I finished off most of the scenes for my story I had thought up.  I got about halfway through a scene and realized I didn’t know the purpose of the scene.  It always makes me pause.  I figured I’d take a break and let my mind simmer on it for a bit.
Last night I was planning to write more but opted to watch some tv.  I went to bed early and actually fell asleep without it being a huge struggle (thankfully).  This morning as I’m showering, the entire rest of the story just came to me.  I have a dozen scenes written down – they will turn in to the rest of the plot.  What’s more the climax will lead to a second book I think. 
I never have titles – not ever.  I struggle to get titles because I can never seem to find something catchy, quirky, or fitting for the book.  In my head I come up with whatever fits at the moment for a working title.  With this story – I have a title, though I’ll probably do some research to see if it is common.  I also have a title for the next one too and have a rough idea of the plot I want to do for that one. 
This morning I’m working on items on my to do list.  I’ve crossed off several and hope to continue the progress.  Ken is off doing the errands which leaves me free to either write or work on the to do list.  Perhaps I’m getting back on track after my week of no sleep.  If that is what it took, I’m going to count the lack of sleep as a blessing – though I’m not sure Ken would he had to put up with me being cranky.

Sleep has returned to my life and – not surprisingly – I feel better.  I got a solid six hours last night which for me is good.  I feel like I can face and tackle the issues I wasn’t able to for the last week.  It is just a matter of working my way through each task.  

Pick One

In talking with an artist last night, I realized I’ve been very scattered in my work.  I’ll pick up this project and do a tiny bit, then move on to the next one and do a tiny bit.  This is probably because I’m trying to get a little bit done on everything. 

However, I’m wondering if this is the wrong approach for my writing tasks.  I do have several things to do for a good seven or eight writing projects with at least four or five projects barking at the door. 

Right now my to do list is organized by project.  I’m wondering if I should be grouping like tasks together – like I want to review the front and back material for all three of the books I have in publication.  This would be a task for three different projects I could do at once. 

Unfortunately, not all the tasks can be grouped like that.  I am working on editing the second fantasy novel.  I have other editing to do but grouping the tasks together wouldn’t work.  First, editing takes a certain mindset and focus and if I do it for too long then the quality of the editing slips.  Second, editing a fiction novel vs a poetry book is very different.

I just finished reading Wrede on Writing where she talked about the different levels of tasks.  It might be worthwhile to identify the type of task as well as the project it is supposed to be for.  This might help me organize my time and make me more efficient with getting items crossed off my list, which is the whole point of making a to do list. 

Here are my books:

Secret Past

Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy

Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:

Moments in Nature

Available at Barnes & Nobles:
Available at:
Available on Amazon:

Back to Routine

Stephanie flies back home today.  Moo Shoo and Gus Gus (her amazingly cute cats) miss her.  I’ve enjoyed our time together.  We cooked supper together last night.  I chopped what was needed and she cooked.  She made a shrimp stuffed flounder, Parmesan creamy rice, sweet peas, stuffed crab and a salad.  It was delicious.

After I drop her at the airport it will be back to routine for me.  I’ll be heading in to work.  I’ll go back to looking at my long to do list and figuring out which will be my next task.  There are so many to choose from it won’t take long for me to settle on one or three.

Most likely I’ll be focusing on production of the next poetry book – Moments in Spirit.  I am also working on editing the second in the fantasy series.  I have so many decisions to make sometimes I feel like I can’t make one more decision or my head will explode.  Since that would be messy and probably slow down the entire process I try taking things one at a time.

My foot still twinges when I spend too much time with it down so I’m trying to take it easy and do as much as possible in the recliner.  This does make life difficult because I use two screens when I’m writing and doing a lot of production tasks.  However, it is better that I work with one screen than make my foot worse.

I’m going to miss Stephanie, her humor, her quiet assurance – pretty much everything about her.  But we both have to go back to the demands of life.  Her cats are probably going to scold her severely for deserting them for a week.  

New Ideas

I love being organized.  I feel if I am organized I can be more efficient and better prepared to do whatever tasks I need to.  Recently two people have really helped me get better organized.  My youngest daughter, Stephanie, set me up with a new budget spreadsheet.  I think I like it better and just need to finish filling in the information for it.  Then I’ll copy it into my current spreadsheet and use it.  I have to keep the old one though as it has historical info I might need.

Tia, one of my new faculty members, gave me an idea on how to use a spreadsheet to track progress on projects.  She told me how she lists the projects on the left and the tasks in the columns.  I loved the idea.  I could see where I could use this to stay on top of the tasks I needed to get done and just keeping track of where I was with all the projects. 
Then today she tells me that for the bigger parts of the projects she has separate sheets for the details of the tasks.  Now I know this is beginning to sound geeky and maybe a bit compulsive (woman after my own heart).  As I looked at one of the tasks there are at least 25 tasks that go into it.  On my main sheet I just call it Formatting.  Then I linked it to the sheet where I talk about all the formatting tasks. 
Back to what Stephanie gave me, she incorporated conditional formatting in there.  I’m just using it to highlight the cell when I put my little x in it.  However, it gives a wonderful visual cue that look this is where I’m at. 
My new spreadsheet isn’t quite done.  I have tasks on my list that I’m not sure what it will entail because a few of the tasks I’ve not done before.  As I move through the process, I’ll continue to develop this spreadsheet.  I can also see this new spreadsheet having other purposes like in my genealogy, projects around the house, and even in developing the writing aspect of my writing projects – especially ones that include research. 
Perhaps I’ve taken my geeky compulsion of to do list a bit far with this latest development but I don’t think so.  I think it will just help me be better organized and maybe use fewer post its to keep track of everything.  To the two women who helped me out – thank you!  I’m thrilled to have the new tools that you shared with me.