Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tech Time Savers

When it comes to technology, I am a brontosaurus. I refuse to give up my cute Mac Clamshell, I don't own a cell phone, nor have I ever had my own PDA (do people even call them that anymore?).

Thankfully, I'm married to a tech-head-gadget-guru. Without him, I probably wouldn't even know what a blog is, let alone have dozens that I read daily.

A month ago, the tech-head noticed his brontosaurus wife reading a book while waiting for her bookmarked blogs to load, one-by-one.

"I can fix that," he said. "There's a way to get them all in one place. Easier. Faster."

"Noooooooooo," my five-year-old dinosaur self cried. "I like doing it this way."

Tech-head rolled his eyes and left me alone.

This past weekend, after I read three chapters of Adam Rex' The True Meaning of Smekday while waiting for a particular site to load, I lowered my head and asked, "Can you still do that blog-reading-help-thing on my computer?"

Five minutes later, I had this miraculous one-click spot on my bookmark toolbar that pops up all the latest entries of all my favorite blogs!

It's almost 2010 and I have finally moved into the 21st century. Well, almost. I still don't like microwaves, refuse to have a cell phone, prefer handwritten cards in my mailbox, and read books printed on paper.

What about you? Any major advances in your technological lives? Also, does anyone know what we're calling the decade we've just survived? What will we call the next one? I've pondered this for the past twenty years...

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: The True Meaning of Smekday (A.Rex)The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z (K. Messner) Secrets of Truth and Beauty (M. Frazer)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A direct correlation exists between the clutter in my physical space and the productivity of my writing.

Less messy begets greater creativity.

Simple solution=clean house.

But sometimes the mess is in my head.

Mind clutter--a much trickier thing to tidy up.

How I unclutter my mind:

*Stream-of-consciousness journaling
*List making
*Focused meditation
*Unprocrastinating (yes, I made this word up)

What about you? How do you unclutter?

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: The Thief (M. Whalen Turner) Fire (K. Cashore)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ten Things That Keep Me Healthy

When I'm not well, I don't write well.

And I want to write well.

And feel well.

So after two months of annoying unwellness, I must remember what makes me strong.

My Wellness List:

Healthy physical food

Daily exercise

Hearty spiritual food

Cat play

Fabulous books

Window-shaking music

Time with friends

Positive thoughts

Pajama days

Cheerful giving

What about you? What helps you stay well?

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Opposite of Invisible(L. Gallagher) Going Bovine(L. Bray) The Day My Butt Went Psycho(A. Griffiths) I Hadn't Meant To Tell You This(J. Woodson)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SCBWI Western Washington Professional Series Meeting

Despite the frigid weather, I dragged myself away from a cozy fire to attend my first Professional Series meeting in Seattle with the SCBWI Western Washington family.

So glad I did. Not only did I have the pleasure of putting real faces to those I've known only by name or blog, but I also got to meet and greet loads of new ones. Plus seeing others I remember from schmoozing together this past year in Bellingham.

The program included the fab-u-lous Martha Brockenbrough who facilitated interviews with Young Adult Novelists Lisa Schroeder and Liz Gallagher. Favorite tips? Lisa encouraged us not to feel pressured to do everything (ie. blogging) unless we enjoy it. Both Liz and Lisa showed us that even if we have a full-time day job, we can still find time to create great stories.

The hour flew by, and then the icing on the cookies showed up in the form of Jolie Stekly who shared a fresh look at voice by using songs on the top of the charts right now. Lots of "aha" moments for us in the audience. Thank you, Jolie!

The dreaded three-hour drive home became a delight when my carpooling driver gave me the gift of the most romantic how-I-met-my-husband story I've ever heard! I was afraid I'd be dropped off at my car before it ended, but she didn't leave me hanging. Thank you for sharing!

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time(M. Haddon), Bronx Masquerade (N. Grimes), Smiles to Go (J. Spinelli), and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart (D. Caletti)