a Twitter Conference ("talk" is 6 tweets with pictures delivered over 15 minutes. I am NOT a concise writer, this talk is going to be a real challenge to write!).

1. Grading! Clear big online class, and helping out class.
2. Decide which actual grant I am going to go for for acquittal grant, and set up document with criteria
3. Running on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (lunch times)
4. Schedule record-keeping indoctrination workshop
5. Read creed/stray and choose book for next week.

a. write 5,000 words for Ch 6
b. restake tomatoes in the garden and weed all over
c. have handyman repair garage door
d. walk for 2 hrs total and lift weights 3 x
e. find a new massage therapist who is good working with injuries (I have chronic back pain from an old severe injury)

Plant Girl:
1. Exercise 4x
2. Write for at least 5 minutes per day
3. Go to the library to pick up books

1. Read two journals, list in bibliography
2. Enjoy conference
3. Keep exercise going while at conference.

1. analyze data and create presentation for Montreal conference
2. try to create some manageable goals for the F32 paper and get some work on that done
3. progress report finalized
4. Marriage analyses and results writeup done
5. grant R&R

What Now?
* Finish the draft of this article so that I can put it away for a few days, clear my head, and then go back and look at it with fresh eyes.
* Plus, less stressfully, I have meetings with two separate groups of colleagues to do some planning for next year’s courses. One will be straightforward and pretty easy; the other, which I’m more excited about, involves some serious rethinking of a course, which has been a fun intellectual project (although has distracted me from the article).
* Call my mother. (Sometimes this is pleasant, and sometimes it's a chore)

* And do 30 minutes’ work each day in the yard or the house, making our physical surroundings more pleasant.


  1. Well, I didn't finish the draft of the article, BUT it now has an argument, which it had been profoundly missing all this time! So I didn't meet my goal, but I still feel pretty good about my work on the article. Now my goal for this next week is to actually finish the draft.

    And the two meetings went well, and my courses are basically planned for next year, which means that I can stop spending mental energy on them.

    Next weekend is devoted to out-of-town family who will be in town, so my other goal this week is to CLEAN THE HOUSE!

    1. So you have two goals for next week, if I'm reading this right: finish the draft and clean the house. Is that correct?

    2. Having an argument is a huge step! Have fun with your family.

    3. That moment when you say, "There's an argument!" is such a relief (and exciting).

    4. As someone who has sometimes only tripped over the argument half-way through an article (oh, look, there it is!), I can say it is a definite achievement! All the best with cleaning the house!

  2. Hi, Elizabeth! In Firefox, your first four paragraphs display as one super-long line each, rather than in paragraph form, so if you have a chance to edit this post, please see if you can fix that.

    1. Thanks for the notice, DEH. I have tried to fix it with some success--at least all the words are in the column block, but I can't seem to get it quite right. I never ran into this before, but I'll keep tweaking it. Thanks again.

    2. Now it's behaving. Thank you. I had this happen once when my post was written by Glendower!

    3. *gives Brigid the side-eye* You're welcome! I'm glad it's behaving.

  3. To all of our very welcome new participants: in order to help your hosts with assembling the goals for each week, please separate your new goals from your assessment of how you did each week. Then we can just cut and paste into the new post. Thank you!

  4. How I did: not great. It was another week ruined by bad food reactions. I think I have to accept that all the oligosaccharides are bad for me and should be off the table (literally). I did a lot of crosswords and re-reading of comfort books.

    Regular stretching and exercise; return to doing knee push-ups (50?). SEMI: did well early in the week, poorly later.
    Regular language and translation work. YES (helped by having set low goals of 1/2 to one hour daily on each).
    Stay flexible: be ready to show the house, or to make the most of time if people don't rush to view it. YES (I guess: feeling ill doesn't seem like a great use of time, but since there have been no showings yet, at least I was able to be ill at my leisure).

    New goals:
    Regular stretching and exercise; keep doing knee push-ups (50?).
    Return to normal early sleep schedule.
    Regular language and translation work.
    Make a plan for the last set of article revisions.
    Do some planning for fall classes.
    Do 2 house-related things.

    1. 50 knee push ups is fantastic! Go you! What a goal!

    2. Sorry to hear the food woes returned. I hope resolution of those woes help with the sleep difficulties.

      I often find small goals help me get on task, with the result that I find myself working longer (and sometimes with joy and satisfaction) on the task.

