Tag Archives: organization

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

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?

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Editing Bag

Well, what have we here?

No, you’re not seeing things. It’s a real, live blog post.

This is the last weekend before Camp NaNoWriMo starts so I thought I’d talk about my editing bag.

For July Camp, I’m going to be doing some editing and revising of Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I probably plan to finish it at least one Camp session every year, but this year is different. This year I have figured out how to solve a major plot problem and I’m eager to get it fixed and get the book wrapped up. (I think it is mostly “finished” except the end was buried somewhere in the middle.)

So, anyhow. My editing bag.

And the reason why I need one.

I’m a nurse, currently working for a staffing agency, riding a school bus with a special needs child with multiple health issues. I have two hours between dropping him at school and getting back on the bus to pick him up again.

That’s almost two full hours of writing and/or editing time.

But since I live too far away from there to go home, the editing stuff has to come with me. Thus, an editing bag. It’s kind of a portable office.

First, there’s the bag itself.

I got it at Michael’s years ago. I had a coupon but it was on sale so I couldn’t use it, so I gave it some random person that was in the same aisle I was.

The main compartment is big enough to hold a three ring binder that has my printed manuscript in it. It also holds a spiral bound notebook for random thoughts, things to check elsewhere in the book (or trilogy or series).

The smaller compartment holds all kinds of good stuff. (Those are paper clips and binder clips. Kind of hard to tell with the reflection, plus I’m a writer, not a photographer.)

What else goes in there? Glad you asked!

Pens and highlighters in a variety of colors.

The scissors and tape and stapler (and extra staples) are for when I move whole sections somewhere else. I’ll cut them out, tape them to a piece of scrap paper and put them in their new spot. (Or I’ll tape them to the page they’re being moved to. Think of it as the original version of “copy (or cut) and paste.”)

And sticky notes of various sizes, shapes, and colors. (And, no, I do not have too many sticky notes. Bite your tongue, child! In fact, I think I need to add another large pad to the bag.)

And, yes, all of that fits in there, with plenty of room to spare. I had some of it pulled out into a “mini bag” and haven’t reassembled it yet – that’s one of my projects for this weekend. By Sunday night it’ll be ready to grab and go so I can get started on Monday.

(I’ll be breaking my tradition of staying up to start NaNo at midnight – my alarm goes off at 5:00 and sleep is a thing.)

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

S.A.B.L.E.

In the world of counted cross stitch (and probably other crafts) we have an acronym of S.A.B.L.E., which is Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. In other words, there’s no way we’re ever going to stitch all of our charts in this lifetime. After spending several hours last night trying to organize my plot bunnies I’m beginning to wonder if there is a similar acronym for writing. If not I may have to invent one.

I’m not at all certain that I’m going to get this project finished tonight. I might be able to at least get the rest of the ones that I have printed off put into the binder, but as I was ,working on it last night I kept thinking, “I know I started writing this,” which means that there are more lurking somewhere.

The question is, “Where?”

And I’m afraid the answer might lie in my Plot Bunny Bag, so I have the feeling that tomorrow (my day off) I’m going to drag it out and see what horrors may be lurking within it. If you don’t hear from me on Friday I was eaten by a rabid plot bunny.

It’s really frustrating to know that you’ve written something and then not be able to find it, and I have several starts like that. Hopefully, though, with the binder of starts and ideas that I’m making, from now on when I run across something like that I can put it in there and keep everything together so there’s no more of this.

But meanwhile…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

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?

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Halfway to Nowhere

The fifteenth? Already? The month is half over already? And my goals for the month are… not halfway done. Not even halfway started.

*sigh*

I do have two days off in a row coming up, though, and then I’ll be starting to work some night shifts so I’ll have time to write with minimal interruptions.

(Now, if I can just convince gmail to let me access it from a strange computer. I appreciate the added layers of security, but sending a secret code to my cell phone when I work in a jail where I can’t have said cell phone isn’t very helpful.)

Anyhow…

That “sort of” plot bunny is growing by leaps and bounds. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, given the current state of my pile of projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring.

