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Lists

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I am a compulsive list-maker. I write lists EVERY DAY. Things I need to do. Things I need to remember for later. Magic decks I want to make. Brilliant writing ideas I need to get to after the WIP is done. Cookie and gift lists (specifically at Christmas time). Things I need to take with me when I go on vacation. Things I need to talk about with the call center manager.

Some of this is borne of necessity; if I write it down, I will remember. If I don’t, forget it. I’ll admit that some of this lack of memory is self-imposed. My focus is quixotic yet when it kicks in, it is a hell-bent force; my sense of the time required to finish a task is unrealistic, and I prefer distraction to completion sometimes. The problem with all these lists is that I get such a sense of accomplishment from writing the damn list (especially because I’ll often include the things I’ve already done just to cross them off) that I don’t always accomplish everything on it. The list itself feels like an accomplishment, bringing order to the chaos in my head. Either that, or the list is so long, it’s overwhelming, which is where I am right now. I’m staring at my current to-do list and as much as I want to see it full of eliminated tasks, I really don’t want to do any of them. (Well, with the exception of one or two pleasurable “work” items, like writing this blog post, working on the WIP, and finishing a couple of books.) There are a great many things I need to do while I’m at home and it’s quiet (except for the blaring Billy Joel in the background), but I seem to lack the desire. I know I’ll regret it later if I plop myself down on the couch with one of the books on my list, or if I just zone out and start writing to kill a few hours.

But then again, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just get the laundry in and set the timer on the dishwasher so they’ll run back to back without needing my attention and just spend some time with my WIP. That’s accomplishing three things I can cross off all at once, right?

Here’s to another line through a bullet-pointed item. I’ll see you on the other side of a completed short…and maybe a finished chapter in one of the books on my list.

Three Weeks, Thousands of Pages to go…

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

New pillows are one of my favorite things. They are a little luxury (especially when Kohl’s has a sale) that makes a significant difference with little effort. They also make reading a delight and a precarious endeavor. I love curling up into my bed with a book and a cup of coffee (or tea) and getting lost in the world between covers. The thing about my bed (especially with new pillows) is that it is entirely too comfortable and sleep becomes almost inevitable. It’s a “first world problem,” indeed, but it’s relevant to the 25 Book Challenge I created for myself. You, my lurkers, may have noticed the Goodreads ticker on the right hand side of the screen. The count is not accurate. I’ve gotten through 11 of the list, I have two more in progress, and expect to get through three more before the end of the month (come on vacation!). That’s the plan, at least and there’s no school to interfere with all that required adding nonsense. Work could be an obstacle, but I think the biggest challenge is going to be the super comfy bed.

I’m not thrilled with what I achieved, but it wasn’t entirely within my control. I ended up reading Frankenstein twice, once for the list, and again for school because I didn’t realize it was on the required reading list, and the same with some of the short stories I read. Given all I got done this year, school and work, I think I did ok, but I could have done more. Had I been more focused, I probably could have read more on the list instead of wandering so much, but I enjoyed what I read, and I learned some stuff, so the details don’t matter much. And in the end, I have read my 25, just not the 25 I said I’d read. 😉

What I am happy about is I have been poking a couple of short stories around the shark tank (with a very long, sharp and pointy stick), I’ve got a story from idea to betas, and I have two more in various stages of editing, a short that is shaping up to be awesome, and I’m working on research for a longer work that already gives me chills. And not just because it’s set on Everest. I thought it was going to be something quick, but the more I tinker with the ideas, the more I accept that this is going to be a novel. I just hope my mountain-climbing guru will stick with me through the long process…

So now, I’m off to use as much of my remaining waking moments of the day that I can. Goodnight, world. I’ll see you on the other side of the moon.

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