As of Monday, Mars is retrograde in Virgo until April; in translation, it means that work, organization or systems will lag a bit. In particular, completing tasks and meeting goals will take longer.

If I know, you have to know but here are the stars for goal-gazing.

Yup, this is a check-in for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW 80). ROW80 is an exercise for writers who aspire to write and to live—preferably at the same time—and be happy about it. Of course, that is my interpretation of ROW80, as it happens to be my lifelong goal.

Writer Dorothy Parker—there is a Facebook page that features her—expressed it this way:

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

I am 60 this August, no longer young but still aspiring, although I’ve called myself a writer for over 30 years. Have not been without a copy of The Elements of Style in over 40 years, yet happiness, unlike so many needless words, has been omitted. However, believing  age favors my living on, I continue as a starry-eyed writer.

In my career(s), writing has always played a part: teaching writing at the junior college and university levels; editing two journals and a statewide newspaper; writing grants, proposals, and government reports. I have some fiction and poetry published, one novel written through, awaiting revision.

Some years ago, I chose writing over the love of a lifetime. Still amazes me, from time to time, but it’s not surprising, really. I have always written stories, sometimes in place of truth, but more often as a way to truth. Not sure there’s a difference.

loving yourself requires a courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world—our own self-worth” (Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening).

Rhythm of ROW 80 Wednesday Word Markers:

Since January 2, I have written almost 250 words per day or approximately 5000 words.