  5. I'm sort of in between, I guess. I do some planning, but don't tend to have plans B through D or whatever.

    My big goals were:

    1. Hike a LOT. I need to be ready to do 8 miles x 3 days, in Yosemite (so up hills at altitude) by the end of July.

    2. Start outlining and working on an essay that's part of my sabbatical.

    3. Do some sabbatical planning. I have some travel funding...

    4. Shorter term: Do a short project for our Women's, Gender, and Sexualities Program.

    and 5. Practice the violin! I'm working on shifting, vibrato, and double stops especially, and on the second piece in the fourth Suzuki book.

    How did I do? I went on a 7 mile hike (carrying 20 pounds)! And a couple good bike rides.

    I outlined my essay! (And only actually did it because I wanted to be able to write here that I'd done it. So yay!)

    I didn't finish the project, but I did start it. I need more info to finish it, and have to wait for my colleague to send it.

    I practiced well, but that's sort of a daily step at a time.

    This weeks goals:

    1. Write on section of the essay.
    2. Go on an 8 mile hike carrying at least 20 pounds.
    3. Keep practicing!

    1. Definitely a good week. I had to laugh at your admission that you only outlined the essay because you had to report on it here. I do that so often!

    2. Me too! It's one of the great things about this group.

    3. Yup! My real life writing group which meets during the semester and uses a similar process-focused, small goals approach meets Wednesdays, and we reckon about 90% of semester time writing gets done between Tuesday afternoon and our meeting time on Wednesday - but who cares, it gets DONE!

  6. I'm by nature a pantser who then likes to problem solve by generating various permutations of back-up plans. One thing that I try to do is to have a clear sense of what actions/plans are within my ability to control, and to let go things beyond that. I am trying to work on moving away from plans that involve me doing everything myself/being superhuman as that seems to be becoming less sustainable as I get older and tireder/wiser.

    Last week:
    1. Grading! Clear big online class, and helping out class.
    End is in sight, but not there yet. Not helped by losing a day to cover a sick colleague's assessment.
    2. Decide which actual grant I am going to go for for acquittal grant, and set up document with criteria
    3. Running on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (lunch times)
    Managed one run on Sunday. Interesting in that my brain knows I can do it (I was a t week eight of couch to 5k when I stopped, and I've dropped back to week 4) but my body is pointedly reminding me that it isn't so used to it.
    4. Schedule record-keeping indoctrination workshop
    5. Read creed/stray and choose book for next week.
    No on creed, but did find a journal article, and want to return to pascoe/emu so that might be next week's book.

    This week:
    I've got a week's annual leave planned for next week, so the theme for this week is getting this tidied up enough for that leave to not be work in my own time.
    1. Run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
    2. Marking! Finish all the marking!
    3. Grant decision and 1 hour of drafting
    4. Schedule workshop
    5. 3 hours reading

    1. I am working on letting go of things I cannot control as well, which is difficult as a control freak. I am definitely moving away from the "must-be-superhuman" things, as the grant I just finished wasn't drafted to be all me, but ended up that way. Never again!

      My brain is still convinced I am about 25, and my poor body sometimes believes it, to my sorrow. There must be some middle ground--if you find it, please let me know!

  7. I am definitely a plotter but am suffering from serious over-planning. I grossly underestimate how much time things will take and lately underestimate my enthusiasm as well. May was good for making progress but June has been slothful. Unfortunately, when I missed a few self-imposed small deadlines, and then a few more, I gave in to feelings of defeat and failure. Being my own worst enemy there. Being on the other side of the first bad migraine I’ve had in awhile, I feel re-energized and hope I can continue with today’s momentum.

    Last week:
    1 Finish and submit Jewel: no
    2 Find pdfs for Overlooked lit review: no
    3 Write review of book I read during spring break: no
    4 Finish other review book: yes
    5 Shop for bookshelves: yes

    This week:
    1 Finish and submit Jewel
    2 Find pdfs for Overlooked lit review
    3 Write review of book I read during spring break
    4 Buy bookshelves

    Wishes for goodness for all!

    1. My husband's rule of thumb is to double the time he thinks something ought to take. He does this partly because he can't control when other people will do their parts, but I find that even though I rarely do anything that involves dovetailing work with someone else's, the doubling helps a lot.

    2. I also fall into the Slough of Despond when I miss some deadlines, so I have to watch the tendency to over-schedule when I feel great and inspired.

      Most of my articles in library science were dependent on others, which really tested my perfectionist scheduler, but at least helped me see my own deadlines in a more realistic light.

      DEH's husband has great wisdom indeed.

