Archive for December, 2006

I Just Ran Into Myself

December 29, 2006 | Family & Life

There are only two days left of 2006, the holidays are over and Me, Myself and I are trying to relax. Especially after Me and Myself ran into each other the other day while trying to complete last minute preparations. Since we’re writers and use dialog tags, for this conversation I’m not using any. Needless to say, this Twilight Zone moment resulted in my sitting in the lazyboy with a TALL glass of white wine the next day.

Me (Standing at the bottom of the stairs): Hey! Where are you going?
Myself: (Standing at the top of the stairs): Huh?
Me: Where are you going? Are you coming down, because I’m coming up.
Myself: I’m not sure anymore. I forget. Thanks for interrupting my train of thought.
Me: That doesn’t take much. (Me said under her breath)
Myself: I heard you. Anyway I came up here to do something. Damn, what was it? (Tapping foot and shaking head) Oh that’s it! I was going to fold clothes and then read.
Me: You can’t fold clothes now. JGirl isn’t feeling well and we may have to take her to urgent aid.
Myself: Can’t that girl come home without being sick? I really need to finish cleaning upstairs before one of us takes her.
Me: I just mopped the upstairs bathroom floor and cleaned the shower.
Myself: (Silent) You did? When?
Me: (Rolling my eyes and sighing): About an hour ago?
Myself: Really? I just changed the sheets?
Me: What? Really? I just changed them too? Damn! Did you clean the bathroom too?
Myself: Are you crazy? Of course not!
Me: Yeah, I thought not. Okay, why are you coming downstairs?
Myself: Hmm, to see what you were doing? You’ve been talking to yourself all day. No one in this house is listening to you.
Me: I was mumbling because no one put Christmas decorations upstairs.
Myself: I didn’t want to. At least I got the tree up.
Me: YOU!!
Myself: Well, JMan helped.
Me: You couldn’t remember where the tree lights were.
Myself: You threw them out last year. Said we were going to get new ones, better ones.
Me:(Silence) Oh, I said that?
Myself: Told you, you’d forget. Now why are you coming upstairs?
Me: I forget. I’m tired. Can’t we just lay down and take a nap?
Myself: Sounds good to me. But remember, Hubby, JMan and JGirl expect dinner and you realize that means the three of us must cook.
Me: Why? We’ll have to do it again the next day.
Myself: Get a grip. Have you seen our glasses?
Me: Nope, you had them on last while you were addressing holiday cards.
Myself: Frack, I was doing the cards. Have you seen ‘I’?
Me: Nope. I is nowhere to be found.
Myself: Hey hold it a second. Let me look in our bedroom. (Myself goes to look in the bedroom and yells from the door) I is already taking a nap. And our glasses are on the nightstand.
Me: Save a space for me. (Runs up the stairs and slams the door shut behind her)
JMan: Hey Mom! What’s for dinner?

Lesson: Multitasking sucks!


Countdown – 18 Days to Go

December 13, 2006 | Uncategorized

The Christmas shopping is in full swing and Friday, a friend and I are going to do one of my favorite things. Go to a large mall, grab a cup of Starbucks, eat something I really shouldn’t and people watch. I find it relaxing and sadistic to observe people at this time of year. Parents running around, shopping bags filled, kids freaking out, crying, some smiling at all the fantastic decorations. Customers checking their lists and then throwing it away because there is no way in hell they’re gonna carry on those bags without making a trip to the car. Note: If you do a lot of shopping, and you take your goodies out to the car, place them in the trunk – NOT THE BACK SEAT!! Then move your car to another crowded location at the mall. Thieves just love to sit in their warm cars, riding around the parking lots and wait for you to do this so they can empty your car when you go back inside to shop some more. Yes, my Christmas shopping is just about done. Unless I think of something else to buy JGirl and JMan. Hubby gets gift cards for the local golf shop and a few cool, warm sweaters. Oh yeah, we’re all going to see Blue Man Group and have a family dinner, at which I’ll drink because JMan and JGirl will try to start sibling rivalry.

Anyway, the mall thing is kinda cool because as I said you watch people dynamics, and as writers we’re all about observing people. I can even make up scenarios. Men usually find the comfy chairs and stare out into space while their wives shop. I started this evil habit a few years ago when I was Christmas shopping and got very tired, and sat down. A mother was yelling at her daughter, because she’d somehow gotten bubble gum in her hair and it wouldn’t come out. Then another mother came by dragging two HUGE bags, telling her kids to keep up with her as they dragged their feet, twenty steps behind. Next was a young couple, evidently in love, holding hands. Well they were holding hands until she stopped to look at engagement rings and gave him a ‘knowing’ smile. I try to figure out what’s going on in the shoppers minds, besides counting off the days until Christmas Eve. I feel for the clerks, trying to spray everyone who passes by with perfume and look friendly standing on their feet for nine hours, as people dodge them without even saying hello. I say “Hello, just don’t spray me.”

