April 18, 2014 · 3:26 pm
I am getting to take the first major step in simplifying my life. Next week I am moving into a smaller place.
I’m going from a two-bed-two-bath apartment to a one-bed-one-bath place. I call it my Crash Pad. With a little luck and planning, I’ll be able to use it as a base of operations for traveling on a semi-regular basis.
Part of the downsizing involves going through my stuff and having to be ruthless about what goes with me and what goes to new homes. Conventional decluttering wisdom recommends disposing of anything you haven’t used in thirteen months. This time interval accommodates the Holidays, so I see it as sensible.
What about my books, though? I may not read them, or reread them, within thirteen months, but having them on book shelves around me is like being with old friends.
Clothes, shoes, and furniture come and go, but my books stay. As Erasmus is quoted as saying, “Whenever I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
If such a philosophy was good enough for a Medieval genius, it’s good enough for me. Most of my books will move with me.
April 9, 2014 · 2:27 pm
First, major thanks to every single person who takes the time to read my stuff! You could be doing other things, but you have chosen to give the energy of your time and attention to me. Thank you!
Second, I have been taking stock of how this year is progressing so far.In a goal-tracking context, I’ve learned a few things about myself as a writer:
1. I LOVE stringing words together for you to read.
2. I LOVE telling stories, although it’s more like a collaboration between me and my characters. I sit in front of my laptop every day, and when it’s fiction time, my characters tell me what to write. Sometimes I take dictation, sometimes I have to referee points of view, sometimes I have to decide if a piece needs minor tweaking (such as adjusting a character’s name), or major surgery (changing the tense from first to third person in an entire novel).
3. The more books I have out there, the more challenging the writing becomes. Everything in the story has to tie in with everything else in the series. Contradictions are not allowed. Even something as seemingly trivial as a character’s height or eye color has to be right, because if I make a mistake with that, what else did I goof on? Call it OCD, if you like, but it’s vital to me to get it right the first time.
4. I have to be alone to write. If there is anyone in my living/work space, I focus on their needs and can’t pay attention to what I need to write. Many folks may not understand, but solitude in every way is a must-have for me to be able to write.
Third, I’m taking time every day to express my gratitude and appreciation for every good thing in my life. That includes all of you, big time! Thanks again for simply being there.