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Summer days! Short shorts, tank tops, iced lemonade, and books! Who could ask for anything more?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Redux

I am giddy. Daughter #3 just came home from work with presents for moi! 

I must admit, I usually receive Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook for Christmas and this year I didn't receive one. I was gravely disappointed.

True, I start off the year putting my appointments into the book, but gradually I forget to add them in or I forget to check the book to find them. My mind is usually buried deep inside a story, either one of mine or one I am reading, and mundane things like a check-up just doesn't occur to me.

While my alter-ego was publishing her Totems and monthly horoscope books, the Witches' Datebook was crucial. And it still is!

(Please ignore the dates on the pictures, I haven't figured out how to change them or get rid of them yet!)

However, last year I remembered the joy I had when I was a list maker. (Only on projects, not on life or ~gasp~ cleaning!)

When I used to earn money from my needles, (knitting, crocheting, and sewing) I always had a project list. It always gave me great joy to cross a project off the list and date it. It helped to see the finished products listed so that when I was feeling like I was floundering rather than treading water I could see that I had actually achieved goals I had set.

(I always set the bar high. If the goals were too easy than I wouldn't really be accomplishing anything.)

After decades of writing, it was only in 2013 when I decided to write the Boundless Billionaire series and I compiled a list of possible titles for later books. That was when I realized I was back to list making.

I also know myself well enough to realize that I am a deadline person. The closer the deadline the harder I work. (You don't want to know when I decided what I was making everyone for Christmas or when I began making them!!!)

Daughter #1 lives in a rural part of another state, so when I go to visit her we always make a trip to the local stores to load up on things we both might need. It was while we were there that I saw a pretty little desk calendar blotter. 

I didn't buy it that day, but I went home and obsessed about it for weeks before I finally found the same thing in my closest store with a big blue sign. (They get enough business so I'm not naming them here, but they use a yellow smiley face in their commercials!)

I needed that desk planner to post my goals in writing. In INK!!! I ignored the fact that my desk is just a catch all surface and doesn't have a chair. I usually pile the pillows behind me and work on my bed or go to the library when I want to sit like a grown up.

Anyway, the pretty pink blotter was hung on my door with the schedule of children's events written on it. In ink!

In the meantime, before I bought the pretty pink blotter I was whining to Daughter #3 about how I had to find a planner that was set up with each week set across the page and a place to write the weekly goals. I wanted to know if B&N still had any for 2013 in stock. Finally she pulled out the one she had bought for herself and had only used for the first week of the year and gave it to me.

A page from the 2014 planner. (Not yet used.)

I was thrilled and overjoyed. I didn't know she had one, but suddenly it was mine.

I had a goals partner, and I am very good at cracking the whip and giving out advice, but very bad at taking my own advice. I needed that planner to hold my feet over the fire.

So, beginning in June I began writing my writing totals for the day on each day. It even involved math, because I would write the entire amount written to date on the project and then find the total amount of new words for the day. 

If I did not write that day I had to write in "0" and write the reason for not working on my story.

I set weekly goals and a completion date for each project. I might not always reach my goals, but I do my best to finish on the completion date! (Afterall, I am a Deadline Ho!)

The new planner has a month at a glance feature.

I have since expanded the tracking to include when I write a blog, newsletter, or work on my website. (It is so easy to lose track of time.)

In December, courtesy of the Christmas rush to make gifts, I added when I finished each gift. I have decided to continue the practice throughout 2014. Perhaps I will get presents done in a more leisurely manner. (Yeah, right!)

The presents also included a new crochet book.


It's amazing where you can find some good patterns. Some of the best come in the "How To" books.

The fourth gift she brought home was this pretty felt tote bag. I am a bag lady and proud of it. The felt has nice stiff sides, so it should be hold a couple of skeins of yarn without collapsing.

If you don't already make lists and you are searching for a way out of chaos, or at least to get something done, try making a list or adding a break down of what you have to do to your agenda. It not may help, but it might, and it won't hurt.

You'll also be in great company. Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Martha Stewart made lists, and look at all they have accomplished!

Now I hope you will all excuse me, I have my goals to set for next year. I'm going to put them into my planner . . . in INK!

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