Blog Archives

Cleaning Out the Cobwebs

Since moving to our new house right before Christmas, and the months-long push to get Kill Me out into the world, my mind and my dedicated office space have been suffering from a severe case of the Clutters. Tonight, after putting in a eight hours at the day job, I came home to do something about it.

I figured cleaning up my office would get my household moving in the right direction. Little did I realize it would also juice up my creative side via a trip down memory lane. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

First I want to show you my office-in-progress. It’s mostly organized and once I get all of the computer tower chords tucked away, it will be decorating time! (I have so many Pinterest ideas!) So here are the before pics and I’ll come back and post After pics at some point.

Now, about that trip down memory lane…

I organized three filing boxes into one and had to go through sooooo many files. Some of those were things I’d written up to twenty years ago. I cringed at some of my melodramatic, flowery poetry and stunted prose. It was bad. Very bad.

I also discovered that I had the bare bones, scribbled on multi-colored bits of paper and tucked in several folders, of a dozen novels that I’d completely forgotten about.

A dozen novel ideas. Some only a few paragraphs, while others had a fleshed-out synopsis, chapter outline and pages of notes. Cleaning reminded me about why I write, and just how long I’ve been at it. And it was just the kick-in-the-pants that I needed to get working on something new.

While I do that, you can enjoy (not) two of my early little ditties. Be kind, I wrote these as an impressionable teen and over-tired young mother. And I’m embarrassed enough all on my own, thank you very much!

(This was written way back yonder when I worked on greeting card scripts.)

Seasons pass, and years go by
We ditched a class and learned to fly
Spouses appeared and children were had
We’ve reminisced on the times we were Bad
So many memories, we have shared
And when it mattered most, I knew you cared
Storms came and went, and in the end
We’ve weathered it all, because we are friends.

(Then there is this… not sure what else to say about that.)

When the question is posed to me- at my job, online, in a bar-
Who am I? What Am I?
What singular word describes the Who of Me?
I speak, I type, I slur- one word, on compulsion
(a habit I don’t recall forming)
It falls out of my mouth like errant food.
dropped on my blouse
A stain to wear all through the day
Like a badge, a dull cookie-crusted
badge of reproductive capabilities
Who Am I? What am I?
I am a Mother. 

(That’s all Folks!)

Mobile Multi-tasking for the creative lady

I’ll be the first to admit, life has gotten away from me before, but somehow the past few months have been complete chaos. Following a series of electronic malfunctions, I found a tiny answer to my prayers for organization.

Three days before Christmas my Kindle died. Of course it was too late to hope that Santa would bring me a replacement. I pined over the loss of my literary friend. I even tried to download the Kindle app to my mac laptop– but of course my operating system wasn’t new enough. Then the laptop itself died. Obviously I’d ticked off a toaster in a past life or something.

Without something to read on, and without my internet browsing ability I flopped around the house aimlessly. I couldn’t afford to replace both devices, and I was torn between what to get first. And then I had a brain storm- I’d get an ipad and have the functionality of both devices neatly rolled into one!

Now I can read at a moments notice and search till my hearts content. But that’s not all that my little ipad had helped me with. I can blog from it– which I’m doing right now. WordPress has a free ipad app, and while I am using it right now I will probably upgrade to one of the paid third party apps soon as the free version is pretty buggy.

As a busy working mother, keeping current on what’s happening in the world is hardly a priority. Then I downloaded the free Huffington Post ipad app, and it has quickly become one of my go-to daily apps. It’s chock full of current events, news stories, reviews, op-ed pieces and interesting slideshows.

As an avid reader, I’ve downloaded three apps, and I switch between them all willy-nilly. It’s my right as a woman to be fickle 🙂 While the Kindle ipad app is the main one I use, I also have Apple’s iBook, and the Barnes and Noble Nook app.

To occupy my children during long waits at the doctor’s office, I’ve got a nifty white-board drawing app from Ms Oprah herself called SketchBook O. My children also love tickling the ivories on the virtual piano app Virtuoso.

Evernote, StoryTracker and Index Card are all terrific apps that I’m now using to organize my thoughts and to (hopefully) get my writing-butt back into gear.

Dropbox is another free app that has been a blessing for me, since it lets me sync files and folders between my ipad and my desktop computer. It has helped me out a lot with my photography business, and coupled with the great apps Easy Release (digital, email-able release contracts), Square (allows me to take credit cards right from my ipad or iphone!) and Paypal my workflow has become more fluid and productive.

Am I an ipad fan. Yes, and no. I’m not a fan because of the “brand” craze or snobbish peacocking. I am a fan because of all the helpful, organized, productive, and creative things that my ipad lets me do.

I’d love to hear about any other great apps you guys know of as well!

A Cause Worth Mentioning

In the past, I used to be one of those people that aschewed “Tree-huggers”. I blame it on the era in which I was raised. I would hear the grown ups talking about this group, or that one, and how they were taking away our rights and lively-hoods by their loud campaigning and alarmist reports.

In many, this sense of disdain for organized environmental groups lingers. For example, yesterday I send out an email throughout my company to announce I now had a bin for aluminum cans to be recycled, and if anyone would like to contribute I’d be happy to take ALL the cans they could throw at me to the collection center at the local SPCA (who gets a meager stipend from the recycling company, thus benefiting the environment AND the local stray animals). Not too long after that, I get at least three similar comments within a twenty-minute period. “What, are you becoming a tree-hugger now?” and “Don’t tell me your an eco-nut” were the gist of things.

My response? A genuine smile and a reply akin to “I drink the soda and just don’t feel right throwing them away. It takes no more effort for me to haul them to the recycling center than to the landfill. It just makes sense.” Sneaky right? Combating age old prejuidices with logic is very hard to argue against. No emotion, just plain old common sense.

So, realizing the tides are turning, I decided to do a little research about some of the tried and true environmental organizations, starting with the Sierra Club which has been around since 1892.

Founded by John Muir, noted naturalist and author, the Sierra Club has been working for decades with the following goals in mind:

1. Explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth.
2. Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources.
3. Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.
4. Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

With over 1.3 million members and supporters, I’d say that the Sierra Club has the power of the people standing firmly behind their ideologies. Even now, the Sierra Club is hard at work to re-power America using smart energy initiatives, protecting endangered species and the land they depend upon, funding campaigns and research into global warming, clean water initiatives and soooooo much more. You really should hop over to their website and take a gander at all of the information, interactive maps and resources they have to offer.

Remember, no emotionality needed, just pure and simple common sense.

Interested? Just click the banner to the right of the screen. Yes, the Sierra Club has earned a spot on this little site 🙂