Tag Archives: clutter

Bits and Pieces

Of paper, that is.

I need to clean out my computer hutch because it’s a total disaster area in there, everything keeps sliding out, and I think there may be some sort of new civilization arising from the papers that have ended up behind my computer monitor.

My current solution to the problem is to drag it all out and put it in a box and then go through the box, sorting it into categories like:

important papers
novel notes
plot bunnies
character names
and so on

Why don’t I just sort as I pull it out?

Good question.

For one thing, not everything in there is paper, just the majority of it. Getting the paper all out of the way lets me see what else I’m dealing with.

And a box is a lot more portable than my computer hutch. I can take it all someplace where I’ll have more room to sort it all out into piles. This is especially important because I have no idea how many piles I’ll need.

Plus, currently, every time I pull out one piece of paper half a dozen more avalanche along with it.

The ultimate goal (aside from pretending to have an organized life) is to move some of my writing stuff over here instead of having scattered wherever it currently is. I especially want my Plot Bunny/WiP binder over here so I can just write ideas in it instead of on scraps of paper (which is part of what led to this mess).

I’m also seriously considering not replacing my PC, but just getting a new laptop. That would free up a great deal of space. I’d have the slot where the PC sat before its power supply went kaput (fortunately the hard drive was salvageable), I could get rid of the monitor which give me more room in the hutch itself, and I could get rid of a lot of cords, the PC’s speakers, etc.

I think I just talked myself into it. (See? Decluttering space helps declutter the mind. And it helps clear up creative blockages too.)

So, that’s one current side project. If anyone has any great ideas for taming paper clutter, I’d love to hear them, especially if they’re ideas for keeping it tamed once it’s conquered. Meanwhile, if anyone needs me, I’m engaged in an archaeological dig in my computer hutch.

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Happy New Year!

Time to dust off the blog and get back to regular postings other than Wednesday Words. I have no idea how I got out of doing them, but it happened, and now I’m going to make it unhappen.

Hopefully.

I’m making it one of my goals for this year, so we shall see.

Ah, yes. New year. Time for the annual new goals list.

I have some (don’t I always?) but they aren’t really solidified yet with steps needed, etc, but I thought I’d list them anyhow.

 

Non-writing goals:

Improved health.
Which means losing weight and building strength and stamina.

Cleaning up this disaster area of a house.
I’d like it to be “company ready” at all times, but I’m a packrat and so is my roommate, so you can take a guess at what the house looks like. Add to that that I’m an expert avoider of housework (so is she, but at least I own up to it) and it can be a little overwhelming even deciding where to start. I can’t do it all on my own because at least half of the mess is hers so I have no control over it, but I can work on what I can control.

New Job?
I’m starting to get frustrated with working agency (I’m a nurse, for those new to the blog) so I’m starting to look for something permanent. I don’t want to go back to long term care so I’m watching for other options that look interesting.

Creative Pursuits
Other than writing, that is. I want to do more with crochet and counted cross stitch and paper crafts (Junk Journals). I’m just not sure how to fit those things into my schedule yet. I do know that I want to make a shawl a month for Mantle of Apollon, a Pagan Prayer Shawl Ministry. And a scarf a week to donate to a drop in shelter for LGBTQIA+ youth who have been turned out by their parents. Fortunately, most of my current assignments give me lots of free time during my work day and scarves are easily transportable and fairly fast to make.

Writing Goals:

Publish Something!
I mean, seriously! It’s been years since I released Sanguine. It’s more than time to get something else out there.
Onyx Sun is almost ready to go to beta readers again, so one goal is to release it this year.

Organizing
Then there’s the somewhat overwhelming task of organizing my WsIP (Works In Progress) and Plot Bunnies. I have that project started somewhere. Actually, I have that project started in a couple different somewheres, one online and one in a three ring binder. I just can’t seem to come up with the “perfect” method, but “perfect is the enemy of done” so I need to just dive in and do it. The other part of the problem is remembering to add to the lists when a new one pops its head up.

Write!
I also want to write at least 100 words (of a novel) every day. I’ll probably write more than that but 100 words is a manageable no-excuses number, even with my somewhat erratic work schedule.

