My latest LOVE! (Planners, Personalities, and BIG ideas)

Hi there!

When I think about writing a new blog, there’s always this little person in the back of my mind (It’s not just a voice. It’s a whole person, rolling her eyes.) telling me no one cares about that topic. So I go on with my life without writing the blog because my life is crazy busy and super interesting (even if only to me). Of course, there’s another person (This one has her hands on her hips and is sighing and shaking her head SO SADLY.) who thinks I should blog at LEAST twice a week to build my author brand so I don’t disappear while I’m writing this monster of a book that eats my heart every day. So I go on with my life without writing the blog because that person is nuts and there are too many good books to read to spend that much time writing.

But I like to SHARE, so when I have something I think you guys might love, I blog.

So…one great thing that has made my life love-lier IS:

My Me & My Big Ideas planner. No. Really.

I’m not a planner. I’m not. (I wasn’t.) I’m not crafty. At. All. And I couldn’t understand why all my author friends were talking about stickers and posting pictures of their planners. It seemed so silly. My author friends are smart. And have super busy lives, and…stickers? Whaaaaaaat?

But then (in January) I somehow came across a Me & My Big Ideas Planner on the internet, and people, they have videos of each planner, so you can look through them and see all the inspiring quotes. Inspiring quotes are something I can really get behind. Because WORDS! My particular favorite in this planner is “No grit. No pearl.” But I also like the one about balance. Of course.

I really want to finish this book.

So I got to thinking, “What if I got a cool planner and put all the stuff I usually write on post-it notes each DAY, and kept track of my life in ONE place? And then what if I figured out a reasonable way to really focus and prioritize and delight in my writing projects with the whole YEAR in sight and not just one DAY scribbled on a post-it that ends up mashed and lost in a pocket somewhere? What if? What if I were somehow ACCOUNTABLE?”

The eye-roller told me I’ve bought planners before and I will waste money AND fail.

HOWEVER, I’m bigger than the eye-roller, and I’ve learned a little something about my personality type, thanks to that little trip to Palm Springs with my high school BFF last year. (Thanks, Erin!) I’m an obliger. Which means I find it easy to keep promises to others…but not to myself. (Find YOUR personality type here! There’s an article and a video with links to Gretchen Rubin’s site where you can take a quiz. See if it helps you reach your GOALS. It’s given me a lot to think about this year.)

So I found a way to make this planner thing work for my obliging self…by dragging my friend Jessica Topper into it. She’s not a planner, either, and frankly, she’s a little stuck on her book, like me. She said no, because non-planner people are resistant. But I was enthusiastic, and eventually she was as seduced and intoxicated by the idea of making things happen as I was. Plus, I made it an early birthday present, so she had nothing to lose. LOL. (See, there’s persuasion and then there’s bullying. I’m an Aries. It’s a fine line. But so is she, so it’s all good. I got her the same one I got myself because you should give other people things you want for yourself, right?) We decided to meet on convenient Sundays and plan/dream/brainstorm and keep our big ideas present in our lives instead of hidden on post-it notes jammed in forgotten pockets.

And I think it’s working! I have a long running list of things I check off or transfer from week to week. I write down the appointments and work things that usually hover in the back of my mind making me uncomfortable and I get them done. On the creative side, I can’t avoid the fact that I want to get the book done because there are all these cute little stickers cheering me on. It’s so easy for me to prioritize the work and family goals and ignore my creative goals (because they’re only important to me). Planning is helping me do ALL the things, and meeting my creative goals is DELIGHTING me, and talking to Jess makes the things HAPPEN. Don’t tell anyone, (especially the eye-roller) but I’ve planned to finish the monster book THIS MONTH.)

It’s Jess’s birthday today and mine on Saturday, so we are celebrating, planning, writing, having lunch, and going to yoga. Banner day! So happy birthday to us and to all the other April babies out there! Do you use a planner? Does it make you HAPPY? Which one?

Going, going…gray?

So I’m writing this book. You know, the one I’ve been writing for-ever. I’m also planning a bat mitzvah (fast approaching in 2 1/2 weeks!), and I’m teaching at night. So it probably isn’t the best time to decide to get serious about self-publishing, but it does follow my pattern of keeping myself buried in projects. As my husband pointed out a few years ago when I was complaining about being so busy and stress-y, “You like it like that.”

My first multigrain loaf. A little flat. Needed more salt. But pretty!
My first multigrain loaf. A little flat. Needed more salt. But pretty!

So instead of being all tired about it, I’m embracing the chaos that comes with being a linear thinker in the middle of four big projects (at least). I am thinking, “Look at all the stuff I’m getting done!” instead of my former, “OMG I have so much to do.” I am not skipping yoga. I am remembering to eat. I am taking my vitamins. My sourdough bread-baking is going well. In a moment of holy shit epiphany the other day, I realized I do yoga, bake artisan sourdough bread, and my hair is turning silver. I’m becoming the woman I always wanted to be.

Jessica Topper. Truth: Before I met her, I used to stare at her hair. I think it is the color of courage, and I want it.

I won’t lie. The hair is giving me a bit of pause. I’m not ready to be gray, even though my beautiful mother has been silver as long as I’ve known her, even though my gorgeous friend Jessica Topper rocks her salt and pepper locks, even though I stop women with great gray hair and tell them how amazing they look. (When I can do it and only seem slightly strange, that is.) I just…I can’t…and yet, I am. I don’t understand why I’m so conflicted about my hair. It’s HAIR. I’m not vain. I clean up well, but I spent most of my time peacefully au naturel. Sometimes I forget to look in the mirror before I leave the house to run errands.

I have to assume I’m afraid of taking the step from siren to matron. I don’t like it what that says about me or how it makes me feel, but I can’t deny it. Is this how the old-people-don’t-have-sex myth got started? Because of gray hair? Or, horror of all horrors, gray pubic hair? I don’t doubt my husband’s devotion to me, but I do fear he won’t find me as attractive if I continue down the silver path. His preference for my brown hair has been stated. So has his deep and abiding love and his respect for my choice. It’s my call…

Me and my mommy!
Me and my mommy!

This was supposed to be a post about the book and conflict avoidance. Right now I’m re-writing a scene where the heroine realizes the hero has done something pretty damn unforgivable to her. As written, her internal dialogue goes something like this, “I should be mad at him, but I’m just sad and sorry for him.”

No, girl. You should be mad at him. Really mad. Kick his ass mad. Or at least throw him out of your kitchen mad.

I have no idea what that has do do with my hair, but I’ll re-write the scene. Right after I call my mother.

Anybody out there have emotions on the subject? I know I’ve brought it up on Twitter before and gotten some great responses. This hair hesitation has been going on with me for a long time! As always, commenters will be entered into my seasonal/quarterly/solstice/equinox giveaway of a gift certificate to The Ripped Bodice. (International winner would have to make do with Amazon) 🙂