ROW80 2012 – Round 1 – I’m IN!

I am excited to take part in my second ROW80 challenge (the writing challenge that knows people have a life) and to start 2012 out on what I think is the right foot to achieve my goals. I learned a ton in my first ROW80 experience and I am pumped to put those lessons to good use.

The challenge sums up my New Year’s resolutions, which are to write a novel and live a healthier lifestyle. I think breaking my year-long goals into smaller, more manageable chunks of 80 days will help motivate me to stay on point and keep me accountable. I am pumped so let us wait no longer.

Here are my goals for this Round 1 of ROW80 2012.


  • Complete outline of WIP
  • Write 1750 words a week, on average 250 words a day (can be on WIP or other writings like flash fiction, character development, world building etc)
  • Finish James Scott Bell book
  • Read 2 other writing craft books

Social Media

  • Blog – 4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)
  • Blog – 2 ROW80 progress updates a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
  • Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
  • Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
  • BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
  • Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

So how’s it gonna work?

  • I have created a ROW80 page (check it out). This is where I declare my writing goals publically (and update if required). I’ve updated the page with this round’s goals and you can see my previous rounds’ goals.
  • I will post my ROW80 progress reports every Wednesday (don’t worry, Urban Word Wednesday is not going anywhere) and Sunday for the next 80 days!
  • I’ll link all my ROW80 updates on the calendars on the ROW80 page so you’ll always be able to find everything in one place.
  • I’ve created a ROW80 category so you’ll be able to search out my ROW80 posts easily.

ROW Deets

And in case this post has inspired you to join in on the ROW80 FUN, here are some basic deets:

  • There are 4 rounds a year, each running 80 days. Round 1 runs from January 2 to March 22, 2012.
  • Goal can be anything you like as long as it is measurable (e.g. number of words/pages, specified amount of time to spend on writing per day/week, number of pages edited etc).
  • Once you have settled on a goal, you write it up on your blog (voila, right here) and link to it on the Goals Linky for the Round, which will be posted on the ROW80 Blog.
  • If your goal changes before the end of the 80 days, simply write up a new goals post and link to it on the latest check-in day.
  • We have check-ins twice a week on Wednesday and Sundays where you will update us the same way (e.g. write up a blog post of your progress and link to it on that day’s linky).
  • On Twitter we use a hashtag of #ROW80 if you wanna come hang out.
  • And if you happen to find us after a round has begun, just write up your goals post and hop on in whenever. We’re a friendly bunch.
  • Be sure to grab the ROW80 badge from the sidebar on the ROW80 Blog.

Here we go…let the games begin!

Are you taking part in this Round 1 of ROW80? What kind of writing and/or life goals have you set for yourself for 2012?


Hubby’s Corner: are you a man or a mouse?

By Hubby

Anyone that knows me, knows that there is only one other creature that I battle with more than the elusive New Brunswick Partridge and that’s the ever-daring rodent called the Deer Mouse.

I’m certain the basic training guide for our most elite soldiers of the world was devised by studying the strategic moves and militant brigade precision of the deer mouse.

At our camp I have a constant battle with deer mice. I use poison, I set traps, I seal every crack I can find all the while the Camp Heckler (AKA, my wife) is there to lend a supportive hand…hell….who are we kidding here?!?! Not you guys…you know that there’s no support from the Camp Heckler!!

So with this in mind, a friend of mine, we’ll call him John to protect his identity, decided to share with me the story of his latest encounter with the deer mouse. John is about 42 years old and has many of the qualities many men his age might display. Mild hair displacement as his hair has vacated the northern region of his body for the ever popular southern regions. At a cool three bills, his midsection is accumulating like interest on a high interest credit card. With this mental snapshot stored in your spank banks (future Urban Word Wednesday I’m told…stay tuned), I’d like to share with you John’s story…

John and his wife were sound asleep in their bed; cuddled up with their two cats and dogs. John was in the deep Zen kind of sleep, when at about 3 a.m. he started dreaming about something scratching his head. He promptly changed position only to have the head scratching continue. John woke up and quickly navigated his naked body across the bedroom floor, hit the light switch, and found his head bleeding. He looked to the bed where he had been sleeping to shockingly find a mouse sitting on his pillow having a stare down with his useless cat. The mouse had been chewing on his bald head.

With no cat in pursuit, the mouse scurried into the closet.

John, being a fellow hunter and gatherer, went to the garage and grabbed one leather work glove and a large mayonnaise jar and headed back up to the bedroom armed and dangerous. He cautiously entered the closet to find both cats inside looking up at the clothing on the hangers. John glanced up in time to see the mouse running across the top of the hangers. With ninja-style reflexes, he snatched the mouse with his gloved hand and put it in the mayonnaise jars and celebrated with a loud “AH-HAAH!”

At that point, his wife woke up from a dead sleep to the following site: John standing naked in the closet wearing one glove and holding a mouse in a mayonnaise jar yelling “AH- HAAH!”

At this point in the story I was laughing so hard I couldn’t quite catch my breath as I sputtered out “I’d like to see the mouse that saw you laying on a table like a mouse buffet and thought you were a midnight snack!”

On a more serious note, John continued to tell me how he saved the mouse in the jar just in case he had to have it tested. My thoughts were “what about the mouse? Who’s going test it for John-dis?!!” 

I’d like to end with this hilarious commercial that showcases the sheer will, smarts, and power that John and I come up against in our deer mouse battles.

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