The number of projects waiting in the wings is part of the problem with writing 100 words a day. What do I pick to focus on? The Academy of the Accord series, which is near and dear to my heart? The other books in the Elven Bard series, which a friend is trying so hard to be patient for? The Other Mages trilogy which grew out of my first ever NaNoWriMo?
Sometimes I think it would be easier to just put every project on little slips of paper and pull one out of a jar every day, except I’m pretty sure that that method would ensure that nothing would ever get finished.

 

So, I think that about sums up most of my goals (and dilemmas). Am I trying to take on too much? Probably, but when don’t I?

 

 

 

 

 

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Current Status

I remembered that it’s Friday! And I remembered that I write a blog post on Fridays! My new not-so-evil day job is doing wonders for me already.

I was off yesterday and didn’t do much except go out for lunch. Today has been a stay home and chill day, which I desperately needed.

As far as writing-related stuff goes, I started setting up my notebook for story starts and ideas. I work afternoon shift tomorrow, but night shift on Sunday and Monday, so in preparation I’m printing off the stuff that I have on the computer so I can get it all put into the binder.

I still haven’t found the concordance for The Academy of the Accord, but I have found one more place that it isn’t, so… progress?  I’ve also verified that it still isn’t in three or four places that I’ve looked previously, just in case the gremlins put it back where it wasn’t.

(On a brighter note, I think I found half of a pair of Crocs my roommate was missing, so I’m pretty sure the other one is in that general vicinity somewhere.)

And in the “Why do I do this to myself?” category, I signed up for InCoWriMo – International Correspondence Writing Month. It’s a challenge to write a letter a day for the month of February. (Or a note card or post card or whatever.) Because… sanity is overrated?

 

 

 

 

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I’m Freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

It was a crazy busy weekend but I got my swaps finished and in the mail –  including two that don’t have to go out until later this week. My next ones aren’t due until September 11th or thereabouts so I’m free to work on writing related projects now.

Sunday, when I had to push to finish stuff, I found myself really wanting to just read stuff I’ve written so I could get back to work on them. I was hoping to do that today but still had a couple things to finish up before the post office closed, then my dog had a chiropractor appointment, then a trip to Tractor Supply where the checkout lady fed him treats. We dropped him off at home then went for supper and for my roommate to do a mystery shop at a frozen yogurt place. I’m stuffed and too tired to do anything else tonight.

So tomorrow I’m going to clean up the disaster area that is my bedroom and try to organize craft supplies.  And I’m going to do writing related stuff.  I’m thinking of maybe setting up some sort of rotation, maybe 15 minutes of craft clean up and then write a set amount of words (unless I really get on a roll with one or the other).

Tomorrow and Wednesday are my last “free” days as I start my new job on Thursday, and I have the feeling that Wednesday is going to have a bunch of errands attached.

Still, the future is looking pretty promising at the moment as far as getting some writing and such done.

And I’m going to be careful not to take on so much stuff that’s all due at the same time.

(Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve all heard that before.)

But The Academy of the Accord is calling (but I should work on Onyx Sun first) and I want to get back to work on the sequel to Song and Sword (which is now tentatively titled Song and Sight).

What was I saying about not taking on so much?

 

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Maybe I Should…

I think I should just give up on ever being fully organized.

The other day while digging through a drawer of craft stuff I found a small bunch of index cards.

Hm, I thought. What’s this?  So I glanced through them and wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. They were ideas for novels. Some I already had on index cards and some were ones I’d forgotten. Some are probably better left forgotten, but all have been merged into the index card project.

(I never did find the blank white cards and envelopes for making your own cards that I was originally looking for. I know I have some. Somewhere.)

I really need to get everything into a central location. Or locations. Writing stuff in one, paper crafts in another, counted cross stitch in another, crochet in another, miscellaneous other crafts in another…. As it is now it seems that every time I think I have everything rounded up I find more stuff that I had forgotten about lurking somewhere else.

Maybe next month… I should have more time and less stress next month.

