Posted in Business Side of Writing, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Uncluttering

cluttered-1295494_1280.pngMy friend Debra has been working hard on uncluttering her house. Some items she’s sold; others she’s given away. She recycled and tossed. She spent all day Saturday on papers. Now Debra’s finding herself enjoying a room that had previously been a catch all. This inspired me to take a look at my office. I haven’t been writing in there for several reasons, but the one most appropriate for this post is the clutter. It makes me feel guilty when I look at it. Which doesn’t promote creativity. And even though I hate not finding things I want, I’ve procrastinated from attacking the mess because it was overwhelming.
So, I started with one thing. I organized a small drawer. Items were recycled, trashed, donated, and kept. I can find things in that drawer. What a concept!
Next, I cleared junk off of a ledge and was able to dust it. Achoo!
Then, I worked on a stack of papers on one side on my desk. Just one stack. I filed, I recycled, I tossed. I found my buried coaster. It is such a good feeling to actually have a place to set a cup of tea.
That task led to another. Some of those to file items got put on top of the story box where they belonged, because there was no room in the box. Sigh. We were also doing our taxes and realized we’d been holding on to papers that we didn’t need to, or ones that should have been discarded several years ago. Cue the shredder. Both made me aware that my story file boxes could be purged.
Here’s what I got rid of starting with anything older than ten years:
– Manila folders of stories that have never sold.
– Physical rejection forms/letters.
– Printed cover/query letters.
– Printed copies of stories/articles – electronic versions are all on my computer.
I kept:
– My submission records for those rejected stories so I could find to whom I’d submitted.
– Manila folders and contents for stories/articles I’d sold.
– A few encouraging notes.
What I gained:
– Plenty of room in my story file boxes for my filing.
– Reminder of pieces I might want to resubmit.
– Encouragement from personal rejections.
– And nothing is stacked on those boxes!
Because I was spending time in my office, I was once again using my desktop computer–I’ve been using my laptop 99.9% of the time. That meant I discovered the desktop computer was acting oddly. Virus scanning didn’t do much. My husband unhooked it from power and cables, opened it up and found it also was choked with dust. A good vacuuming and we both are breathing better.
There’s more uncluttering to go. That stack on the left side of my desk. Other drawers. Conference folders shoved into a cubby. Cards I have trouble throwing away. But each time I see what I’ve accomplished, it’s easier to think about tackling other areas.
Someday I might even thin out my bookshelves. 😉

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Turning

TheTurningThe Turning (Greenwillow Books, 2018) by Emily Whitman is SO good! It’s compelling from the first line to the end. I had so much sympathy for the main character. And his family.
Aran is a selkie. He lives at sea with the clan. But unlike the others he is always in longlimbs as he has no selkie skin to transform him into a seal. He prays to the moon to give him one so he can dive without needing to surface for breath, so he can swim long distances and keep up with the others. Then he finds out his mother has kept a secret from him and he may never get a pelt. Aran will risk everything to be a full selkie–even living on land.
What a magical story of a convincing world! (The book has a cool cover too.) You really don’t want to miss reading this book that has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection.
Read Emily’s About Me to learn some of the inspiration for this book. The author has also written YA books–you can read about them here.

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