I’m still working on my goals for 2007. I’ve got the usual. Get an agent, find a publisher and be published. Oh yeah, finish the book and the next two in the series. But my first step is to clean my office. You know erase the clutter before New Year. This I take very seriously, even if the space looks like it did pre-2007 three days later. I know I need to be better organized and I’ve purchased my tools already. I developed my system in 2006 and I believe if you’re going to be accountable, you should like what you use, then you’re more likely to actually use it. I debated between Day Times, Levenger and Franklin Covey, Franklin won out. I purchased the two page a day format, entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Each month is wire bound and every day there is an encouraging quote at the top of each page. I chose a two page a day format, because I use the second page to write down everything I do that day. It’s 8 1/2 by 11 and lined. Boy has it got a lot of lines. The first page has appointment schedule, and a prioritized daily task list. Cool. The calendar fits very neatly inside the purple folio, Molly, gave me for Christmas.

But I went even further, I have a 2007 Far Side desk calendar. So why you may ask did I buy a second calendar? Well, in this one I write a more detailed description of what I work on every day. And only writing. I put what page or chapter I started working on and where I finished. This way I can pick up the next day where I left off or make a note about some research or web work I need to do. I also clip a copy of my weekly goals to it to chart my progress. Guilt kicks in if I look and see I haven’t done any work for a couple of days. The cartoons are great. Then there’s one more calendar. Ya sick of me yet? This is a pretty flower design desk calendar, August to July. I keep it on my desk and every appointment, family, personal and writing is on it. I can see my entire month laid out and what to do if I have too many appointments ijammed up in a small period of time. I try to schedule JMan’s tennis matches, any doctors’ appointments, spreading them out so I know I have at least four to five hours to work every day. Yes, I even put our family weekend movie dates on it. I could tell you I use different color ink for each subject, but by now you probably figured out I did.

We won’t talk about the Blackberry, at least I can check emails, surf the web and it’s got games on it.


Let The Countdown Begin

December 5, 2006 | Writing

Today is Tuesday, December fifth. Nineteen more Christmas or Holiday shopping days left and twenty six more days until January, 2007. I don’t know about you, but retailers in Chicago started Christmas around Halloween. I intend to spend a very quiet holiday with my family. We’re going to see Blue Man Group and I’m excited. I’ve also accumulated quite a few new DVDs, so we’ll be hanging out watching movies. I also bought the first three seasons of Smallville.

This is the time of year when we look back at what we’ve accomplished and make plans for next year. I posted my 2006 goals on the wall of my writing room, fulfilled at least three and got one I hadn’t expected. I didn’t get an agent or find a publisher, BUT, I have almost completed the first draft of the first book of a paranormal series and a submission to a black romance anthology (thank you Dyanne Davis) was accepted. I’ve made new writing friends, gained a writing change coach, Molly Herwood, through an online class taught by Margie Lawson and my critique group just keeps getting stronger and stronger. My tennis team is envied by other teams at our club and I value their friendship. They’re invading my home this Saturday for our annual holiday party and I’m thrilled they’re coming over. Party Time!

To prepare for 2007, I’ve started doing the following. I’m cleaning out my writing room, throwing out old papers, giving away old magazines to a school’s recycling bin, brought a Franklin Covey calendar system, purchased paper, ink print cartridges, pens, dusted my desk and bookcases and started developing my list of writing career goals. I’ll add different goals from now until the last week of December, finalize them and post them on my wall.

I’d like for you to share your 2006 and 2007 goals with me and I’ll post your responses here. Then in December, 2007 we’ll come back and see how much success we’ve had and what we’ve learned. Yeah, I mean to keep track.

So, if you’re willing:

1.What was one of your goals for 2006 and did you accomplish it or not? If you didn’t, are you going to move it to 2007 and what are you going to do to achieve it, this time?

For me: my 2006 goal was to finish editing my interracial romance and find a publisher for it. Well that didn’t happen. I discovered I write paranormal with multicultural characters and now that romance is being sliced and diced to be put in a separate fantasy series.

2. What is one of your goals for 2007 and how are you going to go about accomplishing it?

For me: My first goal is to send the first three chapters of my witches paranormal to agents by the end of January. The first draft is almost completed and I’ll spend January editing and getting my critique partners to look it over.

3. What are you doing to prepare to dedicate yourself to your writing career in 2007, now?

For me: Like I said, I’m cleaning my writing space, getting my writing schedule set and most important making myself believe writing is my career, so I can act like it.

Also: I need a name for my writing space. When we moved two years ago, I claimed our living room. Hey, no one every sits in the living room when you have a family room and big screen tv. I’ve decorated it, pictures, lots of books, music, computer, printer, and it’s my space. Any suggestions?

Email me at YasminePhoenix@aol.com., with your goals and suggestions for naming my room.


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