Another major (although not as high priority as the Academy of the Accord stuff) is to organize all of those projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring. I think I’ve settled on putting them all into a three ring binder, organized alphabetically by title, working title, or some kind of word combination that will give me some sort of hint as to what it’s about.

I think that’s going to be another good project for downtime at work, maybe on evening shifts, at least until I find the concordance for The Academy of the Accord so I can get back to work on it.

(Some people need to find themselves. I just need to find my stuff.)

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Downs and Ups

It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Due to some confusion at the garage I got my new muffler Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning, which freed up all of Thursday for a trip to a town (DuBois) about an hour and a half away to go to a craft store (Pat Catan’s) that I’d heard great things about but had never been to.

And a trip to DuBois isn’t worthwhile without a trip to Dutch Pantry for lunch – and an Apple Fritter Sundae for dessert.

Only it wasn’t.  Horrible service there this time. Definitely not the norm but definitely beyond bad.  Sort of ruined the day.

Which means that I wasn’t in the mood to explore the craft store.  Which means that I’ll have to go back to the craft store another time. (Such a sacrifice!)

My Work Box 3.0 was, according to tracking, scheduled for delivery today but apparently that only means to the freight carrier’s hub, so I’m not getting it until Wednesday, which means I have to take another (unpaid) day off work. I’m not a happy camper because I was looking forward to getting it today (since I was already off) and having all weekend to get it assembled.

So I emailed work to request the day off (because by that time talking to people was probably really not a good idea). I got a reply (that gmail, for some unknown reason, decided to hide in my spam folder so I didn’t find it until the office was closed for the weekend) stating that I can’t call off via email.

Um… Okay, but I’m not calling off.  I’m requesting a day off, in writing, just like I did for the 31st and first.

So I called and got the on-call supervisor who was as confused as I was and agreed that wasn’t calling off.  I’ll reply to the email (when I get my snarkiness under control) and will also call on Monday when the regular people are in the office.

So, anyhow, I’ve kind of not been in the mood for much of anything creative lately and I swear the universe is conspiring to piss me off. (And succeeding quite well.) It’s enough to make me want to log into Materia Magica and kill things.

But on a brighter note, I have tentative names for the two main characters (and one secondary character) for my NaNoWriMo novel.

And on an even brighter note, I have figured out how to use Asana to manage trilogies and beyond.  Name the project for the trilogy (or series) – The Other Mages, for instance. Then, instead of adding a task, add a section (it’s kind of hidden next to the “add task” button), and then add tasks below that.

This means I have no excuse not to enter the Academy of the Accord series into it now. (That’s going to be a task and a half!)

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Goal Tracking App Update

On Monday I talked about a couple apps I was going to try out to help with productivity: Habitica and Asana  . Since then I’ve come across another one (WordKeeperAlpha which I found via Rachel Poli’s blog (and she found it via Skye Hegyes’ blog).

Anyhow, I promised you an update on what I thought of them.

Mostly I’ve played with Habitica because it’s fun and addictive. Is it the time sink I feared it would be? Not quite. Yes, I spend time there that I probably shouldn’t, but it is productive time. I’m already up to level 4 and halfway to level 5 and it’s keeping me on task for habits, daily (also weekly) goals, and to do lists. However, I find that I’m using it more for mundane things than for writing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I really enjoy using it so I’m going to keep on using it, and maybe find a way to revamp my writing goals to put into it. (Right now the only writing things it has are daily goals to work on Onyx Sun and The Academy of the Accord (which currently means my outline for November) and I’m not sure exactly what (if anything) I should change for it. I think I’ll let it go as is at least for now and rethink the writing aspect of it after NaNoWriMo.

(Fun notes: you can get “pets” in the game. The first one I hatched is a red wolf. Red Wolf Inn plays a key role in some of the Academy of the Accord novels. The second one is a purple tiger. Purple Tiger is one of the things that “P.T.” is rumored to stand for.)

I haven’t fooled with Asana much but hope to do more with it over the weekend. Right now it looks most useful for tracking progress on several different WiPs. With Asana you create a project and then set tasks under it.