Of courses, next month is also Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m coming up with a plan…

I still don’t know what I’m working on for sure (probably Onyx Sun and the Elven Bard novel) but I’m thinking that I’ll write 500 words, then go do some decluttering or organizing or cleaning or something for 15 to 30 minutes, then write another 500 words.  My goal is currently set to only 31k but if that method pans out well for me I might up it to my traditional 50k.

So maybe July will be the month I finally start getting back on track with writing and clearing clutter and even doing other crafts.

Because I’m just too stubborn to give up.

 

 

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The Flesh is Weak

I think I’m starting to feel better.  I still have almost no energy and even less stamina, but I want to do stuff.

I want to do creative stuff and I even want to do housework stuff. (Some of which I really need to do so I can do creative stuff.)

For instance, somehow I have once again managed to create a roadblock between the chest of drawers that currently holds paper crafting stuff and the rest of my room. I need to get to said chest of drawers so I have to bulldoze through the blockade.

Why do I want to get there? Because I’m pretty sure that I have some 8.5 x 11” cardstock in there that I want to use to make inserts for my A5 traveler’s notebook so I can use it to keep track of writing projects.

See? It all comes back to writing, but that was never a question, was it?

No, the question is, why do I only get the urge to clean when I start recuperating after I’ve been sick?  (Or really late at night.)

But I really do need to get to that chest of drawers.  I’d at least like to organize the stuff there a little as it was pretty much just shoved in there in a hurry with no real method to the madness.  (Well, most of the paper is in the bottom drawer – maybe two – because of weight.)

I also need more room to work.  Writing doesn’t take up much space, but other crafts do, and I don’t have the room to spread out in my bedroom.  I do have a craft room in the basement but it’s become more of a craft storage room so I also need to attack it and get it cleared out.  (It used to be more organized but that fell by the wayside when I rushed to get stuff moved down there out of the way.)

*sigh* I’m a pack rat.

Anyhow, the craft room project isn’t going to happen this week.  I’ll be lucky to get to my chest of drawers, actually.

But I want to do it.

All of it.

Right now.

The spirit is willing…

 

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Inside the Computer Hutch

So last Monday I mentioned that I was “clearing out all of the “important” papers in my computer hutch. All of the stuff that I shove under my monitor – and beside my monitor when I run out room under it – because it’s important and I need it and need to refer back to the information on it.”

I ended up with a plastic bag full of random scraps of paper and partially used notepads and I’ve been taking it to work with me to sort through during down time.

So, what all did I find in my “important” papers? Here’s a brief list:

a work schedule from a year ago
pages of potential Wednesday Words prompts
the phone number of a guy that a co-worker recommended to fix my laptop
several lists of names to use for characters (now consolidated into one list)
plot bunnies
quotes I’d saved
lists of goals, writing and other
a lot of notes about stuff I’m writing
a couple snail mail addresses
and a lot of miscellaneous because “Everything can be filed under Miscellaneous.”

I wrote anything important in a notebook and tossed the papers, except for stuff that I had printed out for novel-writing – story starts, outlines with handwritten notes added, etc.  It’s much neater and more organized now.

So now my next step is to decide what sort of permanent home the notes go into. Some are goals to work on so they’ll go into my 2017 planner. The writing stuff will go into appropriate folders and notebooks.

And the rest… I’m not quite sure yet.

I think once I get the big categories done I’ll be able to get a better handle on the small stuff.

And then I’m going to try to keep just one notebook or notepad by my computer and sort out its notes on a weekly basis.

And meanwhile, I’ve rediscovered a dozen or so feral plot bunnies that need taming.

*wanders off to find a whip and chair*

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Time and Tea

One interesting thing about having a blog with regular updates is that it makes you realize how fast time is moving. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing Monday’s post.

And can you believe that September is half over already? Before you know it it’s going to be November and NaNoWriMo will be happening. (A month and a half. And I am so not ready!)

Time is just moving far too fast for me right now and I wish I had a way to slow it down. (Except, of course, for work days where eight hours feels more like eighty some nights.)

(Why does time do that?)

Anyhow, so far I’ve managed to write a thousand words a week this month, so I’m handling that goal pretty well.