    3. Slough of Despond! That is perfection.

  8. Hi all, I get really bored with plotting, really easily, and I'm one of those annoying people who worries excessively about obeying rules, so having a clear plan (which was HARD for me to make) and then having events derail it makes me both anxious and irritated, which is definitely not how I want to feel in the summer! It's a waste of energy, for a start...

    Last week was hopefully the proper last of the exam period - all the module marks "went up" on Wednesday and degree classes on Friday, subject to final checks by persons not us. I tallied hours because it was an Time Allocation Survey week* and did 55.5 hours last week. Not surprisingly I did very little this weekend except have hay fever, snack, read novels, surf the internet and nap! But this coming week I am only going to work on Friday (which is full of meetings with all of my various temporary research folks, it's weird to have a proper research group, and even weirder that it's only for a few months), so I hope to get some stuff done for ME.

    last week's goals:
    1) finish all exams related paperwork that is in my control YES, including setting resits
    2) do paperwork and send emails related to third summer visitor YES (now need to reply, but...)
    3) have longish Skype meeting with FormerPDF about Problem Child Redux YES, and the first batch of computer models for PCRedux started running late last week, quicker than we expected
    4) prepare for a Twitter Conference done and delivered. Interesting experience - would do again!

    Goals for this week:
    1) push as many work things into Friday as humanly possible
    2) potter and putter at various small household projects, aiming for an hour a day
    3) exercise a little every day
    4) do something summery or creative every day
    5) brain-dump ideas for summer plans onto HonkingBigSheetOfPaper which is on the living room table - don't DO anything with them, just dump them as they come up into a great ol' mess
    6) eat healthily, drink plenty of water, sleep a lot. Recovery mode allowed!

    *(we need to do timecards against multiple categories of work for three weeks each year, selected randomly by the centre for each section of the university, as part of a general audit - however, it always annoys me because we COMPLETE the card in hours, but it is converted to percentages on submission, and leads to lectures from "the centre" about how we aren't overworked, look, your unit spent 30% of your time on research last year and only funded 10% of it - no amount of pointing out that ALL the research time was in excess of the nominal 37.5 hours a week we do seems to get through. And if you only fill out the card for the 37.5 hours, you get the "but you aren't fulfilling your contracts, where is your R activity?" GRR).

    1. Those timecards sound super annoying!!!

    2. At least it's only three weeks of the year... but yeah, the whole process is SUPER annoying. I know they need the data - it's a condition of some of the government funding the University gets or something - but I just hate the way they handle it. Especially in a University, and especially when they use it badly to people who teach undergrads about data, and the percentage-versus-scale-data issues, semester in semester out...

    3. I can't even express my feelings about the timecards *shudder*.

      The pantsers I know fall into two groups--the one you express about plotting being boring, and the other saying that it stifles creativity. Your comment about how you find it distressing when things go awry makes me think I should try to plan less than I do--it might just help. Thank you!

  9. Fortunately, a lot of my current decisions and planning variables are not on tight timelines, so I think I've been able to just cruise along, sampling various types of excursions and seeing what I enjoy the most. Still, I often feel an urgency to FIGURE OUT what to focus on and do next. I think the urgency comes from being past the mid-point of my career, and getting close to age 50. I feel like I don't have time for "all the things," so I need to CHOOSE WISELY. I'm not exactly pantsing because I do have specific options I'm choosing between, but I'm still working out the plot. Anyhoo...

    Last week:
    1) Clean linen closet NOT DONE. Ran out of time.
    2) Clean out freezer DONE
    3) Do SF class homework, decide what kind of piece to submit next time (revision or something new)
    4) Be reasonable about which and how many books to take on the trip. DONE!, she says, defiantly. I filled a backpack with books. Around 12, I think? Plus the giant novel I'm reading now. I'm going to say that's REASONABLE. (My husband would disagree. He's not a big reader.)
    5) Do push ups, walk the dog a few times. NOT DONE, DONE. This week I will remember the push ups!

    We've made it to Colorado, and we'll be busy with grandparent activities this week. The trickiest thing will be getting in the writing.

    This week:
    1) Daily push ups (10x), walk the dog some, stretch a little
    2) Start writing story for SF writing class
    3) Write 500 words of mystery YA
    4) Be mindful about not eating giant meals three times a day (even if other family members are). Just take small portions.

    Hmmm... It strikes me that I'm not sure what other kinds of TLQ to work on while traveling. Maybe this is enough?

    1. Sounds like enough to me! You've often had TLQ goals about being properly present when you are with family, so it sounds like that is the thing that will be the focus of this week, the thing that is relatively easy, and maybe these are quite enough things to fit in around the focus?

