It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these updates.
Once upon a time there was a house here.
Recently, a new reader of this blog wanted to know how I went about decluttering, and how to find the relevant posts. This was partially solved by adding an Archives widget to the sidebar (at the bottom of the right-hand column). At a later date I might add a tag or theme cloud, but that will first require going through the many pages of posts from the past five years and make sure they have been tagged or categorized consistently. That’s a project I can do this coming fall.
Why this fall, and not sooner? By then, my third novel, An Undisclosed Vocation, will have been published and I can take a non-writing breather–things like improving blog navigation and cleaning out closets are less likely to completely sidetrack me from job #1.
The bit by bit decluttering method generally doesn’t work for me. I’m an all or nothing gal, very project-oriented; I’ll jump into rabbit-holes with great enthusiasm, whether it is remodeling the house or writing a novel. Age and experience have tempered that, somewhat–three or four different projects used to occur simultaneously when I was younger, but these days I tend to just do one at a time. That’s my variation on minimalism: one big job at a time. Read more »
Most of us go through periods in life where we feel something is missing or not quite right. This leads to a search for something that will correct this feeling, to make it right again. The search, however, can be either conscious or unconscious.
Light and Form in all the Right Places
The conscious search doesn’t require much explanation. If you sense you need more energy you look for health-related answers; if you feel you need a change in your living environment, you look for decorating ideas or even the houses up for sale. Whether it’s a new religion, career, or wardrobe, the conscious search can provide some options.
The unconscious search is when you come across something you didn’t know was missing from your life–and you are inspired. Something catches your eye or your ear; a fragrance wafts your way; a moment of deja vu occurs in an elevator and for a second you are once again as if young and full of promise–until the moment passes and the present day returns. But the seed has been planted, the damage done: you want it, and that sense of magic and possibility it holds, that feeling of inspiration. Read more »
Something must have worked–it’s halfway through the weekend promotion, and at this writing, An Uncollected Death is #34 in the entire Free Kindle Store rankings, #1 in Free Cozy Mystery, and #2 in Free Women Sleuths! Thanks so much to everyone who picked up a copy. It was nice to get a boost like this in the middle of writing the third book of the series, knowing that thousands of new readers now have a chance to get to know Charlotte and the gang.
Spring fever has struck Northwest Indiana! On Friday, April 18th, and Saturday, April 19th, I’m offering the Kindle edition of my first Charlotte Anthony Mystery, An Uncollected Death, for free on Amazon. So take advantage of this to get yourself a copy, or grab it for gift-giving and share the love.
Speaking of sharing the love–if you haven’t already, do leave reviews of my novels on Amazon and Goodreads, and give ’em a mention on your favorite reading groups and social media. Let the word spread like cheerful dandelions
No one denies that hard work is usually needed to get things accomplished, to reach goals. But have you ever noticed that sometimes the joy goes out of just doing one’s work for its own sake? Working hard morphed into making hard work of things.
It’s not always obvious when it happens, either. Let’s say you’ve acquired the habit of gratitude: you’re grateful for recognizing your calling, and for the opportunity and means to do it. The work draws you in; you learn the craft and you learn to hone it, you learn to recognize how it could be better and you are driven to make it better. And then one day it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, progress comes at a snail’s pace. You don’t sleep well, your neck and shoulders become stiff and painful–
–it stopped being fun. It became hard work.
So what happened? Could it be that your skill has enabled you to spot areas that have problems, and so you work and work at the solutions, only to find more problems–and still more problems–or the solutions don’t quite do the job? Do the words not come? Are the colors never quite right? Does the melody elude resolution?
Focusing on the problems instead of the process is stressful. Sometimes it is necessary, but when it becomes a regular thing, it isn’t any wonder the sense of gratitude and enjoyment fades.
The solution could be as simple as recognizing what has happened and adjusting one’s perspective, to stand back and appreciate the overall positive whole instead of the problematic parts. It might require a long break–but it might only take a few minutes. Step back from the problems. Remember the purpose. Reset.
The best part is when, after resuming your work with gratitude and a sense of fun–the problems often sort themselves out.