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Oromendur: Interlude in the (sort of) Shire, Spring Edition

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Greetings all! It's your favorite Adventurer, Tolkien scholar, and wandering mythologist, rocking up late AGAIN for another quixotic attempt to complete a NF challenge (sigh)


So, it's...<checks>...Wednesday of Week One, and I'm just now drafting my challenge after having abandoned the last one in...<checks>...Week One. Ugh.


The only excuse I can come up with is the disruption in my life caused by an unexpected international trip last challenge combined with a long-planned (but still-stressful) adventure leading an American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation in Joshua Tree National Park in Week Zero of this one. Oh, and then before I even unpacked I got on a train to Santa Barbara for a short turn to see some friends who were visiting from Colorado...


BUT I'm on my return train now, and I will officially start my challenge tomorrow. On the 1st of April, no fooling! 


After much adventuring and travel in the past month or so, it actually looks like I'll be sleeping in my own bed in my own house for the entire month of April. I plan to take advantage of this fact to make some serious progress on my current fiction project, complete a first draft of a nonfiction book proposal due in May, and (hopefully) start to get my arms around the sprawling project that is sorting out my hobbit hole after many MANY years of neglect.


Here's my plan. Spoiler for details:


PAI: I will keep my PAI score over 100 every day. 


I'm enjoying a large cushion on this exertion score at the moment, left over from the solid six days of strenuous trail work I did last week and the big hike I went on with my Colorado friend yesterday. Hopefully I can keep the streak going (the magic PAI number is a rolling 7-day average and there are a few cliffs approaching and I'm in danger of tumbling off any one of them). Still, this measure has proven its worth over the years as a good way to keep me motivated to move more without having to set (and subsequently ignore) any specific cardio goals.


Writing: I will do one fiction and one non-fiction session of writing each day.


The plan is to take advantage of Camp NaNo to add about 25,000 words to my nearly-finished Celtic shapeshifter novel, and to use the motivation of a deadline I paid for in order to complete a nonfiction book proposal for a mythologically-oriented self-help nonfiction project. I also have a dryly academic fandom-as-personal-chosen-mythology project tugging at my sleeve, the proposal for which I may work on after the self-help one is done. There are also likely to be things required of me related to the release of my book on Tolkien's myth of wilderness which is coming out in May (!) (!!) (EEK THAT'S LIKE SIX WEEKS AWAY AND THAT'S TERRIFYING!!!)


Routines: I will complete the following routines each day.


Morning routine: Do my old teacher's 28-move Taiji form, do 11 twisty pushups (on Perfect Pushup handles because my wrists suck), do 20 KB swings (I'm using the 16kg bell for now -- yes, it's a trivial requirement, but that's kind of the point), and do Julia Cameron-style morning pages.


I'm actually changing up the order of my morning routine here. By switching the morning pages to last, I'm hoping I'll be able to trick myself into going outside to do them with my morning coffee. The idea is to actually feel some morning sun on my face first thing, more days than not. If it turns out this doesn't work I reserve the right to go back to my normal order at any point during the challenge.


Home routine: Complete my daily task (see spreadsheet for details), do 15 minutes of cleaning and decluttering in the FlyLady zone of the week, do SOMETHING in the way of yard work outside (it can be as trivial as pulling a single weed out from between the pavers in the driveway), and do something to advance a personal or tech project around the house. 


MInor tweaks from last time. Considering this is historically the most challenging routine for me I probably should do some major tweaks, but I just don't have the energy right now (sigh)


Health routine: Do my physical therapy exercises, do a forearm mobility session, eat at least three different colors of freggies, complete 9 active hours as tracked my my FitBit.


Some major tweaks here. I'm adding the forearm mobility task with an eye to doing pullups again someday (every time I try my elbows hurt something awful, even with massive assistance, so I think there's some myofascial issues going on which I'm going to attempt to address with a few minutes of daily attention). The freggies are there because I learned last challenge that I really suck at eating plants. And -- since thanks to Camp NaNo I'm probably going to be sitting still writing a good chunk of the month -- the 9 active hours task is intended to give me just that bit of extra motivation to actually get up and move around when my tracker shouts at me to do so. It's all an experiment. We'll see how it goes!


Evening routine: physically write out five things for which I'm grateful, take my supplements/floss and brush/wash my face, tidy the bathroom, and either do the Theragun sleep program or a short 5-minute stretching routine.


No changes here but I think I'm probably going to need some easy wins to keep my spirits up :)


I can earn an extra daily routine point by: doing my morning pages outside on the deck, starting my fiction work before 10 am, getting dressed before 11 am, or getting in bed before 11 pm.


I will lose a daily routine point if I don't: meditate and do an HRV recording first thing in the morning, make my bed, complete one crown on Duolingo, or clean out the kitchen sink in the evening.

So, that's it. It might look like a lot for those new to my challenges, but -- assuming we all go by the various challenge spreadsheet entries and very politely pretend not to notice the utter lack of narrative updates in my various threads -- I've actually been pretty good about keeping up with a good chunk of these tasks over the past few months. I would really like to build on that success this time!


Wish me luck....



When the labours of repair had all been planned and set going he [Frodo] took to a quiet life, writing a great deal and going through all his notes.

     ~The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition, p. 1025


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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth { 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 |

14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 2829 | 30 | 31 | 32 ]

[ Current: Metamorphosis ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Ah, good. I came to check on whether or not you’d done a thread ;) 

“If you're reading this, you must be in dire need of a change. The same thing happened to me, long ago. I'd lost sight of what mattered most in life... real connections with other people and nature. So I dropped everything and moved to the place I truly belong.”
— Grandpa's Letter from Stardew Valley

🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧


Current Challenge: Stardew Valley

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