    2. Perhaps for TLQ while travelling you can ponder the options for the focus of your work. Some of that may depend on your access to internet, but some certainly can come from quiet moments. Depending on what branch of the family I'm visiting, the latter is even harder to come by, but you may have some opportunities.

      Your feeling about seeing 50 on the horizon sounds akin to what I call my mid-life career question: what do I need to do with whatever time I have left in my career to feel that I have done right by my earlier self? And the same question pertains to my fiction writing--for which I thankfully (or hope, at least) I have more time.

      Also, thank you for #4 in your next week's goals. As I am going to the land of excess, I need to remember that I don't have to eat all the things!

    3. JaneB, yes, quality kid time is often on the list, and that's an easy one for the next few weeks! That's probably why the list feels short.


  10. 1. analyze data and create presentation for Montreal conference -- About halfway done.
    2. try to create some manageable goals for the F32 paper and get some work on that done -- Yeah, didn’t do that.
    3. progress report finalized -- Done and uploaded!
    4. Marriage analyses and results writeup done -- Really bad draft of this done!
    5. grant R&R -- Mostly done -it has to be resubmitted tomorrow.

    I’m currently at a conference in San Diego, and it is an idyllic setting. I may choose conference attendance in the future as to whether or not it is in San Diego. Although I didn’t meet all of my goals last week, I met enough of them that I feel pretty good. Getting the presentation done though will be a huge challenge as I have two days back in NYC and then onto the next conference (in Montreal). I need to have my presentation done by then - and it is a brand new presentation unrelated to anything I have done before.’

    I think I am a pantsy plotter. Or a potty pantser. I have a strong sense as to what I need to be accomplishing and when - but then I am mostly haphazard in getting there. As long as I stick to this group and create some shorter term objectives, I think it should be okay.

    This week.
    1. Submit grant R&R
    2. Finish presentation
    3. Make wish list of measures (my grant in #1 is likely to be funded, so I want to figure out what measures I will use in my survey. I’m pretty excited about this).

    1. I've done a few conferences in San Diego, and yeah, it's pretty idyllic!

    2. When I was a full time worker/part time grad student, I went to a professional conference in San Diego. I sat on the balcony of my hotel room and wrote an academic paper for much of the free time I had available. One of my finest memories of a makeshift writing retreat.

    3. ::Makes mental note to find out when "conference I really ought to hit one year but it's a long flight to the USA and I don't like cities" is next in San Diego::

    4. San Diego might be too warm for you, JaneB. If you go there, go in "winter," when temps are c. 50-60 F. You might prefer Seattle or Vancouver.

    5. It sounds like you are more of the puzzler (which I mentioned in one of the earlier comments), Waffles. I find short-term objectives very helpful.

      I also laughed at your "really bad draft" comment. My dissertation director used to tell me that one cannot edit a blank page. I sometimes wince at what I wrote a year ago (or a week ago), but it is better than the blank screen with the cursor blinking at me.

      My husband rhapsodizes about San Diego (I have never been there), but I think it is partly because our conferences are in places like Boston and Denver in the winter and Orlando and Dallas in the summer. I may be misjudging either my husband or San Diego (or possibly both.)

    6. I like puzzler!

      The weather here this week is upper 60s and lower 70s with low humidities. It is truly idyllic!

  11. So last week went pretty well for me -- I did manage to run three times and practice yoga once, which was excellent for self-care/mental health. I also formed a writing group with some friends and have started actively writing my chapter at much more than 5 minutes per day, so yay! The library did get pushed off until today (I don't actually have institutional access right now so I'm relying upon someone else to take me to their library), but I'm ok with that.

    Goals for this week:

    1. Exercise 4x again
    2. Write 1 hr-ish/day OR research
    3. Make it to the U of I RBML to look over a primary source
    4. Possibly take weekend off?

    1. Yay for in person writing groups! And for weekends off, if we can't act like we have a civilised life in the summer when can we?

    2. I heartily agree with JaneB's comments.

      I hope not having institutional access doesn't impede your work too much. I must give a plug for inter-library loan, which you can access through your public library, although they do tend to charge for it, depending on their tax base. I've gotten some esoteric things that way during my independent scholar years.

  12. Like Waffles, I'm the pantsy plotter: I know what needs doing, but I'm haphazard about getting there. The good thing about this is that it allows me to be flexible when things fall apart; the bad thing is that I can fiddle and diddle a bit more than I should because I'm not all scheduled. One of the things I've done in this group is try to figure out how to plan, or how much to plan...

