?

Log in

Prologue: As I was woken up several times last night by a toddler
getting back on her routine and already showing her rebellious ways, I
am tired. I am actually writing this with my eyes closed. Thank you,
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

Also, I have a stomach ache. I'm pretty sure this combination leads to
a very easy to come to notion:

Writing. Is. Hard.

Post:

I'll be honest with you. I haven't written a single word of fiction in
nearly three weeks. It astounds even me that its been that long. It
doesn't feel like its twenty-one whole days since I've put a word, any
word, on paper, screen, window, wall.... (For the latter two, I do
recommend good washable window and wall markers. As always, do a small
test sample in a place your landlord will never see before painting a
mural of words. If all else fails, a gallon of paint always comes in
handy.)

I tried to tell myself I didn't want to write because I'd told this
story once. So I wrote something different, something fun... but, in
time, my desire to write on non-important work fizzled out as well. So
I decided to write something new, that I didn't care how many Mary-Sue
beautiful characters there were, and I could toss in as many cliches as
I wanted, because it wouldn't matter. The book would never see the
light of day. I couldn't write even one word.

I've been stalling on what I want to write. What will this book be
about?

I confessed my problems to a friend. She didn't have much to give for a
remedy. "Maybe you need to get back to the basics," she typed into her
IM box "you know, why you love to write in the first place." I
considered this briefly, remembering how once I found that people will
actually pay me to write a book, money has been a big motivating
factor. Money, however, is evil.

Using Money as motivation to create will kill your creativity. Yes, I
know many, many artists and wordsmiths have used money as a means to
kick them in the seat of the pants to get their work done. However, is
it the money? Or is it survival? What's at stake if you don't sell your
book? Surely, it isn't the loss of money. Its the loss of your home, an
empty pantry, electricity being shut off, and a nice heap of failure.

Currently, I'm not in a position where any of these things are looming
on the horizon, except maybe the failure. So why, then, would I care to
write? More money would be nice, yes, but I don't need it to continue
my survival.

Monday was a school holiday for my son. There is a point to this, stick
with me. Our local mall isn't huge by any means. Its one story and has
a few major department stores and most of the usual mall suspects. But
it does have two things that a lot of malls don't. A carousel and a
play area.

I packed up the kids and we left for a day out of the house, and my
ulterior motive of tiring the little buggers out. We rode the carousel
just once, because its $1 per person per ride, and even parents holding
small children, say a 14 month old toddler, have to pay. Then, it was
off to the other end of the mall to the play area. Shoes were removed,
the stroller was parked, and I put on my tough mom pants ready to do
battle against the junior high kids running around where they weren't
supposed to be. (THREE FEET AND UNDER FOLKS!)

A fortunate thing happened after about 45 minutes of play. Some punk
had pulled the fire alarm. All play ceased, parents corralled their
children, and the hooligan junior high kids disappeared. But no one was
leaving the mall. We all froze like a deer in headlights wondering
where the fire was and why the security guard wasn't doing anything.

My favorite thing about this mall is that the play area is RIGHT
outside the book store. How lucky am I? So I swooped up the kids and we
went inside, since there wasn't any smoke or people running out like it
was the Zombie Apocalypse. This book store also has a (much smaller)
play area. So I sent Monkey Boy off to play with the trains and the
little Floor Monster and I browsed the magazines, which I hadn't done
in ages.

I picked up the usual culprits: Writer's Digest and a few special
issues on writing fiction, all the while repeating in my head "I know a
lot about writing, eighteen years worth of knowledge, but I don't know
everything, and surely there's room to grow." I couldn't find a copy of
my favorite magazine, The Writer, so I was mildly disappointed, but I
had four other treasures of writing battery recharging power.

I have since been reading through, when the kids give me a few moments
of quiet, for four days now and was surprised that when one of the
special issues on fiction writing was published by The Writer. JOY!

And during this reading, it struck me, like a shoe on an alley cat. Its
not about writing, its not about writing a book. Its telling a story.

I used to want to tell a story. I always wanted to tell a story.
There's a difference between writing a beginning, a middle and an end
and telling a story.

Last night, I picked out a new writing journal with a fancy cover and a
not-worth-it-but-I-can't-resist price tag. I wrote two paragraphs, and
in those two paragraphs, I learned, that the story that I didn't want
to tell again, didn't want to be written anyway. Its not about what
happens, but about who it happens to.

Readers rarely care about what happens, but about who it happens to.
(Yes, I said it again, its that important.)