For instance, Onyx Sun is a project. Tasks under it include:
Finish Space Battle Scene
Add scene where Soraine “pays back” her rescue
Change “More Araxians” scene to passengers
Put additional scenes into main manuscript
Print for paper edits and revisions
etc

Academy of the Accord hasn’t been entered into it yet because I’m not sure if I should make it one project or make each book of the series a project.

But what I really want to do with Asana is create a project for each Work in Progress, even if it’s just a “story start” (sort of an advanced plot bunny), that takes it from outlining through writing and editing and into publication. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but wasn’t sure how, and Asana looks like it might be the solution I need. Hopefully I’ll have time to play with it more this weekend.

Then there’s the newest discovery, WordKeeperAlpha. I just registered on the site so I don’t have much in the way of first hand feedback for you yet, but I love the fact that it has graphs to track your progress and if you set goals it will tell you how many words you need per day to reach it. (Yeah, some of the stuff I miss having in non-NaNoWriMo months.) And it lets you post your progress directly to FB if you want.

I’m still trying to find my way around the site (it seems to have eaten the project I entered to test it out for this post) but it’s kind of cool and I see it becoming really useful in the future – probably in December.

So there you have it. All three are pretty cool and have (at least in my mind) different uses, all of which are things that I’m finding helpful.

Now, if I just knew how to code I’d create a website that combines all three.

 

3 Comments

Filed under writing

Goal Tracking? There’s an App for That!

A friend introduced me to a role playing game (sort of) this weekend. It’s called Habitica and it’s a combination of a goal tracking app and a role playing game. The basic gist of it is that you list your goals and click them off as you accomplish them.  Clicking them off earns you experience points and gold. There’s more to it than that (Guilds, Groups, Parties, Quests, etc) but I’m still learning about it so I’m not going to get into that here.

I’m rather nervously giving it a try. It looks like fun and it looks useful, but it also looks like a time sink.

You can play on the computer or with a phone app, and since my phone’s memory sucks I’m doing it on the computer. So far it’s cute and it seems to be effective. (But I just signed up for it yesterday so it might be a bit too soon to tell yet.)

Is it a time sink?  Well… I don’t know yet. It takes some time to set up your goals and the rest, I suppose, depends on how involved you get with guilds and parties and groups and such.  (There is a writing guild, so of course I had to join it. I’m not entirely certain what it does yet.)

Also, the FAQ leaves much to be desired and a good tutorial would help a lot.

The same friend also told me about Asana. It seems to be more work-team focused. (When you sign up it nags you for a work email, teammates, team name, etc.) I like the idea that you create projects in it, with individual tasks under that project to break it down.

Then again, I love that same basic idea in Scrivener too, and, um, yeah, well… Let’s not talk about me and Scrivener. I should probably just delete it from my computer. (And I would, but I’m too stubborn. I want to like it. I know it could be useful for things like… oh… organizing the disaster known as The Academy of the Accord.  But it’s just too much.)

I’m thinking that Asana might be useful for organizing all of my WiPs and ideas and starts. We’ll see.

So, that’s part of what I was up to yesterday. Let’s see if I can keep up with at least one of them through Friday.

 

5 Comments

Filed under writing

Interruptions, Distractions, and Annoyances

Predictably, no writing over the weekend.

I seem to have done an awful lot of running around on Saturday so pretty much nothing at all got done.

Most of yesterday was spent doing paper crafts. I have one more artist trading card to do to finish this swap and it’s almost done but it still needs… something. I just don’t know what that something is.

I had to cancel my car inspection for Saturday – it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

So today I have to:

  • do the Rainbow Snippet blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • do the Snippet Sunday blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • write the thrice cursed space battle!

And deal with the day job that is being super annoying as I’m trying to write this.

(I got a text that they didn’t get my time card so I scanned it and emailed it, and in the process of doing that I got a phone call that they didn’t get my time card. So I sent it and got an email that they got the emailed timecard but could I scan and email my log as well. Seriously? You couldn’t have asked me that when I was talking to you? I just got my scanner and program shut down. They’re gonna have to wait because now I’m more thoroughly annoyed than I was before.)

(On the plus side, I’m gaining a lot of villains for future stories!)

Off to find my logs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing