The Android and the Wondering Chamber
It's in the bag

ROW80-3 check-in 7/22 - new plan

I wasn't convinced my schedule was full, so I signed up for a university course last week.

It's put on by a group called coursera, via U of Michigan, and is called  Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, our Modern World.  Free, no credit, just a certificate. 8-10 hours each week - a reading assignment, essay on some point you liked (~300 wd), then exchange randomly and anonymously with 4 students to evaluate and mark. Interact and learn via essays and online forum. Also watch videos the prof has done on the section, and repeat.

Here's the reading list:

Grimm — Children's and Household Tales
Carroll — Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Stoker — Dracula
Shelley — Frankenstein
Hawthorne & Poe — Stories and Poems
Wells — The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, "The Country of the Blind," "The Star"
Burroughs & Gilman — A Princess of Mars & Herland
Bradbury — The Martian Chronicles
LeGuin — The Left Hand of Darkness
Doctorow — Little Brother

So - need a new plan to manage this somehow. My target was to be editing (of course), another story for Friday, and that annoying pile of papers.


  • no editing
  • got blogs caught up
  • did some re-reading of Furies of Calderon for sci-fi club meeting today, and did my review
  • did a story for Friday for Terrible Minds - prompt was first sentence - The noticed android walks past a wondering chamber. Hard to start, then just picked something and away it went.
  • family time - visited my son and grandkids Friday. Saturday met my daughter for breakfast, then we went swimming at local pool, then to the Carleton for a beer. 
  • Online course - added to the list

Focus? Managing this course some how. Dropped back on editing, fiction reading will be part of course time - we'll see how it goes. Trying to use iPad for reading and writing for this. Also downloaded Evernote for stories - better indexing than SImplenote, and can add in pictures. 

Just for reference, my overall objectives for this ROW (which I never expect to meet all at the same time):

  •  Writer (8) - writing for fun, but also working to become a better writer. Writing every day, editing. Reading about writing, books and blogs, as well as networking.
    • Editing (1) - this will be a fixed early task. 2 hrs ?? 10 pages/day 
      • Due North. First pass pencil edit done. Now do online. Approx 315 double-spaced pages, starting at page 81.  
      •  Due North 2 - sequel. About 260 pages. TBD – cleanup scenes synopsis and notes, print, revise, type in.  
    • Writing (1) - Flash Fiction stories. 2/wk, 3 hrs each, so an hour. 
    • Publishing (1/2) -nothing like rejection/acceptance to hone your skills
      • Short Stories (1/4) – Flash fiction. New, or edit existing. Take from blog while submitting. Use market survey from Flash Fiction Chronicles, aim to send in one a week. 
      •  Fairy Tale Folk (1/4)- pull them together into collection. Start with a spreadsheet – story, characters, their traits, their development, good for ongoing stories too. Edit if time. Not a high priority this round. 
  •  Learning/sharing (5 1/2) 
    • Blogs (1) - maybe too many subscriptions. Track them all for a week and rate them.
    • Facebook (1) - ROW80 group, Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. 
    • Podcasts (.5) - have set up a few, mostly on writing. Can follow these while walking or cooking.
    • Reading (1) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. 
    • Reading (0) - fiction, to entertain and learn (part of course now). 
    • Course –(2) Fantasy and Science Fiction. Reading, writing, critiques, videos
  • Health (2 1/2) - not a lot of time, but needs to be a main item. 
    • Walking (1) - can be an evening activity too. With podcasts. Will aim for 10,000 steps.
    • Exercise/sports (1/2) -Short morning yoga session. Floor exercises? Bike? 
    • Diet – Better food, less alcohol (healthier and cheaper). 
    • Schedule - hopefully this will be healthy addition too. 
    • Friends and family (1) - just to make sure don't get stuck inside doing all these tasks
  •  Chores (2) - the boring stuff. Cleaning, laundry, shopping. And taxes.
  • TV (1)
  • Total 13.5





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Gene Lempp

Thanks for the reminder about Coursera. My wife showed me this last week and I immediately noticed the same class that you are taking. Still debating if I have the time to fit it in (I'm also in FastDraft currently)but at least it isn't forgotten.

Keep pressing for those goals and have a fantastic week :)


Gene - we all have lots of time, just never enough for all we want to do! Always hard to cut something from the list so that we can add something else.

alberta ross

that course sound fun- hope you enjoy it - and the reading list - so many classics - great stuff.


The reading list for the course is excellent! I have no doubt that it will enrich your writing and will fit in quite nicely with your goals. I know there is still that annoying stack of papers but I think it's great that you have added the course. Hope this is a great week for you.


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