Excuse me, while I put the Floor Monster down for her nap, make a pot
of coffee, and rework this whole story idea.

NOTE: If you can't see the images embedded in this post, please visit
http://shiananfae.blogspot.com/
It's been bugging me a lot lately that I desire to write, sit down at
my computer and stare at the words already there like they're some sort
of alien language written in a series of lines and triangles. Its
reminds me of when I was younger and had to do a report on a country
that I had interest in, and I wanted to write the report, but when I
sat down, I stared at the paper, the wall, followed the lines of fake
wood on my desk; it just wouldn't come.

A lot of people would call this writer's block. I am one of the rare
writers around that believe that writer's block is a bunch of hooey. I
believe its laziness, fear, procrastination and any other reason you
can give, but a block it is not. I think I might be bored with my main
project, which is sad, because its a great story. I've just told it
already -- in an 11k word draft. I simply just don't feel like writing
a told story all over again, even if it is to flesh it out and follow a
sub-plot that the first draft didn't even have.

My friend, J. F. Jenkins, created a Writer's RPG in which you choose
your class and write to level up. I think this is a fun idea, so I've
taken on the challenge, days ago, and have yet to leave the newbie
starting area.

Another friend (whom I am partially to blame in his addiction to
writing) and I created a forum to which we are the only members and is
private to anyone but us where we role play. It sounds really silly,
but we do, and its a lot of fun. Its word play. Fun writing, no stress
of editing or even being any good! I will probably write more about
this later.

Here's my plan, professional procrastinator that I am: I will start the
challenge when I've done some fleshing out of a new plot, though not
much. I'm going to try writing somewhere between plotting and pantsing.
I need to know my start and my finish. I can't run a race without
knowing where the finish line is. That's my minimum requirement. I may
allow myself a few plot points along the way to stop, grab a cup of
gatorade, stretch and then keep running.

Since I enjoy writing on that forum SO MUCH, I'm using that as my
reward system. My friend (who I won't be naming quite yet as he's not
made his debut into the world of writing) harasses me to write an entry
to one of the three story lines we have going....every single day. So,
for every 500 words I write in one day, I'm allowing myself to make an
entry on the forum.

In one day, just my forums posts alone on one story line totaled 1800
words. That isn't bad considering one of the rules is that I cannot
control any characters but my own and I had to wait about an hour
between each entry for my friend's response.

This is my long-winded way of saying that this Professional
Procrastinator has a plan of action. I have goals, and I have little
ways of meeting them (baby steps).

And hopefully, I can rely on you guys to keep me accountable and keep
me writing. That's what a blog is for, right? You post your dreams to
it and, when you fall flat on your face, use the public humiliation as
a driving factor to, in the future, not fall flat on your face.

I'd better get started.
Millions of people around the country, possibly even the world, are
celebrating Valentine's Day in some form. Whether its dining out with
your sweets, or going out for a night with your friends and celebrating
your single status, people everywhere are partying.

Personally, I'm celebrating the day by ignoring it all together. Yep.
Well, as much as possible as it can be ignored with people all over
town wishing me a happy one. It really is just another day.

Here's some history:


"Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines
honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m.
Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).
Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269
and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of
Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in
Dublin, Ireland.

"Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD
197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under
Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a
different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the
Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).

"The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine
who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He
was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is
known about him.

"No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval
biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine
became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between
Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost."

It's not that I'm COMPLETELY against this holiday, I just think that
making such a big deal over loving someone that you always love anyway
is a bit silly. Wouldn't it be sweeter to show someone you care on a
day that isn't a holiday or their birthday?

Doing something just because is romantic, doing it because you should
is an obligation.

But this may just be me.
Its been two weeks since my last post.

I've been fighting very hard these past two weeks with the fallacy of
failure. Its been something that's plagued me ever since I started
getting As and Bs in school, around second grade. Yes, I know that
dates me, but I'm not old yet. Sixty I will be old. (And I thought back
in second grade that 30 was old, and here it is around the corner and
I'm amazed at how fast the time has really gone.) If I got a C I would
be upset with myself for not doing better. I remember my first D after
second grade. I bawled my eyes out the entire four blocks walk home. My
D was in art.

My parents are wonderful people. They actually believed me when I told
them that my art teacher hated me, because it was actually true. They
told me not to worry about it, that it was just art and all my other
grades were wonderful. This art teacher held college level standards
for grade school students. I only ever got one A in her class, and she
drew half of the picture for me.

Isn't it strange how out of ten or more classes with good marks, the one bad one can ruin your entire perspective?

