Just Call Me Dory
When I was a little girl, my mother would send me off to clean my room. After a while of “cleaning,” my mother would open the door and say “Becky, stop reading and clean your room.”
I would agree to do so saying, “As soon as I finish this chapter.”
I haven’t changed. If you’ve ever seen the movie Finding Nemo…I’m the real life Dory. I am easily distracted and I seem to have the memory of gnat.
Most people don’t believe me when I say that. I think it’s because I tend to get things done. I’ve always been active at church and work and in our community. I take on projects, write books, and when I was young, I managed to keep up with three busy daughters.
Yet here I am typing a blog post late at night…okay it’s past midnight and my readers expect a post in their newsfeed in a few hours. I post on my blog every Wednesday. I maintain lists of ideas I want to write about.
For example, I considered writing about my recent outing to the Fernald Reserve. It is one of Ohio’s best-kept secrets. Literally. Fernald was once home to a top-secret uranium processing facility during the Cold War. It is now home to protected wildlife and has a state of the art museum that is so interesting, I spent several hours there with a friend.
This post is about techniques I’ve used to compensate for being distracted. While I was still a young mother, I discovered the use of a day planner. Only by writing everything down and not relying on my memory am I able to stay focused.
Here’s a picture of my July planner.
Church on Sunday.
Bible study on Tuesday mornings.
Euchre on Tuesday evenings.
Pinochle every other Monday and every Friday.
Some activities happen every week so I’m pretty good about keeping up with them. If I remember what day it is…
In July, I had several activities that don’t happen on a regular basis:
I attended a baby shower, took my car in to the dealership for a new battery, took care of some household business and managed to squeeze in a week at the beach with my daughters.
There were a few unexpected elements, the biggest being that my air conditioner crashed on the hottest day of the year so I had to get that repaired. I was on a wait list so I was without cool air for four days. It was stinking hot out there so I moved to the basement to sleep!
I digress. Back to the day planner.
I use my planner to record everything I schedule or do. If you can’t read my scribbles, don’t worry. Sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote.
I plan everything. I block times to write and include goals for my writing in my planner or I’d never write a word. In July, I also blocked time to research Harriet Beecher Stowe since my writing group was getting together for a tour of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House here in Cincinnati.
That research was helpful, but now I’m digging even deeper. Our group is crafting stories linked to writers featured on the Ohio Literary Trail. I chose to write a short split-time story featuring Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve never written anything like it, but it is shaping up to be a fun project.
A split time story is one where two characters living in different time periods follow a similar path and there is a connection between the two. They need not be related or do some kind of strange time travel. The connection could be an object or something. In this case, one element could be the house. My contemporary character visits Harriet’s house with her writing group. Sound familiar?
Oops, I promise not to digress again.
As a matter of fact, it is time I post this and head off to bed. Or maybe…I'll read just one more chapter…