Thursday Though-Self Help: The Organized Mind

The Organized Mind is another book that came highly recommended  but I could not finish. I may have read it years ago. Everything I read as I delved into it sounded familiar. On the other hand, so many of these books aimed at executives rehash the same processes, the same systems, and the same theories. I don’t know if I was bored or disgusted.

News flash: not everyone’s mind works like the author’s.

More breaking news: crap rolls downhill. What about the person to whom all your crap gets delegated?

Unless a full time homemaker  blogs about it, no one ever talks about who does the grocery shopping or scrubs the toilets.

Life is full of more details than your in box.





MJ Monday-Motivation: Solitaire as a Plotting Device

I know I’ve written about my habit of playing solitaire while thinking about my books, but I’ve recently learned this practice is instinctive use of how my brain is wired.

This year I was unable to participate in writing retreats due to COVID-19. I found another way to work on my professional development. Now some people consider my involvement in this group a cult, and maybe it is. I do pay to take classes and have individual coaching. But I’m learning so much about myself as a person, and that also means me as a writer. I’m starting to understand the whys of the way I am and why I do things the way I do. Why I react a certain way in specific situations.

The person who runs these classes also has a series of FREE You Tube videos. Here’s the link to the one that explains my need to play solitaire while I’m plotting. It’s short–20 minutes or so–but revealing.

Playing solitaire (or hand-held Yahtzee, another favorite of mine) is a legitimate writing strategy. Who knew?


Thursday Thought: Dishware

I periodically browse on line looking for new dishes: plates, cereal bowls, small plates. I don’t particularly like the ones we use. My husband is very fond of them. I want something bright and pretty. I live in a city where there isn’t much sunshine, so my soul craves something other than mud brown and navy blue.

Here is a question: why do sets of dinnerware still include cups and saucers? My family can’t be the only one in the USA who doesn’t use these things that take up say too much cupboard space.

Granted, TV Stevie has a thing about coffee mugs–he uses maybe two of the ones he owns, and is always bringing home more, but we rarely weed out the mug cupboard. I have my favorite tea mugs.

Instead of matching cups and saucers, I’d like to see  lunch plates or soup bowls.

What do you think?

MJ Monday-Manuscript: Finding Nuggets

As I type this, I’m “between” projects. I’ve turned in the last book I have contracted with my publisher and have gone through a couple of rounds of revisions. All good. My editor makes my book better.

I’ve been noodling around with an idea I first had back in 2010. I have the notes to prove it. Periodically I would think of something and add a note.

This past spring, ideas started coming fast and furious. New twists on the original idea.

I picked up a book belonging to my husband that I thought might be helpful. Reading it turned out to be a “gold” mine of ideas. So many nuggets! A basic plot started coming together in my head. A little more research revealed I had a “six degrees” relationship to the idea. Actually a second six-degrees relationship.

All I’m going to say right now is that I’m deep into research on something I think is going to be wonderful. I’m fairly certain it’s not a romance.

Here’s another confession: the nuggets I found weren’t gold–they were silver.

Thursday Thought-The Ultimate Custodian

People rarely think about facility managers, or as we used to call them, custodians. I had the privilège to meet and work with a man who set the standard for the best of the best when it came to caring for the building that housed the TV station for which I worked.

Tom was a retired air traffic controller who played ice hockey. His brother worked at the station, so I think that’s how Tom got the custodian position. Now, Tom didn’t mop the floors or clean the bathrooms–we hired a cleaning service to perform those functions at night. But he took care of the building.

Tom arrived at work before anyone else (pre- 24-hour TV era). He went into every single office and checked the lights. Every single morning. A burned-out bulb was a personal affront to him. Once a week he flushed out the drains in the restroom floors to make sure they were clear.  We never ran out of toilet paper, paper towels, or soap. In the winter, he tooled around on his little tractor keep the driveways and parking clear of snow. In the summer, his little tractor converted to a lawn mower, and he kept the grounds immaculate.

His wife Bea was a sweetheart and always made the best ham loaf for our potlucks.

He eventually retired from the job, and although we had some great guys in the position afterward, no one ever reached Tom’s level.

I thought about him the other day when I was getting ready for my daughter’s wedding and pulled out the table cloth his wife made as a wedding gift for me.