I’m not doing so well with spending an hour a week on some other craft, but that’s mostly because everything is still stashed from the “hurry up and make my room not look cluttered” rush of last month. I need to start getting stuff back out and organized because I made a list of stuff I want to do last night and yowza!… so many ideas, so little time.

(Kind of like plot bunnies…)

Actually, I’ve been feeling kinda lazy this past week.  I did pretty much nothing on my days off.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I reread the last three books of The Academy of the Accord.  I’m not quite sure how it happened.  I started out with plans to just look through Book 10 with an eye toward deciding what to post from it for Snippet Sunday next month.  And somehow that led to rereading Book 11 too.  And then Book 12.

And with the re-readings came the realization that I have a lot of revision to do. I think that books 10 and 11 might need switched. Or parts of them might need switched.  A timeline would help but for some reason I just can’t seem to get myself organized enough to make one.  And Book 12.  Geeze!  I have at least three different versions of one part of it, and two of another.

But on a brighter note, I actually did some paper edits work on Onyx Sun.  Mostly I’ve identified areas where I can expand things a bit (based on beta reader suggestions).

And the weather is cooling off so I’m slowly getting some energy and focus back. I love fall and am hoping my usual energy burst hits soon.

And along with cooler weather comes something else I love.  Tea!  I have a cup of it right now and is there anything better than a cup of tea to soothe the spirit and make the day easier to manage?

 

 

 

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I Don’t Feel Like It

Warning: whine ahead.  (Hopefully not cheesy.)

Anyhow…

There’s a quote by Anne Tyler: “If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” While this quote is wildly accurate most of the time, it’s equally true that there are days that all I want to do is write.  (And, of course, there’s my favorite writing quote, by Eugene Ionesco, “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing,” which is pretty much entirely true.)

Lately, it seems I’ve been doing more “thinking about writing” than actual writing, due to stress, lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of energy…

And today is another of those days.

It started at work last night.  My chest was getting tight, breathing was uncomfortable, and I started coughing.

Today is worse.  Low fever, coughing, chest very tight and heavy, coughing, feeling like crap, coughing, headache… Did I mention coughing?

So, I called off from work. (Work is not happy.  “We’re already short handed.”  Sorry, but I’m hacking up a lung and feel like I’m ready to pass out. Not to mention that I’m freezing one minute and melting the next.)

Anyhow…

I now unexpectedly have the day off.

And a month long to do list to tackle.

And stuff from the storage locker to get out of the front room. (Er, that’s probably not happening today unless my fever goes away.)

But I just don’t feel like doing any of it.

I think I’m going to have to “act as if” and fall back on the Louis L’Amour quote and “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

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Due To Circumstances Beyond My Control…

Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

I had huge writing goals for this month:

Onyx Sun:
finish the revisions
find a cover artist
write a blurb
format the novel
release it

Academy of the Accord:
finish entering changes to Book 4
enter changes to Book 5
MAYBE edit Book 6 (first round paper edits)
try to get books 1 through 4 (maybe 5) in the concordance

Other:
rough draft outlines for two sequels to Song and Sword (and a prequel)
write at least 100 words a day in an existing WiP

I might finish entering the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord, but nothing else related to that series is going to happen.

And there’s a slim (very slim) chance that I’ll finish the paper version of the revisions to Onyx Sun, although I’m not entirely certain that I’ll get them entered into Word, so no way is it coming out this month.  I think I’ll shoot for October; September would be awesome, but it’s unlikely. (Current situation isn’t going to resolve until midway through next month.)  I do have a few versions of a blurb for it, though, so I might settle on one before the month is out.

I have been doing the hundred words a day, so there is that at least.

Anyhow, the tl;dr version: it’s over halfway through the month, and over half of my goals for August are not going to be reached.

The things that I want/need to do for my personal goals keep getting pushed to the back burner.  Or rather, I feel guilty for taking “me” time so I’m sort of sneaking it in on breaks from the cleaning and decluttering chores.  The reason for the delay is a positive one, but frustrating nonetheless, and I am increasingly feeling like I don’t have any time for the stuff I want to do.

On the other hand, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s dim and flickering, but I do catch a glimpse of it now and then.

 

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