La Riposte

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Return to the ROW...

Thanks, Yoda... I'll get right on that!
When one is a writer, one is obliged to do certain things, one of them being to write.

This can be somewhat troubling at the end of a 15-hour workday in a week where that has been, in fact, one of the shorter days - when you come home to a boat that is simply a wreck (figuratively speaking) with company due to arrive in 48 hours, and still laboring under the malaise that results from a once-a-year cold...

Thank Goddess for a Round of Words!

And thank Goddess for calendars, which are an apparently recent invention which, properly utilized, might actually have resulted in my beginning this Round on the 7th along with everyone else, rather than fashionably late as I am doing today.

So, ahem, with little further ado, my goals. Actually, a glass of wine, and then the goals. Ah, better.

Actually, I believe I shall start this ROW with a recap of my previous round, since it has been just a while since last I wrote a ROW80 post - June 9th, to be precise, and it is already October. So, I've been away for a whole Round, (four months to the day) and what did I get done?

Well, not too much, and then again, a bit... I returned home from Afghanistan, took on a new and challenging job leading a little over 100 Marines, flew to Europe to visit my dear sister Kaiti in Geneva, bought a boat on which to live, (you can read all about my adventures in the life aquatic on my new blog celebrated a 40th birthday aboard a cruise ship surrounded by nearly all of my 8 sisters and 3 brothers, met my new niece, Astrid, and received the following note from the editor of a distinguished military journal to which I had submitted an article:
Thank you for submitting your article on the Marine Corps’ Diversity Taskforce.  I have one question.  Are your really proposing that the Marine Corps resemble the gender demographic of the United States and be composed of 50% women?  Or is this a thinly veiled satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal?” 
To which, of course, I quickly replied:
While I am no stranger to satire and appreciate the comparison to Swift's masterpiece, the observation that the Corps would be different and improved if the demographics of female Marines more accurately reflected that of the general population was quite serious, etc, etc...
Apparently this answer satisfied the editor, (a retired Colonel) who observed that he enjoyed printing "contrarian views" and looked forward to seeing what sort of comments the article elicited from my contemporaries and seniors. I shall know next month, I am told...

But, back to last Round's goals... On the literary front, I was supposed to post one chapter of The Perfidious Mister Wickham each week, write a chapter of my Learning Indonesian book each week, and finish three short stories; The Artillerists, Merry Christmas, Mister Washington, and Ho B-52.

I was supposed to start a publishing imprint (Parasol Books), publish a collection of short stories, increase my strength and decrease my bodyfat, and study French for five hours a week, all the while improving my social networking.


I did get proficient enough in French to get paid for it by the military, and I did manage to put out a weekly update to The Perfidious Mister Wickham. I accomplished nothing with the Learning Indonesian book, and similarly made little progress with finishing any of my short stories.

Fitness goals were met, social media goals, not so much.

Which leaves me to contemplate what I should strive for in the next 78 days...



  1. This is how I go about getting mine. Continue anything that needs continuing (like, the workouts or getting more French). Follow that up with one big goal (maybe one of the goals you missed or a brand new one). Instead of a big goal, two or three small goals can be used.

    And finishing is never the end of the road. Look at the time that's left and start another goal.

  2. I love this check-in. What adventures you've had!

    I look forward to hearing what goals you decide on for this round. Hopefully, you'll be able to check-in more often so we can share in your ongoing adventures.

    All the best!

  3. My first suggestion?


    Coming home from Afghanistan, a new job, and a new place to live are all pretty big deals. That's a lot of adjusting, in four months!

    After that - maybe this round could be about finding the joy in your life.

    I tend to have a lot of goals, and to move between them like I'm at a buffet. Like Gloria, I don't look at each round as a self-contained, all-or-nothing, venture. I tend to see the space between the end of one round and the beginning of the next as an evaluation period, where I can reshape my journey.

    I love your idea about female Marines, and I'm interested in what objections there would be to this, and what the justifications for them would be...because, really, women ought to be judged by only the criteria used for men. Disallowing them because of gender alone is discrimination..and there is ample proof that women who choose to make fine additions to military units.

    I will be going to check out your blog, partly because I love the name Gypsy Dangerously, and partly because I have a feeling it will remind me of the early years of marriage, when my husband and I lived in a 30' travel trailer (our 12 year-old's first home), and worked in national parks.

    Whatever goals you decide upon, may they bring you joy!