Failure is a hard thing to fight with, especially if you're a
stay-at-home mom or work from your home. You have to set your own hours
and standards and often set them too high. Many days I've felt like
I've gotten nothing accomplished all day, when in truth, the things
I've done are not what's noticeable. When you walk in a home, you don't
see the laundry mostly done, or the fridge with new foods in them, you
can't see the baby's bath time and the mess in the kitchen covers up
the cleaning that you'd done before you chose to make some cookies for
your school age child.

Unseen things are difficult to measure success by.

I've been plotting the expanded version of a very long, but not novel
length, story I wrote nearly a year ago. Plotting, unlike the actual
writing, has little give in the way of progress. I can have a day where
I place fifteen scenes in an outline, of which only a handful are worth
keeping. I can have another day where, in my allotted time, I am only
able to place one scene, but that scene opens up infinite possibilities
for tomorrow.

So which day is the day that leaves me feeling like I've accomplished
something? Usually, the one that leaves the most "good feeling." But in
truth, they're both successful days.

Any day that you get out of bed and do something good for yourself is a
successful day. Small pleasures (finding your favorite flavor gummy
bear in the bottom of the bag, a cup of your favorite latte, a quiet
moment when the house is still, stolen play time with your kids/best
friend, etc.) should be savored more than a really good serving of your
favorite comfort food. Any day you've made progress toward your life's
dream is a successful day, even if that dream isn't the same you had
when you were six, or sixteen, or twenty-six. or even yesterday.

Get up, get out there, strive for your heart's desire. The best
medicine for a case of failure-itis is progress and positive attitude.
If the world is against you and you can't take that baby step forward,
sit down and think about it over a latte, cup of tea, mug of hot
chocolate and know that you can try again tomorrow. For as long as
you're alive, tomorrow will always be there.

IMPORTANT: If you can't see the images embedded in this post, please
visit http://shiananfae.blogspot.com/
Getting back into the swing of things hasn't been as hard as I thought
it would. All I had to do was open an 11,000 word rough draft and read
the first two paragraphs to become overwhelmed with the task of editing
something that hugely unpolished. Fleshing it out to around 90,000
words is daunting. Even horrifying.

So much work to be done.

The most logical thing at this point is to take a deep breath and
remind myself to take baby steps. But where? How do you know which
direction to choose when you're standing in the middle of a circle and
multiple pathways spread out in all directions, and all of them at some
point need to be traveled?

I want some chocolate for this. Lots of chocolate. And a treadmill. :p

My natural tendency is to stare at all of the work to be done and stay
in a state of paralysis, but honestly? I will have courage and never
give up. Eleven THOUSAND words have already been written and committed
to this project. The hardest part is over. I will take that deep
breath, pick a path, and go down it until I have seen everything it
needs to show me. Then I'll pick another, and another, and another.
Adding more, making my characters breathe, giving them a world that's
alive; this is the fun part. My rough draft is just a guideline and the
chances are, it won't look anything like the finished product.

Don't tell the draft this, but I hope it doesn't. I hope the new draft
shines and gleams. I hope it sparkles and puts stars in the eyes of my
readers. I hope their imaginations overflow with new possibilities in
the world I've created. This is my calling, I'm sure of it.

There's a lot of work to be done, but I made a commitment to myself and
gave myself a deadline. I will stick to it and press on.

But right now, I have a dinner to make, and some knitting to do until
the kids go to bed. So I will leave you all with a quote from Mary Anne
Radmacher so that you too may find power in her words and press on when
you'd rather quit and pull your bed covers over your head.

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at
the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" ~ Mary Anne
Radmacher

IMPORTANT: If you can't see the images embedded in this post, please
visit http://shiananfae.blogspot.com/
Some days, despite the best of intentions and the greatest of efforts,
nothing gets done. Today, has been one of those days. Its nearly 5p
where I am and the most I've been able to accomplish today is printing
out some work sheets that will help me to not fall flat on my face,
make a progress meter, and read my email.

Its not the fault of my friends for distracting me early this morning
once all the intensive housework was done, because they always do that.
To them, nothing had changed. For me, everything is slightly askew.

Late last night, a dear friend of mine and I had a chat that was long
overdue. I got to share in a most awesome joy with her, which was also
a kick in the pants for me. Ever since I got news that my husband was
to be stationed in Germany, my writing has withered and died. Today was
to be the first day since then that the majority of my non-mommy time
(ie, nap time) would be re-dedicated to writing. I even did some light
editing last night on a piece that has sat on the back burner cooling
so long that it is now stone cold.

I don't know if its God testing my resolve, fate, or just plain dumb
luck, but this was the morning that every kind of distraction that
could happen, did happen. Friends needed to ask me legitimately
important questions, Moon Princess learned to crawl a few weeks back
and deiced today was going to be a day of exploring the lights on the
computer, she had the first of several visits from some education
coaches, it was the first day back to school after winter break which
also meant that it was the first day of a week long deep cleaning
session for the house (an hour or two each day so I can still get other
things done), I resolved to cook more meals and spend less time and
money ordering pizza which meant a trip to the grocery store when I saw
that most of the day had gone by and it was time to pick up the Sun
Prince from school, and so on and so forth.

So even though my bathroom and living room are damn near spotless, my
daughter's appointment went well, dinner is on the stove simmering away
and Sun Prince is happily watching cartoons after a hard day of
Kindergarten, I feel like I personally have accomplished very little
with my own work.

Being a mom really is a full-time job. Hopefully, after dinner, I can
squeeze in some part time writing.

If you're curious, we're having chicken and farfalle in an onion and
chive cream sauce.
November has come. November has (mostly) gone, and with it the toils of
many writers worldwide. I'm going to assume that you know what
NaNoWriMo is so I can avoid explaining it for the billionth time since
I started participating years ago. My steam is running low from being
on the go for the last three days and from working since 8 this morning
tying up loose ends (not to mention the 4:30a wake-up-call from the
neighbors getting it on and not being able to fall back asleep, due in
part to the ahem...noise) so forgive me for not going into detail.

This morning I verified my NaNo's work done, which was a little awkward
when writing a cook book, and got all my winner goodies. I've since
been resisting the urge to go through and start the editing and other
formatting right away. Instead, I finished another project that I had
been working with along-side the cookbook. Formatting and all. This
second project, Recipes from Home is available through Lulu.com if
you'd like to take a look at it.

Instead of a dedication page, there's a small poem my great-grandmother
wrote in a cookbook that she gave to my mother, and then my mother gave
to me. (My grandmother doesn't cook, so the book skipped her
generation. LOL) That cookbook is the inspiration behind Recipes from
Home. In true heirloom fashion, I've included my own personal
adaptation of the Amish Friendship Bread recipe that used to completely
sell out at church bake sales. Passed down from me, to you. Here's the
direct link to the book.

Now that NaNo is over, for me at least, I can get back to the countless
other projects that I've go in the works. Many of these projects are
knitting projects, which I've found are great for (sometimes) mindless
activities that keep my hands busy while my mind thinks of plot lines
and characters. Some projects aren't knitting at all, but are on hold
until I can get my sewing machine fixed. Others are ceramics, which are
keeping me busy when I feel like painting until I can convince my dad
to haul my drafting table up 24 stairs to my apartment.

I have at least 10 projects in varying stages of completion in all
different kinds of mediums. But before I get into those, the minute Sun
Prince is done watching his movie, the Christmas music is going on, the
decorations are going up and the baking season is being kicked off with
some banana bread and banana bread muffins!

And don't worry, I'll post pictures as soon as I can find my camera and
usb cord in the tangled mass o' cord box.

Happy Holidays



IMPORTANT: If you can't see the images embedded in this post, please
visit http://shiananfae.blogspot.com/
I haven't updated since July. July people! My goal of at least a once a
week update has been decimated. I think it's also pretty safe to say
that I haven't written much lately either.

Since July, I have packed, unpacked, packed and am still unpacking. It
was a last minute decision, but I'm pretty excited to say that the kids
and I have not moved to Germany. The other parental unit, however, has.
He's been there for two months now. The little sucker was holding out
on information, vital information. As it turns out, he's known this
whole time that in addition to being stationed in Germany, he was also
set to deploy to Afghanistan. He told me this a few DAYS before he was
set to leave. Right after, I told him "To hell with moving to Germany!
You're out of your mind if you think I'm moving the kids out there just
to be alone in a foreign country a few months after." Or you know,
something along those lines. Roughly.

This, of course, was also after we'd gotten rid of a decent portion of
our furniture (to save on the weight allowance you're given). So, we're
in need of a couch, a desk, a book case (or two), a kid's dresser,
dining table and chairs...yeah. It'll be a while before my house feels
like a home. But its getting better! I finally remembered to buy nails
at the store and borrow a hammer from my dad. My walls aren't bare
anymore! Though, I do have more wall space here than I have had in past
places, so I really need to start getting furniture to put away the
clutter. (And that only makes sense if you know I have a priority list
for the furniture. My daughter's crib was at the top of it, which we've
gotten. Next is the couch. Shelving and a desk are tied because they
will both allow me to unpack the spare room where I will be working out
of....but currently game and make junk in.) I'd LOVE to put the dining
table and chairs higher on the list, but we've always eaten in front of
the TV. We're watch TV at dinner people. Which may or may not be
changing now that my Sun Prince is in school.

OH MY! My son is in school! He loves it. One morning, I couldn't find
my car keys in all the boxes and mess and he literally bawled his eyes
out because we were late...by 5 minutes. My little nerd is growing so
fast! (And empty diaper boxes make great "art from school" boxes. Just
sayin'.) I haven't decided yet, but I'm planning on either sanding down
and repainting his activity table in chalkboard paint (so he can still
draw on it) or super gluing a GIANT piece of lego to it so he doesn't
have to put his legos away all the time (to keep them away from his
sister). If I were crafty enough, I'd figure a way to make the table
legs snap into place so the table top can be removed and flipped over.
Best of both worlds, right?

At any rate, I've been thinking about getting my writing back on
track...pretty much ever since I looked at the date and said, "Self,
November is not that far away. And then Christmas? Which means TWO
birthdays this year." (Both my royals are Christmas babies. I couldn't
have planned that better if I tried, right?) and then my Self replied,
very quietly while sipping her tea, "NaNoWriMo." And then I flailed. A
lot.

This year, I think I may be doing a very unconventional NaNo. I've been
wanting to put together a cookbook for a long time...and not just any
kind of cookbook, but one that is diabetic friendly. My grandfather, a
REALLY REALLY good friend of mine who's since passed away, a new
friend, and an old friend from grade school whom I've lost, but would
love to find again (Mental note: Search Facebook. All I know? Her name
is Amy! That should be easy!) are/were all diabetic. In addition? My
pregnancy doctor had told me that since I myself had gestational
diabetes twice, I'm pretty high on the risk list for developing adult
onset. He also said that the best way to combat this is to start eating
like I'm diabetic now. (Its been a tough fight. I like chocolate ever
since having my daughter. Peppermint mocha anyone?) He suggested
starting on the South Beach diet (which, you know, unless you live by
the ocean which I did at the time, buying fresh fish gets pretty
expensive) to break me of my sugar addiction. Yeah. That went well.

I'm rambly today, aren't I? -- Cookbook. Focus, Shianan. So uhh yeah.
50k words in recipes that are diabetic friendly and are something that
I would eat? Sounds like a challenge!

Its on, NaNo. Its on like Donkey Kong!

~Shianan Fae
PS - I cut it short at the end to stop the endless rambly!

IMPORTANT: If you can't see the images embedded in this post, please
visit http://shiananfae.blogspot.com/
It's been almost two weeks since my last post. I feel a little bad
about that, but aside from random mind numbing events and Twitter, I
haven't been around the internet as much. You see, I found out that the
Army is sending us somewhere else again. I was really looking forward
to seeing someplace new until I found out that *we* are going to be the
foreigners. We're moving to Germany.

A lot of people have been trying to cheer me up about this, but
frankly, its not been doing much good. My single friends talk about
beer and cheap hookers (for which I really would like to smack them).
My family talks about the scenery and the castle tours and yadda yadda.
That's all great and everything for a vacation, but there's no telling
how long we're going to be there, and we can't spend all of our money
on touristy things when we still have bills that need to be paid here
in the US.

All of those things are neither here nor there. The thing I am most
worry about are my children. More specifically, my son. He was supposed
to start kindergarten this fall. My biggest fear is that he will be
confronted with issues that I cannot help him with. Primarily, the
language. My daughter isn't old enough to talk yet, but I can only
assume she'll grow up learning a little German as well as English.

I know this isn't going to be forever, but its a very huge deal for an
indefinite amount of time. So, that's where my head has been lately. On
the bright side, I did look for any silver linings I could find. I hear
the base we're going to is amazing, yes there are the castles and we
will go. We're supposed to be about 3 to 4 hours away from Paris
according to MapQuest (which I was amazed to find does do directions in
Europe). My brother is over there, about three hours away. We'll be an
hour and a half from a major city. And, if we have money and mobility
enough, I'm making us do a family trip to London, with hopefully a pit
stop to Lakenheath RAF where I was born and to Oxford so I can sit
where C.S. Lewis and Tolkien sat...and needless to say, family and
friends will be getting gifts from Europe. Neat little gifts. And maybe
a few snow globes. (I SO want a snow globe of Big Ben and Parliament!)

