Getting a Clear Head — and Table.

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My husband Steve trained as a scientist before becoming a high-level consultant for biotech companies. Yes, about 180 degrees from my professional world, but that’s the spice of life 🙂

But when God gave us two children and our already-cluttered lives took on an even greater load of messes and piles, and when the girls are eager to start a craft or a board game on the already-loaded kitchen table, Steve says: “We need to do a line clearance.”

And of course I roll my eyes — here’s the scientist lingo entering our lives again. But I also love how he applies his complicated field to everyday life.

A term used in manufacturing and lab work, Line Clearance means a segregation and cleaning of different processing and work areas to avoid cross-contamination.

Translation?

Clean up one project/mess before you start another one.

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Time-Saving Tips for Writers — or Anyone

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The next three weeks are major for me, as I help put on a conference for a national women’s organization I currently chair. Lots of workshop material to finalize, speeches to write and present, business sessions to run, and supplementary resources to prepare for participants.

I have to be ON and make every minute count. Not just for the conference, but for our family, relatives coming to town, my other writing projects, my own health and sleep — everything. People often comment that I do too much, and it’s true (and I do even more than most of them know!).  But I’m able to do ‘a lot’ because of some time-saving tips that have hugely helped me over the years.

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Word for 2015 – Revisited

It seemed fitting to start my blog’s second year with a closer look at the word I chose as my theme for 2015: shed.

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Since we’re nearing the end of first quarter 2015, I decided to check in quarterly about this word, this goal, of mine. Every three months seems like a decent interval to assess and recalibrate my efforts.

So far, I’m learning that the more I try to shed, the more needs shedding. Or at least, the more I realize needs shedding. On some level, like a pile of mail, or like exploratory surgery, you don’t fully realize all that there is, until you jump full in.

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Here are the areas I identified three months ago.

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Tomorrow, Tomorrow…

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Like most pre-teen girls across the nation, my girls are obsessed with the Sony Pictures  remake of “Annie” right now. A fine and creatively updated production, by the way. (Yes, they’ve seen the original and like the new one better; next is the stage version — we’ll see what they think of the real thing).

The girls love all the songs, but of course my 1980’s childhood is back in full swing with their obsession with “Tomorrow.”  Probably five million girls will sing “Tomorrow” for talent shows around the country this year, or sing along with the soundtrack in their rooms bouncing on their bed the next few months. (I’m more of a “Maybe” and “I Don’t Need Anything But You” gal, now, myself).

But of course, “Tomorrow” has quite a different meaning for an adult than it does for a kid.  It doesn’t always mean a new hope — it more often means we have to finally deal with all the stuff we’ve put off. The stack of unopened mail, the bills waiting to be paid, the dirty dishes, or unwashed/unfolded laundry.
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Stories in Storage, (Re)discovered

storage2 Among other summer projects, I’m revising a script I’ve been working on for years and years — in between other projects and life events, of course, but longer than any other.

I first conceived of it 30 years ago, as a teenager.  I outlined it that year and drafted it as a screenplay five years later, in college.  After graduation, I decided to re-write it as a television miniseries. Since then I’ve written it as a novel (currently under editorial review) and have re-written the miniseries countless times (including a current rewrite I just submitted to an industry professional this week). I have outlined and drafted two sequels.

We all have a project we don’t want to give up on — but we still wonder what the heck is ever going to happen with it.

Taking a break from a few writing deadlines this past week, I visited our storage space over the weekend to do some overdue summer purging of ‘stuff’ in general — yes, I’m ashamed to say we have a storage space for endless old files, supplies, decorations, tools, and household items.

It’s also where I keep a lot of old writing drafts, manuscripts and notes.  Some of the papers I uncovered this weekend were of outlines and ideas I had completely forgotten about — and I was excited to think about their possibilities going forward.

Then I found something else.

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