    How I did last week? Pretty well, since my goals were *extremely* modest.
    1. Read two journals, list in bibliography YES

    2. Enjoy conference YES - hard not to enjoy the conference where you meet up with the women who drink and dine well!

    3. Keep exercise going while at conference. PRETTY MUCH -- only 1 day where I didn't meet my step goal.

    Goals for this week
    1. Bureaucratic (1) file two sets of expenses
    2. Bureaucratic (2) finish entering data into system, draft self statement for merit review
    3. Read 6 journals, enter in bibliography
    4. Order course books (this is VERY late)
    5. Sketch syllabus for new course
    6. Start reading next book review
    7. Clear junk off two empty file cabinets to list on craigslist
    8. Keep walking, eat healthfully

    If I get through all this, I'll have made inroads on almost all my goals for the session. Which seems good.

    1. I hope all that positive conference energy came home with you and will feed into all your goals!

    2. I do think the strength of the pantsy plotter, or puzzler, is the flexibility. I am far too easy to knock out-of-balance by a library not answering my email for weeks, rather than to roll into the next topic, page, or whatever. That is a great quality.

      Your comment about needing to learn how much to plan is exactly what I need as well.

      Finally, as JaneB said, here's to left-over conference buzz to get through the bureaucratic hoops you list.

  13. A timely prompt! I'm not really a plotter (or quite a pantser--somewhere in between, both in fiction and academic writing), but I do NOT deal well with uncertainty. Not big uncertainty, anyway. My response is to try to control, control, control. Something came up last week with my book manuscript--a very aggravating thing--that temporarily spun me into Uncertainty, and I got very obsessive, trying to come up with a way to address it before I even had all the information. The problem is that I get a dull ache in my stomach and I want to do whatever I can to get rid of it.

    I'm trying to actively use mindfulness and meditation techniques to deal with that sort of feeling, now--to see the *feeling* as separate from *me* and just sort of let it play out on its own, rather than identifying with it (and thus trying to talk myself out of the feeling, which is almost always impossible). It sort of worked.

    (And then I got the fuller information, and the ms. situation is annoying but completely manageable, and I hope to deal with it in the next week or two.)

    How I did:
    1) Read 2 books - Done
    2) Very rough draft of Impatience - Done (it's too long, though--this is for an 8-minute paper!)
    3) Clean the damn house - Done
    4) Take some time to do whatever I want at least for a while every day - Done, I think
    5) Sit x 6 - x5, with two only lasting 10 minutes instead of my usual 20; it was a bit of a hectic week.

    This week:
    1. Re-read Wonder draft (lowest priority)
    2. Revise Impatience to the right length
    3. Read 2 books
    4. Do as much as possible re. MS situation
    5. Get rid of stuff (list on Craig’s List, donate, offer to grad student)
    6. Contact Amy about Denise; Denise title
    7. Sit x 6

    1. I'm trying to focus on what I *can* control right now: putting in the time on writing projects (oops, screwed that up today), keeping the house picked up so there's not too much to do at the last minute, that sort of thing. There's a lot I can't control that I wish I could, and thinking about those things makes me crazy, so I just try to focus the control freak elsewhere.

    2. I'm glad you found the prompt timely. I especially appreciate the idea of isolating the feeling as feeling, since I am struggling so very hard to keep the uncertainty of the work situation from affecting the sabbatical work.

      I also like DEH's focus on what I can control now. Your comment about trying to do what you want for at least part of the day really hit me. I can control that, and need to do so, unless I want to turn into the perpetually grumpy person that I could so easily be.

  14. Topic: I do not deal well with uncertainty, which is why I am reading your answers with rapt attention. I am a recovering perfectionist and super-plotter. By the time I was thirteen, I had my whole life plotted out. I was going to be a professor, with the 2.5 requisite children, and write stunningly successful fiction on the side. Whoops--no one had told me that life is what happens while you are making other plans.

    Since my rude awakening, I have become a plantser--although a writer friend of mine came up with the term puzzler, which expresses the plotting with an unknown element. I think of it as doing a jigsaw puzzle that has no picture. I still have my moments of creating Plans A through E, but with a lot more wiggle room than I used to have. I still hate last minute uncertainty--when the car runs out of gas a mile past the “Next Services 46 miles” sign, with the fuel indicator unhelpfully on half-full, I tend to curse fluently in a way that would make my ancestor Black Mike Mitchell proud.

    Also, I forgot one of the trips I am taking this summer. In mid-August, the philosopher and I are taking the train to northern Indiana (twelve hours, but in a sleeper) for our younger daughter’s birthday. Our older daughter and her family will be visiting at the same time, so it will be a mini-reunion.

    Last week’s goals:
    Register for writer's retreat. Done
    Finish grant. Done
    Write an average of 6 hours times 7. Only 5
    Unearth dining room table. Done
    Finish shawl. No.

    I despise making phone calls, but I had to call the hotel to register for the writer’s retreat. I am very proud of myself for doing so. I finished the grant in a final push last Monday, which brings the 18-month period to a close, leaving me very grateful. I didn’t manage to write the two days I was in the Finger Lakes, and only feel slightly guilty about it. The hotel was right on one of the lakes, so I spent some time sitting in an Adirondack chair on the dock watching boats. It was very restorative.

    My husband, with the help of political philosopher son, installed three of the four shelves in the garret study, so I was able to move from the dining table. Now I could actually feed people at the table--imagine that! And finally, I did not finish the shawl. I’m very close, but it is quite large now (about 20 in. x 65 in) and wool, so it is unpleasant to have on one’s lap in 80-90 degree weather. I switched to a silk and cotton scarf for the interim.

    Next week’s goals:
    Pack for New Orleans.
    Verify and combine if necessary the versions of the introduction that were created in my wrestling session with the work cloud application.
    Print the most recent/complete version for the trip.
    Begin my annual faculty report.

    I’m keeping it short and sweet. I will be travelling from the crack of dawn Thursday through the wee hours Wednesday, but I will endeavor to check in while I’m gone. I hope everyone continues to have a productive week. Excelsior!

    1. Yay for shelves, boo for cloud applications that do NOT make life easier whatever their advocates like to say. I also like to pick my craft work for the season - I'm crocheting in heavy cotton at the moment, it feels cool to the touch and slides over my fingers without any of the itch of yarn in warm weather. Nice fibres for the win!

    2. A good quality cotton is a joy to work with, I agree!

      Cloud applications are devil spawn.

    3. I am allergic to lanolin and can't work with wool, so I love finding a good cotton (or cotton blend) yarn.

      Here's to not running out of gas on our journeys (which we almost did on I-70 last Sunday)!

    4. Drops yarns! Lots of lovely and very well priced non-wool blends (I'm not actively ALLERGIC to wool, but in temps above about 20 degrees if I work with it for more than half an hour or so I start to get eczema-itches and little blisters on my fingers, from them being too warm and irritated by the friction I think. And it reacts worse to things like acrylic (hotter and itchier). Stupid fussy body, but not nearly as annoying as if we didn't have access to cotton, bamboo and other lovely yarns

    5. Thanks for the non-wool suggestion, JaneB. I have the same reaction (sensitivity?) to wool in warmer weather.

  15. I'm mainly showing up to vent, though my complaint does have to do with being a plotter who would probably be happier right now if I were more of a pantser. Yesterday we got a request to show the house early this morning. You may recall that Sir John keeps vampiric hours; nonetheless, we accepted it, and then I put my foot down about not being left to do all the prep by myself. When all that was resolved, the viewer cancelled the showing. So I stayed up too late reading, and slept late, and now I have the day to work in without any sense of Disturbance From Other People In My Space (yes, I am a cat in human form); but I was all steeled for such disturbance. Now I can see that I need to "live with uncertainty" not only in the sense of having to be ready for showings, but also for having them cancelled on short notice. I really hate this. I like to know what I'm doing and stick to the plan, even when I don't like the plan. I'm trying to say "This is the plan! Live with uncertainty and work the process! You're doing it!" but grrrrr.

    1. GRRRR in empathy from a fellow feline in human form. It's like when you think the train or bus you're on is going to stop jerkily and it then doesn't; the jar from being braced for something that doesn't happen is very disconcerting to some of us!

    2. I empathize as well. I don't like people in my space at all, nor do I change plans or course easily.

    3. This reminds me of how I felt last summer--always having to respond to other peoples needs and (often changing) timelines.

      Here's hoping the process will move quickly.

  16. Hi Everyone,

    Turns out I was only looking at the Week 1 page and forgetting to refresh the page, so I did not see all the updates. I also have been at my Mom's, who has COPD and is not mobile, getting her sister (my aunt) into Memory Care for the last two weeks. The good news is that I met all my week 1 goals, the bad news is I am several weeks behind in my writing and personal balancing activities.