So yes, there are the good things and the bad things. It just took
longer than I would have liked to look at this as less of a disaster
and more of an adventure.

That being said, its still not easy to be able to think of anything
other than Germany and the few other things going on. My writing has
ultimately halted. I'm going to be working on writing out my entire
work in progress into a note book so I don't have to worry about
lugging around my laptop and what the different voltage outlets might
do to it until we can find converters...which the PX had BETTER have!
That might help spark the creative flow again. I may do another Friday
Flash...well...I will attempt it, but if it turns out to be poop, I
won't post it.

And since I've already crammed a lot into this post, I'm going to say
briefly (HA!) that this past Tuesday I was given the honor of being a
guest Judge over on Leah Petersen's blog for her amazingly fun '5
Minute Fiction' contest. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I
tried to be fair and pick the best five (excluding Leah, who is an
AMAZING writer, but wishes to keep it fair and not let herself in on
the contest) stories while keeping in mind length, content, description
and all that fun stuff. The top five (written by Becca Hamilton, Sessha
Batto, Robert James Russel, Noelle Pierce and Richard Wood) were
amazing. I wish I could have picked more than five, because there were
so many great entries. Around eighteen total, I think. I do and do not
feel sorry for the readers who voted as its hard to choose the best of
the best; haha!

Also, at some point yesterday, I reached 100 followers on Twitter. I
felt the need to do something to mark the occasion, so I'm telling you
now, spread the word on this, or I will beat some people!

In honor of this milestone, I will send advance copies of my ebook (I'd
call these ARCs, but I don't think it fits. =/ ) to 10 people chosen
from my Twitter followers who DM me that they want to participate. If
you don't know how to DM, copy and paste this: "D @shiananfae SEND ME
YOUR EBOOK!" Minus the quotes. The ebook is in its final stages and
should be ready as soon as the tweaking is done. The deadline is Sunday
at midnight; central time.
Confession time. I'm a habitual list maker. Shopping lists, to do
lists, books to read lists, stuff I want lists. You name it, I've
probably made a list of it. (I love recipes too! Who doesn't love a
list with instructions IN LIST FORM!)

I've started a new project. I made mention of it in a previous post and
thought that I would share it with you. Maybe you'll get some use of it
too.

We all have things that we need to get done every single flipping day.
I don't know about you, but between story ideas, novel ideas, flash
fiction ideas, the book I'm reading, my kid's appointments and bills
that need paying, my head is pretty full most of the time. I forget
about 80% of what I'm supposed to remember.

ENTER: THE LIST PROJECT

I got out one of those fancy journals that I LOVE having around. I put
the date at the top and started listing any and all things that I
wanted to get done that popped in my head.

Every morning, before I write one word, before I do my morning pages
(but after I feed the kids breakfast, obviously) I write down
everything that needs to be done that day. From menial things like
dishes, mowing the lawn, checking the mail, buying stamps, etc. to the
big things like writing on your WIP, making that blog post, picking up
the car from the shop. I even write a couple things that I've already
done, (like feeding the kids, making the baby's formula for the day,
feeding the cats) so that I can cross them off right away and feel like
I've got some progress made, and also so I don't look at this giant
list and go crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head and throw
my cell phone against the wall.

Then, I slowly hack away at the list. (Yes, this blog post is on my
list.) I try to be reasonable with myself. If I have a list three pages
long, I know I'm not going to get it all done in one day, and that's
okay! I just do what I can, the best that I can.

Then, before I go to bed, I write down a new list of the things that I
didn't get done the day before. I leave the unfinished things on my old
list and don't cross them off. This does two things, it gives me a jump
start on the next day's list so I don't lay in bed for hours thinking
about what needs to be done AND it gives me something to look back on
to see how I've progressed in my time management skills!

I'm not perfect by any means. There are days when I cross off one or
two things, and there are days when after I've had a couple lazy days
that my list gets a little long and I cross off a lot. Days like those
lazy days are usually followed pretty quickly by a really productive
day.

Doing this project, even for only two weeks, has allowed me to see that
after a party or a big event, I need about two days to recuperate.
Common sense says then, that if I can avoid too many big events I can
get more work done. If they aren't avoidable, well then since I am
truly an introverted person and will be spending many days on the
couch, under a blanket, having some television therapy.

Hopefully, someone will find some use of my rambling, start a list
project of their own and realize that sure enough, all things are
possible one small step at a time.

Best of luck to you all!